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We Made This!!
WE’RE IN CROATIA BABY!!! WOOOO!! Yay we made it! We arrived last Sunday, just in time for the World Cup final. Sadly Croatia didn’t win but it was fun to watch it with a bunch of locals anyway 🙂 In music news we’ve got lots of new stuff coming out soon! We’ve got two remixes of ‘Wake Up’ coming out in the next couple of weeks. And we’ve got brand new tune ‘Heart Strings’ coming after that… And we’ve got a chilled version of ‘The Calling’ coming too! It’s all very exciting! And here’s a wee pic of everywhere we’ve stayed so far!! We've come a long way!
We are on week number 6 of our serialisation of the book I wrote as part of my degree, ‘How To Make A Living In The Music Industry: 10 Rules and 10 Revenue Streams’. This week the section I am sharing with you is all about music technology. In the chapter, you can read all about the different types of companies and individuals who can generate income from music technology. And you will be able to download it for free at the end of this post!! If you missed last week’s, it was all about composing and how that works as a revenue stream - you can catch up here.
Music Technology is ACE!
There is no way we would be able to do what we are at the moment - travelling all over Europe in a van making electronic music - without the incredible developments in music technology over the last 50 years. It would just be impossible. We have a studio in our van for frick’s sake!! It’s even better than that - we essentially have mini studios inside both of the computers we have. It’s just crazy how many options there are for creating music these days, and it’s all thanks to developments in this field.
Neither Bryn nor I have ever properly played instruments or taken lessons for any length of time. 100 years ago there’s no way two untrained musicians would have been able to set about making music of their own so easily. The fact that we can do it all on one computer too is incredible. One key thing that makes this possible is VSTs - virtual instruments that exist only in a computer. We use a lot of VSTs in the music that we make, and I thought it might be fun to show you some of our favourites and give you examples of how and where we’ve used them.
Sylenth1… man I love Sylenth1! It is such a great VST… so many awesome sounds on it. We’ve used it for loads. It is very user-friendly and it’s easy to get great sounds out of it quickly. It’s also really easy to tweak sounds to your liking. Here’s a couple of examples from our track ‘To The Place'.
Here we used it to create an off-beat stab sound:
And here Sylenth1 has been used to create a warm bass pad sound:
And below you can listen to how these parts sound in the original track:
Diva has a really great analogue sound so you can create a lot of warmth with it. It is very versatile in terms of the control you have over the parameters to change the sound. Here’s some examples from ‘Bring Your Army’.
Diva was used to create these warm chords from verse 2 of ‘Bring Your Army’:
And this is how that part sounds in the full track:
Diva was also used to create this gritty noise from the chorus:
And you can hear how it sounds in the full track here:
Serum is another really cool VST that we’ve started using a bit more recently. It’s great for gritty, electro sounds - very digital-sounding and raw. It is very flexible so you can change the sounds or make new ones very quickly. We used it a few times in our latest release, ‘Wake Up’.
Here you can listen to the filtered keyboard sound we created in Serum:
We also made a cool pad sound with it, you can listen below:
And here you can listen to both parts as they sound in the full track, 'Wake Up':
You can download this week’s chapter of ‘How To Make A Living In The Music Industry: 10 Rules and 10 Revenue Streams’ here: Chapter 6.
What do you think about technology in music? Do you have a favourite VST that you love using? Let us know on social 🙂
Read on for an update of our travels!
Day 127 to 129, Friday 13 to Sunday 15 July -
This weekend we basically drove, and drove, and drove… all the way to Croatia!
Friday 13th Chianocco to Albano Sant’Alessandro
We left the lovely mountains in the north west and headed across the country to Albano Sant’Alessandro where we had the van booked in for a damp test on Saturday morning. We drove through Milan where we saw some cool old trams as well as some interesting (ahem!) shops!
We also passed a very cool castle high up on a rocky hill but failed to take very good pictures of it I’m afraid!
Saturday 14 July - Albano Sant’Alessandro to Treviso
Spent the morning in Albano Sant’Alessandro waiting for the van to be done. Turned out that although we’d emailed and appeared to have confirmation back that we were booked in - we weren’t booked in! So we had to wait around for a bit. Not to worry, it was nice to sit and chill! I had my first Italian cappuchino ever!
And we saw the most incredible motorhome sitting in the yard at the dealer… this is a beast!
Once the work was done - and after the wonderful weekend jobs of laundry and a trip to the DIY store - we started driving again. We got a fair way across the north of Italy and it was a really nice drive until… the sky got blacker. And blacker. And then came the thunder!
It had only just started and we needed some food bits so we stopped in a LIDL that was conveniently nearby. And then the heavens opened. Crazy, crazy rain! And thunder!! And lightning! It was such a mental storm! Biblical! So full on that the lights in LIDL kept flickering on and off! We did think though, well if you do get stuck anywhere in a storm, a supermarket is probably one of the better places - at least you’ve got supplies! We also saw this little chap in the toilets at LIDL, which we thought was most amusing (the Dan’s in the world will understand! ).
We stayed in LIDL for about 20 minutes waiting for the rain to ease off but it never did, and showed little signs that it was going to anytime soon. So we made a dash for the van and worked out where we could spend the night nearby. We found a spot online that looked good and headed there. We went through a lovely place on the way, Castelfranco Veneto, where we will definitely return to as the town looked just gorgeous. Here’s a pic we took of the castle as we went past.
Sunday 15 July - Treviso to Croatia!!!
Woke up on Sunday and fortunately the storm had ended! Peace and quiet and sunshine. Phew. So we got up and drove the rest of the way to Croatia! It was a beautiful drive. This is a very pretty area of Italy, very picturesque. We didn’t stop though. We really wanted to get to Croatia in time for the World Cup final (which Croatia were playing in!) so we had to keep moving. Although a route can say 4 hours on google, it’s usually quite a bit longer in the van so journeys always end up taking longer than expected. And as we stay on little roads and off the toll roads, you can never be sure how fast you’ll be able to drive.
We did get a couple of pics in Slovenia as we drove through! It looked very lovely
We made it for the game! Despite sitting in a big queue to get across the border! But sadly France beat Croatia so there weren’t the big celebrations we hoped for. It was still really cool to be able to be in the country with the people, while watching their team play in the World Cup Final. We realised that some really good friends of ours were watching in France too, so we were both in the countries of the teams in the final! How cool! How often is that going to happen in our lifetime?
Day 130 to 134, Monday 16 to Friday 20 July, Selina, Istria, Croatia
Since Monday we have been at a campsite in a little village called Selina, in the Istrian region of Croatia. It has been very hot - above 30 degrees every day but I’m not sure exactly what temperature. We’re working on getting the new website finished - the last big ‘dull’ job - so we can spend the next month working on music and only music. We are nearly there!