Archive for the music Category

Second animated video

Posted in bass, electronic music, music, rock, sound design with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 4, 2013 by finerethan

Another animated video done using Motion, Inkscape, GIMP, and Final Cut.  We used Logic, Ableton, Battery, and an assortment of other stuff to make the music.  Words and music by Stacy

Finer’s first animated music video

Posted in bass, electronic music, music, music production, rock, sound design with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2013 by finerethan

Sorry for my hiatus from educational writing.  I’ve been drawing things into the computer… a lot.  This is our first animated video, done with Motion and Final Cut.  Hope you enjoy.  If you listen to the song, you will hear lots of synth programming.  I used the ES2 in Logic, Massive, Absynth, and Operator to make most of the sounds.  The drums were programmed in Battery and Kontakt.

I will now have some time to finish my series on synth programming!

New album coming soon

Posted in band shows, electronic music, music, rock, sound design on January 6, 2013 by finerethan


We finished our new album and are very excited.  It will be available on iTunes in the coming weeks.  For now, you can hear 3 songs at

Production 101: Making your own sounds easily

Posted in electronic music, lessons, music, music production, sound design with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2012 by finerethan

As I get more and more into the electronic music and DJ world, I find that sites like write a lot about being a producer and making your own music.  There are a huge amount of excellent software synthesizers out there, ranging from the free plugins in Logic and Ableton to paid ones like Massive and Absynth from Native Instruments.  I’ve never been a big fan of presets, mostly because of not wanting to have sounds like anyone else; so I spent an obscene amount of hours learning the ins and outs of each soft synth that I had.  What I found was, every synth basically follows the same principles in the way that they are designed and knowing how one works can lead you to figure out another one.  So, I decided to simplify the learning process and teach you how to understand any soft synth and build your own sounds.

Almost all soft synths have a uniform way of generating sound, known as subtractive synthesis.  An oscillator makes a sound (or noise), a filter removes frequencies from that sound, then the result is modulated (changed over time) in some way.

For today, I will be focusing on recognizing the oscillator section of a soft synth.  I have expanded the definition of oscillator to include anything that makes the sound.  A synth using samples or physical modeling is not technically “oscillating,” but it still generates a sound and then filters and modulates, so it’s just easier to look at them all the same.

The first way to locate an oscillator is to look for wave shapes.  In the example below, I’ve put an orange box around the three oscillators of this Logic synth.ImageNotice the wave shapes that you can choose from by turning the dials.  Sine waves, square waves, triangles, pulses, and sawtooth are very common.  I would recommend trying them out to learn what they sound like.  I can also make a video demonstrating the different sounds if anyone asks.  While the layout can be quite different, the idea of having a thing generate the basic sound will always be there.  Here is what Absynth 5 looks like if you go to the Patch tab.

ImageInstead of turning a dial, you choose waves from a drop down menu in Absynth, but the idea is still basically the same.

Ableton went one step easier and actually included the word oscillator in Operator:


Armed with that information, see if you can locate the oscillator section of this synth:


And now try Massive:

ImageMy last example is a physical modeling synth from Logic, if you have trouble, try comparing this one to the Logic example above.

ImageSo the homework is to try out some different sounds and learn what the character of each wave is.  Next time we will look at the different types of filters and how they modify the sound from the oscillators.  If you would like me to cover a specific soft synth or subject, feel free to leave a comment or send me a message.

Back with a vengence!

Posted in bass, jazz, lessons, music, rock, scales, soloing with tags , , , , , , on May 24, 2011 by finerethan

Okay, now the long delay is over.  I will be doing two video blogs a week, starting with some basic technique and working my way up!  Here’s lesson #1

Another ii V I substitution

Posted in bass, jazz, lessons, music, music theory, rock, scales, soloing on April 30, 2009 by finerethan

Let’s look at the second half of Blue Bossa.  The chords go to: Ebm7 for one bar Ab7 for one bar  then Dbmaj7 for two bars.  Anytime you have a longer ii V I setup like this, you can compress the two and five chord into one bar, then put another two five a half step below into the next bar.  In the example of Blue Bossa, it would look like:  Ebm7  Ab7 in one bar, then Dm7  A7 in one bar, resolving to Dbmaj7 for two bars.

Try this out with any tune that has ii V I progressions with long harmonic rhythms.  Take a look at All the Things You Are, which is riddled with long ii V’s and enjoy making them chromatic!  This is another sax player trick for how they play so many notes at a time without running out of ideas.  They are chromaticizing the ii V parts of songs.  Enjoy!

turnaround substitutions

Posted in bass, jazz, lessons, music, music theory, rock, scales, soloing on April 28, 2009 by finerethan

Ever play Half Nelson or Ladybird and wonder where those chords at the end come from?  Let’s take a look.

We start with the standard diatonic turnaround: C Am Dm G7.  This is I vi ii V for those of you who like to think of it this way.  The first substitution is to make the turnaround chords dominant, because a dominant chord has more momentum than a minor 7 chord: C A7 D7 G7.  The next step is to play tritone subs for all the chord: C Eb7 Ab7 Db7, and voila! You have the Half Nelson turnaround.  This substitution will sound great even if you play it over the standard turnaround, and any piano or guitar player with experience will be able to catch it the second time around.  Especially if you use some kind of melodic sequence like: 1 2 3 5 of the chords, or an arpeggio.  Sometimes I’ll also walk this underneath a solo to try to push some tension or to try to push a soloist in a direction.