Friday, January 6, 2017


I have spent a lot of time music-making (approximately 200 tracks for dalama jones), and for the past ~9 years have managed to finish approximately one long play or extended play per year. Throughout my underground musical expedition, I have come across many creative artifacts, or tools to create, and so, the methods by which I create music have changed over time. I thought it would be cool to briefly sketch out the ways in which I made music for my latest project MIDI GULF.

1. Jet Ski - main beat and sound effects courtesy of AudioBlocks. The stock beat didn't loop perfectly, so I did waste some time fixing that. It sounded cleaner originally but I like lo-fi. I played the synth and background drum variations on my MIDI keyboard. There's also a Skillet sample in there, taken from "Alien Youth."

2. Rainbow Trout - made in Pro Tools with a MIDI keyboard in late 2010. No pre-made loops or illegal samples on this one, though I did use the digital Boom drum machine and Xpand!2 synth. I made a recent alteration to it in Sony Acid, particularly, the beginning isolated drums because the drum sounds on this song aren't great and kind of hurt the ears when they're on their own.

3. 1990s Soda Machine - just some fooling around with some stock loops in GarageBand on an iPad. I plugged it into my interface, recorded it, and layered some of this discussion from philosopher Stephen Mumford and a bird sound effect via AudioBlocks in Pro Tools. Most of the effects added were done on the fly in GarageBand (I had way too much fun with stutter).

4. Dmitri's Sunglasses - pre-made loops put together in Sony Acid back in the day (circa 2009, methinks). I used to love Sony Acid and I still have fun with it. It was a most excellent upgrade from the Ableton Live demo / Audacity I was using before.

5. Blue Sorbet - lots happening on this track. The main loop is taken from Cowboys & Monsters' song "Kiss (Not an Eraser Mix)." Drum loops were programmed on my Alesis SR-16 drum machine. Other samples include: "Big Shot (Hands in the Sky)" by Straylight Run and "The Kill" by Thirty Seconds to Mars. Once again, another AudioBlocks sound effect is included here. Despite all the detail on this one, it's my least favorite track on the album, though I think the main loop almost redeems it.

6. The Waves at Sundown - samples include "Dimmer Light" by Dead Poetic and "The Bluff" by The Joe. I chopped a pre-made drum loop, taking only the kick and the snare and used a lo-fi plugin on that channel. This is my favorite song on the album.

7. Lobe du Ranch - live acoustic guitar playing from myself and some improv drums via my drum machine. Wolf howl taken from AudioBlocks.

8. Outside the Harbor - some minimalist icing on the cake, that is, a glittery intro which leads into some piano that I played on my MIDI keyboard. As you can tell, both parts play exactly the same, but I didn't have to play twice cause Pro Tools is efficient. I just had to play the piano part and then I duplicated the track and changed the virtual instrument - viola!

And that is how you finish an album in approximately one year month. Generally, I'm really happy with how this project came together, though I will say that I still use too many pre-made loops. Whatever. I've listened through these songs quite a lot and I still like them, so I think that's worth something. In any case, it is fun to be releasing new music. If you'd like a free download, you can get it right here.


  1. It's been confirmed that the aliens have landed!

    Nice! I kid you not, I have that CD in my car right now. Pulled it off the shelf for the first time in years. That hook on "Eating Me Away" is still killer. I miss old Skillet.

    1. I seemed to have overlooked that song, but it's a good one! Yeah, "Alien Youth" jams pretty well, though I would say I like "Collide" the most. "Comatose" was alright - everything else has been meh.