One Night

Just wrapped up the composition, recording, and mixing of a new track I’m calling “One Night”.  I’m very excited about this track – it is a 7 1/2 minutes dramatic film-score organic/electronic journey… complete with epic drums, electric guitars, and even a flute.  I’ll be posting an excerpt, maybe with a video, sometime soon.

This track is so involved, my iMac wasn’t up to the task of handling all of the processing involved.  I was able to off-load most of the instruments to one of my VEPro slave machines, and the setup is working out very well.  Here’s a clip of me working with VEPro on another potential new track:

 

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New single and more studio

My new single, “Traveling“, is released today!  I liked Conor’s work on the art for Life Is Something so much, I asked him to do me a cover for this single and it’s great.  I’m going to have him do all my art from now on.

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I’m really happy with the track.  I wrote it a couple of weeks before our Italy vacation, and listened to it a lot while traveling on the high speed trains across the country.  The song really fit the feel and vibe of the trains and of traveling in general… so that’s what I named it.  Please head on over and grab your copy!

I did my own mastering on this track.  I went for the bx_XL V2 mid/side mastering limiter for getting the loudness to a good level without squashing any sound and for keeping the stereo wideness sounding great.  Very happy with the result.

I’m setting up my new VEPro rig now as well.  Finally starting to install all my instruments and plugins on the new machines.  I’ve ordered the Vienna Key’s which hold the licenses for VEPro, and once they come in I’ll get VEPro and start setting up my templates.  This whole setup will allow me to offload a lot of the processing from my iMac, giving me the ability to use more instruments and sounds on each song.  I am starting to run into the limits of my iMac with a new track I’m working on which has a very movie score / cinematic sound.  Here’s a shot of my studio today…

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It’s a bit of a mess at the moment.  I have a new wide-screen monitor (the left one) attached to the iMac (the right monitor).  The VEPro rig is the two PC’s on the right on the floor, with monitors for them on the table above.  I’m actually not using the attached monitors and keyboards, since I am using Remote Desktop to work with the PCs from the Mac…

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In other studio news, I have acquired over the last several months a little Alesis Vmini 25-key keyboard.  I use it to play live at church while I’m also running the sound board for the band.  I also have some new plugins… the bx_XL V2, Vocalise 2, Addictive Keys, Xpand!2, Movement, SynthMaster One and 2.8, Arpology, and some sample packs.  I’m considering adding Serum to the mix… not sure if I want/need that one right now.  I pretty much only buy when these things are on sale.  Oh, and I’m also looking at all of TDR’s stuff for mastering, based on the recommendations of Chris at Unlock Your Sound (who mastered my first album).  Quick plug for Chris: he and his team are awesome!  Go check them out!

Last thing, I’ve set up a Patreon page.  This is to allow fans access to my music before anyone else, including work-in-progress and hopefully other insider stuff.  It is a monthly subscription service for my fans, which will help offset the costs of my studio.  I don’t spend a lot of money on my gear – almost always buy software on sale.  The new computers cost me a total of less than $500, which included the memory upgrades to 20GB each.  If you like my music and want to chip in a little and get some back stage access, please become a Patron!

Studio and new work updates

Howdy folks!

I’m in the process of adding a little gear to the studio.  A friend gave me two computers, which I am going to set up as slave machines to my main music workstation computer.  Using software such as VEPro, I can then use all three computers as if they were one, greatly expanding the capabilities of my studio.  With this, I hope to start doing some work with orchestral compositions and larger and more exciting pieces.  My hope is that by next summer that I’ll have another album ready!

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In the meantime, I’m trying to get more active with my Facebook music page and I’ve started a mailing list for fans to get exposure to new music.  I’m also thinking of starting a Patreon page where fans can support my efforts with a very low monthly subscription, so that I can offset some of the costs of my studio.  For me this is a hobby, and I love doing it, and I love sharing it with people… but it does take money, and I ain’t rich!

Anyway, I have a new song done as well, which I will share with mailing list members.  If you sign up, you can get access to the new song.  There’s a sign up form at http://music.dudehook.com.

 

Life Is Something

Well, the album is done and released to the public.

I had 20 CD’s made and shipped to me.  I sent 5 of them to the warehouse for online orders, and of the other 15 I have directly sold 13 to friends.  I kept one, and gave one to Christy (the collaborator on one of the tracks).  The album is available on almost all online outlets.  So far, only one digital download has sold.  Well, I suppose I should be patient.

I’ve kept up promoting the album myself via my Twitter and Facebook accounts.  I created a mailing list which has 10 subscribers.  I did not do this album release in order to really make any money, but I’d need about 80 album sales to break even on the publication/production costs.  Maybe someday it will hit that number 🙂

Anyway, I’ve created a first version of a new song, part of which is on my Soundcloud account.  I need to do a little more work on it, then I’m going to send it to all my email list subscribers.  I’ve decided to keep going and probably release another album of all new music sometime next year.  This new song will be on there, but will be updated.  I hope to do more collaborations with vocalists and hopefully a guitarist or two as well.

Please go check out my website for the album details and links to listen/buy: http://music.dudehook.com.

And let me know what you think of the music!

Album Promotion

The album is done, all tracks are finished and mastering is complete.  I’ve uploaded the tracks to my publisher, and as soon as the artwork comes in I will be finalizing the release and ordering the physical CDs.  The digital distribution will happen very shortly after the artwork is in.

For now, go here to hear a preview of the album, and please visit the website for the album and sign up for updates!

Album Announcement

Ok, a few weeks ago I realized I had enough songs that I thought were “okay” enough to put together in an album.  So I went to the Internet to see what it would take to publish a real CD, and it is surprisingly easy!

Well, not easy… but not all that hard either.  Not expensive, but not cheap; I think it’ll cost me about $600 to get everything done and be published.  That includes:

  • UPC codes
  • IRSC codes
  • Album artwork
  • Professional mastering
  • Publishing administration
  • Performing Rights Organization registration
  • Song registration
  • Gracenote registration (CDDB database)
  • Copyright registration
  • Royalties collection
  • Digital distribution (iTunes, Google Play, Pandora, etc.)
  • Register for sync licensing (when people use your music as background in their videos, etc.)

… and more I probably don’t even know yet.

Most of this is done through the publishing administrator, and I’m going to use CD Baby.  They will also do the physical CD manufacturing.

The title of the album is “Life Is Something”.   Here’s the track list:

  • Life Is Something
  • Never
  • Il Cuore Dell’Amore
  • Little Rain Song
  • The Seven
  • Majestic Mind
  • More
  • Riamáre
  • Beautiful Lonely One
  • Dark Streets

Most of these have older versions on my Soundcloud account.  Almost all of them have been updated or enhanced, and all of them will be professionally mastered.

“Beautiful Lonely One” is co-written by me and Christy Smith (my stepdaughter), who is a fantastic lyricist and vocalist.  I’m very excited to get to bring her voice to the world.  This is the only song with vocals, and I think it came out very good, and look forward to doing more.

I’ll make more announcements as things progress towards a release date.  I’m thinking in about 2-3 weeks it may be all ready… depends more on the mastering.

For now, here’s a little sampler… enjoy!

Are you scared of the dark?

About nine months ago I started messing around with a new track.  As I started, I thought “I’ll make an electronic dance track”.  Electronic Dance Music, or EDM, is very very popular right now, and while it’s not easy to write, it is not that hard to get something that sounds OK.

So I started this piece, and as usual with stuff I do, it took its own direction.  It starts out sounding like it may be a normal EDM track, but I started experimenting with a lot of different sounds, and it got kinda… weird.

Anyway, a little over halfway through it sounds like a really good hard club dance “banger”… then it gets weird again and has a nice finish.  I really kinda like it.

So, this is as finished as its going to get for the time being.  Please, enjoy “Dark Streets”: