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!

Time Flies!

Apologies for the lack of posts this month. Much has been happening to keep me busy.

I have been productive in the Studio on a few different projects, and then there has been the launch be PreSonus of version 3 of their amazing DAW Studio One, of which I am a very proud user. I help run a Facebook group for the Home Studio education business of my good friend Johnny Geib, and we have been very busy answering questions and addressing issues people are having with the new version. That’s the studio part of my life.

Family wise, we are gearing up for the summer holidays. This means two chapters of our lives are coming to a close. The first is that my daughter finishes Primary 1 at school, and my son will be starting Nursery in August. Suddenly, my kids need me that little bit less than before! How quickly the time has flown, and my kids have grown!

So, what is next for me? Well, I have some full production bookings coming into the studio, I have the possibility of a new band I may be joining, a friend is looking to offload some of her piano students to me……lots of good potential to grow and develop my business and make some money!!

That’s it for this post. Next month I WILL get two posts in, and I will be able to announce some really cool things that I must keep a top secret just now. Stay tuned: The future is VERY bright and VERY exciting!

Celebrations and Vacations

And we’re back!! 

After a fantastic short break away to my parents beautiful place in Cornwall, we have returned to Edinburgh. We had awesome weather, great fun and lots of laughter. Oh, and two epic car journeys, one which was more so than the other!

We went away for a break, and also to celebrate my Mum’s birthday, her 28th wedding anniversary to my fabulous step-Dad, and mine and Cate’s 8th wedding anniversary. Our kids, Anna and Sam had a wonderful time in the sunshine on their scooters, feeding the ducks at the boating lake and exploring the countryside.

Although there was much joy and celebration, there was just the tiniest tinge of sadness, for me at least, as it could well be our last visit to Cornwall for a long time, with my parents moving up to Scotland to be nearer to us in their retirement, it is unlikely that we will go down there nearly so much.

The County gave me a wonderful fresh start in life when we moved there in 1985, and gave me, through wonderful people like the late Bob Peters, a fresh injection of enthusiasm for the prospect of a future career in music professionally. It also gave me the possibility of playing competitive sport, namely Cricket, to County level, which had been previously unthinkable for me. So, as I said in my previous post, this was also a time for thanksgiving for me.

Now that we have returned, Cate has returned to work and I have returned to my two jobs: By day I am Dad-at-home to Anna and Sam, and by night, I am in my studio working on several projects for different people in the UK and abroad, and developing and expanding the business.

The next phase of the business that is coming up is looking more and more exciting, almost with each passing day, however, I must remain sealed-lipped on that for the time being, until the time is right. Then I shall announce it with much excitement and fanfare!

So, until next time……..

Thankful As The Door Closes

Soon, my family and I will take a long road trip down to Cornwall, in the South West of England, where I went to school, college and had some of the best years of my life. My parents, who have lived there since 1985 are making a big move. They are moving to Scotland, where I have lived with my family for nearly 10 years, to be closer to us.

Way back in 1994, my sister emigrated to the United States of America, where she has remained ever since, getting married and having kids of her own, and my parents have travelled a lot over the years to visit us both. From 1994 to 2006 I lived in London, and I would make regular trips down to see my parents and to visit old friends and revisit some of the beautiful places I grew up around.

So, our road trip will be probably our last ever trip there. While it is, for me, a trip tinged with sadness, it is also a time to reflect and be thankful for all I had growing up in Cornwall. I will take time to give thanks to God for all the people I knew, friends I made – and still have to this day – and for the great teachers I had in my schools, without whom I would not be where I am, who I am and doing the things I am today.

I had some incredible experiences and opportunities, and these opened up into what I am doing today with my life. Now that my parents are going to be closer to me, my wife and our kids, I can say goodbye and thank God for those years and close the door. We’ll soon be opening a new door. It will be great to have my parents close by!

Mixing Mayhem With Madness

So, February has got off to a FLIER of a start! We’ve finally dealt with all the post-Hogmanay blues and began to face to penny-pinching reality of a post-Christmas life.
Cate has been busier than ever at her work, as her colleagues begin to enter retirements or move on to other jobs within the NHS.
Anna has settled back into school. Although she had great fun being on holiday, she also was itching to get back to school almost as soon as Christmas was over and done!
Sam has grown a lot and can suddenly count prolifically beyond 10 and up to 20 in sequence. He remembers songs in great detail and can sing them pretty accurately. He’s coming on very well. We started potty training him, and within a couple of weeks has almost mastered it and has few accidents.

I have been busy in the studio mixing a variety of client songs in a pretty broad range of styles, some of which I am less familiar with than others. I have pleasingly happy clients and receiving really good feedback and reviews from my clients’ consumers. I am also launching a recruitment drive for instrumental and music production students to fill vacancies that I have for students.

Exciting times. Mad times. Much mayhem. Happy times!