Featured

Aston Archer.

A bit about the blog.

11692643_10153467235253754_2063724965241588910_n (1).jpg

Welcome!

Firstly, I would like to thank you for visiting my blog. Already that shows me support and doesn’t prove this whole thing pointless.

I decided to create this site as an outlet for me to express my thoughts, music ideas and basically just things that interest me.

From time to time I will share songs that I have been working on, possibly for feedback or just because I want others to hear it. As well as other music I am enjoying at the time, current events in my life and anything else that I feel like writing about!

I hope you enjoy reading and submit your email on the home page if you wish to be notified when I upload content.

Thanks a lot!
-AA

 

 

Track No.6 – 52 Weeks, 52 Tracks

Week number 6!

Honestly never imagined making it this far into the project, but I’m so glad I have.

Each week has had its challenges and this one was no different at all.
I almost gave up on the track I was making but I had to push on as i’d only be disappointing myself.

I started making this pretty much the day after I put out last weeks, and knew straight away what I wanted to do with it.
It had such a happy vibe straight out of the gate so it was simple, at first.

The bassline is what drives the entire track so I worked off of that mostly. Simplicity was the word that kept popping into my head whilst making this and I’m glad as it helped me look past certain things that usually slow me down.

I wanted to add in an emotional/atmospheric part also, and I think I covered that at about half way through the song. I’ve tried to incorporate that into most of my songs because it’s something I really enjoy creating.

The trouble started when I tried to change it back to the original bassline and happy vibe after that. I was trying to build it up and have a hard hitting ‘drop’ but I realised that I just needed to drop things out, instead of adding them which I preferred so much more.

Overall I’m really happy with it and I’m excited for everyone to hear it. Every week I feel these songs are improving and letting my creative side just take over, has really helped my writing skills.

Also the name of this one is taken from a golf course near my house that a friend and I occasionally play at. Every time we go, we take the work radio and just put on the Roland Tings LP which has become a sort of theme for it. This song reminded me a lot of those times so it seemed fitting.

I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do.

-AA

Track No.5 – 52 Weeks, 52 Tracks

I’m really excited to be sharing this track as it has been sitting in my unfinished library for a long time.
It didn’t need too much more to finish it, but I wasn’t satisfied with it.

The track was actually made really quickly during one of the few times I actually had a flood of ideas. It’s simple, but the overall feel of the song is something special and I actually enjoy listening to it.

I won’t say anything else as I think this track speaks for itself!

I hope you enjoy.

-AA

Track No.4 – 52 Weeks, 52 Tracks

At the start of this week, I had been working on a song that I intended on being this weeks track, but I came across a remix competition run by Abbey Road Institute which gave producers the chance to remix Chores & Boswell’s track “Telling Lies”.

I decided to see what I could come up with and after 2 days, I’m pretty happy with the end result.

For some reason, since i’ve had the studio up and running, it’s been easier for me to come up with ideas whilst at home with just headphones rather than actually sitting in the studio the whole time. So for this track I took advantage of that.

The basis of the song actually started on the way to work in the car. I was showing my mate Luka how to build drum loops on Ableton and I came up with the one that ended up in this song.
After that I imported the stems once I was back home and decided to see what I could come up with.

I started with the main chords by dragging the audio file of the synth stem over the top of a midi track and turned it to midi so I could work with the chords.
Ableton never gets it spot on but I could hear a little pattern it had made (sounding completely different of course) which went perfectly with the synth I was using.
-This became the main chord progression you can hear at the very start of the song.

I then moved on to the bass which I came up with fairly quickly and was quite happy with.

After that I added in some FX, played around with the stems and did a light mix in the studio so I could test it on other speakers.
I wasn’t happy with the bass at first, I always seem to have trouble when it comes to mixing the low end but I think I sorted it out after a while.

I also did a half assed master on this track as well, as I will eventually upload it to the remix competition (when they fix the website) so hopefully it sounds okay!

Anyways, I hope you enjoy this weeks instalment of 52 Weeks, 52 Tracks and let me know what you think.

-AA

Track No.3 – 52 Weeks, 52 Tracks

This last week has been incredibly tough for me.

My mindset has not been it’s usual positive self, especially when it comes to my music.
At one point I genuinely contemplated giving it up altogether, which is a thought I never would have imagined crossing my mind.
I can’t pin-point exactly the reason why I was feeling this way, it might have been the fact that I had no ideas at the time which sent me into a downward spiral of over-thinking and stress.
One thing that did get to me, was the fact that even if I can sit here for a whole year and finish this project, there’s a chance that only a small amount of people will actually hear any of these songs that I’m working so hard to create. The reason being; I don’t really have a following.
For me personally, that’s a bitter pill to swallow, particularly because it’s certain things about myself that stand in the way of me building an audience for my music.
For example, networking is a huge part of the music industry.
Always has been, always will be.
But for someone like myself, this skill does not come easy.
I’m not fully blaming it, but having social anxiety plays a huge role as to why I haven’t really done the hard yards toward connecting with the right people and pushing to have my music heard.
I’ve always had trouble with meeting new people and being in unfamiliar situations, so I tend to avoid them entirely. I also doubt myself a lot and see the negatives instead of the positives which causes me to lose motivation.
The way I see it, I would love to go to clubs that play the type of music I make and meet new people, but I feel as though I can’t do that because I physically can’t just start talking to someone I don’t know and spark up that relationship which is necessary to kick start my music career.

I’m feeling a bit more optimistic at the moment, which is why this doesn’t bother me as much, mostly because I realised I am actually doing this project (mainly) for myself, to better my skills and improve as each week passes by.

SO, after all that, I felt I needed to just push on and convey how I was feeling in a song.
This one started from an idea I had just sitting in a project file named ‘fajsjkahfka’ (original I know) from a while ago, so I just let my emotional, creative process taking over, and this is the end result. The main ‘drop’ so to speak, was the original idea which I kind’ve took as a “fuck you” to my negative thoughts and the second part of the song I really enjoyed coming up with, as it is quite emotional and almost tells a story, which is something I purposely try to imprint in all of my songs.

Here is this weeks track entitled ‘Stay’, I hope you enjoy it and please leave any feedback you might have, it’s much appreciated.

-AA

Track No.2 – 52 Weeks, 52 Tracks

This weeks track is one I’m pretty excited to share with you all as I started it when I was on the plane to Queensland to visit my Dad, but I didn’t have the ideas to finish it. But, that’s the beauty of this project, I started it so it would help me actually FINISH SONGS!

It started as a simple kick drum loop that I fell in love with instantaneously. It sounded so groovy and I was listening to it for a while by itself and I never tired of hearing it.
Already, a good sign.

After adding some simple drum elements and a few other bits and pieces, I experimented with a pack that I purchased some time ago that contained various sounds that were designed to be put into Abeton’s Sampler device, allowing you to play chords with them.

It took a while to find something that fit the loop, but the result is the happy sounding melody that plays right from the start of the track.

The bass line came next which I really didn’t have to do much to, to make sound good. Once I came up with the melody, it just kind of worked.

Honestly, I can’t explain too much more about this particular track, it’s easier to feel where I was at, rather than read my attempt at explaining it.

So please enjoy, and as always I welcome all types of feedback.

-AA

Track No.1 – 52 Weeks, 52 Tracks

Hello there!

I’m really excited to be doing this project for a number of reasons but mainly because it gives me a kick up the ass and forces me to actually complete tracks!

To be honest I had a big week at work and kind’ve forgot what day it was so this was basically made in about 4 hours. Nevertheless I am still quite happy with this little bopper!

It started with just a drum rack and a bunch of samples I picked out.
I never really make loops and thought it would be a good idea to get a good groove going to stimulate the creative juices!

From there I played around with a few bass lines but nothing really stood out too much at first, so I decided to hunt for some acoustic samples to use for little chops.

I came across an acoustic guitar loop I had recently downloaded from one of Samplephonics’ demo packs, dropped it down a few semitones (for the life of me I can’t remember why) and chopped it to make the pattern that is in the finished version.
Instantly I knew what I wanted to do with the track.

Jumping back to the bass line, I cutoff a lot of the rumble to make it sound a bit cleaner and decided that an off-beat pattern suited the guitar loop well.

The vocal is a loop that I downloaded from Looperman.com some time ago and along with the bass is chopped to add a little extra to the track.

After adding a few little FX and a (sort of) chord progression, I felt like it didn’t need too much more so I laid out the rest of the song and voilà, a finished track.

Obviously it’ll need to be mastered eventually, but for the purpose of this project, that will happen further down the track.

I also realised as I was writing this that I bounced it out of Ableton with +3dB added on to the master bus, so sorry in advance if there’s some slight distortion.

So here it is, the first instalment of my ’52 Weeks, 52 Tracks’ project, entitled ‘Listen Up’.

Please let me know what you think and be sure to check out next weeks addition.

-AA

52 Weeks, 52 Tracks.

Today I’m feeling unusually down about my future.

We all have those days where we think about how we would like our lives to turn out, focusing on the big dreams but leaving out those oh-so-important little details. That’s what today was for me.
I had ideas about how I could change my current situation so that it would benefit the future I foresee for myself. The key word there being ‘IDEAS.’ Obviously not every idea that anyone has ever had is a perfect one but it’s never going to hurt anyone by positively brainstorming.

So for me having that type of day is not the unusual part.

The unusual part is being told that my dreams aren’t realistic and for a second, almost believing it.
Personally I hate the word ‘realistic.’ To me it’s dirty and negative and plants even worse seeds.
My main problem with it is that it’s programmed into so many peoples’ minds and in turn get’s thrown around waaaaay too often, mainly because the particular person uttering the word is too scared to step out of their comfort zone and take a risk.

Of course in a lot of aspects you do need to be realistic. Don’t get me wrong, not every brilliant idea someone has is going to work straight away, but if you keep thinking and stay positive you will eventually stumble upon a possible solution.

My idea today was not unrealistic. It may have not been the most well thought-out of plans but I didn’t think sharing it with someone close who I thought might given me some insight and advice would have hurt me so much.

It’s one thing being told and idea isn’t a good one, because I can handle that, but being told that basically my dreams are completely unrealistic and that I should think of money instead… well I guess I don’t need to say how that feels.

So trying not to dwell on that conversation too much, I turned to my only outlet (music) and surprisingly I stumbled across an artist who I instantly admired from what I heard (and read).

An artist by the name of Braille Face popped up on my Facebook feed showcasing an LP he was releasing. At closer inspection I found that it wasn’t one but twelve LP’s that he was releasing over the next twelve days. Attached was a piece he had written, basically outlining that over a period of twelve months he made one album every month to prompt his creative side and to keep the tracks coming.
Reading that really resonated with me. I’ve been having a constant struggle with my music lately, particularly just finishing songs regardless of how I feel about them.

So reading that gave me an idea… a REALISTIC one!

I’m setting a goal of finishing one track a week for the next 52 weeks. Now, when I say finish I mean a full length song with a relatively clean mix.

I don’t believe this to be an unrealistic goal at all so there’s no reason why I can’t accomplish it.

Today is the second of the month so I may as well start straight away.

I’ll be posting a snippet every week to the blog for all to hear.

Until then… STAY REALISTIC!

-AA

Quince – Track Talk

Last night I was feeling a bit frustrated music-wise, a bit over hearing the same few songs i’ve been working on lately. Ideas didn’t seem to be flowing and as I wasn’t in the studio, (laptop & headphones at home instead) I couldn’t get into the right head space I usually can whilst writing.

I decided to have a listen to some of Mall Grab’s music on SoundCloud hoping that some inspiration might hit me.
A particular track named ‘Mountain‘  caught my attention.
I really liked the analog feel it had to it and Mall Grab has a way of making his tracks sound almost in mono but with so much space at the same time.

Feeling intrigued I opened up Live and set out to make something with the same type of vibe as ‘Mountain’.

I started with some analog drum samples and threw a few random percs into Drum Rack.
A nice loop jumped out at me pretty early (low knocks and toms you’ll hear throughout the uploaded track) so I decided to work off that.

It took a while to find a nice ambient pad as well as find the right chord but I feel the one I landed on suits the track very well. I often use a free plugin by u-he called Tyrell N6 for these types of tracks as there is huge variety of presets and also its just a really really great (did I mention free?!) plugin overall.

After laying out the track a little bit, I grabbed some vocals I recorded for another track, added some effects and surprisingly they fit fairly well. I’m still unsure whether they will make it to the final product or not but I like it for now.

I always have this process when I save a track to just get someone to say the first word that pops into their head (probably the reason why I can never find older tracks) and save it as that, but this track actually reminded me of my friend Luka that I work with and the first word that popped into my head was ‘Quince’. It’s basically an inside joke between myself and Luka that if we were to ever start a band it would be named just straight up ‘QUINCE’.
He also has a quince tree out the front of his house and honestly just how good is the word?

Overall i’m quite happy with where this track is heading at the moment. Throughout making the song the song the vibe has changed a fair bit but that happens a lot when ideas spring up out of no where and you just go with it!

I will upload the finished track over the next couple of weeks, but for now here is what ‘Quince’ sounds like.

 

%d bloggers like this: