Category: CHP News

Web Sites and Such

If you are cruising around the sites, just an FYI this blog will now be the official site for ChurchHouse Productions and the other site (Velvet Wrinkle Wreckerds) is getting some work done. If you go to either of the sites and things are looking weird, just let me know, but more than likely it is due to switching things around and will go back to normal soon. Hope everyone is enjoying Spring!!!! 🙂

The Polyphonic Spree

Recently I discovered the Dallas-based band (yes I know they have been around a long time – the rock that I lived under didn’t have wi-fi), The Polyphonic Spree. So, I decided to put up a post about them and say that I apologize for being so lame with getting around to posting, but it has been a trying last 6 months or so. Things are starting to turn around now and I figured this would be a good segue to putting something up about the band and saying that I am looking forward to getting back into the schedule of posting with more frequency. Cheers!

You get what you pay for – or do you?

We had debated writing an article on this, but felt that it was important to do because if there is anyone out there who can benefit from things we have learned the hard way, it is worth it. While the names of the not-so-innocent have been withheld – the message is clear, so take heed.

We were contacted by a PR firm on the west coast via a social music site. This was their original email:
——– Original Message ——–
Subject: PitchFork Music Festival PR Inquiry
Date: 2014-07-07 23:17
From: The Not-so Innocent
To: Electrostatic Rhythm Pigs

Hey there,
I am trying to reach REDACTED. Not sure if this is a general band email but I had a chance to check out your Electrostatic Rhythm Pigs EPK

One of our music interns turned me on to your profile and forwarded it to me to check out. I’m not sure if anyone on our end may have contacted you yet about our PR Campaign and REDACTED series but I had a few questions that I was hoping to speak to you about.

First off all, I’m not sure if you currently have PR representation but I wanted to set up a conference call to discuss a PR Campaign we are offering new clients that includes a Press Release Campaign, a Two Week Social Media Campaign and a spot on our REDACTED MIxTape Series that will be distributed during Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago this July. We have two spots still open on our Pitchfork Campaign this month in Chicago so if you are interested, we would need to speak with you this week.


The PR Campaign including the press release Campaign, Two Week Social Media Campaign and the spot on REDACTED is a flat fee of 295.00. Here’s an overview of it:

  • A professionally written, approximately 600 word customized press release about your current music related news and artist happenings.
  • YES. They did do this.

  • Automatic submission of your press release to over 7500 syndicated newswires, media outlets and music journalists.
  • NOPE. Never got this.

  • 20 guaranteed online media placements of your press release in newspapers, blogs, magazines, etc with links provided.
  • NOPE. Never got this.

  • A money back guarantee that your press release will be error free, published and with 20 verifiable guaranteed placements.
  • NOT REALLY – press release was error free but never got any kind of “verified placement”.

  • A spot on our REDACTED. It will be distributed at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago this upcoming July 2014. You will also receive download codes and cards that you can use to distribute to your fans at shows and online.
  • NOPE. If they did – we never got confirmation of it. Still to this day – cannot find where this supposedly is.

  • A 14 day Social Media Campaign. You will be assigned a social media manager who will write, schedule and post compelling material on your networks including Facebook and Twitter.
  • NOPE. Never got this.

  • Content posted by your Social Media Manger gets tracked and recorded in an easy-to-read report showing you how many retweets, comments and new followers your social content is getting. Also, so you know–REDACTED is not for sale. It is handed out as a free download card to festival goers. We will be handing out over 3500 download cards at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago this upcoming July.
  • NOPE. Never saw any of this, or that it was ever done.


To give you an idea of the quality of press releases we produce and the media outlets where we often secure coverage in, you can check out these links:

REDACTED. Put it this way – we saw like two client testimonials. That should have been a red flag right there.

All of our work is results-driven with a money-back guarantee. Here are a couple of testimonials our music clients have recently given us:

REDACTED

I would love to discuss what your specific PR needs are and the details of this campaign, along with what song we would like to include on REDACTED. I can set up a time to call you to discuss it. Let me know if you have availability this upcoming week and the best number and time frame to reach you at.

Wishing You Success And Nothing Less!

Lessons learned:
1. ALWAYS get it in writing.
2. Even if you get it in writing, what will you do? Sue them for 295.00? You’d spend more in legal fees – scammers are smart in that regard – low fees mean a lot less likelihood of actually getting sued.
3. Verification of services should be offered at every step – you shouldn’t have to ask.
4. When you call like four times and don’t get a return call, it is probably a good indication that they are weasels, not serious PR providers.

Time Flies……..and crashes

Yes, as the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun. Well, time flies even when you’re not having fun. I’m not much of a winter person so it’s been a while between posts. So I think it’s time for another round of ‘what do these things have in common’. First let’s talk some music, old school style. When writing or recording you can get away with a lot if you concentrate first on the rhythm. I came across an article that deals with the pinnacle of old school rhythm. If you want to know how to construct a groove you can’t lose if you study James Brown. Here’s an interview article with Clyde Stubblefield the original ‘Funky Drummer’. It’s an interesting read (or listen):

http://www.npr.org/2015/01/05/374818384/the-original-funky-drummers-on-life-with-james-brown

How about a clip where Stubblefield gives a live demonstration of how the beat originates:

And now hearing the beat in a bigger context:

You could put a political speech on top of that and it would still be funky.

So what else is new? Velvet Wrinkle Wreckerds and ERP have new T-shirts!

http://www.velvetwrinklewreckerds.com/?page_id=8

What do these things have in common? Ummmmmm…..does it really matter? Not really!
– Happy Winter –

Steaming Mulch Goes Enormous

It appears that the eclectic collective Steaming Mulch has finally spit out a new tune. We never quite know what we’re going to hear, but that makes it all the more interesting. The word is that there are more song partials traveling around the studio at ChurchHouse, so we should hear the next one soon……ish. Their sense of time does not mesh well with the real world. As always your guess is as good as ours as to the origins of the title (go ahead, guess. we’ll wait…………).

In the meantime…

‘Enormous And Turbo Smooth From Diamond To Rose’

Steaming Mulch
2014

New Episode of In the Studio and more studio news~

It has been a hectic month – allow me to es-plain.  My personal computer (not the studio computer) had a hard drive failure and I had to order, install, etc.  a new hard drive and get it up and running which is now done, thus the long silence on the blog.  Ugh (insert long exhausted sigh here).  The computer is dead – long live the computer.

We put up another episode of In the Studio and also uploaded some other listening pleasure on the YouTube channel from ERP (Electrostatic Rhythm Pigs) and in the next month will have some music from other artists featured there as well. We have recently been filming footage for another music video due to be released hopefully by the end of the summer. In addition, we have been updating the merchandise store (more on that to come) and have added some new items.

Last but not least – we are working a complete re-do of the label site and will no doubt make some additions to the studio site and when we do, we will of course let you know!  Enjoy.

YouTube Channel – Yay!

Yes, we have had a YouTube channel for awhile now, BUT (and there is always a “but”) due to some issues that I would rather not try to explain (it is a long story and not worth the time to type) we lost our previous videos.  They have all been re-uploaded and we will be posting more episodes for the In the Studio after the New Year.

In the mean time, I wanted to say that I heard a great song last night from other bloggers I follow and if you haven’t checked it out previously (their blog) please do so, lots of good music industry updates, lots of good music, and just an all round good place to check out if you are an audiohead (click here>>>Unruly Hearts<<<).  By the way – great song was posted for today (Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here).

Anyways – on with the music.  This song is awesome and I found it over at Unruly Hearts… I’m a lyrics person so the lyrics to this spoke to me (no pun intended):

Can You Hear Me Now?

I wanted to pass along an interesting article I read concerning some of the pitfalls you can encounter running a small studio. One of the major problems concerns the fact that a small project studio often does not have multiple people handling the work that comes in. As a result, one person may do the recording, mixing and mastering as well as filling the role of the producer. There are positives to this: less long discussions or arguments over how to proceed as well as a consistent vision for the project. But the downside is the tunnel vision you may incur working by yourself and the project burnout you can encounter as you progress through all the steps.
This article speaks specifically to ‘ear burnout’ and steps you can take to avoid it. One thing the article doesn’t discuss is the positives you have when more than one person works on a project. At ChurchHouse Studios we have taken this to heart and try to have several people working on different parts of the project, especially mixing and mastering. It has produced very positive results for us. Another tip I would give is being aware of who is mixing your music. I’ve found out the hard way that mixing engineers who were in very loud bands and never used ear protection may have lost much of the top end of the hearing and will mix accordingly (also a tip to use ear protection if you’re still playing and don’t have the headphones too loud in the studio).

http://blog.discmakers.com/2013/02/ear-fatigue-and-mixing-music/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+discmakersblog+%28Disc+Makers+Blog%29

Studio 072810 011

Increase Your Options

I want to share a recording technique that I read about when I started studio work and have used during sessions over the last several years. The idea is to track one guitar performance and end up with multiple tracks with different sound qualities.
To do this we have the guitar running in to two separate amplifiers – to get the best variety use amps with different sound qualities. For the example in the photo we’re using a Peavey amp on one side and a Mesa on the other side. Make sure the amps are separated so there is no bleed over between them. Each amp’s sound will be captured by three microphones. In our example we are using two dynamic mics close to the amp and one condenser mic slightly farther away on each side.

Multi Amp Tech 011913 004

Each mic will go to a separate track in the recording software as seen in the photo below. You now have six unique guitar sounds you can use throughout the song. In our example we split the guitar signal going to the amps with a stereo chorus effect to allow for a greater stereo field when panning tracks left and right.

Multi Amp Tech 011913 011

In the final photo below you can see how we used the diverse sounds throughout the song, bringing in different mics during verses, choruses and breaks. You can now accent different parts of the song with unique sonic signatures while maintaining a consistent guitar performance.

Multi Amp Tech 011913 009

If you have enough tracks on your mixing console you can enhance these changes further using different settings of EQ, dynamics and effects on each track. This simple set up will provide you with multiple guitar sounds to make your track sonically interesting.