[RAMBLES] Music in the Rough

I feel like I’m naming an episode of Pokémon, switching out a word with another (in this case switching out “diamond” from “diamond in the rough” with “music”).

As I mentioned in my previous blog entry, I have begun to learn music. Or rather, I have learned how to hit keys in an order that makes a pretty decent, but rough melody. I’ve been playing around with the demo version of FL Studio for the past day or so. I have finally learned how to use patterns, lay down the patterns, import new VSTs, hook up my musical keyboard and have it work, and that the bottom half (or rather 1/3rd) of the piano roll shows how the notes are lined up so you can line up everything perfectly.

I spent several hours today (or yesterday at this point) just simply fooling around in the program. Most of the fooling around was with the VST, Firebird2, switching up the instruments to see how they would sound when I played the tune I consider to be the demo version of “Kelly’s Theme” (a.k.a. the theme music for my Pokémon fan character). It’s STUPIDLY fun to do that. I kept getting fangasms from it. Certain instrument combinations with the tune just made me ultra giddy.

I did spend a good portion of the day downloading new VSTs as well, a bunch of free ones. I want better VSTs (or rather, I particularly want Nexus2 because holy smeg that VST seems to have everything I want and more), but it seems silly to invest in them right now. Again, I’m using the DEMO version of FL Studio (I wish I could find my old copy so I could just register that and get the newest one for free), not to mention, I’m using the customized Crossover Mac beta, so I don’t even know if the better VSTs will work on it. I sure hope so!

After the holidays, if I find I am still trying to make music, I plan on investing in the Producer version of FL Studio, as well as Nexus2 and probably Toxic Biohazard. Then the free VSTs can take a back seat. Or not.

I need to remember to write a review about the Mac Beta on the Image-Line website after that too.

I’m sure many of you (or none of you because nobody really reads my blog) have questions about the music and the fact that I’m making music! Hopefully I can answer some of them.

I have been wanting to make music for a long time, even longer than I have wanted to write. I wanted to be a pop star and with that be able to play instruments and have spectacular shows. Though I know that’s not possible now, there is still a part of me that wants a piece of that dream. I still want to make songs.

I’m hoping that I will be able to produce happy hardcore/UK hardcore and orchestral pieces at some point. Not crappy “I don’t entirely know what I’m doing” sort of songs, but solid ones. I hope to produce other genres too, like Eurobeat (can’t forget that), pop, and anything else that strikes my fancy. Happy hardcore, UK hardcore, and orchestral pieces are my first choices though. The former two are extremely inspiring for me when I listen to them and fit my taste of music that just whisks me off to another place, while orchestral I find beautiful and often whisks me away as well.

Also, happy hardcore and UK hardcore are the perfect excuse for me to make music with heavy beats. I don’t have enough of those currently in my music library.

My first focus of music will be on Kelly’s Journey. Yes, that fanfiction. I think it’s the perfect place to start! I use the series as a testing ground for numerous things, like descriptions [in the story] to drawing techniques. It also gives me an aim to come up with track ideas, rather than just coming up with things all willy nilly. I hope that after I get used to making music, I can start coming up with tracks that have nothing to do with Kelly’s Journey and have everything to do with me. That pop star wannabe in me still wants songs for myself even if I can’t sing (which, hahahahahahaha, a lot of pop stars seem like they can’t either).

If I do end up making full music tracks and find them good enough, I will post them on my website. The Kelly’s Journey soundtrack ones will be posted on the Kelly’s Journey subsite when that is up. For any non-KJ tracks, depending on what they are for, I will or won’t post them up. I’m hoping I will, but I’m sure there will be several unreleased tracks (…or not because I hate unreleased tracks). Only time will tell though. I did just start making music, after all!

It’s really interesting to me. I thought music was going to anger me, much like artwork does, but I have found that once I actually have an idea for a tune and am able to figure it out on the musical keyboard, it’s much more like working on websites.

For myself, when I work on my website, I experience some type of lightness. It’s hard, but satisfying work to code a website. It’s fun. My happiness always builds as I get further into coding the website and seeing the idea in my head come alive right on the screen. Even during points of frustration, like trying to figure out why the javascript isn’t working, it’s still fun. It’s not blood boiling frustration – it’s frustration that makes me, like “HAHAHAHA OH COME ON, IT HAS TO BE SOMEWHERE”.

Artwork, on the other hand, is generally frustrating all the way through. Drawing the basis of the image is annoying and deeply unsatisfying, pencil lining the image is annoying, inking is annoying, colouring is annoying, everything is annoying. Even posting and getting comments is annoying! The only parts I like about artwork are the finished steps, like after the basis is drawn, after the pencil lining is done, etc. And that’s only sometimes. Most of the time, I just hate doing artwork and it makes me spike up in anger. Seems silly to continue to do artwork, but I don’t want to be one of those people who look at those who can draw and wish I could do that because I can.

So far, producing music has given me a feeling like working on a website does. I feel kind of light while making them. The frustrating level isn’t spiking anger, nor is it laughing frustration. It’s kind of like an in between, where I JUST hit getting annoyed, but I don’t want to stop until I get it done with.

I’m surprised how engulfed in making music I am. Even sewing couldn’t keep me engulfed that long.

Now that I think about it, writing, music, and website coding all seem to bring out similar emotions in me, as does sewing and artwork. Huh. That’s interesting…

I almost wonder if I shouldn’t be sewing or drawing and just writing, making music, and making websites.

…naaaah. I’m gonna keep doing sewing and drawing.  And writing, music, and websites.

So what’s going to happen to those current KJ soundtrack pieces that your friend made you?

Those? Well, I’m currently debating if I scrap having those all together (and turn them into fan art, rather than the official soundtrack) or keep them or keep only some of them. I mean, technically, having two people working on the soundtrack would make it go by a lot faster. However, there are some differences in creative opinion (a lot of it is going by pictures V.S. going by the fanfiction – the fanfiction is about a billion times more accurate, by the way). I’ll let you know in the future.