I’ve been experimenting with music production for quite some time, but I know I still have a long way to go. My history with music is quiet, because I would never talk about the hobby to anyone other than friends and family. Music production became one of my safe spaces where I could express myself and that led to me keeping my work a secret. After gathering the confidence to do so, I’ve been pushing my music out and experimenting with new sounds beyond my usual.
The Electronic Toy Piano
To this day, I wish I still had the toy piano that got me started with music. It was half the size of a typical computer keyboard and only had two octaves. The little device ran on three batteries and the sound squeaked out of this terrible mono speaker built into the sides. As a ten year old boy, this was a dream machine. Every press lead me to question the possibilities of what I could do with this little device.
Instinctively, I decided to record myself playing this toy piano with a cheap plastic desk microphone. While the sound quality was definitely not great, the world of audio production was suddenly open to me. Every day I wanted to make cool new songs (it was really just noise) and it inspired me to pursue learning the piano. Once I learned about audio production software and the concepts of recording, my parents gifted me something I thought I’d never see as a young man.
A Few More Keys
It was the Christmas of 2008 when I received a beginner’s keyboard from my parents. After a few years of the toy piano, there’s no describing the magic of a full-sized keyboard. Learning about MIDI and proper audio recording changed the game for me. I also spent so much time using a program called Synthesia to learn how to play my favorite soundtracks from Pirates of the Caribbean and other movies or video games.
The following years were experimental and full of learning experiences. I created three music albums, one of which was KrimZon. The previous two were called OXIDE and Bluemark Down respectively, but they may never see the light of day in public. Trust me, I’m doing you a favor. Between these collections, there were plenty of single tracks and scrapped tracks along the way.
While this keyboard was meant for beginners, I was using it as a MIDI controller for FL Studio 8 at the time to learn music producing. The sound fonts provided on the keyboard were honestly not that great, so using custom virtual instruments through my computer proved to be more fun. Beat sequences and melodies were among my biggest weaknesses, and I remember spending months focusing solely on doing better with them.
Throughout these experimental periods, I would let my family listen to my music. They were often supportive and gave me strength where I had doubts. Both my parents and grandparents saw something within me, and to this day I don’t fully know what it was, but it led to one of my most cherished items to date.
Going Full Scale
It was the summer of 2012 when my grandparents asked me some questions about my passion in music, videos, and the arts. They really wanted to embrace and support what I was doing with music, but I didn’t really know what they had in mind. Nowadays, I know they were making a calculated decision in helping me turn my hobby into a profession. They made the decision with my parents to gift me with my first full-scale professional music workstation, the Yamaha MOX8. There’s no real way to describe how truly thankful I am, but I owe quite a lot of my personal growth in music to them.
The learning curve was massive when compared to the beginner’s keyboard. There were so many new knobs, switches, buttons, and terms that were entirely foreign to me. Through sheer determination, I spent months learning every function packed into this device. It opened new possibilities in music development that the beginner keyboard just couldn’t provide. I ended up creating Tonic Shock and Karapathea using the Yamaha MOX8.
Even today I’m still finding out new things about this workstation. I still have so much to learn in music production, and having access to a tool like this provides me with a lot of technical insight. Live performance modes are probably my least explored features of this music workstation, so maybe I’ll give that some attention soon.
Barely the Beginning
Reminiscing about this story is fun, but it’s barely a distant history in the grand scheme of my career. The heavy experimental days were definitely eye opening on the music production industry, and it’s time to really use what I’ve learned. I’m looking forward to posting more music content instead of keeping it all to myself. Along this new decade of music, I hope to learn twice as much!
Also, before I finalize these closing statements, I want to mention that music production is in no way reliant on having a music workstation or synthesizer. Music production could be as simple as downloading the trial version of FL Studio or any other software and experimenting. These tools are merely alternate routes and vehicles for some different opportunities when producing music.
In closing, a massive thank you to my friends and family for supporting my passions throughout the years. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have pushed myself quite as far.
Are you a musician, or even just enjoy the prospects of music? Leave a comment below and let me know about your music ventures!