My History with Music

As a kid, I wasn't that exposed to music at all. Besides the music in the Sansa Sandisk my sister gave me in around 2007, I had no prior interest in music. In fact, I didn't even really pay much attention to the video game music I heard while playing Pokemon Yellow when I was in Grade School. However, after listening to the music my sister gave me (Beatles, Bee Gees, REM, lots of old-school stuff), I decided to branch out and try to find more varied music that sounded more interesting to me.

I came upon The Mega Man Network when trying to find new background music for my MegaMan Battle Network videos back in 2006~2008 (I modified game data to battle multiple enemies, make my own upgrades, modify bosses, etc.). I just downloaded whatever sounded good to me at the time... official arrangements, mainly. And I used them over and over and over again. Until someone told me to use something new. I took that to heart and went to find any sort of place that regularly publishes usable music, and the first thing I came across was DarkeSword's "Beamsabre Beat ZERO v2" on OverClocked ReMix. It could have been in 2007 that I found that. I listened to it and it seemed to fit really well with some of the videos I made, so I made it a thing to frequently visit OCR and download some songs to diversify my set. In fact, in 2009 I actually went there to download two songs per week (this was back when OCR published remixes often!) to use in a Pokemon Crystal playthrough until I got through all 39 parts. I didn't pick-and-choose, really, I just downloaded the latest two, quite literally, so in a sense, I was listening to music that I didn't even think I'd like. I just assumed that the one track from DarkeSword represented the quality of remixes from the site.

I was in choir in school at the time, getting my grips on the piano with some classical and jazz lessons outside of school. Later on, someone I used to talk to on YouTube (her country was banned from using YouTube.) gave me a link to FL Studio, back when it was FL Studio 9. At first I got a virus and I was pretty suspicious about ever getting that again. I think the first thing I tried before I got the virus notification was sequence in some drums. Then I deleted FL and got a new computer. For some reason or another, in late 2010, I decided to go back to using it after going through my YouTube PMs and seeing that message from the woman who told me about FL and gave me that link. That time I just googled FL Studio and downloaded it from the official site, and there was no virus that time, so I kept it and started doing stuff on it. My first "song" was pretty bad, it truly was. I just used the piano roll to write one short track on one single pattern and exported that. My first actual composition that could even be considered a remix was made in April 2011, which I consider to be when I truly first started composing for real.

I joined OverClocked ReMix when a friend of mine asked me to remix Castlevania's "Bloody Tears". I got feedback, alright. It wasn't that good. That was when I decided, I really want to write and remix well, so that I could actually get compliments for once on my music. I was making pretty bad music until I decided to buy the u-he Zebra2 modular synthesizer, though. I fumbled around on it for about a year before I did any real stuff on it, and worked on familiarizing myself with drum rhythms, reverb, delay, all that good stuff. I didn't really do much with compressors until late in the game. In my senior year in High School I joined the Jazz Choir, and that's when I developed an ear for chord progressions. My turning point was ultimately early January 2013, when Chimpazilla from OC ReMix asked me to collaborate with her. She was the first person I ever collaborated with, but whatever happened there, it sure turned out awesomely. We sent the project file back and forth after sharing plugins with each other, and finally finished a remix of three sources from Yoshi: Touch and Go in February 2013, called "Cloudhopping" (we brainstormed the name over email). It was a great experience, and from that point on I could actually consider myself not bad at music. If I were to document when I was either first introduced something or fully developed something because of the people of OCR, this page, titled 'Music Learning Log', would be it.

In short, OverClocked ReMix is awesome. If you want to improve your music production AND/OR compositional skills, please go there and get your music critiqued like I did. Everyone there is way nice, and you'll definitely learn something helpful there. The Judges there definitely know what they're doing! :-)