English · This & That

Mix Critique With Stuart Epps

In cooperation with “Musiker-board.de”, Music2Deal has started a sensational campaign. It was possible to win a professional mixing service from the unique musician Stuart Epps, who has already worked together with stars like Elton John, Robbie Williams, Oasis or Chris Rea.

A jury of experts selected the top 10 artists and then Stuart Epps chose the winner band AUDIO CIRCUS. Among the mix for the winner band there was a feedback for all Top 10 acts from Stuart Epps and a premium-membership at Music2Deal to get new connections with people from the music industry.

You can read the original feedback down below and can listen to the song or contact the artists if you click on the band name which is linked to their Music2Deal profile.

And that’s the winner song “I WONDER” from “AUDIO CIRCUS”. It’s a great song of them and a fantastic mix from Stuart Epps. Music2Deal and Stuart Epps believe in the band and their success in the music business.

audio-circus-music2deal

Please listen to the original track here and the mixed version of Stuart Epps here.

1. AUDIO CIRCUS – I WONDER

“I KEEP THINKING THERE MUST BE A BAD ONE COMING, BUT THIS ISN’T!!”

“THIS IS GREAT AGAIN”

“DIFFERENT TO THE OTHERS SO FAR”

“LEAD SINGERS REALLY GOT IT”

“SUPERB VOICE, GIVING ME TINGLES”

“AND I DONT OFTEN GET THAT ANYMORE”

“I LOVE THIS!!!”

“SHADES OF MICHAEL JACKSON MIXED WITH FOREIGNER”

“WHAT A MIXTURE!!”

“GREAT SOLO”

“GREAT BAND”

“WHERE ARE THEY PLAYING???? I WANT TO SEE THIS BAND”

“THIS IS A HIT”

2. THE CHIMES – Weit weg (full)

“Not bad at all

“Starts out like a 50’s ballad then”

“Wham!!! Into a punk rock hard hitting track

“Vocal sounds a bit like Bowie

Very commercial song

Could imagine this on the radio

Really catchy and good solo!!

“Like it and wish I could sing along but not easy!!”

3. INTO THE SUN – Open your eyes (rough)

“Lots of possibilities here with this band and the song”

“Really needs some TLPC thats tender loving producer care!!”

“The vocal needs some effects and some more bv’s”

“That backing vocals beginning of the verses lack a bit of passion”

“The bass drums and guitars are superb very beatleish!!!”

“Great bass playing intfact extra ordinary”

“The bridge of this song is crying out for backing vocals and then the break needs a roaring solo guitar”

4. 50 METER FREISTIL – Leerzeit (kraftrom mix)

“Powerful band and sound”

“Modern sounds mixed with traditional Rock”

“Commercial song perfect for Radio”

“Nice lead vocal, yes I could hear some added backing vocals”

“Reminds me of Meat Loaf….I like this!!!”

“Imaginative production”

5. ROALD LINGBEEK – Sensitive Skin

“Very nice vocals”

“Just the chord change into the bridge and chorus is a bit strange for my taste”

“Maybe this one has to grow on you”

“Maybe a piano would be nice”

“In fact I just played it again and now I’m a bit more used to the changes….it’s getting better.”

“I might get to love it yet”

6. REPEAT – Illusions

“Long but very nice acoustic intro”

“Quite a contrast here to the other tracks”

“Folky song not unlike Fairport convention from the early 70’s”

“Quite nice but can’t help feeling the vocals lack a bit of power as does the whole track”

“Probably a good band to see live”

“They need producer help here I think to achieve better performance”

“Some backing vocals in the chorus would have been nice instead of just unison”

7. UNDER CONSTRUCTION – Save the world

“Very long intro just acoustic and voice”

“…then into a very rocky track…nice!!!”

“But not my favorite song, melody wise I’m afraid”

“Good singer here”

“Gets better halfway through”

“Needs thickening in the mix”

“A track like this has to be powerful sounding”

“Nice solo section”

“I like it”

8. JOEY JONES – Mrs. Slow’N’Easy

“Really impressed”

“Great track!!”

“This guy can play!!”

“Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendryx, Jimmy Page”

“Lots of influences here going together to make a great sound”

“Brilliant riff…riffs are the king!!”

“He’s come up with for this song”

“Love this record”

9. JATC – Love you when you go

“Great band and really good song”

“Very tight rhythm section sound”

“Very good production”

“Reminds me of Robbie Williams at his best”

“He would be jealous”

“Also check out Amen Corner from the 70’s…similar voice”

“Very impressed with this record”

“A proper single”

10.NINE A.M. – Go feral

“Very nice bass sound and some interesting changes”

“Good vocal and probably great live band”

“Got to say though it’s not my fav song”

“Something unsatisfying about it”

“Maybe needs a few more listenings”

The bands 9 and 10 didn’t register at Music2Deal but if you click here there is a link to the homepage of “muskier-board” where you can listen to the other songs if you like to.

If you want to have more background information about the competition you can find an interview with the winner band and Stuart Epps on http://www.musiker-board.de/.

We’d like to thank Stuart Epps and the appropriate persons of “Musiker-Board” for the support and having made this competition possible.

English · Interviews

Interview with Stuart Epps

Stuart Epps
Stuart Epps has worked with many great artists, such as Elton John, Robbie Williams and Oasis

Tell us a bit about yourself in the music industry?

I started off at DJM when I left school at 15 in 1967. DJM were the Beatles publisher at the time. I started as office boy, then assistant engineer then engineer. 1967 were amazing times and that’s where I met Elton John, then known as Reg Dwight. That was background in engineering at DJM but then fairly soon I went into A&R and we had DJM Records and I left engineering but then I was producing with Elton John.

Then in 1971 I was working for Rocket Records looking for new artists doing A&R and touring with Elton John and then with Kiki Dee. Then I became Personal Manager to Elton John and the tours were quite big about 3 months long or so. Then I did the same with Kiki Dee including big USA tours for the two of them.

After the 1974 tour I was 24 and was going to retire but saw a guy called Gus Dudgeon who was building a studio in Berkshire and I wanted to come on board at the Mill Studios which I co-ordinated the building and implementation of the studios. We did a new band signed to Rocket called Shooting Star and an act named Voyager who we produced a top 5 hit with Halfway Hotel.
We also did Lindisfarne (Run From Home). Then I engineered on Chris Rea’s first album and did all the backing vocals. I engineered the huge hit ‘Fool If You Think It’s Over’ for him and then record after record including Gilbert O’Sullivan’s ‘What’s In A Kiss’. Then the Ice On Fire album for Elton John including the big hit Nikita and before that Song For Guy a major hit single also for Elton.

In about 1981 Gus sold the studio and Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin bought it and asked me to work for him and I became his studio engineer and studio manager. Things took off on a producer basis for me as Atlantic Records were working a lot with Zeppelin and they asked me to produce Twisted Sister and again another hit with ‘I Am, I’m Me’, then worked with a guy from Whitesnake under the name of Van Den Burgh and we had a huge top USA smash with Burning Heart.

I then recorded and engineered the last Led Zeppelin album with Jimmy Page called Coda and it wasn’t long after Jimmy Page bought the studio that Bonham was found dead in his house so that was the end of Led Zeppelin but Jimmy wanted to put the Coda album out as a tribute to John Bonham. We took all the tracks and extra multi tracks from ‘In Thru The Out Door’ and any leftover tracks and then 6 minutes of drums from the Montreux studios sessions.

I did record another album with Jimmy for the Soundtrack to Death Wish II. Another project was a project of Paul Rodgers and Jimmy Page under the name of The Firm that I definitely did co-produce although you won’t find it on the sleeves and that contained a large hit called Radioactive. That was a great album.

What do you recommend anybody on Music2Deal who is looking to become a producer, what is the best way to get into production?

Really producers generally come from engineers which I think is a good grounding of how an engineer and the recording side works. Having said that producers don’t have to come from that background.

It’s definitely a good thing for me to come from an A&R background as the crossover of both production and A&R can be immense although it does depend on what the producers role is which can change depending on the project and what the record company require. In my way it is choosing the songs so a background in A&R is really important. It’s musicality, A&R, experience really the whole thing of coming into the studio and landing with ideas. It’s vital for the producer to know all that. The producer should always have ideas so working with Gus Dudgeon who produced Bowie and Elton was so amazing as that guy always had ideas. The producer is therefore the one who should be sailing the ship and coming up with thoughts and ideas.

What bands are you currently producing?

I’m currently producing a band called Machine People in the UK with Richard Rogers. I’ve just entered into working with various new artists via remote producing and file sharing although I’m also working in the usual way with one of the guys from The Who and also Shakin’ Stevens. Working with Zak Starkey on his solo album, the son of Ringo Starr from The Beatles and formerly with Oasis and The La’s.

If you had the choice of producing one artist dead or alive who would it be?

I used to say Joni Mitchell but I guess having worked with them Led Zeppelin again.

What is the weirdest project you worked on?

That could be the Soundtrack to Death Wish II and seeing how Jimmy Page’s mind works. He was using the Theramin and early early guitar synths and just had so many weird and wonderful ideas. It was brilliant to watch him, as a musician he is brilliant but as a producer he was stunning.

A few words about Music2Deal?

Music2Deal is obviously a fantastic tool and a marvellous system to have to help you with your music. I’m all for Music2Deal. I think it is totally brilliant.

More information:  http://www.stuartepps.co.uk/

by Sara Shirazi