Taking some time to write a bit about my hobbies in this blog! Since I can't really think of what else to write about... :) And I have so many, that sometimes I forget them! I do write about them in my personal notes but sometimes it's nice to share.
This post will be about music. Music is a long-time special interest of mine. I've been mucking around with various forms of music for ages, but more recently (let's say, the past few years or so) I've really started to get into it more seriously.
My strengths and weaknesses
I have a lot of weaknesses when it comes to music. I tend to be clumsy on realtime instruments, and try as I might I really struggle to play what I want to play on a keyboard. So, the music I enjoy making the most is the kind that can be put together without having to play in real time. Any time I have to synchronize to a clock, I end up psyching myself out and messing up, and it's a whole tedious thing. But give me a grid or a sequencer and I can figure things out much more easily because I can go at my own pace.
I think this is why I tend to gravitate towards either generative music, or sequencers. And on that note...
I started getting super excited about modular synths after falling down one of those YouTube rabbitholes that happen sometimes. While I never plan to actually purchase modsynth hardware, I love how it sounds, and find it to be the perfect music to listen to while coding or otherwise focusing. I guess it makes me fit into a very particular stereotype, but it's not something I did to be 'trendy'. I've been into synths ever since I discovered the Casio keyboard as a kid and was excited about the songs it could play on its own.
But there's something special about modular synths, in how fundamental the creation of sound can be. And yet, it also can do a lot for you, which I appreciate. Having to go deep into sound design just to create a basic sound is something I want to choose to do rather than be forced to do it.
One of the coolest things I discovered was that VCVRack lets you play with a virtual modular synth. It's relaxing to create weird, or floaty, or just... bouncy tunes with it. It's been quite an intuitive way to work with sound.
Generative stuff is fun because it's really just like writing a program. You tell the modules what they need to do, and they do it!
For me, this has been one of the coolest devices to make music with. I bit the bullet and opted to get one of these, because I felt that it would be useful to have something physical to work with, which would allow me to create things quickly. And I believe it has!
While I found the interface to be quite intuitive, I am still getting my 'sea legs' so to speak. Sometimes I fumble. But ultimately it does make it easy to quickly throw together sounds.
I will have to spin up a personal SoundCloud-like instance to share music stuff. Yes, I do have a SoundCloud, but they are quite restrictive on how much you can upload so I'm considering stopping using them.
I only really have one large, cohesive music project right now, and it's for a video game I am working on with my partner Sara! It's quite a challenge to compose music for a game, but I do like giving myself challenges. So far I have one track mostly worked out (might still fiddle with it) and I have another that I have an idea of what I want, which I've sort of mumbled to myself on a voice recorder.
It's been fun to listen to tracks Sara provides as examples of what wants the game to sound like, and try to synthesize the styles, chord progressions, and moods into something unique. I feel like I've learned a lot already, even though I've barely scratched the surface of it.