In Part 2 of 2, Joe McMurray and Aaron Sefchick continue their conversation with Brent Lyons of the “Solving Sounds” podcast. They talk about the process of writing and recording an album, the popular music scene, and the way that society consumes music.
Brent tells us about his approach to writing and recording an album from start to finish. He writes songs in batches, with a focus on the overall sequencing and journey of the album (think Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”). The guys discuss the virtues of creating music for art versus promotion. Brent talks about how he writes individual songs – using different instruments to create the main hooks. The guys hash out creativity in the studio, including working with engineers who have songwriting/arranging input, using different equipment for different tones, and using Ableton and MIDI to spur creativity.
Finally, Brent, Aaron, and Joe talk about the state of the overall music scene and how it is influenced by the ways that the general public consumes music. With the lack of new band cultivation by major record labels, the legendary bands of the past have been elevated to even higher statuses, and reunion tours and tribute bands have gained momentum.
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In part 2 of our discussion with Miles Harshman, Miles continues telling us about being a student at Berklee College of Music: his famous roommate, the ensembles available to students, etc.
Then we really dig into the details of modding guitars, amps, and pedals. Modding is a way to get new sounds out of the equipment that you already have by changing physical components of that equipment. Miles shares a wealth of information on how to change/improve your gear by changing out capacitors, rectifier tubes, pre-amp tubes, and power-amp tubes, speakers, etc. Did you know that changing out a rectifier tube in your amp can cause it to naturally break up sooner (for more natural overdrive at more reasonable volumes) or later (for more clean headroom).
Miles also helps to clear up the mystery revolving around biasing tube amps. Please keep in mind that any work involving the internal components of a tube amp can be very dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing, even if the amp is off and unplugged.
The more you learn about your equipment, the more you can get the most out of it. Even things as simple as knowing when your amp’s tubes are going bad can make a huge difference to your sound on stage or in the practice room.