Just a quick update to let you know this blog is on hold at the moment, I've been busy with multiple projects and life related stuff so I've not been able to justify the time to write a blog regularly. Should be back soon!
The latest updates from me.Read More
Since my last update I have a few pieces of news to share.
Firstly, on the job hunt side of things I've been volunteering at Express FM, it's been a great opportunity to learn a lot and get my hands dirty with some practical radio experience. You'll notice there's a new "Radio" page on this site featuring my radio work. I'm hoping to take on some more radio stuff in the future as its a medium that can integrate my integrity for quality and help share my passion for music and sound.
Secondly, I've opened a new channel under my real name for creating tutorials. This is partly because I felt there was a brand identity crisis having all of my stuff on one channel and I also am taking it as an opportunity to create new videos detailing everything about synths to make my videos more accessible. These new videos have a higher edited format, I still need to work on talking slower but I think it's delivering some good content. See for yourself:
Lastly, I finally finished my new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle remix, this was a labor of love over the course of 2 months and survived a near fatal project corruption so I'm very proud to have it finished, it's probably the most musically diverse piece of drum and bass I've produced.
As for what's coming up, I've got a few tracks I'm working on a few things, in particular I'm hoping to put out a song for halloween, it's a little different and borrows some ideas from bigger projects but I'm hoping it'll at least be fun to listen to :)
Thanks for reading
Since I last updated my blog I've been busy searching for jobs, making music and learning to code.
I've been particularly keen on the 2 hour track Sundays which has really pushed me into getting into new styles of music. You may have already seen the new classical piece I have uploaded, which stemmed from a 2hts session.
Here's another example of some drone based stuff from last night: https://clyp.it/rpxxzylf
After 2 years of uploading ym project files to sell at https://www.wemakedancemusic.com/ I've successfully sold enough to earn from it. I'd like to thank anyone who bought any of my projects and I can only hope they get better!
That's all for this blog, be sure to stay tuned for more stuff!
Just a quick update to tell you about three new videos I've released in the last week (which is a lot considering I've done 5 in the last 3 months).
The first is a new Serum tutorial:
The second is a new Rayman remix I put together over a series of livestreams:
The third shows of my project from a contest where participants have only a theme and 2 hours to make a song. It was the first time I tried it and I enjoyed it a great deal and will be doing it again.
Making lots of other stuff at the moment as well as getting involved on the freelance side of things.
Thanks for reading and stay posted!
Since I last posted I've completed my course Music and Sound Production Technology at Bournemouth and been awarded a 2i (that's the grade below the highest for those unaware). I'm now faced with the real world as an unemployed soon to be 21 year old. It's both exciting and terrifying, rest assured I've got a few ideas which could be pretty interesting.
Just today I finished a demo for a new track that I'm hoping to have released (if you're interested in helping, please get in touch). It's quite a relaxed piece that I'd been working on for a few months and I look forward to sharing it. I've also got a few remixes on the go featuring some live guitar.
You might also notice a few new pages on this very website. Firstly the Rates page, where I'll be slowly working out how to negotiate with clients about bespoke music (again if you're interested head on over and check it out, I'll still be here when you get back). Secondly I've put together a page where you can watch each of the five clips from my dissertation, I'm proud to exhibit it in this way and it's an idea I'd like to build on in some way in the future.
With all this extra free time I should hopefully be more regular with the steams (though no promises right now).
Thanks for reading this trail of thoughts, until next time.
So on Thursday I handed in my final year project, nearing the conclusion of my undergrad course. I'll be showing off the work in June but until then I have a wealth of spare time on my hands. I've already kicked it off with a new tutorial on a serum synth (shown below) and have started a couple of new pieces that might develop into something cool.
I'll also be career hunting, looking for the salvation from being stuck in my old bedroom so if anyone reading this thinks to themselves "wow this guy sounds very employable" please get in touch.
In all seriousness it'll be interesting to see what's out there and I'll be sure to update this with any developments I make in my career.
Thanks for reading,
Been super busy with the degree as of late but I've been keeping up this little passion project on the side. It's heavily inspired by the Olli Olli 2 Soundtrack which I've been listening to non stop since playing it a few months ago. In this song I've used no loops whatsoever which is a bit of an achievement when making hip hop style music.
I've released it on my bandcamp page for the small fee of £0.50, take a listen:
Sadly I think this will be the last track for a short while as my dissertation deadline looms.
Thanks for reading!
I mentioned in my last post that I'd like to begin streaming production sessions on twitch. After a couple of spontaneous attempts to ensure the technical side worked (and showing off a remix that should be done soon) I scheduled a stream and spread the word.
On Saturday I started the stream up and set about making a song with a sneeze sample that I'd recorded by accident. The idea was something of a novelty but also a good test for my ability to create within limits. I spent roughly 2 and a half hours stretching, shortening, manipulating and arranging sounds and shut the stream off when I had something presentable. Take a look at the results:
Now, I'd be lying if I said the turnout to the stream was overwhelming, but it was great to talk to a few passers by about what I was doing. It reminded me of seeing a street artist paint while people go past and some may take interest but ultimately the painters goal is to paint. Had I been streaming a little part of a work I think I'd have lost interest after a shot while but trying to complete something in one session meant I had an end goal to keep on track with.
Having said that, I wouldn't always force myself to finish something on stream but I think setting goals such as "finish the verse" or "create an 8 bar loop" are more than realistic goals.
This Saturday I'm planning to stream myself tackling the monthly reddit sample pack competition. Tune in around 1pm GMT at http://www.twitch.tv/dino_kid
I hope to see you there!
I'd like to make a summary post for 2015, pointing out some of the better pieces of work I put out this year as well as talking more about what I plan to do next year.
Firstly, this was the year I started doing tutorials on my YouTube channel, so if you are a music producer, you may want to check those out here. This has been really exciting to produce, and I hope to make some more next year as I actually learn quite a lot making them and am open to requests.
I'd also like to point out the three best bits of work I've made this year. At the top of my list is my remix of the Princess Mononoke theme, it's quickly become one of my most viewed works and is certainly one I look back on as successfully displaying my ideas.
Next up would be my most recent piece, Ascent, this piece took a couple months to put together, having to contend with working alongside my final year of University. Liquid Drum and Bass is a style I've worked in for a long time and I'd like to think this piece its together all I've learnt so far.
And the last track I'd like to advert your eyes too is my entry to August's Reddit Sample Pack competition, which was a lot of fun to make and encouraged me to think outside the box and use some of the more diverse production methods I've learned since attempting it a few years ago. I hope I'll be able to make another entry at some point next year, for now, take a listen:
So with all those shared I'd like to close this post by telling you I plan to stream a lot more in 2016, I've always wanted to get on board but been unsure that the audience was there, but with Twitch's Creative launch back in October I think there's a place for me to stream myself working on some remixes and other pieces, I've demoed this on my page at http://www.twitch.tv/dino_kid and I think I'll be doing more next year as its a nice encouragement to get down to some work. Stay tuned to my social media pages where I'll announce when I'm streaming.
So with all that said it leaves me to thank you for reading and too my audience for sticking with me for another year, look out for more good stuff next year!
Happy new year!
Time for another sporadic blog post.
Back in September I started my final year project at BU, my project is a portfolio one where I research a topic and create 15 minutes worth of content that stems from this research. I have chosen to focus mine on creating a soundtrack for different extracts of film where the sound design becomes integrated with the music so that the two seem to unify. I’m very excited in perusing this and after reading a lot of theory on the subject I’m now in the phase of recording material for it. I’ll be sure to update this once again when I have some audio to show.
I’ve been setting up a new website for myself over at Squarespace to replace my old wix site, I’m showcasing a gallery of my work and plan to implement a store in the future where you can get sound packs and other things. It’s also a nice personal platform for me to present myself online and share my thoughts (you’ll notice this blog is imported into the site itself. I’d like to invite you to check out the in progress version over at http://www.tom-harrington.space and provide with any feedback you have at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m still getting to grips with Squarespace but I’d certainly recommend it to people, there’s a lot of thought into the tools and how to facilitate experienced web designers and people simply looking to build what they have in mind.
Those of you who follow my YouTube and radio stuff may have noticed a lapse in activity recently, while I do still have some things in the works I am tied up in my education and other commitments (including some more msuic for film work). However I recently picked up a copy of Undertale on steam and I’m feeling a strong temptation to remix some the music there so stay tuned!
Thanks for reading,
I just got done playing the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot (after picking it up at a surprisingly low £3 on steam). I thought I should take a look at how Jason Graves’ soundtrack accompanies the game and discuss my thoughts of it. If you’d like to stream the soundtrack while reading this review you can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wR1xUHm4rs . I make reference to moments in the game a couple times but have tried my best to lay this out so that anyone can read it.
The first thing that stood out to me about the soundtrack is the sound design and usage of these sounds. Namely, the vast amount of attack sounds used in series. It’s all too easy to climax too early when trying to create a crescendo, at times I felt the score came close to over doing but overall, I think that Graves has achieved a variety in these sounds that is able to consistently keep up the tension while still providing the shock and awe from an attack sound that is typically used to climax tension in a score.
The other thing that I enjoyed, especially while playing the game, was the use of instrumentation. When the player is in an area with enemies a conga section can be heard in “Scaling the Ziggurat” the sound chosen for this is beautifully appropriate to the setting, providing that kind of familiarity with western audiences and yet a sound out of the ordinary of most modern large scale scores and this sets us slightly on edge. The rhythms used are very effective at keeping the tension high, they are both uneven and unpredictable.
Sweet and ominous string passages have been combined beautifully in “First Blood” and sets up the motifs in “Reaching Roth” really well, allowing the listener/player to feel some kind of solace in these structured motifs which is exactly what the player needs at this stage in the game. Overall the score tends to shy away from strong chord movements and motifs but I feel those use are a nice grounding to the rest of the composition.
Perhaps my favourite piece in the score is “Entering Himiko’s Tomb”. The harp glissando which plays when the player walks into a tomb is the perfect way to establish a bright curiosity. It is this and many other harmonic sounds that are used throughout the score to provide some familiarity to the listener .
Overall I feel the score is particularly heavy on flipping between the relieving moments and the intense ones. I feel this is partly due to the game for which it was composed; the game utilises the technique of bringing the player into moments of security before amping things up again, something which I feel has been overused in the game and reflects in the narrative of the score.
I quite like this game ok. I also very much liked the Bastion Soundtrack, last I checked it had some 40 plays per track in my library, which is quite a lot for me (I'm also remixing one of the tracks from it). Safe to say I know it well and am very fond of Darren Korb's production and composition techniques.
I mentioned a while a go that I'd like to review this soundtrack, saying that I'd listened to it a lot, and I had, more in a "I really like this song, I'll listen to this song" rather than going through the album track by track. However to give a proper review I've now sat down and gone through the album one track to the next a few times.
Now, I'd become quite familiar with a few of the album's tracks that had stood out to me personally, such as "Paper Boats", "We Become", "The Spine" and "Stained Glass". Sitting down to listen to it track by track threw me off a bit. No one track seems to lead to the next with a strong musical connection. I can certainly feel the album telling the story of the game, I can certainly feel the mood change, but tempos, styles and instrumentation don't seem to translate from one track to the next in a way that gives me a listening experience that is particularly smooth. I mean its not like any of it is bad or jarring, just that when we move from slow motifs into tracks with furious breakbeats I am somewhat thrown. Having played the game I have been exposed to the whole games soundtrack and it works very well for the game but when listening to the album each track sort of came as a surprise to me.
Obviously, its a soundtrack and the music on the CD is created to accompany the game, but then again, so was Bastion's. The Bastion soundtrack flows beautifully from one track to the next, although this could be a result of listening to it so much, I can practically hum the next melody before the song has actually begun. Perhaps its the wider use of styles and instrumentation but I am simply not getting that experience from the Transistor OST, even if I found it easier on repeat listens.
Now that's my main frustration out of the way, each song on the album is very solid in its own right. Some clever use of time signatures and rhythms have been used to bring something new to each track, and while I mention the tracks do not flow into each other they certainly all surround the same theme well enough to present a narrative and development of ideas musically. Overall I'm more of a fan of the softer pieces such as "Sandbox" apposed to the harder glitchier pieces like "Apex Beat" but thats simply personal preference and the kind of easy listening I'm really looking for at the moment.
The vocal work is simply beautiful throughout, I'm not a huge fan of vocals but I found them to be enjoyable throughout, excellent melodies that accompanied the tracks very well. The recently released bonus edition of the soundtrack includes hummed versions of the tracks without vocals, I'll certainly be listening to this over some of the tracks on the original. Paper Boats stands out as the best track for me, its simply beautiful and I listen to it very often.
I don't give scores, but what I will say is that it's very solid, a change of pace to the other things available and maintains the some similarities to the Bastion Soundtrack.
Thanks for reading!
First I'd like to share my new Sonic Remix that I posted yesterday, its a Drum and Bass remix of the Seaside Hill music, boasting some chiptune sounds mixed with guitars and various breakbeats. I even went all out on the video editing to make things more interesting.
See for yourself here
Secondly I'd like to announce that I'm starting up radio again, this time with Radio Rebel, I'll be the first to do a live show there. I'll be providing tracks from the Radio Rebel community, a large group of independent musicians thats very open, so if you fancy getting in yourself check it out.
My show will be on Fridays at 9-10pm BST. Keep up with my social media to be sure to catch it.
Finally when it comes to content for blogs I've got some ideas, such as a review of the Transistor soundtrack now that I've REALLY listened to it (a lot) and maybe even some stuff from the games I'm playing (arguably too many).
Thanks for reading this little update, I will keep this blog active no matter how random the content is.. I promise.
I need to start being active on this blog, I've decided that I'm going to post film/game reviews here too so that I'm actually motivated to post consistently, lets start with the review of Supergiant's Transistor that came out last month. This review is taken from my steam profile, but I've added a link to trailer for the unaware, worth watching for the music alone. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RT55lch6y_U
So I just 100% completed this game, might as well get on a high horse of opinion and run my mouth off,
I'd say don't get it for a narrative experience, the one it provides is good, whole and satisfying but by no means is it what I enjoyed most about the game. Players of Bastion may be slightly miffed to hear this as it was certainly the focus of Bastion, that amalgamation of music, voice acting, art and narrative gave an almost cinematic experience in Bastion that left a lasting impression, and while all of those traits are bought into Transistor and done well, the ambiguity in the story is left for the player to explore, as a result I found it less satisfying until you uncover as much as you need to in order to really understand the characters and events.
What I really enjoyed in Transistor was its gameplay, it simply gets better as the game goes on, and its for this reason I see it as a must to at least try recursion, which allows you to unlock all the skills again, making some incredibly powerful and therefore enjoyable combinations. The game provides the right amount of challenge to force you to explore its brilliant match up system. No combos are bad and any strategy is worth a go.
Special mention to the music and vocal work, while the narrative may have a lasting impact, there's certainly a strong sense of immersion created through the music and art. Not bad considering they were all recorded in a closet.
In my last blog I discussed how electronic musicians were adapting live performances to meet the dependency they have on technology these days and how the human element of live music was a strange thing to pick out when the performance is a man and his machine. Carrying on from there I’d like to discuss artists that bring on other musicians to play alongside their music. One of the my favourite recent examples is Pretty Light’s new set up. His new album “A Colour Map Of The Sun” features samples from recording sessions he did with bands in New Orleans, these samples were spliced up, pitched down and otherwise transformed in accordance with his style. He has now begun performing songs from this album live and the session musicians from these recordings are being bought on stage with him to play alongside. Below is a video of his performance on Conan.
Pretty Lights on Conan: http://teamcoco.com/video/pretty-lights-with-talib-kweli-07-17-13
Unlike a traditional band, the vocalist has been moved to the side of the stage to be replaced by the new leading man, the producer. I personally prefer a performance in this style. It’s nice to see session musicians being made use of, as this new one man show makes no room for them and cuts a rich job line out of the music industry; it also makes the music feel much more unpredictable and exciting. I have included a picture of Bonobo playing live with a medium sized orchestra, one of the larger amounts of performers on stage I have seen.
Screenshot from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9I5bvTR3as&feature=youtu.be
On the other side of the spectrum we have musicians who play live instruments who are beginning to incorporate the new technologies (such as Launchpads and motion control set ups) as they become more reliable. In particular, I remember seeing KT Tunstall play live a year or so ago and was surprised to see it was simply her on the stage with a microphone, a loop pedal and a few other percussive instruments. It was impressive to see a traditionally live and acoustic performance be pieced together by one person on stage. She began laying down drum tracks by beat boxing but also played songs to a backing track. In future I think we will see people try to achieve more interesting things in the middle ground of acoustic and electronic performances which will provide a new market for musicians to perform and compose.
The live performance of “Computer Music” is a topic that comes and goes fairly often, and it has a fair history to discuss as well. In the late 70s when electronic instruments became extremely popular people were greatly interested in seeing these machines perform. I remember seeing older clips of bands such as Depeche Mode where the performers stood nearly motionless playing a synthesizer with only one hand, the concept seemed so dull and foreign to me but my father who was watching these clips live explained to me that due to the complete fascination of these new sounds it simply didn’t matter how much of a performance was given. There was still a lot of room for human error in these performances, they did not use DAWs or any other beat mapping software and were simply keeping to a click track, each performer dependent on one another to keep in time and make it through the piece.
Fast forward thirty three years and solo acts such as Avicii top charts and headline festivals and it’s fair to say that a live performance from these producers is hardly traditional; usually involving live mixing with decks or triggering clips mapped to a sequencer. People are often confused by how someone turning dials and pressing pads is a live performance but it certainly is, of course a producer cannot construct an entire song live in front of an audience but he or she can alter the song and give themselves enough control to adapt to their crowd. To make things more interesting for the audience, electronic artists spend lots of time and money trying to make things more exciting. Examples of this include large light structures that react in real time to the music being played or new control interfaces such as deadmau5’ touch screen (pictured below) which allows the audience visualise how the performer is changing the sound.
Screenshot from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hegqRGDQ_OA
There is a large effort to keep the audience aware of what the performer is doing now, and it also allows the performer to feel more connected with his audience, it adds some more of the pressure involved with more traditional live music performance as human error is more a factor. Another thing I have begun to notice is live musicians joining a producer on stage and I’ll cover that in my next blog.
I'm a big fan of Rayman, in no small part due to its soundtrack. Back in summer of 2013 I even remixed one of the songs from the soundtrack(which you can find here). Recently I received a comment from none other than the composer himself, Rémi Gazel, advertising a new project aiming to redo the Rayman soundtrack with real instruments. A CD is the base goal with ambitions of a tour.
So far 7 musicians are signed on to the project, and a large amount of testimonies can be found, so far the major thing missing from the project is an English version of the site, but Google Translate has managed to make the page legible so far. It was somewhat flattering for my humble soundcloud page be used to advertise the project, but I'm excited by the prospect. Check out the project here.
This is a first blog for my WordPress, I've written a few blogs before but this is my first formal attempt at creating a formal blog of my own. I have no particular plans for it other than to post when I have something to say about anything, be it a film an album or anything else. To give more of an idea of what that anything else could be, you should know I'm an 18 year old English student studying Music Production. I've been playing drums for over 8 years and in my spare time i produce music under the alias Dino Kid. I also do a fortnightly radio show during term time.
I have an active interest in music, film, games and technology and regularly browse so I am likely to discuss news surrounding these topics.
Not much more to say without waffling on, but hey at least its a blog post. The next one will be interesting. Maybe.