What About Us?

This will be short because if you read my last blog you will know I don't like blogging - but I understand it's important so here we go!

Any artist that comes to the studio I will encourage to make a simple video to go with their song since video is so important nowadays. 

Matilda really doesn't need any encouragement to make a video though and has made lots with me and other studios now.  The one linked too here though is very cool and took very few takes to perfect both in the singing and the filming.  All we decided the song needed was some simple shots of Matilda singing the song in the studio with plain background and moody lighting - sounds simple but achieving this requires a heap of stuff - lots of lights for a start. Towards the end of filming we threw in the idea of just showing Matilda walking onto set and make a few adjustments to the gear.  Some of these moments are added to the song so the viewer gets to see Matilda in a different way.  It's not a new technique or anything but really works well with the sentiment of the song.  Check it out:

The creation of scene at the studio - it doesn't need to be over complicated. Matilda is a very good artist to work with who knows how to perform to camera well.

The creation of scene at the studio - it doesn't need to be over complicated. Matilda is a very good artist to work with who knows how to perform to camera well.

2017 Round Up

Well the first thing to note is that I don't add blogs much! I'm not entirely sure why this is but I suspect it may have something to do with not wanting too - based on the notion that if every business was blogging away all the time, there would surely be an overload and not much would be read - so I think a little bit of substance every now and then is better than tons of bull$**t blogs all the time!!

Last year I did a heap of work with a musical journalist who is compiling, restoring and remastering works from a couple of very distinguished church organists.  David Lepine and Robert Weddle were fantastic musicians and it's been a very interesting ride so far finding out about their lives/works/journeys and of course making heaps of CDs.

Hip Hop and Base and Freestyle rap Music - I do a lot of work with rappers and it's always high octane, high speed stuff which tends to not go very far.  It's a shame but I do think a lot simply isn't thought out enough.  My advise to rappers is to edit and rework and rethink what you're saying.  Like any music - it takes time to craft it well - simply free-styling a whole bunch of info is not enough - it's very good of course it is but if the content is a bit wooly then can you expect others to like it? - make it so people can relate to it not just repeat it. 

Video work - Last year saw a big increase in this which is nice.  Making videos for people is an absolute pleasure and I have invested in more equipment to facilitate the production of videos even better and easier to film,  like appropriate Lavalier mics, additional lighting/reflection screening and the green screen room has been repainted and upgraded with sound panels making the area even larger with better sound reproduction.  It's amazing what has been filmed in this room now.  If you have products you want to show off or talk about, or want to make a professional video for your website then let me know.

Demos of singing excellence - last year saw about the same level of this and i had the pleasure of working with lots of new rising stars as well as some very well honed experts.  Working with vocalists is a big part of any studio and I spend a lot of time on vocals in any project.  Knowing how to push for the best in someone without bringing them to tears is an art in itself.  Knowing when not to push is also something i know!! 

The studio is constantly evolving - there are 7 main rooms (plus the loo and outside areas) to maintain and believe me this can be a large task.  Towards the end of December I threw a big party for some friends and decided to rework the Live room a little to show off my unnecessarily big drum kit which had been hidden for far too long - I actually polished it all and the cymbals which took hours.  So let's end on that - if you have read this, get back in touch and let me know what you think to the new look of the Live Room with drums set up and piano moved over to accommodate it. Cheers.

Born in a Barn Studio Live Room 2017

A Song for Summer

So here we are - the summer has landed and we have had a few festivals already and everyone is enjoying the sun - and the wind and the rain - this is Britain!

Not letting that get in the way I am proud to be helping promote a new single by one of my fave singers Matilda Pratt, who has written a lovely song titled 'All On You'. This was released just recently on July 28th and it is available on iTunes, Spotify and many other smaller distributors.


All On You - Matilda Pratt

All On You - Matilda Pratt

Matilda has written 4 songs with me at BB Studio now and recorded several covers too. She has released 3 plus 1 cover, all of which can be downloaded from iTunes and elsewhere.

Matilda has many skills and many ideas, which really does help in the song production process. She generally has a complete song in terms of structure and melody that she plays as basic chord sequences on a keyboard. From this starting point we build the song together accordingly, but Matilda does like things kept minimal and natural, meaning many ideas will be thrown in to the mix before the final production is agreed.  

Of course there is a video for this song and we have pushed the boundaries quite a lot with Matilda on this one.  I wanted to see how acting some scenes would work with Matilda and push her to express the song differently from others she has made.  So we agreed on 2 very contrasting scenarios and set about finding suitable locations.  

The song lends itself to a dark and moody location describing the 'stuck in a rut' feeling and a bright happy location to emulate the resolve.  So after lots of research we zoned in on using the Albany Theatre in Coventry giving a wonderful dark red, warm but moody backdrop where Matilda acts 2 characters.  One is her melancholic self, dreaming around the auditorium and the other is her released self, dancing on the stage.  To contrast with the closed, almost claustrophobic environment of the lonely, empty theatre, we used backdrops of massive open fields, a large lake and castle ruins, all captured from above using a drone-cam to express freedom and progression!  Our drone operator has the relevant licence to film and we checked the airspace was legal to use and film in.  The weather was the gamble and we had to hold firm on abandoning the day whilst hoping that the clouds were moving sufficiently fast to clear - and we were so lucky - the sun came out and gave us possibly the best filming conditions we could have wished for.

The video to 'All On You' can be seen on YouTube here:


Writing songs is one of the most exciting things about music.  Not everyone has the skills, tools or determination to take an idea and push it to the point of public release. I have been helping artists through recording, mixing and sound production since 2004 at Born in a Barn Studio working with local bands and singer/songwriters of all genres.  The ebb and flow of work changes and the emphasis of the studio may change, but at the core of the business is music and video production.  If you have an idea - I can produce it.

Value for Money

Just about everyone who books into the studio has 2 main concerns - time and money.  
I understand the dilemma and have been working with musicians facing this problem since 2004 at the barn.

A lot of people think my rates are too low and some think they are too high.  You can't please everyone and I don't set out too.  Time-wise tho' there is plenty of scope for flexibility and this is where all my clients win.  They know that a project needs to be completed to the highest standard since it represents both them as artists and myself as a service provider - no matter what i am doing - be it recording, mixing, editing, audio production, filming, parties, photography, video production etc.  There's no point in doing a bad job!

So it makes me chuckle when people want to haggle on the price.  I like hagglers and certainly have haggled with people myself, especially in Italy where it's almost expected to make the buying experience 'fun' - or angry as it often gets over there!!
If you are haggling then in some ways you are saying 'i don't respect your pricing structure but i like your set up and want to work with you so please give me something extra'. If its money off then, in short, I would be left feeling that I may not give as much to the project since there is a level of disrespect from the onset.  If it's time then sure that's easy - especially if we get on great and enjoy the recording process.  So I never haggle on price but like to think I'm generous on time.

What value do you put on your recordings?

I know what it costs to run the studio and set my rates accordingly, but time I can always give extra if required, my pleasure. 

This little bit of wall art I saw in a restaurant recently - think about it - you wouldn't want to upset your chef would you and get undercooked food because you don't like his prices!!

BB Studio - Good, Cheap or Fast?

HoopGuy brings hoops to the nation for fitness

HoopGuy has hit the high-life and after a fantastic appearance on Britain’s Got Talent he has been invited to be on ITV’s This Morning show - today from 10.30am.

He wowed the crowd with a bit of cheek n charm and got Simon Cowell on stage running around after Alesha Dixon and there’s still rumours Alesha may be singing the track soon too.

HoopGuy on Britain's Got Talent with Simon Cowell and Alesha Dixon

So that aside, the remarkable coincidence is that the singer I invited to re-sing the song for the video, is called Emily Jane Brooks and she has just finished being on a UK tour with Phillip Schofield - who will be with HoopGuy later this morning.  

Emily with Phillip on the recent Knights of Music tour

HoopGuy approached me to make a video for his song which is crazily catchy I must admit.  We spent most of March filming him in various places around Warwickshire and used our studio green screen filming room to add some humour, drawing a connection between Warwick DC (District Council) locations and Washington DC (District of Columbia) locations.  

HoopGuy will be releasing the video this week hopefully and I will let you know as soon as he does - but there could be 1 last surprise in store!



Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon, HoopGuy, BB Studio

St Patricks Day explained

At the age of 16, Patrick (or Maewyn as he was known) was literally attacked by pirates, kidnapped and sold as a slave to an Irish chieftain. He endured poverty, filth, and isolation. He was nearly killed multiple times.

If anyone had a right to give up and give in to discouragement, it was he. (So it was)

Most people would've lost hope. (So they would)

Patrick didn't do that. Instead, he used his time in slavery to his advantage. He learned about the people.  He learned the language.  He prayed, day and night, and grew in his faith.

Eventually, he escaped on a ship back to his family. But then he began to have dreams and visions of returning to Ireland as a missionary, to finish what he began.

And that he did. (So he did)

When he returned years later, he spoke the language and understood the culture like no other foreigner could.

He knew HOW to influence the Irish leaders (some of whom would have gladly eaten him), because he found a way to build relationships with them. 

He went on to influence and change the whole nation of Ireland, even bringing peace between fighting clans.

In the book ‘How the Irish Saved Civilisation’, it's noted that, because of Patrick's faith and determination, he was able to virtually save all of western civilisation through the faithful monks and scribes he discipled, because they went on to diligently record history and preserve all our literary works of history during the barbarian invasions, when they were burning history records and libraries, raping and pillaging, etc!

If it weren't for Patrick's willingness to get comfortable with being extremely uncomfortable, history would look very different (we might not even know what happened) and education as we know it might not exist!

So there we go - if you are a singer or a musician or a music producer the little lesson that can be learned from today is, to get uncomfortable.  Try something new (unless what you are doing is selling extremely well and you are already in the charts and perhaps famous!) or at least try something different and if all that fails - try a pint of Guinness.

www.borninabarnstudio.com - doing things different

Happy New Year

Can you believe it's 2017 already? Well it is, so let's get on with it!

The year ahead looks colourful - if last year was at best a little dark, with so many famous stars and artists passing away in one way or another including Bowie, Lemmy and George Michael, then the year ahead can only be better.  A lot of fundamental changes to life's organisation were made last year including the vote for Brexit and the vote for Trump.  Everyone has an opinion on it in some way, but when all is said and done we will only find out how theses decisions truly pan out, in the course of time - so don't get too caught up in worrying about the consequences before they happen.  Let's write some music about interesting things that happen in the lives around us, which influence us and shape us.

We already have with one artist who came to the studio last week with her new song. One of the lines in this song is 'its all on you' and she is right.  It's a simple message - Don't blame others for your faults.  

Let's get on with making music - if you are thinking about recording some songs you enjoy singing or have new ideas you want crafting into a song, get in touch. Cheers.

PS the picture here was taken on holiday in Berlin at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. An absolutely fascinating place simply comprising 54 rows x 87 columns of concrete blocks, all very slightly different.  A very, very quiet place but also a place that shows art can be created from anything with enough thought.  This memorial is only concrete but used cleverly to create a lasting memory.  


BB Studio in Berlin

New music video release

We write songs at BB Studio, mainly with our customers but sometimes just for fun.

Cellphone Superhero was inspired by observing a person in a MacDonald's restaurant chuckling away to themselves whilst on a phone - to who knows who??

The song talks about how we really can be almost anyone we want when using our phones to connect with people. Not only can we alter pictures and carefully write/edit what we type, but we can masquerade as someone different from our real existence - which can be fun or very dangerous. Of course whilst we are on our phones we actually miss what's going on in front of us and often get into danger by not observing the surroundings - is Cellphone Superhero here to help?  You decide.

The song was filmed using the colourful underpasses of Coventry City and is a simple mood video using colour and mystery to entertain the eye. Watch closely!!


If you would like to write a song with us then please get in touch. Theres tons we can do, either in the studio or outside - everything always depends on budget!


Site launch day

So the new site has been set live successfully and the old site domain mapped to it - we now own both .com and .co.uk domains for borninabarnstudio too.  Email has proven slightly frustrating so please either social media for a day or 2 until its working or call the studio mobile 07956 624376 thanks