At the time of typing, I am studying at a contemporary music university in the United Kingdom. Imagine the film 'Fame' (the original, not the newer one) and that pretty much sums up life there. Whenever I go into the student union, there are always people jamming together, singing along to the songs they play and it is packed to the teeth with budding musicians wanting to make a name for themselves. Whenever I am on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (go and check those pages of mine), there are many of my fellow students who are advertising their latest gig, single, EP, band member, rehearsal etc. It is really inspiring that so many of theme are getting so many opportunities.
You can imagine my excitement when I had the opportunity to visit a recording studio to have a couple of my compositions worked on as part of a bigger (currently secret) project. Cedar Studios have a large variety of cutting edge recording equipment, as you can see in the bottom picture. The producer half of me was having a whale of a time getting all excited at their monitors (the music industry term for 'speakers'), compressors, microphones etc. whilst my composer half was thrilled at the idea of having some of my music being performed by live musicians.
For many of my peers at uni, if they wish to hear their songs come to life, they can either form a band, or find the musicians to play the parts for their song and then have it recorded, or record it themselves at one of the many spaces available at the university.
It is a very different situation for a budding composer such as myself. For example, if I have a great sax melody and string chords I am stuck as the university has neither sax players or a string orchestra at their disposal. Remember I said that my uni is like 'Fame'? It is pretty much a Rock & Roll establishment, whereas I wish to go into sound tracking, which more often than not requires an orchestra of some description. As a composer, it is common practice to work within the digital domain, making expensive MIDI samples sound as authentic as possible. So to be able to go to a nice facility such as this one and have someone play something you wrote note-for-note is a wonderfully rewarding experience. At Cedar Studios I got to witness the recording of a jazz acoustic guitar part for one of my two pieces.
Cedar Studios are an audio post-production studio that offers a wide range of services from location recording to bespoke sound design and composition for all media forms such as video games, adverts and short promotional films. The staff were really kind and helpful giving me loads of advice concerning mixing, producing and how to approach potential employers for work.
It was wonderful to be able to fully place my trust in the staff there. We bounced new ideas off of each other constantly as if we have been working together for years and years. Some ideas worked whilst others did not. The whole process was incredibly exciting and exhilarating as we were able to take my music to new levels of amazing (he says modestly...).
In short, it was an honour to work with such like minded people and it gave me chance to completely nerd out for eight hours on this project. Whilst I am unable to talk much about the project itself, what I can and will say that I cannot wait to see what the future brings and I look forward to working with Cedar Studios again soon.
Here is a link to Cedar Studios' website so you can learn more about them there and gander at their ever growing portfolio.