Welcome to Peter Malick Music Blog

Production. Songwriting. Composing. Guitar. Mixing

Prisencolinensinainciusol Aw Rite!

Prisencolinensinainciusol Aw Rite! In 1972 Italian Superstar, Adriano Celentano recorded a song that was meant to sound like Rap Music of the day. His interpretation of James Brown, I guess. He titled the song Prisencolinensiainciusol, which in any language means absolutely NOTHING! The song was designed to sound as if it were in English, but in fact, the lyrics were total gibberish. How do I know all this, you might ask? Well, about a year ago, violinist, singer, songwriter Sophie Serafino told me that she’d like to cover the song. Would I be interested in producing a version of Prisencolinensiainciusol? Of course I would. Check out the chorus: I yi smy sezlay Any els so ko-ool peezo Eyez In de col men say wan Preez En Colin In Sin Ine Cue Zol Awl Rite!! I mean, you can’t write this stuff. Right? Seriously, I had a blast. We recorded Sophie’s violin and vocals via Skype connection. She was in Sydney, Australia. The venerable Simon Cohen engineered from his studio down under. I did the rest of the track in the box here. I kept the project in the box to match the flavor of the original. You can find Sophie’s Prisencolinensiainciusol on Spotify, as well as all the usual spots. Awl... read more

Daphne Willis in the house!

The first time I met Daphne Willis was at her Luxury Wafers session early last year. We planned to “do some writing” the next time she was in town. In L.A. we say things like “let’s do some writing”. Evidently, if you’re from Chicago, you mean it! Now, after three visits, lots of curry, and a concentrated hang at The Pie and Tart Shoppe, we’ve got a pile of songs we love. Daphne is headed back here in late July, and we’ll be recording an EP for her label, Vanguard Records. Stay... read more

The Alternates release Ep

I just wanted to congratulate The Alternates on their Spiders and Webs EP release. This project has been a blast for me, and if you haven’t heard any of the tracks, I’d highly recommend checking them out. You will be able to say “I was a fan before they blew up”. It can be so messy when a band blows up. You know? On an only slightly more serious note, the Spiders and Webs EP was tracked at Kingsize Soundlabs with Mike Post engineering. We did overdubs and vocals here at the Pie and Tart Shoppe, and mixed here, too. The venerable Mark Chalecki mastered at Little Red Book on the Eastside. You can stream The Modern Way on my Audio page, or stream the entire EP HERE. Check out The Alternates at:... read more

My Gibson’s back at McCabe’s

My guitar is in intensive care. Yes, that beautiful 1966 Gibson J-50 has issues. I took it into McCabe’s Guitar Shop and after some orthopedic surgery, it came home to recuperate. Now it’s back in the hospital, and I’m waiting for the doctor’s report. I grew up with old Fender Guitars. My friend Dave has run over his ‘60’s P-Bass with a van 3 times that I know of. No issues, no problem. A Fender guitar is like Johnny Knoxville. A Gibson acoustic is like your high school friend who couldn’t go out to the movies because of a sinus... read more


Writing Songs (the songwriter FAQ) I started writing songs in 1996. It was more cathartic than anything else, as I’d had some life experiences that I needed to work through. My first batch of songs became my somewhat quirky release “Wrong Side of My Life”. The songs certainly weren’t destined for the mainstream, but definitely made me feel better. At the time I was playing tons of roadhouse gigs around New England and New York. In ‘97 and ‘98 I played well over 400 shows. After the record was released (ie, sold off the bandstand and through my website), there were new people showing up at the gigs and I started noticing new faces who were singing along with the lyrics. The record was largely quite personal, and I considered anyone who connected with the songs to that extent to be a brother (or sister). They would have had to have walked in my shoes in some way, I felt. It was awesome and it energized me to write more. This led me to live in New York City, or actually West New York, New Jersey, where I wrote the songs that became the New York City album. I’d obsessed on my life in the ‘80s enough with “Wrong Side of My Life,” and I wanted to have a wider world view. I was listening to lots of Lou Reed, and identified with his connection to the city. I began collaborating when we were putting together the Chance and Circumstance album, and I love the unpredictability of working with other songwriters. A great deal of my writing today is... read more


Music Production FAQ (wherin I attempt to describe the indescribable) What does a music producer do? This might be the toughest question to answer. The title “Producer” describes a wide range of functions in the recording process. Really, on one end of the spectrum, the producer may simply be the person who writes a check to pay for the recording. On the other end of the spectrum is the producer who auditions and assembles a band, writes the songs, oversees the recording process, and owns essentially everything. The artists are simply hired help. My personal definition lies somewhere in the middle. Brilliant artists have a vision. They know what they want to say, and they know how they want to say it. But, artists are obsessive, and it is obsession that drives the artistic process. It is obsession that keeps you up all night practicing guitar and it’s obsession that pushes you to write and rewrite a powerful song. It’s also obsession that nags you to answer a text in the midst of a session, and obsession that fuels the popularity of countless episodes of vapid reality TV. In the process of creating your masterpiece, obsession can be both your best friend and your most evil enemy. It will push you to manifest brilliance out of thin air, and then whisper in your ear that your beautiful creation is garbage that must be discarded. This is where a good producer comes in. Her job is simple: take you, your craft, your music, and make it more you. The way I see it is that the job is first all... read more

Mixing Services

Music Mixing FAQ (More descriptions of the indescribable, for your entertainment.) I love to mix, and if what follows resonates, I’d be happy to consider mixing your project. 1. When I accept a project to mix, I take it seriously. There are no throw away projects, and I’ll treat your mix as seriously as I’d treat a remix of The Beatles, or being asked to mix Adele. 2. I will bring a fresh perspective to the mix. As I see it, there is no such thing as “one size fits all”. Your project is unique, and it should sound that way. 3. You are welcome to stay involved. While many mixers work alone, I welcome your involvement, presence, and/or input. My only request is that there be one unified voice to give me that input. Mixing by committee will never yield positive results. 4. I’ll work with artists from anywhere in the known universe (and beyond). In the past year I’ve mixed for clients from as far from L.A. as South India and Australia. On a space station? As long as you’ve got decent upload/download speed and have recorded some great music, let’s talk. 5. There is no limit to the revisions I will provide. I typically work and charge by the day. I find that this arrangement gives you optimal control of your mix, and your mix budget. The mixes can be broad strokes, or ultra detail oriented. I can also provide a per track quote. The quote is based on the complexity of the project and assumes that the project is mix engineer ready. If tuning or... read more


Many of the artists I work with contact me because of the vocal performances I’ve captured in various records. Let’s be frank, capturing a compelling and engaging lead vocal is the single most important ingredient of any recording. For the artist, recording vocals is a rich gumbo of anxiety and joy simmered in the reality of physical demands placed on the tiny muscles known as vocal chords. The producer has to embrace a prime directive. The imperative is to set aside ego, preconceptions, and judgement, and help the artist GET that PERFORMANCE. Yes, we may equally assume the roles of Mad Scientist, Therapist, and Best Friend in the process. My perception is that there are two elements that must be carefully balanced: The Heart and The Head. The Heart is the intangible. What will help facilitate a great performance? The lighting of the room, fresh water, thoughtful feedback, the right time of day, patience, or even silence, each of these can be the key. The Head is the technical side. Choosing the right microphone(s), preamp, compressor to capture the recording. Editing, Comping, EQing, and also Tuning, are just the beginning elements that make the vocal sound great in the final mix. As this FAQ evolves, I’ll discuss these two elements in detail. Stay... read more