Wednesday, September 2, 2009

How to Start an Electronic Solo Band Online in College

Matt Stuttler

What is to be done at Greenville College when you have an obscene amount of time to waste on a computer without burning hours on social networking sites? What if you feel the need to express yourself through beeps and clicks, whirrs and simple beats, without the ability to form a full time electronic band? Easy answer: download software like Ableton, Reason, or Fruity Loops and buy a cheap MIDI controller and become your own band.

My own electronic endeavors were birthed out of sitting in my dorm room, filling in the hours between supper and the late night hours of running around discovering the town of Greenville. After acquiring the simple tools to produce my own music to be made in the secrecy of headphones and the sounds of the tapping keys on a laptop, I started to compile a small library of tunes based on some of the music I had found online with the incessant dance beat heard at least once a night on the weekends coming from a show in the Blackroom or Ladue.

After delving into the alternative music scene, I discovered other artists who also decided to make beats and tunes using similar means instead of taking part in the acoustic worship happenings on Scott Field. We, as a collective, compiled two tracks apiece to a free download made available by Among the individuals who took part of this, many of whom are members of both the great and small bands found on the Greenville campus, there is to be a found a variety of genres and niches within electronic music. Bbbreak the Bank (Dave Laws) takes tunes and melds them together to make new songs altogether, changing the initial feel of the songs and turning them into something more ready for a college party. Blue Satellite (Phil Schwan) combines his experience in jazz/blues and electronic music to form a sound that is more akin to Japanese and European electropop. Sunnyvale or Bust (Adam Taylor) embraces the insurgence of pop punk veteran-turned electronic savvy vocalists, exhibiting layers of catchy melodies with even catchier synth lines. Aural Apex (Aaron Metz), RBRTVRNR (Robert Varner), and I (It’s Like Spring) have jumped into the genre bending phenomena of noise. Within these works you’ll find a lot of different feels and time signatures, tearing apart traditional musical composition and twisting it into something that may be dreary and atmospheric, abrasive and annoying, or loose and unbound all within the same track. French Cinema (Aaron Oda) is more acoustic instrument based, but instead of settling for a conventional instrumental sound, has taken these instruments and fused them with computer work to make busy and interesting songs that seem to take nods from both the electronic scene and the full band feel.

The intent of all artists involved is to seek to push the boundaries of the music we all hear daily and bang it around until it becomes something even more foreign than the basic software functions our work began with. If you are looking to get into something that will not only open up your mind to fresh ideas as well as challenging the standards of the current trend in the overpopulated and generic-saturated shows across the nation, think about doing something different and do it. Ask anyone involved in this project, and if you go about it the right way for the right reasons, we might just share our limited knowledge and expose you to a whole new world of sampled drums and digital keys. All of the artist’s Myspace links are included in the download, and most have their collection of works up for free download.

(Download Link)

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