Its been awhile since I updated my blog, for which I apologize. But there's no time like the present to get back to it!
I do have some interesting news....
Earlier this year I was contacted by Singer/Songwriter Paul Chiten after he heard (and actually bought from legitmix) my edit of his track "Can't Wait Another Minute" by Five Star....which became a massive international hit in 1986.
Since that time he and I have stayed in almost constant contact regarding other tracks he has done for other major artists....including a track he did himself for a major motion picture back in 1985.
The track (and film) in question is called "Transylvania 6-5000" and has become something of a cult classic.
Well, Paul asked me to re-edit the track in order to give it a bit more modern feel along with some additional spooky elements.
So very soon my remix of his track will be released worldwide on all Digital Music Platforms (iTunes, Amazon, etc) and will constitute my very first "major" release.
More info will be available soon!
Let me add this....
Over the last year or so I have had a couple of near-misses regarding commercial remix projects, not including my brush with the option of becoming a Hot Tracks remixer. Well this one is for certain and will be official very very soon!
I know I say this fairly regularly, but its TRUE. I owe much of my success and reputation to you guys, the DJ's and the music lovers! I do the work...you make it all worthwhile.
Over the last month, sales have increased to about double my previous monthly average. I am pleased to know that more and more people are checking out my tracks and choosing to purchase my first gen copies rather than DL MP3's off the net of dubious quality.
The vast majority of the tracks I edit are widely popular internationally, meant for working DJ's to use in their sets. I don't really do modern tracks and I don't do too many obscure releases...instead choosing to create DJ friendly versions of the tracks the audience knows. That may sound like a safe path to take, but its the niche I have decided to fill and it looks like it was a wise choice.
If you would like to purchase via Legitmix but are having issues with the iTunes requirement or the system in general, please contact me. I will be happy to assist.
For those of us old enough to remember when the tools of the trade were the same everywhere: 2 turntables, an analog mixer and vinyl, we also remember how our ability to use those tools were what “thinned the herd” as it were. Working with vinyl is an art form, whether you went the route of turntablist or blending there was more to it than cueing up records and playing them. It was more about feel than BPM. It was about understanding your crowd and your role in the club. You had to memorize your records, knowing each songs variations and intricacies in order to best use them effectively.
When tools like CDJ's became available, they were not meant to make everyone a DJ. They were designed for the vinyl DJ, offering features that would make our creativity come through easily. The byproduct of course was that it did make many of the most basic aspects of being a DJ much easier, allowing more people to become part of the culture. But there was still the investment and that was pretty pricey, which did help to limit the influx of new participants.
Then along came the Controllers. The invention of CDJ's and mixers placed into one easy too use package has made being a “DJ” more accessible than ever. Recently I myself made the investment, purchasing a beautiful Pioneer DDJ-SX2. And I did it not because it was my dream tool.....but because of economics. Its an amazing piece of hardware, but a full on investment into a complete DJ system did not allow me to buy what I wanted (a pair of CDJ-2000's plus a Mixer). Instead I had to compromise. I think that happens with a lot of newer DJ's when it comes to their tools of choice. Its far less expensive to buy an all-in-one controller and take that from gig to gig than the alternative options.
Thanks to the amazing technology available, one thing is definitely certain....developing the basic skills necessary to mix is far easier now than ever. I think that's where most of the issues lie between the new breed and old guard. What took me years can now be learned in months thanks to automation and tech. But that doesn't mean everyone who invests will be good at it. Sadly the world is now flooded with so called “DJ's” that can't even mix using the tools at hand and they are trying to make a name for themselves. And when they are not fully prepared for working in a club bad things can happen....as in the new rules at the LA club The Cure and The Cause.
Learning and applying the basics are one thing, becoming a Professional DJ is something entirely different. Even with all the tools at hand, you still have much to learn in order to call yourself a “Professional”. Clean mixing, great programming and the ability to understand that working in a club is not all about you, its about the crowd and the venue making money. There have always been new DJ's around, looking to grab a spot somewhere and earn a reputation...usually for less $$. So in that respect nothing has actually changed. What has changed is the sheer number of new DJ's out there...unprepared and cheap.
So in summary, being a DJ is not about the tools...its about the skill. Make the crowd love you, make other DJ's envious and make the venue money...and you can call yourself a Professional
Last month was a rough one for me as I lost my Mom to Alzheimer's and Old Age. I have still to fully get over the loss and it has made it difficult to find that creative spark that I need to create my Edits and Remixes. But I have no doubt that as time passes it will become easier to find what's missing and begin to move forward again.
An enormous and heart-felt Thank You goes out to everyone who reached out to me, both privately and publicly regarding my Mom's passing. That meant the world to me and my family.
As for the rest, despite my loss I have maintained my release schedule of 2 new tracks a week. That is due to the fact that I knew what was lurking on the horizon and decided to work on as many projects as I could so that I would have a small catalog of tracks available when the time arrived that I could not do it.
Speaking of tracks, Hearthis has suspended my account due to the normal violations. Something I had hoped would not happen, but did. I am still on Soundcloud (5 accounts) and of course Legitmix and YouTube.
MY CREATION PROCESS - CONCLUSION...
Now for the last of the entries regarding my Creation Process. The last part is in video form and is a VERY BASIC overview of my process. As a video detailing the entire creation process would be hours long, I have chosen only to show the basics from starting in Abelton Live to using Fruity Loops to some of the end steps in Abelton Live.
And before anyone says "You know you can do it THIS WAY instead" ....I am more than likely aware of that. What I am showing is the process that I am currently using, one which does serve me well. It should also be said that my processes are always evolving so at some point much of what you see in the video may change.
First, there have been quite a few new additions to the DVRE catalog since last months Blog. I am attempting to add 2 new tracks every week for as long as its humanly possible. Please feel free to Follow Me on Legitmix to stay updated on all new tracks.
I have also re-invested in my DJ career for the first time in 30 years. It is my hope and desire to start working again and bring my tracks to the people personally.
Now onto my continuing Blog Series detailing my creation process....
My Creation Process Part 2 - The Tools of the Trade....
So last month I detailed where I get my inspiration from. This month I'll discuss the Tools I use to create.
Over the years I have probably used most of the available out there, starting with a little program called Cool Edit back in the 90's. Some of the audio programs that have made it onto my PC's over the years are: SoundForge, ProTools, Adobe Audtion (formerly Cool Edit), Acid, Audacity, Fruity Loops, Abelton Live. Cakewalk and Reason.
After a ton of trial and error, I eventually decided to use a combination of 3 programs: Abelton Live (80%), Fruity Loops (18%) and Audition (2%).
Abelton sees the bulk of the duty when I work, as it does for most of the people who use it. One thing I do not use Abelton for is general Rhythm Track Creation.....I choose to use Fruity Loops for that. Within both programs I have access to a host of plug-ins, but my biggest "Go To" plug-ins for Abelton are the iZotope Ozone bundle plus 2 little ImageLine VST's called Gross Beat and Maximizer.
There were 4 big turning points for my editing since I jumped back in to it approximately 4 years ago. The first is when I started using Fruity Loops to create my rhythm tracks in combination with Adobe Audition as my editor. The second was replacing Audition with Abelton Live 8 as my main DAW, giving me the ability to warp (aka tempo correct) tracks easily. The third was using Maximizer during my final stages to get that "Full" feeling to the tracks. The last happend about a year ago when I finally added the Ozone 6 pack to my bag of tricks. Since that point, virtually everyone has noticed a significantly positive difference in how my tracks sound overall.
I am a Windows guy. I know there are a ton of people out there who say that Mac is the only way to go, but nowadays I don't see that as a rule anymore. I use 2 22" monitors...one with fruity Loops open and the other with Abelton Live 9.
Next Month....The Basic Process....
Firstly, I hope everyone has connected with my multiple musical outlets, especially:
Over the last few months I have been releasing 2 brand new mixes a week to my Legitmix account. That has brought my total tracks for sale to 235!!
I also continue to add new tracks to my Official Hearthis account...many of which are Direct to Download offerings where I allow FREE limited time DL's on songs not available for sale.
And if you Follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter, you also see that I have been trying to offer limited time FREE DL's of various back catalog tracks on a weekly basis.
Quite often I am asked to share my "Creative Process". I have also been asked to create a video summary outlining how I do what I do. I really don't have the ability to record a video that would clearly outline my process...not to mention the sheer boredom it may induce....so it may be quite awhile before that dream becomes a reality. However, starting with this Blog post and on my DVRE Facebook Page, I will be outlining much of my processes. Perhaps one or 2 people will find it remotely interesting....lol.
So here we go!
Where Do My Ideas Come from????
First a little backstory....I have been editing music, in one way or another, since the late 80's. I started Digital Editing in the later half of the 90's using a little program called Cool Edit. I walked away from it for about a decade and restarted editing about 4 years ago in conjunction with a Live Stream I was doing online via Livestream. I simply had a need to create DJ friendly edits of classic Pop/Rock/Dance tracks so I could easily play them in my stream. No further expectations or designs. I also wanted to create the mixes I wish I had when I was DJ'ing in clubs during the 80's and 90's.
If you have been Following me anywhere for even a little while you probably noticed the wide range of tracks I work on. While some remixers only focus on a genre or 2 to work on, my love for Pop music of all kinds leads me to songs that most people would avoid or simply never consider. But in order to consider a song at all, I have to "hear a mix" in the song as its playing. If I can imagine moving parts around and adding elements to create something interesting, it becomes an Idea.
My inspiration comes from many directions and sources....Radio/Internet Radio, my personal collection of music (both physical and in my memories), suggestions (from followers, friends and DJ's worldwide), Facebook posts, etc. Many of the tracks I choose are either songs that were damn near impossible to mix in their original form or Pop/Rock songs that were never intended to be mixed at all. My hope was to create respectful versions that DJ's could add to their collections and play out easily.
Virtually no genre is off limits to editing for me. If I like it and it "speaks" to me, I will give it a shot.
It bears mentioning that not every track I start gets finished. Many are just beyond my ability to modify from the commercial versions I have access to. My hard drive is littered with folders with bits and pieces of projects that I hope to find a way to finish someday.
Once a project is chosen, it is up to me to turn what I heard in my head into something more than a thought or idea. That's where Fruity Loops, Abelton Live and various plug-ins come in.....
.......More on that next time!
Happy New Year All!!
December was a good month for me...lots of new releases. Hearthis saw quite a few new tracks, while my Legitmix account saw many new tracks. Including some that are only available there for the time being.
Artists like Rod Stewart, The Rolling Stones, Ace, Olivia Newton-John, Imagination and Lipps Inc are available only via my Legitmix account and are selling very well!
I also have a bunch of yet unreleased tracks as well....just waiting for the right time.
Some time within the next few months I should be starting my adventure into Commercial remixing. An independent international label is about to sign me to do mixes for commercial release. Nice!
I have broken the 1000 Follower barrier on both Hearthis as well as my Pop/Rock account on Soundcloud. That brings me to the fact that my accounts are still hanging on by a thread on Soundcloud. Only a matter of time before they are gone.
Of course there is the sad news that artists like David Bowie and Glenn Frey passed on. So many losses. I have 2 "Tribute" mixes up for both....
David Bowie - Lets Dance (Digital Visions Remix)
The Eagles - New Kid in Town (Digital Visions Remix)
Thank you for checking out my Blog. remember to follow me on Facebook and Hearthis!
September and October was an especially difficult time here at DVRE. Due to some family health issues I had to cut back on the time I spent on my projects. In August I worked extra hard to get a few extra mixes done just in case things got a bit tough in September, which they did. Thankfully I had enough new projects to fill the months release schedule.
By October I realized I needed to have releases available, so I went thru my unfinished projects and picked the best of the bunch...and finally finished them.
By the end of October I had completed quite a few edits, which are available on both Legitmix and Hearthis.
I was fortunate to also work on yet another collaboration with Mick Collins-Gellar of the UK's Blackroom Reconstructions. Together we offered up a pretty sweet from the stems remix of Hall & Oates classic "Private Eyes". I was also supposed to work on a remix of "Maneater" as well, but time did not allow me to do so.
It is my hope that in the coming months things will normalize for my family and I will be able to dedicate more time to Editing and my LiveStream.
Here are a few upcoming highlights:
- I can look forward to having my mixes showcased on Johannesburg South Africa's Hot 91.9 by the amazing DJ Paul Almeida during his weekly Club Classics show. I have also created a 30 minute mix for his program that will be broadcast on Saturday 11/14 @ 8pm Johannesburg local time.
- The UK's Retro Grooves will be showcasing my mixes on Soundcloud and Hearthis as well early in November.
- I should hit 1000 Followers on Hearthis very soon!
- And then there are the edits and remixes. Hopefully I will come up with a few good ones :)
Many new summer tracks....
Carl Douglas - Kung Fu Fighting (Digital Visions Remix)
The Jacksons - Can You Feel It (Digital Visions Re-Edit)
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band featuring Linda Ronstadt - An American Dream (Digital Visions Re-Edit)
Joey Scarbury - Believe It Or Not (Digital Visions Re-Edit)
The Manhattan Transfer - Twilight Zone (Digital Visions Re-Edit)
Cameo - Candy (Digital Visions 2015 Re-Edit)
Prince - Little Red Corvette (Digital Visions 500 Followers Re-Edit)
Sales on Legitmix are steadily increasing along with my Follower base on Hearthis.....which I have now surpassed 500 Followers!!
Many new tracks during the month of June....
Evelyn ''Champagne'' King - Shame (Digital Visions Re-Edit)
Blondie - The Tide is High (Digital Visions Re-Edit)
The Motels - Only The Lonely (Digital Visions Re-Edit)
Jackson Browne - Somebodys Baby (Digital Visions Re-Edit)
Santana - Hold On (Digital Visions Re-Edit)
Let's also add in the LiveStream mixes....complete with free DL's....
The Digital Visions Classic Mix: Your Yacht or Mine 3 - A DVRE Voyage (5/31/15)
The Digital Visions Classic Mix - SynthPop-New Wave Mix (6-7-15)
The Digital Visions 80's Classic Dance Mix - Mixed All-The-Way Live on 6/28/15
May was a busy month here at DVRE. Starting on April 27th we had the following edits available for Listening and For Sale:
Brothers Johnson - Strawberry Letter 23 (Digital Visions Re-Edit)
Shalamar - Dead Giveaway (Digital Visions Re-Edit)
Foxy - Get Off (Digital Visions Re-Edit)
Starpoint - Object Of My Desire (Digital Visions Re-Edit)
Frankie Valli - Swearin' To God (Digital Visions Re-Edit)
Irene Cara - Fame (Digital Visions Re-Edit)
Evelyn "Champagne " King - Shame (Digital Visions Re-Edit)
Also there were 3 - 2 Hour LiveStreams during the month. Links are available below and DL's are FREE :)
The Digital Visions Classic Dance Mix (80's Dance) - 5/3/15
The Digital Visions Classic Disco Mix - 5/10/15
The Digital Visions Classic R&B Mix (80's-90's R&B) - 5/17/15
June will bring even more edits and mixes, including Part 3 of "Your Yacht or Mine"
I am DJ FreddyG, Creative Genius of Digital Visions Edits. I'm an old skool professional Club DJ turned Remixer....offering DJ Friendly edits to DJ's worldwide.