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The To Do list.  Power up.

The To Do list.  Power up.

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The “I need to be productive” post

Been too busy/lazy lately, and I’ve got a lot more time off coming up, so I’ve been thinking of a few ways to keep productive, and one of those is a definite refocus of this blog.  I’d been primarily focusing it on my music project, which has been stagnant for awhile, but I’ve been putting a lot of focus on work related IT projects lately, working on a lot of Virtualization, Cloud computing work, and PowerShell, and writing things down always helps me remember and understand things, so I’d like to try throwing in a few entries on here as well.  Maybe even throw in the occasional food/photo/etc.   

I’m absolutely set on getting back into the music side of things also, but I’m thinking a new direction.  I’ve got a nice stack of books and no real idea where to go, so we’ll see where those take me.

So I guess all in all, I’m taking the focus away from this just being a music project blog, and more of a personal blog to help me get motivated.

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2011 Track Project: Day 66

Woke up with an idea in my head, which I then butchered into this:

Day 66 by jsurek

I’m hoping I can salvage that idea and turn it into a song.  Thats why I put this on the internet.

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2011 Track Project: Day 65

Sometimes I just wake up with something in my head.  This was it this morning:

Day 65 by jsurek

I think it has potential, I will most likely revisit this in the near future to flesh it out as a real track.

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2011 Track Project: Day 64

Decided to expand a bit on what I made before:

Day 64 by jsurek

Not much new here, just trying to standardize myself in Ableton again.  Working with Sean yesterday gave me a few ideas on how to stay consistant across the board with Ableton, namely saving my presets.  I now have a JSRK folder with everything I need to sound exactly like myself.

I want to see if I can turn this into a full start.  I’ll keep poking at it.

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2011 Track Project: Day 63

Hey I still do music.  Here’s a snippet of my warm up track from today:

Day 63 by jsurek

Just wanted to get back in the swing of things, so I decided to do a couple of things I’ve been meaning to do for awhile.  

1.) Get my drum kit purely in Ableton.

I tried to recreate what I had on “Behind the Times,” and I think I’ve gotten the basic feel of it.  I haven’t EQ’d or put any effects on the drum kit yet, so it still needs more, but the start of it is there.  The goal is to have this completely in Ableton as a template, so I can fire up a set and only have to worry about what drum notes I want, and not creating an entire kit

2.) Get a new bass synth

I tweaked the bass from “Behind the Times” a bit to get what you hear above.  I like it so far.

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2011 Track Project: Day 62

Alright, so I have another complete song,  JSRK - Behind the Times:

JSRK - Behind the Times (Day 62) by jsurek

Today I just put the final mastering touches on it, and changed up the breakdown a bit.  Making this song was a good learning experience, mostly on just pushing through until a song is done, and because I did that, I ended up getting this to a point where I like it a lot more than I did a few days ago.

The chillwave sound is pretty fun, I’d like to get a good synth library around this so I can take it further.

Up next I’m going to be shifting my focus to more of a video game type of sound, since I’m freshly inspired by PAX.  Bumbershoot is this weekend though, so I may change what I’m influenced by in a few days :P.

Enjoy.

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2011 Track Project: Day 61

Moving on forward, to meet my goal I want to finish up this song.  I’m getting close, here’s a section:

Day 61 by jsurek

So I came in today not terriibly enthused about this song, but I want to get it finished, just so I have a feel for completing songs, instead of making a bunch of starts.

I started off by organizing everything into a very basic song structure: Intro-Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Breakdown-Chorus-Chorus-Outro.  Taking these various parts, I switched up some chords and instruments between the verses choruses and breakdown, and it lead me to a mostly coherent song.  I tweaked each of these sections numerous times until I found something I’m happy with for now.

After the basic song structure was complete, i started to do a bit of mixing and mastering, and I think I have something almost complete.  I’ll try to completely finish it next session.

Even though I’m not the biggest fan of this song, doing this exercise really seems to be helping with both motivation, and song writing experience.  I feel like getting a feel of completing a song will help me compose quicker in general, and have a better concept of how a completed song should feel like, if that makes sense.

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2011 Track Project: Day 60

Ok I’m still doing this thing I promise:

Day 60 by jsurek

It’s been way too long since I’ve touched this.  I ran out of SoundCloud space, so I went and bought myself a shiny upgraded account, so now I can do more things with it.  Just wanted to get back in the swing of things today, so I worked a bit more on what I had with Day 59.  This is what’s on here.

I’m really trying to get motivated to get this back up and running again, as I feel like I’m losing touch with my music lately.  I’ll be back doing some more introspective stuff on what I’m writing and why, and looking at songwriting in general.  The main thing I figure I need to work on is just finishing songs, no matter how good they are.  I just need to get them finished so it’s easier to finish things in the long run.

The above is a snippet of me trying to change up Day 59 a little.  Just need to get this arranged and maybe add a bit more, and some mixing and transitioning things and it should be a finished product.

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2011 Track Project: Day 59

Making some more progress on the latest track:

Day 59 by jsurek

I wanted to mix up the drums a bit, so I added a few fills.  I found some Toms that I may want to mix in with this drum kit, see how they sound after a few listens, but I think I like them at the moment.  The drum kit could be nearly complete at this point.

I also wanted to add a little bit of that JSRK sound from previous tracks by throwing in the ambient-ish arppegios, so you’ll hear that also.  I’m still undecided on if it fits with everything else or not.  I may need to 80’s it a bit more.

Threw it together in a pretty basic arrangement with a couple of transitions just to see how they sound.  Next time I’ll probably try to add more to it, and get a better feel for how I want this track arranged overall.