First Song In Ableton Live

*holds breath*

It’s about 80% there. There is a lot I am not happy with, but I am proud of it. Every beat, every note, every sound is mine. Playing with synth, a drum pad, getting it all to mesh. It’s way more difficult than I imagined! I think the first thing I’ll be doing is cutting some sections out and making it shorter. The more I read and learn, the more I see my mistakes and I want to start all over again.

I am releasing it here because, well like 2 people visit this blog, but also, I can’t improve if I don’t ever put stuff out there and take feedback. So here it is version .09 of my song. Stay tuned for new versions. I’ll keep adding them to SoundCloud.

I used a photo of the stacks in Morro Bay I took about a month ago, they are from the old power plant. I managed to get a bird in the photo almost directly in between

Lumi Keys

Return to creativity

Music is probably one of the most influential forces in my life. Whether I am creating it, listening to it, or writing it, it’s something that brings me peace and fulfills that creator drive inside.

Music has always been a part of my life. I learned guitar and piano when I was 6 and have always had a keyboard and guitars around. In college I studied classical guitar and music for me was initially a way to connect with my father. That and programming. Through the years I have grown in my love for music as access to it became easier. (Thank you iTunes) Remember the days of having to time the radio just right and press record on a boombox to get a mixtape created? No DJ, no ads, just music. It was almost impossible.

When My dad passed away this year he left his guitar collection to me. It’s a rather large collection which I donating most of to a local school, but the ones I am keeping are very special. Something about losing my mom and my dad in the last 2 years has brought back my love of creating music. I think it’s how I am dealing with the loss. Long story short the creative part of me pretty much died in 2010 thanks to some very painful events. But it’s coming back. Even at work I am finding that I can improvise and that fear of failure is dissipating. Creativity is returning.

Creating with a DAW

Three months ago I purchased Ableton Live 11 and started creating music. Along with the purchase of a cheap midi controller (Arturia MiniLab MKII Deep Black). It’s been fun! I have been learning how to use Ableton and how to approach using a DAW overall by trial and error and a few courses. Udemy offers some pretty low priced courses. I started with Ableton Live 11 – Music Production in Ableton Live and moved on to Music Theory for Electronic Music COMPLETE: Parts 1, 2, & 3. My music theory could use a lot of work, so when I can’t sleep at night I have been slowly going through Your Music Theory Comprehensive Complete! (Levels 1, 2, & 3)

This has all been well and good, but I hit hyperdrive when I picked up a LUMI Keys Studio Edition and Equator 2. This thing is brilliant. It allows you to express so much emotion, you can bend notes and it’s pressure sensitive. You can also learn with it as the keys are lit. It’s a little pricey, but then again all this music stuff is that way. The quality is through the roof. Then there is Equator, a synth and so much more. The video below talks about using Live 11 with LUMI. It’s pure creative magic and I am going to lose spend hundreds of hours using it.

I can’t wait to finally have something I am confident enough in to publish here. I have some cool stuff, and even one complete arrangement, but I don’t love it. I love parts of it, but overall … it sounds like a noob created it. Because one did. 🙂 Stay tuned!

If you are at all interested in this stuff, let me know. I have done hours of research and would love to talk about it. YouTube is also really great for learning more. Taetro is great and so is ANDREW HUANG.

Coming soon … there is too much music related equipment for my work desk. It’s time for a Studio Desk. I think I am going to attempt to make my own!

Running at Christmas

Last night I went for a run. I really did not expect it to be anything special, I often run 2-3 times a week. I have a 3.4 mile route near my house that works well. But last night was magical. That was really unexpected!

Christmas & Cold

So it was really cold. Like low 40’s. I was wearing a beanie, my pace was about 9 minute mile for a good portion of it, so a nice stride. I had Made In Heights playing in my headphones, one of my favorites, Instrumentals(Man Holla Mears and Chatoyant (Beauty Bass) are just such great grooves.)

As I was running in the cold and getting into the groove, I came across house after house decorated for Christmas. Christmas is my favorite time of year. There were several moments a long my run where I was passing through entire courts and neighborhoods lit up with brightly colored lights. Boom! Magical. The cold, the lights, the pace of my run, the music. It all made for a magnificent evening run.

Give it a try. You won’t regret it.