Something inspiring is happening in the Dallas music scene, and Cakewalk is excited to be a part of it with SONAR Platinum. When Norman Matthew gets off the road from touring with his band Murder FM, or finishes up a major video or full length record, it’s not time to chill out. In fact for him, that’s the time when he buckles down and digs into his “little side-thing” which is a major music operation called The Sound Foundation (TSF) in Dallas, TX. Dallas has always been known to be a great music town, but Norman’s TSF has a great angle to its existence that resonates to the very core of his soul. In fact just recently, TSF caught the eye of the Ford Motor Company who took notice of Norman and his operation and were so impressed, they featured the establishment on their “Good Works” series.
If you’re reading this article, I’m sure you are aware that the Major Label system has pretty much all but collapsed. Look anywhere on the internet and you will find all the articles you can handle about how evil all the labels were, how they had this coming to them and how the lavish lifestyles of the greedy executives fostered this meltdown. But what you may not know is that “back in the day,” a good piece of that excess cash folks paid down on an $18 CD that cost $1.76 to make went right back into a pool of starving artists (not directly of course). It was called “Artist Development” and it helped pay and pave the way for many iconic artists who started out with the ole “Label Demo Deal.”
SONAR Platinum user Norman Matthew of Murder FM has been making some serious musical strides on many fronts. Since touring internationally and becoming a new dad wasn’t enough, he decided to open a “School of Rock” so to speak in what tiny bit of spare time he could squeeze. “The Sound Foundation” which houses SONAR Platinum at the core, is based on teaching kids the side of music that one generally will not learn in a class room. “This is about teaching kids how to find their heart and spirit through music,” Norman told me at #Namm2015 when we caught up for a bit. “The changes I see in the confidence of these kids through the process is amazing. Each student is treated uniquely to identify exactly what is needed to reach their musical goals. What happens throughout that process is simply magical to witness, and really what makes this place so special. SONAR is a big part of this place. These kids love it and recording some great music on their own thanks to the simplicity of the program.”
Quite frankly, The Sound Foundation is picking up where the labels are falling short on the Artist Development side of the coin. Since the fall of the Major Label system, the words “Artist Development” are rarely heard. A lot of people don’t realize that a good amount of money that was coming into the labels back-in-the-day was going right back into developing new artists. Labels were actually gambling on 150k deals here and there knowing that 1 out of 5 newly signed artists may break long term. Those days are long gone, and this is where people like Norman Matthew are picking up the slack.
This model is working, and to drive home the point Norman has recently brought on CJ Pierce of Platinum selling Artist DROWNING POOL to join The Sound Foundation. “This is a big deal for me. I have always had so much respect for CJ and Drowning Pool – and to have a guy of this caliber involved with our program is priceless.”
CBS Dallas has bought into Norman’s educational process and ran a piece on The Sound Foundation today:
The Ford Company has also taken notice of Norman’s work ethic and has featured The Sound Foundation on Episode #1 of their Good Works Series:
So Last “NorMonday” I went on a little (ok a lot) about how I approached tracking guitars, before that we tapped on my signature vocal techniques. Now it’s time to get into the foundation of it all, drums. Again, prepare yourself for some left of self-centered techniques.
THE KICK DRUM SUCKS…NO WORRIES, THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT
Seems there’s an app for EVERYthing these days. In the recording world, I like to think of plugins as the “apps.” I’ve been part of approximately 16.25 trillion sessions and not a-one has gone by that I haven’t run into a horrible kick drum sound – clicks, flaps, slaps, flops or just generally sounding like a basketball being dribbled through my mic. The flip-side to these tones of course, is that Gawd-awful weak kick drum that sounds like an egg-beater hitting a pillowcase.
Well I have found a Godsend when it comes to such atrocities….SESSION DRUMMER and AUDIO SNAP!
Drum replacement happens EVERYwhere, ALL the time, so don’t let anyone fool you… the key is knowing how to keep the feel and dynamics alive. I learned a lot about drum replacement from producer Beau Hill (Ratt, Eric Clapton, Alice Cooper, etc.), who took me under his production wing and mentored me on many techniques. In music production, we all strive for the best drum sounds because after all, that is what the rest of the music sits on. Unfortunately, we can’t all afford fancy tracking rooms where the walls move to adjust to the natural reverb. So, many of us at one point or another are slaves to the machine: tracking drums in the jam room, or in mom’s garage next to the washing machine (which is constantly on for some reason). Continue reading Approaching Drums Left of Center with AudioSnap and Session Drummer – Norman Matthew [MURDER FM]