Category Archives: Music Production

Complete Cymbal Collection Sample Download – Audacity Master Files

Today I spent a few hours recording all of my cymbals individually to use with my SmartWav2+MIDI. I figured I would upload them here for you to download to use in your own projects.

Each cymbal is recorded in Audacity 3.0.2, Stereo 32bit Float, 44100khz, using a Shure KSM32, and are as follows :

  • Rides are recorded 4 velocity levels each of bow, edge and bell
  • Crashes 4 velocity levels bow, and edge
  • Hi hats 4 velocity levels bow and edge
  • fx cymbals 4 velocity levels edge

Cymbal list:

  • 20″ Vintage Avanti Medium Ride
  • 20″ Sabian XSR Monarch Ride
  • 18″ Zildjian A Uptown Ride
  • 18″ Sabian B8X Ballistic Crash
  • 16″ Vintage Avanti Crash
  • 16″ Vintage Zildjian A Thin Crash
  • 16″ Vintage Paiste 402 Crash
  • 14″ Vintage Avanti Hi Hats
  • 14″ Vintage Zildjian A Hi Hats
  • 14″ Sabian XSR Monarch Hi Hats
  • 14″ Sabian B8X Mini Chinese
  • 14″ Zildjian Trashformer
  • 10″ Sabian B8X China Splash
  • 12″ Meinl HCS Trash China
  • 8″ Meinl HCS Bell

DOWNLOAD .ZIP AUDACITY MASTER FILES

You will have to trim, export and name the files yourself. I left them this way so it would be easier to use in multiple applications or drum modules.

Two New Free Alex Lifeson Inspired Guitar Soundfonts

 

Hey everyone, this is an awesome contribution by musician Robb Allen who created these two very cool sf2 soundfonts inspired by the guitar tones of Rush’s legendary guitar player Alex Lifeson! These things sound awesome and will work great in Fluidsynth, or any other soundfont compatible software. Robb says he wants to offer them for free to the Linux music-making community as an appreciation for all of the other great free software out there for us to use.

The first one is called “Xanadu Guitar” and works great for rhythm and some lead work. Hear the demo below, and you can download the soundfont here.

The second one is called “Spirit Guitar” and I really love this one, it’s got a great flange to it that is similar to the guitar sounds in the songs “Spirit of the Radio” and “Free Will”. Check out the sample below and download it here.

Time Traveler’s Ballad (Musescore)


Time Traveler’s Ballad by demonicsweaters

Musescore is an awesome program. Not only is it great for composing music, you can also publish scores online and embed them like I have done here.

Learn more about Musescore at musescore.com.

Why marketing your music doesn’t matter and you should stop wasting your time doing it

The internet is full of stuff…. all kinds of stuff. There’s factual information, news, fake news,, smart people, crazy people, forums, shopping, movies, social media… and music. There’s too much actually. Way too much for anyone to ever see all of it. Way too much to even see 1% of it! Way too much to even see .001% of it! Seriously! That’s an insane amount of stuff!

So why are you driving yourself crazy and spending all of your time trying to get .000000000000001% of them to maybe listen to your music and then .0000000000000000000001 of those people to possibly follow up and buy, stream or listen to more? Are you spending all your time on instagram, facebook, twitter, youtube, tiktok, tumblr, like some desperate child in need of attention grasping at straws in some pathetic attempt to get a ‘name your price’ bandcamp sale?

Stop.. Just stop it. It doesn’t matter. No really, it doesn’t. I’m not saying don’t put your music out there, by all means do. Make it accessible, get it on all the streaming services, and places people can find it, but then stop screwing around trying to ‘make’ people listen to it. They won’t or they will. Tricks, gimmicks, hashtags and other nonsense aren’t going to help you at this stage. I don’t care what anyone says. What will help you is making the best possible music your are capable of.

Instead of wasting your time on 9 billion social media platforms, pick one or two and post completed work there consistently. That’s all. Once you post, forget about it, and move on to making the next thing. Make it better than the last thing, finish that then post it, forget it and repeat.

If you make a great product that resonates with people, they will find it. If you spend all your time on social media ‘marketing’, you’re not a musician, you’re a social media marketer. Is this what you want to be? If nobody finds your music, so what? Do you like it? Good.. keep doing it. Do it good. Put it out there and people will find it or they won’t. You can’t force them.

The Struggles of Being an Experimental Freelance Musician

 

That’s me a couple days ago when I was thinking about all the struggles of being a freelance experimental musician (I know, boo hoo, right?) haha. Anyway, this post isn’t for you to feel sorry for me, but rather to reach out to those of you that are in a similar boat as me.

I’ve been making music since I was 10 years old, and started producing my own music when I was 20 when I got my first cassette 4 track recorder back in the 90s. Since then I’ve created my own record label called Anthill Recordings and self-produced over 20 albums. As far as sales, some have done okay, some have had literally no attention at all, but absolutely none of them have done extremely well. At this point it doesn’t bother me that much, but there was a time when it did.

When you pour your heart and soul into something you think is unique, passionate, and extremely well done, and others do not respond to it at all, it can be a disheartening experience. At the same time when you observe others seemingly churning out the same old thoughtless dribble and getting praised for it, can be even more maddening. The problem is with our society is it rewards conformity and punishes uniqueness. This is something we all learned well in grade school. All of the most popular kids were doing whatever was cool. Football, cheerleaders, jocks, whatever music is on TV or the radio they liked, they wore all the same name brand clothes. They’re all good little sheep.

So it really should come as no surprise to me when I craft something as unique as my album Turn of The Scroct that has a measly 4 bandcamp supporters, while vaporwave artists are simply re-releasing slowed down previously released pop music and are getting thousands of downloads. Here we are again, people just following what other people are doing. There’s literally hundreds of thousands of releases like this, none of which have any originality whatsoever. Contrary to what I just wrote, I don’t hate vaporwave, and have dabbled in it myself, but took it as inspiration. I didn’t merely copy what everyone else was already doing and slap some statues in front of a Windows 95 screenshot and call it a day.

I spent time making my music, thought about it, tried to make it different, tried to make it unique. I took time to perfect my playing, as a drummer, and with all the other instruments I put on my recordings. Am I rewarded with sales? No. No I’m not. To me it’s not desirable to fit neatly into a specific genre of music. This is a huge problem with today’s music and marketing. If it doesn’t neatly adhere to a specific hashtag, nobody cares about it. Because hashtags seem to define people’s identities these days.

However, I am rewarded with my own love of creation. When I listen back to what I made, I think about how good it felt to finally be able to play the drum part I struggled with, how I was able to achieve such a strong sounding mix, how I was able to press a vinyl record after playing every single instrument on it, recording it, mixing it, mastering the vinyl, all by myself. And the few that have reached out to me thanking me for my efforts have done so in a very heartfelt manor. One listener even called me on the phone after I released my album “In The Park” and wanted to personally thank me for making it. This was really nice.

But again, this isn’t why I do it. I do it because I love the process of creation. Making something that I am proud of, that my own thoughts, ideas, focus and energy went into. Knowing it came out exactly the way I wanted it, and maybe one day people will find it and enjoy it as much as I do. But even if they don’t I don’t care. In a way, I’m glad I’ve freed myself from needing other’s approval of my music. Now I create for me. But what I do wish I was getting more of is….. money.

Yes that’s right, I said money. I work hard and I would like to be rewarded financially for my work. I don’t care if people are calling me a genius, or if my music becomes the next trendy thing, I want money, lots of it. So over time I’ve found little ways to make a bit… not lots, but I keep trying to learn new ways to make more. Some of which are making gear reviews on YouTube with my music, creating exclusive content for music licensing, as well as offering my mixing and mastering services to others. Do I make as much money as the amount of work I do? No, not at this point, but I’m going to keep trying. To me this is the ultimate struggle, but I will never give up.

-Justin