This Thing Rules: Revisiting Hive

So here’s something new that I’ve never done. A follow-up This Thing Rules about something I’ve already discussed before. It’s time to revisit u-He’s excellent synth Hive.

After my initial review of Hive (which is a much more in-depth review and I encourage you to check it out if you haven’t already), it became something I’d go to every so often for really nice, juicy synth sounds. But not something I used on a really regular basis. As I started adding more synth-heavy sounds to my new album, Head Like Fire, however, it quickly became my go-to for all things synth. Check out my newest music video, “Butterfly” (created by Tobias Steiner).

“Butterfly” is a song that really came to life thanks to the sounds and features of Hive. It should be pretty obvious to anyone who has used this synth before that that huge arp that takes over the song half way through is from Hive. There are also multiple other instances of Hive, some subtle, and some bigger that come in throughout the track. I’m also using automation on the filters to make the sounds grow and change as the song builds, and the smoothness of this software really lets you do just about anything you can imagine (and all with very low CPU usage).

Hive has a ton of well laid out knobs for adjusting and effecting the sounds you’re using to get things tweaked exactly how you like it. We all have tons of synth VSTs, but I can’t think of one that’s this easy to get results with. And for inspiration, there is a community of people out there making incredible and varied presets that you can load in as simply as dragging files to the Hive folder on your hard-drive. I literally have installed 100s of presets… Maybe even 1000s, all for free. And there are amazing sound designers making paid content packs as well. Those preset starting points not only help you get where you need to be, but can be used like a roadmap to find out how a sound was dialed in so that maybe you’ll know what to mess with when you need to edit a sound. It’s all just incredibly powerful and easy to use.

All of this is to say, if you skipped Hive before, I think it’s definitely worth another look. My review was pretty glowing in the first place, but as I began the finishing stages of building up the songs that would become my new album, I found myself finally returning to Hive and really making use of it in a way I thought I would, but didn’t at first. I’m really glad to have pulled myself back in.

Hive is available from u-He directly for $149.

David Rosen is an award-winning music composer. He composes original music for films, commercials, jingles, video-games and all other kinds of media projects. He has a vast music library of original tracks available for licensing and is also available for custom compositions. Contact him on the ABOUT page for pricing and availability for your next project.

THIS THING RULES: The Riser

Welcome to a new edition of This Thing Rules! This week I’ll be checking out Air Music Technology’s The Riser, which I’ve been using quite a bit on my new album.

Speaking of the new album, I’ve recently gotten really busy what with finishing it up, as well as working on music for a couple of films, so these reviews are going to be coming a little less frequently than I had hoped. But rest assured I’ve got plenty This Thing Rules reviews on the way… As a matter of fact, I’ve got 8 in the works currently!

Working Hard…

Today’s blog is just going to be a quick little update to let you all know how things are going with all the projects I’ve been working on.

Yes, I’ve fallen a little behind on the to-do list, but don’t worry, that doesn’t mean I’ve fallen behind on making music.

Nope, during this little bit of radio silence from me, I’ve been working hard on a number of things. Most importantly, album #3 is  WAY past the 50% finished mark. It’s currently sitting at 23 started tracks, 14 of which I’m almost certain will make the album. That leaves two more perfect tracks that need to somehow materialize before I start focusing in on going back and finishing each song to get the album done (16 songs is sort of a tradition for my main albums and will continue to be). Expect to see a lot of news about the third album, and hopefully some more tastes of it too over the coming months… If you haven’t already listened to “Burnout,” the first track I’ve released from the album, check it out on my Soundcloud page.

Along with album work, I also did music for a few projects and have been finally actively engaging with music libraries, which are one of the better ways to make a living in this business, although something I’ve been putting on the back burner for far too long. Thanks to that work you should be hearing some of my music in some TV shows soon. Hopefully some of them I can let you know about ahead of time. But regardless, that stuff is happening.

I also am seriously backlogged with This Thing Rules reviews. I have demos made for two of them right now (so I just need to write the actual review), but I have four more to do after that. I definitely plan on finishing all six by the end of the year. I have big plans for This Thing Rules and am working to grow it for 2017 and start taking on bigger software and putting more into these reviews. The feedback on them has been great and useful and I want to make sure everyone knows that I am listening… and I want to make sure that YOU are all listening.

I’m also in the planning stages of some EPs that will end up being little collections of even more music that will get released in between albums. I’m not going to go into detail on those right now, but it should be a cool series and allow me to release a lot more music for all of you. I’m currently debating releasing the first one before or after the next album. We’ll see what happens…

Lastly, I’ve been writing some music video ideas for songs from the next album that hopefully can be turned into reality. I have a few already  that I’ve been discussing with some of my collaborators and we’ll see… There could be some really cool videos coming soon. Fingers crossed.

That’s it for now. Thanks for hanging in there. Thanks for listening. If you haven’t already, you can check out all the This Thing Rules reviews and listen to the music demos I include in each one at the This Thing Rules Archives. I’ll be back really soon with my review of The Riser from Air Music Tech. Now it’s time to get back to working hard.

– David

David Rosen is an award-winning music composer. He composes original music for films, commercials, jingles, video-games and all other kinds of media projects. He has a vast music library of original tracks available for licensing and is also available for custom compositions. Contact him on theABOUT page for pricing and availability for your next project.

THIS THING RULES: Ample Guitar TC II

Welcome to another edition of This Thing Rules! This is going to be a slightly different one as I’ll sort of be talking about TWO products this time instead of the usual one. The main review is about Ample Sound’s excellent Ample Guitar TC II, but I’ll also be talking about Jamstik+, a really cool guitar instructional tool that doubles as a MIDI guitar. While I’ll eventually be doing a full review of the Jamstik+, I had just gotten it when I received this new Ample Guitar software, and since their products are setup to quickly and easily use with a MIDI guitar, I figured it would be a great match.

Before diving any further into the review, take a listen to the demo I made called “Stand Up.”

THIS THING RULES: Interstellar for Omnisphere

Welcome to another This Thing Rules! This time we’ll be taking a look at Interstellar for Omnisphere by Subsonic Artz. You may remember my review of Gaia from Subsonic Artz, another Omnisphere expansion pack that I checked out last year. Well they’re back with another collection of beautiful sounds for Omnisphere, and the theme this time is something I think a lot of you will recognize.

Before digging into the review, check out my demo “Another World” which I created entirely with sounds from Interstellar.

My Genre of Music

Categorizing my music has always been hard. My influences come from film scores, alternative music, industrial, rap and all kinds of other places. And considering that I compose music for various purposes (my instrumental albums, my soundtracks, my comedy-rap projects which we usually don’t talk about here haha), that makes it even more difficult. Which is why it was so cool when the makers of Every Noise At Once, a new experimental website that shows every possible genre of music (and there are a lot of them) organized in a connected cloud, responded to my tweet asking, “I wonder what genre my music is?”

Their answer? Well it’s not just one genre. That’s not how the site works. However, the closest match in their opinion is what’s known as Epicore. Because of the way Every Noise At Once works, Epicore is just the start. From there, it branches out into a cloud of genres and artists that fit into those genres which you can see in the image below. You can also click on Epicore in this post to take you directly to the section of the site that they sent me, centered around Epicore and moving outward from there. Here are the genres listed and my thoughts on how they apply to me and my music:

2016-06-23 04.13.14

  • Epicore I love the name. Certainly my music that gets really big fits this name. However when I tried to look up Epicore, I found that it was more of a metal based genre used for big, epic metal music. Which doesn’t really describe my music too well.
  • Organic Ambient Interesting description for my music. A lot of my music is ambient, that’s for sure. Organic? Not so much. Although with each album and each film score I work on, I try to get more and more organic sounding (less like it was made on a computer). Still, it definitely sounds cool when applied to my music haha.
  • Mandible This is an odd one since when searching for it I couldn’t even find an example on Google of the phrase “mandible genre” existing. However with that said, after listening to some of the artists Every Sound At Once has tagged as mandible music, I’d say it’s a pretty damn apt description. Although some of the examples get much more urban sounding than my music (there’s definitely a lot of samples and chopped up loops in some of the examples), overall it has a very similar vibe to my more mid-tempo music. Mandible… I like it.
  • Video Game Music Video Games were a HUGE part of my childhood, so there’s no doubt whatsoever that their music had a big influence on me. I don’t really do much work in Video Games as I prefer working in film (although I’m always open to the opportunity to work on more games in the future). But even so, a lot of my music definitely could fit in games and this is a totally appropriate genre.
  • Dark Ambient I loved seeing this one because I’ve actually called my music this before. Dark Ambient and/or Dark Electronica. It really describes what I do and I think it’s one of the most accurate on the list.
  • Hauntology Ooh wow do I love this one. You guys know I love my dark and haunting music. I don’t even know if that’s what Hauntology means but it sure sounds cool. After doing some Googling I found a lot of references to the band Boards of Canada which a lot of people told me I should listen to after hearing my music, so it must be somewhat similar. Either way I love it. Hauntology.
  • Abstractro Another cool name! I should make a song called “Abstractro.” This is making me realize how uncool I have become haha. I used to know all about new music and what’s happening in the world of music, especially back when I worked for Sony Music, but now there’s genres like Abstractro and Hauntology… Who can keep up? I have no idea but I will say that when listening to examples of the genres, this one included some of the best music I heard, so hey, it’s great company to keep.
  • Anime Score Interesting one here. I have never really watched Anime, but from my understanding it’s like a mix of Video Game Music and Film Soundtracks. Very Japanese. Very wild and cool with a mix of synth and orchestral stuff happening. I could be wrong but I think I’m right haha. Anyway, I’ll take it, although I think the orchestral stuff in an most Anime Score music gets much more complex and huge than I could ever hope to create.
  • Scorecore I love this one because it seems like such a perfect word to use in describing my music. I create film scores and I create music for just listening to on albums. Put them together you get scores and some kind of -core music… Why not Scorecore? This genre basically includes every big name Hollywood Film composer you can think of though, so I guess maybe that’s a common term to describe film score composers? I certainly never heard it before. I like it though!
  • Soundtrack Of course Soundtrack would be on the list as all of my music is, by design, supposed to sound like it could be on a soundtrack. Works for me. Works for you? Good.

And that’s the list. Of course the way this connected cloud works, you could click on say Abstractro and find other genres that connect to it and keep moving on and on from there. Every Noise At Once is a really cool website and I suggest you check it out. If nothing else, it will give you an appreciation for just how many different kinds of music are out there, and hopefully, turn you on to some new artists.

Just make sure you check out my FREE newly released Another Sky bonus album first haha. Did I mention it’s FREE?

OH and one more thing before I go… What do YOU think my genre of music is? I’d love to hear. It can be one on the above list or use your own description. Comment below or on Facebook to let me know!

David Rosen is an award-winning music composer. He composes original music for films, commercials, jingles, video-games and all other kinds of media projects. He has a vast music library of original tracks available for licensing and is also available for custom compositions. Contact him on theABOUT page for pricing and availability for your next project.

Another Sky is Now Available for Everyone!

Well to be honest, I’m not entirely sure what took me so long on this one… Another Sky has been completed for a while now. At first I kept it as a bonus only for people who purchased the CD version of An Unseen Sky and people who participated in various contests and promotions… Then I was going to wait until every video and other thing that was going to come from the An Unseen Sky and Another Sky sessions was released… But that could be a while since we’re still working on the VR version of my “Gravity” Music Video and possibly another music video or two off of An Unseen Sky too. So I think it’s about time to make my album of bonus tracks and remixes, Another Sky available for all to hear.

THIS THING RULES: Lethal

The This Thing Rules blogs are going to be coming one after another over the next couple months, and today I’m excited to be checking out Lethal, a brand new rompler from Lethal Audio.

Before we jump into the review, make sure to listen to the demo, “The Monster,” which I made entirely in Lethal.

THIS THING RULES: Chromaphone 2

Welcome to another edition of THIS THING RULES! It’s been a little while as I’ve been going back and forth between being sick and busy, sick and busy, sick and busy… But I’ve got 7 of these reviews lined up right now, with 3 that are close enough to finished that I should be able to push them out over the next three weeks… And first up, is this sequel to one of the first products I ever reviewed on THIS THING RULES, Applied Acoustics Systems’ Chromaphone… This is Chromaphone 2!

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