Check out Mad Zach chopping up some Bitches Brew with the new Akai MPC Live!
Want to make the world a better place? Want to know something you can do to truly make a difference? Support independent music by buying 1 or all 7 of these albums on Bandcamp RIGHT NOW! How does this help the world? Well sharing fox news or msnbc to your facebook timeline doesn’t help anything but ad revenue of corporate fuck knobs. These are some great albums made by some great REAL people who would love to have you support them. Plus you’ll get 7 of the best albums you’ve heard in ages.
- Auterkeia EP by Auterkeia – Pseudonym of the extremely talented musician Jeremy Powell, this EP combines experimental electronics with world rhythms, and Jeremy’s amazing woodwind abilities, slickly produced in a heady package.
2. Somnium by Wayne Rowand – This is the deepest of deep space ambient. Put your head in a satellite exploring the unknown depths of space and time. Absolutely amazing stuff.
3. casing the sill by fulkramick – to try to explain fulkramick’s sound is not an easy task. It’s experimental. It’s trippy. It’s mathy. It’s fucking awesome, so buy this!
4. MÚSICAROBADA by Martin Lambert – Fusion… glorious dark fusion at its finest! Think Bitches Brew meets Tortoise. You absolutely cannot go wrong with that combination.
5. Morning Day by FOLK9 – Thai tropical indie psych-pop. That pretty much says it all. It’s really really good, get it!
6. Cyberspace Database by Fornax Void – Retro tech ambient 16 bit FM synthesis lo-fi virtual memory installations for cyborg transformations.
7. Espiral by Armisticio – romantic, nostalgic, lush, beautiful synthpop made in Chile that fills your heart with good vibes.
So stop bitching and saying there’s no good new music. Here’s some great new music and it’s all laid out here for you to go get! Stop streaming the same old Hall and Oats from Spotify and support some real musicians you cheap fucks!
When I was a young lad playing music in my teens and 20s, before the Internet took over, me and the rest of my fellow musicians made music that we considered to be un-classifiable. We didn’t want to be called things like alternative, punk, grunge, hardcore, indie rock, math rock or any of that stuff. It was considered pretty lame to classify your music something and if it fit neatly into one of those categories you were doing something pretty wrong.
This is basically the opposite of what 20 somethings do with their music these days. Everything is about internet exposure, and how you get that is by manipulating and exploiting trending micro-genres, keywords, and cliques on the internet. The problem with this is a homogenizing effect on music, not just pop music, but all music. The more people try to conform to Synthwave, Vaporwave, Chiptunes, Sadcore, Trap, or whatever else, the more they just sound like everything else in that net-scene.
I’m not saying that all of the artists making music in those styles are bad, but I am saying there’s a problem with fit too neatly into categories. This is the very definition of thinking WITHIN the box. The fact that my music doesn’t really fit neatly into any category has made it very hard to market online, but also is what makes it special (at least to me).
So what can be done about this? I’m not totally sure. I have tried in the past with the blog version of my Anthill Recordings Label to help promote good music that’s hard to classify. But then I’m stuck with the task of how to market that blog itself?!
I think this is really up to the artist and their integrity. If people want to create unique and original music, they will. People that are into music just to gain a little notoriety, will most likely be concerned with fitting neatly into whatever sub-genre that want to target, and those with creative integrity will not concern themselves with this and will most likely be heard by less people. Maybe this is the new underground.
Maybe now that this site has a bit more traction and popularity than in the past, I can use this as a place to share some hard to classify music I think is good. I’m not sure how I’ll tag it though. This is a pretty big problem it seems. I’m not the only one thinking this either. Last night I was having a discussion about this with my friend Fornax Void, and he brought up many of the points I’m making in this post.
If you feel like you’re making great music that you can’t fit into a neat category, by all means send it to me in the comments section of this post. I’d love to hear it.
The Mid-Side miking techniqe is a very cool miking setup that will give you a way to adjust stereo image width after recording. How does it work? You only need two mics, but they have to be mics with specific pickup patterns.
The first type of mic you’ll need is any mic with a figure 8 pickup pattern. What this means is a microphone that picks up on both sides equally. The silver ribbon mic seen in my posted pics is like this. Other mics with a figure 8 pickup pattern are the Beyerdynamic M130 Double Ribbon Microphone, or the adjustable BEHRINGER C-3.
The other type of microphone you will need is any microphone with a cardioid pickup pattern. This means the microphone is one directional and picks up in a sort of heart-shaped pattern in the area in front of the microphone. Most dynamic micrphones such as the Shure SM-57, or the Sennheiser MD 421 II will work for this. You can even use a condenser mic like the BM-800 I’m using in the 3rd pic above.
Then once you have the correct mics, you need to place them correctly. Whatever you are miking (in my examples it was drums) you need to place the figure 8 mic with one of the sides of the mic that does not pickup, so the figure 8 is horizontally placed in front of the instrument you are recording. Then you take the cardioid mic and point it at whatever you are miking and place it as close as possible to the intersection of the figure 8 pattern without actually touching the other mic. (see my example pics above).
When you open the two channels in your DAW, the first thing you will want to do is copy the figure 8 mic and put the copy on another channel. Then invert the phase of the copied channel of the figure 8 mic. Once this is done, pan the first fig8 hard left and the second fig8 hard right. Then keep the cardioid mic panned center. Keep the two figure 8 mics the same level. If you have the higher the cardioid mic is set in comparison to the fig8 mics, the narrower the stereo image will be. And likewise the higher the fig8 channels are in comparison to the cardioid the wider the stereo image will be. Some DAWs like Qtractor lack the ability to invert phase, but there’s an LADSPA plugin called inverter that you can put on the channel that will do the trick.
I’ve used this technique with great results as drum overheads, and have heard of people using it on guitar too.
Pad controllers are a lot of fun to play and use for making music. They’re great for live performance, or for composing drums at home and not disturbing the neighbors or taking up space. I have one just like the one pictured above (MPD24) that I used to make many performance videos on YouTube.
If you’re on Windows or Mac, a lot of people just use Ableton Live for pad controllers. But what if you’re using Linux? What kind of options do you have for fingerdrumming? I thought I’d put together a list of a few programs I know work well with Pad Controllers.
- Creating your own soundfonts with Swami.
Swami is great for pad controllers because you can create very complex sample sets then save them to .sf2 files. Then you just open them up with qsynth/fluidsynth and you have an awesome standalone sample player that is fully customizable with your particular pad controller.
Linuxsampler is a very powerful software sample player that can load many sampler formats like sfz, GigaStudo, and sf2. It’s a bit of a pain to setup and use though.
If you’re wanting to just play drums on your controller, AVLDrumKits is an LV2 plugin that has some good drumsounds. You can program your controller to a comfortable layout to play the kit.
Drumgizmo is another great drum sampler for Linux. There’s some very high quality drum kits available for it, and you can create your own using it’s special editor called DGEdit.
Drumkv1 is probably my favorite option for pad controllers on Linux right now. All you need to do is drag and drop any sample into whatever slot you want to have on your controller. This makes it easy for mapping, as well as easily apply fx, filters, and LFOs to any sample. No external editor needed! Then you can save your kits and use them any time!