Music is Therapy.

Photo of a recording studio

Month: September 2016

Wilderness – Tribal Trance

My favorite softsynth (CamelSpace Alchemy) has (had?) a flute (“Lakota”) that is beautiful and hypnotic. This piece is a bit of tribal trance combined with synthetic pad textures layered with the flute. The percussion is Ableton, the pads are from the microKORG and Alchemy.


Video – Visions of Europa


A short synthetic excursion to the most likely place in our solar system to have life (besides Earth): Europa. Jupiter’s moon (one of many) is slightly smaller than our



moon, and is made of silica and water ice. It’s also believed that the atmosphere consists primarily of good old oxygen. Not a lot of it, because it’s too small to have much gravity, but oxygen and water seem to serve the needs of life on Earth pretty well…

The images are courtesy of NASA (used under the Creative Commons license).

Very bassy, spacy, and arpeggiated. Enjoy.

Alchemy – My favorite VST, but…

Apple purchased Camel Audio, a German software company that produced my favorite VST, Alchemy, as well as the infamous CamelSpace and CamelCrusher. Until now, this hasn’t impacted me at all – I knew I wouldn’t be getting any new packs or content for Alchemy, but I never thought Ableton would turn their corporate back on my favorite little VST (a little VST that cost several hundred dollars).

I recently upgraded everything to 64 bit, and I was a little disappointed in how crashy my system became, and how delicate Ableton is now. I had already had some trouble with the installs.

Max still refuses to run for me (Brandon with Ableton assures me that it’s something I’m doing wrong, or a bad download, or something not Ableton’s fault…). The Max install comes as an MSI inside a Zip. That’s two CRC checks that I’m aware of, and neither one failed, so the “bad download” theory is not going to be the answer.

Anyway, Brandon also informed me that Alchemy has reached that point where Ableton won’t support it any longer (you know, because Apple), so if I choose to run it, any problems are, well, my problem. Ableton’s usually better about these things…

So I said all that to say this: I spent a day and a half reloading all of my sound banks into Alchemy, and I remembered why I ponyed up the cash for it – it’s a great sounding synth. Apple customers, you got a gem there.

I cut a trance piece as a kind of proof of concept. It’s in the synthwave arena, I think, but most of the sounds are from Alchemy. Listen, and let me know what you think!


The 64 Bit Question-Session 1

Frankly Studios is now a 64 bit Ableton shop. The conversion was not fun, but at least it was time consuming. 🙂

I started working on this song while fine-tuning Ableton and the machine, and it just came together pretty well.

Listen Responsibly!



Positive Inlook (An Electronic Excursion)

I found myself in a particularly positive mood today. I had done some pretty depressing and soul-wrenching studio work last night (up until 3 am), but today felt… lighter.

I did my chores, all the while thinking of what to create. No tune came to mind. No drums appeared in my head. I turned the studio on, all 13 switches. It, and I, came to life and I played the beginnings of this song. Several hours later I think it’s complete. It may not even be started yet…



Kawai K3, Kawai K5, microKorg, Korg MS20, Ableton 9.6.2.

Longevity (One Take)

We had a tragedy unfold in front of our home this afternoon. A young lady lost her life riding her bicycle into the path of a turning SUV. Fault doesn’t matter. We have video surveillance around our house, so to assist the police we reviewed our footage and found that we had captured the accident. In making copies for the police and local newsfolks (Caleb’s room was full of cops and reporters…) I had to watch the event over and over. And over. And after everyone left, I watched it again. It’s hard to put your mind around the immediacy of someone’s death, especially one so sudden and unexpected.

Music is therapy. So I went in the studio and turned everything on. I cut the beats by hand and recorded the piece in one take. I did edit it a bit. The graphics are a visualization from VLC. Here’s how I feel:


Stormy Weather (Not the song…)

Well, Florida has had a good run, especially Northeast Florida where Ned and his posse dwell. We’re set to get hit by our first hurricane in decades. I (Jay) have a friend in Spain who makes insane beats, but moreover he is obsessed with our Florida storms.

Hurricane Hermine

Hurricane Hermine enroute to Jacksonville. Satellite Image courtesy NOAA.

I think people believe we’re just dodging hurricanes right and left, but in reality we get hit very rarely. The jet stream does that – it runs right up the coast and steers most hurricanes away from us.

Not so with a Gulf hurricane – those sneaky bastards will cross the state from the west and do some real damage. That’s what’s going on with Hermine, our latest tormentor.

Tascam DR-05 Field Recorder

                      Tascam DR-05 Field Recorder

He’s chugging across the state right now, and his south side is a BAD neighborhood. We’re set to be visited by the southside of Hermine sometime early Friday morning. Caleb is on location on the Westside of Jacksonville, so between the two of us we might get some pretty good storm footage. He has our good Tascam (he’s working, I’m not), and sometimes these things have crazy stereo separation that only the DR05 can capture.

Or it will do exactly as it always does – sputter, cough, and rain. Me? I’m hoping for noise, wind, little damage, and a great light show. I think that will make Spain happy…


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