Tag Archives: soundcloud

Music in Manchester!

Marley Chingus @ Matt and Phreds

Marley Chingus performing at Matt and Phreds

In this week’s blog post I will be musing over my first couple of months living in the city of Manchester and the some of the projects I’m currently working on towards gaining my Audio Production MSc. One of the best things about living in a city that I’ve found so far has been the variety of gigs and nights out I’ve been able to attend since moving here. Ranging from amazing jazz and soul bands at Matt and Phreds and the Ram and Shackle to the raw blues of Seasick Steve (with none of other than John Paul Jones on bass!) and awesome club nights like Audiofarm at Sound Control which showcases some of the best electronic music around I’ve definitely been spoilt for choice when it comes to live music. I can’t wait to get my own band formed here in Manchester and start gigging again. I’ve recently begun writing, jamming and recording with two of my close friends (a fantastic guitarist/keys player and a female singer) so we just need to find a groovy bassist and drummer to form the rhythm section.

Studio D - The new home!

I’m starting to feel a lot more settled here now that I know my way around the area a bit better and have got used to universities recording studios- being a massive Protools fan studio D is definitely my favourite! I’ve been primarily working on the Bob Marley dub remix for the ‘Digital Studio Production’ module. This has been an interesting experience as it isn’t a genre of music I’ve worked with before and learning the different production techniques the pioneers of dub used back in the day has been fascinating. I have also been working on a new mix of a jazz/orchestral soundtrack style track I recorded and engineered on for a friend’s final year music degree dissertation (Please see embedded soundcloud below for the old mix). It is hard to ever be completely satisfied with a final mixdown when working in the digital domain as modern DAWs allow you to constantly tweak mix settings until the end of time. The finality of recording a mix using an analogue console and outboard gear definitely has something going for it as the final mix usually is the final mix!

Work wise everything seems to have stepped up a gear over the last couple of weeks with primary research to be performed for a Wav vs MP3 perceptual codec test along with a synthesised soundtrack for a video promoting MediaCityUK to compose, program and synchronise. With a major recording project with a local band coming up and the social media project it’s definitely going to be busy times till Christmas! I’m hoping to combine various forms of social networking (youtube, twitter, facebook e.t.c) for the social media project and possibly create myself a website using this wordpress blog as a template. The project will primarily focus on soundcloud integration and online music promotion.


My Digital Identity


Hey everyone, my name is James and my family home is located in North Wales near Chester. It’s only about an hour’s drive away from Manchester but is a lot more rural and picturesque with plenty of fields and mountains- a very relaxing part of the country to live.

On my travels last summer- chilling at an amazing bar in New York

I’m a self taught musician that has always held a huge passion for both music and technology. From an early age I began working with and building computer systems and learning acoustic and electric guitar. I have an audio engineering background that lead to me to graduating with a first class BSc degree in Music Technology at Staffordshire University. This course was perfect for me as it combined my love for music with the technicalities of audio engineering using computer hardware and software. I really enjoyed my time there meeting some fantastic friends and learning a huge amount in the process. In my spare time I play music with various musicians, perform acoustic gigs and write and record as much music as I can. For more information about my professional background please check out https://jkeyaudio.wordpress.com/aboutme/

Playing a gig with my band in North Wales a couple of years ago

Despite having a long term background in computers and technology I am currently not a huge social media user and barely seem to hold much of a digital identity- the idea of keeping my own online blog and using twitter is definitely a new one for me! I never really saw the need to make a twitter account to inform my friends of what i’m up to in real life preferring instead to wait until I caught up with them in real life and could tell them over a nice cold pint. This is also my first ever blog post and I’m finding it quite strange writing for this format, hopefully I’ll get more used to expressing my thoughts electronically over the course of the social media module.

This cartoon definitely sums up the modern reliance of social media to interact with each other!

My first encounter with social media was using myspace to promote my old rock and roll band by uploading our tracks and informing users of our gigs. These days my primary social media format is facebook which I use mainly for sharing photos and staying in touch with friends. I recently created a soundcloud account to showcase my audio engineering work for clients which I hope to develop, update and incorporate into the project for the social media module. This can be found at http://soundcloud.com/jkey and currently features tracks from various genres of artists I have worked with from acoustic singer songwriters and rock bands to jazz film scores and downtempo electronica.

Despite not having a large amount of interest in twitter and other social media platforms for personal use I would like to develop a professional digital identity in order to showcase my work, learn from other audio engineers, for networking purposes and also for liaising with clients. I also hope to keep this blog updated with information about the projects I am involved with whilst completing my Audio Production MSc and will also be integrating soundcloud tracks into this blog directly when relevant. Thanks for reading!

Cartoon Image from http://tothewire.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/060719_pb_internetcartoon1.jpg