Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Certain "Weather" Changes

Hey everyone, it's been more than a while since my last post so I figured I'd write up my annual blog post haha. I'll try to update more often if some interesting stuff occurs. It's getting to that time of year where the seasons make their transition from summer to fall (because Summer is basically fall, just add pollen. So no Spring... Sorry Spring lovers). This is also the time of year where I opt to listen to Genesis's "Wind & Wuthering" exclusively for a few weeks. Marillion so far has been the winner, however, as their new album "Sounds That Can't Be Made" has inspired me in new levels on the musical front. I just finished a demo on a thirteen minute song, my first Odyssey Aquatic epic! I'm pretty excited about where it's going. It'll be included in my full length album "Certain Weather", set to be released sometime in 2013. Vague, right? Well unfortunately I won't be able to know about an official release date until I figure out 100% what I want to do with this album. Since it's my debut LP, I want to make sure I get off to a strong creative start and don't rush it. I already have a 5 song instrumental EP, available here: I'm still undecided as to whether or not to add vocals. They'd be subtle, dance style vocals, but I need to make sure I have a legit microphone and pre-amp. So my plan is to make it the sickest instrumental album I can make, and then at that point the only thing I'll need to make sure I have is money for vocal equipment. So the saving begins! As I'm writing this, I'm in the middle of a nice little cold. I hope this ends soon. Random, sorry. I've signed over 100 songs now to production music libraries to this point, which I've yet to see any money from, but I know it's definitely a patience-testing venture. I'm planning on also getting a career in music supervision or music A&R. I figured that money seen from production music should be looked at as extra money, and that I need a real music career to anchor my production music, Odyssey Aquatic music, and soundtracks. Anyways, I'm definitely excited to see where Odyssey Aquatic and my musical journey will lead to in the future. Hopefully we'll talk sooner than a year from now. Maybe it'll be two years! Kidding... Thanks for reading and listening! -Adam Galloway (Odyssey Aquatic)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Let's make some production music, shall we?

It's safe to say that it's been a good minute since my last post. I love writing, but it's just hard to get into the habit of writing in a blog. Actually it's really not. I've been studying up on how to instil habits in oneself haha is it 21, 30, 60, or 66 days for you? haha apparently you can't miss any days or it'll mess with the progression of your habit formation. Makes sense.

Anyways, enough about habits and such, let me spill myself about the music I've been working on lately. Since the last time I wrote, much has occurred. I have, a) moved into my own apartment, b) gotten a promotion at work, and c) discovered and learned more about myself than ever before. I discovered that music is literally the only line of work I'll ever be fully happy doing. No rush on when it happens; that makes it much more fun and exciting. Sure it'd be great to make some crazy money crazy early, but let's be realistic AND optimistic. Realistically, it's going to take some time for this music to do make an impact, however I'm optimistic that it WILL happen.

For a while there, from around August to December, I worked on music maybe three days. I was adjusting to life on my own, working 40-55 hours a week at work, four online classes, ect. It was definitely my most lonely period. I felt like I was trapped in a job where I had to work that much just to break even. Obviously I am and was very blessed and in no way was complaining, but that time period was tough for me because all of a sudden I go from a summer of constant music creation to having absolutely no time at all for it because of work and school. Our annual trip to Florida, which included my laptop and portable keyboard, gave me a good amount of time to get back in the rhythm of writing, and since then I've been able to get a good 15-20 hours of music writing per week. It also helped that I only had one class this semester, albeit a tough one in Statistics. Math has always been the BIGGEST thorn in my side, but if I pass this course with a C, I'll never have to take another math as long as I live, which makes me quite euphoric.

I debated whether I wanted to release music as a solo instrumental artist, and then I debated maybe doing solo music with vocals. Needless to say that wasn't a very good experiment. Then one day I got an email from this guy, Richard Pryde, a production music expert. I bought this pdf file that gave me all the ins and outs of writing production music and lots of other extremely valuable information that helped me with understanding production music. The email was great inspiration for me to give up my ego and this solo career and get into this business. I'll lose the recognition but I'll be more guaranteed to get paid within a year or two as opposed to having to spend 15 years establishing a fan base and fighting the tide of what has become a declining record label era. So since then, I've been creating pieces specifically for production music purposes, instead of thinking of it as a solo artist approach, which is kind of difficult, but it's definitely worth it I think.

Well, it was great catching up. I shall return in who knows when. Probably when you aren't thinking about it at all (what are the chances you'd be thinking about that the next time I post, I mean really...)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Rainbow That Ruled The World

For some reason concerts lead me to wanna write in this blog. I guess being there and watching the musicians play on stage super loud inspires me to want to focus on nothing else in life than music. The show was actually Headlined by Iron Maiden, with Dream Theater acting as the opener in a place called Bristow, VA (although some websites said the concert was in Washington, DC). It was a a fantastic show. Iron Maiden wasn't the highlight for me though. Probably because they had THREE guitarists. Is that really necessary? The world wonders... Dream Theater's hour or so of playing was dampened only by the very heavy rain showers that consumed our pockets. My ticket got soaked, which was quite unfortunate. There was a rainbow that unveiled itself during Pull Me Under, which was kinda cool.

On the car ride home from DC, I spent hours focused on reworking and mastering the songs I've been working on recently. Another thing I did was research the idea of submitting my music as production music (tv shows, commercials, movies, ect.).
Many people that listen to my music say things like "wow that sounds like that could be in a video game!" or "I feel like I'm in a movie." So I figured I should start really considering that as my main focus instead of writing full blown epic songs that no one will really end up hearing. Before I go to far, I'm going to lay out a PRO/CON list of choosing production music over trying to make it as an independent electronic artist. Here goes:

Pros of becoming a touring electronica artist signed to an independent record label:
-Possibility of making a good amount of money
-Touring around the US or world if things work out to their potential
-A record label behind me to help promote my music
-The ability to play my music live in front of other people
-I would retain 100% of the rights to that song and also make a larger percentage of the revenue

Cons of becoming a touring electronica artist signed to an independent record label:
-Always out doing live shows, promotional stuff, and basically just being super busy
-Relearning all my music live and teaching it to other musicians who would play live with me
-Being able to rely only on my Macbook laptop to run my sounds through live (not a great idea)
-The music biz
-Depending on the label, I could have complete freedom over my music or I could be molded to fit their style, which would not be good or acceptable
-Inability to have any kind of family life and only live at home for brief periods at time
-Instrumental music is extremely hard to market and not usually too successful

Pros of creating production music from home or at an advertisement firm:
-Home: I could be at home all the time and do what I love and make a good amount of money from it
-Advertisement firm: I would be working with other people but doing something I love and still have a life outside of work
-If something of mine is used repeatedly in a tv show or video game, I not only would receive the money from the production music library for buying my song, but also the royalties from the per-use basis
-The style of music I write well is music you would hear in a video game or movie score (or so I'm told at least)
-I could live a normal life and have a family in the future while still making a good amount of money possibly by doing something I love, which is writing and arranging instrumental songs.
-I recently purchased something called "Writing and Recording Production Music" and have been reading it front and back since I got it. Apparently the chances I'll make money and a living off of it are MUCH higher than attempting to make it as a label-signed artist. Included was also a 10 page list of production libraries I could submit my music to.

Cons of creating production music from home or at an advertisement firm:
-If a production music library purchases a song of mine that's 5 minutes long, with a great number of cool parts and a song I consider to be amazing all the way through, may see it's life span decrease to around 30 seconds
-I would no longer hold the rights to my songs and only receive 50% of the revenue that each one makes
-I would have no chance to play my music live or go out on tour (which might actually fall under a pro because of the difficulty of recreating electronic music live)

Just from writing out that list, I think I've decided to pursue a career in production music, whether that means I'll be submitting my stuff to production libraries and hope it gets heard by the right people (while still making money for selling the rights to the song), or eventually getting a job at an advertisement firm for something more steady, where I can still just work on writing and arranging music.

It's crazy how one concert can make you question the rest of your life and your career choice. Thank you Dream Theater and that technicolor rainbow!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Summer vs Spring Fall & Winter

I've realized since starting this blog how difficult it is to consistently keep up with it. I don't understand how there are people out there who are busier than me can possibly keep up with it.

School is finally over so this summer will be more focused on working on my music, hanging out with friends who are back from college this year, and unfortunately working. It's nice though that on my days off from work I can focus on music and fun activities as opposed to feeling like I should work on a paper or some homework. Lately I haven't worked on my music as much as I would have liked because I've been working so much. As expressed in previous posts, this is quite an inconvenient but necessary task (work that is). I'm hoping that one day music can be my full time job, but I'm willing to work my way up to that.

I always found it interesting how Fall through Spring is the big time for all my favorite TV shows, the NBA regular season (which is really the only sport I follow consistently), school, colder weather, and work. While Summer there is no TV shows, no NBA, no school, hot weather, and a lot more free time, which usually equals out to more work and free time to hangout with people. I know this is an obvious statement, I just think it's crazy how different Summer feels compared to the other three seasons.

Well I'm heading out to the YMCA to fall asleep in the steam room and workout a little. There's supposed to be a big storm coming later on, so my happiness level rose to 9.3.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rearranged room/studio

So a couple nights ago I spent a few hours rearranging my room to accommodate my musical needs. By this I mean I turned my walk in closet into a homemade vocal booth with it's very own blanket nailed to the wall to act as that sound foam that costs hundreds of dollars to buy. There are many other things I did with it to make it a lot better to record vocals. Let's travel into the actual room: I moved the furniture and electronics in such a way that now I'm able to hook up my Mac to my 42 inch TV so I can work with Logic on the big screen. I think something that's been an issue with my recording process has been the fact that my 13 inch computer screen just isn't doing it for me. Plus if you look in any professional studio, there's always a nice HD TV that's showing the DAW software, and that seems so much cooler than a stupid little laptop screen.

I also wish there were 32 hours in a day instead of 24. I think everyone would agree that we would need those extra 8 hours to get stuff done. I would probably be done with 2 albums by now if there was more time in the day... Sadly though I spend 30 hours a week at work while taking 4 classes at community college. This does not leave for much time to spend on music, which is quite unfortunate. I'm hoping that the coming summer will allow for more time to spend on music.

-Adam (Odyssey Aquatic)

Friday, April 23, 2010

First Post (Day after seeing Owl City)

So after 20 years and around 200 odd days of living, this is my first blog post ever. Words can many times be just as, if not more effective than anything else, so I hope I can exercise that here.

Right now I'm currently working on Hazel Balloons, mostly working on the beats because after starting every one of my 7 or 8 songs with nothing but Garageband loops, I decided to stop using that crutch and actually lay out my own drums like a legit musician and not just a kid in his room playing around in Garageband. And yes, I'm still in Garageband... I do own Logic and read the manual and watch tutorials ALL the time, but cannot seem to get a tight grasp on the program yet. Fortunately, however, because nearly all of my music other than vocals recorded with the microphone, is recorded through the ever amazing MIDI, the sound quality is very very good. My plan is to get a good amount of songs completely finished in Garageband and then later go into Logic and tweak things a bit in the songs and work on the mixing, but Garageband is so much more user friendly and easier to get the main songs down. Logic, to me, is more of a shoe polisher and Garageband is the shoemaker.

Anyways, enough about that... I just got home from the Owl City concert in Washington, DC. The show was swarming with screaming 15-17 year old girls, which was quite expected... I almost thought about going outside during Fireflies in fear of having my ear screamed off. I didn't check out the setlist beforehand though, so by the time it came on it was too late for me to escape unfortunately. The opening band, Paper Route, from Nashville, TN, was pretty good. Definitely a louder, more rockier band than I expected at an Owl City-type concert. Every one of their members played different instruments, which is always cool because bands with the ability to do that are fun to watch live because they are all over the stage. The highlight of the show for me though was Lights... AMAZING stuff! Check out her album The Listening and the title track from that album if you're into indie electronica type music. Very good show she put on. I have mixed feelings about Owl City. The highlights of that part of the show was the way Port Blue was mixed into the show, and songs were interwoven together and all of that. It was also cool seeing Matt Thiessen from Relient K playing with Adam Young. The reason it wasn't all amazing was because some of the songs were SO different that it was almost hard to enjoy it because you hear a song a certain way in the studio and then live it's like totally different. I love bands like Dave Matthews and Phish and how they make their songs extended and different live, but with a band like Owl City, it should really stay true to it's sound live I think. Also, Adam was a bit overdramatic live, considering he is too shy to conduct over-the-phone or in-person interviews. He did sing through his shoe though, which was pretty cool. I admire mr. Young greatly though, and he is actually my greatest inspiration for writing music because he, like me, really started when he was 20, writing and recording songs in his parents house. So I have more than 100% respect for him and knew that I needed to see him live at some point in my life, through all the screaming girls and fireflies flying into my ears.

Well if you read all of that, congratulations, you've survived blog post #1...

-Adam (Odyssey Aquatic)