Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Reason 6 is Almost Here!

World renowned music software company, Propellerhead, announced that they are going to release the sixth version of their production progam, Reason, at the end of September. I believe its official release date is the 30th. Normally, Reason focuses on MIDI recording and editing; however, starting with Reason 6, they are combining it with their live audio program, Record, in order to unleash one massive beast to the competetive market of production software. This is fantastic for those just getting started in the music business as well as for those who are not satisfied with their current software.

I had the privilege of being a part of their beta testing program. Now I don't really have time to mess with it, especially because I do not have Record and there are some differences between Reason by itself and the duo program. However, I want this to be my main program in the near future. Why? Not only is Reason extremely easy to use despite its intimidating first appearance, Propellerhead is one of the greatest and most helpful companies I have ever experienced. They constantly make videos and tutorials about their products, as do many of the fans and users, they are willing to work with owners when there is a problem and they have a large selection of samples for those who don't record with their own instruments.

If you are not satisfied with their standard package of samples or have gotten as much use out of it as you will get, they and countless third-party companies offer a wide variety of refills that you can use to continually expand your sample library. Plus, Reason 6 is going to have three new machines to help you enhance or destroy your tracks. No matter how you look at it, Reason 6 will blow you away. One thing I was confused about when beta testing is how to load those machines. Perhaps I was qualified for a version that did not include these instruments, or perhaps it is one of the bugs I need to report. Either way, I cannot wait until the actual version comes out so I be a full time Reason user. Congratulations Propellerhead. Great work on all you do!

Monday, August 29, 2011

S.T.A.D.L.R.1 by Bearz

Nelson Carmona, better known as Bearz by his fans, currently lives in the Sunshine State, Florida. I got to meet him personally, and after getting to review his new album, Soundtrack to a Dim Lit Room, I decided to interview him and share his original tracks with the world. Bearz considers himself to be a producer of ambient, glitch, IDM, chillout, dubstep and other electronic types of music. His style is, in my opinion, fantastic for inspirational and spoken word videos, as well as documentaries and some styles of video game. Plus, music of this type can always find a home in commercials, TV shows and movies. Here is what Bearz had to say during our interview:

1) How old are you, and how long have you been producing music?
I'm 19, and I've been producing music since i was 17.

2) What programs (ie software, instruments and mics, or MIDI devices) do you use in your productions?
My main programs are ableton live 8, Maschine, Native Instruments Massive and N.I. FM8. For live performance I use my Akai APC20.

3) What inspires your songs?
Everything in life from a beautiful sunset on the beach to a crazy party with great friends to nightmares I've had.

4) What advice would you give to people who are not as experienced as you?
Listen to as much music as you can and ask yourself why do you like the song or why did this producer use certain things in a song. It will open you up to more ideas.

5) Where do you hope to be or what do you hope to do with your life and music?
My hope is to take it as far as I possibly can and hopefully do it for a living, but even if I can't my main drive is to affect someone's life like great artists have done to mine.

6) Random thoughts:
If any of you are going to college, please take philosophy. It will open up your third eye a bit. The first day in class I read this and it tripped me out. "People say if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise? Now ask yourself does the forest even exist when you're not there..." or something like that lol

Thank you Bearz for the interview. You have some great and unique tracks that I'm sure others will enjoy for years to come.

Here are some links to get more information on Bearz as well as see some of the projects he is working on:

Friday, August 26, 2011

The importance of connections

I once posted on facebook a silly joke question asking people to vote on which they thought was more important: talent/skill or having connections/contacts. This started a debate with many passionate views. Obviously, as some said, both are important, but I asked which was more important. Unfortunately meeting and knowing people is required for success in getting your music heard.

Whether you want to be famous or just want to share your stuff, you can't expect to be heard just sitting in your bedroom producing songs and then putting them on one single cd that gets lost. It would be nice if you could make a new song and the whole world just flooded to you in adoration, but you need to get out there and promote yourself. Talk to people when you are out, give samples to everybody, post on Youtube (your song is protected just by being recorded in nearly all cases), attend events, do whatever it takes and somebody might just remember you. However, don't burn your bridges. If you get cocky or are a jerk, people will remember you... and you will promptly stay ignored.

I have only been on Youtube for a few weeks, and have already met some great people and gotten many song views. Since I am a few weeks ahead there of where I am here, I now have a choice when putting out a weekly song. This week's will be simple. The song for an RPG video game battle below.

Original Battle Theme - Aura of Battle

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Let's Get Started! - what is this original music blog? who is Nate Combs?

Lately, I have done many google searches with key words such as "original film score blog" or "original video game music blog" and even "original music blog." What comes up is always a real movie, show, game or something like that stating that this is the movie "x" music blog with original songs by famous composer "y." However, I know there are people out there that produce or create great music, suitable for production, whether it is in games, commercials, movies, radio, or the elevator. I was hoping to hear some of their music and perhaps even network with them and share some of my own. Doing this helps us all to expand our ideas of what good music sounds like, it helps us to learn more about what we love, and it definitely helps others to share in the joy our music brings us.

Now while most searches held no fruit and always led me to sites that talked about music already in actual media, I did find some blogs during the "original music blog" search that were blogs made by a single person to share their own music with the world. This is great. I enjoy many of them. Still, it was not what I was looking for. I wanted to find a blog not only with a variety of music or styles, but one that also let outsiders participate. I think it would be pretty sweet even if you do not make music to be able to search for original songs and compositions and find a place good, quality music that sounds just like the stuff you enjoy in every day media. Plus, for those who do not have as much experience in certain areas, you can get great constructive feedback (and opinions) from listeners and other musicians. We all know that some people can be way more honest online than they are to your face. Youtube already has a fantastic songs that I have heard from original authors, but even there, your music can often be missed and overshadowed by other things such as videos, as it is a video site. On that note, something you should not expect to find here => songs that are in your favorite game or movie or show or even from your favorite band or group. Trust me, there plenty of places dedicated to that type of music, as it has already "made it." However, if a song starts here or somewhere else and later makes it big, that's fine.

So, I read the "about me" section, which I do not remember much, probably because it does not say much about you, Nate Combs. Who are you musically? Good question, brain (or future reader). I am a younger (age-wise) musician, but have 2 years of professional experience in recording, production, live playing and that kind of hooplah, around 6 years of recording and production "practice" experience, and, oh I say, 15 years of instrument playing experience, which started with some piano lessons and grew to self-taught keyboard, guitar, drums, and bass (I also once played Train and Jason Mraz on the Ukulele for a day a few months ago). I have been writing, or at least trying to write, beautiful music since before I ever even owned an instrument. Yep, when I was a little kid, I would sit at the pianos in the mall and press the keys in a manner I thought sounded good while trying to imitate automatic pianos. The music has since grown in beauty and professionality. I played some music here and there in youth groups or church recitals and even had my first band, Of Another Calibur, up through high school. Toward the end, I bought a Roland Fantom X6 (great for live stuff, big mistake for trying to produce an entire professional song with nothing else), and my learning and knowledge of the music industry exploded. In college, I started playing for real with groups I met at the University of Central Florida gigs at churches, school, or other local coffee house living room type places. Eventually, I joined a band called Danasé (being a Spanish major showed me how to get those accented letters into pretty much anything, easily). We got one song recorded before I learned how to record a live band myself. Now, I am working on two albums, one for Lennox Zamore in St. Thomas, VI, where much of my family comes from, and one for the band my wife and I recently started, which is called Farewell Debut. In addition to that, I also release one original composition every week on Youtube. Music is always a busy, but wonderful task.