'One Minute With Dec' 29 Nov 2009

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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-]

"There was nothing strange about Michael Jackson. It was ‘strange’ that he had to deal with”
[Rev. Al Sharpton]


  • Plug-in Reverbs? [the real discussion]
    Introducing the Les Paul Tribute 1952 Guitar [The closest you will ever get to the master’s sound]
    A new writers idea.... [interesting?]
    Subscriber's Section [ Line Array – what’s it all about? ]
    The gags: ..... [ Rude … but very funny … from Willie ]

Plug-in Reverbs? [the real discussion]

I for one will never get to a situation of relying solely on the built in effects in my Pro Tools computer recording set up.

I will never lose the want for that facility of just reaching to my trusty Lexicon or Digiverb or even Alesis or Zoom and dialling up a friendly reverb or chorus that I know or quickly create a totally new parameter for a never heard before effect [Digiverb is my favourite for this]

What a wonderful, informative article written this week in Pro Sound News …


No matter how advanced and ubiquitous software processing becomes Randy Garrett, Lexicon's director of marketing, still sees a strong requirement for hardware processors. "There are a large number of sound engineers that currently do not use plug-ins or a DAW, such as front-of-house and live performers. Also, there are several applications that need low latency such as monitor mixes and vocalists."

My band had exactly this requirement for a Summer Season show last year in Blackpool … The Yamaha Digital mixing desk simply did not hack it as regards exciting vocal and drum reverbs, easy to call up and great sounding … it all sounded ‘cheap’ … just like the reverbs in the standard ProTools set up. I never use them.

Karl Christmas, deputy general manager of Yamaha Commercial Audio UK, agrees: "I don't think there will ever be a world in which there will be total integration and everybody uses effects inside a computer or mixing console. There will always be people who want an SPX [Yamaha] for a drum reverb and Lexicon for a vocal reverb on the same mix."

Here it is again: http://prosoundnewseurope.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1430&Itemid=75

Good hardware outboard effects units give that unique ‘expensive’ sound. Me? I am looking at 13 separate units available in my studio as I write. Tasty!

"We have the means and the capacity to deal with our problems,

if only we can find the political will." Kofi Annan

Introducing the Les Paul Tribute 1952 Guitar [The closest you will ever get to the master’s sound]

The passing of the incomparable Les Paul in August 2009 broke the hearts of guitar enthusiasts around the world.

What can never be broken, though, is the legacy of innovation and creativity that he built during 94 years of constant musicianship. Though the original guitar he designed in 1952 has influenced every Gibson guitar since, Gibson engineers were inspired afresh to handcraft a guitar just the way Les demanded it nearly 60 years ago.

It looks ‘the business’ and it brings back great memories of how I adored those very early Les Paul and Mary Ford tracks … sheer genius.

Check it out at: http://www.guitarsite.com/news/electric_guitar/introducing_the_les_paul_tribute_1952_guitar/

And what about this one ….

Introducing the Buckethead Signature Les Paul

From his prolific solo work, to his prominent memberships in the supergroup Praxis and rock legends Guns N’ Roses, Buckethead has displayed one of the most fiery creative personas of our times, and has continually affirmed his stance in the upper echelon of contemporary shredders.

Equally attention-grabbing as his incendiary chops, Buckethead’s stage show and visual presence remain unique among the rock field, and his Gibson guitars—a white Les Paul in particular—have always been a big part of that.

Would this look good in your stage presentation?


"Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope." Kofi Annan

A new writers idea.... [interesting?]

One of the largest publishers in the UK has launched a new idea ... what an innovation is sales techniques.

They invite members of the public to apply to be a named character in a future published novel. Say, your name is Charles and you are a lawyer living in Camden Town, London ... you like to wear faded jeans in court and have a penchant for vodka martini in a pint beer glass ... yep?

All of that detail is strewn through the book so that friends and relations, plus business associates, will be astonished that the character in based exactly on 'you'. Get it?

Of course, the publisher can extract a large amount of dosh for this accolade ... but folk are willing to pay a lot to be immortalised in a book.

A friend of mine has just won a nationwide competition to be the first novelist to attempt to write this style. His club asked me to address them last week.

His competition entry was exactly and precisely what I tell would-be novelists to do ... and songwriters, music makers. A sample short chapter, the bullet points for the entire story and a fascinating letter ... works every time ... that is how the pros do it. The characters had to be blank items that could be filled in later.

No point spending a year writing a complete novel that will never make a bean ... similarly, no point writing and making an entire album of your songs without knowing it will earn dosh? Simple?

"I won the writing competition, so as of Monday will be tied to the computer for a few weeks. Can’t wait.

Best regards, and many thanks once again.

Harry Pope"

"We are no longer puppets being

manipulated by outside powerful forces:

we become the powerful force ourselves." Leo Buscaglia


“Hi Dec

Album ‘True’ opened at #10 at ZMR Charts (New Age and World Music) for July and #4 added on CMJ (College Radio) New World Charts.

Thanks everybody for the support.

Best, Zel”

“Nobody gets to live life backward.

Look ahead, that is where your future lies."

Leo Buscaglia

Subscriber's Section [ Line Array – what’s it all about? ]

“Hi Dec

Just read your 'one minute' and am really interested to know why you don't like line array sound systems? L'acoustics and D&B line arrays sound mighty fine to my ear.

Having said that, I’ve heard badly set up Nexo , EV JBL. etc etc Just like all things audio , It’s about correct set up and use, and a Muppet systems engineer and an ass on the sound desk can make even the best system sound like c**p. Keen to hear your thoughts on line arrays!

And glad to read your brother is ok! & hope you are recovered from the worry etc!




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]

Hi G****

Just going to bed ….

My thoughts on line array?

When set up correctly a line array system is wonderful …. Saw “Il Divo” at the O2 with sensational Line Array sound. Mega expensive tour with superb production. Had a good chat with the sound jockey.

Sadly, promoters and young, unseasoned sound-boys, will just look at the array and think that it is going to be wonderful…. And sadly, it usually won’t. Andrea Bocelli was a disaster, sound wise, at the same venue as Il Divo. Muse were sensational at Wembley while the rest of the show, using the same gear, was a disaster…. Folk walking out.

The complexity of setting up a line array system properly is huge. All those speakers … individually sending out a different level? Night after night? Will it be set up correctly for each venue?

Then consider, for one moment, the one night stand situation of the system simply being hired in? The sound jockey with the recent sound technology certificate? He simply goes by the name on the box … you have mentioned them all. That is called “Nomentology” or ‘Branditis’ .. being impressed by the name. It is ears that count … not names.

Know what? We don’t use them … in fact, I die when we play an auditorium with a house system of those names … Played the new arena in Bridlington a few weeks ago …. Yuck! First time I have ever seen ‘flown’ bass bins [100 feet in the air]. Cr*p.

We immediately say: “please defeat all the programming and graphic EQ’s” … takes a lot of guts to actually say that … then takes ten minutes of convincing …. “They are locked up” … “no one has permission to touch the settings” …. etc … et bl**dy cetera.

But when they do it? Whoops! Where did that sound come from?

With good equipment, you start from the premise that the microphone manufacturer designed a totally flat responding microphone … then the mixing desk manufacturer designed a totally flat mixing desk … then the amp. manufacturers did the same and so on, up to the speakers …. Then some d*ck installed graphic equalisers to c*ck up the whole thing … then some super d*ck installed a computer driven line array controller which no one knows how to operate? Except the manufacturers? Oh yes, he has a lap top to impress everyone!

Case proven … and I have seen it all too many times to even enter into a discussion … that is late night stuff for 22 year olds … when I have gone to bed. With the cash in the bank.


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

"I’m alive and I’m here forever."

Michael Jackson

The gags: ..... [ Rude … but very funny … from Willie ]

Little April was not the best student in Sunday school. Usually she slept through the class.

One day the teacher tried to catch little April out to see if she was paying attention in class. She called on her while she was napping.

"Tell me, April, who created the universe?"

When April didn't stir, little Johnny, a boy seated in the chair behind her, took a pen and jabbed her in the rear.

“GOD ALMIGHTY!" shouted April and the teacher said, "Very good," and April fell back asleep.

A while later the teacher asked April, "Who is our Lord and Saviour,"

But April didn't even stir from her slumber.

Once again, Johnny came to the rescue and stuck her again.

"JESUS CHRIST!" shouted April and the teacher said, "Very good," And April fell back asleep.

Then the teacher asked April a third question. "What did Eve say to Adam after she had their twenty-third child?"

And again, Johnny jabbed her with the pen. This time April jumped up and shouted, “IF YOU STICK THAT THING IN ME ONE MORE TIME, I'LL BREAK IT IN HALF AND STICK IT UP YOUR A***!"

The Teacher fainted


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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]

revised 29 Nov 2009 mailto:webmaster@makehits.co.uk
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