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Re-learning How to Electronic Music...

Jun 08, 2024

I'm taking some time off this summer (and working on other cool stuff for you). So, this and maybe a few other newsletters might be a bit shorter than usual for the next couple of months.

It's been a while since I've taken any scoring jobs. And since I've been mostly talking about foundational composition concepts for the past year, I've been enjoying getting back to the basics: me, my piano, and a piece of staff paper.

But now I have a problem. When someone reached out about a potential scoring job that I actually wanted to take on, they mentioned how much they love my ELECTRONIC music....

Uh oh.

Confession time, I haven't exactly been firing up the modular and practicing my patching skills every day for the past year or so. Turns out, rust is a real thing.

So, it's been a humbling time of attempting to reclaim my "synth-legs."


Overthinking It


My first thoughts were, "Okay, time to put ALL the things I teach into practice and really knock this one out of the park."

That's a terrible headspace to begin any project.

In other words, you know how I talk about not overthinking and putting too much pressure on yourself before you even begin experimenting? Yeah, I still did all that anyway.

When you're scoring for a project, your first goal should be to serve the project. The question I SHOULD have asked was: "how do we want this to make people feel?"

That's all that matters.

Of course, I do have my own ways in which I like to achieve certain emotional responses. The foundation is the one aspect of music that is most fundamental, but rarely discussed: Harmony.

I'm creating a resource on this crucial topic this summer. If you'd like to learn more about that, click HERE.


The Solution


I don't have the fanciest gear in my studio. But, I've been blessed to have many good options.

But when I look around I often feel overwhelmed about where to start. This makes me think one of two things depending on the day.

  1. I should sell all this stuff.

  2. I should buy some new stuff.

Neither is particularly helpful as a solution.

What I need to do is simply CHOOSE one or two things and get started.

Getting into the right headspace again for such a project is still a work in progress. But I've found that I'm getting there more quickly by recalling a quote from Brian Eno.

"You don't need more options. You need more interesting options."

So, I'm going to spend the weekend with one or two synths and see how much music I can coax out of them.


Whenever you're ready, here's how I can help you:

1. Composition Concepts for Artists - an in-depth look at the process of composition with step-by-step examples SHOWING how and WHY I make decisions. You'll learn to take an initial idea and DEVELOP it into a finished project.

2. Understanding Synthesis - learn to design your own sounds starting with the basics of subtractive synthesis and progressing to more advanced sound design  with semi-modular and various forms of digital synthesis.

3. YouTube Membership - monthly livestreams featuring music making and sound design in real time. Q&As and exclusive videos only available to channel members.

4. One to One Coaching (coming soon) - work with me on YOUR own music. I'll help you take your track from idea to finished product, so you'll come out with a polished track or EP and any knowledge gained from walking through the process with me.