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Music

At this section of my website, you find some information about one of my big passions ... Making Music. Here I will offer a few thoughts about some of the equipment/software that I am using myself, and if you have any additional questions fell free to drop me a mail. As time alow it- and I am in the mood- I am writing a book for the novice telling how you can produce music using your computer, and I am working on some software to generate Single Cycle Waveforms, that can be used in samplers and (sample based) synthesizers.


Many years ago

I've always been very interested in music, and enjoy listening to music while working, driving etc.. As a child my parents had an Organ on which I "played" a few tunes (using one finger only <G>) but I was not to much into that (I was more interested in computers and programming). In 1988/1989 while I was studding informatics (I was 19/20 at the time) I wanted to learn how to play/create music. To me the only way to go, was to purchase a Synth since it was the way where I could "play all instruments myself", and do it with only "one unit". A school friend of mine and her boyfriend were playing in a band, so it was only natural to consult them as to know what Synth I should go for. The choice was a Roland D-10 which I hooked up (via MIDI) to an Amiga 500 which was running some sequencing software (I don't remember the name of the software, but I do remember that to a poor student like myself - at the time - it was expensive <G>).

I learned one valuable lesson: Owning a Synth and a Sequencer will NOT turn you into the next Mike Oldfield, Jean-Michel Jarre, Erasure or whatever (at least not within a month or two <G>). I didn't have any musical skills (nor any talent) and I was not committed to "spending the time to learn it" (was busy with my study in informatics). Also at the time the Internet was something I wouldn't know about for the next many years, so information/material (learning about music) was hard to come by (I've never been much of a Library-user). On top of everything else I "fell in love" with a motorbike and ended up selling the Synth in order to be able to buy that motorbike.

 

Lets try again

Me back in 1989
March 2003 I got a mail from the old school friend (I mentioned above) and "in the name of nostalgia" I dug out the old photos from that time (as you can see, a Blues-Brothers inspired look) - Larghing is optional <G>. Mailing with that old school friend and looking at these old photos from then, fueled my old dreams learning to play/create music. I fired up my browser and began to look for information regarding synths, trying to figure out what I should get (and what it would cost).

Beside browsing the internet I also looked in various news-groups and asked people what I should start out with. Some suggested simply getting a MIDI-Keyboard and use this with some kind of software based synth whereas others suggested going for a hardware Synth and use it with some sequencing software (this last approach was at the time, the one most appealing to me). The PC based approach had me consider Roland's VariOS but also "Great sounds" was a must, so therefore I was also considering Roland's V-Synth. Armed with this info I visited the nearest Synth-store (Musikhuset Aage Jensen, Århus) where I had a good talk with one of their sales people. Talking about what I wanted to do be able to. I was in stead suggested the Yamaha MOTIF-6. The following week was spend "reading up" on this amazing Synth and I gradually knew the MOTIF was the Synth for me, hence I placed my order (I haven't regretted this for a second since). Since I got my MOTIF in 2003 there have been many new editions of this synth (each better than the previous), but I still like my MOTIF and it has some great orchestral sounds that I use from time to time.

I still don't have any musical skills (nor talent), and to me life is simply too short to learn how to"really learning to play" and read notes (still whish I had learned to play the Piano as a child <G>). In stead I simply play around, and if I happen to hit a few chords - which sounds OK - I can record them into the sequencer and play them back. The fact that I have no formal training in music, and work as a developer probably mean that I have a very untraditional approach to producing music. Often I see it as a "programming task" where I have to build the sounds/patterns I want, and setup the rack/sequencer/mixer in Propellerhead Reason, which over the years have become my "weapon of choice".

 

Inspiration (Music to Play)

Luckily for me - beside hard rock/heavy metal - I more or less like all kind of music (everything from Classic/Folk to Dance/Techno) so there is enough of material to get me inspired (and genres to f*ck up <G>). However I lean more towards the Electric (Dance/Techno) genre, since this is probably best suited for "my approach" (in the "Electric-genre" there are "no rules" as to what you are "allowed to do"). Not that I dislike acoustic music nor vocals/choir (the list of artists below backs this up), but my voice is not suited for any musical production and I don't have any singers nor Choir living next door to me, so instrumental seams to be the way for me. So beside the samples I got and the voice collections for my software- and hardware synth there are not many vocals to draw from (my own voice is limited to voice-overs and some vocoding).

Let me name a few people/bands that - hopefully - will inspire, or at least people/bands I enjoy listening to: Mike Oldfield, Jean-Michel Jarre, Kraftwerk, Karl Bartos, Art of Noise, Infernal, Trentemøller, M-Sphere, Yello, Delerium, Moskwa TV, Erotic Dreams, Enigma, Alphaville, Vangelis, John Williams, Leftfield, Moby, Fluke, Hypnosis, Underworld, Robert Miles, Paul Van Dyk, Sash, Masterboy, Atb, ETA, Milk Inc, T.O.Y., Faithless, Air, Kent, Aqua, Safri Duo, Shu-bi-dua, Roben og Knud, Weird Al Yankovic, Black eyed Peas, 50-Cent, Eminem, KLF, Snap, Erasure, Yazoo, Pet Shop Boys, Depech Mode, OMD, ELO, Eurythmics, Roxette, Queen, Sandra, Ace of Base, Army of Lovers, ABBA, Slade, Enya, Clannad, Beautiful Wold, Adiemus, Era, Deep Forest, Angles of Venice, Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Leonard Cohen, CCR, Kitaro, Cusco, Dead can Dance, Klaus Schulze, Gandalf, Etienne Daho, Marillion, Jethro Tull, Manfred Mann ... and ocationally ... Vivaldi, Beethoven,Mozart, Bach, Verdi, Wagner even Rammstein :-)

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