Snowboard Kids

I must have gotten a little nostalgic, because last weekend I sat down and re-instrumented the Big Snowman track of Snowboard Kids from start to finish. This is one of my favorite tracks of the game.

Big Snowman by esbie

I used mp3s from this ringtone website for reference.

I originally wanted to give some SBK tracks a more updated 2010 trance feel, but Big Snowman just veered towards being wildly orchestral, so I went with that. I tried to make the instrumentation as realistic as possible, but even skilled violin sections would probably have trouble playing arpeggiated 16th notes at 130bpm. Also towards the end I got lazy and didn't add in woodwind, low brass, and percussion parts. Oh well, maybe next time.


Tenderoni Remix

Tenderoni Remix by esbie

Kele is coming out with a new album on the 21st, and so is holding a remix contest of his single, Tenderoni.

This was a 100% Audacity/Cubase endeavor for me; I didn't bother using any outside samples either. As a result this remix ended up very very similar to the original. My only complaint is I wish they had handed out stems without fx... When you're trying to add reverb on a track that has its own reverb baked in, things get weird pretty fast.


A little something from MUNI

A couple months ago (during the Chinese parade if I remember right) I recorded the very strange sound that the trolley tracks in San Francisco make. The recording is dirty, lots of people talking etc. But I did my best to clean it up anyway and turn it into a piece of sorts.

Trolley through Quartz by esbie


Some Solid APC Action

Good evening! (or I guess it's early morning already on the east coast :) last weekend I composed a song using my new Atari Punk Console. Behold!

Bought this APC off ebay from the very awesome ProperBoy, who sells all sorts of analog goodies.  Here's the song:

Come Find Her  by  esbie

My first stab using the APC as a compositional element was trying to sound edgy and sophisticated, but ended up sounding more creepy than anything else :P Two things that would really make work with the APC easier are
  1. a gating mechanism. Right now the unit is really only capable of creating one loooooong note, haha
  2. a midi to control voltage converter... or possibly, as properboy suggested, an analog step sequencer
Basically my problems boil down to the fact that all my gear is digital, which doesn't always play nice with analog. Which is a shame, because I'm really loving the glitchy things analog can do.


Timelapse Workspace

Been dying to post *something*, even though all the projects I'm working on (a song using my new APC, a game prototype using GameQuery) aren't complete yet. So I thought I'd quickly show you my new setup in the living room, where I'm doing most of my work.

My camera gave up after 30 mins of recording because my 4gb mem card ran out of space (lol), so we'll see whether or not video recording myself becomes a trend.

Oh, and the music is a reject of mine that never made it to SoundCloud :P


It's still winter, but at least I have Cubase!

Happy Belated New Years!

I tried to write some music over the holidays and was totally creatively blocked. Partly because I was busy coding the video editor that palm demo'd at CES (minute 30 of this very long video if you're curious), but also the stuff I tried to compose was just coming out... not right.

Clearly this means I need more gear.

So I bought a lexicon USB preamp. Not because I like Lexicon, but because it was one of the cheapest preamps on amazon, and it came with Cubase LE4. Cubase is my DAW of choice, so this seemed like a nice, inexpensive way to get a copy.

I also bought an analog synth from ebay: my first analog synth ever! But I'm still waiting for some cables from Sweetwater before I can play it, so more on that next time.

So I wrote this in Cubase, using some samples I had taken in Ithaca of me stepping on the ice-covered sidewalk to my apartment. The instruments are from Reason, as usual, but this time I thought I'd try the Thor patch. Usually I head straight for the NN-XT.

winter solstice phoenix hatching  by  esbie

I considered creating a whole song out of this with bells, drums, etc but

  1. I didn't want to ruin a good thing haha. And
  2. soundcloud is now limiting user accounts by hours of content (BOOOOOO) and I only have an hour left to use on my account ^_^;;
Alright that's it for now!


Reason Season!

So I finally got around to sampling that music box I got a while back. Eventually I plan to dissect it and torture some more unique sounds out of it, but for now I did the basics and now I have a virtual musicbox to play with. I arranged all the samples in an NN-XT in Reason, and posted it up on ReasonStation... so if you use Reason and want a musicbox, go there and download it for free! I didn't wrap it up into its own refill because I'm lazy (maybe one of you can do that for me ^_^)

I used that Reason instrument in this next song, although it's impossible to tell because it's so subtle. At any rate, this was a song I've been singing in the shower a lot, and let me tell you it's hard to sing chordal progressions with yourself. Hence I figured I'd compose it out in Reason. The song is sorta cheesy, but that's part of its charm, haha.

Respite  by  esbie

Philip Glass meets Lord of the Rings! That's what I think it sounds like anyways.