'One Minute With Dec' 05 Dec 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-]

"Money isn't everything, but it sure keeps the kids in touch.”


Whew! What a launch? [The Consultancy idea has gone mad!]
Levalier Microphones [oh how I hate them ]
Digital Camera [how to store loads of photos safely]
Subscriber's Section [ writing poetry as a bit of a hobby? ]
The gags: ..... [Where’s me hat?]

Whew! What a launch? [The Consultancy idea has gone mad!]

Well, we have been mulling it over for years ….

Many members asked for it … and now we have rolled it out. ‘One Day Consultation With Dec’.

I must be mad … as if my life wasn’t crazy enough as it is, now I have let myself wide open to 28 hour days. Still, I love it. I just love meeting folk who are interested in moving forward … up to the next level. I actually improve my own knowledge … seeing someone ‘doing it wrong’ can be a great teacher.

If you haven’t seen the idea go over to http://www.makehits.co.uk/ConsultancyPageStudio.htm

By the way, we are now working on a similar idea for bands and solo performing artists … a full day with Dec. I meet at the venue as you arrive and stay all day, examining every aspect of your operation and only leave after the show … when you leave. Of course, I then record all my comments and advice on CD … just for you.

I will let you know when that idea is ready .. probably next week.

“Losing a husband can be hard. In my case it was almost impossible.”

Levalier Microphones [oh how I hate them ]

I was at the Toastmasters International Convention in Dublin recently and they used 8 Levalier Mics. in the speaking competition. You know the ones … they are tiny and clip on your lapel or tie. They are really designed for TV use where there is no P.A. … so no feedback problems.

But, they insist on using them for speaking with live sound Systems where the speaker is not used to using a hand held mic.

The results were disastrous in Dublin … as usual, the sound jockey was a trainee [why do Sound Companies do that?] with no one actually training him. The desk was set up all wrong … I never interfere [recipe for getting yourself a bad name]

If you ever have to organise a situation of using a number of Levalier mics. Do this:

1) Ensure they are all identical [same make and model]

2) Ensure all the transmitters packs are sending the same Radio level [there is usually an adjustment].

3) Sound check one … making sure that only the frequencies from 200 Hz to 2,000 Hz. are selected … these are the optimum voice frequencies .. the rest will not be heard and will only cause feedback and low howl round, deselect them on the parametric E.Q’s.

4) Set all the other mics to exactly the same settings on the sound desk, faders at exactly 0 Db

5) Ensure that each mic. is affixed to the speaker at exactly the same distance from his/her mouth

Voile …..

Perfect, or as near as perfect sound … provided the P.A. is designed for conference speaking [lots of speakers around the room]

If you are a member of The Serious Writer’s Guild then you have my personal number to call me with any queries.

“Is reading in the bathroom considered multi-tasking?”

Digital Camera [how to store loads of photos safely]

A lot of folks will be giving/getting a new digital camera this Christmas, and this Tip has nothing to do with digital cameras. It is about the “ton” of photos you will take, possibly overrunning your hard drive.

There are storage alternatives and one that jumps out at you is using your CD for backup. I've got one word for you - SCRATCH!

Personally, if I had a lot of images I wanted to keep safe, a CD would not be my first and only solution. The trouble with CDs is one good scratch can take out every image on your disk. In addition, CD-R/RWs may not be as archival as was first thought.

There have been a lot of instances reported where the information on the disk was lost over time. So, if your pictures are starting to overrun your drive, I'd look into a second internal hard drive or, better yet, an external USB hard drive (that's what I use).

External USB hard drives hold gigs of data, and are coming down in price – you can get a Terabyte drive [1,000 Gigabytes ] for around $100. Also, they are way faster than burning to CD, and tend to be more reliable. Plus, you can plug the drive in, edit your photos, and resave since it acts like a regular drive. Going South for the winter? Take your external drive with you and I’m sure you can find a friend who will let you download from your camera to the drive.

I would not place my photos exclusively on a second drive (or even my main hard drive) without a good external backup. That's where your CDs come in. Back up your images onto CD, and then store them in a cool, dark, dry, and safe location. I'd also recommend a re-backup of everything at least once a year.

And, by the way, all the advice above is for music storage as well … I keep my Mac completely free [or as free as possible] of music … I back up to two separate drives and then delete the session from the computer once the final mix is done.

“Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of it.”


“It’s going great- I'm in my first year of a music performance degree.. My confidence has improved massively since taking your wonderful advice so thanks again!

I really appreciate everything!

Ashyana Rosetti”


"Why do bankruptcy lawyers expect to be paid?”

Subscriber's Section [ writing poetry as a bit of a hobby? ]


“Hi Dec

My name is B** and I'm a recently retired Ambulance Man from Stoke.

I have taken up writing poetry as a bit of a hobby of late and would like your opinion please on something that originally started out as a poem which I thought may have some potential as a song lyric . It has a sort of Psychological/Neurotic edge to it and just wondered if it would make a half-decent Theme/Score of some kind? .....I have burnt it to a disc which I intend to send accompanied by my own voice followed by a simple melody that I worked out on my cousin's keyboard! (apologies for this in advance as I can't sing or play an instrument) just to try to convey where I'm coming from with it ...


B** T*******”

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]


Sorry for slight delay …. On tour.

You are covering a lot of points in your Email….

<<<<<< I have taken up writing poetry as a bit of a hobby of late >>>>>>>>>>>

The point that immediately comes to mind is that there are possibly 30,000 songwriters taking it deadly serious … so why would anyone take ‘a bit of a hobby’ seriously?

Having said that there is absolutely no harm in having fun and enjoying a very fulfilling hobby that, who knows, could be very profitable.

<<<<<<<<<< sort of Psychological/Neurotic edge to it >>>>>>>>>>

Again, I deal in the real world of Hit commercial music …. And I realise that kids [the record and download buying public] want something to bop to and lyrics that have a ‘love me up, lick me down’ flavour.

You mention theme or score …. This is the hardest part of our industry to get success in …. Every film/TV show would have ten stunning composers and writers vying to have a chance.

<<<<<< a simple melody that I worked out on my cousin's keyboard!>>>>>>

Again, I am smiling, because there are 40,000 guys out there with stunning music skills and studio skills knocking down the doors of the record companies.

May I suggest Bob that you are trying to get into a highly skilled, highly knowledge based profession whilst not knowing the first lesson? As I always put it “you cannot just stumble on the techniques and methodology for writing and making commercial, money making, songs and music while strolling on the beach”.

The Serious Writers Guild, which I founded in 1996 is a bunch of highly skilled, highly successful songwriters and music makers under my mentoring …. Perhaps that would be the way to go? I tell all about it at http://www.makehits.co.uk . Membership by studying the first ten month course ‘How to Make A £million From Your Music’ … the award winning distance learning course. http://www.makehits.com/products090707/million.html

I could suggest our Demo Consultation Service at http://www.makehits.co.uk/demo.htm but I fear there may not be enough in your presentation for me to conduct a proper consultation.

We can help you but first of all you have to ‘learn how to learn’ … think of our profession as being similar to that of a brain surgeon. With the same learning, dedication and persistence required …. However there is always the ‘hobby’ route which I earlier suggested.


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?

Check out 'How to Make A £Million From your Music' at http://www.makehits.co.uk. Secure purchase at https://secure.mistral.co.uk/makehits/swgappsecure.htm or fast cred*it card line: +44 1323.728005 or UK 01323.728005

“3 Minutes on the Radio with Dec” …. Available immediately at http://www.myspace.com/makehits

“If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple of mortgage


The gags: ..... [Where’s me hat?]

“Murphy showed up at Mass one Sunday and the priest almost fainted when he saw him. Murphy had never been seen in Church in his life.

After Mass, the priest caught up with Murphy and said, 'Murphy, I am so glad ya decided to come to Mass, what made ya come?"

Murphy said, "I got to be honest with you Father, a while back, I misplaced me hat and I really, really love that hat. I know that McGlynn had a hat just like me hat, and I knew that McGlynn comes to Church every Sunday. I also knew that McGlynn had to take off his hat during Mass and figured he would leave it in the back of Church. So, I was going to leave after Communion and steal McGlynn's hat."

The priest said, "Well, Murphy, I notice that ya didn't steal McGlynn's hat. What changed your mind?"

Murphy said, "Well, after I heard your sermon on the 10 Commandments, I decided that I didn't need to steal McGlynn's hat after all."

The priest gave Murphy a big smile and said, "After I talked about 'Thou Shalt Not Steal' ya decided you would rather do without the hat than burn in Hell, right?"

Murphy slowly shook his head and said, "No, Father, after ya talked about 'Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery', I remembered where I left me hat."


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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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