I’m a guitarist – a rock guitarist. Played in several bands, write lots of music, and always stuck with anything that fits into that category. All my friends are into rock music, and some of my best friends currently play in a rock cover band. But here’s the part where it gets weird: I accidentally fell in love with synths.
It started about seven years ago. When I got into home recording, I didn’t even know what a synth was. I had a decent budget for my new recording setup, and after some homework, I bought Native Instruments Komplete Ultimate as part of my new rig. After a few months of playing endlessly with guitar sims and programming drums (just rock drums with Toontrack and Slate products), I finally decided I was gonna check out one of these “synth thingies.” I randomly picked FM8. I mean, I own it, right? Might as well figure it out. I was SO dumb, I thought “Hey, this is version 8, so it must be good, right?” So dumb. I purchased a course on Groove3, and started tinkering. Holy shit. Game over man. I kinda know my way around a keyboard, but without a guitar, I feel pretty handicapped as a musician. But the moment I learned how to assign a filter knob to my midi keyboard – and record that automation while I played it – I was done. It was almost as fun as playing with a wah pedal. It was awesome.
Then it just snowballed. Massive. Omnisphere. Razor (oh my gawd, I love Razor). Finally made my way to Serum. During all this, I started checking out tracks in different genres. I wanted to hear how all these synths were used. That sucked me into listening to tons of music I would have never checked out. Then I end up with a Maschine MK3 and a Jam. Suddenly I’m using a step sequencer and I don’t even know who I am anymore. Then I decided that I’m just gonna make my own album. I don’t even know what category it falls under. Some weird prog-rock thing. Rock with lots of synths. I decided there would be little (to no) actual rock drums. All kits and samples. No dragging in EZ Drummer midi loops. I gotta play (or program) them all. I’m making myself not use a guitar at all in several tracks (even if I worked out most of it on a guitar beforehand). I’m making myself take the path that no rock guitarist would ever go down. I registered a domain name, and still working on my “fake artist name.” Outside of my wife and daughter, nobody has heard any of it. Hell, they’ve only heard a little of it. I’m not even gonna tell my friends about it till it’s published. It’s totally secret stuff without my name anywhere on it. I don’t have to hear any elitest rock guitar snobbery about “dude, wtf is this?! What happened to you? This isn’t music!” Nope. I don’t ever stop and ask myself “Wait, does this sound like something the Foo Fighters would make?” Who cares? I’m Batman now. This is MY secret project that I’m making for myself just because I’m having so much fun with it. And through this weird path of discovery, I’ve learned an unimaginable amount about music production. I grew more during all this than I could ever hope before by just practicing scales and modes on a guitar with a click track (which was slowly killing my soul). I accidentally figured out how much fun music is supposed to be.
I’m Batman y’all. I’m in my Batcave making phat beats, shredding sick riffs, and pretending like I know what I’m doing (which I absolutely don’t). And nobody knows what I’m up to. It’s fucking awesome. You guys should try it.