Follicle Recession: A Sniper’s Paradise

So, they say life begins at 40. Well, I am finding that to be definitely true. I have been a very busy man, and with very little effort from me, a lot of really extraordinary things are happening for me and my family at the moment.

Business-wise, I am working on a couple of new ventures with some very fine people in the mixing/mastering/audio world, and my presence within that world is being noticed quite a bit lately. That is all very exciting!

Family-wise, our daughter Anna is coming up on SIX years old in just a few days time. There is also WAY big news as well, which I can’t go into at the moment, but, when I can….I will devote a post to it! No:… does not involve pregnancy in anyway!

In addition to the new ventures, I am also working with a client on his next EP. Tracking sessions are going really well for that so far, and I have some other mixing jobs on the go, as well as some new songwriting videos coming along too. So, all-in-all, a very busy time, which is why I have only managed a single post in each of the last two months. Sorry, folks!

So….that’s it for now. Until next time…….Take care!

Life Begins At…..

Since my last post, I had my 40th birthday. Originally, I had organised – or, more accurately attempted to organise – a large party to celebrate. However, there really are two things I ought to know about myself by now:

  1. I am somewhat socially challenged, and thus, am pretty rubbish at parties;
  2. I am pretty poor at organising things like parties

So, I ended up scaling it back from a huge party held at our church building, to an open-house party in the daytime and drinks at a bar in central Edinburgh.

I had a wonderful time! The open-house was extremely well attended, and for those who could not make it I did a livestream broadcast on Periscope (an app built by the guys at Twitter) and a Google Hangout. The evening drinks at the bar was less well attended, but the people who did attend made it an awesome night out.

They say that life begins at 40. Well, I have to be honest and say that I really do have a life beyond my dreams. I have a wonderful wife, two amazing kids, fantastic parents, a very loyal and loving close network of friends, and a bunch of professional colleagues who inspire me to be better at my job every day. Who could possibly ask for more!? I have been blessed beyond all I could have ever imagined 20 years ago.

So, this post is dedicated to all those people in my life I have mentioned above, with love and the deepest gratitude for all that you have done for me and helped me, shaping me to become all that I am today.

Thank You.

Settling In to Round Trips

Right at the start of this post, I must apologise for the lack of post thus far this month (I have been trying to regularly post two entries per month). Since Sam has started nursery, life, as you are about to find out, has been very busy indeed.

So, as I said, Sam has settled in to nusery school, and is doing brilliantly. He loves it! He enjoys making things, and being creative, and has some new friends. This means that every day, with the exception of Fridays, I have a 2 hour period in the day which is child free! This is still a bit of a novelty to me, and I am still trying to adjust to it!

Anna is all settled into her new primary 2 class, with a new teacher, and some new classmates. So far, all is going well, and we are discovering that her reading skills are a long, long way ahead of her peers. She has also taken a real liking to playing football, and has started attending an after-school football club on Fridays. She, and Sam, are both growing up faster than I may be able to handle!

Cate is exceptionally busy at her work at the moment, which has resulted in her having to fairly frequently work late. She still loves her job, but is currently finding it very frustrating and stressful.

I have been busy in the studio with session work, and with a Full Production Package (Recording, mixing and mastering package I offer) client, who has come in to cut a 5 song EP. I have also been working with a good friend and professional colleague – Johnny Geib – in Chicago (all without ever leaving Edinburgh) on some tutorial videos, covering songwriting, mixing and mastering, and some advanced techniques in mixing using our DAW (Music production software) of choice, PreSonus’ Studio One 3 Professional.

As a result of walking my kids to their school and nursery, I have been finding myself getting fitter. This is mostly due to the fact that through both drop-offs and pick-ups, I am walking approximately 8 miles per day – 40 miles per working week. So, I am feeling healthier than I have done in a long time.

So, that about wraps up this post. Next time, I shall be reflecting upon reaching the rather marvellous age of 40.

Until next time……..

A Big Day and a Bid for Freedom

Tomorrow is a big day in Lipsham Manor. Our son Sam has his first day at Nursery. ¬†Our daughter Anna is settling in slowly to P2 at primary school, and adjusting to a new teacher, who has a different approach and a new way of doing things in the classroom. she’s finding it difficult to adjust, but hopefully, she’ll get there.

I remember the day that she first went to nursery school. We all thought she’d not adjust well, nor cope well. She surprised us all! We’re hoping that Sam will do the same again too!

So, by next week, Anna will be at school for full days, like she has been since week 2 of P1, and Sam will be in for a full afternoon every day. I will have, given walking time to and from nursery, around 2 and a half hours without the kids in the house! It will be totally weird. Possibly liberating. And very quiet! An era is ending, and a new one is beginning. Our kids are growing up fast. I’m not sure I can keep up!!

Over the next few posts, I will attempt to document how we all adjust to our new chapter in our story.

Until next time…………

Wrap and Launch!

It has been very busy again here at Lipsham Manor. My wife Cate has been on holiday the last few days. It has been fab having her around and the kids are loving every minute of it! Our bank balance has not though!

I have mastered my client’s jazz record and it has been manufactured at the duplicators. The CDs sound really good! The highlight of the weekend has to be attending the launch party for the album. Pictured below are the CD covers of the album “Jazz and Whisky” and the single “Lisa”, and me with my very happy client:

Pete Lo album launch picMe and Pete Lo

My happy client, who is also the artist who created the CD covers, gave me this canvas of the album cover:

Pete Lo Album CanvasWhich, as you can see, has pride of place in my Studio!

Here’s a shot of it from my mix position:

Pete Lo Album Canvas (Long shot)

What a very generous gift!

Next up for Clan Lipsham: A weekend trip to sunny Manchester! The next update will come as soon as we get back. Until then…….

Busyness and Business

Holidays are in full swing here in Lipshamland. Anna and Sam are thoroughly enjoying each others company and having lots of fun together. Both of them are becoming very handy bike riders. Anna no longer has stabilisers and rides around pretty quickly and with a lot of confidence now. Sam still loves his balance bike, and rides it really well. I won’t be long before he will want to ride a bike with pedals. Watch out, bank balance!

Yesterday we enjoyed a very nice BBQ with our church family at Kings Church Edinburgh. We all piled into various cars and headed off to Vogrie Country Park, which has some lovely set BBQ areas, some lovely woodlands and ¬†great open spaces. Lots of great food was consumed and all the kids, including Anna and Sam, played together nicely while the adults chatted. Then, just as we were leaving, the heavy rains came, and set in for the night…….and on into the next day. Great. This summer seems to be shaping up to be a typical Scottish summer, after such a wonderful start!

In the Studio, I have just finished up recording and mixing my current client’s jazz standards album, and, after a few tweaks, I will be beginning mastering the album this week, then sending it off to the distributor for pressing and mass production. Then, after a short break I will have a client coming in to record his EP. So, for the time being, the Studio is pretty busy, and I’m LOVING IT! More work like this would be awesome! (You heard that, Lord, didn’t you?(!) )

Next up, after these production packages are done will be a video tutorial series, which I will shooting shortly, teaching music production techniques using the rather excellent production software Studio One 3 Professional, made by PreSonus.

The next month also will see a few visitors, including my great friend of more than 20 years, Pete Harwood and his lovely wife and kids, so posting updates may be problematic!

So……until next time…….

We’re All Going On A…..

Apologies, folks, for the absence of blog posts last month. Things have been insanely busy here at Lipsham Manor. Our daughter Anna’s last few weeks of P1 were very action packed, and I have absolutely TONNES of work in the studio!

Anna’s first year at Primary School has been achievement laden, and a resounding success. She has settled in fantastically well, made some new friends and has worked hard at her learning, achieving 2 pupil of the week awards and a medal for winning a race on Sports Day.

Sam, our son, is now fully potty trained and is growing rapidly. He’s very excited about starting nursery in August, almost as excited as Anna is about starting P2! He is pretty much a fearless wee man, who will dare himself to whizz down the bigger-kids slide, face first, at the park. He’s becoming the most hilarious and gifted comedian as well – standing on the sofa, (very carefully watched by me and Cate!) in just his pants and a pair of socks worn on his ears, (one sock on each ear!) he deliberately falls flat on his face on the sofa with a giggle.

Cate has been very busy at her work and her Community Midwifery Team have recently won a prestigious healthcare award. Very proud of her, and very glad for her and her team to receive some well deserved recognition for what they do. So, for her 39th birthday, I spent some money on a new laptop for her. To say she was delighted at the gift is an understatement.

As I said at the start, I have been very busy in the Studio with a client, recording his 1st album. It has, so far, been a fantastic process and his session guys are amazing, which makes my life as a producer and engineer SO much easier. We have just a few sessions left for recording, then I will be adding my bass and drum parts, and perhaps some additional string arrangements, and then it will be on to mixing! I will shortly also have another client coming in to cut an EP. All very exciting stuff! Very happy to be busy and for my studio business to be generating some income from clients coming to me for full production packages (recording, mixing and mastering).

Well, that’s it for this post. I will endeavour to post more regularly this month! Until next time, take care!