Archive for the ‘Recording and Studio’ Category

Studio Happenings – December 2014

In Hardknoxbury, News, Recording and Studio on December 17, 2014 at 12:04 am

We’re (mostly me) enjoying our new home of Center of the Universe Recording here in Epping, NH, just off of Route 125! We have a lot of projects coming through, many with early 2015 releases. 2014 was an interesting and fun year, packed with some wonderful talent stepping up to our microphones. Will you be one in the New Year?

The long awaited twang album, Sad, Drunk, and Missing You from Amos Clapp and The Tender Touch (of which I am a part of) sees a release date of 12/19/2014. The album was in production for 2 years, and features the brilliant work of many great vocalists and instrumentalists from the Seacoast. Information for ordering will be available here soon. To follow Amos Clapp and The Tender Touch on Facebook, check the Social Media section at the end of this post.

A few different projects going on with Andrea Szirbik and her band The Spectacles, one with a very close release date. I’ll update on that as soon as things are cleared for lift off.

Our music education group – Seacoast Music Lessons – is offering 10% off for the month of January to new students, and 10% off to existing students with a referral. Guitar, bass, keyboard, music theory and music production lessons are available in the half hour and 1 hour flavors. E-mail me at josephkmurphy “at” gmail “dot” com for more information. Teaching is a great passion of mine, and I’m stoked to be going into my 9th year of doing it.

I was filled in that the debut Me In Capris EP I worked on has been mastered. They’re a fantastic rock band that I hope I get to work with again. Lovely.

Finally, the garage/punk/booze band Hardknoxbury I lead had a blast at the Dover Brickhouse this past Saturday with Almanac Mountain and Post Atlantic. Expect more gigs from us in 2015. Our second release, to be titled “Her Name Gets Me Drunk” is expected for Summer 2015. Until then, check out our debut album RIGHT HERE!

And that’s about it for now. Thanks to all of our supporters! Great things lie ahead!

Joseph K Murphy

Social Media/Artists Mentioned in this Post

Center of The Universe Recording on Facebook

Andrea Szirbik on Facebook

Almanac Mountain on Facebook

Post Atlantic on Facebook


RPM 2014 Season and Post Season Service Deals

In News, Recording and Studio on January 31, 2014 at 12:33 am

It is RPM, and as usual, I am offering my services at greatly reduced rates. I’m available for recording, mixing and mastering services during the month for a very affordable price. Most popular is my month end mastering, where I help you package your work for final hand in.

Also popular though, is my extended post season deal. You’ve slaved all month crafting your project, you mix it and get it handed in, but your ears are burned out, or your forced to make messy decisions in order to beat the headline. Should you want to remix, sweeten, or master your RPM project post March 1st, I offer my services for the same reduced rate in March. Contact me via email = josephkmurphy “@” gmail “dot” com, or on any of my social media outlets to discuss details.

February is the month where every one makes music.

RPM Season! Deals on Various Audio Services

In Recording and Studio on January 23, 2013 at 1:48 am

It is that time of year! Musicians and artists alike will be furiously recording and writing, participating in the RPM Challenge (to record a full album of music in just the month of February)!

As I’ve done in past years, I’m offering audio services for dramatically reduced rates. Whether you want help recording your project, or just want a quick and clean master before handing the project in, my services are open and available to any RPMer out there!  Contact me via E-mail at to discuss your project!

The Trashpickers Win Spotlight Award (Back in April. I’m Slow.)

In Past projects, Recording and Studio on June 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm

This past April a band I recorded last year known as the Trash Pickers won “Best Folk Artist” at the Portsmouth Herald’s Spotlight awards. I enjoyed my time recording their album – Pick of the Litter and was proud to see their work recognized formally. The album is available digitally on Amazon.

Post-RPM Mixing/Mastering Services – DEALS!

In News, Recording and Studio on March 1, 2012 at 6:58 pm

Did you participate in the RPM Challenge? Every year, thousands of musicians, artists, and songwriters do, and every year, many of them flesh out their creations after the challenge is over to give it a proper release.

This year, I’m offering a deal on post-RPM Remixing and mastering services. If you want to polish up your tracks before they head off to be manufactured, I am here to help. With a sophisticated system, the best tools in the industry (Waves, Izotope, NI, etc) and almost 10 years experience, your RPM project will shine.

Pricing is –

Remixing or Mastering of your project

$200 for a full day (10 hrs), that’s a full 10 song album remix


$100 for a half day (perfect for mastering a full album)

As always, services are negotiable depending on the project’s needs. Project will be delivered in whatever media format is requested (Minus reel to reel tape. Sorry. Cassette tape is still on the table!)

Contact me at or call (603) 608___ 8672  to take advantage!

Offer lasts through April 1st

2008 Joseph K Murphy and The Best Friends Ever EP Remixed, Remastered, Rereleased

In New Music Release!, Past projects, Recording and Studio on March 13, 2011 at 12:40 am

I’ve taken some time since the new year to visit an old project – the first Joseph K Murphy and the Best Friends Ever EP. This collection was done as the Murkadee production schedule was dragging on and produced quite a number of favorites among those who listen to my stuff. I wasn’t unhappy with how it was produced, but I wanted another stab at mixing and mastering it and wanted to make it special when I finally got around to putting it up on Band Camp – which I’ve now done.

Here it is! Remixed and Remastered, Joseph K Murphy and the Best Friends Ever EP for your listening enjoyment – and if you care to, you can download the thing – name your price!

Audio File Rendering – Wood Stove Burning

In Recording and Studio on December 9, 2010 at 8:03 pm

I’m sitting next to a toasty wood stove in this dark (by choice) room as a session I just mixed bounces down. The project was recorded in early August at our last joint with a cool folky artist named Jimbo, who was stopping in on his way to Portland, ME.  He shared his charming bluesy tunes coupled with a smokey, emotional voice reminiscent of Tom Waits. The recording is intimate and provocative. I’ll ask if I can put up a clip at some point.

Off to teach some guitar lessons!


Exciting Things in the New Space

In News, Recording and Studio on November 19, 2010 at 6:00 am

So the studio has been in a move for about a month now. The system is up and running, but I’m still working out the kinks in getting the room prepped. Here’s some sweet stuff about our new digs!

The Main Room

– Oak Floors (with big ol’ area rug available  when desirable)

– Indian Shutters – talk about vibe

– An extension to that – comfy cozy woodstove

– Equipment closet that very easily doubles as a great sounding vocal/isolation booth

– Not yet tuned (soon!) but very awesome 1920’s upright piano

– Seriously, the vibe in this room is cozy, comfy and creative.

Through out the house:

-Our kitchen is right next to the main room. Food is important, people

– Instruments.  You never know if you’re going to find a tambourine or a pump organ around here. Extra credit for the guitars or ukes on the couch being in tune…right?

– This house loves vinyl.

– Spacious, but not so far apart that we can’t consider placing another instrument in the sewing room up stairs or trying out the basement acoustics.

– Wi-fi!

– Darn good people. Seriously, I live with a band called the Mosquitos. Get their record. On vinyl.

Outside the house

– A farming field in the left corner, a grass field in the right, a VW bus, an apple tree, our mail box is on a giant drill bit, very little neighborage, this place is just breathing inspiration!

An online toast to many inspired, creative, and awesome records to come.


Making it work – Strange recording environments, Inspiring sounds

In Past projects, Recording and Studio on November 11, 2010 at 2:26 am

As with most recording engineers my initial experiences recording audio were unsophisticated, imperfect and certainly to me always absolutely necessary. I would record myself playing guitar and (attempt to) sing Nirvana songs, even originals. Then came multitracking, then live multitrack, then recording midi, and so on and so, never under the best conditions but always with my best foot forward. With out a big expensive studio, I learned how to improvise and make my environment work. The results have almost always been surprisingly inspiring. Today, I’m looking at 5 strange recording environments I’ve worked in and what I learned from them. Not listed in any particular order, though I’ll try to save the coolest for last. Dig in.

5. My bed room in a single wide house trailer

In the year 2006, the Seacoast New Hampshire news mag The Wire unleashed the Record Production Month (RPM) Challenge, charging artists and musicians with the task of writing and recording an album’s worth of music in 1 month. They had me, I was in. The projects I was involved with that year tagged me with the role of producer, and I gave it my all. I was living in a single wide house trailer and I didn’t have much in the way of a live room. My house mate was the hip type and definitely didn’t mind me grabbing the living room for some sort of control room, but the musicians wanted a live room to play together in. I turned my mattress on its side, threw some blankets up and looked forward to my month sleeping on the floor. Definitely not ideal – but the excitement and vibe of musicians having fun and jamming together proved to shine through on the recordings.

4. Vocals in Cars and Vans

When recording From A Spectral View with my old band Murkadee, we were worried about sounding absolutely professional and proving our worth to other musicians – all the while being wacky and weird in our concepts and tactics. While preparing to record vocals one day a conversation came up about the ideal mixing environment came up. Where do people listen to music most? In their cars! Why not mix music to be heard in cars in a car shaped mixing environment? Obviously the logic is flawed, but discussions like these often times lead to fun experiments. I drove my 1990 Subaru Loyale out back near our recording space’s window, chained some mic cables together, put the back seats down and went to town. Weeks later, we tried again in a mini-van, finding the Subaru’s space cramped. Doesn’t work on everything, but it works.

3. Wood shops

My family is full of tinkerers and carpenters, but let’s face it – some times you need to record a drum kit. At times like these you need to roll the table saw out of the way and start listening. As long as various metal tools from rattling or vibrating too much a shop can be a great place to record. Great recording spaces have VIBE! There’s the pleasant smell of lumber in the air. It can be relaxing, much in the way that people hang out in car shops, drinking beer and tweaking. Unplug the table saw if you’re going to drink in the “studio”, please. That could get messy.

2. Cabins in the woods

Being located in New Hampshire, I know a few people with wood cabins in the woods. Luckily for me, these people are sympathetic, even supportive of the arts. The trip usually goes like this: you show up to an unpredictable driveway – usually dirt – then it rains or snows. I don’t know why it is, but for some reason when ever you have delicate gear you want to bring to a secluded place in the woods precipitation shows up, too. The construction of these cabins range from impressive to reassuring to down right scary. Electricity tends to be laughable. The upside – you’re in a cabin in the woods. No worries about bothering neighbors, no noisy streets to ruin your intimate vocal take. If you’re losing your enthusiasm, go outside. Look at some trees, watch some squirrels, find some rocks. I don’t know. It works.

My favorite experience in this environment involves a joke rock band I was in. One of my band mates lived in this cabin. Often times I would write music there, most of my recording up to that point being into a battery operated cassette machine. This cabin, located down a long, bumpy dirt road, became our Abbey Road for 3 weeks. The wood stove roared and the kitchen table filled up with lyric sheets and notebooks. It was a joke band, but it was a real process at the time. The 8 track we recorded on was probably the most advanced technology in the whole building.

1. A big, empty semi trailer.

Tractor trailer truck. Awesome. Again, a Murkadee technique. We had a hook up to a generator we could use and an empty box trailer. The natural reverb was not for the faint of heart. My only regret is that we didn’t have any acoustic guitar tracks to do at the time. This environment definitely isn’t for every, and most likely isn’t worth fitting into the budget unless you have serious trucker connections (a trucker family member does the trick!) Still, when the opportunity pops up you’d be crazy to say no!

UNH Health Services promo film

In Past projects, Recording and Studio on October 1, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Here’s a promotional video I took part in for UNH Health Services. I wrote produced and recorded 2 of the songs, and recorded the vocals for a 3rd. Check it out.