Recording artist and radio 6 DJ Tom Robinson's seminal punk album, 'Power In The Darkness', has been digitally re-mastered for re-release this month - and the title track was remixed using Apple's GarageBand.
Speaking at the Macworld on Sound event yesterday, Robinson said: "We wanted to re-release the album, and we wanted it to sound really, really good. So we went to Abbey Road (where it was originally recorded), and got them to digitize the original tape."
'Power In The Darkness' contained a host of hits, as well as the seminal title track, including the anthemic 'Glad To Be Gay' and punk classic '2-4-6-8 Motorway'. It was originally recorded in early 1978 with former Sex Pistols producer Chris Thomas. The gold-selling album reached number four in the UK charts.
"I took the title track, 'Power In The Darkness', and remixed it myself using Apple's GarageBand. Then I sent it to a production studio to be digitally mastered for release."
The remastered, Apple-friendly album will be released on October 11 by major label, EMI.
Take the power, use the power
Robinson, who was a founder member in the 1970's of anti-racist organization, 'Rock Against Racism', won the hearts of seminar attendees yesterday, with his advice that musicians actively employ GarageBand as an easy-to-use tool to "bang those ideas down". He spoke from his perspective as a radio show host.
"What we look for when demos come in, and we receive hundreds every week, is a good song with a good vocal. You can throw all the production technology you like at something, but it has to come across. And you have to be true to yourself."
As part of his demonstration, Robinson took his G4 PowerBook, a copy of GarageBand and wrote a song in two minutes, of which he later said: "I was quite pleased with it, really, I didn't think it was too bad, considering how little time we had, I think it helped underline the point." He won loud applause for his presentation.
Robinson's advice for wannabe musicians, just starting out?
"Get yourself an eMac, or the best second-hand Mac you can afford, and a copy of GarageBand, and just write songs. Keep going. Keep trying - those first songs you write are probably going to be rubbish, but keep trying and see if you like it, see if it's for you," he said.
Sound advice - be yourself
Robinson's Web site offers more advice for people trying to make it in music: "Most successful artists simply pick an aspect of themselves that's true, simplify it, amplify it and then make music to match - a total package that hits their intended audience between the eyes."
He also recommends musicians get a copy of, 'The Manual - how to have a No. 1 the easy way', by the KLF. "It was true then and it's still true now," he exclaimed. And if in doubt over lyric ideas, suggested musicians turn to the Penguin 'Book of cliches'.
Macworld On Sound featured presentations for musicians at many levels of ability: Sound on Sound magazine editor-in-chief, Paul White, and contributing editor, Paul Whiffen, dispensed their advice on using pro-music-making applications, particularly Logic Pro 7.
Macworld's own music and audio editor, Mike Collins, offered attendees an in-depth look at the multiplicity of music plug-ins available for different music creation systems, offering his advice on these; while VJ, author and touring musician, Mike Delaney, kicked the day off with an energetic demonstration of what you can achieve with music creation software, some video clips and VJ mixing software.
New Forum area announced
Coinciding with the event, Macworld is preparing to launch a brand-new Forum area, dedicated to music-making on Macs. This will be a community for seminar attendees to share their experiences and what they learned, and for any Macworld Online reader wanting to find a way to make music on Macs to ask questions or offer answers.
Music making experts - including Macworld on Sound speakers - will visit the Forum occasionally to offer help with the most pressing questions.