Saturday, January 18, 2014

Asian Persuasion [WIP]

I was out walking the dog the other day and I had some random music in my head. Luckily I had my trusty phone with me equipped with a shortcut to my Springpad app. I hummed out the sounds swirling through my mind for later use and just so happened to have a time to punch out some track composition. I quickly grabbed my Push, plugged in my Audio 2 DJ and loaded Live 9. Within minutes I had the basic melody down and was playing around with other instruments and melodies that could meld with what I already transcribed. When I came across the oriental sounding Chinese Zither in Reaktor Prism, I thought it was interesting fit and decided to go with it.

This short piece is strictly sounds that I recorded on the fly and then did some quick modifications (ie. quantization, loop configuration, etc.). Hopefully it gets a few likes and I can even get some feedback on it. I don';t seem to always have the time and/or motivation to get my musical ideas down in a DAW, but I always try to at least make mental notes through Springpad for later reference.

Give it a listen and tell me whatcha think! :-D

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

FoNeM on TheFuture.FM

Just got word from the folks over at TheFuture.FM that my mix has officially been accepted and is ready for some radio play! Give it a listen and tell your friends as this site offers another way for the song artists to get some royalties for their hard work!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Uto Karem - Free Your Soul EP

Here are some great new sounds I just heard compliments of Christian Smith. Thought I would share them and help spread the word. Love me some good Techno!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Traktor DJ, the iPad and the Touch Gesture it Really Deserves

Call me a hater if you wish. I've been called much worse. I just can't wrap my head around the need for having a professional DJ software program made for iOS like it's an Angry Birds app. I feel like Apple is partnering with just about anyone to make money from its crazed fan base that buy new iPhones and iPads every six months as if their lives depended on it.

I'm slightly disappointed in Native Instruments for even making this a reality, but I guess money is still an important deciding factor. There are certainly enough iPhone and iPad users out there to garner some extra profit. But seriously, we know (and by "we" I mean the REAL DJs who do this for the love of the music and not as a way to pick up college chicks), that the introduction of Traktor on the iPad isn't going to produce any new or real talent to the arena. Trust me, competition is not anything I'm worried about whatsoever. It's more of an annoyance than anything.

I can see impressionable, young "aspiring" DJs looking at the price and thinking that it would be a cheaper and easier way to reach their goal. They can host parties at friends' houses or dorm rooms the world over. No MIDI controllers or turntables needed, just a sound card to port the audio to the speakers. While the overall pitch seems to be great and may very well work, this begs the question of whether or not it's a worthy addition to the field. Should we all throw out our tables and controllers for a touch screen?

Sure I think it's nifty that we have touch screen devices that (partially) eliminate the need for a mouse or other HIDs. Sure I like that the devices are small, compact, portable and look beautiful. But again we find ourselves in that age old dilemma. Just because we can doesn't mean we should. Touting around in the Twittersphere that you're an accomplished and well renowned DJ that uses Traktor on your iPad is about the equivalent of stating that you can remove the lug nuts on your tire by using your teeth. At first you're amazed that such a feat is possible! Then you quickly come to realise that **Look at me! Look at me!** it's completely unnecessary and wonder why the fuck **See what I can do? My iPad is awesome!** anyone would want to lower themselves to such a level. **I'm like a real DJ now!** Maybe it's just for attention? **BRB...the new iPad is available!** I'm not really sure. All I know is it's not for's a mere fad that is cashing in on the idea that anything is possible for a cheaper price.

I'm going to just sit back, work on my next set and enjoy watching from a distance as the attention and stimuli seeking masses bounce around from fad to fad like balls in a pinball machine, enjoying all the bells and whistles and pretty lights. Enjoy your life inside of that glass cage. I'm going to explore the rest of the world.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Insidious 2 Rework for APP

Here is my final submission for my Audio Post Production course at Full Sail.

Insidious 2 Trailer

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Beauty in Simplicity

After posting a new DJ set that I recorded a few days ago, I got a reply from one of my long time friends. He was a co-worker when I was in the Navy and is a fellow music lover and creator. We are always able to have very in-depth discussions about various topics and though our taste in music makes us seem persnickety to some, I like having high standards...especially when it comes to music.

The discussion that we had started my wheels of thought spinning, albeit slowly as I was still waking up...hahaha. Here is an excerpt of my reply,
"In this day and age, there seems to be too much stimulation. People can't sit still and relax. They are constantly checking their phones for new messages, continuously updating their social media statuses, uploading photos, etc. I feel that we need to take a breather now and again. 
I believe in the Less is More mentality. I want my music to influence people to embrace that lifestyle, to take enjoyment in the subtle details, to value patience...for true quality should be an experience that holds its value over the course of time, not just until the next monthly upgrade comes along."
I have managed to find emerging artists that share this same frame of mind and it's refreshing to me. I think we all could use a little "me" time, don't you? So if you're down with chillaxin' after a long, arduous day, then grab a pair of headphones and zone out to the following newest mix brought to you by yours truly. Dig in...dig on.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Is perfection really flawless?

With the advancements of modern day music production hardware and software allowing for greater control over the most minute elements of music and sound design, the pursuit of perfection has soared. Perfection in audio quality, quantization and pitch, just name a few, have become much more tangible as we now possess the tools to examine and alter waveforms at such a small level. But is this ultimate achievement in perfection really music to our ears?
In essence, yes it is. Music can be perceived better the more pleasing its sound is. Too much squelching or feedback, dissonance or distortion can be distracting and possibly lose the listener's interest. That being said, there is a flip side to this metaphorical coin.
Pop music has exploded in the recent decades gaining high listener volumes near the top of the food chain alongside rock, inching ahead of hip hop and country. And although pop music has mostly strived to attain that perfect balance of sound, I've noticed that same desire bleeding over into the other genres. Pop rock music especially has seen a tremendous change in sound production when compared to bands produced by legend Steve Albini in the late 90s.
As I delve farther into my music production degree I've seen a push to create and deliver clean mixes with the more or less mandatory implementation of quantization. Personally, I understand this requirement as it instills a certain mindset that forms a good base for our production knowledge. Also, a majority of the students working on these types of degree programs are looking to get into.the mainstream media field. Obviously there is a demand for producers that can deliver the sounds which are driving the industry.
So, I guess my reasoning for writing this article is to express my fear of future producers and writers constraining themselves to a boxed ideology. One that pushes for that perfect, clean sound. Look around you. Perfection is talked about everywhere now. Anti-aging skin products, advancements in cosmetic surgical procedures, video games and movies that portray beauty and youth as purity and innocence. People are afraid to get dirty, to see the slightly less "attractive" objects as something that possess unique qualities and is equally important to the overall spectrum.
Now, this is isn't to say that we need to shift our perception in the opposite direction. I'm not an extremist by any means. I believe in balance. And when it comes to the realm of music and sound, I feel it is imperative that we learn to see the strengths within all that we hear and stop the urge to "fix" those which we don't perceive as pristine. There is beauty in chaos just as much as there can be chaos in perfection.