Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas music loot!!

I got some pretty sweet Christmas loot this year, including some pretty sweet music-related stuff:
  1. Skullcandy Titan earbuds. Now, be a ridiculous audophile if you want and reject earbuds out of hand, but when you're always on the go - sans a car - like I am, then big, bulky studio cans, while higher in sound quality, are not practical. But in the realm of earbuds, I've gotta tell you, these things are swwwweeet! Let me count the ways:
    1. Unlike most earbuds that make up for their lack of true low frequency by over-abusing the proximity effect and thus making the low frequencies muddy and indiscernible, I was amazed by the clarity of the bass.
    2. The connections and plugs are solid, and the cable is soft and pliable.
    3. After you buy them, you can go to their website and register them, entitling you to a) Full replacement for life if anything happens with normal use of them, and b) Half the replacement cost if you do something stupid like hit it with a hammer or roll over it with your skateboard.
  1. A $25 iTunes giftcard. Oohoohoo, the possibilities!! This is better than cash to me, because it means it's guaranteed to be spent on music, and can’t be pilfered to buy our next gallon of milk.
  2. The coup de grace: The SE Electronics M1C Mini. If you read this blog even sporadically, you're probably sick of hearing me blather about this mic. Nonetheless, let me give the background of why this mic is so awesome: If you do any recording, you’re most likely familiar with the name Neumann. Needless to say, they’ve produced high quality microphones for the last 80 years which have become the industry standard (not to mention being the inventors of such things as the stereo microphone and 48V phantom power). In short, they’re gorgeous and they’re classy. I’ve lusted after the Neumann TLM103 for the last 4 years, since I first used one in a recording session. Then, about 2 years ago, I first heard about the SE Mini, and couldn't believe my ears. A Chinese microphone that was getting good reviews? No way. And they were making a TLM103 knockoff? Nothing about "Chinese Neumann knockoff" sounded plausible to my ears. But I reserved judgment and finally eventually got a chance to hear the TLM103 and Mini side by side. I almost pooped my pants to discover that on my particular voice, the Mini (priced at $169) sounded better than the Neumann (priced at $1,100)! That was it. I had to own one... but was poor as hell. Then about a month or so ago, I found out that they were discontinuing it (most likely a patent issue with Neumann), so I bumped it to the top of my list (after much deliberation), so, I now own one! Wheeee!

final synth project: 'Pick Up the Phone'

Here's my Christmas gift to you! Haha.

So for my synthesizer lessons, I had to create a pop-type song using the materials we had in the project studio on campus. I took that to heart and actually recorded most of the instruments live. I brought in my good buddy Tyler Nickl to play electric bass and acoustic guitar, and actually pulled out an old, crappy drumkit that was hidden in the back of the room. I had forgotten my DI box at home, so we had to record everything with the one mic they had set up. Luckily, it was the wonderful SE M1C Mini (discussed at length here), which I cherish and adore. We tracked each instrument separately, including doing a mono drum track I played which distorted like hell but sounded fun and funky nonetheless.

I had decided to do a mockup of a song that will be on my next album called "Pick Up the Phone." We recorded a verse and a chorus and then some more, but after that, it started falling apart like crazy. Since my "synthesizer lessons" focus mainly on production, I took the tracks home, to tweak them there. The mix went basically as follows:
  1. I spent some time manipulating the tempo to get things synced up.
  2. I went all the way through the first verse up to the end of the chorus and stretched everting so it grooved right on the beat. This mainly consisted of stretching the beginnings of certain measures and leaving the rest alone, though there were a couple measures where I did a lot more.
  3. I created a lowpass filter send to boost the kickdrum, and sidechained the lowest frequencies of that to the compressor on the bass guitar, so they wouldn't step on each others' feet. I also created a reverb send to gel the track a little more.
  4. I put Native Instruments "Guitar Rig" on the bass guitar and fiddled with the settings to give it a little more growl. I think that in the end I gave it a little too much "growl" and not enough "boom."
  5. I panned the keyboard and guitar off center, opposite from one another.
  6. I smashed the heck out of the background vocals, panned about 3/4 left and right, and put them on their own submix so I could manipulate them with onefader.
  7. I added a couple clap and latin percussion loops I had on my computer, dialed in fairly low, to just add a little more texture.
  8. I created a submix to which everything except the lead vocals were sent, to make the balance of melody to backing track a little easier to play with.
  9. I used the Izotope Ozone mastering plugin on my master bus.
That's about it. Not much to show for all that explanation. Here it is:

In case you're interested, here's a screen cap of the Arrangement View in Live (click to enlarge):

Friday, December 19, 2008

the best kind of dilemma

So, I hate to write two posts in a month's time on the subject of music gear, but I'm tackling a serious conundrum at the moment. As Tracy Morgan said on 30 Rock, "You've put me in quandary, Jack Donaghy... a quandary!" With great sadness, I learned that SE Electronics, the beneficiary of Communism's hatred toward patents and copyrights, discontinued their wonderful M1C Mini, the knockoff of the Neumann TLM103. I had tried the two of them side by side and had been surprised to discover that on my particular voice, the Mini actually sounded better. Considering that the TLM103 cost $1,100 and the Mini cost $169, it skyrocketed to the top of my google wish list.

Adding insult to injury, I found out that my Mom had ordered the Mini for me, only to discover after the fact that every site that sold it online was out of stock. Bollocks. The upside is that as a result of this misfortune, I get to select something(s) of relatively the same value to take its place. *Kid in a candy shop!*

My first window-shopping stop was FabFilter. I've been eyeballing their plugins for a long time, now and let's just say that there isn't one of their products that I wouldn't mind owning. They're gorgeous sounding and have a fantastic GUI. They have this amazing drag-and-drop modulation interface on most of their products that is cooler than all get out. In talking to my friend and mentor Aaron, I was made to realize that there are none of their products of which I don't already have at least a decent (and in many cases, stellar) equivalent. So, with one last saliva-swallowing look, I moved on.

What my rig has been missing, is a good channel-strip plugin. Yeah, I have Live's Saturator device, and I have some good compressors, not to mention a heavy-duty mastering plugin (Izotope Ozone), but I don't have a nice, all-in-one, warm channel strip. My first thought was of PSP Audio's Vintage Warmer. An exquisitely-crafted analog modeling compressor/limiter, that really is the king of analog/tube emulation. This has come highly recommended to me by friends and teachers. I've used a trial version of it before and love the fatness it added to drums and the overall thickness and warmth it added to mixes. One drawback however is that it's kind of niche plugin and would have very specified uses, perhaps limiting its frequency of use. Considering that I love vintage (I mean 1970s-style vintage) mix sounds, especially on drums, this would be an excellent addition to my rig.

The next contestant is Wave Arts' Track Plug. This has also come highly recommended to me, and on top of all of the praise I've heard heaped upon it, the thing that catches my eye most is its widely-celebrated CPU efficiency. It's system footprint so small, in fact, that it can be used on every track in a mix without much effort on the part of your computer. Now that is an important feature in a channel-strip plugin. Professional reviews have had minimal and insignifcant things to list in the "Cons" column, and heaps to say in the "Pros." Two compressors, a gate, EQ, "clean" and "warm" settings, sidechaining on all of the dynamics sections, and much, much more. Definitely a contender.

Then I got to thinking about my hardware. I had originally wanted that damn SE Mini, so I looked on eBay and found it there. Expecting to find it at some sort of terrible average between its original price and the price of the Neumann, I was pleasantly surprised to find it for $150. By this point, my head is swimming.

You know, I thought to myself, I am not a huge fan of the digital preamps built into my audio interface, and its phantom power is an enormous pain in the ass, so what about some kind of tube pre? I immediately began scouring the internet for tube pre's in my pricepoint. A well acclaimed audio hardware manufacturer, ART Electronics, makes a couple inexpensive ones. I found myself quite taken with their Tube MP Studio V3, and its two-channel equivalent. Having some nice, analog gear in the signal path between your performance and your mix is always a good thing. Especially considering that these both have output protection limiting and, of course, natural tube saturation. The only drawback for this is that I don't record audio as often as I mix, sequence and play with sound. It's just that when I do record, I'm always unsatisfied with the sound of my preamps. (I love my microphones. They are not the bottleneck here.)

So there you have my quandary.

Do I go with the Vintage Warmer, Track Plug, an ART tube preamp, or the microphone I originally asked for?

With this post, I introduce a new label: "your input please?" Anytime you see this, I'm requesting your advice, opinion and expertise. So.... give it to me.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

all is hip and funky in the MFJQ

Well after 6 years of prodigality, I have returned to my roots. Throughout jr. high and high school, I lived, ate and breathed jazz. I was in zero-hour jazz band, I was in numerous jazz combos (including one which took 1st place in the AAAA division at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival), and I spent an ungodly amount on concerts at Seattle's wonderful Jazz Alley. I have continued to be a consumer and lover of jazz ever since, but have had precious few opportunities to play. I have a ton of fun in the rock band I play for, but jazz is something that I've been missing for years now like some kind of precious, lost teddy bear. Enter my friend, Mat Foley.

Last week, I was working at my recording job at the Madsen Recital Hall and a buddy from one of my classes, Mat Foley, came up to me and asked - knowing that I was a drummer - how my jazz chops were. My ears immediately perked up, and I informed that jazz was my bread and butter. He then asked if I could sit in with his combo at a gig that Friday. I just about crapped my pants with excitement. I asked if it was cool to bring a friend, and when given the green light, I got my good and incredibly talented friend, Tyler Nickl in on the action.

I had heard Mat play rock, and had jammed with Tyler countless times, and on top of that, I found out that a sax player whom I had heard and been impressed by before was going to be playing with us. I couldn't have been more excited.

The gig was at FroYo, a new frozen yogurt place in Provo (yeah, that sentence was a mouthful). Friday rolled around and as we all showed up for the gig, it looked pretty sparse. I didn't give it much thought, because all I cared about was playing some stinkin' jazz. As the night progressed, however, more and more and more people continued to filter in, out and through the room. And it wasn't just a good turnout (quantitatively speaking), but the also a great audience (qualitatively speaking). They were attentive, interested, expressive and into it.

Tyler and I settled into the combo, which already played well together, as if we'd always played with them. It was so incredibly natural. It was like the locked-in groove that Ty and I have when we play together was designed to fit right into the Mat Foley Jazz Quintet. Also, much to my pleasure, we supplimented our jazz repretoire with a healthy dose of blues and funk. It was so incredibly fun. The audience members who had watched the MFJQ before seemed to take to me well and apparently the band did as well, because at the end of the night, they told me that if I wanted the position, I was their new drummer. I accepted, chomping at the bit.

We have a show next tuesday, December 16th, at Muse Music, and now have a standing, monthly gig at FroYo. Hope you all can come out and see us! I'll try to get some pictures and video up soon.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

calling all computer nerds!

So, I'm picking out the parts for the Studyo's* next computer. I'm getting really excited. [NOTE: If you are not interested in computers and the like, please stop reading, as you might realize just how apt the name of my blog is.] As is my custom, I'm getting as many people to weigh in on the tech side of things before I make my purchase.

I'm trying to buy as few parts
as possible, but buy the most powerful ones I can afford (my minimalist philosophy on software is spilling over into my hardware). I've been really pleased with my old computer, and it has lasted a long time as a machine which can compete well with anything prefabbed. However, I've learned quite a few things since building my last one, and want to avoid a couple mistakes I made.

The biggest lesson I've learned is this: Never, ever underestimate the ability of Windows to waste space. Whatever they tell you is the recommended system requirements, double it. Since I don't trust Vista, I'm going to buy it and then downgrade to XP, but in case I ever develop dementia and decide to switch to Vista, I'm planning for its system requirements. They say that Vista needs to be put on a 40GB hard drive with 15GB of free space. I'm installing XP on an 80GB partition of a 160GB hard drive. I'm probably tempting fate by making this taunt, but, "Try and fill up all of THAT space with invisible crap, Windows!"

Secondly, I've learned that it's never a good idea to scrimp on RAM. Since I plan on running XP still, I'm going to use the max possible, at 4GB. It's going to be dual-channel (2X2GB) Corsair XMS3 DDR3 RAM, which come equipped with their own aluminum heat-sinks. And since it's DDR3, it's both faster and uses less voltage than DDR2.

Since I've already started doing it, let me get to the part all you computer nerds want. The parts list as it now stands. On each bullet point is a link to its stats on the website from which I'm buying the parts:
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 3.16GHz 65W Dual-Core Processor
  • RAM: 4GB of Corsair XMS3 240-pin DDR3 1600
  • Motherboard: ASUS Striker II ATX Intel Motherboard with a NVIDIA nForce 790i SLI Northbridge
  • Video Card: MSI GeForce 9500 PCI Express Video Gard with 512MB of on-board RAM
  • Hard Drives: For my OS and for my software, I'm going to go pretty standard, but for my audio and samples, I'm going to use a Western Digital Velociraptor 300GB SATA 3.0Gb/s drive running at 10,000RPM. Ahhh, yeeeeah.
  • Other stuff: I'm going to scavenge the case, power supply, wireless card, audio/MIDI card, and my 40GB SATA 1.5GB/s hard drive from my old computer.
Your thoughts? I'm excited to build this monster. It should be going down within the next 2 months. Wheeee! Yay for being a nerd! [I will update this post as changes occur.]

* My home studio is also my study, thus the amalgam, The Studyo.

Ok, so after many comments, I've changed my tune. I've made the following changes:
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Core 2.4Ghz (which I will overclock up to 3GHz)
  • Motherboard: An Intel motherboard that is compatible with everything else I've selected. It has an Intel X48 chipset. Is that better (Justin and Bart)?
  • Hard Drives: I will stream samples off of a 150GB 10,000RPM 3.0Gb/s drive, and run the audio for my projects on a 300GB drive of the same specifications. The OS and the programs will be on two separate, equally-sized partitions of a 160GB 7200RPM 3.0Gb/s drive.
  • Other Stuff: Like the CPU and Motherboard, my buddy Justin Aiken helped me find this nice, sporty little CPU cooling unit. He either has this one or something similar. It's supposedly super quiet. With that and the fanless video card I've selected, this should be one silent little beast.
Alrighty, my geeky brain trust, how's THAT?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

battles and battle wounds

Well last night (it's not really 'last night' for me at this point, as I have yet to go to bed) was pretty darn fun. The blues/rock band I play in, A Band Called Riley, played in Day 2 of the Muse Music Battle of the Bands. Muse is hosting a 6-day battle in which Monday through Friday are mini-battles and the winners from each night play again on Saturday. We played probably the best show we've ever played (in terms of our performance) and won. It was a fun night. Man oh man, how I missed playing the drums my first two years down here in Utah. I absolutely adore my instrument. And, though it's not the kind of music I'd ever write myself, this band is fun as hell.

One of my favorite things about playing in this band, is that we're a bunch of nutballs on stage. In particular, our bassist Nate is certifiably insane when armed with an instrument. While playing, he is prone to stumble like a drunk, twitch like an epileptic, put his bass on the ground and smack it, chimp-style, and do generally manic things. [For an example of his on-stage stumbling, check out this video, from a concert we played during the summer, and skip forward to 2:23.]

It might come as no surprise then, that tonight he broke his freaking finger while playing... and then proceeded to play the rest of the set. After the show was over, he was quite cavalier about bringing it up. "Um, yeah, I think I might need to go to the emergency room once we get all our gear packed up. I'm pretty sure I broke my finger." I took one look at it, became certain that he was right, and then began to laugh uncontrollably at the utter nuttiness of the situation.

And I don't even need to ask him to confirm this, but I can gaurantee that we will still play on Saturday. Ah, rock and roll....

Thursday, October 30, 2008

artistic honesty and the human condition

While I've always been a fairly introspective guy, I was never really able to put my temperament into words until I was introduced to my now favorite philosopher, William James. In his book, The Varieties of Religious Experience, James describes how different religions appeal in different ways to people of differing temperaments, and sets forth two general kinds of temeraments. He calls them the Healthy-Minded and The Sick Soul. These are admittedly general categories, as James is always the first one to admit that "individuality outruns all classification," but they are good general categories.

The Sick Soul

I've found that I fall into the latter of the the two. The Sick Soul is characterized by the view that "the evil* aspects of our life are of its very essence, and that the world's meaning most comes home to us when we lay them most to heart" (Varieties, 124). For the Sick Soul, the recognition and admission that evil is an elemental part of both our existence and our interpretation of the universe, is key to achieving any kind of peace or solace.

This is me to the letter. Yes, I'm a generally happy guy, but my thoughts and feelings are all underpinned by a general melancholia. My thoughts tend to center around what James claims to be the general observation of religion, which is that things are not as they ought to be. My optimism stems from what James says is the the general response of religion, which is that things can be made at least better than they are by unification with or reconciliation to something greater than us. For me, this is meliorism, the idea that "that the world tends to become better or may be made better by human effort."

But, despite all this purported optimism, the melancholy remains. No, I'm not saying that I'm clinically depressed or anything of that magnitude (in fact, I took a free screening on campus and they gave me clean bill of mental health!), but I'm saying that for me there is a certain amount of general melancholy that comes with being mortal, living in a mortal world. Despite my belief that the world can (and ultimately will) become a better place, I am ultimately aware that I suffer real pains, real mistakes and real losses.

Because there are different temperaments, there are different kinds of art and more specifically, different approaches to creating art. Among many of my musician peers, and many of those whose place it is to instruct me in the same, there is a popular ideology which says that for music to be "uplifting" its lyrics have to be "happy" and have to avoid negative topics. While I believe that art should uplift, I don't think this method is a particularly effective or honest approach to achieving that end. I unable to speak for other people, but I personally can't get to the point where a piece of art can edify me or provide me with solace if it casts a blind eye to the things that are causing my turmoil to begin with. For me, there is no catharsis until after the conflict. That's the way it is in my life, and art doesn't make sense to me if it isn't in some way a mirror of that. Even an idealistic piece can tip its hat to the fact that things are not as they are being portrayed.

Voicing the Voiceless

This is the paradox of tragedy. Aristotle wrote about it, Plato and pals argued about it. Why is it that we find joy in seeing a tragic film or play, or in hearing a sad song about the broken heart of a fornlorn lover. To make the paradox clearer: How is it that we somehow find joy in being sad? I think that sad songs speak to us because in order to be healed or to find peace, we must first find a voice for the grief we're up against. I'm convinced that we're incapable, by ourselves, of saying everything that we need to say in this life, and thus need others to help us say the rest. This, to me, is the role of tragic art. It is the voice we give to pain so that the pain can be understood and handled.

I watched the film "The Deer Hunter" this week. It was a Viet Nam Era piece starring Robert Deniro, Christopher Walken and Meryl Streep (to name a few), and was heartwrenching for me to watch. The majority of the time, I had a lump in my throat and was blinking back tears. The film depicted death, grief and the depletion of human will... yet I came out of it feeling profoundly uplifted. It did not have a happy ending by any obvious means, but I came away from it filled with an enriched view of the nature of loyalty and love, and with a hightened sense of . . . gratitude? Yes, it was gratitude, and this is a perfect example of "voicing the voiceless."

When I was in first grade, my father was shipped off to Saudia Arabia to fight in Operation Desert Storm. I missed him terribly, but for the most part, I handled it quite well. When you're that young, your mind has a pretty big buffer so that emotionally devastating things don't hurt your development as much. I remember being well aware that the news had just stated that the city my dad was in was being bombed and seeing the fear in my mother's eyes and sometimes hearing her crying softly in her bedroom, but my little six-year-old brain would never allow me to process any of it. So as a result, my heart and mind were aware that I should devastated, but filed the information away for later processing. Fast-forward to this week. Seeing the horrible depictions of war, and grief and worried families and loyalty to one's country depicted in The Deer Hunter, suddenly fills me with an incredibly heartwrenching sense of gratitude for my father's willingness to serve his country and his eventual safe return. For the first time in 19 years, the pain I felt had been given a voice. It was finally in a form that was comprehensible, and consequently healable.

The music that means the most to me and has the deepest emotional impact on me is the music that doesn't shy away from the sad things of the world. I am perpetually impressed by the lyrics of Sufjan Stevens who finds the beauty in those who we would ignore and the wisdom that can distil in times of sadness. Let me end with a line from one of his songs, called "For the Widows in Paradise," which stuck in my mind the first time I heard it and has stayed with me ever since:

"Even if I come back, even if I die
Is there some idea to replace my life? "

I hope that as a musician, there is at least one idea I can get across which will remain to take my place when I'm gone.

*To be clear, I use the term "evil" in the general philosophical sense, meaning anything that causes pain or sadness, which includes - but is not limited to - moral evil.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

nerdcore for life

So, there is a relatively new genre of music. Actually, it's a subgenre. It's called Nerdcore Hip-hop. My brother recently blogged about it, as there's a documentary being made about it right now. It's pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Nerds rapping. The founder of nerdcore, qua official genre, by the pseudonym of MC Frontalot, describes it as hip-hop that doesn't require you to be cool. Nerdcore is hip-hop that feels totally comfortable discussing computers, science fiction and RPG's, and - as opposed to traditional rap - being incredibly self-deprecatory.
After this most recent* hip-hop project we did, Aaron and I decided it would be fun to do a whole album. I introduced Aaron to Nerdcore staples like MC Frontalot, Optimus Rhyme and MC Chris, and he said, "We have to do this." As the title of my blog denotes, I am all for embracing my nerdity, so we've embarked. Keep your ear to the ground, and check back on the blog regularly for updates and advance leaks.
Oh, and my nerdcore hip-hop name (or rather, my handle)? One and the same with this blog's name: Geek is the New Cool.

*Way back in 2006, Aaron and I made a 3-track hip-hop project, titled "Nimbus." To hear the tracks click here and go to the tracks that start with the word "Nimbus."

Monday, October 27, 2008

video games and recitals

So, I'm a composer / sound designer (as an independent contractor) for a video game company back in Seattle called Flowplay, Inc. It's the coolest job I've ever had. It's not only is it by far the funnest job I've ever had, it's the best paying as well. I don't work regular hours like I do at my other two jobs, but the experience alone is worth it.

Basically Flowplay makes one massively multiplayer online game (MMO, as it's called by geeks and those in the industry) for kids, which they continually add to. The game is called OurWorld, and can be played for free here. If you go in and play around, somewhere from about 1/4 to about 1/3 of the music and sound effects you hear were created by me. The big sidewalk keyboard on Electric Avenue, the instruments in the Garage, the 'levelling up' sound, the ding of the 'food's done!' bell at the Diner: all me. I'm really enjoying the experience, and loving the work. How weird is that? Loving work?!

Several samples of sound design work I've already done for them can be found here.

Recently, I've been working on a video for them. In a sense, I'm basically scoring a really, really, reeeally short film. We're talking like, one minute short. But still, I've always wanted to try my hand at it, and I've had a blast! More updates are forthcoming.

Also, as one of my two day jobs, I'm working as a recording technician on campus, recording recitals and concerts in the recital hall at the fine arts building. It's a pretty neat job, I think. I like the work and enjoy the music and get to use some classy-sounding tube leveling amplifiers. Mmmm... Here's my workstation at that job. (To see it with labels, click here.)

contest entry: 'Old Scratch'

My buddy Aaron and I are regular participants (he much more than I) on a remix contest website called Acid Planet. Recently he and I collaborated on an entry for a unique contest. As opposed to a traditional remix contest, the samples are to be extended into a song and then rapped over. Yeah, I know I'm white, but I can bust a pretty decent rhyme, and Aaron's production makes me sound pretty good.

The .zip file you download to get the contest samples was named "scratch," which I assume implies a "scratch track" or to the proverbial, manual turntable-shuttling procedure (i am such a dork). Either way, Jasinski had the idea of making it into a play on words and calling our track "Old Scratch," which (if you were unaware) is a nickname for the devil. Surprisingly enough, I think these are some of the best lyrics I've written in years.

Our entry can be heard HERE. Check it out!

(Also, for a point of reference, check out the provided contest track, and some of the other entries.)

my first mashup

I put together this track at the beginning of the summer and was literally laughing out loud (or as I like to say it LLOL-ing) as I did so. It was a buddy's idea, and was my first attempt at making a legitimate mashup. I think it turned out quite well. It's a mashup of "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails and "Hit Me Baby One more Time" by Britney Spears. I present to you,

"I Wanna Hit You Like an Animal (One More Time)"


i'm on YouTube!

I've had my YouTube account for a long while, but now it is working for the betterment of my music career. For a long time, I've seen that people upload music to youtube with just a picture of the song's album cover. I'd always wondered how they did that and figured it require a program that cost money. Much to my delight, it does not. Good ol' Windows Movie Maker (which I'd never once touched before this) does the job quite nicely. So my whole album (with the exception of track 7 which i couldn't get to work for some reason) is on youtube! Favorite it and give it 5 stars! Do a video response! Flame me! Whatevs!

an introduction

Hi, I'm Jake. I play, write, record, mix and consume music in mass quantities. Since my music has been disseminated to numerous websites and is for sale in numerous formats, I figured a blog would be the best way to consolidate and serve as a "central hub" for all of it.
To start off, let me introduce my album, Fragments in Abstract. This was my freshman release, and represents my somewhat recent (from Fall of 2004 onward) fascination with and love for electronic music. About four years ago I became acquainted with a guy who has been a close friend and mentor ever since. Aaron Jasinski (who is somewhat of an internet celebrity if you ever do a google search for his name), exposed me to the immensity number of the sub-genres of electronica and I've been hooked ever since. House, Trip-Hop, Ambient, Downtempo, Electrofunk; they all became like when you make a new friend and already feel like you've been hanging out for years.
So, over the course of the 2004-2008 period, I built up my project studio and created electro-pop music when the inspiration hit me. In 2007, I compiled songs I had been playing with, began mastering, and started getting the red tape ready to do a digital-only independent release. Fragments in Abstract came out in the late Spring / early summer of 2008 and I'm pretty pleased with it. Here it is in its entirety. If you dig it, it's only a $7 purchase:


It's available on iTunes, Amazon Mp3, and CD Baby (this is the one that pays me the highest percentage, as its my distributor), as well as Rhapsody, Napster, Verizon and pretty much any other place that people would purchase download-able music.

Check back on the blog regularly for updates, as I'm always doing something with music.