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Posts Tagged ‘music production’

Music company Pro Soul officially launches in Beijing, China

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Chinese flag

I have some big news. I have merged my music production work with my music marketing and promotion company, Pro Soul Alliance.
And I’m excited to officially announce something we’ve been working on for over 2 years now, launching Pro Soul Alliance in China.

China is a huge, emerging market for the music industry, but currently in it’s infancy, and immature. Professional assistance is desperately needed due to crippling discouragement for artists attributed to the pervasive downloading of music. There is also a huge lack of ‘official’ presence for foreign artists who are becoming very popular in China. That means huge opportunity for those willing to support, develop and nurture this challenging market.

At the end of 2011, Pro Soul announced a new world class recording and production studio in Beijing as our first step. Now we are offering promotion, marketing, sales and distribution both within China and outside to our existing artists and Chinese artists through our local office in Beijing. Unlike other companies offering music services in China, we are based within China, and our local office is staffed with bilingual locals who know the market and culture, and have experience working with Chinese and international artists here.
Pro Soul has been legally registered as a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise in China under the name ‘敬真堂(北京)文化咨询有限公司’ Which translates to ‘Respect Truth (Beijing) Culture Consultancy Co. Ltd.’ (This was as close as we could get to our english name given the language and cultural differences. We kind of like how depending on the translation of our Chinese name, it can mean ‘Church of Truth’)

Because China is a complex and daunting market for a foreign company, we are starting out with the following basic range of services:

For Chinese artists:

 

  • Focusing on getting Chinese artists who are ready exposure internationally
  • Getting international distribution and sales for Chinese music (iTunes, Spotify, Nokia)
  • Promotion and marketing for Chinese artists overseas by connecting with interested markets and fans

 

For International Artists:

  • Digital distribution for international artists in China (including essential mobile stores China Mobile, Unicom, Telecom)
  • Promotion and marketing in China focusing on key social networking sites like Weibo, Douban, Youku
  • Collaboration with Chinese artists and recording traditional Chinese instruments with local professionals

As Pro Soul continues researching the industry and experimenting with new techniques for promotion and marketing music in China, we will also be offering licensing for Chinese music internationally in Film, TV, and online, expanding their revenue sources. We will also assist Chinese artists who are ready create their own business and develop music career in China to maximize their profit and control. Of course we will also be able to assist international artists book shows and organize tours in China in future.

Pro Soul has already begun assisting international artists Elika Mahony, and Hart as well as Chinese artist Abominati get exposure in China.

You can sign up right now for promotion, marketing and  distribution in China with the ‘Professional Artist Management and Consulting Asia’ option on our Get Started page.
For artists within China, we have a new website entirely in Chinese with a helpful blog focused on the local market.

For more information, please contact our China artist services manager BeiBei Lei

This means you will see less posts on my blog about music business, promotion and marketing, and music production as more of those posts will be featured on the Pro Soul Alliance blog so please check it out and subscribe for some great information like how to earn money licensing music on youtube, and my latest news and projects!

Recording for Cheng Lin’s new Chinese release “Greater Than Gold”

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Over the last year since I set up a studio in Beijing, I’ve had the privilege of working with one of China’s most respected and well loved artists, Cheng Lin on songs for her new album, ‘Greater Than Gold’. Although not all the songs we worked on have been included in this release, I am happy to have been able to help with the project in some way.
I blogged about a song that we worked on which I also produced and arranged, Only One Earth which won a Green China award.
One track in particular, Ray of Light, was the final vocal recording for the album before Cheng Lin decided it was time to get this album out.

Cheng Lin 'Greater Than Gold' Album cover

Having sold more than 25 million albums through her career Cheng Lin is no stranger to album releases. What’s unique with this launch is that it’s her first album release in 15 years and it marks both and ending and a new starting point of her career.

The album covers remixes of some of her biggest hits throughout her career as well as brand new material inspired by western and multicultural rhythms and melodies. The result is a unique music style, produced by three time Grammy Award winner KC Porter.

It was a pleasure to collaborate on Cheng Lin’s album with a producer who’s catalog of music and productions includes artists such as Ricky Martin, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Carlo Santana, and Beyonce.

It was very cool to see Lin performing songs from the new album to a full house  in one of Beijing’s largest theatres, and hear a live band performing my arrangement of one of her songs, and hear the audience singing along with her hits!
You can listen to some of Cheng Lin’s new album ‘Greater Than Gold’ and purchase it here in North America.

Cheng Lin Green T House, Beijing

Cheng Lin receives Green China award for our song ‘Only One Earth’

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

Last December, I completed arranging, programming, production and engineering for a song by Chinese artist Cheng Lin.

The song is about preservation of the environment, as we have ‘Only One Earth’. It was reworked from an old version in partnership with Green China, an organization recognizing philanthropy relating to preservation of the environment in China as they want to use it as a theme song for their TV shows.
We wanted it to have a more progressive feel so it has an urban style groove, and I’m proud of Lin for moving away from typical Chinese pop production with this song. Elika Mahony assisted on background vocals, and Bruce Gremo performed Shakalute and Xun, Chinese clay flute which many feel sounds like an Owl or some natural sound in the second verse amongst the modern production which is nice.
Lin even shot an interview and recording footage in the studio for the song…

A lot happened since then and the song had to be mastered (by Chris Athens, Sterling Sound, New York), but it’s been released as of the end of April, and Lin received an award from Green China during a TV awards ceremony for people who have brought awareness to protection of the environment in China for Earth Day. I really appreciate Lin recognizing our contribution on the song during the show, in English no less so we could understand!

You can listen to the song ‘Only One Earth’ here:
Cheng Lin – Only One Earth

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Check out the awards ceremony here (Warning, it’s long, unedited, but at 2 hours 13 minutes, Lin performs the song, and you can see Elika & I in the audience):

(note: the original clip is unavailable at the moment, so this is a shorter one)

Some of the wealthiest in China are investing in Green China, so no doubt big things are bound to happen quickly. Apparently they will have Al Gore at a ceremony later this year to receive an award for his work.
I’m proud to be a part of such an effort, and it’s great to see within days of releasing a song that it is featured on TV and getting attention already.

New Song Production: ‘Eternal Beloved’

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

For over 2 years now, I’ve been working on a song ‘Eternal Beloved’ with talented singer and composer Elika Mahony as part of her latest album of original new age pop music.

Eternal Beloved is a mystical and exotic journey about the arduous eternal quest for one’s true beloved. The lyrics were inspired by the writings of Baha’u'llah, and in fact some of them were first explored during a retreat at Bosch Baha’i center in the mountains of Santa Cruz, California.

Elika created the perfect melody, uniquely inspired for the music I composed. Her sweet and exquisite voice, and Navid Goldrick’s  beautiful Oud performance in the song makes it a song I am very proud, and feel it was well worth all our patient efforts. I have no doubt it will be something I look back on as one of our great achievements.

You can hear it on Elika Mahony’s blog post about the song here:

It has been a long journey to complete this song as there have been several challenges in getting it created. Firstly, it is a very different style than what Elika is used to composing and singing, so it took some getting used to. The combination of ancient and modern, blues drums, Indian percussion and Middle Eastern Oud is no small feat to pull off effectively. Throw into that mix my relocating the studio to Beijing, and then a fire that forced me out of home and studio during mixing of the song, and productivity tends to become severely impeded. In fact, the fire could have prevented the song from ever being heard!
That makes it very precious.
I’m very pleased with how well the mix of the song came out considering I couldn’t complete it in a proper studio… Thanks to the wonders of technology, namely my ARC system!

I look forward to hearing what you think.
Eternal Beloved is available for download on iTunes here.

 

Chinese folk meets electronic music, latest production

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Despite my lack of updates, I’ve actually been quite busy here since living in Beijing China.
I’ve been working on some cool projects, one of the most interesting being Mikey Dee and Miss Melody’s fusion of western downtempo electronic with poetic traditional Chinese folk music.
The two shouldn’t work well together, yet under the moniker ‘Mobidextrous’ they’ve somehow create something very cool and unique and are breaking new ground here in Beijing and worldwide.
The first track I produced, mixed, and did a lot of the sound design for is called ‘Huan’ which is a poetic account of being lost in the big city, where ‘even the wine glasses are drunk with excess’
They’ve also done a video for it below which has some great footage of Beijing:

You can find more about Huan and their other tracks on the Mobidextrous Soundcloud page, including 2 other songs I’ve produced, Wang Ming Yue, which features the latest and most groundbreaking effects I have used yet, and Woo Yan.

More tracks and videos coming soon, so keep an eye out.

Our work featured in Dawn Breakers film festival

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

The music video I shot and produced for Elika Mahony’s song ‘Where There Is Love’ was chosen as official selection for the Dawn Breakers International film festival happening this weekend in San Diego California.

You can read more about the video and song I produced and mixed on Elika’s blog.

You can watch it on Youtube here, or on Youku.com in China below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dN6dal3mwK8

For viewers in China:

open house for new music production and sound studio in Beijing

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

I’ve been living in Beijing for over a month now, trying to figure out how to blog about all that has happened here and what a dramatic shift it’s been living in China. There is simply too much to write about and not enough time!

So I’ll simply share that we’ve moved into our new home, and the new studio is now ready, looking great and sounding fantastic! It’s the best quality studio I’ve had in my 20 years as a music producer and sound engineer.

I’ll blog more about the studio soon. If your in Beijing, come by the open house:
Sunday, September 26th, 2pm to 5pm

Please contact me to rsvp to let me know your coming.

Happy Mid Autumn / Moon festival!

Pro Soul Studio Beijing, China

New Production: Bahiyyih – Take Me Home

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

In the howling wind, sleet and cold, Bahiyyih and I braved the elements to work in a very cold studio during a relentless winter in 2008 and 2009 to record her album ‘Take Me Home’.

Take Me Home is a spiritually inspired collection of songs to sooth and uplift the soul, taking us back to our true home. Although she wanted a very simple production, there are some diverse instruments such as Celtic harp and Oud.
Bahiyyih has composed some lovely melodies, and her angelic voice lifts the compositions to a truly heavenly place.

She talks more about her album on her blog posts here and here.

You can listen and find out more about the album on her website, and get it on iTunes or your favorite online music store.

Bahiyyih - Take Me Home CD Cover

Bahiyyih - Take Me Home CD Cover

Opening new music studio in Beijing, China

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

As i mentioned in my last blog, I’m moving to Beijing China, and setting up a fantastic, world class studio there.
It will be called Pro Soul Studios Beijing, in affiliation with my record label, Pro Soul Alliance.

It’s large a 3 room facility, professionally built by foreign expertise flown into the country along with specialized materials to soundproof and acoustically treat the rooms properly. It has full false floors and walls with large air spaces for soundproofing, but still lots of light from tall windows.
There’s even a built in guest room and kitchen/lounge in the middle.

Here are a few photos, then I’ll get into the technical details below for the gear heads…

The studio is in a building in an area that is a cool artist live/work residence neighborhood with art studios, restaurants, a French bakery, and a nice lagoon:
Shangri-La Culture & Art Community, Feijia Village

The studio has a funky traditional Chinese courtyard style entrance:

Studio entrance

studio entrance

The largest recording room, Studio B.
Tall soundproofed windows allow lots of light in, but no outside sound.

Large room studio B

Large room Studio B windows

Entrance to control room and studio A

Entrance to control room and studio A

The control room, below, has a custom desk with outboard gear rack panels on the left and right, and a Mackie xBus 200 touch screen console. These photos are old now, fabric on panelling has been replaced:

studio control room

Control room window with Mackie xbus console

Control room window with Mackie xbus console

Unfortunately I don’t have a great photo of Studio A, the main recording room, but it is a nice spacious room with lots of light from windows on one side:

Studio A recording room

The studio even has a guest residence upstairs, a kitchen, and large outside patio if you want to visit China to work on your music project:

Studio guest residence

studio kitchen

On to the studio equipment setup. In addition to my existing range of classic analog and cutting edge digital equipment, the new studio in Beijing will have the following new equipment that will make it the most powerful, highest quality studio I’ve had in my 20 years as a music producer and audio engineer:

  • A Mackie xBus 200 HD touch screen mixing console and computer controller capable of 192kHz resolution, configurable I/O via rear panel cards, penny & giles motorized touch sensitive faders & surround outputs.
  • 2 RME Hammerfall PCI cards allowing 32 channel high quality digital audio /MIDI channels between the computer and the console with zero latency (no delays!)
  • Apple Mac Pro 2.66 Quad Core Intel Xeon computer with 1.5 Terrabyte drive and 8Gig ram
  • 2 LCD computer monitors, 22″ each
  • Enhanced surround monitoring system with new mogami cabling and other small additions.
MackieXbus200

Mackie Xbus 200 mixer console and computer interface

The hardware mentioned will allow an incredible amount of flexibility in input and output routing, monitoring, and expansion as needed.
I’m arranging all the special cabling and other details required, and bringing equipment to Beijing from Canada to get the studio operational in the next 2 months.

I’ve put a huge amount of time, trouble and great expense to make this one of the best, top quality music and sound design studios in Beijing.
It wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of some of my Beijing friends, you know who you are, Thank you so much!

The studio should be open for production by sometime in August 2010.

I expect to soon be booked full time months in advance in the near future, so please contact me now if you want to work on a project.
Check back here for more details and updates.

I’m moving to Beijing, China

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Yes you read that correctly!
In about two months will be moving to Beijing, China where, as anyone who’s been following my blog knows, I’ve been doing a lot of music production work lately.
I can barely believe it myself.

it started with the production of the talented Elika Mahony’s fire and gold album which eventually brought me to Beijing, where she lives, to work with her in April, 2008. Since then, Elika has been an amazing host for my visits and allowed me to use her studio for other music projects we’ve worked on and that I’ve produced for other artists.
Beijing was nothing like what I expected China to be. It completely changed all the perceptions I, and most of us have about China. Not only did I meet new friends, clients and very talented artists, but I really actually appreciated and enjoyed the culture. (but I guess that really started in Vancouver…)  I found that in a city like Beijing one really doesn’t have to go without any of the ‘western comforts of home’.  in fact the quality of life is significantly higher for many reasons.
But what was most strange was how much I missed China when I came home.  The last year sure has been a confusing time in my life…

Over the last two years, I’ve been fighting the calling that I should be there only working occasionally, but to make Beijing my home base.
The idea seemed totally crazy! But for various reasons such as Felisha’s love for China, and my acquisition of a world-class studio, as well as partnerships with top artists in China,  is very clear that I’m not only meant to be in Beijing, but that it is very possible to make that happen. So over the last year that’s what we’ve been doing, researching and planning relocation to Beijing by selling our home, closing my studio in getting rid of things that we will no longer need there.

I’ve received many confirmations that I’m supposed to be in Beijing as I’ve mentioned. A big one is that in China there is simply a high demand for an experienced foreign professional music producer/engineer like myself, and a lot less competition than a place like Vancouver, which has limited opportunities, lots of competition in the music industry, and extremely high, exponentially increasing costs of living.
China being a huge developing country has all kinds of exciting things happening. This combined with thousands of years of rich culture and yet rapid progress into the future makes it a very exciting place to be.

During our most recent trip to Beijing in January, the purpose was not only to do some work with existing and new clients, but explore the possibilities of living and working there, looking at home and studio options, visa, and other considerations. One of the many great confirmations that I received during that trip was the acquisition of an incredible world-class studio likes of which I could never afford in Vancouver. Everything fell into place that can only be described as divine confirmation that this was the right path.

I’ll blog more about my new studio  and residence very soon. For now, here’s the entrance:
Front Door studio & residence, Beijing

in officially announcing these plans I want to assure all my friends and clients in that I will be back to Vancouver about every 10 months or so to visit and work. If you want to work on projects outside of this, our studio in Beijing has a guest room, so you’re welcome to stay, and I’m happy to fly you to Beijing at no charge to work together if you’re doing a full album or other significant project.

That being said I will sincerely miss all of you and my family, but as most of you have experienced, in Vancouver I’ve been too busy constantly working 6 or 7 days a week to ever really see much of my friends or family anyway. I’m really ready for a huge change in that regard, a change that will bring more desperately needed balance in my life!

This has been one of the most difficult decisions of my life, but I’ve taken enough time to know it’s the right one.