New Music: Break Out the Old Funk

32ndStReasonMixerThis track grew out of a study I was doing on classic breakbeat drum patterns and playing around with groove. The mix is not perfect, but then I’m not an expert mastering tech so I’m happy to live with what I can get.

I ended up pumping up the compression to really make the drums smack, and the driving gated bass line will reward anyone with good headphones or actual woofers on their speakers. The tone is set predominantly with subtractive poly synths running square and sawtooth waves with distortion layered on top and a breathy pad underneath in portions to support the mid-ranges. Enjoy!

A Retrospective Remix

I started writing electronic music quite a while ago, so I have a lot of old stuff lying around on my hard drive from the “early days”. This week I noticed one of these songs was last edited pretty much exactly 10 years ago. It’s simple, but not bad. Here it is:

So I decide it was time for a remix. I kept it at the same tempo, but went a bit more up-beat with a club-ish feel and some new bass grooves, melodies, and harmonies. Had some fun with gated filter effects on the original music loops as well.

Night musica

Sometimes the composition just flows, it must come out. Seeping forth from a weary mind, eating up the hours. This one was six hours from first phrase recorded to complete with a quick mix and mastering to keep it from being too muddy. Had to do it before it was lost. I’m not sure why it’s named what it is, probably it was just a¬†fun phrase to say. So, enjoy ‘Antithetical Hermetics’…

Night Owl Music

I tend to do a lot of my musical stuff at night. Neighbors probably haven’t appreciated that. In-fact, I once got a note on my door after some late night electric guitar jamming which said, “It’s late and your guitar is very loud downstairs, but your technique is clearly improving.” Anyhow, here’s a track I wrote a few years ago out in Cali late at night noodling around with some sampled piano and dulcimer loops and a down-temp beat. It’s “Gibbous Delight” and it’s kind of frenetic but relaxed at the same time, like composing at 2am. It’s also the only song I’ve written with a dulcimer break…

Anthem for returning

A piece constructed in one furious, late-night composing session on one of the last nights I spent in a loft in downtown St. Louis, MO. The track is ‘Something Nice (Synth Kid Mix)’.

Living downtown was an experience. There wasn’t really much down there in 2006, but the building was incredible with 18ft. tall windows, exposed brick, original wood flooring, no sound-proofing, and all the problems that you could imagine coming with it.

Starting with some Favs

Starting off with some favorite tracks. The first one, ‘Rainy Wednesday’ was actually written on a Wednesday when it was raining probably sometime in 2000 or 2001. Early on capturing something literal about the environment and the mood was a good way to get the composing process started. It’s ended up being one of my wife’s favorites. It has a pretty fast beat, but is also fairly laid back giving it a somewhat calm energy.

The second track, ‘Unknown (Danger Grip)’ is just a down-tempo electronic … thing. Layers and melodies of which developed over time in the mid 2000’s during time spent in Urbana, IL and St. Louis, MO. By the end of the process I was really happy how all the different parts integrated with each other.

A retrospective and a beginning

My first experience with an audio sequencer was a small program I think was just called ‘Sound Tracker’ for MacOS System 7, made by some enterprising German programmer (of course), very fond of ‘Pump up Jam.’ I was lucky to have access to a Mac Quadra 840AV at the time and just went nuts… on variations of Pump up Jam.

Later in the 90’s I waited with baited breath for another piece of sequencing software to arrive, Swedish developer Propellerhead Software’s ReBirth RB-338. Starting with digital recreations of two 303 synths and the analog 808 drum machine, later expanding to include a 909 drum machine as well, I got hooked on the ‘real hardware’ interface style iconic to¬†Properllhead, and started creating my own baselines and beats. Now the RB-338 software, which was simulating hardware that’s probably in museums, is itself retired to a museum of it’s own. But Propellerhead was just getting started, and so was I…

Over the next few posts I’ll be putting up some of the music I’ve created over the last 10+ years via SoundCloud. Most of it is just barely mixed at all, a lot is quite synth-y, especially early on. Though some of it makes me cringe now, at the time I was creating it for myself and it felt right. Maybe it’ll feel right for you too.