Frequently Asked Questions!
Updated: Nov 26, 2020
1. Can I use your music in my Youtube video or stream?
Usually, yes! But I have a few conditions, have a read here: https://www.miracleofsound.rocks/blog/using-miracle-of-sound-music-in-your-streams-videos
2. Will you do an instrumental version of ‘x’ song? Can I do a cover version of it?
I don’t make instrumental versions because:
A). In the past when I did, people kept complaining that they didn’t sound finished – which I actually agree with. My songs are not created to be instrumental works and therefore of course sound unfinished when stripped of their main melodies. But the biggest reason is…
B). There is a culture of theft on the internet. I and my peers have all had people take our instrumentals, sing over them and claim them as their own, sometimes even going as far as to make money from the stolen work. I don’t want that happening any more.
C). There simply isn’t a big enough demand for it to justify the time/money investment in making & releasing instrumental versions.
If you want to cover/parody one of my songs by all means, go ahead! I LOVE hearing fan versions of my songs – but you’ll have to make an actual proper cover version, music and all.
3. Will you do a cover version of (insert song here)
Nope! I’m not a covers guy. There are plenty of other fantastic, better suited musicians out there who specialise in doing cover versions but I like to make original songs. I want to be known for my own songs, not someone else’s!
There are sometimes songs I’d like to cover or re-interpret. I don’t however, because it would open the floodgates for thousands of pointless requests of ‘Do this song or that song!’. I made one cover version of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ as a gift for my girlfriend when MOS first started and the amount of times it has been used as a counter to my no-covers preference has made me wary of doing any more, lol.
4. Why don’t you take song requests?
This one comes up pretty much every day. The reason I don’t do requests is simple – I don’t have the time or desire to.
There are a lot of voices shouting and yours is just one of many! Any time I take out of my schedule to cater to one random person is time spent not catering to the majority of other people in my audience and to making music that makes me and them happy.
I’m not your personal jukebox. So I just make what I want, when I want because I make better songs when I work that way and my audience deserves the best songs I can give them. :)
5. Why have you never made a song about [insert ‘x’ game/movie/whatever here]
Because there are hundreds of thousands of games, TV shows, books, movies & life experiences and that’s just one.
Inspiration is not something that I can magically pull out of nowhere – it has to come naturally. Even when I love something, there’s no guarantee it will give me a worthwhile idea for a song. I don't want to release a half-assed song just to tick off a box and say 'Right, that's that game covered'. My audience deserves better than that. It’s also important to remember that the things you like are not the center of everyone else’s universe and might not be of interest to them!
6. This song didn’t fit the game/movie/subject matter
Not a question, I know. But an intermittent comment...
I don’t always set out to mimic and reproduce the exact, dominating tone or sound of a piece of subject matter. Sometimes I focus on a small part of a story that appealed to me, or on a tone that I interpreted from the piece which you may not have caught or felt.
If a song does not mirror your own experience, that doesn't mean it ‘doesn’t fit the story’ – it fits my experience of the story and the parts of it that inspired me to make my song (LOL)
Art is completely subjective and dependent on the individual therefore there is no right or wrong way to create something self expressive from an experience.
7. Is there sheet music/tabs for this song?
I’m afraid I can’t read or write sheet music or tabs! I am self taught and can only play by ear. Perhaps in the future if I can find the right person to transcribe them, it will be an option.
8. Where’d you get the name Miracle Of Sound? Isn’t it a little bit arrogant?
I sounds like it yep... BUT... The name is actually not self-referential! It was the title of one of my older songs which was all about how awesome music is in general. I used it as the handle for my forum usernames and it just naturally became my ‘artist’ name as it was what people were referring to me as. So ‘Miracle Of Sound’ is just a reference to music itself as an art form being great, nothing to do with me :D
9. You’re Irish – why do you sometimes sing in an American accent?
We grow up on American music & media here so it naturally creeps into our own a lot. It’s also a very neutral, easy-to understand accent that lends itself to elongated vowels and just ‘feels’ right for many styles.
10. What ‘program’/’software’/’gear’ etc can I use to get the same sound quality/compositions/mixes as you etc…
This is a tough question because I’m never sure what exactly people mean by it and it could refer to any number of tiny parts in the gargantuan maze of knowledge, experience & equipment that is required for producing music..
Let’s get one thing straight first though – there is NO program or software that will make a bad song sound good, or make a badly recorded piece sound professional. You can have the best gear in the world but without the practice, time and dedication to learning your skills it is all just junk.
There is no shortcut or quick fix to making high quality music – you need to put in the work, and I’m talking years of dedication. I was terrible at writing, mixing, recording etc when I first started so don’t be discouraged if your stuff doesn’t immediately sound amazing! You will get better & better over time and eventually you'll be fucking amazing :)
By far the most important tools for a composer/mixing engineer/producer are:
– Your ears and how you train them to listen
– Your motivation & dedication to your craft
– Practice, practice, practice
I’m not sure where the misconception comes from that you can just buy a program and make great sounding music, but it’s a falsity.
Now, with that out of the way, we can talk about programs!
- My main DAW is Cubase 7.5. I use Kontakt 5 to run most of my orchestral/synth instrument libraries which I play through a MIDI keyboard. These include Omnisphere, Massive, Cinematic Strings, Cinebrass, Damage, etc etc....
- I record my guitars & amps with a Shure SM57 ; and my vocals (and everything else) with a Neumann TLM 102 & Rode NT1000.
- For compressors, FX etc there are hundreds of different plugins out there you can use. I tend to love anything by Fabfilter or Waves (especially the Pro-Q, the CLA-Classic compressors & SSL Channel bundles, I use these on almost everything). If I were to list all of the various instruments & plugins I use I’d be writing a short novel. You need to try things for yourself, listen to what the different plugins do – do your research!
- This is a good beginner’s tutorial for anyone who wants to start out: