To be honest…. It’s so good that I kinda wish I had decided to just put it out as a regular 2nd album, but I already planned on this thing being a freebie for the most supportive fans. Anyone who pre-ordered the Echoes In The Dark album or purchased the limited-edition CD copy of it are eligible to get the free download of Further Into The Dark. Just contact me by e-mail or on Facebook. But if you didn’t pre-order or buy the CD version, you’ll still have a chance to get a copy…
I will be announcing details this coming week about a fundraiser I’m going to start to help raise funds for submitting my new music video, “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep,” to film festivals around the world. The video which was created by House of DON Productions, is incredible, has a moving, beautiful and important story, and we really want to get it seen by as many people as possible. With your help, we’ll be able to make that happen, and in return, there’s lots of music you can get for your donations, including the new Further Into The Dark album.
I’m keeping this blog post short, because I gotta go back and listen to the new album 100 more times and make sure I’m 100% happy with the final mix, but seriously… All I can say is, if you enjoy my music, you’re in for a treat. If you don’t already, make sure you like my page on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, because I’ll be posting regularly about the fundraiser and all the ways you can get your hands on this new collection of music.
That’s right, I promised one but you’re getting TWO new videos!
First of all, as promised, here is the new video for “Broken Circuits,” off the Echoes In The Dark album.
It was directed by Connor Biddle from Paranormal Encounters, a show that can be watched on Youtube and Roku, which I also composed music for. It’s dark, twisted, creepy and awesome. He did an amazing job and the feedback has already been incredible.
Up next is actually a time-lapse video by my friend Yevgeniy Zakharkin of iClimate Studios.
This film, “The Other Side” sets out to show the other side of Las Vegas and features a brand new piece of music I composed. This track might even make its way onto one of my future releases! Be sure to check it out.
I didn’t expect to be sharing both of these so close together, but I’m glad to have some new content out there for you guys! Up next will be the “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” video and the B-Sides & Remixes album. News on those will be coming real soon. As a matter of fact, if you could see my to-do list for this week, it says in big letters FINISH B-SIDES & REMIXES ALBUM… But for now, make sure to check out these videos and please share and comment to let us know how you liked them!
Coming this Thursday is the Official Music Video for “Broken Circuits” from the Echoes In The Dark album! The new video was directed by Connor Biddle, who is also the creator and host of Paranormal Encounters, a web-show I scored that is available on Youtube and through Roku. We’ve been talking for a while about him using some of the extra footage gathered for his show to create a creepy video for the track, and he went above and beyond with this thing! I couldn’t be happier with it. Just wait till you all see it.
Also coming up is the video for “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” which is almost ready. We’ll be planning a release for that video soon. I know I’ve been talking about it for a long time, but it will definitely be worth the wait. I finally got to see a rough cut and it’s looking AMAZING. I can’t wait to share it with you… And we will… As soon as it’s done!
What else is new… Well, this past weekend I attended the 1st annual Las Vegas Black Film Festival at the Suncoast Hotel. “Spring Forward,” a film I scored, directed by Brian K. Palmer was screened, and it went over great. I realized after that it was the first time I’d seen a film I scored on a real, full sized movie theater screen. What an amazing experience. I’ve seen my music videos a couple times, and heard some background music of mine during a promo… But never an actual film I scored. Very exciting, and it sounded excellent… And it was a great event too! I was glad to see that they got such a big turnout.
Last thing for this update is the Remixes & B-Sides download is basically done! Just gotta finish up the artwork and do a final master to the whole thing… But it’s just a matter of deciding when to put it up. I’ve been listening to it pretty much nonstop lately and if you liked Echoes In The Dark, you’re gonna love these tracks.
And yes there will be more This Thing Rules segments… When it rains it pours, you know?
First and foremost, some amazing things happened today… This morning my “Lights In The Sky” music video screened as an Official Selection at the Berlin Independent Film Festival! And not only that, but this morning I also found out that the video is also an Official Selection for the Byron Bay International Film Festival in Australia! When I put this video together, there’s no way I could have guessed it would win the awards it’s won (Best Short at the 2013 Vegas IndieMeet and Best Experimental Video at the 2013 Pollygrind Film Festival), or get accepted into film festivals in other countries! Totally amazing and I am so proud of it. I still am waiting to hear back on a few more film festivals that I submitted it to and then it’s time to move on to the next video… If you haven’t seen “Lights In The Sky” yet you can check it out on Youtube (and make sure to share it on your social network of choice!):
The next video I’ve got coming off the Echoes In The Dark album is for the track “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep,” directed by Douglas Farra and his House of Don Productions crew. They’re finishing it up right now, and from what I’ve seen, it’s going to be AMAZING. I absolutely can’t wait to start getting the video out to festivals all over the world. I plan on pushing this one much harder than I ever pushed “Lights In The Sky,” and I’ll need to spend a good amount of money on the push, which is why I’ll be announcing my first ever fundraising campaign in the next couple of weeks. I have some money set aside to spend on festival submission and promotions, but the more I put in the more we can potentially get out, and I really want this thing to be seen. The video is beautiful and it’s probably my favorite song on the album. I also love working with these guys and girls, and want to get it seen for them too.
Speaking of House of Don, their short film “A Moral Discord” screened as an Official Selection at the Dam Short Film Festival in Boulder City this past weekend and I got to go and be part of the Q&A for the film. My first time going to Dam and I got to be up on stage. Pretty awesome. I love that film and the score I did for it, so I’m really glad to see it doing well.
Aside from the video and the fundraising campaign (which I’m doing by myself by the way, rather than go through IndieGogo or Kickstarter), I’ve got a bunch of short films coming up that I’ll be scoring. I might cut another reel too soon since I’ve done so much in the last year and I rarely get to post any of these things online for you all to watch. There is one project I’ll be working on soon that you will all definitely get to see… But I can’t really talk about that yet… Soon!
And lastly, my This Thing Rules series has been getting a lot of great feedback so I’m going to keep trying to get them out twice a month for now. I’m running a little behind on the one I have planned for this Thursday, but hopefully I make it… If not… Well, come on, I’m busy making music over here! Oh yea… and new music coming soon!
Before we start this edition of This Thing Rules I just want to say thank you to everyone in the music forums who have been giving me feedback on this series. I’m really enjoying doing them and I’m glad you’re all digging it. Eventually I’m going to get into a groove and make it a weekly thing, and I’m also toying with the idea of adding some videos to the segments as well, but for now, a couple times a month, each with a new song…
This time I’m digging into probably the biggest piece of software I’ve done yet, iZotope’s brand new “is-it-a-drum-machine-or-is-it-an-effect” BreakTweaker. Co-created with electronic musician BT (who also helped design the excellent iZotope StutterEdit which I use all the time), this is a piece of software that will definitely be working its way into my regular songwriting process.
Before I get into what makes it special, let me give you a little bit of back story about me. For the past 15 years of making music, I’ve stayed away from drum machines, drum patterns, loops, breaks and drum sequencers. It’s just not the way I do things. I will occasionally add a loop into the chorus section to beef up the percussion for a couple bars, but very rarely, and even when I do, it’s only to augment the drum beat I played out on my keyboard. It’s not that I have anything against that way of doing things… The industrial music I got into this stuff because of was all done with sequencers and drum machines, and most of my favorite hip-hop beats all use breaks and loops. Maybe it’s a control freak type of thing, I don’t know, but I just like knowing I hit all the notes (even if it’s on a keyboard and not an actual drum set).
But with all that said, BreakTweaker is just different and for my purposes, worth using. It’s not just taking your kicks snares and hi-hats and making patterns, although you could certainly just use it to do that. The sequencer module is extremely powerful and easy to use. But it’s the other 2 modules, the Generator and MicroEdit Engine that set this thing apart.
With the Generator you have built in tools to create your own drum sounds. You can combine and tweak until you find exactly the right kind of sound for each piece of your digital kit. The built in kits are already a great place to start though, and for the purposes of my review track up above (you did listen, right?) I didn’t dig into the Generator module too much. Where I had the most fun was in the Sequencer and most improtantly, the MicroEdit Engine.
Playing with the MicroEdit Engine feels like you’re using an instrument that someone brought back from the future. iZotope says you can “manipulate audio at a molecular level” and they’re not kidding. You can take any clip from the sequencer and adjust its pitch, rhythm and texture by adjusting the easy to use knobs. You can take a normal snare drum and pretty much just destroy it… in a good way. Make it stutter, make those stutters pitch shift, transform the changes mid-change. It’s simply insane the amount of room you have to experiment. The Randomizer button adds crazy ideas to your selection which you can then learn from, figuring out how each setting actually effects your sound.
For the sample track, “Broken Glass,” I started out with two instances of BreakTweaker, each with a different but fittingly similar presets (Sin Bass & Tweak Woofer). Each preset loads an already made kit and 12 patterns, with 12 extra empty spaces to add and save your own patterns. I used a mixture of preset patterns and my own created ones. These are spread across the keyboard so you can trigger them easily, and below the patterns are each of the 6 pieces of your drum kit individually so you can add some custom playing to the mix as well. You can also start completely from scratch creating every piece of your kit and totally new patterns. Of course since this software is mainly for drums I added some other synths into the song as well, but everything percussion you hear is from BreakTweaker.
So as you can imagine I’m absolutely recommending BreakTweaker. The drum tracks you can make with this thing are simply insane and if you even could make them without it (and that’s a big IF), it would take you hours of tweaking to do what takes seconds here. It’s a very specific kind of program and not for every kind of composer, but if you make any form of electronic or hip-hop music, you absolutely will not be disappointed. It’s currently on sale from iZotope’s website for $199 (regularly $249) or an expanded version with extra Expansion Packs for $249 (regularly $299).
So my weekly This Thing Rules segments got pretty messed up by the holidays, BUT I am back with a brand new installment and a couple more already lined up. Time to get this thing back on track! This time I am writing about PlugInGuru’s Omniverse 1 & 2. What a beautiful collection of sounds! Before you continue reading, make sure you listen to the sample track above, which was created completely with sounds from these two volumes. Omniverse 1 & 2 are Expansion Packs for Spectrasonics’ Omnisphere, which is probably my favorite piece of music software, so I’m always excited to get some new presets to mess with, but it’s especially a treat when the presets are so ME. PluginGuru says that “it’s called Omniverse because of its versatility” and it’s absolutely right. You’ve got hard electronic sounds, beautiful lush strings and pads for film scores, as well as great keyboard sounds and tons of other patches. As a bonus they include special Envelope and Arpeggiator Presets for messing with any of the included or existing sounds and creating even more unique possibilities.
In the demo track above, I start off with the “Obsessiv Pluk” Lead and then begin to add multiple layers of Guitar sounds including the “Classical and High Voices” and the “Sad Baritone.” From there I include various keys, plucks, percussive elements and big beautiful pads. The overall effect is very cinematic and pretty, but with some definitely electronic edge. It’s too early to start talking about my second album, a follow-up to Echoes In The Dark, but I definitely think this track is something I could continue building off of to create a new killer song.
So there you have it. If you’re making music and you have Omnisphere, Omniverse 1 & 2 are a great collection. At $30 each, they’re an absolute steal, and PlugInGuru recently released a 3rd collection, OmniPulse which I’m dying to check out. I definitely recommend these guys and will be using their sounds in a lot of my upcoming productions.
Well how about that! My video for “Lights In The Sky” won Best Experimental Music Video at the 2013 Pollygrind Film Festival! That’s two wins so far for a video made up of old public domain footage… Pretty damn cool! Thank you to Pollygrind’s founder and organizer Chad Clinton Freeman for not only screening and picking the video, but for being the one who pointed me in the direction of public domain footage in the first place. I had seen a really cool public domain footage-based film called President Wolfman (Directed by Mike Davis) at the 2012 Pollygrind Fest, and I didn’t get a chance to talk to Mike about it, but asked Chad if he knew where to get that kind of footage so I could make my own video and he told me some sites to check out. Pretty cool, right? If you haven’t already, you can check out the video on Youtube here:
Not only that, but House of DON Production’sA Moral Discord and Finding The Truth won Best Experimental Short and Best (Real) Trailer, respectively. I scored both of those and am really proud to be working with these guys. Congratulations to Doug Farra and the whole team! Can’t wait to get to work on the full Finding The Truth film, and can’t wait to see how our “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” video turns out!
What else it new? Oh yea! I’m featured in the debut issue of a new Nevada based magazine called Desert Magazine. You can read a Q&A with me as well as a review of my album, Echoes In The Dark, at Desert Magazine’s website in the 1st issue. I’m really excited to be featured in the magazine and you guys should really go check them out!
That about does it for this blog update. I’m working on music for no less than 3 short films, a couple of little viral videos, a video-game (which is gonna be amazing and I can’t wait to share more details with you guys about that!), and maybe, just maybe, starting to plan another album. First I gotta get a couple more videos out from Echoes In The Dark before I can move on to the next one though haha.