DAW – An Intro

I started this blog with the intention of writing about front end development and my exploration in music production.

I did have the plan of writing regularly, but I couldn’t. And the reason was switching my job. After successfully completing a project at my last company, I had some free time, during which I got an opportunity to give interview with Myntra.

I prepared well for the interview, brushed up on Javascript and other necessary topics, and gave the interview for UI position. It went well and I got through.

Having worked in smaller start-ups, I was very excited to join a bigger start up company. It’s been less than a month since I joined the firm and I’m having great fun here.

I want to explain more about the company, but I’ll stop for now and continue on what I want to write.

Like I mentioned in my first post, I’m interested in music synthesis and production. Currently I’m trying to learn the basics of Digital Audio Workstation or DAW in short, and to record small clips using a M-Audio 32 keystation midi controller.

Initially I’d been working on Ubuntu, which was kind of fun, but also frustrating at certain times, especially when I had to get the JACK audio server setup working. I had started to use Ardour 3 which was really cool, but lack of tutorials made it difficult for me to learn to use it effectively. I did learn the basics of audio routing, that of connecting various audio modules like Hydrogen drum machine, synthv1 polyphonic synthesizer, with the midi keyboard and recording them into Ardour.

This, along with some basic knowledge of tweaking filters, ADSR envelopes gave me an idea of how sound can be shaped. There is one small snag though, which is that one could get lost in the vast possibilities there is, especially the uninitiated, who is just starting out and wondering how vast this field is, and how deep it could get.

Once I started using the latest Macbook Pro (thank you Myntra, I’m in love with this machine), I decided to try out Ableton. So I downloaded the trial version and started using it.

I’m so impressed with this piece of software that I’m planning to buy the Intro version once the trial expires. This Digital Audio Workstation or DAW has a nice minimal interface, lot of online tutorials, and once you get familiar with it, you can quickly start expressing your ideas. The workflow is great. I can imagine how easy and awesome it would be to use it to play live.

I love the session view where you can have clips or midi and mix them to try out what sounds good. I also like some of the midi effects like arpeggiator, which in itself can produce an array of various note patterns, the chord and scale effects and other commonly used audio effects like reverb, flanger and filters.

There is more to explore and I’ve been following some tutorials to learn new techniques. I’ve realised that it is important to tweak things on my own, experiment with different effects and create tracks than by blindly following tutorials.

All in all, I’m super excited than ever to learn more about music, its related technologies and to implement them.

Hope I turn this excitement into something valuable.

Introduction

I feel excited to have started a new blog and write my first post.

I had a blog before, but it had no particular goals. This, on the other hand, will be mostly aimed at sharing some of the things that I learn in the area of Audio Production and Frontend Development.

I’ve been working as a Frontend Engineer for close to 3 years now and it’s been quite an exciting journey. The job involves understanding design and writing code, and this intersection of art and technology brings in some joy.

Music has been my main interest since engineering days, but it had been limited to only exploring and listening new sounds. Things changed when I began to learn an audio programming language called Chuck, which introduced me to the concept of music synthesis. I got deeply interested in synthesis and it led me to dive into the area of audio production.

I’m very new to this area and have been learning through online courses, tutorials, articles etc. I’ve a system running Ubuntu 14.04 and it took me a while to understand and have the Jack audio setup working.

I want to keep learning and share them. Hope I get to do it through this blog.