Music Production Superblog 1
Hi. My name is Jesse. Most call me Keebmouse, or simply Mouse for short. I’ve lived a different life than most. I’m not special by any means but what I am is a little bit unusual. I’ve had a lot of interests over the years. I’m middle aged now. Then one thing I have to say is that you should try to excel in at least one thing. I’m not saying you shouldn’t strive to be a renaissance individual. I believe that kind of life is the ideal life for someone to pursue.
What I mean to say is that you should find something you have an interest in and cultivate it. Train, and work hard at it as often as you can. The more often the better. While you’re at it don’t forget to take care of yourself. Go to work. Go to school, and generally make sure that you succeed in life, or at the very least support yourself. I didn’t do any of these things. I hopped around from place to place and from interest to interest, or should I say obsessions all my life.
I had to go a long way mentally before I was ready to be where I’m at now. I look around and I see a lot of people not taking responsibility for the situations they find themselves in. This frustrates me because I’ve been there. It’s something I really hate about myself. But, you can’t live in the past. As much as you want the world to stop when you have problems you really shouldn’t wait around. Fuck around and find out. As I said I’ve come a long way to be where I’m at now, and this is only the beginning for me. It should have happened a long time ago but I didn’t have the drive or self discipline to make anything of myself.
I’ve burned a lot of people in my life, and to those that may find this I won’t say I’m sorry. Sorry doesn’t amount to shit. It’s all just words. I wish I never did the things I did. I wish I never said the things I said, but I said and did all of it. I’m moving on, and I hope you all are too.
Let me just start here: I was hospitalized for suicidal ideations in 2012. I have schizoaffective disorder. I had a major psychotic break related to my use of drugs. It was stupid. I ultimately benefited from it though.
Consistency. That’s what I gained from that time in my life. I learned that being consistent is the only way forward. We’re only here for such a short time and it’s too short to fuck around with bullshit you don’t need. Addiction is just the easiest path to take. It’s not real, but it makes you feel like you should feel when you’re reaping your deserved rewards from working hard. It’s a massive lie in pill form.
You are entitled to overcome this. I was told to keep applying for disability. I did this for a decade and wasted my 20’s on it. I’m not blaming anyone because I honestly believe my doctors thought they were helping me. They were wrong though. Your mileage by vary. We all have differing levels of problems and obstacles in our lives. You are still entitled to overcome as much as you’re physically capable. I’m not a success story however. Far from it. As I said I’m just starting my life at 36.
I’ve always felt a strong connection to music. When it comes to rock and pop I’m practically an encyclopedia. I thought, when I was much younger, that the people in the industry that were leading all of the trends were interesting because of the mental and emotional problems they have when the truth is they were interesting in spite of them. That’s the thing. People lately seem to bill weakness as strength. It isn’t. Sure in the current system we have, your problems can definitely be an asset. But why the fuck would you be happy living a life being marginally accommodated for something that at the end of the day most people overcome with drive and determination?
Don’t get me wrong I know we all have different problems. Some people just can’t get by, and they deserve help. But having a laundry list of symptoms should not make you feel entitled to shit. You should dig deep and be determined to make yourself better. I know, I sound like an asshole right now, but no matter what you should never just give up and demand that everyone else cater to you. It’s sickening really. I see it all the time. People get told that they’re not getting their way and then you get this stream of self pity and sob stories while they try to coax others into giving them what they want anyway.
I’m not your fucking mother. I don’t have to give you shit if I don’t want to, and there’s nothing you can do about that. Either find some other way to get what you want or let go and move on.
I’m way past digressing here though because I don’t want this to be a rant. What I really want to do is talk about my love of music and my journey on my way to do more than just tinker with it.
When I was barely passing high school I had an early affinity for the guitar. I’m a terrible guitarist, but I picked up on the basics really well, and I worked hard at it for a few months before I moved on to something else because I didn’t want to put in the time to master what I loved.
I also loved electronic music. I was deeply misinformed, as I’m sure a lot of you reading this might be, about how that music is created. It can be very technical. All of that really depends on how you go about it. I was under the impression that you put two turn tables together, and with some magical musical sorcery and knob tweaking you were able to transform other people’s music into something original.
The reality is that if you want to do something original you have to get either a lot of gear, or a digital audio workspace to put together something original. I wouldn’t find this out until a few decades later. I used to lay around and get high and dream of making this kind of music. At one point I was trying to learn to mix tracks with some cheap DJ equipment. Not a bad place to start because it teaches you about mixing but that in itself is not an original production.
Learn music theory, or at the very least learn how to use your DAW. Learn all you can. Every time you learn something new make something new with your DAW. My first demo is basically me going from knowing nothing about music to understanding the basics. You may laugh at this but I use FL Studio. It’s cheap and easy to learn and has one of the best UI’s of any program I’ve seen. I still have a long way to go there. I’m currently learning how to use Serum. I had been working with Sytrus, and I still will for now.
My main point in this rambling is that I’m doing something I love. I really want to make video games too, but I never stuck with anything long enough to develop anything. I started going to school for game programming. I’m not a math person. At least, I’m not a higher level math person. I changed majors to game art because the few graphic design classes I took made me realize I enjoy doing that more. I’m not the best artist on the planet, but I’m learning the tools of the trade. You can be one hell of an artist but you’re not going to grab a chisel and make Michelangelo's David if you don’t know the techniques and don’t know how to use the tools.
It can be very easy to be discouraged when you’re just starting out. So to all the young people out there keep trying and all of the millions of you out there on Soundcloud that want to be the next viral hit you need to keep working hard. It sucks right now. There’s literally millions of us online every day posting new original material and the general population is too inattentive to even listen to a 4 minute track.
Social media is now, unfortunately, one of the tools of the trade when it comes to content creation. You need to learn how to use your tools. You need to know how to market yourself. I’m just some fuck up with FL, but I have all my music on all the streaming platforms I can. I’m getting better every time I make a track. Don’t believe me? Take a look at my Soundcloud, and go in the order of the tracks I’ve uploaded. The point is you’ll be just as surprised as I am at how far you can push yourself if you just get over the fact that you’re not going to be an instant success overnight after you crack Ableton and make a few drum loops. (Don’t crack software, work hard, save up and buy it like an actual fucking adult)
Lately I don’t really believe in the people I share society with and it’s a shame. I used to think that everyone was, at their core, honest and strove to be the best they could. Don’t be lazy. Don’t take shortcuts, and don’t tell people what they want to hear to get by. Put in the work, and you’ll be glad you did. Maybe not right away, but you will improve and grow as a person in both discipline and talent.
Oh, and I guess I’ll plug my Soundcloud now. … in case you didn’t realize the text “Soundcloud” was a link go here: https://soundcloud.com/keebmouse