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

Superstar Unlimited

Hey.  This track was made using deadmau5′ “Superliminal” as a reference.

I’m currently taking his Masterclass.  It’s cool.  I haven’t gotten to the mixing section yet.  I could use it though since I’m currently mixing the Uncomfortable EP Pt. 2.

Just wanted to give you guys some insight into how I made this.

-m

One True Path Acoustics

Hey guys.  Just wanted to let you know about my acoustics brand.

Hexspa is for music primarily.  I had done some acoustics and vape stuff just to test the waters.  People were getting confused though.

So One True Path Acoustics will be handling everything related to home acoustics.  If you have a home theater, studio or rehearsal place I’ll help you out there.

Our target market are people who enjoy fun, effective and affordable solutions.  If you look at the panels I currently use, you’ll see the design we’ll be offering – industrial, raw and easily customizable and repairable.

Here’s the related video I put out awhile ago:

Let me know if you have any questions,

-m

What is Hexspa? Part 5

Parts one, two, three and four.

So it’s come to this.

It was the EDM revolution.  America remembered it could dance.  How fitting that Dubstep had no identifiable dance.  Good time to shake off the rust I suppose.

Working in the Pro Audio department of the Stupidly American music store, I was surrounded by a DJ and a grad of Pyramind.  Between these two “colleagues” and being lambasted while jamming Bossa Nova with some old guys I heeded the Electronic call.  I knew I wanted to release an album but that was too much work.  Work sucks.

I took a Coursera course on The Beatles and discovered their strategic use of the EP format.  When I realized I could get music out faster, but still not release random singles, I tacked on and finally released the first half of the Uncomfortable EP this year in spring.  The second half should go out in December or January ’17.  Being a one man band isn’t fun or easy though.  Plus there’s all those synths to learn..

In the meantime I’ve been synthing it up with the 8 Bar Embryo series, going pro with my One True Path Acoustics brand and all the while trying not to go bankrupt.

26 years goes fast.  (So does 5 parts of autobiography).  I’m currently struggling to not compare myself to younger, more successful artists.  The truth is, and it’s not an excuse, but I’m on a religious path.  Long days of grinding it out are not appealing to me.

Music, for me, is a great way of expression, a brain workout, very rewarding and even a bit fun.  I’ll be offering some things for sale soon and anything I can earn would be great.  For now, the best thing is being able to do what I enjoy, sharing it with others and, hopefully, one day being able to make something that the world can appreciate as much as I do.

Ok?  Ok.

 

What is Hexspa? Part 4

Parts one, two, and three.

So there I was.  2008.  A MySpace girlfriend and a new name.  Service weapon of choice: guitar and voice.  MOS: Songwriter.

In 2009 I went to school for music.  For three weeks.  It was a tad shameful of an experience and I’ll leave it at that.  Basically I didn’t want to be “just” a guitar player.  I wanted moar.

Moar I got.  Back in El Paso, and after I’d picked up my first audio interface, I started exploring the world of DAWs and Plug-ins.  It was during these next two years I also studied up on small room acoustics, improved my singing and songwriting and released my first tracks (and picked up a little bjj).  Kinda hated the El Paso though.  I hadn’t lived two straight years anywhere since being kicked out of my house at 18.  I was restless and wanted new opportunities.  Hmm..  Where’s a wandering troubadour to go?

California.  Again.  More songs.  More performances but this time it was different.  I didn’t want to pay anyone to record me.  I always loved production and dreamed of just releasing everything on my own.  After debiting two more years from the Bank of Life I had a certificate from Berklee  and a whole crapload of anxiety about what to do with it.

At this point it’s around 2013.  For the past 12 years I’d been bouncing around trying to find due North.  It wasn’t until working at a Sucky Ass music store and hearing some brostep that I knew where I was headed.  Ah yes, those lovely wubs – as sweet as the violin’s siren so many years before.  A sound, a signpost and the gateway to the future.

Continued in Part 5.

What is Hexspa? Part 3

Part one and part two.

It started with MySpace.  It always used to start with MySpace.

In the Army I met a girl.  Late 2007 we moved into a roommate situation.  I was preparing for a music school in Hollywood (deliberately not naming it).  I’d pushed back my entrance for whatever reason (slacker).  So, early 2008 I was considering what I’d publish my music as.  The motto for the battalion I was in was “per ardua ad astra” which means something like “you’ll get to the stars if you suffer enough”.  I’m also prone to random reads on Wikipedia so I took inspiration from the Sigma Six protocol.  I don’t know what Sigma Six is all about but I think it’s something to do with managing improvement.  It all sounded pretty Latin so I smooshed it together to get Hex Sigma Per Ardua which essentially meant “struggle to improve”.  It was then shortened to Hex S.P.A. before just becoming what it is now.  I’m afraid to know if it actually means something in Latin.  Actually, it probably means swiss cheese fetishist.  I could live with that.

At that time I was learning covers and writing originals on the good ole’ acoustic geetar.  I was also in the very early stages of my learning to sing.  I emphasize very early, as in, don’t you dare look for evidence.  You’ve been warned.

Ugh, I’m trying to keep these posts under 250 words so in Part 4 I’ll ‘splain you from 2008 till now and how the EDM revolution ruined my life.