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Guitar Lessons

I am located in Birkdale and provide guitar lessons in all areas from Wellington Point, Birkdale, Alexandra Hills, Capalaba etc right through to Norman Park, East Brisbane to Coorparoo, Mt Gravatt etc. There is no need to come all the way to Birkdale for lessons, I will come to you if required.

GUITAR TUITION FEES

  • $30 per half hour weekly lessons
  • $40 per half hour fortnightly only lessons
  • $40 per 45 minute weekly or fortnightly lesson
  • $50 for a full hour lesson

For futher details and information, click here! or click the Guitar Lessons in the menu

Contact Brendan on 0415 955 356 or email
For more information about myself and what I do, please click here to see the about page


Blog Entries and News

My band is in the middle of remixing and re-processing our first CD release after the major lessons we learned from recording and mixing our second CD.  We thought we’d apply these to our first release and make it sound as good as if not better than our EP, Unusual Conversations.  I’m using the Toneboosters EBU Loudness meter on our tracks to keep peaks and loudness in check so that the rendered master tracks end up retaining as much dynamics as possible for the mastering stage.

One thing I have noticed that has cropped up from using this metering system is that it seems to show up equalisation issues in the mix.  What I mean by this is that the loudness appears to jump on the graph and meter readings yet the apparent loudness may present itself as an EQ problem like an large resonance that effects the overall loudness of the program data rather than it being as a result of a crescendo or the like.  This that forced me to approach the mixes differently and identify issues early before going to mastering.

This is meter from the remix of the track, The Scotsman. You can see the integrated loudness is quite low and the true peak measurements is far below the required -1dbTP for this meter mode.

 

Toneboosters LUFS Meter, VU Peak and hold mode

You can see that the song has quite a wide dynamic range for a heavy metal song and to introduce over compression in the mastering stage would be a travesty!

Lufs2

Using a LUFS based loudness meter has definitely changed my approach to mixing music and mastering.  Im looking forward to releasing a top quality remix full of dynamics of my bands first album with as many “beginner” issues from the first mix, removed or fixed.

 

Here is the original release of the bands first album and while its sounds ok, its definitely not anywhere NEAR our EP release in terms of sound quality.

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Brendan McLaughlin
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The Loudness War - February 28, 2015

My band, The Cilikis (http://thecilikis.com) released its second EP in 2014 called, Unusual Conversations.  Its a five track EP of progressive instrumental metal fusion tracks we had written over the course of 2013/2014.  It represents the beginning of a writing, style and performance shift towards a more jazz fusion oriented band rather than just outright metal.

We released two versions of Unusual Conversations.  One release is an audiophile edition called, Unusual Conversations HD Edition.  HD stands for HIGH DYNAMIC range.  When I say high dynamic range, I mean the music was mastered without any heavy handed over the top brick-wall style limiting that is notorious for modern releases and a component of the never ending, ever present (but waning), LOUDNESS WAR.

You can listen to the EP at https://thecilikis.bandcamp.com/album/unusual-conversations-hd-edition

Here is the waveform for the track, Wavelength from the Unusual Conversations High Dynamic Range edition.  The EP has an average RMS of -13.6dB and DR value of DR11.   To find out more details about dynamic range and the loudness-war, click here

Wavelength

This is the way audio an audio waveform is supposed to look!! Dynamic and more importantly DISTORTION-LESS!, not squashed, lifeless and distorted beyond all comprehension!

Our non HD version is still dynamic but louder with a Dynamic range value of DR8, at least it still sounds good and distortion is non existent!!

The loudness war and the constant battle for “volume supremacy” is over and its plain to see that people want the music they buy to sound good! Distorted audio into the ear is not just a musical problem, its a health issue as well.  That constant hard clipping sound cannot be good for anyone!  I’m not talking about musical distortion like guitar overdrive, hardware saturation and the like, im talking about hard digital clipping.  While that may sound good for and EFFECT, its sounds hopelessly awful when its applied to an entire track.

Most people put down the effect of the loudness war to the mastering engineer and to a degree, this is true, especially those who don’t care about the end result, but the blame cannot be layed squarely at their feet.  Record lables, A&R reps and artists MUST take more responsibility and stop trying to blame the mastering engineer or the mixer.  At the end of the day, its YOUR MUSIC, YOUR ALBUM and its YOUR decision weather or not you want your release to sound like shit or not.

The ball is in your court and if you want your music to sound great, then KNOW THE LIMITATIONS! Only good sounding music will result.

These limitations are there for a reason because loud, over compressed and distorted music is seriously UNCOOL and as the Anthrax song says,  who cares wins.

The best solution is not to talk constantly and go on and on about the over compressed loud releases and spend more time talking about the artists that DO take on-board the lessons of the loudness war instead of trying to show people the failures and point out whats wrong…

Brendan McLaughlin
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Guitar FX projects suspended - February 5, 2015

Hi folks, I have to suspend all BMC guitar effects builds and pedal design projects at this stage due to yet another unforeseen event, being forced to move house, YET AGAIN.  Once we have found, moved in and settled into a new house (when we find one, rents are just a tad extortionate at the moment in Australia) I will resume my pedal projects.  Namely the BMC DirtBoost – B model project ive been working as a replacement for the original BMC DirtBoost pedal.  Pedal projects will hopefully be re-activated by the end of March 2015.

As for guitar lessons, they WILL be continuing as normal.  This will not change.  For enquiries, contact me by phone or email.

 

Brendan McLaughlin
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BMC DirtBoost Redesign - December 28, 2014

The BMC DirtBoost pedal is to be superseded and to be re-designed as a clean boost to medium gain overdrive pedal that will include two foot-switches, one for on and off and the FATTEN mode switch will be re-visioned as a foot-switch instead of a toggle switch.  A new limiter / clipper switch will be added in the Fat switches place to give players more options than the current DirtBoost pedal contains.  The primary circuits design will not change but the way the guitarist interacts with the pedal will change giving them more options to help their signal chain gain staging.  The re-design will include new pedal graphics and will be in a larger BB style pedal enclosure.

I initially designed the DirtBoost pedal as I was having issues with my Marshall DSL 100 amplifier head and was considering a move to a single channel amp head like the Marshall Vintage Modern or the like and needed to properly gain stage my input signal to get a cleans sounds out of a semi overdriven amplifier.  The DirtBoost was supposed to act in many modes such as a gain decrease mode (IE act as a volume cut without losing signal quality) yet could be used in a gain boost capacity.  I ended up resolving my DSL 100 amplifier issues and only ended up using the pedal as a gain boost for solos and the like.

Since then, my band has changed musical direction and sees us moving to a more jazz fusion / progressive metal oriented music which also means that the gain staging requirements are now slightly different.  Ive been experimenting with the current DirtBoost pedal and found that with some clipper / limiter options would enhance the options I want for the band and having the fat switch as a foot-switch would allow me to add more grind the signal path when I need it instead of a set and forget toggle switch

SO! It begins, the BMC DirtBoost is being re-designed to a more capable pedal with more options yet still retaining its original circuit.  Marvelous!!

In the mean time! The old DirtBoost is still being used by Australian metal band, Dead Kelly and a number of other private users and bands.

Brendan McLaughlin
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My bands Last gig for 2014 - December 26, 2014

The Cilikis

Well its been a big year for my band, The Cilikis.  We recorded and released a new EP of jazz metal fusion music entitled Unusual Conversations.  We changed the bands name from The Cilikis Progressio Project to The Cilikis.  Easier to say and remember.

This Sunday sees our last gig for 2014 and we will have no further gigs until at least February 2015.  So if your keen to come and check us out, we are at The Coolangatta Hotel on Sunday 28th of December.  Doors 4pm, $15 cover charge and features about 8 bands.  We are on at 5:50pm.

For more details, go to http://www.thecoolyhotel.com.au/gig-guide.html

Guitar Effects Update

Its also been a slow year for guitar effect building and design.  Im still creating new designs for my own guitar rig and reworking the PCB’s and circuit designs of the BMC DirtBoost and the PCB for the BMC Lithium overdrive pedal.  But time has not been on my side in 2014 so the pedal development has been a little slow.

I have a new pedal design currently sitting on my prototyping board called the Dynamic Overdrive that needs a PCB design.  The testing process is done and all I need now is the time to draw the PCB and test the pedal in a live band situation with my band.  Hopefully in 2015, things will smooth out and Ill be able to fit everything in that I want to get done.

Website Update

As of 2015, ill be trying to update the site content more regularly than before.  Once again, its in that “stuff I need to squeeze in but time is not on my side” category.  Hopefully 2015 will allow me to update and interact with it more often.

Brendan McLaughlin
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While I am an avid user and promoter of using adblocker and staunch privacy advocate, I have recently discovered that ad-blocker happens to block certain parts of my website, namely the stat counter and my Twitter news feed.  You may be using ad-blocker as well and Im ok with that but this website does NOT have any external or malicious advertising.  The only adverts you will see will be for bmcguitar effects content only.

If you want to see the full website, you will need to disable ad-blocker for this domain, bmcguitar.com.au.

Just use the following method, refresh the page and you will see all the websites content, with NO ad’s.  The last thing you want is to miss out on any music, guitar effects sound bites or videos I may post.

 

disable_adblock

Brendan McLaughlin
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The BMC Lithium overdrive pedal is now a full TRUE BYPASS guitar effects pedal.  More details at http://bmcguitar.com.au/lithiumoverdrive.shtml

Brendan McLaughlin
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Unusual Conversations - October 20, 2014

After about a year of writing, rehearsing and recording along with the perpetual interruptions of life, my band, The Cilikis, have finally managed to get our second album released.

Check it out!

For our second instalment of “The Cilikis’s” recording history, we again decided to procure the facilities of our good friend, recording studio owner and all round good guy Paulie from Rock City Studios. Again we decided to record the EP with no click tracks or quantising so as to keep the recordings as human sounding as possible… but we did use auto tune on the vocals.

As usual, we like to keep the process of recording and creation of our music as DIY as possible, and true to this, we have kept the production and packaging of this CD completely in house.

This recording represents a musical shift away from the expected guitar focused metal style. We have taken on a more jazz / metal fusion focus with our writing in order to produce what we believe is our best work to-date. Expect more!

If you would like a copy of this digital album, you can buy a downloaded copy from our online website at http://thecilikis.com All transactions are secure and only $5.  CD’s will be available for purchase soon.

We also have a second edition available of the same album.  Its the Unusual Conversations, HD edition.  The High Dynamic range version is mastered much quieter than the main release and is more designed for those who intend to listen to the record in one go, while the louder more compressed edition will work well in a randomised play list.

Brendan McLaughlin
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The Cilikis and Inhailed - October 17, 2014

My band, The Cilikis Progressio Project is opening a gig tonight at the Currumbin Creek Tavern along with several other bands including a long time friends death metal band, Inhailed with some other gold coast bands like Dont Waste The Paint and Necient along with Decryptus from Murwillumbah

Click here for the Facebook event if you’re on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/762633473779473

OR here is the details
3 Traders Way, Currumbin, Queensland, Australia 4223

Friday 17th October 2014, Doors 7pm, $10 cover charge

Bands list

The Cilikis Progressio Project Gold Coast/Redlands 8.00pm – 8.30

Don’t Waste The Paint Gold Coast 8.45 – 9.15pm

Inhailed Sunshine Coast 9.30pm – 10pm

Decryptus Murwillumbah 10.15pm – 10.45 pm

Nescient Gold Coast 11pm – 11.30pm

Brendan McLaughlin
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Insane in the brain! - September 28, 2014

I love chilli’s MMM! Growing some of my own chilli’s!  The experiment to see if I can make this work.  Habanero and Amigo Inferno chilli’s (I think its a Serrano chilli but I cant be 100% sure)

Check the progress here.  Only had them a week in their pots.  Fingers crossed by summer time these should fruit.  MMM!! De-lish!

http://bmcguitar.com.au/g/thumbnails.php?album=18

Brendan McLaughlin
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