Bradley McCaw is an award-winning singer/songwriter. His career started with him singing classical music and touring internationally with the group THE TEN TENORS. A native of Australia, Bradley spent fifteen long years making good in every job a musician and writer could possibly have, ending his day with a stack of old vinyls by his bed and a dream to create music like his heroes.…
For our second episode on tips for using your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) at home, we talk all about MIDI and the different ways it can be used to better your home recordings.
We talked about:
- what is MIDI and a brief history
- MIDI notes and velocity
- quantizing your MIDI performance
- how MIDI can also be used in lighting systems and guitar pedals
- viewing MIDI in a piano roll view, staff view, or event view
- how MIDI can also be used as a transport control for your DAW
- using drum maps
- using articulation switches to trigger different performance phrases or articulations (e.g.
People think that pop songs have a standard structure – verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus – and many do. Mostly because that familiarity works. But some hit songs challenge convention, they chart their own path to great success. So this episode we thought we would find some recent songs that go against the grain and still manage to be popular.…
Very excited to have the Juno-award winning songwriter, author of an international #1 hit song and the very first MuchMusic VJ join us on SongTalk. Christopher Ward has done all that and more. In our recent interview, Chris talked about his new release Same River Twice, its unique recording process and why he wanted to include his version of his song Black Velvet on the album.…
This week SongTalk dives into how to best use DAWs or Digital Audio workstations.
Home recording is booming and it’s not just because of Covid. Musicians have long been using different software at home to do what used to cost thousands of dollars in a professional recording studio.…
This week SongTalk welcomed John from Tomato Tomato to our virtual studio.
They just might be Atlantic Canada’s most entertaining musical duo. The New Brunswick based pair – John and Lisa McLaggan – have built a reputation on a live show that is as much about their on-stage charisma as their musical multi-tasking and vocal excellence.…
JUNO Award-winning reggae singer, songwriter, producer and social activist Kirk Diamond shared his new single “Let It Be Done” — available now.
“‘Let It Be Done’ was written in light of the political climate and social unrest that has affected so many worldwide, myself included,” Diamond shares.…
This week SongTalk welcomed Jay Gordon Wright to our show.
Jay a multi-instrumentalist songwriter and performer who has entertained audiences around the world. He is classically trained on violin, and has expanded his musical toolshed to include just about every instrument he can get his hands on.…
For our final show of 2020, Vancouver’s “Focus Your Audio” stopped by to talk about production and creating music as a couple.
We talked about:
- The upcoming Song Talk Radio Songwriting Challenge
- Fluevog Shoes
- The importance of pre-production
- Over There Lyrics
This week Song Talk Radio welcomed Gilbert Neal to our studio.
A master song craftsman, Gilbert Neal – on his latest release Mistakes of Memory shows the depth and diversity of his influences: Leonard Cohen, Pink Floyd, ELO, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Stephen Sondheim.…
Song Talk Radio is happy to welcome our good friend Blair Packham to the studio. This episode, Blair is talking about his songwriting and the latest songs that he is working on. In fact, he will preview one of the songs he is considering for his new collection/album.…
One of our favourite guests drops by to give practical advice on performing. Blair Packham – songwriter, teacher, performer and 80’s hitmaker – talks about the best practices to entertain and present your songs to an audience, live or on-line.
Blair also shows off his dulcimer, which is very impressive.…
This week on SongTalk we look at a simple songwriting technique that may be more complicated than you think – songs with one chord progression.
That’s right, no guest this week just the SongTalk team – Phil, Neel and Mike – talking about the ways songs with just one series of chords repeated over and over have become huge hits.…
For our first podcast while in self isolation, we talked about things we can do as songwriters while in isolation :).
We talked about:
- Taking the Song Talk Meetup online – stay tuned for details on April’s meetup
- The We Should Write Sometime app
- Frank Horvat’s project: Music for Self-Isolation
- Neel’s working on productions for Melanie Peterson
- Phil and Neel working on re-mixes for Mike’s song from our Songwriting Challenge
- Resources for rhyming: B-Rhymes and Rhyme Zone – don’t forget about our episode on rhymes with Blair Packham!
I recently finished reading a great book by Marc Myers entitled Anatomy of a Song: The Oral History of 45 Iconic Hits that Changed Rock, R&B, and Pop. Myers interviewed the people involved in historically significant songs from the 1940s to the 1990s.…
This week SongTalk welcomed our old friend Blair Packham to our studio.
The Toronto-based artist, first gained attention for his work with ’80’s power pop band The Jitters. He is now an acclaimed solo artist and musician. Blair released two strongly-reviewed solo albums before shifting his focus to composing music for TV and films, teaching songwriting at the post-secondary level and in numerous special event workshops, and co-hosting a long-running major market weekly radio show about music (“In the Studio” on the BellMedia talk radio network).…
This week SongTalk welcomes… Christmas into our studio.
For our Xmas Eve show, we all brought in our favourite Christmas songs and had a good chat about what makes them so great. Featuring some classics and some new songs that you may not have heard before.…
Juno-award winning recording artist Steve Strongman joined us to talk about his take on the blues. Steve is a multiple Maple Blues Award winner, 2019 International Blues Challenge Best Guitarist (solo/duo). He’s opened for BB King, Buddy Guy, Joe Cocker, Johnny Winter, and toured all over the world.…
Beige Shelter is an ambitious and eclectic five piece band from Toronto that brings fire, passion and a political conscience to their music. Through electrifying live performances, the band showcases both original songs and interesting twists on cover songs. Beige Shelter is currently working on their 2nd EP release.…
For this host’s show, Michael, Neel and Phil brought in a song each and discussed how we wrote and some cool approaches in the songs. AND, Vanessa was in the house!!! What a fun episode!
Listen to the Episode
What we talked about
- The 2nd Annual Holiday Gift Guide
- Blog post: Creating Lyric Sheets that Don’t Suck
- Neel’s process behind writing “The Wicked Queen”
- Suggestions for Song prompts
- Listener input requested: What do you think about the Taxi and SongTradr placement services
- Song hooks: How do you make sure your song has ’em
- Different approaches to choruses
- The Wicked Queen lyrics
- Pull Me Away From You Lyrics – Noise
- Not Edwin lyrics
- Writing Better Lyrics – Pat Pattison book on Amazon
- 101 Songwriting Wrongs & How To Right Them: How To Craft Songs That Sell on Amazon
- Cubase Elements – Phil’s DAW of choice (tho he uses the Pro level)
- Cakewalk by Bandlab – Neel’s DAW of choice