Free Drum samples:
Waveshaper makes some really great drum/drum machine samples; very interesting stuff. They always have a free version of their kits and a pay version that goes for the ridiculously low price of $5.99. I love their stuff and promise that one day I will actually buy something. They just released 2 new kits: the one of a kind SoundMaster Stix 305, and an FM kit called Algo Operator (really like this one).
Hagever from KVR Audio put together this glitch sample pack. There is a lot of stuff in it and I really like the snares. Some pretty noisy stuff as you might expect from a glitch set, but lots of nice subtle stuff as well. Really nice job. Get it here:
A free acoustic set: this is a Sonor drum kit, lovingly sampled and it comes in EXS24 format. It’s really nicely laid out (you can use multiple outs, etc…) and pretty surprising that it’s free. I love people that make free stuff, and I really love when people make stuff in EXS format:
Free Guitar Amp Software:
Scorchcrafter Guitar Amp:
Ignite Guitar Amp: i think this one is kind of for the metal guys, although I have heard that the clean channel sounds really great:
Yamaha DX21 Solid Bass preset: this is only one sound, but it’s a really good sound. Classic 80’s synth bass sound. Comes in EXS 24 format (yay):
the website also has some nice drum machine samples from the Yamaha PSS 790
1850’s Pipe Organ. These guys make some great stuff. Unfortunately for me I don’t have Kontakt. If you have it, go grab this one:
I forgot to pay the bill for the data package here at WordPress, so I think pretty much all of my music is not working anymore. I was thinking of moving over to Soundcloud entirely. Still pondering that one; not really a pressing issue as it’s pretty rare that anyone actually listens to my music anyways.
Kevin had written a song and dropped it into our shared dropbox. Bryn did a whole version and Kevin and him were going back and forth quite a bit with it. I was busy with family and didn’t get to join in on that version (which I’m are will appear shortly). The stems were up and I grabbed the Omnichord part that Bryn had done, and wrote a drum part to it. Then I just started jamming to it and added Kevins vocals. It’s all pretty simple musically, but I did have some fun experimenting with plugins.
here is a video of the song Ghost
The first sounds you hear are Bryns omnichord (a little more warm and gritty sounding than the bells). The bell type sounds are a sampler instrument made from a HAPI drum, and then pitched too high, and another track of Logics FM synth.
The drums were made with some drum samples that I found online and loaded into EXS24. basically a high hat and a poorly recorded kick drum. I also have an EXS24 instrument made out of a bunch of sounds sampled in an office, I used those for all of the clicky sounds, and then ran them through Logics Spectral Filter and Delay Designer for some movement and variation in the sounds. I also used the free Pancake plug in to draw out panning for some of the percussion.
check out this DIY kick pedal.
all of the droney stuff and the track of something that sounds like it’s dripping and stretching were audio snippets from Kevin’s vocals that I stretched with Logics Flex Time until they didn’t sound like vocals anymore. These were also ran through filters and delay designer. I basically just kept turning knobs, bounced it all out and then chopped out the bits I liked and placed them throughout the song. The “aah” parts at the end of the song are Kevin’s vocals: I looked for a note in the right key and then cut it up, reversed, and then ran through a bit crusher at a 12 bit setting.
the perfect gift for me
Kevin’s vocals are phrased a little differently in his version and come in on the beat differently. I cut them up and moved them where I wanted them and then used flex time to make them fit in with this version. Once they fit I messed with flex time a little more to give them a sound like an old tape being eaten. Flextime is useful for fixing timing issues (for people who know what they’re doing), I really like to just mangle audio with it.
I used a few delays on this one (my favorite effect). I used Logics Delay Designer for the ambience, the kick drum is sent to a bus with Logics Tape Delay that I automated a bit to come in and out, and I used RP Delay on Kevin’s lead vocal track. Really liking this mellow, almost soundtrack sort of vibe lately.
was experimenting with effects and drum programming and came up with this. I picture it as a soundtrack. i used a lot of different stuff for the drums: samples of an acetone rhythm ace beatbox, my playground drum kit, some samples of drums that I loaded in alchemy and tweaked a bunch (for that galloping tribal drum sound), and a kit I made out of hissing sounds from in between vocals on other songs. the song started out as a slow song, and then just kind of morphed into this.
the synths and loops were all made with zebralette (my new freebie find) or alchemy. i recorded some of the parts and bounced to audio then ran through Logics spectral filter and sidechained with one of the drum parts. other bits I just cut out random phrases that I had played and then looped them through the song.
Alchemy is a really cool synth: you can use waveforms like most synths, or you can use audio samples and then manipulate and blend them together into something total wild. i’m not that accomplished at it yet, but i’m working on it. Although Alchemy is not freeware, they do have a free version. There isn’t nearly as much control, it comes with 1 gig of sounds and is a really nice addition to your arsenal. Here’s a link for the Alchemy Player:
and here is a link for Zebralette:
all of these pictures were found on my phone, and my daughter Sophie took the top picture.
Click the player to hear “You Have No Peace.”
Wish I used one of these
I made this song as a result of an experiment I was doing. Put a reverb send up for a guitar track, and then put a pitch shifter on the reverb. Played around with automating the pitch and I liked the results. If you just listen to the guitar track, there are a bunch of weird overtones and it starts to sound like trumpets and strings are playing in the distance.
Spacemen 3 how I love thee
It was really just meant to be an experiment, but the results reminded me of Spacemen 3 and Spiritualized, so I made a song out of it. A glorified drone really. I bounced out just the reverb signal and pitch shifted that as well, which really made it droney.
Logic’s Pitch Shift is a pretty simple affair
Did the drums with Ocean Way Drums which I got in a group buy awhile back. They sound pretty real and live to my ears. Also used AAS String Studio. I took a clean electric guitar “jazz” patch, and added fuzz, rotovibe, wah-wah, and finally a healthy dose of tape delay. Logic has a pretty awesome tape delay and I find myself reaching for it constantly.
Brian Eno’s tape delay set-up
I love to just tinker with the whole process, and figuring out what different types of effects and routing will do. That said, I am a complete novice and my desire to hear something outweighs the skills I have in finding those sounds. Fun to play though.
I’m more like the monkey
I think this song would be pretty cool performed live, with real instruments and real musicians. I have 2 kids and a computer, so it is what it is.
My friend Bryn took this picture
I have always loved science fiction, and horror movies; Creature Features, paperback books and Aurora monster models were a big part of my childhood. I always wished that I could see a UFO, but it never happened . I won’t say that they don’t exist, but if they do, we’ll never see one (it’s much too far a distance to fly to Earth from somewhere else).
I have posted this song already, but I put together a video for it. Haven’t had any time to record lately, so I have been messing around with iMovie on my lunch breaks.
I got the footage that I used from the internet archive, which is a great site. They have a ton of open source and public domain films, music and other stuff. I have spent hours on the site just poring through old home movies, sci-fi commercials from the 50’s.etc… There is a great 2 hour documentary someone made in the 50’s about their familys camping trips.
I think I still have a lot to learn about iMovie; the audio track sounds a little warbley to me at points, while the original sounds fine. I guess I could read the manual, but then I would have spent my break reading (as opposed to cranking out a lo-fi video). All in all, a really fun program (probably as I enjoy tweaking on things).
Hope you enjoy the video, it’s really cheesy, but that’s how I pictured it.
I did this ambient piece a little while back and I liked the way it turned out, so now you get to hear it. I had basically made a soundscape with the free Crystal soft synth, rendered the MIDI to audio and manipulated it a bit more, and then I ran the whole thing through Gleetchlab. After that I put a little piano on top of it. Here’s a reaaally lo-fi video I did for it.
Gleetchlab is hard to describe, it’s matrix based and you run your audio through a series of effects, granular synthesis, filters, pitch and speed shifters. I have no idea how it does what it does, or how to consistently get good stuff out of it. Everything you do on it is live, no automation or saving pre-sets (it’s kind of an ethos for the developer). You can get some wild sounds out of it, but you need a little patience. I have an older version, but the developer Giorgio Sancristoforo has some really neat new stuff now.
I use to have this listed in the freeware section, but people are jerks and I think the developer got only 4 donations or something like that, so he started to sell it (it’s like $15 now – buy it).
check out Gleetchlab here
I always wanted to make a video, so I grabbed some undersea footage online, and then edited it in iMovie to fit the music (kind of the opposite if the way it’s usually done I think). It’s pretty rough, but I only spent about 20 minutes on it, and it’s not terrible for my first attempt. I can actually see iMovie being really fun to play with. We just had a new baby, and I haven’t had any time to record, so maybe making crap videos for my songs is the way to go right now. I think for my next video, I will get some stuff from Archive dot org and edit it into something with more of a narrative. If you haven’t checked out that website, it’s all public domain and open source video, music, movies, etc… You can get lost in it for days. Love the amateur/home movies.
As usual, these pictures have little to do with the subject. I just became interested in freaky looking bunnies this evening.
My fave new blog (well new to me at least): the b-roll. The guy has been trying to quit smoking (I can relate), and to keep busy he started a blog. He does one creative thing a day and then posts it. Right now he’s teaching himself how to do animation. Really cool; wish he was my neighbor. I could use more interesting, geeky types on my block.
click to Hear “I’m Just Fine”
Wrote this song awhile back as an indie rock fuzz pop tune. I ended up getting bored one day and re-working it as an 80’s synth pop number. Picture a John Hughes movie.
I recorded this all with freeware stuff. I believe the synths are Automat and Alpha (both in the freeware section). Wish I could remember what I used for the drum track. The thing I love about MIDI is you can crank stuff out really fast if you have an idea what you want to do. You don’t have to tune anything or plug anything in. Perfect if you have only a limited amount of time to record.
These pictures are little miniature pieces of gear that were lovingly crafted by a guy named Dan McPharlin. You can see all of his work (and even buy some of it here:
Cool Miniature Gear
You may or may not have noticed that the blog has a new look. Still tweaking it, and need to add my links section back in. I have a bunch of new spots I’ve been haunting so I will add them all into the final layout.
click the link above to hear “I Need Gasoline”
I wrote this song awhile ago; it’s about my neighborhood Echo Park. At the time it was really a pretty bad neighborhood and I had a real love/hate relationship going on with it. Things have been looking up for a little while now, and while it can still be a little rough, I’m feeling a lot better about the place. Weird mix of people.
This song was recorded using a cheap $100 Kay guitar that I bought from http:www.larkinthemorning.com. they are an awesome acoustic instruments store with a focus on obscure instruments. i would recommend getting their catalog as it makes for great gear porn. I drooled over it every night before bed for months.
I recorded this in Logic, and the mic was a MXL USB mic (since replaced), drums are the indie kit that comes with Logic and Garageband, and the synth is Automat free. It’s listed in my freeware section, so go grab it. Very nice synth. The delay was Logics Stereo Delay, and I think I used the Sample Delay to get the panning on the acoustic reverb.
This tune could use a re-mix as I did it really quick and there a few things that bother me about it (although I won’t point them out here). Think of this as urban hillbilly music.
Driving (with my girlfriend)
I wrote this song awhile back and just made it up as I went along. It’s your basic 90’s style Pavement rip-off; nothing original here at all, but it kept me entertained for a few hours.
Back before I got Logic, I was recording on Garageband. This was one of the tunes I recorded at that point. Nothing really fancy or complicated. The synth I used was Automat It’s a really great free synth, and the folks who put it together seem really into it.
The guitars were all done with my old tele, my crappy Ibanez bass and Podfarm. A lot of people seem to hate Podfarm for some reason, but I like it. There are some technical aspects of it that drive me nuts on a mac, but I have always found a way around them. Haven’t upgraded to the new version yet as I can’t seem to find a reason. Drums were done with EZDrummer.
I originally gave this song away to anyone who wanted to add something to it. Quite a few people took me up on my offer, and created their own versions of the tune. After a couple were done, I felt really lame that I couldn’t finish my own song, so I ended up writing lyrics and a melody for it.
I wrote it about how my girlfriend and I used to drive around for hours, exploring side streets and greasy spoon diners in out of the way towns. Nicole is now my wife, we don’t thrift shop anymore, and it’s a little hard to do those aimless drives with a 3 year old and a newborn.
here’s some other versions of this tune:
I bought a homemade banjo the other day at a swap meet for $20. Actually plays really well, stays in tune and sounds like a banjo. That’s my Harmony Broadway to the left, and to the right you can see a duck decoy my daughter likes to play with.
The guy I bought it from made it from a Carvin electric guitar neck, that he bolted onto a snare drum. As a “bridge,” there are holes drilled into the snare body that the strings pass through.
Waltz Of Time (re-mix by Jim Bouchard)
I have posted this song before, but here is a re-mix my friend Jim Bouchard did. He’s a really talented guy, love his sound. Very much on the mellow tip with primarily organic instruments, but definitely can go all over the place when he feels the need. He basically threw away all my tracks except for the vocals. Love his use of pump organ, kalimba and BANJO. my version was a lot busier, he really stripped it down.
Here is Jim’s music page
There is a screw on capo above the nut that keeps the string tension taut.
Carvin tuning gears. Carvin always makes me think of hair-metal bands in the 80’s. But they are good quality. worth $20 right there. if you figure in the capo, the neck and the snare shell, I got a really great deal.
That hunk of wood bracing the neck looks like it used to be a coffee table leg joint. Check out the mismatched screw. pretty crafty actually. The banjo plays great, actually pretty much feels like my Tele.