Sunday, March 31, 2013

Day 100: On Easter

Today's track is from my 2011 album "Washed in the Blood of the Lamb".  Peter Matteson featured on vocals.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Day 99: 100 Reasons Not to Despair

When I created this blog awhile back I just wanted something else to do. Since a few years ago the amount of free time I've had has diminished to literally a couple of hours a day, and that's if you're being generous with your definition of "free". In the last 100 days I've learned how much "free" time I actually have and how valuable it really is to me. In addition, I've learned a lot about production and how to use the program that was the impetus for this whole thing, Reason.

This is not the end. This only the beginning. I intend to keep going as long as I can.

Please enjoy this offering on my 100th day of music.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Day 97: 3 Little Words

A simple and strange experiment for three simple words.

By the way,  we're almost at 100 days of music.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Day 96: Serial Killers and Synthesizers

I just wanted to see how interesting I could make a piece if I only used the Series 1 and 2 synth modules by Ochen K.  I thought it was pretty interesting so I finished it out and added some more production value to it.

The lyrics were inspired by a TV show.  Most serial killers take a long time to get up to their first kill.  I was thinking about that and how a killer would stalk their victim, that they might even just watch them for a long time.  Like a cat playing with its prey.  This is the story of someone who sees their future victim on a couple of different occasions and just follows them home, watching them, observing, relishing in their perceived "power".

I caught you walking in the streets last night,
In the shadows, just out of sight.
I think I followed you home,
I don't know but I think I followed you home.

Watched you,
Thru the window,
While you were getting ready for bed.
That's all that happened this time.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Day 95: The Shape of Things to Come

A lot of the music that people call "experimental" is really not.  I'm including myself in that statement.  There is music that is almost 100 years old that is more "experimental" than much of today's fare.  Autechre is one of the few "popular" artists that I'd say is pushing a few boundaries.  They understand that this world of digital audio is just in its infancy.  There is SO MUCH more that people will be able to do with audio as time goes by.  Even in the short time I've been making music on the computer (since 1998) it's progressed incredibly.  (My favorite example is when a drummer is listening to one of my tracks with programmed drums and they say "Who played drums on this?"  This first happened around 10 years ago.)

Not trying to get on any kind of soapbox here, just wanted to say my piece about experimentation.  Before you dismiss something as "too weird" or "just noise" give it another 30 seconds.  People said similar things about Stravinsky, punk rock, dubstep, rock'n'roll, Schoenberg, Bach, and many others.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Day 94: Money

Dubstep is not a genre that I'm ultra familiar with, but I do enjoy it on occasion.  The production is something different than a lot of other things I'm attempted.  Here's me dipping my ladle into that well.

Where is my money?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Day 93: What you might find

In an attempt to keep from getting bored (like that's possible) and to continue to challenge myself I keep buying rack extensions.  I'm going to stop for awhile soon, but most recently this guy:

Has continued to confound me on a daily basis.  It makes beautiful and strange noises, doesn't seem to be super practical, and is a black hole of time-wasting.  I've mentioned it on some other posts, but I just wanted to point it out again today.  You can hear it in the background on the drums.  It's subtle, but they are processed.  It becomes a little more prevalent towards the end of the track.

You don't want to wake up yet,
You don't know what you might find. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Day 92: Thru the Roof

An early experiment with routing.   Also an exercise from Hindemith's book The Craft of Musical Composition.


When you want to catch a dream by the tail,
You want to wait and see where it leads.
Down they go, down the stairs, out the door, thru the roof, thru the floor

Friday, March 22, 2013

Day 91: Real Life

Here's a sample of life in motion.

 I was singing to my son while he was trying to fall asleep.  Attempted to get it on tape, but he felt it wasn't ready for the studio.  What can I say?  Artistic differences, I guess.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Day 90: Here We Go

House is not a genre that really calls to me (unless it's made by Daft Punk), but today you will hear the rare house track, made by yours truly.   EDIT:  I was informed this is an *electro* track.  My bad!  It all sounds the same to old people like me and I'm crap with genres.

Hold on to your hat, cause here we go.
I hope you're ready for the show.
You know you're my friend and I love you.
We've got to get together too.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Day 89: Buy One, Get One Free

Just a bit of fun with some synth silliness, followed buy a bit of weirdness with some bit-crushing and piano.

You are so good, you are a super-shopper.
You have all the love in the world.

Slow down Margaret, 
You're going way too fast.
We've only got one thing left.
You're going way too fast.

Slow down Margaret.
You're going way too fast.
We've only got one minute left
You're going way too fast.

You've got to slow down Margaret.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Day 88: Pop is Modern

Once again, an experiment to do one thing went in a completely unexpected direction.  I started off using Neutron and trying to very subtly manipulate it to try and get a "usable" sound.  Something somewhat musical, but different.  Well, I was applying it to a tasty little bass guitar lick and stumbled on to what is a very close imitation of a very scratchy bowed cello.  So, to note, the sound at the beginning of this track is not a cello, or any other string instrument.  Just a sampled bass (from the Electric Bass Refill) run thru Neutron Particle Emitter.

After that, what was going to be an experimental track mutated into a modern pop/rock tune.

You better hold on.
You wanted it, you got it.
You took it from me.

You're a holy terror,
You got holy fire,
You are wholly unholy,
Filled with desire.
I have nothing left
You took my best and threw it on the fire to die.

Ultimately, I was never going to take you back.
At least that's what you knew.
But, there is no war now.

You got a loaded mouth,
It's filled with lies.
You're sending out all your spies.
You can't try to trust,
It's too easy to kill.
You shouldn't see us as a total loss.
We're a total loss.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Day 87: Ambient for the win!

While perusing thru patches looking for the perfect arpeggiation sound I stumbled across one that turned my arpeggiated rhythm into a magical ambient patch.  This took what I was working on in a completely different direction.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Day 86: Frolic with Fraluc

Way back in Q4 of 2012 this guy started putting together a really cool, free refill called the Xmas 2012 PH Community Refill and it was great.  A really eclectic mix of sounds by users all overs the world.  I've been trying to make use of it on a regular basis and this is one of those days.  Today's sounds were brought to you by Fraluc.  He's a man that makes really awesome music by knowing about cheese sandwiches.

Do you have control?
Are we in this together?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Day 85: Garage in the Studio

Just a quick little piece using the Abbey Road Refill.  I thought it was going to end up sounding stellar, but instead it ended up sounding like a garageband.  Kind of weird, but we'll just call it operator error.

Also snuck in -

THIS (on bass)


THIS (on drums)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Day 84: Down the Rabbit Hole

I would call this some "serious" experimentation with a few different rack extensions.





Uhbik G

I sampled my son and myself talking about dinosaurs (just snippets - don't try to make sense of anything) then kind of deconstructed it all.  About the only thing that is really intelligible is me saying "What do you see?"

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Day 82: Particle Emitter

Today is an experiment with a new rack extension:  Neutron Particle Emitter by LoveOne.  You'll hear more of the same over the next few days as I figure out how to work this thing.

It's pretty cool and makes some pretty weird noises, so naturally, I love it.

In addition, this was another swipe at using Simon Janvier's Thor FM Synth Refill.  The sounds he came up with are pretty intense, so if you're a Reason user, go grab it.


Can you hear a thousand tiny footsteps coming near,
coming for you?
Can you feel their breath on your neck?
They smell you.
They're just around the corner waiting for you.
Coming for you.
You were a fool to think you could escape.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Day 81: A Chance to Breathe

Today is a rare day.  A "free" day, we'll call it.  No kids, no work, no vehicle and nothing that really has to be done.  As a result I was able to do something I rarely do now... play guitar.  There are only a couple of guitar tracks on today's work, but it was refreshing to be able to put live instruments on something and not be interrupted.

This track started as an experiment trying to use only loops, but went off the rails (as many of my experiments do - FOCUS!).  The driving force behind it is definitely a few core loops, appropriately mangled.


Steel yourself 'cause here it comes.
You don't have a way to live.
You don't have a cent to give.
You don't have any way to survive, but yet you thrive.
You walked thru the open door, not a single thought to where you were.
You challenged everyone before they even said a word.
You held us all in open court, your opinion was the judge.
You told us where we could all go and quickly walked away.
You told a lie, you told the truth, you tried to parse your words.
You split us up, you shut us up, you overcame each verb.
You thought you had the upperhand, but you only had a lie, but yet you thrive.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Day 80: Take us to commercial!

Today's music will take us to a brief commercial break.

Be right back after these messages from our sponsor.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Day 79: Bits... crushed

Just a catchy little number with guitars, crazy chopped up samples, a piano from Abbey Road studios, and a 606 drum kit by Peff (distorted with my help).

Don't go back to your old routine again.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Day 78: The New Normal

Seventy-eight days in and I feel like each day is a new set of challenges and a new series of successes.  Every piece is not a "Grammy Winner", but every piece shows something new and entertains, or at least that's my goal.  I know I'm entertained.

As in previous pieces the following deserve recognition, as their components were a large part of the impetus for creation:

Nine Volt Audio
Nucleus Soundlab (ambient drums, VAST refill)
Peff (buffre)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Day 77: Film Still Not Made

More music for a film that has yet to be made.

  This one finds our heroine stuck in a tight spot.  She is looking out over the land where the antagonist has her cornered, then looking back at her rag-tag group of followers.

  •   Will she launch a full-on assault and fight her way out? 
  • Will she hide and ambush him when he comes looking for her?  
  • Will she come up with some third option that is truly original and no one in the theatre is expecting?  
What ever the case may be, you probably shouldn't get up to go to the bathroom right now.

Looks like it's about to get real.

Just for reference I keep going back to these drums.  They aren't the only ones here, but they are key.  In addition, the piano came from this.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Day 76: Stubdep?

A short, dubstepish track.  Chopped up a guitar loop from 9volt audio's Textured Guitar Refill.  Also used "ambient" drums from the ambient drum refill by Nucleus Soundlab.

I thought it came out all right.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Day 75: Three-fourths

This is actually day 76 for anyone who's keeping score.  I'm hoping I can make it to Day 100.  I plan to release an album of everything here for sale on bandcamp.  It will be very cheap, just easier and faster than going day after day and downloading every single piece.

This piece was my first go-round using Simon Janvier's FM Synth Thor Refill.  I wanted to go for something completely different, but sometimes you can't control what the Muses make you do.  Then I ended up having a drink and got it into my head that lyrics were a good idea and well... it just went downhill after that.  But seriously, it's just a bit of fun and I hope you like it.  Drums came from Kikbak's free refill.

Simon, if you read this, there will be more attempts.  The first one I did with your other refill went so good I must duplicate it!

Day 74: In all its permutations

So I continue to go down this road of experimentation and explore all avenues of sound that I can find. I hope you enjoy what you hear and it challenges you to listen to and explore new and different roads yourself.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Day 73: Dark, Quick

Just a short work with horns, celeste, and piano.   The piano and celeste are from the Abbey Road Refills collection from Propellerheads.  One of my favorites.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Day 72: How the Other Half Lives

If you saw what it takes to keep this thing going every single day you'd probably say "Why? That's too much work."  I'll just say there's a thin thread by which my sanity hangs and on some days this is the biggest fiber of that thread.  I want to keep creating so I have to keep creating cause I need to keep creating cause I want to keep creating... ad infinitum.

This started off as a simple experiment with Now and Later, but ended up being a bit more.

A few of today's contributors include:

Where is my pen?
Where is my sword?
How can I sit by and watch?
What do I say?
What do I write?
How can I defend?


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Day 71: Organic

Sometimes you try so hard to get something "original" that you forget that simplicity is often the easiest way to originality.  Today I was really trying to be creative and come up with something "new" that was also "electronic"... and I was failing miserably.  Instead I reached back into the bag - way down there - and pulled out some traditional instruments.  Harp, Oboe, and Bassoon.  They are very colorful instruments in the classical family and combined they provide a very unique-sounding palette.

It's a brief one, so I hope you enjoy.


Friday, March 1, 2013

Day 70: Locked Out of Heaven

Been working on this cover of Bruno Mars' Locked Out of Heaven for awhile.  If you listen to popular radio, then you've probably heard this already.  Almost guaranteed if you live in America.  Anyway, I wanted to make it into something completely different.  I think I succeeded.

Hope you enjoy.

Also went ahead and made a video for it.