'One Minute With Dec' 18 April 2010

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“3 Minutes on the Radio With Dec” –

"My Emails Are Written With Good Humour And Should Be Read With A Smile"

[-The views of any contributor to 'One Minute with Dec' are not necessarily the views of Dec Cluskey-]

"Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them."


    Our latest album is started. [ lots of hard work? ]
    The solution to airborne terrorism? [ Never thought of this before ]
    Stage fright in guitar players [ frozen hand syndrome? ]
    Subscriber's Section [ How to stitch a home studio together? ]
    The gags: ..... [ Religion is cute ]

Our latest album is started. [ lots of hard work? ]

Apologies for missing last week’s ‘One Minute With Dec’ and our sister radio programme ‘3 Minutes on the Radio with Dec’ …. I have been locked in my studio with my brother making our latest album for release in October. This will be our 76th album release. Bringing our total of tracks recorded and released to 595 … unbelievable?

We have always wanted to make a ‘swing’ album … with our own particular twist. A lot of hard work and harmony voicing is never easy with the intricate constant harmony changes that jazz arrangers will always put into their work. So, I had my time cut out.

I found, as always, that the professional method of making a complete ‘chart’ of the music makes the vocal arrangement writing much easier. Then writing the vocal harmonies … then practice and sing. I do all the harmony singing so that means a lot of concentration and skill. Three tracks of each harmony and the harmonies were usually 5/6 part. Probably twenty vocal tracks on each title. Hear the first mix results at http://www.myspace.com/thebachelorsconanddec

These are un-mastered … the mastering always takes the product to a new level

"Each day the world is born anew for him who takes it rightly."

James Russell

The solution to airborne terrorism? [ Never thought of this before ]

Here is a possible solution to all the controversy over full-body scanners, searches, terrorism on planes.

At the airports have a booth that you can step into that will not X-ray you, but will detonate any explosive device you may have on you. It would be a win-win for everyone, and there would be none of the bother about racial profiling and this method would eliminate a long and expensive trial. Justice would be quick and swift.

Case Closed!

This is so simple that it is brilliant.

I can see it now: you are in the airport terminal and you hear a muffled explosion.

Shortly thereafter, an announcement comes over the PA system, "Attention stand-by passengers we now have a seat available on flight number..."

"The fastest way to break the cycle of

perfectionism and become fearless… is to give

up the idea of doing it perfectly - indeed to

embrace uncertainty and imperfection." Arianna Huffington

Stage fright in guitar players [ frozen hand syndrome? ]

I saw a good piece on stage fright in guitar players or could be stage fright in a studio … we call that the ‘frozen hand syndrome’ … your hand will simply not do what it is told … frightening … I have only had it once … playing very fast finger picking 5 string banjo in Decca Number 1 studio … that was certainly not funny! Lucky I was producing as well so I said I would put the banjo on later … and I did.

“Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself to perform at a very high level. The time to experience pressure is while practicing at home or in rehearsals with your band. The gig is not the time to be putting additional stress/pressure on yourself. Yes you need to concentrate on what you are doing, but have fun. If you won’t allow yourself to have fun during a live concert, when will you allow yourself to ever actually enjoy music?

I look at it this way, if I play 30,000 notes a night and I play 3 notes imperfectly, that means I have played 99.99% of all notes correctly. It would be pointless for me to concern myself about the 0.01% of mistakes while on the stage. If I need to practice something later to make sure I don’t make the same errors in the next concert, then I will deal with that tomorrow while practicing, not on stage.

Be happy and give yourself the credit you deserve for playing 97%, 98%, 99%, of the notes correctly. Don’t let your desire to be perfect cripple you when the reality is that none of us can ever be perfect all of the time. If you were taking an exam at a major university and you answered 99% of the questions correctly you would feel pretty good about yourself right?! Congratulations, you have just earned the grade of an “A”.

Check out http://www.makehits.com/mach1guitar.htm

For Session guitar players. Or guitarists trying for studio work. Play lightning fast guitar and get the fast guitar recording tricks and secrets.


"The more we refuse to buy into our inner critics - and our external ones

too - the easier it will get to have confidence in our choices, and to feel

comfortable with who we are…." Arianna Huffington


“Hi Dec

Can you guide me on the following. I now have bought the Akai S2000, the Korg Triton and I use a mixer for the time being until I can afford the 24 8 2 you suggested. My question is: what instruction manual do I start? I mean, what is the first equipment I must learn? And do you mind telling me what is the relationship between these equipments?

First hit is planned for 2011. Is that realistic? So many manuals to read and I don't want to be another R.T.F.M.

Best Regards


My Reply:

Our rules are "one short reply to ONE question on music FOR NON-MEMBERS, Members of 'The Serious Writers Guild' have unlimited personal access to Dec by direct telephone, Fax and Email, apply at https://secure.mistral.co.uk/makehits/swgappsecure.htm ".

[Any advice given here shall not be deemed as financial or legal advice under any existing or future laws of any country]


The one essential to make all the equipment you have work is the central computer with the sequencing/recording package.

To move forward correctly, as you should, I have suggested to you an Apple Macintosh computer … G4 computers [the latest is G5] is well powerful enough for your current needs. On EBay they sell for as little as £200. You would be well advised to strip off all the programmes that are not related to music … so you will only need ‘Toast Titanium’ [for making CD’s etc] and an Internet/Email facility [usually Safari] … all the rest simply take up memory space and you will be tempted to use them as you would a PC … DON’T.

You will need a DAW [Digital Audio Workstation] hardware as an Analogue to Digital interface to record microphone and MIDI information onto the computer. Your Triton ‘midi out’ will link directly to the ‘midi in’ on the DAW. Likewise the ‘midi out’ of the DAW will link back to the Triton ‘midi in’.

When you come to use more midi driven sound modules you simply link them in line [daisy chain] although I much prefer to link them through a specific midi splitter [very little money but worth it]. This is for reliability.

The DAW should send out two separate lots of midi in two lots of 16 channels [A Midi and B Midi giving 32 channels of Midi] .. this, in theory, can give 32 separate instruments playing at the same time from the midi information programmed into the Protools software on screen.

The best advice is to go for Avid Digidesign products … they always use Protools as the basic recording sequencer program software. The hardware can be Digidesign MBox [beginner’s] or 002, 003Rack, 003Factory.

I use 003 Factory Rack … this allows 8 inputs at a time and 8 outputs. You can mix completely on the computer screen … although I use a separate mixer … I mix all the audio tracks on the screen and divide them into 8 separate outputs to 8 channels on the mixing desk … this then allows me to have the other 16 tracks on the mixer for other midi sound modules [which get their midi information from the Protools programme on the screen].

For instance the Triton has 6 assignable outputs for the sounds …. I have these going to 6 channels on my mixer. I have a further six coming from my Yamaha Motif …. Then two coming from a Korg 05WR … and so on …

I have the second 24 channel desk available for further midi sound modules and also have the Auxiliary buses for effects and compressors. A very efficient way of working… although some guys prefer to record the sound modules back onto Protools and mix the lot on screen without having a separate mixing desk. This takes a while to get used to and to get a ‘big’ sound. I prefer to run the sound modules ‘live’ when working.

I would suggest you have fun with the Triton … there are two basic manuals … work through them a few pages at a time … you will amaze yourself with the sounds and the facilities.

The best way to learn the manuals is by simply recording and working with the equipment.


Dec [Cluskey] dec@makehits.com

2 Gold discs in 2008! Decca have relaunched their ‘World Of’ series on the back of those hits. Readers Digest are now promoting a triple album set …. Do you think I can help your music career succeed?

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"But you have to do what you dream

of doing even while you're afraid." Arianna Huffingtonway

The gags: ..... [ Religion is cute ]


A little boy was walking down a dirt road after church one Sunday afternoon when he came to a crossroads where he met a little girl coming from the other direction.

'Hello,' said the little boy

'Hi,' replied the little girl.

'Where are you going?' asked the little boy.

'I've been to church this morning and I'm on my way home,' answered the little girl.

'I'm also on my way home from church. Which church do you go to?' asked the little boy.

'I go to the Methodist church back down the road,' replied the little girl. 'What about you ? '

'I go to the Baptist church back at the top of the hill,' Replied the little boy.

They discover that they are both going the same way So they decided that they'd walk together.

They came to a low spot in the road where spring rains had partially flooded the road, so there was no way that they could get across to the other side without getting wet.

'If I get my new Sunday dress wet, my Mom's going to skin me alive,' said the little girl.

'My Mom'll tan my hide, too, if I get my new Sunday suit wet,' replied the little boy.

'I tell you what I think I'll do,' said the little girl. 'I'm gonna pull off all my clothes and hold them over my head and wade across.'

'That's a good idea,' replied the little boy. 'I'm going to do the same thing with my suit.'

So they both undressed and waded across to the other side without getting their clothes wet. They were standing there in the sun waiting to drip dry Before putting their clothes back on, when the little boy finally remarked .

'You know, I never realized before just how much difference there really is between a Methodist and a Baptist!!!."


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  • “Hi Dec £170,000 I've made in the past six months ... so many projects I haven't a minute. Number 4 in Music Week chart ... can't wait for next year ... they are predicting huge chart success for my productions. Unbelievable.
    D**** E****”

  • Enjoy video for a song I co-wrote with extraordinary Dutch singer Jenny Lane.
    I have 2 co-written songs on her great new album Monsters.
    Thanks for all the continued support & advice... Mick Lee.

  • In 2010 film, just budgeted in LA, for full theatrical in the US for $8.7mill with Paul Kay attached.
    Two Liverpool 08 commissions. First with 200 choir Second a major CD Brass Band album with Fairey Brass Band ... Phil Lawrence [UK]

  • I had my first Top Ten Hit in Germany as a songwriter, great things are happening ... I'm on tour all over Europe with the band that I'm producing. We're the official support act for 50 Cent. 15 shows in the greatest countries of Europe. Marcell Brell [Germany]

  • We played The Cavern Club in Liverpool
    Patchwork Grace were the best thing they'd ever seen!!
    Ian - Thanks again Dec! [UK]

  • I was asked to play at the Pepsi Music festival in Buenos Aires. The most important festival held on the whole South American continent. it lasts 10 days every major local star, as well as many international acts like Megadeath, The Wailers, Die Toten Hose, etc. Thanks again Dec ... Emiliano Canal [Argentina]

  • Recently I have finished a score for an independent movie called “Treehouse”. I am now composing tracks for various music libraries for licencing and am also discussing publishing the MUNKIE catalogue with various publishers. Jason Clarke. [N. Ireland]

  • This is Yosi & Ofir Nafkar from Israel member of The Serious Writer Guild Membership No NET0778030W. We wrote music for an Australian Movie By Kerry Bowden. She is a great woman who helps children in need. The movie and the music had a great success. Together we gathered 1million$. [Israel]

  • Hi Dec, some good news regarding my girlfriend Erin's songs, 3 are being used on a new American TV show. Anyway thanks again for your invaluable support, knowing your there makes this leap into the publishing world feel a lot safer ... Roger O'Donnell [The Cure]

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