I don’t smoke weed all that much anymore but, you know, once a stoner…
As you might have read, these Eight Bar Embryos (8BE) are me trying to improve my skills. I want to release one a week but it’s tough. In reality this one took three weeks to finish from first starting.
It’s based on Soma Sonic’s “Crazy Moon” and Sade’s “No Ordinary Love“. Check out those tracks if you get a chance and let me know if I captured the vibe.
Thanks for watching. Subscribe on YouTube (thank you to the 104 who’ve already done so!) and join me on Patreon so we can chat more directly.
That’s Skullcandy’s most popular video. I haven’t even watched it.
However, I have been using some basic-assed SC earbuds for about two years now. The same pair of, maybe, $9 earbuds.
I primarily use them for music-making and listening. That’s listening both in-and-out of my apartment. Whether I’m checking bass, stereo panning, trying to be quiet for neighbors, reverbs and ambience or just ’cause I want headphones, these things have delivered.
As you might know, I make music. I’ve used several headphones including the Sennheiser HD280 and others. After you’ve been playing music for awhile, you get to try a few things out.
So, take it from me, if you need a supplement to your full-range system for editing, reference or just pure enjoyment then go ahead and pick up some of these guys. They have my approval.
Songs are fun because you get to expose different shades of meaning.
This is about being all independent, not caring, then falling in love.
But then, not caring, I sent some dim witted shit during the courting process (as we are wont to do) and screwed it up due to carelessness.
See how that works?
I can’t really recommend any dating products butt if you’re interested in gear I used for this it was primarily Ableton Live‘s Operator synth for nearly everything but the drums. Those were mostly the 2020 Beatbox kit presets tweaked slightly iirc.
Not that it matters to the end listener, I spent over 30 hours and at least three weeks working on this track. I consider that a setback considering I’d been meaning to release music every week. On the other hand, it was a deep dive and those can be rewarding. I consider this one a big learning experience. Turned out alright though.
I just hate being in the studio during the summer. I should’ve released the Uncomfortable EP Pt. 2 as soon as it was done and been doing shows now. Now I’ll be releasing it in October then another EP next spring so hopefully shows by next year this time.
Hope you like it. The primary production reference was “Something About You” by Level 42. It’s probably obvious once you know that but why hide it? The whole idea with these 8 Bar Embryo tracks is to improve my production skills. I’m not here to pretend I’m the next Attlas just yet.
I currently have 98 subs on the Hexspa YouTube channel. Kind of exciting. My first video was uploaded around late 2009. I started with a namesake channel but I deleted all the stuff off of it so now it’s just Hexspa.
I remember when I made my first penny through adsense. It was a cool moment. I’m not raking in millions just yet but maybe one day.
The channel has gone through several ages and phases. Currently I’m trying to emphasize original music and updates specific to Hexspa.
I wanted to do something special so I made this video and in it I do 100 pushups in sets of 10. Each 10 set lesson is related to mental strategies that can be applied to anything but project-based creative activity (like making YouTube videos or producing music) especially.
I’ll post the 10 lessons here and make a short commentary then you can go on your merry way all the richer:
Hexspa’s Ultra Wise 10 Life Tips
1. Little Things Add Up
Any time I talk to someone about what I do they generally seem to emphasize how hard music is or how they wish they had time to play. I always say the words, “little and often.” You’ve heard about consistency being important but it’s easy to get overwhelmed with that. It’s like the Japanese One Minute concept but even less rigid: just do a little and do it often. Forget about big numbers like 10,000 hours or 10 years etc. Just know that every little bit counts.
2. Keep Going Even When Things Aren’t Going Your Way
A lot of times I feel like nothing is going my way. Realistically, that’s just a feeling. It reminds me of the Zen story about when an upscale Caterer went to a Butcher shop and said he needed the best cuts for an event. The Butcher replied, “Everything in my shop is best.” This is a life philosophy. Emotions might be rough but try to remember that, in this Butcher shop, everything is best.
3. Make Use Of Imperfect Environments
Related to the last point. You might have seen that I have relatively extensive acoustic treatment happening in my place lately. You might think, “Well, I don’t have that so I can’t work.” That is false. This environment has loud neighbors, ants, spiders and they stop selling beer at midnight. Despite these negative factors (especially the last one – ugh) I work with it. Harsh environments can strengthen you or defeat you. News flash: It’s not the environment who decides which outcome occurs.
4. Always Be Promoting
The closed mouth doesn’t get fed. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Yes, in Japan they say that the outstanding nail gets hammered but you know who else gets hammered? Porn stars and those people get paid to do what I’d do for free. So who’s the real hustler? The point is if you don’t let people know who you are and what you’re about they’ll never know. You must at least be findable. Yes, they say the cream rises to the top but it won’t if it’s buried under the sour milk of your insecurities. Therefore, let people know what you’re doing. Who knows: you might run into someone who actually gives a shit.
5. Aim High
I actually learned this in Driver’s Ed. The human being seems to respond well to challenges, met with confidence, that inspire. Often, when I’m encountering a difficult period in my life, I’ll have quiet moments when I cry.
lol not. Motherfucker, thugs don’t cry!
Ok seriously what I actually do is reflect on why I do this shit at all. They call it “Your Why”. I kind of hate these self-help bookish catchphrases but, if you can put them in your own words, the ideas can be helpful. It comes down to this: if you can align your behavior with your values then you have a powerful motor behind you. You will live according to your truest values regardless. So if your true value is to express yourself on a high enough level that people like your stuff then you’re going to find a way to push through the darkness and make it to that final goal. On the other hand, if you’re aligned with fads or someone’s approval then your motivation will be weak and you won’t get passed your breaking point.
6. Work With What You’ve Got
I’m not gifted. I had early exposure to music and I had luckily found a bunch of bandmates early on. Despite these, and other, advantages I am nowhere near the success level of some other artists. That’s ok, though. Maybe I’m lazy. Maybe I’m fat and/or ugly. It doesn’t matter because I’m going to do this work regardless. I don’t have infinite financial resources (who does?) etc. but instead of focusing on that I try to focus on what I want to do. I don’t use the word “accomplish” because it’s future-oriented and that kind of thing inherently brings anxiety. I’m talking about a freedom of expression in the moment. Besides overcoming obstacles, real or imagined, there’s another virtue to this point which is what I call “keeping your hand in one place”. Not that place you sick fuck but “in one place” of the sense good guitar players and keyboardists use economy of movement to make chord changes. These guys rarely bounce around the neck like an overexcited adolescent. What I’m saying is to not look toward Mars for inspiration since it’s probably right there in your fingertips, dirty toenails or bad social skills.
7. Work Through The Awkwardness
Part of being a human that pursues their own path is a sense that you’re going against the grain. While I don’t advise making an ego out of this I do say that you should expect, and become accustomed to, extreme social discomfort. Singing is like sex, for instance. Same hormones, same health benefits. However I haven’t met too many girls that fuck at the top of their lungs. You do have to sing like that, though; at least occasionally. In other words, doing creative work is going to make you feel like a total fuckwad. Get used to it.
8. Get It Done Ahead Of Time
Sort of like Aiming High, do not plan to finish your project on the day it’s due. Try to allow a couple days to rest and return to it for a final check. This will either help you get things done more quickly, have time for final revisions or give wiggle room assuming something comes up like a free giveaway at Coldstone.
9. Work Even If You Miss The Deadline
If #8 fails then just turn it in late. The key here is to not rush. Rushing is the worst thing a human can do besides pushing it. Don’t push and don’t rush. If you’re late, you’re late. If the people can’t wait then fuck ’em. If you can’t fuck ’em then kill ’em. lol jk. Thou shalt not kill, m’kay. For real tho, don’t be a gerbil on a wheel for nobody ya heard?
10. Work Before Beer (In The Clear)
Don’t be a drunken idiot unless you’ve put in some work for the day. Next topic.
Bonus 1: Work While They’re Sleeping
You’ve heard it said in the motivational videos on the internet: “You might miss parties, your graduation, your mom’s funeral or the night you lose your virginity but, goddamnit, WORK while all the other fools do that crap. You’re a winner!” I think that’s tripe made up by people with no friends. Well, I have no friends but let me put it to you like this: there are myriad ways of sleeping. TV, games, meaningless arguments, fruitless anger, FOMO etc. You can do anything you want – yes, even losing your virginity – but if you’re constantly drunk with the mainstream consumerist lifestyle then you can be guaranteed to have a life devoid of meaningful creativity.
Bonus 2: Just Finish It
…and on that note I’ll see you next week.
Give me a sub if you haven’t. Or go to Patreon and give me a dollar if you like my work. If you do happen to prefer consumerism then please buy some garbage on Amazon and I’ll make a profit.
Ethan made a few videos on music theory and I wanted to share.
Interestingly, knowledge of theory is partly what held me back from releasing music this week 🙁
However, don’t be put off of learning theory because I say that.
I started learning theory to transcend the genre-specific limits I was experiencing so many years ago. Now I’m eating at the Old Country Buffet equivalent of music at the YouTube booth. Bad metaphor? Nah!
I’m definitely still working on music but I also have the 100 YouTube subscribers video getting made. It’s a milestone and in the video I’m making I plan to commemorate the event by doing 100 pushups (in sets of 10 ’cause I’m not a beast like that – moreover spread out over several days) tied into 10 hard-learned lessons of a life on the outside.
Whoa, Hexspa chill bra.
For real tho. I’ve been a random so long that I’m not sure I could ever integrate into “normal people” life. The good news is that I’ve learned a lot about time management and getting stuff done when, on one hand, I have no boss but, on the other, homelessness is just a mistake away.
If that doesn’t have you eager to watch idk what will. But, until then, you can watch Ethan’s stuff. It’s really good even if you know about music. I know how us music folk like hearing what we already know. L O L
I linked to the YouTube version above for two reasons: 1. I get credit for sending traffic to YouTube afaik and 2. the Vimeo version wouldn’t generate a thumbnail. Here are the links (video 1 not available on YT):
If you feel like picking up the New Harvard Dictionary of Music (shown in the video) you can do so by clicking here.
And, since this video series was supposed to be a part of his book, The Audio Expert, you can support Ethan Winer (and me) by buying the book on Amazon by clicking on the title.
Thanks for reading. Sincerely sorry I couldn’t get a track up this week. Take comfort in knowing I’m doing my best and, when I do get something up, it’ll be the best I can offer.
I read an article about music producers. It was actually probably about Rick Rubin. It said that he’d get “has-beens” with “writer’s block” (which I put in quotes because people like Neil Strauss say it doesn’t exist – and I agree) to just write two words.
I say again, TWO WORDS, that inspire them – and have that in by next week. So, given that I was already in a somewhat successful band and am currently on the brink of a mid life crisis getting my career started at the tender age of 34, I thought I’d take that fucking advice.
I’ll let you ponder the meaning of the words. I can almost guarantee they apply to anyone with genitals.