Archive for the ‘Mlog’ Category

Mlog #… uhh…   1 comment

You may have noticed it’s been awhile since I posted a mlog, and I definitely said I wanted to do one every week. Well, that certainly failed! I’m not too broken up about it; it was fun while it lasted, but it wasn’t really sustainable with my current schedule. I’d like to continue updating it every couple of months at least, but that may not even happen. I hope people weren’t getting too attached to weekly entries (I somehow doubt that, haha).

Until next time!


Posted 31 December 2013 by jonbash in Mlog

Mlogs 8 and 9   Leave a comment

Welp, I’ve been off the ball! I did take one week off a while back just because of all the stuff going on in my life (gee, I never would have imagined grad school + long distance marriage would be difficult!), but I’ve been slacking on updating this. Out of curiosity, I checked the stats on this blog, and… look at that, basically no one is reading it. Looks like I need to either stop updating it or work a little harder at getting people to read it.

In any case, here’s the past two little pieces of music I’ve posted. The first is just a little thing I did in Ableton Live (finally) mostly to get a feel for the program a little better. Quite simple, but I played around with some non-traditional harmonies and such. I really like the atmosphere I achieved; it reminds me a little bit of 90s JRPGs and strategy games for some reason.

The second is a short credits track I did this past weekend for Seattle’s 48 Hour Horror Film Project. It was a ton of fun, and I’ve come to learn that sometimes improvising and pushing myself to just get something good that works can produce some pretty sweet results. I was rather satisfied with what I got given the 6 hours I had to write music (I didn’t get a rough cut until the last morning, and they needed enough time to edit the music and sound design in and submit it). You can check out the full film here. I was super stoked about how well the music and sound design worked together despite the sound designers and I never really interacting with each other’s work.

I’ve noticed that a lot of the stuff I’ve been posting has been pretty dark. I think this is partially just the kind of stuff I aesthetically prefer, but I definitely want to work on creating more upbeat stuff that I enjoy, so I hope I can come up with some more cheerful music in the future.

It’s also worth noting that I just finished my first project with the team at Hand Crank Films. They’re a great and talented team of filmmakers that have been producing some of the finest videos in the state for the past several years, and I’m so honored to be working with them. Hopefully I can share this first video with you all soon, and it sounds like I’ll probably be working with them more in the future, which I’m very excited for!

Posted 14 November 2013 by jonbash in Film, Games, Mlog, Music

Mlog 7 – River Tam Beats Up Everyone   Leave a comment

The title of this week’s little piece* is a reference to this classic xkcd (which itself references Joss Whedon’s Serenity and Firefly).

But basically it was an excuse to play with Stormdrum.

I kind of wish I would have recorded a video of myself writing this one, because a lot of it was just me pounding away on my MIDI keyboard like a child. It’s a good thing my roommate wasn’t home because it probably sounded like I was just throwing a tantrum or something. I hope this is how people do it in Hollywood.

Anyways, there’s really not much else to it. Subtle as a brick.

*sidenote: Before I entered the composition program at WWU, I wrote a few short pieces of music as a “portfolio.” I had no idea what I was doing, but one of them was a percussion quartet with this same title. It might still be on my computer somewhere, but honestly, it was pretty bad. But hey, it got me into the program, so whatever!

Mlog 6 – Raid on the Digital Catacombs   Leave a comment

I managed to make something new this week! Huzzah!

This piece was almost entirely made in Max 6 using a random beat generator I’ve been building. It takes a folder of samples and randomly chooses one of them 16 times (or any other number of times you might choose), assigning random volumes, panning, and pitch to them. You can then adjust a delay unit, comb filter, and other filter to apply universally and adjust on the fly. There’s a bunch more intricacies, but it might be more worthwhile for you to just see a couple of pictures of it.

Here’s the “presentation mode” version…

Screenshot 2013-10-14 16.13.24







…and here’s some of the messy innards.

Screenshot 2013-10-14 16.14.03








Very fun to make! I’m still trying to consider what other parameters and/or effects I can add to it. Some way to save patterns would be cool. Also Rewire integration. And/or Soundflower. The possibilities are endless! (as is often the case in Max)

Anyways, I took a bunch of loops I generated and played with and layered them and arranged them in Logic. The only other thing I did in Logic was adjust some volumes and fades and apply some light compression. Enjoy the results!

Posted 14 October 2013 by jonbash in Mlog, Music

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Mlog 5 – Out of Time   Leave a comment

Yes, I’m double-dipping again. Next week I won’t, and that’s a promise (that I now have to keep since I committed to it in public…)!

This is menu music from a game I’ve been working on with some very talented folks in Seattle. I’ve been really stoked on all of it since I started working on it, so I wanted to share a little tidbit since the game is still in some pretty early stages of development. Once it’s released I’ll probably compiled the tracks into a soundtrack.

This particular track prominently features a melody that will act as a leitmotif of sorts throughout the soundtrack, symbolizing the protagonist’s rebellious struggle against the oppressive regime in his dystopian sci-fi world. It also serves to set the tone and pallette of the game’s musical landscape with its retro style synthesizers and sequences, although most of the in-game music will be much faster, intense, and upbeat.

As another little potentially interesting tidbit… We’re going to try doing a little bit of dual-track level-music crossfading ala FTL, where in one part of the level, one version of the music will play, but when you transition to a different section of the level, it will crossfade into an alternate version of the music (like with FTL’s explore vs. battle versions of music).

Here’s an extra sneak peak of some of the other music in the game, as well!


Mlog 4 – Memory   Leave a comment

This was something I wrote and recorded relatively quickly, partially by necessity and partially to give it a sort of raw feel. I am not a pianist, let alone a skilled one, and this was played live into Logic, hence the lack of tempo consistency. I kind of like it though; much more so than if I would have programmed it. It’s obviously simpler and more repetitive than what I usually write, with some obvious Philip Glass influence, and I had to fight my instincts to let that slide. I think it’s, at the very least, a good exercise to write music that goes against your instincts every now and then.

As the description will tell you, this was written as diegetic music (sourced from in-universe; in this case the characters are listening to it in their apartment in the background) for a short horror film being produced for the upcoming Bleedingham horror film festival in Bellingham, WA. I know, maybe it’s double-dipping… but I was working on that score all day today, and I didn’t want to give any of the more revealing music in the movie, even though I REALLY wanted to because I’m really excited for it. If you want to see the movie (and you should, along with others from the area), go to Bleedingham on October 26th at the Pickford Film Center!

Posted 30 September 2013 by jonbash in Mlog

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Mlog 3 – On the Shores of Orion   Leave a comment

Another week, another little piece of music. With this one I used a number of sounds I collected on my honeymoon, including some wind chimes, the ferry dock on the way to Orcas Island, shaking a box of matches… can’t remember what else. I also experimented a bit more learning some of Logic’s synths, which was pretty fun. Hope it’s at least mildly enjoyable!

I ordered an East West collection of orchestral sample libraries, so pretty soon here you might start hearing some of that in these weekly pieces! They’ll also come in handy on some of the film projects I’m going to be involved with in the coming months…!