Thursday, 29 December 2011

Almost the end of 2011

Hmmm, where to begin? Today I set up the DJ station back in it's home and I'm currently listening to an 80 minute mix I've just finished piecing together. It has no name yet and I'm not sure I'm going to upload it. I probably will.

What's new? Boxing day has come and gone and it was our annual 'Dance Off Your Turkey' gathering. It was a success! I thoroughly enjoyed playing my 90 minutes of dnb, then a further 30 minutes of some Minimal Techno / Tech House. Sorry to those who wanted more dnb, but it was a predominantly Techno affair. May be next time I can make more allowances.

What else? I bought a sound card. A Numark DJ iO off ebay. £51 I think it cost and has served it's purpose very well so far. If I didn't get it I wouldn't have been able to play my set on Boxing night.

In the week prior to the party I recorded a few mixes whilst I was ploughing my collection. I uploaded them to mixcloud where my mixes seem to be being received much better than previously thought. Thinking about it, I might just enter today's mix into the DJkit competition. Unlikely I will win, but it could be my time - who knows.

Today I'm noticed my mixing is quite good. I'll let the audience decide, but that was my observation. Embarking upon 4 deck territory might be a good proposition I might put forth to myself.

I quit smoking after my last blog entry for approximately 32 days. I didn't mix for a couple of those weeks. I also couldn't decide if I was going to attend Dance Off Your Turkey. Becoming depleted of intoxicants can play tricks with the mind! In the end I went, as mentioned, however I did relapse on my cleanse which I'm not chuffed about. I'm going to get clean and stick with it.

If got a regular job about to start in the new year. First one for a while. I'm actually looking forward to it and earning a wage. There's so much I want to get done this year of which most requires a financial outlay. This job will open doors.

There might be other stuff to report but I'm still clouded from the other night. I just thought it was time I posted something. I'll update this entry with links to all my recent uploads.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

I didn't include a comment about the 'Chaka Kahn' mashup/remix that I was messing with at the beginning of the month. I saw the DISCO HOUSE PRODUCER COMPETITION and considered entering it until I saw there was a catch. Entrants had to purchase a Sample Pack and use something from the pack in their production to be considered. I'm not that much into producing to spend money I don't have on stuff I don't need. I acquired the sample pack through other means to see what I might be missing. Seems I wasn't missing anything - no disrespect to the creators, I'm just not that into producing that I need sample packs nor is the midi controller best equipped to trigger samples while playing a set.
Ain't Nobody (GKP Remix) - Chaka Khan by GKPMusic
The above track is the result of playing with the Hed Kandi samples and loops. Obviously I got carried away and mashed far too many sounds together. If I didn't do a final re-edit, it probably would have been ample. But I went for it and applied another layer of sounds to the tracks detriment. Now it's a mess! Doesn't matter, I wasn't intending on entering it for judges scrutiny so it's all good. My most recent mix recording was churned out yesterday afternoon. I've called it 'Home Work'. It's a nice flowing house mix that was a pleasure to put together. Since very few seem to like or listen to my house / electro / breakbeat mixes on house-mixes these days, I haven't bothered putting it on house-mixes.com. I should really, as it's where my mixes are presently most likely to be played. I think I could find a better forum for posting this style of music where these genres are what the listeners crave. House-mixes seems to have a large dnb listening community, but on the other hand my house style mixes are probably lacking in something special.
This time I used slightly more effects than I normally would and it's actually helped to fill in the transitions whilst tweaking at the drops. Check it out, you might like it!

Monday, 7 November 2011

I think it's winter, brrrrrrrr!

djkit® October competition now over. The word is that I was in the final few. Wasn't a winner this time. None of my 7 attempts were satisfactory enough for me to be crowned victor.

As a result of venturing into the realms of mashing up, re-editing, looping and fx, I've since spent more time working with samples, instrument loops, and building tracks using traktor. I can now see how a midi launchpad styled interface would be a sweet accompaniment to softwares such as Ableton Live.

Although a new controller would have been a nice addition to my set up, there's every chance that I'm going to get Ableton. I'm just not sure it will fit comfortably on my netbook. An additional monitor might be required. Saying that, I'm not sure the spec of my netbook is enough to run Ableton. All will become revealed.

I got involved with the development of another track with shotty. A dnb track at that. I'm yet to mix with it but it's a good track in my opinion. I didn't have so much input in the dubstep track which followed through lack of interest in the genre for the most part. However I have been scouting for lyricists to spot a few bars on this track, and possibly on future tracks if the lyrics fit the style and aims.

This dnb track is titled 'Bustin Out', which adds to the electro house 'Jack on Crack' and breakbeat 'Decapitation. The three styles that I mix the most.

'Mad With It!' scores highly on the play counts over at my House-Mixes profile. 1235 is today's standing with 206 Downloads. 'GKP - Moon Days (2011-10-24)' is not doing so well with just 33 plays and 2 downloads.

Monday, 24 October 2011

GKP - djkit® October Comp (2011-10-23) [v6]

I've been addicted to working on this competition entry of late. I haven't been at it daily but when I have been working on it I've spent quite a few hours with the bass up and the cans on.
GKP - djkit® October Comp (2011-10-23) [v5.2] by GKPMusic

I tried my hand at a version 5 but it was way too noisy. I was bordering into the realm of 'overkill' with all the different noises clashing. In version 5.2 I added an extra 5 tracks to the existing 6 from version 4. All mixed, cut, chopped, looped, FX'd and balanced as best I could accomplish at that moment in history. It was not as tight as I could have got it if I had decided to spend another day on it working from scratch. Much of this style of mashing tracks up is experimentation. I've not done much of it but now I'm kinda getting a better ear as to what I'm supposed to be hearing. My EQing is getting more effective than previous too. If I re-did version 5.2 and made every element as "tight" as can be then I could probably get a good 15-20 tracks on the go at once.

Or maybe not! Version 6 is playing in my cans right now as I type this and it's 9 tracks deep. It has the tightness that I've been been wanting. The components had to be 100% spot on. I'm quite happy with this one and don't think I will be making a version 7 competition entry. My next mashup will be a version 1. I could potentially create a library of mashups with a view of creating a mashup mix that's 1 or 6 hours long. These competitions have been a shining light as they've prompted me to pull out all the stops. It's not even about the winning or losing. I've learned a lot about my mixing ability and areas to improve. I wouldn't ordinarily be focussing on this level of perfection - don't get me wrong, these mixes are not perfect, but as every recording improves they get a step closer to being great.
GKP - djkit® October Comp (2011-10-23) [v6] by GKPMusic

This particular mix gives me some satisfaction about how far I've come since January 2010. Fair enough, I don't have hundreds of gigs under my belt, but what I'm learning about how to treat music when I'm playing it has been worthwhile. Maybe I should develop my own style of presenting music. DJing is versatile and there are lots of ways to deliver music.

Any way, this version 6 is 9 tracks deep and still a similar length.
Track List:

• Speakerz Bumpin Loud (Filthy Rehab Remix) - Soul Puncherz
• The Flying Cat (Original Mix) - Cold Blank
• Strawberry (Original Mix) - Roman Sweet
• Together (Jay Mocio Remix) - E Royal, Tom Twice
• Jack on Crack - GKP & shotty.co.uk ft Jackson 5
• Disco Dancer - Fast Foot
• Riverside (Original Mix) - Sidney Samson
• Everybody Is Coming (Original Mix) - BSD
• Knobbers - Crookers

There are 31 entries or there about at this current time. I feel threatened by a handful. I actually want to win this on the grounds that I've busted the BCD2000 and could do with another controller. Sounds like the big guns are coming out as this competition draws to a close. Glad I've done another mix and didn't stick with the first thing I churned out. There again, some of these entries are some prehistoric mixes. I can't say I'd plough through any of my previous stuff and put it up as an entry. That's not really taking part. Never mind ehh.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Drawing 2011 To A Close - Early!!

I went on a job hunting frenzy the other day with a plan to re-engage my financial flow to full throttle. I think I've had a long enough break from the daily grind now for the next 40 years - ok maybe 24 months would be an easier duration to strive towards. I was facing a potential clashing of events. Any one of these jobs could have come through and possibly could have required me to commence grafting immediately. I'd pre-arranged studio time to get back to work on 'Jack on Crack' and possibly start another new track that would go toward the EP. Any way, I imparted this news to shotty, the man with the studio, and said in advance "there is a chance I could be offered a job and that I'd be cancelling any musical arrangements we'd made without notice if such a thing happened." I let it be known that I was more interested in immediate employment than whatever other mediocre choices were before me. This information was well received and understood.

Several job applications later, on the day I was ready to leave town, and moments before my lift arrived I became the recipient of a job offer. It was a fairly decent job offer that ticked the right boxes for me. Problem was my lift, to my imagination, was already en-route to pick me up. My mind was already operating in the language of music and I forgot about sticking to my guns and priorities. In hindsight I should have totally cancelled the music stuff and pursued the job offer. But as Mr Wheeler says "You win some you lose some, make the next one count". So now, being a little bit pissed at my former decision I've decided to put employment at the top. Music is very much taking a back seat. In fact, anything to do with anyone except me is pretty much history. I'm all out of favours therefore those who would benefit from my assistance are fresh out of luck for the foreseeable future.

GKP & shotty.co.uk ft Jackson 5 - Jack on Crack (I Want You Back Remix) by GKPMusic

Right, that said, Jack on Crack did receive some level of finalisation. It's changed again. I don't know if I like it anymore. shotty made some amendments that I'm not sure about, and I'm not sure about the break loop thing at the beginning. I haven't played it since I've been back so this track would probably benefit from being mixed a few times. All that was wrong with it has been rectified, namely the quietness, but now it could be over kill on the volume. I simply cannot tell in the studio, the speaker set up must be crap. The new additions are not all perfect, and I don't recall playing a significant and practical role in the recent level mastering. To be fair my mind wasn't there much of the time. Not only was I drunk and stoned I had this niggling thought about this job in my head. Not much else to say regarding bringing JoC another step closer to finish. I actually do not want to spend any more of my time on it.

I recorded some video footage of some of the production process. Accumulatively I have around 3 hours or there about. This means I need around a whole day to go through it and give it some editing. Chances are I won't, but I will probably hang on to the footage as it can go with all the other archived footage I've managed to accumulate.

A new drum and bass track started to take shape on day two. I've been empty for ideas for weeks so didn't really contribute much. Must be stated that I did provide an acapella given to me by Max 'Emayex' Henson called 'Pow'. They were grime lyrics and needed to be slowed down a hell of a lot to fit this dnb track in the making. After a few hours I was a little too mashed to throw many ideas out so I carried on drinking and smoking while bearing witness to what was unfolding before me. Now and again I contributed something but not much. I shan't be attaching my name to this dnb track, if anything I should become a solo producer if that is where I want to go.

Friday was party time. I brought the BCD midi controller with me even thought it's a little bit busted up. It worked eventually. A few recognisable faces turned up to part take in the spirit of things. Well done! Any how, I played a few choons, nothing much. All I recall is everyone leaving at around 2am which was pretty much when I got on the controller. I can't remember much but I do recall everyone leaving when I started playing some house/tech house/electro house styles. Actually, lemme amend that, I did manage to play a pre-recorded mix - 'Mad With It' and it managed to play before any one buggered off. Oh well, fuck em! It only cost me the price of walking away from a job to be there that night, what have they got to be grateful for? Exactly, nothing lol!!!


I was fortunate to be graced with the use of an external sound card during my time away. It was a Numark DJIO. This small bit of kit made a heck of a difference. The standard 44.1kHz quality was immediately blown out of the water with this cheap and cheerful 88.2kHz jobby. It did make me think again about the importance of sound cards. Not having anything to compare the BCD to perviously meant I didn't give it much thought beyond a new external sound card would make things sound better. Little did I know how much better. I would certainly consider on of the soundcardless controllers and a top of the line sound card. Problem is DJ booths aren't always massive and spacious and real estate is a commodity. The more good features that can be crammed into one unit the better. Hopefully a new Traktor Kontrol S4 will be out soon incorporating the missing features that users have requested.

Next blog entry may feature a short mix featuring JoC, the latest clean version - not the soundclouded version. I think I shall get on with this tomorrow afternoon after spending the morning on the job hunt. Hopefully I shall receive a new offer of something even better than what I rejected and had I not rejected it and endured Wednesday to Saturday I wouldn't have got it. Gotta remain positive :)

Standby for Jack on Crack mini mix tomorrow.

Oh one thing I want to add is the last mix I uploaded "GKP - Mad With It! - 2011 09 29" is currently at 979 plays :: 159 downloads :: 14 thumbs up :: favourited 19 times. This is the most attention any of my house mixes uploads have ever achieved so I'm quite chuffed. *It's still rising!*

Thursday, 6 October 2011

GKP - djkit® [16Min] '#2' (2011-10-05)

This blog entry has been edited a few time with numerous recent additions - last edited 2011-10-19
GKP - djkit® October Entry (2011-10-05) by GKPMusic

Moving forward with trying to produce a stable piece for the October djkit competition has been an interesting ride. In the first few attempts I mashed together a few tunes and played the resulting mixes a few dozen times each. Something wasn't right. Too many noises at the same volume clashing, not enough definition between each blended loop to name but two issues.

Going back to the drawing board for the forth time allowed me to produce the above short mix. I removed all (most/majority) of the bad elements that I identified in versions 1, 2 and 3 and also purposely selected particular tracks to work with for version 4, whereas the previous three attempts saw me using a random selection as well as too many of them.

All together there are in the region of 20 loops from 6 tracks. I've listened to it many times since recording it and already thinking of ways this could be better. I'm happy with it nonetheless and my mashups can only get better. As of 2011-10-19 there is now a youtube version of this mix with the usual visualisations (below).



:: The Flying Cat (Original Mix) - Cold Blank - 130.00bpm - House/Electro :: Speakerz Bumpin Loud (Filthy Rehab Remix) - Soul Puncherz - 130.00bpm - House/Electro :: Strawberry (Original Mix) - Roman Sweet - 128.00bpm - Minimal / Techno :: Together (Jay Mocio Remix) - E Royal, Tom Twice - 128.00bpm - House/Electro/Funky Tech :: Disco Dancer - Fast Foot - 128.00bpm - Electro/Dance :: Riverside (Original Mix) - Sidney Samson - 126.00bpm - House/Electro :: Final record bpm 133.522

EDITED: 18th October 2011

There are many good submissions flying in and October's djkit competition is getting tougher. I'm going to need a nice draw of herb and some intense sunshine to get my next entry finished and sounding sick (haven't started it yet by the way). I'm a little concerned about the amount of entries that have broken the rules. Some sound very good and are only a second or two over the limit. However, I asked djkit 'How much tolerance is there with the 20 minutes?' and the answer was:-

"It's a 20 min limit. You can go under but not over. The idea is we regularly have comp's without rules or restriction's, this is a change for a month due to the prize being one which has a creative focus on fx and re-editing capabilities. The idea is to get you to work harder in a shorter amount of time on the idea of restructuring tracks via sample,looping, re-editing, fx etc. Sorry to hear that that gives a headache with your set up, you never know it may help you uncover newer creative ways to set it up! "

If djkit stick to their rules then those mixes that go over by even a second may be disqualified. The rules stipulate that entrants can go under but not over in response to my tolerance question. This suits me down to the ground because I read the rules immediately and got clarification before making any assumptions. I feel I could win this be default even if my mix is a little woolly sounding.

Let me jog over the competition description once again,

"..we want a 20 minute creative mix to showcase your creative use of fx, sampling, looping, re-editing .. any genre applicable. Simply paste the URL of your mix on our Facebook page also include what equipment / software you have used make it..."

The other rule being broken is that few entrants have listed their equipment and software. When the rule breakers are added up this leaves very few legit/eligible competition entries. Hmmm, I'm quietly confident but don't wanna get big headed since I've lost every competition up until now but I feel the tide shifting. Best of luck to everyone nonetheless, even if I lose I still enjoy taking part as it helps me learn new things about mixing.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

- djkit® [16Min] 'comp-entry' (2011-10-05)

After going 'mad with it' and with and element of 'forward distortion' I've since found that my controller repairs have not been 100% successful. Appart from only having 1 earphone working, I hadn't noticed much else until I set up outdoors for the second time and realised only a single side of the master out was working. Due to the way I have my amp set up I hadn't realised this sooner. On the plus side I can still record but this would be no good in a club having only one channel.

It's competition time again with DJkit®, and this time there is a prize that I could do with. The competition description reads 'October Mix Competition to win American Audio VMS2, we want a 20 min creative mix to showcase your creative use of fx, sampling, looping, re-editing .. any genre applicable. Simply paste the URL of your mix on our Facebook page.'

At first I thought I hadn't a chance because of the effects that are readily available with the current mapping. It's complicated so I won't go into it but it boils down to not having enough buttons and knobs. Although as I type this I'm thinking of a possible way around the issue by remapping 3 buttons. It's certainly something I will look into. I've worked on a mix 'GKP - djkit® [16Min] 'comp-entry' (2011-10-05)' over the last 3 days and finished it today. The first attempt was ok. I could feel where I wanted to go but a single error spoiled the show. The second attempt still carried the same error so I wasn' best pleased. Which bring me to today's effort.

I think I'm giving it the 'ok'. It's definately an area of DJing I could spend more time. Here's the link, see what you think (turn your bass up - it's bass driven)



:: ? :: Anno 99 Dole and Kom :: Bukkake Beyonce Super Flu :: Out of Space Prodigy :: Mama Satisfaction Benny Benassi :: B Tone Benny Benassi :: Don't Smoke DJ Deekline :: Mars Fake Blood :: Everybody Is Coming BSD ::

{{Sorry - I've confused myself with the dates, this all occurred since the beginning of October, I don't know why I've put August on everything}}

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Late Summer ..

What can I do but talk about the weather. Just when I thought the whole of 2011 was gunna be various shades of grey, there was a break in the clouds on Tuesday. I mean literally! The weather has been pretty good without a cloud in the sky.

At high noon on Tuesday I set up my booth in the back yard and did a good 3 hours of practice mixing under the sun. It's the first time I've set the gear up in the middle of the garden and cranked it up, but I really went for it and it brought with it a new feel for dropping a mix.

I didn't want to make a complete mess of it because I was in ear shot for a good 100m radius, possible tapering out over another 75-100m. That's potentially a lot of ears of my neighbours and passers by so I treated the situation with respect :)

When I retired from the great outdoors I reconfigured the set up and laid down a recorded mix since I hadn't recorded any of my out door efforts.



I went through similar motions on Wednesday and my immediate neighbours we out in their gardens. I did't ask if they enjoyed it. I simply assumed they didn't mind; I know them well enough for them to shout across for me to turn it down.

Today I got busy with a Drum and Bass mix. I'm quite please with it. My D&B collection is getting the same clean-up treatment as my Electro House at the moment. It's showing. No outdoor mix today though, wasn't time on top of other duties and labour but here's what happened.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Tapping Out .. But not KO'd

Feels like it's been months since I last recorded and uploaded a mix and made a dedicated blog entry. I tried to play some D&B and Jungle but I wasn't quite getting into the tempo. Maybe next time I hit record I'll be in the 170-180bpm zone, who knows?. I can't force these things lol. I'm either there or I'm not unfortunately.

I ought to spend more time with my D&B and Jungle tracks to be fair. I loved Jungle as a teenager but I don't seem to play much of it while mixing, which is a shame because I actually favour it more than these dance/clubby beats. I think the reason I don't dig into the up tempo box much is mainly due to me learning how to mix and blend with relatively slow music of which I have a fairly large amount. I've accumulated quite a lot of it.

Also, the DJs that a first had the opportunity to play back to back with played mainly Techno, Tech House, Breakbeats and Funky Breaks which was all around the same tempo. I wouldn't have been popular ruining their live streaming if I constantly increased the bpm by 30 or 40 every time it was my turn to spin a hand full of tracks. So there was an element of compromise. It's not at all bad because playing back to back has formed a major part of my intense learning. It also forced me, quite early on, to move away from pressing sync. The pressure was certainly on to manually beat match which I've gradually picked up having been forced to synchronise with vinylists and CDJ DJs. It's been good practice needless to say.

So onto today's mix. Eleven (and a half) tracks of some beats I haven't really included in any previous mixes. While the BCD controller was out of use I attempted rearranging my Electro collection and discarded quite a few tracks that I thought needed to be rejected. So this mix consists of those Electro beats that I decided to keep. Admittedly, I haven't had the chance to play some of them in a mix before so much of this was on the fly. I didn't see a point in playing the same old tunes that must be sounding quite familiar in my mixes now. This is not to say I've discarded those gems that I love to play, however the rearrangements have enabled me to better categorise what I've got.

I should endeavour to somehow separate my vocal tunes a little better. The voice clashing doesn't sound good in most cases. Also, I should start to consider the 'key' of the tracks I'm playing. Any how, that's enough rambling for now. I leave you with 'Tap Out v.1' - I think it sounds ok, or as good as I can expect having not put the headphones on for weeks [a little dubious about the kutting at the start but I calmed my pants eventually]

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Out of Action ...

A whole month without a blog entry :( I must be slipping. I started typing this last week but for one reason or another I've only just gotten back into the authoring seat. Here we go ..

There is a better clip on youtube showing the disassembly of a BCD2000 but embedding is disabled [here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqQaSbsQVqY]

NEW BCD2000 Upper Front Top

What's been going on then? The most notable event was Saturday 27th August where after a few too many beers I wasn't careful and pulled the BCD2000 midi controller off the surface it was sat on via a cord wrapped around my foot. All I remember is getting up from my pew and yanking a cable with my foot and the crashing sound of a controller hitting a hard surface. So my DDJing has been out of action since then until today (15th Sept).

NEW BCD2000 Upper Front Bottom


When the controller first hit the floor all that went through my mind was "it's fucked" .. It couldn't have been very fucked though because it was still plugged into my netbook and tunes were still playing. After placing it in a recovery position I tried a few controls and things still worked but then I noticed the Master Volume and Headphone pots had had their bezels pushed in which meant they probably got hit pretty hard on impact.

BCD Upper Front Top (2011[1])

I carried out the cosmetics immediately even though it was around 1, maybe 2 a.m. at the 4HF Studio. Cheers for the tools shotty, even if there was an element of reluctance on yor part. Unfortunately the problems were beyond cosmetic. The impact of the potentiometers hitting the ground caused component damage :( Turning the Master resulted in an extremely loud crackle which was totally unacceptible. Likewise, the Headphones volume control also delivered a very loud crackle to the cans which was very annoying. I don't think it's possible to DJ a set without using these controls at all, so the problem had to be solved.


BCD Upper Front Top (2011[2])
I left it a week before attempting the intricate desolder job and dismantling of the faulty components. Friday the 2nd of September was where it all went skewed. I removed, repaired and re-inserted the Master Volume pot successfully but after testing I found that the Headphones pot was still faulty. This was a bit of a bummer because the soldering job that I did was a mess considering I've worked in the field of electronics in a previous life which demanded a high level of soldering skills. Removing the component a second time might have damaged the copper track and this was what I was dreading. I got to work with my huge shovel tip soldering iron which admitedly in hindsight was the totally wrong iron tip for the job. The damage I anticipated happening, happened. This was not a good sign.

BCD Upper Front Top (2011[3])

To cut a lengthy story short, I've had to improvise and attach jumper leads to the component in question (2011[3]). With a little bit of tweaking I've been able to get the controller working to a satisfactory level. I was on the verge of fully replacing the controller and still have it in my mind to acquire some new kit. It would be nice to get another 9 months of play out of this BCD before giving it back to it's owner. Oh, by the way, I told the owner exactly what happened and how I planned on fixing it and/or replacing it. Seems there are no hard feelings and there's an acceptance that accidents do happen, even involving me.

I'm now in position to churn out a mix. I've spent some time refining my track collection while the controller has been out of use. I've moved a lot of tracks around and have arranged for some to be deleted. I'd like to bring the amount of tracks down to a managable 1000 or so, but the varying genres is what keeps the numbers high. This will take much more work as it's not easy deciding what to keep and what to kick.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Aside from Music..

I just like to drop a few comment on another subject.

Big up to Ayo and your new ventures with HTC. I remember a while back (almost 2 decades ago!) when you and your bro had matching mountain bikes and it's amazing what you've done to take mountain biking to the next level.

I've seen the HTC videos on youtube and from what I hear you and your crew are now the face of HTC Detour :: Get on your bike for life ..



I see you've got a little bit of the limelight in the Detour making video too


Best of luck with that. It's sick that you've been able to take your mountain biking hobby and interest to another level. This just shows that perseverance and honing in on one's talent can lead to un-thought of opportunities.

Don't forget to fire up those 1210s from time to time cuz because more opportunities might arise still. Big up!


Jack on Crack & Kilo of Haze

Well I did draft a blog entry at the beginning of the week but it seems I never saved it before rebooting my laptop, so I'll start again.

Warm welcome and Happy Friday to those who tune in to my blog to check out the evolution of GKP Music and my mission to learn how to DJ.

Last weekend I caught up with http://shotty.co.uk over at 4HF Records HQ. The time spent was excessivle fuelled by liquor and herb. I'm not advocating the uses of illicit substances but it's my life and from time to time my decision sways in favour of being intoxicated to some degree.

I arrived on the Friday and checked out some musical projects that shotty had been working on up to that point. We briefly discussed the twists and turns of the evolution of shotty's talent to produce and where he's currently at with regard to what's in development. All I can say is "good things" are on the horizon for this guy. His music is sounding better and better. It's refreshing to still be in the midst of people who have a desire to succeed at that which they put a lot of time and energy into.

The last time I was at 4HF HQ would have been October 2010, which was probably the first time me and shotty set up and DJ'd back2back but we had an audience at his studio - that was good :) [lol]. I must admit, the first time sounded very messy for the most part and I kinda wondered how the second time would compare. More on that!

It wasn't long until we reached a respectable level of altered conciousness before ideas for working on our second co-produced track began to surface. I played two of my mock up drum loop efforts that I had been working on previous, to which I don't think shotty was impressed lol. I quite like DJing Electro House and like the sounds that resonate from such tracks. So from this point we sat infront of Cubase and began building a tune from the bottom up after deciding on taking the House/Electro House route. This is not a genre that shotty usually works with so it was an interesting move.

Starting with the all important drum arrangement, we proceeded to grow a track. I was very keen to create a Michael Jackson remix of a sort, so we developed this track to be a Jackson 5 remix. I won't go into too much details but this track was great to work on. Many of the techniques used are what shotty has learned and nurtured for many many years. This enabled us to complete most of this track, upto around 75%, in one sitting. Apart from moving, resizing, adding and removing a few bits and pieces as well as compleing the vocal synchronisation there was very little to do during the second bout. Respect to shotty on that front, I don't know what it's like to work with professional producers at branded studios but I imagine it to be quite similar.

We reached the 75% mark and put the producing to rest temporarily and then hit the decks. We did an hour or two of back to back, which at first sounded muddy, but we quickly came to an arrangement that removed all the clashing. We agreed to record a back to back set the following evening after finishing the track in production. Cool!

Track finished, 8 red stripe, 1 Magners, and possibly 2 bottles of wine, as well as copious amounts of spliffage later and we were quite proud of the new track. It then came to naming the track! I won't go through the potentials but we settled on Jack On Crack simply because it's Michael Jackson with a hint of the classic Nutcracker. That's it, nothing at all to do with anything else - remember where you read it first lol!!

On shedule we laid down a mix on Saturday evening which turns out to be one of shotty's podcasts featuring guest DJ GKP, me!! It was a good 90 minutes of mixing a tune each. Compared to the pracitice session and our first back to back session a year prior, I think we handled it quite well not to mention the level of substance abuse, namely alcohol, up to this point. The back to back session is up on house-mixes. I thought about adding it to my ustream archive as a podcast but simply haven't gotten round to doing it yet.

Podcast clip featuring Jack on Crack in the mix

I arrived back in Brum on the Sunday after taking a detour via Global Gathering to pick up Charlotte, Emma & India. That was a mission and a half and after drinking a bottle of cider en route and chonging a bit of weed my mind went to another place - No I wasn't driving!. All I need add to that is that I needed to lay down for a few hours once I got back to base :/ shotty's fault, I didn't mean I wanted a keg of Magners! Just the smallest bottle would have been ample after heavily indulging for the past 48 hours and skipping breakfast.

Any way big massive respect!
And to round off this latest entry I'll quickly talk about my latest solo mix upload to house-mixes. It called 'Kilo of Haze' as I certainly felt like I had consumed just that upon starting this mix. I love it. It's my cleanest sounding mix ever! Not to mention it features Jack On Crack as a lead track in poll positioin. I thoroughly enjoyed putting this one together and working very hard on the transitions. I certainly want more of this to shine through in future mixes. I'm very happy because I can still demonstrate to myself how well I am doing in terms of manifesting what I'm learning about DJing. August is the 18th month marker of the beginning of my learning on how to DJ. I'm confident I've been using my time constructively whilst ironing out the many creases along the way.

Oh, and there's a chance I'll be dropping a few tracks at 2Ba:Bu's upcoming house parties; one this month, one next month, and then there's the all important Boxing Night event Mark II which is also in the pipeline. If I can play 3 blinding hour sets for the remainder of the year I'll be ever more chuffed with how much I've developed my ears & eyes for DJing and they would be excellent milestones having been hard at this DJing lark for 2 years come January. I might even then go on to get a real DJ slot someplace - but that's not important yet. There's still much work to be done in my opinion.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Funky Breakage

Keeping in the spirit of trying to get a mix sounding better I bring to you Funky Breakage. This is another mixed that I've gotten to work on after a quick flick through and star rate of my Funky Breakbeat selection. There isn't much in it to be honest and it's not got a hell of an amount of Funk in the Breaks. But maybe that's where I should start focussing when I choose music.

Now it's not only about going for what I like as much as what I'd like to DJ with.

I got into this set and it could have been a full hour. I let my desire to spin 'Decapitation' in a mix get the better of me where it wasn't strictly a god idea. There's certainly nothing Funky about 'Decapitation' nor 'Countdown' .. So basically I ruined the end hahaha .. I've gotta laugh at myself for rendering these silly mistakes at the end of a mix. I'm downing tools and on my way to do something else in my mind before the last track drops.



That's the mix, but I've also had a go at my remixes and mashups again.

I reworked an earlier mashup featuring Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby and a Benny Benassi Remix of Outkast - Ghetto Music. Too much rushing for no reason :( It could sound a hella lot better than it does. Maybe when I'm inspired to do another mashup it will be tweaked in all the right places.


What else? I've been playing with Hydrogen Drum Machine again in Linux. I rearranged some sequences and built them up to time when exported to wav and mixed a Michael Jackson acapella over the top.

I did it a couple of times with a couple of drum sequences. I then added some other sounds by playing another track over one of the drum/vocal recordings. It sounds rather messy but I know what I'm listening for and given the chance I'd re-work this in a proper studio with someone who knows what they're doing. Better still I can get to understand my levels even further and produce multi-layered smooth sounding mashups and remixes. After all, it's not strictly true that one has to spend the Earth on hi tech gear - the idea should be master and exploit what ever is available until one can go no further :)

At the moment, a finished mix leads to thinking up a name and rendering something in the way of artwork to accompany each mix. Any remix or mashup being uploaded is also subject to having accompanying moving graphics to make viewing the track on youtube slightly more interesting. Wouldn't it be nice to be paid to do my hobby on a day to day :) This processing of events takes hours. Then blogging it and posting links to uploads is also time consuming.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Altitude Problems

I was indecisive about recording a mix so I went back to the task of sorting through my collection. I thought I'd make a start on the Techno folder and see where it got me. I've been able to separate some of the various Techno sub genres and put them into my preferred new categories with added star ratings. This operation still requires fine tuning because I'm sure I'm going to continually be shuffling tracks around.

I was going to play some of my dirty sounding Techno tracks that I've managed to quaranteen but I thought I'd stick with the lighter side and play a few Tech House / Techno tracks and save the dirtiest til later :) Besides, there's still a fair few tracks to sift through so all in good time. Check out this mix. I've had to encode it at 128kbps to reduce the file size for Mix Cloud. Hi Quality version is over at House-Mixes.

dnb

I was scrolling through some of my older uploads on House-Mixes and came across one of the few attempts that I took at mixing some old skool jungle tracks back in November. This upload has had little over 400 plays and I wondered why so I played it for the first time in months. I listened to it a couple times and then decided I was going to have a bash at churning out an up tempo mix.

I dug into some of my newly arranged Jump Up Drum & Bass tracks and managed to pull this off.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

The Broken Sequel (Re-Boxed Mix)

Yesterday's attempt at rendering a mini breakbeat mix with a similar level of listenability as "House Be Boppin" tripped at the first hurdle. It didn't sound to bad but I wasn't as satisfied with it as "House Be Boppin". So I mixed it again today and think I've achieved a simple goal of smooth transitioning almost throughout with satisfactory use of level controls. I think the mix breakdowns are appropriately placed and of a fair duration. The build ups are nicely presented too.

What does it lack? Flare! It's just a mix at the end of the day of other people's manifestation of art (music) .. Besides blending two tracks there's not much of my own stamp being placed on each mix. Accessibility to Deck effects when activated by the controller kills access to the Deck EQ which leaves only the mouse and maybe the keyboard. I do what I can with the mouse but it's doesn't sound nearly enough lol.

For now I'll continue to try and hold a mix together

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

House Be Boppin ..

A long time has passed since I've recorded a mix with the sole purpose of focussing on evolving what I've leant so far about the sounds of music and digital DJing.

I recall describing one of my earlier mixes as "Schizo" to a listener. Even though all the tracks were breakbeat, there was too much change of flow of which none were pleasant to the ear. I've had to pay more attention to how a mix begins, carries, and ends which means having a much better understanding of my track selection. I've since made good use of the star rating system and lately I've spent time re-categorising my track collection.

I was needy of sub-genre categorisation to ease and speed up my selection process when flicking through tens, maybe even hundreds, of tracks and cueing the next tune. So I've started to work through and sort everything by flavour. So now for example, instead of looking at all of my favourite tracks in each genre, I can sort by vocal and non vocal tracks to ensure that I don't get voice clashes which sounds awful at best. Better (or automated) control and less time thinking about track names, more time working on the blend. I also found that a lot of my tracks lost the assigned information after my last clean install so I'm having to go through each track to modify and get the ID3 tags written.



DJkit launched it latest competition to win a pair of Novation Dicers at the beginning of July. Entry is as simple as submitting a mix. The criteria is Summer Tunes. So whatever your take is on what a summertime mix set should sound like will be listened to and judged. Yes it's a difficult one to win because whoever determines the short list is ultimately in control of the winner. So to some people a mix might be the best they ever heard, whilst with others it might be the worst. Challenging!

With the competition in mind and some newly sorted tracks, I decided it was time to stop streaming every mix for a moment and get back to mixing 100% focussed on the music and not being diverted to check the thing it still streaming every 30 seconds. I dug into the newly formed house folder with new ratings and dropped eleven tracks in 35 minutes. Am I pleased? Getting there. I've submitted it for judging. I don't mind winning or loosing, it's the taking part that counts as well as being able to get back to recording a mix with nothing in mind but delivering as higher level performance as possible.

Must have been lucky, or just in the zone.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Hit 'Record' my yout!

A long awaited mix has left the stable this afternoon after a conscious effort to not make too many errors. I was locked in the zone for the most part and now that I've spent time getting to know the dynamics of my track collection I'm able to get more out of my transitions. The few major errors are a good sign in all honesty, they indicate to me that I'm still persevering to push the performance boundaries and try different things that I'm uncertain will work. I'm also trying to move away from the text book errors, but considering I haven't read the text book I'll still be falling into traps I should otherwise be avoiding. The cool thing is being able to manage disasters and sort them quickly which I think this latest work of art accomplishes.

I've named this Monday musical fix 'Victims of Circumstances'. Tashism raises the question "why do we imprison so many victims of circumstances? it's heart breaking! instead of reaping what we sow, we throw them behind bars" .. This one's for the 'Victims of Circumstances' in the pen and over the wall.

So there are no live events in close proximity featuring yours truly along side the 'Off Your Turkey' Squad. Too bad! Or probably a different window of opportunity in disguise.

What else happened? I've busted my decade old cans and need a new pair. I've seen some that meet my criteria so I'm going up the music shop at the weekend to have a look and hopefully try them out before purchase. If funds can stretch I might even walk away with a new controller. For an entry level piece of kit at the right price the Vestax VCI range could be replacing this trusty BCD by next week. I'll have to wait and see how my budget weighs in later in the week.

What else? I thinks that's the lot

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Nothing to report!

I've not made a set recording for quite some time. Admittedly I did hit record when I started broadcasting a few days ago but things didn't quite work out so I stopped recording the mistakes. Sods law meant that after stopping the recording everything went according to plan.

Since this getting on the internet broadcast wagon I've been experimenting a lot. Getting used to controlling the levels to prevent distortion in the stream has been a challenge. It's been sounding fine to me at the booth but the stream has been sounding a little off at times. I think I'm getting to know the boundaries therefore allowing me to stick to mixing. Another issue has been having the stream drop out, restarting it as well as trying to stay in the mix.

I'm now streaming 24/7. I was being throttled last night and this interfered with my connection speed. After leaving the stream running for 24 hours already I've found that drop outs are actually few and far between and it's usually another computer on the network sharing the bandwidth that causes it. For the next fortnight I'll attempt some continuous streaming. I've cued my playlist and I'll be constantly streaming my 2010 mixes as well as more recent ones as I get them out. I'll drop in with the odd live mix, but could do with scheduling a regular 'Live' session and see if anyone will listen.

I should be brushing up really. I've not been working on tightening up mixes any more than playing lots of tunes for an hour or two. There seems to be potential interest floating around with regards to throwing another event, or two, maybe three. Who knows, I might get a set, so I'm going to have to work on some good shit lol. If it doesn't come to pass, it doesn't matter because I'd have worked on my shit and tightened up the loose bits.

Nothing else to report besides trying to acquire some appearance uniformity in the appearance of this blog, youtube, twitter and ustream channel .. This blog is going to have to grow a bit more to become the focal point instead of having multiple satellites. Combining all mediums that I work with under the code name GKP is becoming a necessity.

Hopefully I'll have added a couple of new mixes to my personal archive and house-mixes profile over the next week. I might even acquire a couple of new tunes of the heaviest kind and remodel how I approach laying down a mix. Getting into producing is becoming a vision as I play the same sounding tracks over and over. But I'm not inspired to make anything right now.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

EssexBeatz

Given the chance I think I'll take it. Last evening the opportunity arose to play a slot with EC1 & 2Ba:Bu on essexbeatz.co.uk. I don't know much about this station but who cares? I was going to broadcast on NoMI Radio's Ustream account half an hour earlier but doing 3 way back to back was a much better offer.

I don't think I did too well regardless of the zero listener count. To this hour I still think there was a significant time delay between what was in my cans and what was coming out of the monitors. It make cueing and blending a tad strange but I might have just been overtly intoxicated at the time and what I was hearing was not happening.

Any wayz, big up EC1 & 2Ba:Bu for the good session!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Evolving My Blog

I haven't made a blog entry for some time. So, musically, what's been happening with the evolution of GKP Music?

I took a short break, of around a fortnight, from DDJing a couple months back. I needed a moment to reflect on my journey so far. I needed to gauge the direction I needed to take in the next phase of my learning.

While taking some 'down-time' from mixing I opened a youtube account and flicked though and favourited a few clips. I took some time to have a look at what the DMC champs were up to which also gave me insight into other aspects of deck-creativity.

Since getting back to learning the ropes, I've been putting even more effort into beat-matching b2b with a vinyl DJ. It's hard work keeping a digital track in time with a vinyl track (or even two vinyl tracks) while trying to cue up a second digital track. I've found my mind has to be focussed on numerous different things at once which started off quite a challenge.

I've also re-embarked upon some level of producing. I've taken a fairly reserved role so far in an almost exclusively observational capacity, which wasn't what I had in mind. I'm getting to see how Ableton Live could be of future benefit to me which again prompts new ideas of how I can evolve my DDJing interest.

I'm still uploading mixes here and there. I've entered two competitions via facebook to win DJ equipment after submitting a mix each time. Not winning was a foregone conclusion but it's been worth entering as well as seeing who won and what allowed them to win.

The latest mission has been broadcasting online. NOMI is a label in the process of being set up. Part of the concept involves NOMI Radio, which has been set up using Ustream. I've therefore started using Ustream to broadcast online. As you can see I've embedded the Ustream player within this blog.

Today I realised the broadcast quality of my hardware configuration is poor. I think I can get round it for £30 but it's not a major priority. But still, it would be nice to broadcast at the best quality available as I've spent a fair bit of time ridding my track collection of hairy sounding beats.

And last but not least, I've updated my blog as much as I can stretch my mind to conceive for today

Friday, 7 January 2011

First Friday, 2011

Greetings.

I managed a 150 minute masterpiece yesterday. This is how I want to start my mixes in 2011. So far I've only been able to listen to the recording once. I'm currently on my second play and it's sounding 92% faultless. This is partly what I've been striving for! A consistent set with a good flow. I can't wait to get it online to see what listeners think. Even if they don't like it I wouldn't be disheartened because I had a lot of fun putting this set together :)

I decided to break it up a little but keeping the same kinda theme happening. The idea was not to have a boring set but one filled with a couple of treats. I evolved the set through breakbeat, minimal techno, progressive house, house, electro house, tech house, techno and back again.

I'm tempted to jump on the 1s and 2s right now, but I think I'll finish listening to this latest recording. For if I am to continue evolving my learning I need to pay close attention to what I'm doing. It's also very important that I get involved with another gig. Looking up at the crowd to see how my choice of tracks impacts them is the next thing I need to work into what and how I play for public consumption. At the moment I'm exclusively playing what I want to hear. But this has to be fused with crowd response when playing to an audience. Maybe I'm wrong? I'll find out as time progresses.

Stay tuned for my upload "coming soon". You may have noticed that my embedded house-mixes player doesn't work (now fixed). This is due to the site changes. I'll await communications from the site administrator before I go about rectifying this myself somehow.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Entry time again ..

I've been absent from the midi controller lately, but all is not so gloomy.

Since my last blog update I've uploaded another mix. It was a 2 hour mix set compilation of Tech House, Techno and Electro House. It was the last recording I laid down back on the 20th December 2010 before myself and 2 others threw a boxing night party. The mix was called 'Fucking Snot' with some accompanying artwork of a child crying with a stream of snot pouring from his tiny nostrils. Needless to say I was asked by site Admin to rename my set so I gladly obliged as well as changing some of the texts used on the artwork.

The following weekend was party weekend and all went a good as could be expected. We got our venue for free, our 5k sound system at a flexible cost; we brought our own decks and I brought my loaned control surface. We had 8 or 9 Djs in the house. Besides the sub zero temperatures outdoors and treacherous driving conditions as well as rail strikes, we threw a great boxing night party for our guests!

We couldn't have planned for things to have gone better considering none of us had been involved in putting a night together. The hope is that we can continue to deliver a few more events throughout the year, each one better than the previous. The ball is in motion.

Back to the mixing. I had a technical hitch on the run up to party time. The crossfader was failing on me in a bad way so the night before I did a clean install to no avail. I hoped for the best and set up my equipment on the night with my fingers crossed. Just beyond the half way point during my set I had severe hardware failure. The crossfader was fucked! Afterwards I decided it was time to buy a new crossfader. I must say, from time to time I did abuse it and wouldn't have been surprised if it had broken internally!

I stripped the BCD200 down and de-soldered the VR. It was caked up with dust. I took the VR apart and cleaned all pieces with some alcohol based cleaner and cotton buds. I put the cleaned component back together, re-soldered it and ran a test. It turns out the problem was just an accumulation of dirt within the crossfader component. It's now back to working like a dream.

Unfortunately there was little need for a reinstall even though it has now been done. I think I will need to re-stripe all of my tracks. All of my settings were saved before formatting so I haven't lost anything at all apart from the track stripes. The analysed BPMs had been stored so I was able to mix right away. I'm now trying to sort out the latency issues. The output sound seems a little scratchy at times and I'm sure it's a latency issue causing it. This should be easily rectified over the coming week.

I haven't uploaded for 2011 as yet. I've made a couple of hour long recordings but I don't want to add those to my online collection :( .. House Mixes, the website I use to host my uploads, has under gone a 2011 transformation. It is a vast improvement visually, but there are numerous teething issue that many users are being faced with. Much revolve around broken links. While the site Administrator is getting the snagging done I'm going to refrain from uploading.

I'm now in the process of finding another party venue. We don't have an interest in making money from the events which is both good and bad. It's good because our common interest is putting on great parties, which should happen every time, but venues, transportation, tickets, flyers, lighting and sound does not come cheap!

That's your lot for January 5th! I'll update any links I need to add above at my leisure :)

I forgot to add: I've had a couple of B2B sessions with Dj 2Ba:Bu on the vinyl decks. It's been an interesting transition going from DDJing to dropping someone else's vinyl. If it wasn't for the expense and numerous other factors that I find a nuisance about vinyl I'd endeavour to become a vinylist. Right now I thinks it's best I stick with what I'm learning. Many of the skills are transferable only the feel is kinda different.

That's definitely your lot! :)