Paul Kearns - About me
I was born in 1953 - so you can work out how old I am 😎.
I started playing the piano at the age of 6 (the first tune I learned was "Telstar" © The Tornadoes), switching to the electric organ when I was 10. Life was very different back then and, because my parents couldn't afford it*, I only ever had one actual piano lesson. Luckily, I have always been able to play be ear and seem to have perfect pitch.
In the late 1970s I joined my first group and started "learning my trade". We were mainly a "covers" band, playing the pubs & clubs of Southern England. We must have been doing something right, at one point having New year's Eve booked 3 years in advance! In the early days, I used a temperamental Farfisa "mobile" organ with a separate Leslie speaker In the early 80s, I bought my first synthesiser ( a Roland JX3-P, followed by the famous Yamaha DX-7) - and this changed the direction of my music.
This was the first time I realised the power of digital music production.
This "dovetailed" perfectly with my "day job" - which was UK operations manager for a large computer maintenance company. Very early on, I started using midi coupled with the humble PC and the amazing depth of sound that could be generated in a live environment. I decided to "go stereo" before the end of the 80s - using a pair of 300 watt Keff studio monitors (which was more amplification than the rest of the group combined 😎🎹). During this time I started dabbling in recording (I bought a wonderful Yamaha MT1-X 4 track ) and started learning the "art" of production.
As well as playing with my main band, I was often asked to "sit in" with many other lineups both live and in the studio. I'll be honest, this is when my inability to read music became a limiting factor.
In the early part of this century, I formed a "Pink Floyd" based band called "Thin Ice" and have never enjoyed playing as much as I did during those years. We were basically a pub & club band - specialising in our renditions of Pink Floyd music. I built a formidable 7kw PA running 3.5 is per side. This gave us a "big' sound, without the possibility of distortion. The central "brain of this unit was a digitally controlled mixer (linked to a dedicated laptop)m which fed into the PA and a 16 track Yamaha AW16G recorder.
At home, I built a professional, fully air conditioned recording studio - based around Cubase 3.1.
During this time, I was involved in recording many local and upcoming acts as well as (what I believe to be) the world's first online collaboration outside a professional recording studio. This was the point where my "day job" and my music truly melded together. During this time, I was involved in recording and producing music that got plenty of radio coverage and some that actually charged.
The peak of this "purple period" was being asked to join a world class band for the European part of their current tour and being requested to design a mobile recording studio to used at major music festivals ( including Glastonbury & Reading).
Then I had my accident!
It didn't seem that much of a deal when I fell off my narrowboat. I just bounced off a plank and ended up in the "drink". But it WAS a big deal. I didn't know at the time but I'd broken my back and my spine had slipped almost 4cm forward of my pelvis. In fact, the only thing holding me together was muscles.
Long story short, I needed a big spinal fusion operation - which, due to "complications" didn't work and I became confined to a wheelchair on a massive cocktail of pain relief - without the hope of any kind of recovery!
It was the biggest body blow of my life and, being honest, I slipped into depression for almost 5 years. I lost my businesses, couldn't play live any more and was unable to even get into my recording studio.
Eventually, I decided that I wasn't just going to give up - and went about rebuilding my studio - in a way that I could use it. It's small - but technically as good as possible.
It's packed with the latest software, the fastest processor available and the fastest disk drives (solid state). I've loaded it with professional sound libraries and effects (£20k on orchestral libraries alone). I've undertaken online refresher courses to bring me "up to speed" on Cubase (later version - ver 11 Pro right now) and have spent 3 years honing the skills needed to write and produce music for Film, TV, advertising and the like for sych licensing. I'm now starting to get the placements I've been pitching for.
It's been a tough road to get where I am today and I believe I've got something to offer for all manner of projects - and I feel more fulfilled than I have in years.
I hope you find my offering of some interest. Please remember, I'm always updating this site and, if you need something "tailoring" to your needs, just drop me an we email and I see what I can do for you. Click here to email me.