Hi, I’m Marcus, and I’ve been making music for years.
As a kid, I remember having piano lessons, but actually being more interested in spending hours randomly banging on the piano in my own way and just seeing what I could do with it. I also remember getting a fun little Casio keyboard which had very basic sampler capability. The highlight of that was burping into it and then getting it to play the demo song in burps. I think everyone found that funny, even the adults.
Several years later, as a teenager, I got into rock music for a few years and my brother showed me how to play the guitar.
But I eventually got bored of rock music and wanted to explore other sounds. I remember around this time I inherited my grandfather’s old electric organ. It was great because it had two keyboards, bass pedals and a rhythm section, so you could create a full piece of music. I remember being able to create hybrid rhythms by pressing more than one rhythm button as once. One particular combination produced a drum ‘n’ bass rhythm!
I remember getting my first synth in 1997 – a Kawai K4, made in 1989:
A while later in 1998 I then bought a second hand Atari ST so that I could compose my own pieces of music. To me, that was the ultimate dream, to be able to construct entire pieces of music all on my own. Still to this day I think that making electronic music is one of the best things someone can do when alone in a room with a computer.
Here is an early piece of electronic music I made in 1998 with just my Kawai K4 and Atari ST:
The rhythm of it is created by using a built-in digital delay effect over all the sounds.
A while later I progressed to making music on the PC instead, trying out various software, eventually settling on Cakewalk. I used to use what were called “Sound Fonts”, which were sample-based sounds that you could load into the PC soundcard for each piece of music.
All in all, I made 8 CDs of my own music over about 4 years. And that’s not including all the unfinished music that fell by the wayside.
Here is a piece from 2003 I created using a pretty good acoustic guitar sample:
But by 2004 I was having some major problems with my computer. I couldn’t make music because I kept getting awful crackling sounds from my soundcard. I was too poor at the time to get a better soundcard or computer. Eventually, I got so sick of it that I gave up music for a few years and switched to photography instead. Then a few years later I switched to creative writing. There’s a whole other story around all this, but I won’t go into it here.
But I couldn’t stay away from music forever…
In 2010, I discovered Propellerheads Reason and returned to music as my main creative outlet. I have to say, it is the best way of making music that I have ever found. Everything you need is all in one piece of software. It is literally an entire electronic music studio in one piece of software.
Have a listen to this piece I created in 2015:
And here’s another one:
Whether or not you like those particular tunes, you have to admit, it’s a good demonstration of what you can do these days with just one piece of software.
It’s never been a better time to create electronic music!
Computers are more powerful than ever before, and music software can do more than it could ever do before. These days, if you have musical ideas and a pretty good computer, there is absolutely nothing holding you back from making great sounding music.
Anyway, that’s my story. What’s yours?
I look forward to helping you make music and indeed hearing what you produce.
All the best,
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