One of my personal projects for DIGICO has been to create a library of 30 second music tracks we can use in favor of other music services. This serves two purposes: to give our clients access to a wide selection of exclusive backing tracks for their project, and to demonstrate the variety of music styles we can compose custom scores in for larger projects.
Some projects we’ve recently completed that use scores I’ve composed include the Chancellor Volunteer Fire and Rescue’s YourBestChance.org web and broadcast videos and our EMMA Award Winning SVBA Home & Garden Show Spot.
Yesterday I recorded four new tracks in my home studio to add to our library and took a time lapse video of the process. The tracks fall roughly into the genres of acoustic rock, post-rock, alternative rock, and post-punk, you can hear selections from each of the tracks in the background of the time lapse video.
For guitar gear heads, I’m playing a G&L Tribute Legacy into my pedal board (assorted Boss and other pedals) and then into either my late 70′s Vibro Champ or mid 80′s Ampeg V-3. The Ampeg is an interesting amp, manufactured during a short period when Ampeg was owned by a Japanese company and made some strange guitar heads that used existing model numbers to create very different amps. This V-3 is much more akin to a 2 channel Marshall JCM-800 than the earlier Ampeg V-3s which have been used by a variety of bands for their loud, clean sounds. The bass is an inexpensive SX P-Bass copy with an upgraded pickup and bridge. The acoustic is a strange old Hohner acoustic I bought second (or third, or fourth) hand in high school.
To record my setup I use a handful of mics, mostly standard dynamic and condenser mics, into a Digi001 Pro Tools interface connected to my old Mac G4 desktop. I had programmed drums for the tracks a day earlier on my MacBook Pro and imported them into Pro Tools.
I’ve come to enjoy writing and recording music library tracks a lot since joining DIGICO in the beginning of this year. Years ago when I was in college I played in a handful of bands, some good, some bad; but since leaving the group of musicians I played with in those years my music production has been slow, to say the least. I found myself constantly picking apart any idea I had long before it even became an outline for a song. I was striving so hard for perfection, to produce music that truly meant something huge to myself, that I couldn’t get anything accomplished.
I’ve finally gotten over that hurdle by using the music library as an opportunity to just write genre songs. Not everything has to be a life changing song; sometimes a song is just a song. It may be perfect for a video project I couldn’t have imagined we would be working on when I sat down to write it. I’m completely creatively liberated from my own restrictions on what I want to write, and it feels great.
Best of all, I’m becoming a better musician each time I sit down to work on new tracks, I’m practicing my instruments more and becoming a much more efficient studio musician (although as you can see by the number of times I re-record parts in the time lapse, I’m still not a great live performer, hah).
Its exciting for me to find an audience in our clients and the viewers our clients are reaching; which is great on a personal level, but also great for our clients, who can develop a more unique identity with a custom piece of music. And, at the end of the day, by developing a growing selection of music for DIGICO, I’m, at least in part, living my teenage dream of getting paid to make music.