Michaelwclark.com

Just my stuff


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Beyond the Night

Here’s a cinematic, atmospheric one that I worked pretty hard on. It began as a slightly chaotic assemblage which slowly came together. My main learning point was how to use a sequencer for drum samples, making it sound less robotic than sequencers can sound.

The sequencer I used (Megababy) allows for manual timing changes (called “humanization” or possibly “swing” when using midi). So I spent some time on each note, trying to imagine myself as a percussionist and how he or she might actually drum. To me, the kick drum sometimes sounds like it could use a bit of editing, other times it sounds okay.

Not exactly tearing up the SoundCloud charts, it was, as I say, a great learning experience.

As to what this composition is about, just follow the link to SoundCloud if interested.

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Sheer Distraction

The story behind this tune is that I was desperately ill through the winter months. It took a long time to recover. When I finally felt things were turning around, I sat by my computer and came up with a basic bassline. I sent that to Lee Neale who sent back this amazing melody with lyrics. It blows me away how talented Lee is.

Because his work is of such high caliber, it really pushed me to do my best. I wanted a minimalist sound that wouldn’t overtake Lee’s vocal track. But I didn’t want it too simple.

I hope you enjoy!


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i’m not analog…

Here’s a fun one. The other night I discovered Daisy by AlterEgo. She’s a voice synthesis plugin that actually sings the way you program her (with midi).

Futurebot was one of my “secret” SoundCloud sites that I mostly posted experimental and satirical stuff at. But since Daisy turned out so well, I figured I might as well go public with it.

She might be a bit tricky to understand at first, so I’ll post the lyrics.

I’m not analog…

I’m not digital…

I’m alive right now…

I’m living right now


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Shooting Stars – An international kinda Christmas

Maybe living in Toronto, one of the most multicultural places on Earth, did it. Or maybe it had something to do with my living in India for a couple of years. Or maybe it was my interest in world cultures. I really don’t know. But I was playing around with some exotic scales and it turned into a kind of international Seasons Greetings.

I learned some new techniques here. Most notably, “ducking”—not only the bass by the kick drum, but also the synthesizer pad by the sleigh bell. If you’re not into music production, chances are you won’t know what the heck I’m talking about. No worries. Music is mostly meant to be listened to. Not analyzed.

My gut tells me this one will, like most of my others, miss the radar. But with these techniques now under my belt, I’m still hoping for that big hit (someday). That may seem far fetched but if you listen to the earliest recordings of most bands, including biggies like Supertramp and The Beatles, they went thru a “not so great” phase where they were still refining their style and polishing up their technique. That gives me great comfort, knowing that “Fool’s Overture” or “Hey Jude” didn’t pop right out of the box.

Anyhow… enuf talk.

Season’s Greetings! 🙂


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On a Star (DRS Remix)

Well, here it is. A remix of a tune I posted a while back. It’s a trippy epic theme… something like Paradise Lost vs. TimeCop… includes some German language bits… (or my take on it…)

Many thanks to http://www.freesfx.co.uk/ and http://www.freesound.org/


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Telecaster with Fretted Synth Full, Broomstick Bass and XLN Drums

Fender Telecaster. Quelle http://nl.wikipedia....

Fender Telecaster (Wikipedia)

I’ve been having a great time playing with my computer and music plugins. When it’s freezing cold outside and you really don’t feel like going for that daily walk, fiddling on the computer is a great alternative. I actually restored the whole thing from scratch. I like to do that about every 6 months. First back up all your data… and then… go for it!

It’s like getting a new machine. Everything runs fast again. And you can forgot about all those lousy programs that slowed down your PC. So in the process, I dug up this demo from a few months back. I’d pulled it from SoundCloud cos it was a bit tooooo jangly. Even for me!

This new remix is a bit more balanced. I’ve applied everything I’ve learned over the past little while. Here’s the SoundCloud intro:

You may remember this little demo from a while back. I just remixed it using slightly different plugins. The biggest change was getting rid of MDrummer and replacing that with XLN Audio’s Dynamic Drums. I also added a master/limiter that I hadn’t tried when I first posted this… Kjaerhus. I really like this plugin. It gives a subtle punch without making the mix too sparkly.


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the beat goes on…

MIDI GEAR

MIDI GEAR (Photo credit: me dais poca industries)

Thank you for the likes (SoundCloud versions, below). It’s encouraging.

Since posting this I realized the drum track had to come down at the beginning. I actually drew more detailed volume curves for the entire drum track. That, of course, changed the rest of the mix. So I had to basically redo the levels for most other instruments.

Still remaining are the levels for the little riff that sounds sorta 70s-ish.  The first instance has to come down but… well I can’t remember… some are okay and some are not. It’s not a big deal to fix but I’m sort of saturated with this project. Hearing it so many times you not only lose perspective but also get…. bored?

No, maybe it’s not that. I just feel there are certain times when I can do this. I have to be in the “music mood” as it were. And right now I’m in the blogging mood. Cleaning up some admin. stuff, making sure I’m getting back to all followers, whom I also appreciate very much!

I do plan to get the final mix out by MLK day! And then after that, onto the next project… with a whole bunch more producing/mastering knowledge under my belt!