It’s a fascinating, and sometimes frustrating, process making music. I make field recordings on my iPhone which I then have to convert into MP3 files – all fairly nice and simple with the amazing software available (often for free). I then whack these on the DAW system and slowly add layers of sounds to them. Picking the right sound and then altering it, via filters, equalizers, effects and whatnot is an enjoyable process – at least I find it so. Sometimes I loop the sound and sometimes I constantly change that sound for a shifting background of noise. Sometimes I want a vocal sample and there is wonderful software which can lift the vocal track from a movie (always making sure it’s public domain of course). Tinkering around with voices is also a fun exercise and can sometimes distract from the “serious” business of making music.

I generally don’t plan anything when it comes to the music I make (some may raise an eyebrow at the term “music). I pick a sound, or a field recording, muck around with it until I like the end result. Then I choose another sound, or instrument, to go with it. If I like the result it also stays. Slowly the track builds up until I have a three or four minute piece, sometimes longer, Usually I’m happy with the end result so I pop it on Soundcloud, ReverbNation and Bandcamp. The melodies I use I make up on the spot, when the song has any. They’re not exactly Beethoven (although I have pinched his stuff in the past) but they seem okay. Inspiration usually arrived when I bugger around with sounds – nine times out of ten, well, eight …

It can be frustrating when the technology used has a hissy fit and decides, for whatever strange computer logic, not to work properly. This happened last week with my DAW system. Would it load uploaded sound files? No. Would it load saved songs? No. Then it would go through a period where it would load songs – but only some of the channels, or a part of the sound file but not all of it. Then suddenly yesterday, when I wanted to complete and album (called Shadows in the Dark) and upload it to Bandcamp ( – shameless plug) it worked fine. Hopefully it will continue to work fine. Ah, the ups and downs of technology.


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