Production Tools – Elektron Octatrack

This is the video that first sparked my obsession with the Octatrack. I had seen in an interview with Alessandro Cortini where he discussed using it when touring with Nine Inch Nails. I was intrigued, as an Ableton Live nut myself, that he relied exclusively on hardware instruments for his duties on tour. He is the “keyboard player” but what he does goes beyond that. Of course, the rest of the band use controllers and software as well as hardware, but not him.

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Recording piano with Simon Quigley in Camden Studios, Dublin

Nothing Like A Steinway

Simon is a pianist and composer that I’ve been working with for years. We have recorded together several times in Windmill Lane and Camden Studios, and in June we went back in to Camden Studios, Dublin to record piano for three of his compositions. Over the course of these sessions I’ve learned a lot about recording grand pianos, which I am sharing here in the hope that the information will be useful to some folks. Continue reading

Degrees of Light

This year’s STP 2nd Year Diploma students worked their asses off recording an amazing album of uplifting songs that were selected and reimagined by some of Irelands finest, freshest talents – Farah Elle, BARQ, Wolves Of Youth, Sarah Crummy, Craig Gallagher, Josh Gray, The Shruggs and many more.

The album, Degrees of Light, is being launched this Wednesday at the Button Factory, doors @ 6.30pm.

I helped out with showing the students the ropes of the SSL 4000 G Series in Sun Studio, and I oversaw (is that a word?) the mixing, but the album is all the students’ work.

Here’s the teaser video:

Proceeds from your donation at the door (it’s free entry) and all sales go to Aware.

It’s going to be an amazing night, with all of the above gracing the stage. You are guaranteed to have your socks blown off at least once. Bring spares. Come, have your faith in the Irish music scene reignited and restored, and throw some well needed support to Aware who are there to provide much needed advice and support to us all should we find ourselves needing it.


Secret ingredient for creativity No. 1

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I first came across Brian Eno’s “Oblique Strategies” back in 1999. I was about to go travelling with work and I was gathering together material to keep me from boredom on the plane. At the time I was not a music professional, but I was a musician and I was discovering just how much of a hand Brian had in the recordings I loved.


As a kid I was big into drawing and painting. I loved creating something from nothing.  I found the immediacy of it, the ability to create something from nothing in 10 or 15 minutes, immensely enjoyable and rewarding. Continue reading

First track from Lisa Loughrey Mini-EP

I just finished work on two tunes with Lisa, “I’ll Let Go” and “Swallows”. Very much from the alt-country/folk stable, with a beautiful voice and a lovely way with words, here’s the first tune “I’ll Let Go”.

For a little more detail on my work with her, you can read all about it here. Enjoy.

Samples from the new SAND album “A Sleeper, Just Awake”

After eighteen months of work, the new SAND album is finally here.

SAND is the moniker for solo undertakings by North Atlantic Oscillation frontman Sam Healy. I’ve known Sam for a long time, and I have been involved in all three of the North Atlantic Oscillation albums. I’ve also worked on both SAND albums. We have both grown together as “technologists”, always bouncing ideas off each other and pointing each other in the direction of new sounds, plugins, artists, writers… Continue reading

“O Mio Babbino Caro” arrangement

Recently my friend Clare Kavanagh came to me asking if I could put together an arrangement of Puccini’s “O Mio Babbino Caro” for L’Oreal Ireland’s Colour Trophy Awards 50th anniversary show. They had very specific timing requirements so I would need to work to those constraints, extending the aria itself by adding extra sections, a new intro, and ending. Continue reading

Recording bowed guitar for the new SAND album

This is a clip of me playing some guitar for the track “Berceuse”, from the upcoming SAND album “A Sleeper, Just Awake”. It was recorded by Sam Healy (of SAND) in Whitespace on one of his visits.

Toward the beginning of work on the album, Sam and I met up both in Edinburgh and Dublin to trawl through ideas for new music. Many of Sam’s initial sketches had deliberate “Pete-shaped gaps” left in them for me to work within. This is the result of me populating one of those gaps.
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