Music production

Below you will find samples of my work, a list of submissions to various music challenges and contests, and you can also learn about my gear and plugins that I use.

Funky/retro

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Orchestral, cinematic, and instrumental

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Music challenges and contests

A great way to improve as a musician and music producer is to join music challenges and contests. This gives you a specific goal to work towards to, and sometimes provides limitations, which can in turn spur creativity.

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Splice Beat Battles

Splice periodically hosts what they call Beat Battles to promote their sample packs. Here are my submissions to those that I joined.

Splice X Chromeo Beat Battle

The goal for this challenge was to create a 45-60 second track using these five samples. I came across videos on music production made by the band behind this challenge not too long ago before it was announced, so I decided to use bits and pieces of their tutorial.

21st/100 submissions, not too bad for my first ever competition

Spitfire Audio

Spitfire Audio is a London-based company creating sample libraries and various virtual instruments for music composers.

Hans Zimmer Month challenge

Spitfire run a music scoring challenge to promote their Hans Zimmer libraries of sounds and instruments.

Most of the early submissions posted on Twitter went for a more dramatic sound, so I thought I’d go the opposite direction, using a quote from an American naturalist and nature essayist John Burroughs as an inspiration.

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.

John Burroughs

Music Weeklies Challenge

The team behind musicweeklieschallenge.com runs themed weekly music challenges.

Happiness

I was trying to approach the theme “happiness” in a more nuanced way, aiming to evoke the feeling of happiness that comes from overcoming a struggle; a sense of calmness and inner fulfillment.

Inspiration for the song’s title comes from an American journalist Sydney J. Harris’ quote.

Happiness is a direction, not a place.

Sydney J. Harris

Deep End Community Challenges

Deep End is a community run by the musician and sound designer Venus Theory.

Oblique Strategies: Twist the spine

A short ambient track based on the “Twist the spine” oblique strategy.

Gear and sounds

Akai MPK Mini mk3, M-Audio Keystation 49, and Akai MIDImix

My current setup primarily consists of:

  • Ableton Live as my main working environment.
  • I don’t have a dedicated studio, and often compose at night, so I use a pair of Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones.
  • Akai MPK Mini mk3: A gift from my wife for my 33rd birthday that kicked off my music production journey. This is a nice, compact MIDI keyboard, great for writing melodies and making beats.
  • M-Audio Keystation 49: My space for playing is a bit limited, so I wanted something with a wider range than the MPK Mini that’s still small enough to fit on a desk.
  • Akai MIDImix: A MIDI control surface with a good amount of knobs and sliders. Typically you’d use this to control your DAW, but I wanted a way to make it easier to adjust parameters of virtual synths.
  • Arturia’s V Collection: You’d have to pay tens of thousands of dollars to get all of the original synths, if you could get your hands on them at all. I have some cheaper and free synths as well, but I like that Arturia recreates the original circuits instead of just using samples, and in some cases they even get the original creators involved. I also recommend watching these detailed overviews of some of Arturia’s instruments.
  • Instruments and effects from Output.
  • Unique and free instruments from Pianobook.
  • And Splice is my go-to place for samples and loops.

More projects

Makeover Monday

My submissions to the Makeover Monday data visualization challenge.

#challenge #data #dataviz #data-visualization #excel #makeover-monday #matplotlib #pandas #python #r #tableau

Data of New York

Explore the great city of New York using maps, data, and bots!

#bot #bots #data #data-visualization #dataviz #fediverse #javascript #map #mapbox #maps #mastodon #mastodon-bots #node #node-js #nodejs #nyc #nyc-open-data #socrata #twitter #twitter-api #twitterbot #twitterbots

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