Perfect Brunch Setting

Played a super-cool brunch set yesterday @ Culinary Dropout here in Austin. Vibes was right, and I played what I planned to play, which is always ire. Here’s the playlist! -jd

E=MC2Gaudi Meets The Rebel Dread
EasySky Ferreira
A Few Hours After ThisThe Cure
Sixteen Tons of DubO.B.F
Pass The DutchieMusical Youth
Push The LimitsL’Entourloop ft Biga-Ranx
Natty Dread (LP Version)Bob Marley
SunflowerPost Malone & Swae Lee
T’ain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It)Fun Boy Three
Fonk Monk (feat. Soom T & N’Zeng)L’Entourloop
Buggin’ OutA Tribe Called Quest
ExcursionsA Tribe Called Quest
Shout (US Remix)Tears For Fears
I Follow YouMelody’s Echo Chamber
I WIshSkee-Lo
Take Me OutFranz Ferdinand
Could You Be Loved (12” Mix)Bob Marley & The Wailers
Set Adrift on Memory BlissPM Dawn
Breathe Deeper (Lil Yachty Remix)Tame Impala & Lil Yachty
Where Angels Fear to TreadDisclosure
Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)Kate Bush
Musique Non Stop (2009 – Remaster)Kraftwerk
Work for LoveMinistry
Too ShyKajagoogoo
SecretsThe Weeknd
Cruel SummerBananarama
Ogou (Pran Ka Mwen) (Edit)Joseph Ray & Lakou Mizik
Instant CrushDaft Punk Feat. Julian Casablancas
I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)Daryl Hall & John Oates & NIKOLAAS
Me Myself And IDe La Soul
Almost (Vince Clarke Remix)Orchestral Manoeuvres In the Dark
CONSTANT Pt.1 Pt.2 (feat. Slick Rick)Black Eyed Peas
A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays”De La Soul Featuring Q-Tip & Vinia Mojica
Right On TrackBreakfast Club
Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)Elton John & Dua Lipa
Electric AvenueEddy Grant
Bizarre Love TriangleNew Order
Wrapped Around Your FingerPost Malone
The Girl Is Mine (feat. Destiny’s Child & Brandy)99 Souls (feat. Destiny’s Child & Brandy)
HappeningDisclosure
Chameleon (feat. Kira Divine)PNAU
Dreams (Gigamesh Remix)Fleetwood Mac
Save It for LaterThe English Beat
Love My WayThe Psychedelic Furs
Love Plus OneHaircut 100
*sorry about the table format

The home, manual beat matching set-up.

Saturday I am opening for myself, or as I like to call it, playing myself in.

Here’s the pick-list: https://embed.music.apple.com/us/playlist/21-7-10-dj-crate/pl.u-Z6Wmjtq6KvN

My first steps from zero to hero:

  1. What’s Good? Favorite DJ resource on the Internet (a/k/a Youtube) is Digital DJ Tips. Honerable mention to DJ Tech Tools as well.
  2. Can I stream? No you cannot stream form Apple music or Spotify. You have to to sign up for Tidal, but I am not using streaming this time around.
  3. How to Setlist? Per Digital DJ Tips’ advice, I have twice as much music ready as I need packed neatly into a Serato, in order of BPM, which is probably how I will play it. Organization has been the best digital tip (of many). I’ve watched a ton of Phil’s content on repeat, and his patience is saintly.
  4. What’s your thing? Know what you’re after. I mix like a vinyl DJ, and that’s making the first outing easy: emphasis on vibe and mood, not non-stop dancing. Making this distinction–figuring out the what and how, will save heartache down the road.
  5. What’s been the best? The internet (Youtube) is filled with some really amazing feats of curation an dexterity from DJ’s all over. A lot of great Brazilian action out there right now. As a closeted sp-404 guy, I found LeMellotron in Paris, and their DJ sets are second to none. I love all of their programing.
  6. What about your original music? It’s all affecting the music I’m making now. This week’s track is a prime example.
    https://soundcloud.com/jdtorian/right-demo
  7. This guy

Next post: set building.

My early AM view

Hopefully you did not come here for advice, but I bet you may be looking for new ideas.

My Idea

Spend a week with a synth. (A month in my case.)

Which synth does not matter and is the wrong kind of detail! If you have an iPad you have acres to a world of them under $10.00, and you also have all YouTube to get you going in the right direction.

What did I find out, learn, or reinforce in a week/ in week one?

1. Make new sounds from existing ones. You do not have to start from a basic patch. (This is how you make a basic patch.) Think of presets as a springboard.

2. I am not the player I could be, but I’m not as bad as I thought. In fact, I may play a song live this weekend (typically only perform w/ guitar).

3. All synths sound the same to the general public.

4. In the context of a mix, effects may be more important than the synth patch/ tone.

5. I really do love my first true synth love, this Alpha Juno. (Yes my site and record label are named after the AJ series.)

6. I am a writer first player and player next, but I still need to be able to get my ideas across as fast, efficiently, and as accurately as I possibly can. A/K/A I need a practice routine. [Austin Kleon has already said how succinctly.]

Random Thoughts

Patches matter less I thought they did, but they still matter a lot. Better general keyboarding will speed up the demo process for me. Committing to the journey and work of #programertoplayer will pay-up huge. I have a much better ear than I used to.

The AJ2 in almost-action

Uno Mas

Knowing this synth well will also save me real money. I think we all know that going out and buying a synth or spending time researching/ SHOPPING for new models—for the “sound in your head”—is wasting energy as compared to practical application, never minding that “sound in your head” is probably just lazy journalist writing that we’ve all come to accept as true.

Imagine not shopping as much. Or imagine the habit of going to your synth when you have something in mind.

For me, my key here and to my writing is this: the process is my reward.

The end-of-the-line song is fine, but if you do not love the journey and keep faith that it will end somewhat victoriously, you may need to rethink things. Out of everything, reenforcement of these is the true one synth lesson for me.

Epilogue

So do you sell everything else?

(Gear is the worst! *and the best)

Why am I writing all of this?

READ THIS! Disclaimer

To find my audience/ spread the music.

Listen here.

Please sign up for the email list here.

The best Juno.

This week’s challenge in my electronic music Song Game Group is to use just one synth for the whole track. Even the drums!

The idea here is that there is so much gear out there, and there are plug-ins on top of plug-ins, and sample packs galore that, instead of helping, these gum-up the works, stopping all creativeness in its tracks.

It’s a dirty room or a sink full of dishes. A diner table piled high with plates and old food. A bed full of people at a party and all you want to do is go to sleep (if this happens).

A good chunk of YouTube seems dedicated to the pursuit of of learning how to use all this gear, or how to acquire it, or how some other idiot acquired it, or why it is the greatest, or why is sounds like a cat being _____, or how to take it out of it’s box …

It’ll make you ‘effing crazy. Real Crazy.

So with this sorry state of affairs that’s maybe a by-product of our consumer economy, you must do things like pretend you only have one synth to shake loose of it all.

Given all of this, I monogamlly committed to my favorite synth–the Roland Alpha Juno–for not a week, but for a whole month. A MONTH! My first analog poly was an Alpha Juno, but embarrassingly I still have not really plumed the depths here. Like A LOT of others, I got distracted by the this-one-does-this and that-one-does that of other synths. I mean, that’s how I got the AJ in the first place.

I do think my music would be better, and I would be slightly happier if I would have only stuck with this and the Minitaur, and my shadow motivation is to, after all of this is said and done, go down to just a few synths I know very well. (target list: Alpha Juno, Grandmother, OP-1).

I am preparing for a show on the 12th, and I am also finishing a couple of tracks for pre-studio, tracking. I am not 100% sure if only using this guy will make all of this easier or harder, but it’s already making it simpler.

I believe the Juno series has a categorical sound akin to what the Stratocaster/ Les Paul/ Rickenbacker all have to guitars. A differentiating, know-it-when-you-hear-it thing. Crucially, pop music would not sound the way it sounds without Juno series. So, can a modern musician survive a summer month with just one synth?

We’ll see.

Not the manual, but manual adjacent.

A few things to think about: The manual is really great, as is the above pamphlet/ book. I use an iPod touch for arps and sequences, and this works better than a phone for a lot of reasons. Related to this, having no sequencer or arpeggiator on a synth like this can be a real plus. This helps a lot. Ableton works really well with Alpha Juno (native External Instrument plug-in). Connect 2 things with this (iPhone runs op-1 and AJ).

best AJ video out there *notice how much he plays the AJ over the Juno-6

Great Web 1.0 resource here

If you’ve been following along at all, and for personal ego purposes I’ll pretend you have, I’ve been dealing with the problem of how to get a number of back-logged songs recorded and out efficiently and as cleverly as possible.

Had you ever told me there would be problem of too many songs, I would have maybe believed it but could not have envisioned it. Believed it? Yes. Couldn’t have envisioned the path.

Maybe you don’t know how to get-doing it either, in need a spark or a push. This series will be for you.

So, as much for me as it is for anyone else, we’re going to go back and map it all out. And, hopefully, continue to document the process in blog (not video) form.

We’re really going to go into into the why rather than review gear, which seems to be what everything turns in to these days. So this is basically a long, ongoing story. Incredibly boring to some, enlightening to others, and interesting and affirming to a small, specific crowd. Not for everybody, but really for somebody. Smallest possible audience theory at work here!

And speaking of, my why of doing all of this to identify my small, specific crowd. You are out there. I know you are! I want you to listen to the music I make.

The Beginning:
The real spark came with a special purpose combined with some divine timing, which was a random camp reunion lunch of all things. Put simply: I met a former camper who was in a song writing group at the same time I was going deep into Ableton Live 9.

A lucky perfect storm, yes, but I was paying enough attention to life at the time to know it was kind of now or never. Some direction with perfect timing.

You may be thinking to yourself that mid 40’s is well past now-or-never, but I do not think it’s ever too late. If you’ve got it you’ll always have it. Doesn’t mean you can’t lose your way, but if it’s in there, menage to come out, it’ll be there waiting for you. I feel like I have science to back this up.

Series entry #2 is the Why of Ableton over the other DAW’s.

PS:
There has to be some gear! Early, primary tools were from Roland, Moog, M-Audio, Arturia, Ableton Live, Sound On Sound magazine, and a lot-lot of YouTube. [system1, various boutiques, oxygen-25, minituar, Analog Lab]