I’m super proud of this album I just released because it’s my first time doing electronic music.
For me Ableton live always seemed too scary but Auxy’s interface just felt right and I could move quickly with my ideas. I’m pretty old school when it comes to music.
Here is the link to the whole album on bandcamp.
(fyi. these are not DJ tracks or house or techno, they are more like pop songs with lyrics etc. and a danceable beat)
If you’d like to read about my process. Read below, Thanks all.
Jon Cohen Experimental
(Please excuse the length of this! I get into a lot of detail).
Time, lots of it…since the pandemic I have had a lot of free time and no one to play with so I jumped on this opportunity to do a new project of making an album using only my iphone SE (pretty bad phone actually). It took a great deal of micro managing music to get to a place I liked so I spent a lot of time making beats on my phone non stop. Couldn’t have done this without the free time the pandemic afforded me so at least there is a silver lining to all this for me.
I built up almost entirely all the music using Auxy. Their music blocks interface made it really easy for my brain to create parts, to move through the different segments of a song, to organize the music, instead of waveforms which can take forever, bravo auxy for creating an interface that idiots like me can use!
I wanted to make sure the music did not fall into the “loop” trap, meaning I did not want every loop or pass to sound the same (same drums, same melody etc) so I made sure each part of my songs had 16 to 32 measures and i did a lot of copy paste then slightly altered each part so although it sounded the same, it was still different even if the changes were subtle.
I LOOOOOVE the instrument library of auxy and especially the names, I prefer “Canoe” or "Angry Bass’’ or names like that to “AR414A or X33SE” etc, to me that’s just mental masturbation. Just let me hear the sound! I also like that there aren’t’ too many options to mess with the sounds, like in ableton, I get lost in all the options. TOO MANY CHOICES MAN! It kills the creativity, I like to keep moving forward, to keep the juices flowing, as soon as I get bogged down in a envelope filter quandary or why is my lop warped when the bpm follow button is on while the quantize 16th is set to blah blah blah… Sorry I’m leaving this party. Although Auxy is unlimited in possibilities, it’s workflow limits are what make it so great. Don’t change that! My message to Auxy : don’t get too complicated or you’ll turn people off. Does anyone else in this community also feel like Ableton was too much of a mountain to climb?
I also used other apps on my phone for variety, Moog, and electribe and also garage band when I wanted to bring in organic instruments, which I did quite a bit of at the end cause I wanted to give the music a "human” or ‘organic’ ’ feel. I added piano, acoustic guitar, xylophone, and of course voices, I did harmonies with some of my friends, added percussion etc. I did this using an iRig for microphones and guitars and did a lot (A LOT) of file exports to add on new instruments in line with the music Garageband app as the last step of the process.
One of my favourite effects in auxy is Ducking, I just love the pumping sound and I find it makes the music so much more vibrant, let me know what you think of that. The delays and choruses and other effects were also great and their interface of just squiggly lines (to show amounts) running through the measures was brilliant. So visual!
I downloaded all the individual stems from auxy as well as mixdowns, and the whole thing was saved on iCloud. there was actually a lot of what I’d call modern day track bouncing. I’m sure the way I did it was not optimal and was probably way more time consuming, but it was the only way I knew how. Though I normally hate iCloud, this time it was my saving grace. I dropped my phone in the kitchen sink once and freaked out because I was 90% finished and it got soaked. I then found all my stems on icloud and just transfered everything thank God for that.
When I was finally happy with all the tracks I mixed it on a regular system with my friend Steve who has some nice outboard gear. In retrospect I’m not sure this was a totally necessary step as the music in Auxy lives in a vacuum already and is perfectly mixed, already pre EQd and pre compressed etc. But like I said, I’m old school and I have to follow the path I know. So for better or for worse I mixed it outboard OOTB (out of the box).
Tell me what you think and if you did something similar. I’d love to hear your thoughts or ideas on this process, as I plan to do more in the future. I’m so excited someone like auxy actually opened the front door to electronic music for me with a language I could understand.
Keep up the great work Auxy!!
love and happy new year.