Wrote a tune inspired by Larry Carlton, Steely Dan and Michael McDonald

  • I've always enjoyed writing tunes in different genres but I always seem to gravitate back to either Larry Carlton/Steely Dan sort of tracks or LA pop/rock of the 80's and 90s.

    This track is definitely inspired by Larry Carlton, Steely Dan and Michael McDonald.

    For the gear oriented:
    Guitars were a Tyler SE for rhythm and a PRS McCarty with 57/08 pickups for lead.
    Recorded through a Kemper with profiles from Michael Britt. Wolly Coats Spanky for clean and Dumble for the OD.


    Mats N

  • Lovely sound on that. Love the production on it too, really pops like a Steely Dan/Donald Fagen track. Would love to learn how to do that, any tips?

    I literally don't know where to start with recording.

    Thanks Jonathan. Glad you liked it.

    Regarding your question about learning how to do it, I have to respond in four parts. I don't know what you know so please don't take this rather basic answer as an insult to your intelligence, ability or musicality.

    1. Before you can even start recording, You need the tune. If you don't have a SD style tune, you have write it. So you need composition skills. I honestly can't say exactly how I acquired that skill, so I guess it's a combination of reading/studying about the craft of composition and listening to a lot of different music. Then you have to arrange it and to do that you need to study how instrumentalist play their instruments and what sounds good together.

    2. Then you need friends who can play your tunes. Nobody I know wants to play my tunes, unless I pay them well, so I had to learn how to play bass, keys and drums.

    3. Now your ready to record. Get a fairly potent computer, an audio interface and a easy to learn DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). I fully recommend you get an audio interface from PreSonus. They are good sounding, not expensive with low latency drivers and as a very nice bonus you get their Studio One Artist DAW at no extra cost. This includes unlimited tracks for MIDI and audio and many instrument and fx plugins. There are a number of videos on Youtube that will get you started with Studio One. All versions of Studio One works with both Mac and PC. If you already have an audio interface and want to try Studio One there's a free version called Studio One Prime.

    4. Be patient. Recording and composing is as much as an art as playing an instrument. It will take time and you will have to decide if you want to spend that time on learning to write tunes and record them instead of practicing your instrument and getting ahead there.

  • Awesome, Mats!

    I've had to wait 4 days in order to be able to load the page, and it was worth the wait (bad internet connection 'cause of rain; I only get small windows of opportunity at 1->2k speeds at the moment).

    Interesting to me that it turned out to be much-more LC than either SD or MM, IMHO. See? Your inner Mats came out in this one. :D

    Anyway, I can't tell you how impressed I am. It's all-class, brother. :thumbup:

    Oh, and I'm extremely-honoured that you were able to glean some inspiration from what I've said, mate. 8o

  • First of all, thanks for your continued encouragement. In my neck of the woods, this kind of music is not appreciated so your communication is more appreciated than you probably realize.

    Second, but not less important, is that the honour is all mine to have connections to people whom inspire me. You all know who you are, and I want you to know that you are important to me.


    Mats N

  • Right back at you, Mats. Thank you so much for the kind words, mate.

    It's the same situation for me. I seem to have lived my entire life in Guns 'n' Roses territories, for want of a better description. Imagine the praise I received at age 12 when I bought my first album - Brothers Johnson - Light Up the Night... not! I was the laughing stock of my school. If anyone can relate to your experience, it is I, Mats, although I have nowhere near as much talent. ;)