Mix Logs

Set Examples

Status: Released – Check it on Spotify fools!

About the track

There are a lot of new things going on in Set Examples. New techniques, new process, new toys. Where do I even begin…. lets start with the process.

The new process (3 month test)

All of 2020 I consistently put out 2-4 tracks every month, doing most of the work in a 1-2 week period with daily focus on the writing and production. Each track went through several feedback rounds with rapid revisions over a few days.

I want to test a new flow for at least a few months of 2021. Spending 2-4 weeks on tracks instead of 1-2, with a similar level of daily focus. I still will post for feedback one time, but use it lightly and progress into the weeks longer after that one feedback round.

What happens when I spend more time on each track?
Is the output any better?
What happens if I go with my gut all the way through (less feedback)?
I want to explore these ideas and see where it goes – 3 months will run like this and then ill decide if I should change it up or go back.

Set Examples is the first track to get a 4 week treatment. I am very happy with the end result, but im still unsure how far that extra time got me. There are definitely a few touches that would not have made the 1-2 week version.

I recently got myself one of these. A Zoom h1n hand recorder. I got this with the idea that I could carry it around and record things to later lay into tracks or sequencers with. In the middle of the song there is a trippy section with slowed vocals. I used this recorder to work in a bouncing ball kids toy slowed down in that section.
Stoked about the bouncing ball sound it took a pic and posted to Discord.

I also recently picked up one of those “All you need is this chord pack” chord packs. I wanted to have one of these to use as chord progression building blocks at times when im not sure where to start in on something.

Yup, i got this, the main chord progression of the song is from the pack. (the organs)

The way this works is just a bunch of midi files organized into folders:

This is what the pack looks like in my daw, its nice to have something like this around.

The Track is Dense AF

This strange giant tower is the zoomed out view of my reason rack instruments for the song. The blue box is what fits on my screen at a given time. This may be one of the tallest racks ive made to date! More Time = More stuff in this tracks case.

Lets break this down by section.

The chord pack organs

7 variations of pads and organs with varying pans, eq’s and effects. Mostly to get variations in the tones and sounds for sections of the track, and spread it out in the stereo field in interesting ways.

I did more guitars than usual, I think I like having more guitars.

I have a few layers of guitars, some with double takes, some with copy pasta parts. The synth sits in the middle of the solo section to create this mashed guitar and synth solo area that I thought sounded pretty cool.
A bunch of garnish synths and things ended up going in. I spent more time adding in layers of things. I also hit up LOHM and he got me the weezer synths for the outro section. I think they help make that last chorus shine a bit more for the finale.

Tinkering with the Master

Im trying some Left Right EQ Stuff for the first time. (left pictured)

I thought this set up gave a cool vibeyness (is that a work?) to the master.

Isn’t this a Weezer song?

Well about half way into the production , I came to the realization built my way into something that pretty closely resembles Only in Dreams by weezer. I passed an early version around a bit and asked people if it sounded like any songs they knew. No onne said it, but once I told them it could not be unheard.

I think despite this the song stands well enough on its own. The overall vibe and progression are very similar but im OK with that.

What do you think?

On the Lyrics

Its really just about setting a good example in all things that you do, sometimes at your own expense.

I don’t have to be in love with you
To get along and say thanks to
What the hell am I supposed to do?
Set examples

Yeah, I set examples.
Yeah, I’m a damn fool

Do you think you could set examples
And I think I should set examples
Do you think we could set examples

Mix Logs

D – 5 Tracks in 3 hours

The videos from the live stream are still available on my twitch. Its in 2 parts due to a computer crash after track 1. Watch these for the play by play.

Part 1:

Part 2:

A few months ago a discussion came up in the IMF discord about making an EP in a very short time frame as a personal challenge. Ayavaron (OK I Dunno , Girls With Depression) had been talking about the idea, and I remember at the time thinking how impossible it would be for me to do something like that for the following reasons:

One: most of my tracks take me about 20 hours to complete
Two: its rare for me to get a window of time long enough to even make the attempt.

Christmas week was coming up and I had some PTO to use up so I put in for Mon – Wednesday, my wife and son still have work and school, and thought about things I could do on those days that would take advantage of the isolated non-working daytime hours. This would be a perfect time to attempt the challenge.

I decided on doing the entire 3 hours live on twitch, while attempting the EP challenge would be a cool way to use the day on Monday. would be a fun thing to do. Friends could tune in and watch me struggle through. I liked the idea that a video of the whole thing would be available to watch back.

30 min per song, 5 songs, with 30 min of touch up / mix at the end

the original plan

I did some light prep the night before which consisted of prepping a twitch overlay, testing my equipment out with OBS, and setting up a 2nd camera in the room. I got my lighting stuff out and positioned in the room as well. At 11am on Monday I launched the stream and started in with a brief intro.

Out of the gate I was very nervous, you can see my hand shaking at times in track one in the VOD’s, legit nervous. It was causing me problems with getting a clean first piano take, the idea of messing that up also made me more nervous! haha the downward spiral of nervousness.

Once I started to get things going on track one I think the nervousness started to peel away and it felt more like I was hanging out with friends, than being on TV. I didn’t really expect anyone to hang through the whole thing, its kind of boring (in my opinion) to watch someone produce music. However a few people did stick around for the whole session, and I got regular comments throughout from friends in the IMF discord group.

Producing music repetitive, and often hard to understand what the producer is doing or focusing on, long periods of time are spent sometimes in the same sections of tracks. Its just not entertaining for anyone but a serious producer to watch live.

The format of this challenge felt like a good way for me to use twitch in a way that still shows of my own style and process and the time constraint avoids some of my concerns about just streaming every track I produce. I would be forced to move along as fast as possible, with a 30 minute per song budget. The chat room actually was helpful in moments of “oh shit what should I do now” (which def happened multiple times).

Mix Logs

Close a Loop

Current Status: Making revisions after 2 feedback rounds, adding garnishes and touch ups.

About the track:

It is a dead simple 2 note progression throughout.

The rythem and vibe change in a few ways to keep that intersting, see below for more details on the writing and production.

Before that, here’s a bit about how the idea came to be, and why on earth do I keep making songs in such a similar vein of concepts.

I think I’m overdoing it a bit on this concept….

I feel like I’ve beaten these music lyric concepts to death at this point, but its often what i feel most sincere about and what comes out in the days session for lyrics for whatever reason. Part of what these tracks are is what inspiration can be drawn over mostly a single day of writing, the time pressure sometimes forces a concept in the moment.

The idea came from Popijinsky‘s community music chat podcast session type thing, (haha I think it will be a blog post at some point). It was an structured 1 hourish chat with questions to artists about being a musician, But he asked me to elaborate on what I meant by me saying I have to release my music to close a loop.

I never really elaborated and instead rather stewed over it the thought for a few days.

I don’t feel like a song is complete until it is out in the wild in a place where it can be found by the general public. I’ve made a few songs in a similar conceptual vein like Put It Online and Wish Upon You. Putting music online closes a loop and lets me confidently move on. The loop is something like

Get idea for song
Record it
Mix it for a few days
Mix it for a few more days
Question the mixes I have been doing
I don’t think I like this anymore
I like it again
Mix it for a few more days
Put it online
Someone else hears it and can like or relate to it

The last step feels like some nod from the universe that I’m not the only person in the world who likes something I made and like, something I feel is important I do and I’m not sure why. In theory I could just keep all this music to myself, enjoy it, and never show anyone. I would have exactly the same amount of fun enjoying my time making music. Why post it at all in the first place, why do I advocate this?

My music feels undone to me until someone out there comes across it and likes it, the more they like it the better. Not all artists are like this, but I am, and I would bet there are many others that have similar feelings about their art. This song is about those kinds of feelings.

Production Details

I felt like doing a slow jam, in the vein of Made My Day, and set the bpm to 80 to get things going. The first bit i made was the wonky wobbly high eq synth that opens the track and persists through nearly the entire song.

This sound is actually 4 variations of a reason Grain Sample Manipultor:

I made very light tweaks to the preset. I have a few varying EQ’s and pans across the 4 layers to make it interesting in stereo.

They all sit in the mid to mid high bands.

some layers offset slightly in both eq and pan. they all play the same part on the same synth, but i do this to fluff it up sonically.
The full spread, most of the height comes from the vox layering.

The intro sword clash sound:

This small item is noteworthy.

My son has this Frozen pirate sword that we got at disney on ice:

Ive been thinking about doing more found sound type things on tracks in general. This sword was low on batteries and when you push the button, the lights are a little dim and the sound that plays has a slightly slowed playback. I recorded this into my SM7B and used it for the intro.

Excited about this sound I shared it with some friends on discord.

Murr came back with 3 of these SUPER CRAZY reverbed out sounds that he made out of that recording. I use the original and murr’s creations as layers in the track.

I will probably use these again on another track they are awesome. thanks Murr!

New Stuff

This is the first track of mine to use Little Alterboy, its a formant, distortion, vocal effects doo-dad VST. I’m exploring the sounds it can get and have variations of them set on each of the many vocal layers.


I don’t wanna be noticed
I don’t wanna have to show this
but I do

why’d i have to go there
go ahead and post it
close that loop

is anybody out there
is anybody out there
that feels like i do

is anybody out there
is anybody out there
that needs to close a loop

Mix Logs

You’ll Give Your Dad A Heart Attack

Current Status: I think its done and will be publishing soon.

About the track:

I started this while messing around with the idea of building a track around super a sub bass pulsing to form a ‘chug’ . The idea takes a sublab bass which are these HUGE trap style 808 bass sounds and puts a reason rack Pump on it to compress it very heavily to a beat:

The subbass pump looks like this

It allows for the very first part of the note to hit, then cuts and ramps back up to a peak slightly off the grid. It has a pretty cool (at least I think) sonic profile of this whomp whomp whomp feel that i then paired up with a played electric bass line:

The effect chain on the electric bass that pairs with the sub bass pulse. This is a mix of things, a reason bass amp then going into guitar rig 5 for a distortion preset, a pump that is a less dramatic sway , and slightly different than the sub layer. Lastly, im using that stereo imager to force the whole thing mono actually , guitar rig was spreading it out a bit.

One other production thing I wanted to play around with more in general was super saturated ‘ohhhhhh ahhhhs’ used as backing layers. Ive heard this done on a number of popular tracks and love the sound of it. I want to do it more and play around with ways of achieving it. It is used on the last 1/3 portion of the track wit the washed out ahhhhh ahhhh vocal part.

golly what a stack that is. this one does have a few things bypassed however its not as a bad as it looks’. there is a 2nd layer of it with some of these other parts enabled however.

About the lyrics:

take a little bath get clean
Fall and bump your head on the
corner of a vanity

heart attack
give your dad a heart attack
give your dad a heart attack
give your dad a heart attack

Child see
you gotta wait to cross the street
you got ahead , away of me
I cought you by the shirt, barely

heart attack
you give your dad a heart attack
you give your dad a heart attack
you give your dad a heart attack

I had the backing instrumental concept first, I thought of the hook ‘give your dad a heart attack’ first just in ad libbing stuff over the music. I thought it was kind of funny, a little edgy but kind of silly in tone. and I could maybe turn it into an ‘ok’ overall concept with some verse lyrics.

The verse describe 2 actual ‘oh shit’ dad moments I have had as a father. A baby tumbling over in the bath and hitting their head. My son fell standing in the bath once and bumped his head (he was fine) but It was startling. Another time catching him by the back of his shirt as he ran towards a street. The concept is about ‘oh shit’ dad moments, giving the dad a ‘heart attack’ moment (not a literal give your dad a heart attack). I hope that lands one way or another with listeners.

Notable Samples

The snare sounds were a suggestion and provided by Striped Mccoy

I had shown an early version in a DM that I was playing around with.
These are used throughout and really add a lot to the overall sound and vibe.

Mix Logs

Family Photos

Current Status- Structure complete : Out for first round feedback on Reddit.

About the track

This weekend, my wife forced me into doing family photos at 9am Saturday morning. It ended up being a nice morning, but its what prompted the idea for this track.

I thought this lyrical concept worked for the music because family photos day was happy and wholesome, however there was also this tension around the day and leading up to it. The instrumental and vibe works for this (i think…).

Once I had the overall lyrical concept decided, I pinged some friends on the IMF discord asking if anyone had ‘sounds cameras make’ that I could use.

Sure enough Pultixima delivers!

I ended up using 4 of these 5 in various ways. 2 of them are mostly untouched and layered in, slightly time stretched. Except for the electronic stutter click multiple – i stretched this out out a lot to turn it into that odd kind of panning pad electronic drone noise that flys around at times.

I started this one by picking up the Gibson acoustic for the first time in a while. I plucked away and came up with the simple 2 chord plucky riff that sounds far in the room in the mix. I may change the way this one sits in the mix, but I do think I want the acoustic room sound for it.

This was my fathers Gibson J45.. its old, probably from the late 60s to mid seventies for its manufacturing date if I had to guess. It still sounds and plays pretty well, I’ve never used it for a recording on a Somewhat Incognito track…. until now that is.

I already have some feedback around that guitar, its the only one I got on it but I have a gut feel about the sound not sitting exactly the way I want yet so I’m taking it as a sign to mess with its eq a bit more:

I played around with a lot of combinations of Guitar Rig 5 and Reason Amps and stuff on the bass parts.

I used a Squire electric guitar for the electric guitar parts , this guitar my wife got as a teenager wanting to learn to play, but never really picked it up. She did keep the guitar over the years tho and I have been using it for a while. My Ibanez SDGR 6 string bass is used for the bass parts.

The electric bass is most of the time running in 2-3 layers of the same part with varying EQ’s and effects.

The drums are done with 2 umph retro beats, and an EZ drummer each played in with the MPD218 finger drums and then quantized and adjusted around.

The core drums is the EZ drummer. Funk Zappa is the doing tight center kick drum, and a high snare sound that layers into the ez drummer one a bit.
The Bengal is just that cowbell kind of thing. I may remove it.

The Vocals:

Im still working on how these sit, its not quite right in a few places and needs some work but this is the set up as of right now.

Mix Logs

Bad to Better

Current Status: Released! Now on Spotify:

About the track:

Dreams of Lasers (DOL) and I have been working on this track for a while now. As far as I can tell, we started talking about this track around August 13’th in discord. I was still in the processing phases of The Reason I’m Here at that point in time and didnt really dive in right away.

For this project we went into it with the intention of DOL being the DAW runner, which would invert our roles from The Reason I’m Here.

We started out with about a 1:36 length demo created by DOL, I was supposed to work on a hook and some bass lines.

The verse, the chorus, the way they transition, and the vocal melodies were all excellent and in place. I worked on some electric bass line ideas, some which had the original arpeggiated synth bass, and one that was electric bass only. I much preferred the one with the synth.

I did a vocal hook concept that didnt make it to the final cut. It just wasnt quite right for the track. It was just me sounding kind of like a sheep going ‘Baaad baaad baaad baaad to better’ (haha)

Later that day…..

Over the next few days:

I’m still promoting and working on feedback on The Reason I’m Here during this project, it takes over for a few days. Its hard for me to do 2 things at once, I tend to go all in and move very quickly in a hyper focused way. I did eventually settle with everything I wanted to do for this stage of promoting it and started to get to point my attention back at Bad to Better.

I get back to this on the 22nd. And try doing vocals in different styles – high energy and loud, soft and sweet, and something kind of in between. I’m trying to figure out how I should sound in the mix and in the context of the song.

Things kind of stalled out a bit here, we were still discussing the track, what the lyrics should do, what to put where etc fairly regularly.

This is when the structure really started to take shape and is the basis of the final track.

All through this phase, I am getting a bounce of each layer from DOL as wav files. I drop those into reason, do my parts over it, export those and give them back to work them into the master.

DOL is still new to recording with a DAW and how to use all of its features. I’m doing my best to try to give him some pointers with screenshots and examples. I get him a few layers of bass parts, vocal takes,

My vocals came in pretty late in the track in the early versions, some backing layers were worked into the first verse

I also did some early layers of expanding on the drums and synths. I had roughly only 1/3 of the track started at that point.

The track was starting to take real form at this point. We were both digging the direction, yeah the parts weren’t quite there yet but the idea was fully formulated for what my parts should be

Right around this point I went on a 1 week family vacation to the fingerlakes

Spent a week doing things around this lake, riding a bike, fishing, you know… lake like things.

I get back and make Butter Up the Sub in only about 2 days right after getting home from vacation. It was a good relief track for me. I just got to get a little silly and make something I was feeling. At this point I feel really ready to take on Bad to Better at full capacity.

At this point , a lot happens really fast. DOL decides its probably better to pass DAW runner duty to me for the sake of getting it out faster. The main goal was to have DOL get more familiar with the DAW and learn some new things about production. I think that was still achieved despite having me take it from this point.

I fully build out the synths and drums, and do a few extra bass and vocal takes for various sections of the track and start working on the mix.

A few days later we have something we are proud to post. It came out so good im really happy with it. There are still some changes coming, including updates to the last 1/3 of the song which is where the most attention needs to go right now.

Production Stuff

YES! DOL plays the banjo on this one! And recorded all of the banjo parts with this banjo here.
DOL’s mic set up and processing is part of the unique vocal sound. He records with 2 microphones on, one is clean, one is run through a vocoder, its a really cool sound that has a calmness to it.
I played by Ibanez Soundgear (SDGR) 6 string bass on this track.
There ended up build a lot of layers in this. The core of the track is still the original song from early in the process, there’s just a lot more going on all around it. I color coded things by categories of what they are doing, drums, bass, vocals, sound effects, and high bloopy things. Dont ask about the farty bass.

Mix Logs

Butter Up The Sub

Current Status: Structure Complete – Gathering feedback for changes.

About the track:

Ive been in a bit of a rut for about a month.

Failing to find inspiration on tracks, I thought maybe a change in environment would help. We had a family vacation planned this week so I packed up my MPC finger drums, my 4 string bass, a kids electric guitar, a line 6 pod xt, a laptop and my audio interface. Each night I spent some time working on tracks, but ultimately came out with 2 partial grooves that didn’t really inspire me enough to finish.

My vacation house mini studio. Check out that wallpaper!

Despite the effort, I threw out the 2 grooves I made that week and wrote them off as uninspired.

Frustrated with the lack of new track coming out of vacation week, on the drive home I was scanning the local radio to see what was played. A trap rap station came on somewhere along the drive in New York State. Trap music has some pretty cool beats and grooves. I had also recently purchased Sublab, a trap-like super low 808 kick/bass hit thing.

I went into this thinking about those radio trap tracks, and wanting to play with Sublab to get a trap kind of vibe. I also knew I had to find a way to get a bass guitar in there, because… well I just have to.

The Lyrics:

Nobody listens
Grassroots yeah
Real big
100 individual listens
yeah im a big thing
you wanna push my buttons?
do you wanna make a big stink?
I dont give a crap
Im doing my own thing
oh my
its a mumble rap, oh
somewhat incognito now doing some trap
i heard it on the radio and said
i wanna do dat
ill just copy those guys and do it in my own track
making music
such a bitter end
its just same kind of thing
time and time again
ill do it a little bit different
just to get in the mood
i think ill butter up the sub bass
and get in the groove

butter up the sub bass and get in the groove

Nobody listens
Grassroots yeah
Real big
100 individual listens
yeah im a big thing
make a track like the radio
see what people think
wont matter what i do
what i make is my thing
lets make a trap track
lets make it real whack
put a bass guitar on the bottom
way under that
gunna make a pop slap
gunna make a foot tap
gunna make a wiggle like a earthworm
in the ground

this wont get on playlists
noones going to pick this
do i make decisions?
can passion be a sickness?
you know what i think i really need to do
i better butter up the sub bass and get in the groove

butter up the sub bass and get in the groove

The Sublabs

Sublab is split into 3 layers. Each with varying settings and effects chains, but similar overall in sound. The 2nd layer is used to butter up the sub bass of course. These are the main new thing im playing with on this track.

808 Nascar preset:

Sublab Effects Chain (Layer 1)

The Electric Bass

Theres a couple but the coolest one is that super low nasty distortion one. The effects chain to get that sound is this. I do a ‘thumb palm pop’ slap here and there with this on for a pretty cool sound.

You may be wondering….
Whats this all about anyways.

Its about buttering up the sub bass, and getting in the groove.

Mix Logs

Make It Just To Make It

Current Status:

Structure complete, got a round of reddit feedback in, and have not yet made post-feedback changes. I have a number of things I want to do, including cleaning up the chorus vocals (new takes probably). New lyrics for Verse 2 (possibly a new flow there as well). Some more mix tuning up i think may be needed as well.

From feedback I want to try extending the intro, and try to add another bar or two in the middle somewhere where it ramps all the way down to nothing but a vocal, both these things would probably extend the track a bit and ease out the first lyrics coming in a little abruptly.

About The Track

I was struggling for a few weeks to find a concept i thought was worth making into a track. It was one of the longest ‘downtime’ creative periods in the last year. I couldn’t think of a cool enough concept, none of the grooves were clicking with me … on and on.

The 3rd empty handed weekend was approaching, the last few days of August. If I did not make a track before the end of the weekend it would be the first time since the project start that I did not reach my two track a month production goal. I did not want to let that happen.

I needed to just make something start to end, even if it wasnt great, just hit the goal and keep things moving. “Make it just to make it”.

The song is about making a song for the sake of making a song, this is something I often do. I think some artists might disagree with this, that ‘great music’ takes time and should not be forced. However, its the process that i really enjoy, I just want to have some fun with my hobby – it doesn’t have to anything more than that. The message of the song is supposed to be exactly that.

Mix Logs

The Reason I’m Here (feat. Dreams Of Lasers)

Current Status : Distrokid Publish scheduled (complete)

If you like this track, check out my latest project with Dreams of Lasers:

About The Track

This track is a collaboration with Dreams of Lasers . It’s fairly unusual for me to get involved in colab projects, and it’s not something I’m normally seeking out to do. However! About a week and a half ago Dreams of Lasers (DOL) sent me a note in the IMF discord expressing interest in doing a collaborative project with me. I am a fan of Dreams of Lasers, I really enjoy his style and when he suggested a collab I knew out the gate there was some potential for something good to come out of it. The track that I currently enjoy most of his is In America. Definitely check out some of his work, follow on Soundcloud and Spotify.

How the project ran:

I don’t have much experience with doing a music collaboration over the internet. Neither of us seemed to know how projects like this ‘are supposed to run’ we both created some ideas and passed them back and forth. I spent 2 nights exploring ideas I thought could work with the DOL sound, and settled on a small snippet that is now the intro of the song and basis of the chorus.

Eventually we kind of settled on this riff, with DOL sending me guitar parts, vocal melodies, song sections, and we had a pretty much daily discussion about the direction of the track and left with a few action items each. The first groove I sent him was based on the sound of Britney Spearks ‘Lace and Leather’ . It was almost entirely rythem based and had no chord progression. DOL said he liked the vibe but needed more chords to in it. I went back to the DAW and made a …. slightly better concept:

Most of the stuff I make is dead simple as far as chord progressions and overall technicality of the songs goes. DOL being involved in the project I think helped expand the songs musicality, transitions, and overall vibe.

The next day:

hah! ain’t that the truth, I often do these I IV ‘s because its so easy for me to come up with vocal parts for them, sometimes too many options can be a new kind of difficulty.
I sent this back to try to push a direction on vocal melodies, or at least inspire one. This was the first verse lyrics and singing (still in the final song) . At this point I established ‘the reason im here’ as a vocal hook.
This is really the end game goal for any music project I am involved in. This is my hobby, its supposed to be fun, i do it because it is fun. We both had a good time doing this (I think) . GOAL ACHIEVED

The Next Day:

I new vocal part was made for a 2nd verse , this take is in the final version on verse 2 (after the bass solo).
It was DOL’s idea to go deep on vocal harmonies. I like the way these ended up coming out.

A few days later…..

I LOVE the C part on this track. It’s existence at all is a DOL creation. It comes after the first verse and has that funky slap bass line in it.

There is a lot more to the conversion, but I think whats above here paints an overall picture for how the project worked. Back and forth daily discussions on the track and parts getting traded pretty much daily.

We continued back and forth like this each day. I was helming the DAW (Reason 11) and overall production, and DOL was sending me parts to use , and ideas for how to lay out the structure of the track. Most notably.. the ‘C Part’ was a progression, with vocal melody and lyrics, he sent me that comes after the first chorus. I originally had a much softer bassline in the part, and intended to feature guitar playing there. DOL suggested I instead funk it up with a SI style bassline. I spent a night working on a groove that fit in the progression. This C part is probably my favorite section of the song now – I love the way it came out.

There was a fair amount of back and forth on that C section, getting into it smoothly, getting out of it smoothly, with multiple changes made through the course of the project.

Beginning to end this col-lab took about a week and a half to make from (what should we do to structure complete track). I plan on doing another track with DOL turned the other way around. Where he runs the DAW and i send parts and ideas over (if hes up for it).

On the lyrics

I had kind of stumbled into ‘the reason im here’ as a hook and initially was building around that. I like this phrase as its interpretation can be broad. The reason for doing anything, or a specific thing, each listener could draw a different ‘reason’ for what its about. My first verse is ‘locked inside my room, on a sunday afternoon, thats the reason i’m here’ – literally the reason the track is made is bc i focused in on it for a sunday afternoon. A little meta lyric there. Then ‘barefeet i stand in the grass and the wind blows my hair in front of my glasses.. i dont care, thats the reason im here” Is a new context – The reason i came outside was to feel nature and the wind blow in my face. Overall its meant to be a little vague as to what exactly ‘the reason’ is , but enough of an overall vibe to deliver an internalization to a listener about what their reason is for doing anything.

Production Stuff

EZ Drummer:

I recently picked up EZdrummer, up to this point I had been playing it on my AKAI drum pad midi controller. This track I used mostly EZdrummer pre-made midi patterns and assembled them into sections.

This is the first track I’m using my new EZdrummer purchase on. EZ drummer is great for realistic ‘recorded’ sounding drum parts. I’m using the built in drum midi phrases assembled together and it plays through most of the track with several changes. (there area also a few other drum kits in the track played on my Drum pad thing finger style)
The current layering in my daw. This song uses a handful of reason synths, Serum, EZdrummer, Reason drums, and recorded vocals, basslines, and guitar parts.

The Electric Bass

This is a fairly standard bass set up for me. Guitar rig with HIKU and a pump. Below is the Guitar rig preset used.
I’m using the ‘Black Stripe Army” preset. I did tinker the nobs just a tad if i recall (not positive)
All of the electric bass parts. Each row represents a modified effects chain or mix modification. I often stack up layers with varying chains for a ‘cooler sound’.

Vocal Processing

Overall this is what im doing on the vocals. ITs kind of a lot of stuff. HIKU, Nectar, Retro Transformer, A Pump, Vintage verb, and Ozone 9 !! YIKES! seems like a lot, but hell I like it.

The Sub Bass

A sub synth bass is a staple of my style. I nearly always have one underneath the electric bass playing.

This is a Serum preset, I very lightly adjusted the filter settings but its pretty darn close the preset original.

The “Omnichord”

There is an omnichord sounding kind of synth subtly layerd behind most of the track. Its a WAVE Layers Edition preset called ‘Multi chord’

This is the part the multichord, and piano, and a pluck all play at times.

The Pianos

There are 2 traditional sounding pianos used, both done with Radical Piano in Reason 11. Also both on presets. One is ‘after dinner gatherings’ which sounds like an old piano that has been neglected.

The Chorus SUPER reverbed out guitar pluck

My 4 year old son has these 2 ‘kids guitars’. I used his electric one to record the chorus guitar pluck and put a guitar rig on it with delay and reverb verb on it, with a very aggressive pump to get that kind of washy reverb sound.
This is an ‘aggressive pump’ with a low floor and sharp rise it creates the pumping sensation that when applied to the heavy reverb reminds me of like a VHS tape or something.
Mix Logs


Current Status: Published to streaming platforms

Check it out on spotify!

Post History:

Feedback has been gathered and revisions are being made. I’m using submithub hot or not in ‘real-time’ in a way, which is probably a bad idea. I bought some credits on there and put it in for 50 feedbacks. It’s been overall doing well, however my grades on ‘production quality’ are low, lower than I expected. I thought I would average in the 70’s. I know im not as good is some other projects, but I feel like im upper middle tier in production quality the 70-80 range. (if there were even a tier system).

I made a bunch of adjustments to get the vocals to sit a little better, I widened up the overall sound , just because it seems like its commonly used in other things im listening to on hot or not.

I swapped the file and am now waiting to see if the rate of upvotes to downvotes changes on there.

Current status of Hot or Not Survey…. i think its a decent ratio but ide like to have a higher number on the production quality score. Im going to focus on that one.

When thinking about doing a track about algorithms , and discussing it on discord, I brought up how it was a difficult word for a song. I thought about various ways it could be said… I did the best I could with it. I did get a submithub comment on this that made me laugh:

BIG OOF on that comment. HAHA! I still like the track myself and think it does a good job of what i set out to do.

On the track

This week on discord, a discussion about the Reddit algorithm came up. We were sort of talking about how there is no way to change how a subreddit behaves in its rankings.

A few days layer Gerry Wass pings me with a note that it might a cool track concept around the idea of “bow down to the algorithm”. Gerry .and I have some history with ‘challenges’, Wish Upon You, was a track I made in direct response to his suggestion to make a ‘vocal forward’ track. It was the first track where I really tried to use lyrics and singing as the main focus and feature. I very much still like that track and think its got a great vibe and message, and It got me out of my shell a little, so I appreciate it for that also.

I told him I would give it a shot, and I’m glad I did. Last week I was talking about timing posts to get position 1 on the IMF subreddit, where you are put onto subscribers ‘front page’ of Reddit, exposing my post to many more people. Most of my soundcloud plays come from Reddit posts, the better they do , the more people hear me in general.

I used Gerry’s idea to make this a light-hearted, dark comedy of sorts, that speaks to musicians out there trying to get heard, which is kind of a running theme in general with this project.

I did a bunch of new things on this track, and included most of the things I have learned up until this point all at once. Im applying pre-mastering for the first time on this release. Im using Ozone to try to widen out the stereo field.

Im also using trackspacer for the first time, ill write more about it later, but its a mixing tool that offers some pretty fantastic ways to bring out parts of a mix.

Whats new with the mastering?

I tried to make the track wider overall, and much wider in the chorus sections for clear sonic divide between the two sections.

I usually apply 0 mastering at all myself, I just export with master bypassed and put it into landr.

Im using the Izotope tools to widen the whole track as part of the master effects chain. I still dont fully understand this and will be playing with it more.

Mid Verse

Mid Chorus – trying to see if i can make the stereo field spread wide and even in the chorus sections, and narrow back in on the verse sections

The Vocals

I put more time into vocal production on this one than i usually do by a good amount. Both in trying to get things to sit in the mix in a way i liked. Its still not great but I think its sounding at least half decent.

I want to record more vocals for the verses, I don’t think ill get an opportunity to do takes like this until the weekend. In the meantime I’m playing with effects, processing, busing the tracks and doing things to that.

I’m starting to think i can maybe get away without new takes by doing a more variety with effects and layers throughout the verses, especially the second one.

The first version did not have the ‘can you get me in the algorithm’ hook lines in the chorus, I added these after I got feedback to try to get a ‘certifiable hook’, I knew what the feedback was saying.