Updated: Oct 7, 2020
Since I want to keep putting out music that’s fresh and interesting, but I also want to get faster at it, I’ve been thinking about releasing my own sample library. I have created a handful of EDM samples already that I don’t have much use for but could sound really fantastic in someone else’s work. I also have a narrowing percussion sound library on my machine that needs to grow. Even if I had transients that sounded like a drum, I could process them to sound like the rest of my orchestra (this digital reconstruction of how I imagine the orchestra). It struck me that all I may need is one or two objects and I could make something that “feels” like orchestral drum. So, now that I have the means to do quality recordings, I decided to start work on "Feel Drums."
What is Feel Drums? Feel Drums is phase 1 of my attempt to start developing a system to crank out this music more efficiently and still sound real. Feel Drums is about creativity and keeping the music interesting. In production it's easy to get comfortable with a system that you develop and start using the same sounds over and over again, but I don't want to be that kind of artist. My favorite music comes from huge companies who make quality productions but I'm also inspired by other artists my age who are doing amazingly unique work. If the creative sounds of the young artists could meet the polished sound of large production companies, what would we get? I'm on an epic quest to find out. And if you're an epic music artist too, you can join me.
We begin with percussion, the texture of the symphony. The foundation of music itself. Often overlooked, percussion is so important in epic music. I often spend half my time mixing it. With my instrumental background, strings, horns, and keys comes easy to me, but developing percussion and orchestral texture takes some extra thought. I chose the name feel drums because my goal is to develop low end and mimic the sounds of the orchestra. The sounds will feel big like every orchestra sound, focused on the space of the sound and what it feels like but they will actually be every day objects like tubs and trash cans, mixed with textures. It sounds crazy, I know, but at the time of writing this, the results have been a success so far. Think I can't make garbage sound like the orchestra? You tell me...
Weeeell, maybe not to a fault, but it's a start. We'll get there.
While it's certain I don't entirely know what I'm doing yet, it's all just an experiment, as with everything i do, but I like where it is going. I don't have an actual studio yet, with thousands of dollars worth of equipment, or even a drum set, but I do have what most people around the world have. Drumming is arguably the most integral part of being human and you don't need any expensive tools to do it, only ancient ones. I got the idea for this project from reading Ian Brennan's "How Music Dies (Or Lives)." I realized from the excerpts in that book that my productions don't have enough actual raw recordings. Music, at its heart, never changes or at least it shouldn’t. In the last few decades alone though it has seen a revolution like none before, and everything is overproduced, even my work. So I actually need to do even more work to get my music to sound new and different, by using the microphone more. I still want to organize my sample library, that hasn't changed. My sample library is a mess the way it is now, with far too many sub folders. By the time I finish Feel Drums it will be the first of many volumes of percussion samples that I produce. That's the goal, or at least one possibility. But similar to the way I've been trying to generate a human sound by recording real piano, my goal is to start experimenting with real percussion in a way that I haven't done basically since I was a toddler, and allot more time toward the tradition of recording raw sounds. It will combine the old with the new. Why buy percussion libraries when I have the capabilities to produce one myself? This is huge, and I may talk more in the future about this idea of tapping into your resources. All young producers these days need to consider what they have to work with and see how much they can really squeeze out of it. Graham at the Recording Revolution talks about this a lot as well. I love his videos. If you’re not familiar with them already, you should go check them out. His point is, and my point is, nothing should stop you from making great music, and limits are actually your strengths oftentimes.
Those are all the spoilers I have for today. The other project I’m spending my time on is a horror film score for a friend of mine which is also inspiring electronic sounds for what may end up as a sci-fi suspense album. Who knows, they also might end up in the 2110 album I have coming up. Chances are that most new visitors aren’t familiar with 2110, an extended sci-fi universe I created with friends. I’ll save details for another post. My next idea is a series of content related to 2110, although I haven’t started writing music for it just yet.
Stay tuned, and keep dreamin’.