Huge congratulations to Ariel Semmel, who won “The Van Leer Award for Best Director of a Documentary” at Jerusalem Film Festival!
Despite having only contributed a small portion of music to “PARANO” for Isreali director and friend Ariel Semmel, I’m proud and happy to hear that my music got amazing reviews.
Ariel: “Your music captures everybody in the beginning of the film!”
It’s a great gain to be working with Ariel, who’s a professional with every fiber in his body. His film is touching, shocking, emotional, brutally honest and the some of bravest self-exposures I have ever witnessed. When I watched one of the earlier edits of the film — in order to prepare myself for the music to be written — I needed days to process what I had seen, the movie’s that intense.
You might think from the “cover of the book”, this movie is about a distraught guy who thinks he’s been abducted by aliens. Not even close. This movie is much more than that. It touched me every second, frame by frame.
For Ariel I wish that PARANO gets the attention and rewards it deserves. Go check out details about the film here:
I decided to stop broadcasting my shows on radio stations. The time commitments limit me too much in my personal freedom, and the unreliability of the stations annoys me too much.
I will record LIGHTWORKS and TIME OUT sets (and other specials) whenever I feel like it and my time permits. I will then, as always, offer those for free download on Soundcloud.
As a touring DJ, I am not very active, but still accept “good” booking requests. That means you can still book me, but I’m not running after any gig. Honestly, I’m just picking out the sweetest fruits. I’m tired of lying and cheating promoters and bad marketing because someone does not understand this job.
Please do not get me wrong … I’m not one of those who announce big on social media that they’re giving up the DJ job. Once a DJ, always a DJ. And also: never say never. I love DJing and I love to play for an audience that understands and loves what I do.
Mark my words: that will never end, until my last breath.
But I do not feel like having to get upset about people in this business anymore. I am too old for such nonsense, and too young not to enjoy certain things in a different and better way.
The music business has given me a lot and taken a lot. I have never taken the easy route and I have renounced or thrown away money because I am (still) an idealist. But I have not always kept up well with my energies, have had too much patience with assholes and bunglers. Too often people have taken advantage of the benefits associated with me without even considering giving anything back. I have always put too much faith in the wrong people, that’s been one of my life-long weaknesses.
All that has come to an end.
I will stay with you forever as a musician, composer, producer, storyteller, part-time idiot, puppet master, occasional DJ, show host and smartass. Promised.
On Instagram you can have a peek into what adventures are taking place in my life. I still have endless energy, plans and dreams. Nothing (except perhaps death) will keep me from realizing my ideas. No matter what obstacles have stood in my way: I have the partner by my side whom I always wanted to have, I live where I always wanted to live, and in the future I will only do what I really want to do. Nothing and no one will stop me. Well, maybe here and there, for a moment… but in the end I always reach my goals. Because I know who I am and who I’m not, thus I have plenty of substance to believe in myself.
I decided to offer all my music for which I own the copyrights* for free, now and in the future. “Free” means all music I have on my own label (L2 Music) can be downloaded for as low as zero (all currencies, smiles preferred) or for whatever amount you think is right, in the best possible quality! There are no hooks, eyelets or hidden conditions. There is just music.
You can either stream my music for free via Spotify or stream and/or download at Bandcamp.
*Digital downloads, not physical products, of course. I have no influence on the price of my music that I have signed with other labels, hence I can not offer this for free. But all of my albums are on my own label, and most of my non-dance-music productions.
Of course, I will still do paid remixes (and receive royalties for those), and sign my music to other labels, mostly dance music productions. But music on my own label (my albums etc.) will be free from now on.
Why am I doing this?
It’s simple, really. There is no point in asking you to pay for the download of music files anymore when you can stream it for free already. Those who like to listen to music in top quality (the audiophiles among you), there are the free or pay-what-you-want downloads at Bandcamp.
Nevertheless, I would like to ask each one of you to support me by becoming my patron:
Thank you, no matter if you’re just a listener or paying subscriber/downloader. You’re all equally valuable to me.
First of all, this is the original track which I’m offering you to remix:
This remix project is open for everyone, meaning: everyone who feels the tune and would love to remix it may do so. There are some rules attached to that, of course…
You’re totally free regarding the style, length, tempo, keynote(s) of your remix. Do with the stems whatever you like, or add your own composition.
The provided stems are under copyright of L2 Music (my label), and they’re only to be used for this remix project. All rights on this are reserved, so use for other purposes is strictly prohibited.
This not a remix contest or competition! I will release ALL good remixes in form of a full remix release called “Babylon Revisited”, no matter how many it’ll be in the end. If your remix meets (my) quality standards it’s gonna be released in all important music stores in the world.
I will share 50% of all net revenue of sales with you.
When your remix is not part of the release, you’re free to offer it as a free download. Selling it is not allowed.
Please, submit your remix UNMASTERED, meaning: no compression, no limiting, no maximizing on the MASTER BUS! Please, leave at least 6db headroom, because I will master it before release. Submit a 48khz/24bit WAV file. Other formats will not be accepted.
Submit by uploading your remix to your SoundCloud, make it PRIVATE and DOWNLOADABLE (just as the remix pack files), and send me the link to it (and ONLY ME!). I understand that you’re excited about your remix to be heard by the entire world. But when everyone knows it already the thrill for the release is gone. Balloon > needle > PUFF!
Submission deadline for your remix is: 30th of June, 2016. No exceptions. It’s a hell of a work to get the release properly set up and on the way, so I really can’t accept anything after that date.
Last but not least: original tempo is 121, keynotes are (basically) C major and F major. When your remix is a different tempo, please, make sure you use the best time-stretching algorithm you can get a hold of. Same goes for pitch shifting. 😉
You agree to the rules/terms above by downloading the following remix pack:
As both a DJ and composer, the Circle of Fifth or the Camelot Key Wheel system — amongst others — have always been handy tools for me to write and mix music harmonically. There are just too many options in chord progressions than I could ever have in my memory (maybe you can, but I don’t). Plus, I personally use 3 different DJ applications and 3 different DAWs for music production alone, for different purposes.
So yeah, I could always have a look at above mentioned helpers to orientate myself through the notes and chords jungle, in case needed, which is not always the case. I have the most common chords in my head. Just not always.
As a composer I’m fine with the musical key/chord system, i.e. “A minor“, but as a DJ it isn’t very likely (for me, again) to remember all the musical chords to know what to mix into what. So, smart people came up with different systems like the Camelot Keys (Mixed in Key, which I prefer, because of its accuracy) or the Open Keys (Traktor). Which is basically a range of 12 keys for each gender, major and minor chords. “A minor” is 8A (Camelot Key) or 1m (Open Key). In a nutshell: if you mix 1A into 2A (and so forth, up until 12A and then into 1A again) you’re generally fine. Your mixing transitions will always be harmonic, no key clashes. This example is the very basic part of harmonic mixing or composing. And also a bit boring if you do that all the time. It becomes really good and interesting when you use all the options within the world of chord progressions.
What I was missing in all those years of composing and DJing was ONE chart (to rule them all) that shows me ALL key/chord systems and their equivalents, their piano keys (very useful for composing) and their harmonic keys/chords. I searched the net in order to find out if someone did this, but no one did. At least I couldn’t find it.
So, I did it myself. 8 hours work and I had what I was looking for. And since I guess this could be useful for every musician/DJ, I want to share it here with you. This is how it looks like (click to open the full resolution file):
You can download the high-res JPG above, print it out and use it for yourself, if you like. Here’s a PDF and the original EXCEL version of it, in case you want to edit/modify something for your needs (let me know when you find mistakes or when you improved it!):
WHAT DOES IT DO, HOW DO I USE THIS?
Let’s take an example for a composing or mixing situation:
The chord we’re working with at the moment is A minor (or 8A, or 1m). What shall be next? Everything in the table below — around the 8A — is possible, it will be harmonic. The closer to the 8A it is the more harmonic it’ll be.
Western Music Scale
Piano Chord Keys
DJ Keys up/down
D | F | A
C | E | G
A | C | E
Same key (tonic)
E | G | B
A# | C# | F
Low energy boost
B | D | F#
High energy boost (supertonic)
G | B | D#
Low energy drain
G | A# | D
High energy drain (leading tone)
But your decision what to do next is depending on the purpose. What kind of “feel” do you want to give your mix or composition?
Here are some possible chord progression scenarios, working with the Camelot Keys (which I prefer, at least for DJing), starting with 8A:
That’s how I call it, it’s kind of a “secure standard”, nothing special, it’s just flowing along:
8A > 9A > 10A … 12A > 1A > 2A and so forth, until you’re at 7A and back into 8A again
Here you have a longer and progressive wave of energy rising, until it falls back to normal at 7A again, just like an ocean wave crashing and the next one building up again.
The “Wild Ocean”
It’s a bit stormy, and the waters stirred up, but everything is still harmonic and in place. This is the most “interesting” way of mixing, things shouldn’t become boring:
8A > 8B (relative major) > 9A > 4A (+7 DJ keys, low energy boost) > 4B (relative major) > 6B (+2 DJ keys, high energy boost) > 7B > 2B (+7 DJ keys, low energy boost) > 4B (+2 DJ keys, high energy boost) > 5B and so forth
I could make up a hell of a lot more examples now (with even sillier names), but you most probably already get the idea. The options are really endless, and you’ll always be composing or DJing harmonic. The above scenarios are just examples. Find out what works for yourself, I’m sure you’ll have fun experimenting with chord progressions, using this nifty chart. Oh, and don’t mind the silly names … it’s just about giving things a name. 😉
It’s free! Download, share, modify, re-publish and generally do with it whatever you want. But please, don’t pretend you did this. Credit would be nice (and fair), but is no condition.
Now, if you’d head over to bandcamp and buy my music, that’ll be rather nice:
As some of you know, I’m already working on my next album (which was due in 2013, sorry, I got “distracted” 😀 ), to be released in 2014, alongside my latest album THE GREAT ESCAPE. The new album shall be called “WHEREVER YOU ARE”, and I want to have great music videos and a stunning 3D artwork for it, too.
I have lots of material and sketches/ideas already, so I’d have a lot to choose from, but I’m a bit unsure about the general direction for the album. This is why I ask you about your opinion/feeling.
Be a part of the creation process! What would you like to hear most? 🙂
If you are new to music production, or even if you’ve been poking around for a while, there are a number of things that you haven’t been told about making music. Depending on what angle you are taking to get into the music production game, you are likely either over preparing or under preparing for what lies ahead.
Sadly, many suffer from what they consider to be complete failure & thus give up. It is my belief that if they had this information ahead of time, they probably would have had the power to move through the rough spots. The following are 10 things I certainly wish I had known when I started (or even after 10 years in!)
IVGI can deliver very soft and subtle saturation, that feels at home on the master buss. It is equally capable of very dense and dirty distortion effects to spice up single tracks. IVGI’s base sound is comparable to the DESK mode in the big brother SDRR.
Just as SDRR, IVGI reacts dynamically to the input signal. Even the modeled fluctuations react dynamically and also change depending on the drive setting, so that it doesn’t get in the way of the SOUND. Stereo tracks benefit from it’s modeled crosstalk behavior. Just as its big brother SDRR, IVGI features a “Controlled Randomness”, which determines the internal drift and variance inside the unit. It contributes to the liveliness and realness of IVGI’s saturation character. All internal processes are modulated to some extent to make this possible.
IVGI gives you a sensible amount of controls to manipulate the character of the saturation itself. It offers a unique ASYM MIX knob to alter the symmetry of the signal without affecting the harmonic content much. Usually, asymmetry leads to an increase of even order harmonics. But in IVGI’s case, dialing the asymmetry makes the negative part of the signal “cleaner”. This way you can preserve the dynamic structure of the source and get a more transparent result. Actually, you can think of ASYM MIX as a transparency control.
IVGI also lets you alter the frequency dependency of the saturation with the RESPONSE control.
IVGI is internally calibrated to 0VU = -18dBFS.
I use IVGI as final plugin behind everything else on my master bus to give the final touch. Since I use it, all of my stuff sounds richer, warmer, more analog, just better.
On the next one I have to say that I use very little compression on audio in general, and when I do, I compress in several stages, because I firmly believe that every frequency range needs a different amount of compression. And this one here is a very good and ultra-simple way to do this. Here’s what the creator has to say:
DC1A is the little brother of the compression monster DC8C. I’ve taken a few of my favorite settings from DC8C and tried to make it work in a two control context. Sound wise it’s comparable to the PUNCH mode in DC8C but offers a few additional features, such as negative ratio and stereo unlink. I’ve always wanted to do a compressor with just an input and output knob, a compressor that just works: gentle, faithful, from almost invisible, smooth leveling to heavy pumping with a nice crunchy saturation and punchy enough to treat drums with.
DC1A looks like a one trick pony. But don’t get fooled by the lack of additional controls. You may be surprised on how many different material this little thing works. DC1A is heavily program dependent, so is the saturation.
DC1A is free! So try it out for yourself.
What I really like about KLANGHELM plugins: they’re light, simple and high quality. All I need for a good workflow and great sounding mixes.