Dice Roller – Volca Drum and Microfreak dawless jam by shelfblack

Dice Roller – Experimental Dawless Synth Jam by shelfblack

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!


Ice Water Ways – Microfreak and Monologue Jam for #Jamuary2020

Ice Water Ways – Microfreak and Monologue synth jam on YouTube

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.

Star Tracker Echo – Volca Drum Jam – shelfblack

Star Tracker Echo – Volca Drum full jam by shelfblack

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.

shelfblack.bandcamp.com

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.


We’re Not Pretending – shelfblack – Synth Jam with the Arturia Microfreak

We’re Not Pretending – dawless jam with the Korg Monologue and Arturia Microfreak

We’re Not Pretending is another full version of one of my experimental all hardware synth jams. The Arturia Microfreak kicks off the beginning of the jam with that off-kilter lead that underlines the jam. Once the Arturia Drumbute kicks in , the Korg Volca FM starts to play it’s dreamy pad sound. After the rest of the drums are unmuted, the Behringer Deepmind starts to punctuate the space between the lead with it’s own complementary synth stabs. You’ll also here some effects on the drums which are a combination of the EHX Grand Canyon and the EHX Ocean’s 11 pedals.

Suddenly, you’ll here the short stabs that the Microfreak were playing to creat the lead becomes long and drawn out. I’m changing that sound by using the Amp Mod button on the Microfreak which manipulates the envelope generator to completely change the sound. The final piece of the puzzle is yet another sequence that pops in from the Korg Monologue.

If you have any questions about the jam, just comment below. Make sure to subscribe on YouTube and keep visiting for more gear demos, synthesizer jams, and artist highlights.

False Visions – shelfblack – synthesizer jam featuring the Korg Monologue and EHX Grand Canyon

This is a jam I put together with my usual suspects of gear. I started by building a solid drum groove with the Arturia Drumbrute Impact. I wanted a warbly and disconnected type lead coming from the Monologue. So i went with a simple 16 step lead that was sequenced using the real time recording feature. In order to add that disjointed and unstable sound to the lead, I’m running it through the EHX Grand Canyon Pedal.

The Grand Canyon is one of my favorite pedals to use with any and all synth gear. It’s a reverb and delay pedal that offers up to 3 seconds of delay time, tap tempo and nine tap divide settings, stereo output, 13 presets, programmable EXP pedal settings, high quality analog bypass with soft switching and more. On False Visions, I’m using the ‘Tape’ setting on the EHX which is a simulated tape delay sound that is fully customizable and one of my favorite settings.

Stay tuned for a future gear demo of the EHX Grand Canyon and I’ll show you some pretty cool things you can do with it with synthesizers and drum machines.

Welcome To Space Lounge Volume II cassette – shelfblack – Andromeda’s Brain

60 second teaser of the new song available only on Welcome To Space Lounge Volume II cassette

Here’s the link for the Welcome To Space Lounge store!

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.

Welcome to Space Lounge

shelfblack – dawless synth jam Can’t We Just Disappear?

Can’t We Just Disappear? – dawless synth jam created using the Korg Monologue, Korg Volca FM, Korg volca keys, Korg monotron delay, Arturia Beatstep pro, Drumbrute Impact, Microfreak.

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!


shelfblack – It All Started on Instagram

I’ve always been interested in making music, however, I was missing that one important skill that so many musicians rely on…talent. My dream was to be in a band, or writing songs, or creating music. As I got older, I honestly thought that it just wasn’t going to happen.

Then, in the summer of 2018, I came across some people making jams on Instagram with synthesizers and drum machines. I was enamored. It was awesome! Within the hour I was on Sweetwater and I bought my first two pieces of gear. I got the Korg Monologue and the Korg Volca Sample. The sample seemed like it would be a great way to jump into a drum machine without spending a ton of money if I didn’t like it.

With Sweetwater’s super fast shipping I got my two pieces quickly and within the hour I was up on IG posting my first jam. It was rather underwhelming but I could feel the potential starting to bust open with it. Here’s my first jam in all it’s unspectacular glory.

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First Jam.

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Since July of 2018, I have now released 4 full albums (1 as Black Zinda) and an EP. I have released music on all major streaming platforms, sold digital albums and cassettes and even shipped them worldwide. It’s been an absolute dream come true. The IG community is incredibly supportive and helpful. I have made so many real life friends and I have never met one of them in real life (yet.) If you are thinking of jumping into the electronic DAWLESS hardware game, get on there and get at me! I’m currently the most active on IG with near daily posts. I also upload full versions of the shorter IG jams onto YouTube when I make them. You can find all my links on the top or bottom of any of these pages.