New Phone, etc.

Hey guys.  In my last video I said I broke my phone and showed it.

RIP iPhone 5c Blue.

In the end, it’s fine.  That thing has 32-bit architecture and wasn’t going to be upgradable to iOS 11.  Given that my Mac Mini is also outdated (currently running OSX 10.8.5), the whole shebang needs an overhaul.

I’ll be doing a clean install to High Sierra when it comes out.  I know the advice to first get clearance from 3rd party developers (Ableton, Native Instruments et. al.) but I’ve got to move forward.

I have a new track hopefully being released this upcoming Thursday called “Honey Diamond”.  This is another “deep dive” which has taken, as of now, about a month to complete.  eek.

I have more music in the pipeline but haven’t yet started another production in earnest.  Therefore, since I’m not amidst any contiguous projects, now is the best time to upgrade.

In the future, the 8 Bar Embryo project will be comprised of what I refer to as Digital Punk Rock.  I probably haven’t invented the term but maybe I’ll be giving it new meaning by keeping my arrangements and orchestration as minimal as possible with the view of more easily obtaining my objective of completing 100 virtual instrument-based tracks within a reasonable time frame.

I, with Karla’s help, have replaced the 5c with a used 6s.  It’s a beautiful device and I hope it’ll last me at least five years like the 5c did.

Unfortunately, it’s incompatible with my current version of OSX.  Coupled with the previously mentioned difficulties and the resulting desire to upgrade I’ll be slowing down my production while I switch over to newer software.

Hopefully this will result in helpful content in the form of videos, blog posts and forum responses relating to clean installs, software compatibility and other technical advice.

I hope you guys have been enjoying my latest content and that whatever I can release in the near future will hold you over until I’m up and running in full 64-bit land.

In the meantime, please sub on YouTube, join my email list and listen to my music.

Thanks,

-m

I Am Here

Hey guys.

Thanks for coming to my site.

Getting about 65 new visitors each month.  Imagine two people a day coming to your house asking about your passion.  Pretty amazing!

I’ve been going through a lot.  Depression, social growth and the rest.  I know a lot of you music makers can relate.

Turns out that most of what people want from me on YouTube is music-making-related infotainment.  That is to say funny videos related to gear, music production, instrument techniques and the like.

They say it’s easier to sell people what they want than create a great product and convince people to buy.  I agree.  Therefore I’ll be making more talking videos.

One topic I want to cover is Mental Health for Musicians.  I see tons of posts about this.  Being that I’ve struggled with this, I can definitely relate.  I also feel I have something valuable to offer on this topic.

I’m going to upgrade my YouTube production setup and then make a playlist outlining some mental strategies which have helped me during my darkest times.  Hopefully this will be of assistance to you all.

I hope to make some actual money by doing this so I’ll be starting an email list.  I’m going to provide for you guys a lot of valuable free content and then make a sales offer.

I really think that everyone should have a shot at doing what they love and enjoy.  By making a purchase with me, you’ll be helping me to live location and time independent.

It’s really the greatest gift you can give.  Especially because I plan to sell my book for about a dollar.

That’s it.  No affiliate links, no links at all and not even images for this post.  I’ve been silent for about three weeks and I wanted to let my most interested fans know what’s been going on.

All is well and is unfolding as it should.

Thanks.

Careless

Apparently ijdgaf!

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.

It’s a long way to the top…

 

100 Subscribers!!!

Ok, 98 fml

…99…

woo hoo we did it 🙂

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.

Bye.

Green Monkey

Another Color/Animal friggin title.

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.

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.

Thanks,

-m

Enter the Dragon

Welp.

I’m in my new place.

Big room, decent acoustics.

Currently finishing up listening to the Billboard Hot 100, 1969; a practice of listening to hits which usually kicks off my week of writing and transcribing.

This week might be different though, considering that I barely unwrapped my keyboard this morning.

Been waking up around 4am to catch the worm.  Gotta love the calm mornings!

I’m eager to get back to writing but putting together some sort of show is a priority now.  I’ve got a little bit of admin to accomplish, also finishing up the acoustic treatment in this room but after that I launch my Patreon and start my email list.  There are also cool Hexspa merch ideas for which I hope to arrange.

In case you actually came for Enter the Dragon then just go buy it.

At least Starbucks is close.  Speaking of which…

-m

Unplugging

It’s going down.

My internet connection, that is.  I’m about to break down my computer in this move to a new place.  Being that this desk is the last bastion of comfortable insanity I have, I’m shook.

But we can fear not: I’ll be back up and better than ever in a few days at most.  I have plans to build more acoustic panels and maybe even publish some results of measuring tests comparing fluffy to rigid.  I’m definitely going to return to trackmaking/songwriting, make my Patreon public and hopefully begin playing shows before the end of the year.

Please sub on YouTube to keep updated.  I’ll have my email list for this site happening soon too so look out for that.

-m

Maple Enemata (8BE)

I feel like such a shitbag.

I made this track almost two weeks ago and I didn’t even make a post about it. Getting my YouTube channel and this blog working together is something that’s going to take time. I hope you appreciate the effort 🙂

This song was made to help diminish the virgin population. Actually I made it to test out my new Ableton mixing template. I’ve been watching alot of Andrew Scheps videos and wanted to implement some of his ideas.

He uses a lot of parallel compression. I was using that before but not in the same way he does. He likes to group different types of musical elements together and compress them as interworking systems. For example, not only is he not insert compressing individual snares, he’ll take the kick and the snare and compress them in parallel as one. There are other tricks I hope to go into in another post.

This song has some of that parallel compression going on but it was also used to test between Sonimus Satson and Airwindows Console4.  These are console emulation plugins which are supposed to help your mixes sound more analog.  I’m not really sure what that means but those effects do have an impact on the end result.  You can check out my shootout of them here.

The last feature I want to mention is the way I wrote the chords.  I did it deadmau5 style where I just drew them in instead of trying to play them.  This method helped me come up with something I ordinarily wouldn’t play.

Hope you guys like it.

-m

My Last Video :(

It’s over.

2016 has come and gone like the heartbreaker he was.

It was a productive year for Hexspa.  I moved to a new apartment, released the Uncomfortable EP Pt. 1 and made about 10 Dance tracks under the 8 Bar Embryo playlist.

We also launched One True Path Acoustics – subscribe over there for all your acoustics stuff.  We’ll be putting all the tutorials and products for sale on a new channel and site.

We spiffed up the studio by recombining, repositioning and reupholstering my current acoustic panels.  We also built super chunk bass absorbers.

The Hexspa YouTube channel and brand has become more simplified.  No more vape or acoustics stuff.  It’s just going to be music, related tutorials and reviews and personal rants.

I’m currently mixing the Uncomfortable EP Pt. 2.  It’s got “Lightbulb” (which I’ve been playing for about 10 years) “Poetry Without Words” (already mixed, sounds great) and a purely electronic one called “Keep Your Head Up High (previously released but this is a new mix).  It should be out by March 2017.

I’m still using OSX 10.8.5.  I’m going to have to update to macOS Sierra.  Also, no more Pro Tools as they failed to fulfil their contract.  I should sue but fuck it.  I’m mixing on Live now which is ok.

I’m going to become a Syntorial affiliate this year so look out for related vids.

Let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see from me.  Requests welcome!

Cool.  Hope you enjoyed the stuff I’ve done.  Sub and follow to keep up.

Happy New Year!

-m