Monday, December 10, 2012
With Push, there are so many possibilities for composing music by combining the aspects of a beat machine, a keyboard as well as having many other functions such as loop division, effects, library browsing and so much more! As I learn to use Ableton (as well as Logic Pro, Pro Tools and Garage Band), I see the need for a multifunctional control surface like the Push. I'm super stoked about the upcoming release! If you would like to see it in action, take a look at Ableton's teaser trailer:
In other news, I'm also on the list to get the Leap Motion. It looks to be a promising new way to interact with your computers and I'm anxiously awaiting that little delight to ship out. Here's a sneak peak at the Leap Motion:
Have a happy holiday everyone!
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Anywho, I bought the album as soon as I could and gave it to my girlfriend (who absolutely loves it). We were listening to some of her songs as we were driving down the thruway and I heard track number three - Try. Now being that I'm almost always up for hearing some new music and really try to look at what makes a song great beyond just the lyrics, I found this track's build to be amazing. You only get the full effect in the beginning before the first chorus, but it's worth it. The second time around it's watered down and accompanied by P!nk's vocals, but that's okay. I like her voice.
If you haven't heard it yet and you love a good melodic, spacey and trancey build, give it a listen while wearing a good pair of headphones. It's a magical 10 seconds that was excellently constructed for this song and blends the genres of P!nk's pop rock sound with an epic sounding EDM build.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
I have been using the Internet to search for help in various arenas in order to better hone my skills. Obviously dedication to the DAW and constant usage will help the most, but it also pays to learn some tips, tricks and shortcuts to speed the process along. Watching tutorial vids or product feature overviews gives the basic user some insight as to what the DAW can do for you, but it's not always the best way to learn. For me, I needed to get some more real world usage help.
As I bounced around from site to site, sifting through the myriad of search results, I happened to come across some info from Vespers, a Glitch Hop DJ from Canada, who is also a certified Ableton Trainer. He had some of his tracks available for download along with a PDF he put together with some tips he uses in his Ableton studio setup. It was a mix of things that I already knew alongside some new tricks that I was unaware of. All in all, I learned a lot from reading the document and I'll be referring back to it to brush up on the keyboard shortcuts and MIDI mapping section.
Now that I have a MIDI keyboard from school to use, I can start to program settings into the knobs and buttons and get my Live sessions setup in hopes of working more efficiently. Vespers made a very good point that when you know your DAW and your hardware, you spend less time worrying about how to accomplish certain tasks and you can focus more time on creating music. This will pay off for me big time since a large part of my frustration has been not knowing how to get certain effects and/or sounds from my DAW. And by the time I figured it out, so much time had passed that I had forgotten what I was trying to accomplish. Talk about a total waste of time!
So, I feel that Vespers, along with so many other successful computer music producers, have become so by putting the time and effort in to learn the tools of their trade. I'll be spending some time learning keyboard shortcuts, macros and creating Racks and Session Templates.
Does anyone else have a secret about how they learn?
Thursday, July 12, 2012
I have grown up being surrounded by many different genres of music from pop to rock, dance to rap. Every style of music forms from a certain way of life. It's chosen by the artist as a means to communicate with their listeners in a sound that is complimentary.
Rap has been an everchanging genre that has blended musical styles from newer dance and club sounds in the recent years. I remember listening to the Fat Boys, Beastie Boys, A Tribe Called Quest and other groups the were around in the mid to late 80's. They were all amazing in their own right having unique sounds that set them apart from their competition.
What I don't get is this phenomenon with newer rappers such as Drake. When compared to such heavy hitters like Ice T, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Nas, Notorious BIG, and so on, Drake really has nothing to offer. He lacks skill and prose and when I hear anything by him, all I'm hearing is some guy talking, adding in a half hearted laugh here and there. His "style" is lazy and his voice is devoid of any emotion. I don't get any sense whatsoever that he even cares about what he's rapping about.
I know he's not alone in this abomination of modern rap music, but his publicity deems him the biggest target. I would rather listen to P Diddy (or whatever his name is now). Sorry, Puff, but you're a much better entrepeneur than a rapper.
Hopefully things will change and weed out the slew of talentless tripe we are forced to tolerate now. Drake really does put the "rap" in "crap."
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
iTunes is Apple's flagship media player and it also ties in with their online store. Nothing wrong with that at all...most great media players have that option. It can stream internet radio stations, fetch missing album art, sort, filter, sync, blah blah blah... With all the things that it does right, why can't I live with it?
Well, I suppose it comes down to what I've been used to combined with my expectations - oh, and throw in a dash of my own stubbornness. I have been a PC user for many, many years. However, I started out on Macs. I believe that both platforms have their distinct advantages and disadvantages and I'm not here to compare apples to oranges. They are different and have different uses. While I do like the way Apple has made their whole OS fairly clean and simple to use (great for the computer illiterate as well as the long-time advanced user), I have to speculate that it's the simplicity that irks me.
I understand the reasoning behind the brushed grey layout with it's polished, sparse GUIs that favor the graphic designers. The look is supposed to be less of a distraction to them so they can focus more on their work. I'm no graphic designer so I can't speak for its effectiveness in that area. The fact that it's so hard to customize my OS and make it my own without paying for apps that only mod small things (such as folder icons, mouse pointers, etc.), bothers me.
In truth, it doesn't really matter but I like the option to change things if I like. Hence, my attraction to Windows. It's fun to tamper and tweak to my heart's content. Have I gotten the BSOD before? More times than I can remember. In fact, when I get a new PC, I try to see how fast I can get the BSOD greeting. C'mon...it's fun! xD
Anyway, I'm getting off topic. My issue with iTunes is that it's just bland to me. I want my media player to say something. I'm listening to music after all and I want my media player to reflect some sort of emotion! Not just sit there all grey and cold and distant. To date, my favorite media player has been Winamp. It does everything that iTunes can do (for the most part - I'm not gonna get down to insignificant details), and I loved how customizable it was! I could give it a whole face lift in seconds, completely changing the feel of it. And my favorite feature was letting my music play as I hooked it up to my HDTV and turned on the trippy, 3Dish visualizations!
Fuck the iTunes store. I'm not gonna buy anything from there. I have Amazon for my music and cloud storage as well as Google. Plus,, being an Android enthusiast, the Amazon media player is great on my phone for streaming. If I want radio, I use the free DI.fm app. Between those two systems, I'm covered. All I need is a good media player at home that I can put on my Mac and enjoy LOOKING at.
Oh, and if you haven't read my other blogs and don't know me, I'm a DJ and a future music producer (in school now for it). So, I use my Mac mostly for my music....except when it comes to listening to it. Sad, ain't it? Oh well. I guess I'll just have to get accustomed to the fact that as great as Apple is, it can't get please everyone. It'll do well for my music creation and DJing, but that's about as far as I can see it taking me.
What are your experiences?
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
I remember life back at the turn of the century (yeah, it's kinda cool to be able to say that and not be an elderly man). On one hand, I was disappointed that the Y2K thing didn't bring more excitement, but all that quickly faded as I moved down outside of Clemson, SC. I was getting heavy into the rave scene at that time of my life and I really got to experience house music in a totally different light.
What started as my introduction to EDM at a small, local club soon escalated to attending full out raves in various cities and locales, from Charlotte to Oakland, from the warehouse districts to abandoned movie theaters. I met so many cool people, had countless conversations about anything and everything and witnessed something that had the power to bring strangers together under a unifying theme - the love of music.
At the time all this was happening, I remember Fatboy Slim holding a section of my aural attention. Though some of his live sets were less than phenomenal, I have to say that he did produce some great tracks throughout his tenure. His album, "Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars" was making an impact shortly after Y2K and I fell in love with it. Most notably was the finale by the name of, "Song For Shelter." That song held such truth for what I had perceived the world of music should be like. And to this day, my love for EDM has been shaped by his sentiments expressed in that very song.
I, for one, have never cared for fame or recognition. I don't make my mixes for money. I simply do what I do because I love music through and through. It's been the one rock in my life and has been there since as far back as I can remember. It saddens me to see so many people these days exploiting musical talents (some of them artificial, some of them bought and paid for), for such trivial things. I know that it's just a phase and soon the masses will move on to other faddish and trendy avenues, leaving behind the true music makers and those who love, listen and dance to their heart's content.
To all of the people who understand what it is I speak of and honestly share these same passions, I raise my glass and crank up the volume...
Monday, May 21, 2012
It looks like my Fonetics Podcast 12.02 is going to be in the style of Tech House and Techno. I've pretty much got the set pieced together and then I can record it.
On another note, I got an invite to preview the SoundCloud NEXT layout. I like it a lot. Though I had limited access and couldn't delve in deeper, I am looking forward to the finished product! Here is a screenshot of my new profile page where you can see the simplified layout.
|FoNeM's SoundCloud page|