Archive for February, 2018

Time To Get Started…Again.

Posted in Uncategorized on February 22, 2018 by BitPusher

Just when I thought I was done.

Last year when I released Digital Bass 2017, I was certainly proud, and as it stands in my very small world, I see it as my crowning achievement. It was the bass CD I wanted to release, even the artwork came out in every way how I wanted it to be, with the only exception being that tune I called “Simple & Bassik.” It was a piece of shit because I had multiple concepts for it but nothing worked out, and I stripped it back and was going to scrap it, but hell I had something so I stuck it on there anyway. So then…

What I want to say today is simply that I was out of ideas, and ready to just quit it all for a while, maybe for good. I’ve been “at it” since 2010, and while I give my music away and do not pursue money, do not pursue live performance (namely because I really don’t want to) I have had a spread of different online presences but am still only known by people who are actual friends or family. I can accept that my music is nothing great, and I’ve never been shy about admitting that I’m not a talented composer. It has always been for fun, but there comes a point after a certain time and enough efforts that the motivation wanes and that the ideas eventually run out. I was so proud of DB2017 and thought “this is it, this is a good place to leave off and one hell of a fond memory to boot.” But something different kind of fell into place on its own.

Ever since I overcame my absolutely silly intimidation of trackers back when I finally sat down and learned how to work with LSDJ on the Gameboy, I did honestly kind of fall in love with the concept. Working with DAWs just doesn’t do it for me, never has. It made it even easier to ignore making music despite the fact it has been obsession in my life since I was a little kid. So what’s the news? I got to playing with some trackers that have been around for a long time and was just looking at them out of sheer curiosity. An already long enough story short, I discovered MilkyTracker (based on the semi-legendary Fasttracker II) and a couple minutes of toying with it and it just seemed to fit me. I was really liking it. Dropped in a couple instruments and realized holy shit, I can work with this. Because of this, I was quickly figuring out that I had capabilities with this software quite beyond anything I had ever used previously.

It’s a fact, even my best tunes with some well done sequences are still on the whole, simplistic. This is due to both my lack of composing talents, and the software. I did start afterall with an emulator and then a modded Atari 2600. 8-bit, chiptune. One thing that is absolutely paramount for someone in chiptune is understanding the principal: you are working with extremely limited hardware due to its age and design, and the object of the game is to work within those limitations and make the best of it, literally juice everything you can from that shit with clever techniques and make something small into something bigger; utilize this stuff in a way it was never designed to be. That lesson always stuck with me for better or worse. Then the software, it is naturally limited by the hardware or platform is was made for, so there’s that. A good many years with that logic, that hardwired concept, and now I dip my toes into an entirely different pool, in fact what feels like an ocean. Milky allows many, many more channels than I could ever need, and the capabilities, man I could ramble on that all day.

Here’s the facts: I am making a new album, and it feels great. I feel as if doors have been flung wide open and I can do literally anything I can conceive, and then after that, change it and add even more. Alot of limitations have been removed, and I’m liking it. The best part of all, I don’t have to dick around with a DAW and I can still do so much. If everyone has a prejudice in life, that is one of mine. I think DAWs are terribly cluttered, confusing, unintuitive, poor workflow despite their vast and likely superior capabilities, and there are things that require special efforts in DAWs that I can achieve with the flick of a switch or turn of a knob because for recording or processing I have some real hardware on hand, so no thanks. I prefer the flexibility, hands-on in-depth feel, and raw precision of a tracker any day.

It has been such a journey. Someone who didn’t know a damn thing about production starts tinkering with an Atari and doing basic recordings with little concept of mixing or composing, just winging it and trying not to record it too loud. I then learn about samples and start to learn some terminology and some basics for recording. Then I start to learn how a tracker works, and that sentence represents a somewhat difficult journey of its own and a big step for me personally. Some people can pick that shit right up, but it was a struggle for a bit to wrap my small brain around it. Next step was getting a little more serious about my production and acquiring a little equipment. From my little audio interface, then onto acquiring an actual mixing console and so on, then I find myself recording a Gameboy album and learning to actually use this stuff. I’m no studio engineer with a degree, but at the very least for a 100% unfunded, self taught and independent artist, my production has (comparatively speaking) improved ten-fold. Out comes Digital Bass 2017, properly mixed and mastered, and far better composed or at least demonstrating a little bit more substance compared to when I started. Really, anyone could tell me my music sucks, or I could go forever and the music of BitPusher never be known by anyone, and yet the experience and journey over these 8 years has been positive and progressive, a growing experience.

And just when I was ready for it to be done, this happens. I am making another step in that forward direction, another small, personal evolution and this time I wasn’t really trying for it or looking for it. I didn’t plan on falling for a new software, but it happened and it is enough to get me excited about trying again. I originally wanted to call it “Boom FREAKuencies”, but as I started to realize what was going on and how free and unrestrained I feel with this software, I am coming with a whole different angle. I’ll reveal more detail at a later time, but this album should represent my best, and the most important fact of all, since I intend it to convey my emotions, my moods, and my attitude, and my assorted tastes in electronic music, it is crucial that I present something, no matter how small it is, to be proud of with each and every track. I may not have the ability to bring something to life as amazing as the various artists that have inspired me the most, but ultimately it stands to reason that if I don’t enjoy myself, then there’s no reason to bother doing it all.

This is all relevant entirely in my own small world and my slightly delusional mind, but so be it. To quote ol’ Frankie boy: “the best is yet to come.” I want to punish my speakers a little bit and I am in the mood to kick some ass and make some noise. All in due time.