The making of Starvation

Since now extended versions of tracks are on Youtube, there’s a good point to discuss how “Starvation” was made.

I had a simple idea in mind – a straightforward trance tune with african theme. This involves, obvioulsy, polyrthytmic djembe drums, but also harmonies. Some grooves were played by hand using different instruments, such as Ableton stock rack and Big Bang Cinematic Percussion, other loops were found on the Internet. As to harmonies, I googled some “african music”, understood correctly or not, and tried various chord progressions until it worked.

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The making of Introscope

Since it’s out now for everyone to hear (and to buy, apparently), I can say a few words how this track came to life. It took incredible amount of time and effort, but was worth it.

https://www.beatport.com/track/introscope-original-mix/9963922

It actually started as far as two years ago, with the rough idea to create some true hard-hitting and dark trancer with evolving structure. The title “introscope” means “device to look into yourself” – it was meant to be a journey through different emotions and states of mind.

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4K in a DAW

I’ve been looking forward to get 4K monitor to use it with DAW and recently made it. I would like now to discuss the benefits and observations in a form of short guide, as seemingly many people are still confused about these.

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New freebie: Bliss

I initially made this track in 2015. It felt wrong, though, so I tweaked it over and over.¬†Finally I realized it is simply off the genre has no commercial potential at all – no matter if it’s mixed properly or loud. So now I give it away for free.

Artistically, I find it a success РI had an idea and realized it. The track is just what it was supposed to be. Just the idea was wrong to begin with. Maybe it would work better if I picked other scale than major, now it seems to be way over the top.

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2016 Roundup

Ending year 2016 was quite interesting, full of ups and downs. For sure it was busy.

First and most important, I got my first track released – it’s remix of Ruska – Saimaa made for a contest. I was hoping now releases will be flying every month or so.

However, since then it was a downfall. Even though I feel I improve the quality of every new track, none of them was accepted. Some remixes were not good enough, others seemingly were off the style.

It took me a while to understand what is still wrong with the tracks and why people don’t enjoy them as much as commercial releases. And eventually¬†I figured it out. Check the improved remix of Impellent:

The stats… we live in the world where no one cares who you are and what you do, but only how popular you are. I’m not very popular at all (especially compared to 2008), but the blog stats keep growing this year:

wordpress-stats-2016

This is with lowest post count ever. Most of visits hit Chaotic Wavetable Pack for Serum, which turned out very interesting for users even though it was made over one day and in fact is nothing extraordinary. Personally I never used it yet :P.

Growing stats may also come from the fact that I no longer post about “work in progress”, but simply finish tracks and post worthy pieces of music. Certainly it would help if I posted some tutorials and started video blog, but there are other things I need to deal with first. Neverthless, I gave some lectures on production this year so it’s not far from here. Especially earlier show on FM synthesis turned out great.

I only mixed like 9 DJ sets this year… unfortunatelly it takes a lot of time. Even though, these few sets get great number of plays, so once I get back to it someday, things should¬†be running¬†well.

The studio… I got quite some gear and a number of synths this year. Acually it’s more than I was able to use so far. Which doesn’t mean I don’t try to – the quest for ultimate studio drives me both creatively and at regular work. I not only need money for better place, but also need to actually make use of all the synths (yet alone gear) I gathered so far. Now the only thing that limits me is the time. Which leads to one last point…

The workflow. Earlier this year I decided to learn how to use Push for real. And I did, it just works so well. Now I’m working in Session mode, creating clips and layers one by one. Then switch to Arrangement View, create whole arrangement in one go and… voila! Track is finished. Let’s do another one. Making tracks, even very diverse, is quite repeatable process – one I know how to. And creating better track doesn’t neccessarily mean spending more time on it. It’s all about the skills and just know-how.

The future. The future is now, 2017 will be a breakthrough. Just at the end on the year I have all the pieces I need to produce great music. Just have to sort out earlier unfinished projects before getting new PC and moving on to future productions. All I need now is time Рand to make good use of it. The same is true for DJ sets. These should come back in a month or two.

Happy new year 2017!

Kamille Louis – Still Waiting Remix

Another month, another remix contest.

Just before the deadline I finished a remix of Still Waiting by Kamille Louis. Good thing it’s shared in public and you can actually vote for it. The competition is strong though, mostly thanks to significant rewards.

Please vote here!

Now back to backyard: The original feels pretty uninspired. I guess the author had no idea what to do with, and neither had I – the genre was quite off :P. The basic idea was to use samples from remix pack as much as possible. I started down from cutting every sample out of it and procesing them until they ended up with something useful. The track is driven by polyrhythmic maracas (new technique to me) and basslines were resynthesized in Serum from original samples. The pads were also resynthesized with Harmor, though with poor results – mostly ending up with atonal textures. Second lead was chopped guitars playing MIDI extracted from generic drum loops – Ableton bread and butter.

Still, it eventually turned out to be pretty nice progressive house with a bunch of unusual sample FX. In fact it’s all about mixdown.

So it’s done. The next remix will be full-on trance at 140 BPM made from this. Should be quite straightforward.