In this jam , I started it built around a drum sequence that I built from scratch with the Korg Volca Drum. The first sequence that kicks in is a little rhythm track made with the Arturia Microfreak. I let the two simmer for a while and slowly bring in a couple more percussive elements with the Arturia Drumbrute Impact. Next up, the Korg Monologue plays a small 16 step sequence that was recorded in real-time and not with the step sequencer.
After that, the song switches a bit into a great big pad chord progression from the Behringer DeepMind 6. From there, I manipulate and experiment with muting different parts of the drum pattern and alternate between the DeepMind and Monologue sequences. The Monologue and DeepMind both have some of the EHX Ocean’s 11 and Grand Canyon pedals processing varying parts of their signals.
Just to update, I’m currently working on a new album for cassette release hopefully in February. I’m about 8 songs in right now and am looking to keep recording and try to explore some new areas with my gear. As always, all my jams are recorded in real-time dawless with no computer being used. If you enjoy these type of videos make sure to subscribe on YouTube and find me on Instagram. You can find my links in the menu button if you’re on mobile, or at the top of the site if you are browsing on a Mac or PC. Thanks for the support! I’ve linked some dawless items below from Amazon. Anything you but through these links helps fund my website and my music creation. I appreciate it!
In this jam I started with some basic percussive elements from the Volca Drum and then added a child-like innocent sounding sequence from the Behringer Deepmind. To me this part of the jam has a lullaby type feel that maybe has more sinister undertones. I used the Volca FM to play a simple bass progression with a touch of reverb from the ElectroHarmonix Ocean’s 11 pedal. The Arturia Microfreak is playing another rhythm type pad that kind of glues everything together. Later on, the Monologue plays an electrified rhythm partner to the Microfreak.
The main drums that kick in are a slowed down 80’s hiphop type beat that I made on the Alesis Sr18 drum machine. I orginally sequenced those drums at a much higher BPM and I was surprised how well they worked with this track at about half the intended speed. There area also some additional percussive elements coming from the Volca Beats.
Thanks for checking it out, this is part of my Jamuary series on IG. If you’re interested to hear more make sure to follow me on IG and YouTube. The goal right now is to put out an album at the end of Jamuary. I’m working on a concept that I think you all will like. I’ve added an amazon link for some ElectroHarmonix pedals below. If you decide to purchase something through my Amazon link, even if it’s not that particular item, it costs you nothing and will help me fund future projects! I appreciate any support you can give!
Quick brush fire in Australia update, we were able to raise $250! We made the donation on Thursday Jan 9, and a copy of the receipt has been uploaded to Instagram. Thanks so much to everyone that reposted, retweeted, bought a copy of an album or donated money directly. It was a fantastic effort and I’m beyond happy with how it turned out. I truly love how supportive and positive this community is!
Today’s jam is entitled Ice Water Ways. I started with a simple rhythmic beep from the Aturia Microfreak. The Behringer Deepmind is playing the ethereal sounding pad and I created a simple loop that the Volca FM plays during the chorus of the song. On drum duty is the trusty Alesis SR18 playing a sequence of my own programming.
Lots of more jams coming this month on IG, Youtube, and Twitter as part of the Jamuary event. Make sure you follow me on those platforms if you want to see and hear more synth and experimental jams.
Australian Fires Update – Don’t forget my current discography is on sale on BandCamp. You can get any album for $1. You can get the entire discography for $3.50. Thats 4 full length albums and 3 EPs. 63 Songs! Any money raised until Friday January 10th will be donated to the Australian Red Cross. Hit the link below to open a new tab with my BandCamp. Keep reading below for my best effort of trying to describe what I did to make this jam.
In this jam I started by building a strange, almost modular, sounding drum groove with the Volca Drum. I utilized the slice feature to get a stutter effect and do not have any drum parts being choked at all. I used some of the motion recording options as well. The whole jam is on the tube engine.
I followed that “modular” feel by recreating some modular type sounds on the rest of my gear. I tried very hard to explain what each piece of gear was doing but I couldn’t find a way to make it at all educational. I’m not a technical or theory based student of music. I know what a lot of the functions and knobs do but I don’t know why they do it or how. So the major players in this jam are the Korg Volca Drum, Korg Monologue, Behringer DeepMind6, and the Arturia Microfreak. In the background, the ElectroHarmonix Oceans 11 reverb pedal is pushing effects at varying degrees to some of the instruments.
Today is the first day of Jamuary! For those of you who don’t know Jamuary is a challenge that originated from Cuckoo on Instagram that pushes you to create 31 days of jams and post them on Instagram. It’s not about being perfect, it can be any attempt at music whatsoever. I absolutely love this time of year. As a musician, when I started making music, my goal was to create and post, to share what I love doing regardless of whether it was proper, complete, perfect. I enjoy creating flawed music. I love the responsiveness and flexibility that performing jams in real-time without a digital workstation provides.
For this jam, I started with a poppy blast of drums from the Alesis SR18 and kicked off the intro of the song with the Volca FM. Next, the Behringer Deepmind is utilizing it’s arpeggiator to create a dreamy synthscape. The Microfreak is playing the rhythm stabs and the Monologue is playing the glitched out lead. Funko figure is somebody from Mad Max Fury Road.
Hope you like the song, if you are digging it make sure you follow me on Instagram. I’ll be posting a new jam every single day for the month of January. Not every song will have a full version, so I only make these posts on this site when there’s a full version to be had. Thanks for the support and a happy 2020 to you all!!!
This is a full version of a track I have created entitled Blank Stairs. It’s a play on words of the saying “blank stare.” I named it that because of the slippery way that the lead gets bent in the song. In this song, I used the Alesis SR18 drum machine to make a pounding, minimal drum beat and I’m using the drumbrute as nothing more than a master clock. The Arturia Microfreak is making the strange gurgly sound and it gets manipulated a few times throughout the track. The Behringer Deepmind 6 is playing the strange ethereal sounding pad.
Just to update, I released a new EP last week entitled Just Burn It All, currently it’s only available on BandCamp for $1. It will be hitting Spotify and all other major streaming services on Christmas Eve, December 24. Keep scrolling down to see the post!
If you are a fan of this tune, make sure you subscribe on YouTube and follow me on Instagram. I will be participating in the Jamuary event on IG which is a fun exercise that challenges you to create a jam every day during the month of January. Also, be sure to check back here on shelfblack.com for more gear demos, product reviews, articles, and synth jams coming up!
If you aren’t familiar with Welcome To Space Lounge on Instagram you are definitely missing out on one of the best collections of talented artists making music on the Internet. They use the tag line “Keep your head in the clouds” and when you hear the atmosphere and layers that these artists create, it’s incredibly easy to feel yourself start floating up, up, and away. There is no denying that Welcome To Space Lounge is an absolute juggernaut of Instagram.
When I first started making music on Instagram, I couldn’t help but see that most of my favorite accounts were constantly tagging Space Lounge in their posts. Naturally, I combed through their posts and was blown away by jams that populated the submissions. I made it a goal of mine to try and be featured on their account.
It actually helped me branch out and change the way I made some of my songs. I started experimenting with lower BPM’s. It absolutely pushed me to take some steps and leaps into sounds and vibes that I had never created before. It made me experiment with drumless tracks and even pushed me to try and make some ambient jams. It took a lot of submissions and a lot of experimentation but eventually I was featured on the page. I couldn’t believe it. It was, at that time, a huge goal achieved for me. After that, I began to converse more with the Space Lounge founder and learned that his passion and excitement for music was beyond inspiring.
A few months after I was first featured, I was approached by Space Lounge and extended an invitation to provide a song for their second cassette release entitled “Welcome To Space Lounge Volume II” I was beyond excited and immediately accepted the invite . This is definitely a dream come true and I couldn’t be happier with my submission entitled “Andromeda’s Brain” The cassette will be released for sale on Monday 11/11/2019. You will be able to order it from their official website and I will update this article with the link once it goes live.
These cassette releases are extremely limited and usually are only offered in one shot. If you are interested in getting one, I suggest trying to buy it the second it goes live. Otherwise, it may be out of touch and float slowly away from your grasp, into the atmosphere and beyond.
This is a bit more on the experimental side for me. I wanted a very guttural and intense main line. I looked no further than my workhorse synth, the Korg Monologue. I tweaked and manipulated the Korg line to make the synth sound like it was fighting and screaming and clawing it’s way through the track. The rest of the track features the usual suspects, the Behringer Deepmind, the Arturia Drumbrute Impact. I also used the Korg Kaosspad 3 for some of the scratchy sounding effects on the Monologue.
As always, to see and hear more original music just check out my YouTube page and subscribe. I upload a few songs per week. If you’re reading this and you are putting together a compilation album and you’d like a shelfblack track exclusively, just reach out!
I’ll do a demo video of the Korg Kaosspad 3 in the coming weeks.
This is a new all hardware dawless jam. I started this by experimenting with the Zoom Microtrak drum loop that you hear . I slowed it down to 70 bpm and started layering the Deepmind and Microfreak. I also added in a non confrontational rhythm backing with the Korg Monologue. From there I just let different parts ride and subtracted other parts allowing myself to get lost in the song. I believe the woozy, dreamy Microfreak part makes me feel like disappearing into the world that this music creates.
If you enjoyed this jam, feel free to subscribe on youtube and continue to check this site for more updates as I create more songs and review more gear!
This is a jam I put together starting with a slowed down 40 bpm minimal beat on the Arturia Drumbrute Impact. From there I layered in the Deepmind 6 with a weird, plonky key sequence, and some shimmery pad sounds from the Korg Volca FM. I also used a preset from the Microfreak to offset the Deepmind sequence and kicked it into overdrive with a blistering fireball bass line from the Korg Monologue. I made a 60 second version on Instagram and I have embedded the full version here from Youtube.