For the past few months I’ve been learning electronic music production.
In the past, I’ve mostly worked with recorded audio. Drums, guitars, vocals, and the like.
This is something that I haven’t played with since I first started recording. When I was about 21 I lived in a tiny apartment that had a huge walk-in closet. I didn’t have many clothes, but I had a computer with a pirated version of Fruity Loops, an electric guitar with some fuzz pedals, and a cheap microphone.
My routine was this: I would make a beat in Fruity Loops, maybe with some weird synth noises, and then record myself jamming on the guitar. It was mostly pretty formless and experimental, but I also recorded some of my first structured songs as well. Most of that stuff ended up on my first 3 albums, which are mostly available on My Soundcloud.
After that I mainly stuck with human drummers, most of whom had much richer rhythms than I could compose in that little closet with a stolen sequencer program. Life was good, and so were the beats. I always considered my electronic production to be making do with the resources available. Settling for something substandard rather than exploring something new.
Fast forward to 2020. I’ve been out of the music game for a long time, but at the beginning of the year I had pledged to publish some creative work. Then coronavirus hit, and we were all in lockdown (still are, at the time of this writing). I had been saving money for studio time because I’d been sitting on 10-15 songs that had mature lyrics and compositions, but didn’t trust myself to record them correctly. This didn’t seem like the right year to schedule time with new people in a new space, so instead I invested in a better audio interface, my first really nice vocal microphone (Townsend labs, y’all!), upgraded my DAW, and bought a bunch of awesome plugins that modeled classic studio gear.