MY FIRST ORIGINAL – Part 1 – The Demo Stage

I will be posting a multi-part series as I chronicle the creation and production of my first original track — currently titled “Bright Wide Eyes” — from start to finish!

For my “Independent Study Project” or ISP this semester, we have been given the task of recording a song that includes a unique instrument played by someone outside of the program. To complete this task I have chosen to write an original song to record which I will subsequently sell online (but more on that in my future “SOCAN PLAN” post).

Over the Christmas break, I began demoing a track I figured I would be able to somehow mold into the ISP I hadn’t yet been assigned. I’m nowhere near the finish line, but now that it has been assigned, I think I’m going to do just fine.

In the Music Industry Arts program at Algonquin, we are diving deep into ProTools as our primary DAW; however, I feel most comfortable in Ableton… so that’s where I made my demo which can be heard here: https://soundcloud.com/djfunknasty/bright-wide-eyes-demo.

As a budding producer, I’d be the first to say I have a shitty workflow. After failed song attempt after failed song attempt, I decided to take the “rip-off” approach to get this song off the ground and see where it took me. This lead to me deeply analyzing the first 32 bars of “Do What U Want” by Lady Gaga and R. Kelly (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3jzMyYgPQs). Taking the time to completely break a song down and analyze every piece of it seemed to be all I needed to simply get started, focus on finishing something, and really fill the soundscape of a song. After the creative juices took their toll I had some loops that were a different key, different chord progression, and altogether different sounding 32 bars. Day one was complete.

To push the song further all I needed was a little bit of weed and a bit of manic episode to run its course. After a few hours of insanity I had the structure to a new song that I loved which only whispers remnants of Gaga.

I have a butthole’s load of more work to do and a million workflow kinks to work through, but I’m on my way to releasing my very first original song and it gives me boners every day!

Here’s what I used in the creation of my demo:

  • DAW: Ableton
  • Drums: xfer’s Nerve
  • Toms: Ableton Core 707
  • Main Synth: Dave Smith Mopho
  • Synth: Arturia Minimoog V
  • Sweeps and Pads: Native Instruments’ FM8
  • FX: Camel Crusher and Ableton’s native effects
Advertisements

Final Stretch

Three weeks!

I will have reached my most empowering goal to-date in three weeks!

My last day of school is April 26th, and although it will be bitter sweet for this semester to end, I cannot contain my excitement for this September. All of my hard work and focus will finally bring me to the captains chair… sitting in a state of the art recording studio, making music baby!

It’s crazy how quickly the time has passed since my first day of school back in September. I can vividly remember my new teacher explaining the articulation agreement Algonquin had within itself. I was told that anyone who passed “Introduction to Music Industry Arts” (the program I am currently in) with a 75% average or above would have a seat reserved for them in the full “Music Industry Arts” program the following year. This was the greatest news I had heard since being accepted into the intro program in the first place. Having a seat reserved for me was significantly more assuring than having to apply for one of the 80 spots with the other 600+ applicants. I just needed to stay focussed and determined, which luckily is an easy task when dealing with one’s passion and life goal.

It’s even more nostalgic for me when I think back about two or three years ago to when I learned about Algonquin’s brand new studio and music industry program in the first place. I remember reading how competitive it was to get in and thinking “I would die to take this program, but there’s no way I’ll ever get the chance.” But passions don’t fade away quite so easily. My only option for getting a taste of some music education was to start from the ground floor and take the part-time “Digital Audio Production” program Algonquin was offering evenings and weekends while I worked full time. The next step was Algonquin’s full time “Introduction to Music Industry Arts” program, which acted as my nexus to receiving early acceptance into the program I swore I would never be lucky enough to enroll in, Music Industry Arts… the mother land!

My hard work along this path has introduced me to a sense of pride that I have never known before, and can only imagine experiencing by following my heart and chasing my dreams.

I’m so excited for the rest of my life!

Time to Start Thinking like a Warrior (Archive 19-Mar-13)

Yesterday my class was graced with the Skyping presence of ‘Songwriting Hall of Famer’ Desmond Child. This incredibly interesting and insightful character has teamed up with the likes of Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, and Ricky Martin to create songs selling over 300 million copies. With Desmond having a background so vast I was ecstatic to be given the opportunity to pick this man’s brain. I don’t know how well I did, but sure tried to absorb what he had to say.

I found Desmond very relatable right from the get go. He discussed with us what motivated him throughout his life to get up every day and go balls out. One of my dreams is to be able to support my parents when I’m older, pay them back for all the sacrifices they’ve made for me over the years. This is a dream that Desmond worked hard enough to fulfill, and I was touched as he shared what it was like to be able to buy his mom a new place, car, clothes, etc. It really gave us a window into his roots and showed the class how ‘real’ a person can remain, even after gaining the kind of success that Desmond had.

One of Desmond’s strongest lessons for us was to never forget the fact that although music is an art form, choosing to enter the music-industry as a career path is a business decision. This means we can never stop thinking of ourselves as warriors. Warriors create concrete plans for themselves, cover every imaginable base, and go to whatever length needed to progress their career in any way they can. He laid out an interesting strategy of learning everything you can about the business partners of an artist you’d like to work with one day. Find out his lawyer, try to hire that lawyer, find out his barber, get your hair cut by that barber, find out that barber’s best friend and hang out with that dude. I’ve hopped online to try and find some information on one of my idols, deadmau5, and at first glance the information is sparse, but I have a few leads. It appears deadmau5 is represented by the agencies “Richard De La Font agency” from Oklahoma, “William Morris Agency, Inc.” in Beverly Hills, and “Zero Six Thirty Group” in the U.K. This isn’t very in depth information, but it’s a start.

Desmond gave me many other topics to think about, more blogs to come!

Love, Greg