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Need a bit of advice please.

I have written lyrics for a Northern Soul tune, and I want to get it recorded with a strong backing track and hopefully eventually get it onto vinyl and on sale.

So needed are a good male vocalist with a soulful voice, a good engineer who can lay a track down with strings etc in a classic Northern style, and someone who could get it into vinyl production.

Any ideas please? I am serious, I think it would work very well.

Any advice appreciated.

Thanks

Steve

Edited by Steve Luigi

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Carl Dixon, who is on here, has attempted this -- recording in the US with real session musicians playing real instruments. You should try to contact him. Search for his name, he has posted about his productions.

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Need a bit of advice please.

I have written lyrics for a Northern Soul tune, and I want to get it recorded with a strong backing track and hopefully eventually get it onto vinyl and on sale.

So needed are a good male vocalist with a soulful voice, a good engineer who can lay a track down with strings etc in a classic Northern style, and someone who could get it into vinyl production.

Any ideas please? I am serious, I think it would work very well.

Any advice appreciated.

Thanks

Steve

A vocalist ? Rick Astley is making a comeback.

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Most towns / cities across the UK have 'home' recording studios, usually set up by local musicians.

Do a web search for ones near you and give them a ring. They usually charge little for a short session as their equipment lies idle much of the time.

The guys who run such studios have access to decent musicians though whether they can play soulfully is another matter. You'll also probably have to accept electronic brass & string effects.

You'd also have to find a good soulful vocalist yourself unless you drop really lucky.

Need to sort the song / tune out in avance & get the guys involved to learn the piece, otherwise musch studio time (which will be charged) can be wasted.

Many 'visiting' US singers would no doubt be willing to 'give it a go' for a smallish fee (Spyder Turner, Daryll Grant) but you would have to contact them in advance, send em the song to learn & have everything set up (studio wise) for the short 'spare-time' slot they would have when here in the UK.

Getting such a vocalist to sing on the track would of course add much kudos to the finished article.

I know Daryll Grant from his days singing in a cover group in Vegas casinos (back around 10 years ago). He can sing most things well

... but you would need to know a bit about music (or get someone involved who does), to ensure the arrangement was worked out so as to be in the right key for the singer selected.

Edited by Roburt

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More potential vocalist who will be in the UK next February .............

.............. TV star and legendary producer David Gest will make history, by bringing an all-star line-up of Soul and Motown artists to The Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool for five dazzling performances of David Gest's Legends of Soul Spectacular.

He will assemble one of the largest gatherings of the biggestselling and most-revered rhythm and blues artists of all time, who have collectively sold more than 100 million records worldwide. He will host the musical extravaganza, which runs from Wednesday 6th until Saturday 9th February 2013.

Gest said: "I am thoroughly excited about performing once again in Liverpool. "Our last two shows at The Liverpool Philharmonic Hall were record-breaking and we plan to break even that record at The Royal Court Theatre. "The renovations at The Royal Court have made this theatre the in place for all music artists to perform. "And we have a lot of surprises planned for our Liverpool audience. Scousers know how to party and since I consider myself an honorary Scouser, we're going to start the New Year off with the biggest soulful party they've ever seen!"

The glittering bill includes Percy Sledge, Sheila Ferguson, Peabo Bryson, Candi Staton, Billy Paul, Martha Reeves, Shirley Alston Reeves, Martha Wash, Kim Weston, Deniece Williams, Eddie Floyd, Dorothy Moore, GC Cameron and Brenda Holloway.

Edited by Roburt

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Thank you for your comments and advise.

I have the 'tune' for the song sang into my computer by myself just so I don't forget it as I have done that in the past, and have the lyrics written down. I know it's going to be a hard search for a soulful vocalist, and as Roburt said, that strings/brass will most likely have to be digital, but not too concerned about that, as modern equipment can reproduce those quite well.

I have had quite a bit of studio experience with House music, but Northern is quite a different animal trying to get the right sound, as there is no actual beat as in House, it's all or mostly snares, strings and horns, which is hard to reproduce. well there is a beat I know, but not a kick drum type of beat

I will take your advice and try to work with it, although I would imagine that known/famous vocalists will charge quite a bit for a session.

Thanks again.

Edited by Steve Luigi

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Most 'old school' US soul singers have long ago been excluded from American recording studios, so I wouldn't be too suprised if one was willing to get involved (if they had the time & were over here in the UK anyway).

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Thank you for your comments and advise.

I have the 'tune' for the song sang into my computer by myself just so I don't forget it as I have done that in the past, and have the lyrics written down.

Heaven forbid that you finally get to the finished article then mix it up with your version and then release it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL

ROY

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Thanks Roy, I knew I could count on your support as always :D :D :D

Russ to be honest I would be more interested in getting it played on the Northern scene rather than having it be a commercial success, if the latter did happen, all the better, but not an ultimate aim.

By the way I think Ian Levine is maybe a good road to go down, he has done some brilliant Northern tracks in his time, one being 'Solid Ground', a great track.

Edited by Steve Luigi

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Steve

Have a word with Boxy or Mouse as they've just sorted out backing tracks for the Darrow Fletcher gigs,they might be able to point you in the right direction.Check out the Darrow Fletcher thread to see the guys they used in action.

Also you could get in touch with Neil Rushton he has contacts in the areas you are looking for?

Cheers

Martyn

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Aren't the New Mastersounds still around & active in the Leeds area ??

They put out some great funky tunes over the last 10 years & have their own studio.

.............. http://uk.myspace.com/newmastersounds

See if you can get them interested .... I talked to them about 5 years ago about undertaking recording sessions & a UK tour with Lou Ragland.

They were very interested till their guitar player realised that Lou always played guitar as well as singing .... he went off the idea when he learnt that.

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Hi Steve, I never saw this thread.

Protection

If you have written a song (chords/melody and lyrics), you own the rights. Make sure the song is on something tangible eg, cassette, CD, mp3/hard drive etc.Make sure your lyrics are on a document in 'Word', for example and print a copy off. The old chestnut of sending it to yourself registered mail is a good idea, but...if I can prove I wrote it ten years before you posted it...I win. Copyright is automatic in the UK as long as you have something tangible, not just an idea in the head.

Groove

If you have conviction with your tune, continue your dream. To get a particular sound, think of a date in time and style of music and work around the instruments that would have been on recordings from that era. I went to Detroit, so it was circa 1966 and organic in the studio with charts and ideas thrown in by the musicians. David J. Van De Pitte heard my vision on the CD's I sent over and yes, I sang on them too. Pitiful vocals, but the singers (Spyder and Pree) worked with them and improved my backing vocals. On my demo I put my lead vocal panned one side of the stereo track and b/v’s on the other side so the singers could hear what was going on much more isolated. I wanted handclaps too, but that dated the song 3 years earlier and it was suggested we left them out. I now agree with that decision. You also need an arranger. Somebody who can notate the horn stabs, strings and other parts etc. The most important thing is to get the rhythm right, bass line, back beats, guitar strumming etc. Don’t forget the piano and/or organ too. I tend to over produce my demos so I can take things off later down the line. As you will know where the lead /backing vocals come in on the song, you will hear in your head the places the horns/strings/sweetening will fit or call and response etc. In my opinion is you want to sound 1960’s it’s in this order: the drums and bass locking together, tambourine, congas/bongos, then the back beats/strumming guitar, piano. Vibes and sweetening last. You do not necessarily need strings if the horns are good. Then the vocals of course to follow. I am thinking of doing overdubs on my song ‘Tell me (crying over you)’ originally by Spyder Turner. I have options and could record other male and female leads. I would send the instrumental which is mixed and mastered to the potential singers so they could rehearse. Then I would book a studio and allow each singer 1 hour to perform 3 versions and then mix/master it again etc. I would remotley do it from London.

Contracts and signing off

By commissioning others to help with your production, you in turn become the owner of the recorded work. However there is a notion if the studio has not signed off to you, they in effect own the recording as it was ‘produced’ in their premises. Also if another individual produces the track for you, it is not uncommon to give him a percentage from sales revenue.

Here is my original demo called ‘Detroit convention’ which became ‘Detroit (city by the river)’. This instrumental went to Detroit as one thing and evolved picking up lyrics which were written on the fly in the studio! I wrote the music but none of the lyrics! So the demo has my vision, which is important for the producers and arrangers to appreciate when writing the charts:

http://soundcloud.co...roit-convention

http://soundcloud.co...he-river

On a personal note, song writers do not write or produce Northern Soul. They write a song and hopefully people like it. If it ticks the boxes anything could be said about it. My song ‘Tell me’ (or should I say the production of that song) has been called modern soul, crossover and Northern Soul. I do not know what it is. I tag it as: motown, soul, tamla, northern, philly, salsoul etc, but in essence it is the dj’s and dancers who ultimately tick those boxes, not the writer, arranger, singer, producer, record label.

Good luck with the project. Feel free to contact me. Not that I am an expert, but I know what it is like to be motivated to another level with the music. Also please don’t be frightened of collaborating with your song. It will be tough doing it on your own and often singers may prefer to contribute to the lyrics as part payment of their fee. It it’s a hit they share the royalties as you would, and you get a partnership that could write another tune together in the future. Also they would champion the song on their Facebook, twitter, give mp3’s to dj’s and maybe even offer to sing live at gigs! Spyder Turner nearly sang 'Tell me' live at Souldham , which I wrote in London, but he improved some of the lyrics and now we are co-writers, which is a thrill for me. Hopefully, one day I will get one of my songs performed live...better still, covered and get a hit!

Societies

If you get airplay you can register the song with the PRS in London which looks after the interests of the song writer/publisher. If you own the recorded work, also with the PPL in London.

Edited by Carl Dixon

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I meant to mention about the vinyl pressings. I decided to use 'Archers' of Detroit and pay the extra for the shipping to the UK. I wanted an all American solution and it was not about cost at that time. The pitfalls are shipping and duty costs on top of your manufacturing, but they did a good job. Their test pressings are not expensive either. Would I press vinyl again? Yes, if I had a better infrastructure to sell and by that I would probably pick up a distributor who would accommodate whoelsale and Internet sales via their website and not mine. I could concentrate on airplay on UK FM stations and overseas radio programming which I think I am better at.

I had a lot of support from many who purchased the vinyl and played it on the radio and at their gigs. I am indebted to them for taking the risk, but moreover for seeing the potential in something new. It has not been easy. The journey has been full of anxiety, delays, administration, legalities etc. But, to hear your song at a gig and have the likes of some of The Funk Brothers perform on it with Spyder Turner on vocals......priceless!

Edited by Carl Dixon

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