Tag Archive for: MM

There’s a great quote from Trent Reznor in the latest SPIN magazine:

“The way I work is that up to the last second stuff looks like shit, and at the last minute it comes together.”

I’m not a huge NIN fan, but I have always been a fan of what he’s accomplished. As someone who goes into a room alone, and tries to come out with finished recorded works, I know what a challenge it is… creation on it’s own is enough of a challenge, let alone creating and being a technician and a producer all at once. Not complaining, mind you… I love the process.

That having been said – one of the things that helped me get New Eye done was the album cover. Really. And the cover happened by sheer accident. I got a Photoshop plugin that did flames, so I started testing it out, and got this image…. I thought to myself “Wow, that’d make a really interesting album cover.” So I printed it out and slid it into a blank CD case. Well, that CD case sat on my coffee table, or in my studio for the entire time I was working on New Eye… it helped me maintain the idea of this finished thing, in the midst of a mess.

Fast forward 6 years… if you know anything about what I’ve been doing, you know that I decided to break my music up into separate albums this time… New Eye was a lovable hodgepodge of styles, but not everything appealed to everyone. Now I have no desire to appeal to everyone – really. But I do have some very different musical sides, so I thought that rather than cram them all into another album, I’d divide them up into Rock and Roll, Pop and Instrumental. And I’ve got two of the covers done already.

But the covers aren’t quite enough this time.

What IS working: in the software I use to write and record now, there’s a “Project” option, which lets you import songs you’re working on into an album – drag the order around, put in crossfades, etc. And when you’ve been doing work on a song, and then go back to a “project” – the project can see that you’ve changed the song, and will automatically update the song in the project at your will.

What this is giving me is a sonic version of the album cover… by hearing songs next to each other, I can feel the albums coming together. And honestly, it’s been really surprising how, for a long time, it’s felt like a mess… and now it feels like it’s coming together. 🙂

So far, I’ve got 5 or 6 solid tracks for each of the albums – there’s still final mixing and fixes to do on those, but that’s a really great start – and they sound good together, which is even better. And at the same time, I’ve got 3 or 4 for each that I’m still fleshing out in the studio. Not exactly the last minute, but it IS all coming together.

Best of all? I’m loving working on music again.

Blessed, and very, very grateful.

Thanks for reading.


p.s. – thanks so much to everyone for the lovely little buzz around The Other New Eye. And you folks pushed me into the top 400 worldwide at Reverbnation – just plain holy smokes. 🙂

Mark Marshall - New Eye

Mark Marshall - New Eye

In 2007, I released an album called New Eye.

It was recorded at home over the course of three years… a labor of love, it contained 19 tracks of varied styles and lengths – all of which I wrote, arranged, played and engineered.

As a lifelong lover of recorded music, there is no way I can overstate how grateful I was (and am) for the wonderful reception it got. I was so touched that people were touched BY it.

At the time, I was nearly broke, so I couldn’t even think about having it mastered. My only option was to wait… and I didn’t want to. So I let it go as is.  In the end, it’s light years away from a real record… it was made on a shoestring with pretty crappy gear – and while there are certainly things I’d change if I had the chance, I love it for what it is… a snapshot in time, and a piece of my life in music.

Fast forward 6 years… my life had completely changed. I’d been blessed with a beautiful relationship with an amazing woman, I’d moved to a new town full of creative energy, where I found more true friends and great acquaintances than in any time in my life, and completely changed the technology I used to make music, and the way I wrote to boot.

During the course of those pretty profound life changes, I decided to revisit some of the tracks and music from New Eye.  And therein lies the impetus for The Other New Eye.

theotherneweyeI also promised some very patient diehard folks, who have been along with me on the ride to releasing new albums, that I would do this… and I wanted to honor some of these original tracks with proper remasters, and slip out some extra tracks that were recorded at the time, but never used.

There are tracks here that were the start of something, but didn’t pan out… songs I didn’t include because there wasn’t room on a CD for them… songs I hadn’t finished when it was time to go into “labor” and birth it, and a few little demo scraps for fun. There are also a couple of newer versions of New Eye songs, which I hope you’ll enjoy.

It also marks the end of a time for me… the stuff I’m working on now is from another universe entirely, both from a quality and a songwriting perspective. More on that in the weeks to come.

As promised, I’ve included the original New Eye album in its’ entirety, so this’ll keep you busy for quite a while.

But enough outta me for now. Here it is… The Other New Eye. Well over 2 hours of music from my heart to your ears. If you already know New Eye, I hope this gives you a little extra kick… if not, I hope you enjoy it all for the first time. I had a blast putting it together.

Most heartfelt thanks to Pure Tone for making “Something to Believe” all it was originally intended to be – that was, in part, the event that started this (And for the record… the acronym for The Other New Eye is TONE… coincidence?  I think not.)

And a very big THANK YOU to Sal, Carl, and all of my friends, both virtual and real-world… to those folks who took me and New Eye under their wing and gave us a home… and above all, to Nancy for love and constant encouragement throughout.

And, to YOU, as always… thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening.

Much love,


(I’ve written more about the individual tracks on The Other New Eye here, and the original New Eye mini-site is alive and well here if you’re interested in some history.)



I’ve been quiet for quite a while…. except on Facebook.  This wasn’t by design – but out of necessity.  Well, not necessity, but health.  I had to find a center from which to operate.  Artists and writers have a tendency to either find that and thrive, or else flame out or just plain fail.  I wanted no part in either.

I LOVE a good song.  As a child of 60’s pop radio, I was exposed to a whole boatload of ’em.  Which puts me in a precarious position as a songwriter… I want my stuff to be as good as the best of what I’ve always loved.

Talk about setting yourself up to fail.

Well… the last very public project I attempted tested that to the hilt.  I spent well over a year in public writing and recording.   The self-imposed (what a DOPE) pressure to produce shut me down big time.  So much so that my writing suffered for years as a result.  I did put down a bunch of music, and got a few songs done, but for the most part, sitting down to write was like sitting down for self-administered dentistry sans novocaine.  Not so good.

And for an extended period of time, writing was more random scrawls (of which there are now MANY) than concentrated songwriting.

And after what I put myself through, I realized that pushing myself in any real way was putting me right back in that horrible position.  So I laid low, kept making music (including a whole bunch of live cover stuff, which has been incredibly healing,) and didn’t force the issue.

And little by little, the flame has returned.  And in many ways, brighter than ever before.  You have no idea how grateful I am.

There are a few resources I found invaluable in getting back on the writing track… and I have my honey Nancy to thank for two of them:

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp


The Definitive Guide to Writing on Your Terms, Using Your Own, Honest-to-God, Gut-Wrenching Voice by my new dear friend Rebecca Dickson.

Every one of these has had it’s own place in my little writing rebirth… but a central theme has been to just keep doing it, unapologetically. Every day.  No matter what, even if what you end up writing is crap, you write anyway.

So I have been.  And after a very long, very dry spell, it’s back in a really beautiful – and really healthy – way.

In the meantime, I’ve decided to get this album out the door.  I’ll write a separate post about it, but thought you’d want to know about it:


In the end, it’ll be about 32 tracks, give or take.  If you’re a longtime listener, bless you, and you’ll know much of it – but there will also be a bunch you’ve never heard.

Thanks, as always for your kind attention…. and I hope this finds you and yours in the most lovely of places.

More shortly!



My annual ode to you, my online friends. Happiest, healthiest and most prosperous of New Year’s to you, your family and YOUR circle of friends.

Thanks as always for being here.

I promised a more thorough update – well, here it is. For those of you who have watched me struggle with moving forward in the studio – you’ll find a great deal of joy in it.

In my previous post about workflow, the studio, art etc., I talked about the need for something that didn’t get in the way of making art.

Over there on the right is the result of the work I’ve been doing.  One single system that now officially takes the place of all the songwriting/sequencing/recording/mixing gear I was using before.

I happened upon the solution totally by chance.

It started like this… I had to replace my audio interface.  (I had to start somewhere in casting off the weight, and that was as good a place as any. )  After a bunch of research, I settled on a Presonus Firestudio Project.  Very reasonably priced, but with good reviews and a really decent feature set – and it looked to be compatible with all the major software packages folks are using.   (Including Reaper – which I still wasn’t at all sold on.)

But at that moment, something snuck up on me, tapped me on the figurative shoulder and said “pssssst… look over here.”  No kidding.  It was under the details, on the sales page for the interface, over at Sweetwater.    It said, basically,  “…..comes with Studio One Artist software.”


Went to the Presonus site and looked at the page for Studio One.  (At this point, I was more than a little skeptical… I’ve had folks trying to sell me on their audio/sequencing software for longer than some of you have been using computers.  No, really.)  There was a downloadable demo…

Here’s where I cut to the chase.

Studio One is just brilliant.  It is so incredibly sensible and intuitive that I was making music – I mean really making music – within an hour of installing it.  The workflow, from sketching out a song, to virtual instruments, to routing of audio and effects, is just effortless.

Hence the title of this post – an old-new way of working.  See – using a tape recorder is simple.   Wanna record?  Hit record.  The more layers of crap that get in between you and your creative process, the worse off you are.  Well, Studio One is just like hitting record.  There’s a sensibility to it that is just plain beautiful.

Within 2 weeks, I upgraded to the pro version – and as a result, that workflow now extends straight through mastering and final CD authoring. (not that I’m going to take mastering on, as it’s a whole black art unto itself… but Studio One not only provides a perfect environment for creativity… it also gives you the tools to bring it all home to a master when you’re done. )

Now I’m not saying that there’s no learning curve.  The deeper you go – the more delicious stuff you find.  But what I AM saying is that the curve isn’t a climb up Mt. Everest when you start out.   And the simplicity inherent in that does NOT mean consumer-grade crap.  This is 100% pro from start to finish.  (It’s no wonder – the team that created it is responsible for a whole bunch of  stuff, including Cubase and Nuendo.) If you’re a recording musician – go download a demo.  Really.

In the end – this is all tech talk.  And, despite where things have taken me – I’m not a techy at heart.  I’m a songwriter and artist, looking for a process of working that, umm, works… that doesn’t get in the way.

Quite by accident, I found it.  I’m incredibly grateful to the folks at Presonus for giving virtual birth to this gem.  It has jumpstarted my process in a way I could not have foreseen – and the recordings that are coming out of here, even at this early stage, are warmer and more professional than anything I’ve ever done.

Can’t wait to share ’em with you.

So starting tomorrow, a little Presonus logo will be prominent on this site, and on the site for the weekly NYC radio show I produce as well.  I’ve already recorded three episodes with Studio One and the Firestudio, and they came through with flying colors.  When you see those logos here, or there, you’ll know why.

Because Studio One just plain kicks ass… and at least the next three albums that come out of here will do so because of it.  Which brings a very long search to an end.


Thanks, as always, for your kind attention.




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