A BT – Electronic Opus review

The short version? Almost impossible to describe – in an extremely good way.

Want to join in on the amazingness? You still can by buying it from the Electronic Opus website. I highly suggest getting the $25 silver package as the minimum, since that will give you the 24-bit/96 kHz version. Only getting the MP3 version is just cheating yourself out of an amazing sonic experience.

What is Electronic Opus?

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Starset – Telescope mixing challenge result

I won! Pretty cool for my first venture into mixing – does give one a bit of confidence. 🙂

I’ll certainly be participating in some of the other challenges as time permits, so I can continue learning and improve my technique and know-how. There’s without a doubt still plenty of things to learn, not to mention the importance of experience. 🙂

A mixing challenge: Starset – Telescope

In a Studio One group on Facebook there’s these mix challenges happening every now and then. For the most recent one I decided to give it a go. Figured it’d be a nice little distraction to clear my mind of Surge for a bit, as well as a good way to learn more about mixing through simply doing it.

I haven’t mixed anything before, let alone of this type of music (pop/rock). I’ve only done random stuff to make the WIP’s I post sound somewhat decent, but no real mixing in any sense. It was a fun experience and I learned a good amount of things during it.

If you’re not familiar with what mixing (not to be confused with remixing and often confused as mastering) actually entails, it basically means taking all the source recordings and so on and making it sound good. 🙂
Adjusting volume levels and panning of the different elements in the song to give a good balance, as well as adjusting the volume of them during the track to create the proper “feel” and create a balance in that sense as well.
Applying EQ and sidechaining to make things sit properly and not overlap, creating space for the different elements.
Combining it all to make it “loud” while still maintaining dynamics and air… You know… Stuff like that!

Anyway, this is how the “original mix” sounds:

And this is the mix I created:

I’m generally pretty satisfied with the result. For a first try doing something like this, I think I managed pretty decently. There’s still things I could sit down and tweak, but the deadline (for the mix challenge) was approaching and it was time to just leave it. 🙂

iTunes, Amazon, Google Music, Spotify etc. and how we went 20 years backwards…

This is something that has been on my mind for years now and it’s still bugging me, especially because it can become a real problem at one point…

I want you to consider this before we go on, because it really is the staple of what I’m writing here: The CD (Compact Disc) was released over 30 years ago. Yes, it’s been that long. For over 30 years we’ve had a standard in audio quality that was pretty good, and what a lot of us have come to expect as the bare minimum in terms of audio quality. But this has changed – we have gone over 30 years back in terms of audio quality. Think about that for a second. With all our technology advances, we (well, not everyone) have somehow accepted getting worse audio quality – and for no reason at all. That is kind of peculiar, isn’t it? And the worst part is that it’s driving the market.

It’s 2015 and we should have wide access to 24-bit/48 kHz music as the standard, but instead that standard is 320 kbit MP3. What happened?

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Studying music theory – and damnit Cosmic Gate!

It’s a bit quiet these days as I’m knee-deep in music theory, which both means reading and trying to comprehend stuff, as well as putting these things into practice by making random things to use what I’ve learned (or think I’ve learned ;)). So far it’s going quite well I think and I’m starting to understand more and more.

As mentioned before I’m basically taking this step back and trying to get a better foundation before I jump back into things. I realized that I was pretty much in over my head and too confused by a lot of half-knowns and such. What have previously been my way of learning; jump into things and just figure it out as I went along, seemed to not be the most ideal thing for learning to make music and I think I wasn’t doing myself any favours doing it that way. So now it’s reading books, online resources, getting to basics down and all that jazz.

 

I want to end by giving both my praise as well as my disappointment to Cosmic Gate. Why? Well, they released a different version of their track “Yai”, called “Yai (Here We Go Again)” where they added vocals by JES (which is always a good thing to do!). This track now has this absolutely amazing 2-minute build-up driven by JES’ vocals and phenomenal work with the pluck, pad and so on. When you reach the end of it you’re freaking ready to just completely explode in a cloud of euphoria… But… The track just basically collapses on itself. There’s no release. It’s just… Disappointment… 😦 Such a missed opportunity, because that build-up is truly amazing.
Check the video below – it jumps in basically where the build-up starts and then you can hear for yourself.

I’m learning how to control a string section

I own Hollywood Strings because you got to have a good strings library! However since I bought it (half a year ago or so) I haven’t really used it yet, let alone learned how to properly use it, because that’s more complicated (and deep) than at first glance. 😛

However I just spent 1½ hour playing around with it, trying to understand the different controls, patches and so on, so that I can actually create the things I want eventually. I got some of the basic stuff down now, like controlling legato changes, which patches to use for different expressions, controlling expressions and such.

While doing this I made a small piece (not at all a complete piece, but just something to kind of do while learning, to create something as a whole, instead of just small pockets of “what does this do”). It has 1st and 2nd violins playing, as well as celli and basses. It’s not a complex piece, but a short little fun one (which ends abruptly). Enjoy! 🙂

String Test 01

A thank you to Aiyn Zahev Sounds

Hello! I hope you have all made it safely into 2015! 🙂

This first post of 2015 is a thank you to Aiyn Zahev Sounds, who, just before 2014 ended, helped me out with a kind gesture which means I’ve made an important step in better understanding how to create music – and create big sounds, so that’s pretty awesome!

I also purchased a few soundbanks from him, because they’re pretty damn sweet! Check out his work if you’re looking for some new sounds. He has made packs for a lot of different synths and what I’ve heard has all been quality work.

I’m always very grateful for the people who extend help to me, sharing knowledge with me, so I can become better. It means a lot and it’s awesome that I’ve met people who’ve been very open to helping me out. Thank you!

Some new content, Jeff Kurtenacker CD and an update on As She Passes Through The Storm

So many things!

Let’s start with the Jeff Kurtenacker CD: I received a CD he composed called Images of RMNP yesterday (autographed as well, thanks Jeff!) and I was blown away listening to it. Just an amazingly wonderful emotive journey, perfectly crafted by Jeff. I want to urge you to get your hands on it, because it’s fantastic! Right now there’s even the chance of getting an autographed version as well, if you hurry. You can grab that directly from Jeff’s page.
It’s a joint project between him and his friend, photographer Erik Stensland, who has taken some amazing photographs and created the base for the project – a project that resulted in some wonderful music as well.

New content? Why yes, indeed! I obviously got inspired by what Jeff created and wanted to make sure I could still not create anything remotely like it, so I went into Studio One and fired up The Grand 3 and Hollywood Strings and, uh… Did things. Just messing around and trying out different things, but I do have a nice little start going, I think, and you can listen to it below.

Untitled (WIP 01)

 

Regarding As She Passes Through The Storm I’ve come to a point where I’m considering just keeping the piano as it is, meaning the version you’ve already heard, and just adjust the reverb and such to make it sit as I want. Reason? I’m not really getting the same feeling from it using The Grand 3 – the conversion is basically a lot more tricky than I thought, and I seem to always end up with a result that’s not quite where I want it to be, compared to the original and how it was played. So yeah, it would probably just make the most sense to not try to fix something that’s not really broken. 🙂