Monday, December 14, 2009


I was never musically trained, but I've come to realize that doesn't mean much when you can grow a good sense of appreciation for music. Making music for me has simply turned into an output for all the musical intake I've been giving myself during the past few years. To me music is a tool. one that allows you to remember past moments of your life or that entices you live the now and then. Therefore, if music is a tool, then sounds are the individual parts of the tool, and as such they must somehow fit together in harmony to make such tool effective.

Now there are many ways for someone to achieve that effectiveness. My approach is simple, build a groove and go from there.

I've been looking for an excuse to work on something a bit more conceptual, and finally the process series has given me that excuse. For this project I have chosen to work with a limited set of sounds, making simplicity the main focus of each piece. I will also use the opportunity to sample one of my favorite youtube bits from one of the all time greats: Herbie Hancock. It's a recording from 1983, where he's sitting in the studio with Quincy Jones and a Fairlight CMI. In the video, apart from having tons of fun, Herbie discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the synthesizer/sequencer, which of course is the foundation of electronic music as we know it.

This discussion is relevant because out of the 10 samples max. I used for each track, most of them came from a Korg Electribe SX, one of the fixtures in my setup for the past couple of years. I've found that without some sort of hardware, music making is not nearly as fun or engaging. Hardware also allows me to record parts from start to finish and gives room for some improvisation (mistakes) during the process.

I usually (but not always!) begin a track with a kick and a couple of bass sounds. From there I move towards the hats and claps and ultimately I dig for some fitting instrument samples to complement the grooves. Then, once I have a loop playing and after moving it around to get some ideas for the sequence, I take a small break and immediately go back to the project to begin recording the sequence. If this doesn't happen in the same session then I will probably never finish the track at all.

The resulting output of this particular project is 3 different tracks done during 3 different sessions, but following the same construction process. Ultimately, no matter what the process is, the key for me is that I have to enjoy what I'm doing and as cheesy as it may sound, music is my passion and it shall stay that way... and remember DON'T BLAME THE MACHINES! and I quote "... how can it be the machines fault? we have to plug it in!"

miguel colmenares - process part 177 (sketches of a groove (exhibit a)) by modyfier

miguel colmenares - process part 177 (sketches of a groove (exhibit b)) by modyfier

miguel colmenares - process part 177 (sketches of a groove (exhibit c)) by modyfier


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great work :)

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