Elliot Jay Stocks is a designer, speaker, and author. He is the Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, the founder of typography magazine 8 Faces, one half of Viewport Industries, and an electronic musician.

Studio diary: part 1

Posted on 02 December 2008 Comments

Article illustration for Studio diary: part 1

I’m excited, because tomorrow is the first day of the recording sessions for my new album.

What? I hear you cry in confusion. You’re a designer – not a musician! Well, for those of you who don’t follow my ramblings on Twitter, I’m taking (most of) December and January off, not doing any client work, hanging up my designer’s overalls, and donning my musician’s cap. Of course, whether or not I create anything decent remains to be seen, but you’ll be seeing – well, hearing – the results on this site in early 2009. That’s why I thought it’d be cool to do a little ‘studio diary’ thing to document the process.

The funny thing about music…

… is that whenever I’ve done it in the past, no-one’s ever really heard it. Well, no-one beyond my immediate family and close friends, anyway. I released an album in 2001, recorded two albums of soundtracks for a friend’s two short films over the following few years, and released another ‘proper’ album in 2006. But, as I said, they’ve been heard by very few people. Now, as I’ve built up something of a readership with this blog and my career in the design world, I fully intend to exploit that for all it’s worth and relish the chance to damage your eardrums! :)

So here’s the plan

I have virtually no idea what I’m going to record over the coming weeks. I have a couple of thoughts, and there are two or three old tracks that I intend to re-work, but other than that, almost everything will be written in the studio as I record. It’s going to be exciting, and it’s going to be daunting, because for the first time ever I have people who are actually waiting to hear what I come up with!

The plan is to lay down the foundation for around ten tracks, and then get about five of them finished off in January, ready to release as an EP in February or March. Then later in the year I’ll have another intensive recording session and put out a second EP containing the other five (or so) tracks.

The studio

Last Friday, I got my grubby little mitts on a brand new MacBook Pro and 24" LED Cinema Display. They are – as you might imagine – the sex. Then, over the weekend, I got all of my recording equipment and instruments out of storage and gathered everything together, ready to hook it all up as a new ‘studio’. Today has been spent finishing that set-up and photographing the end result, so for all you Mac and / or audio geeks out there, here are some shots:

Article illustration for Studio diary: part 1

Article illustration for Studio diary: part 1

Article illustration for Studio diary: part 1

Article illustration for Studio diary: part 1

You can view the full set on Flickr.

What now?

With day #1 spent finalising the studio and testing the various components (I really must remember to stop hot-wiring the FireWire audio interface!), I think I’m ready to go. The updates to this studio diary won’t have a regular schedule, but I’ll be posting about my progress here, taking snapshots of the recording process, and maybe even uploading some work-in-progress songs for you to listen to.

If you fancy coming along for the ride and keeping me motivated while I fester away in my little audio dungeon all by myself, please leave some love in the comments! :D

(Oh, and by the way: for the more inquisitive among you who have found my old, embarrassing music (it’s not hard – it’s on iTunes), rest assured: I won’t be singing on these new songs!)

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