Spring Is Near

Hey Readers,

It’s March and that means Spring is right around the corner here in the northern hemisphere. I am ready. I’m tired of being cold all winter long and ready to be hot and sweaty all summer long. I’m ready for the longer days and more outdoor activities.

But, first, some updates.

Marketing Updates from Last Month

The marketing project worked out about as well as you might expect.

During the time when my song was actively pitched and playlisted, stream counts improve. This is almost entirely for the one song “Say Hi to Death For Me”.

Was this a success?

From the perspective of getting new people to listen to my music, absolutely.

The playlist that brought in the most streams was Techno Fiesta on Spotify. As the name may imply, this playlist seems to be primarily streamed in Spanish speaking countries.

Entonces, muchas gracias mis amigos españoles para eschuchando mi musica. Te quiero, amigos.

You can see it reflected in this chart that most streaming came from that single playlist. However, the 2% for listener’s own playlists and library is the most exciting to me. There are some people out there in the world that saved my song and listed to it outside the context of that playlist.

It’s nice to know that someone out there, someone that isn’t a close friend or family member, likes your work enough to listen to it again.

New Music Updates and Struggles

Here’s an untitled work-in-progress that I’ve uploaded to Soundcloud. You can listen to it, or not, while you read the rest of this post.

This song captures a more cinematic, ambient, and experimental style. I enjoy the song, particularly the shift in the middle of the song. The part twith the drums and choir. This song is not likely going to make the next album so I felt comfortable tossing it up on Soundcloud to embed it here.

Just a little proof that I’ve been working on stuff.

Anyway, I’ve been working on music like this song alongside house music. You know, something a bit more mainstream.

Some of that house music really feels like it needs lyrics. It needs singing, and structure. It needs to be more pop.

This poses a problem: I can’t sing. Correction, I could sing but I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t go well. As I have no training in how to sing and I’ve never tried. I do have a microphone so perhaps, one day, when no one else is around to hear – I’ll try it out.

How bad could it be?

I’m also not in a financial position to pay someone to sing. I generally don’t believe in paying in exposure so I’m not about to ask someone to do it for free either. Even if I could pay the singer, my home studio setup is not ideal for vocals – so then we’d be talking about renting out studio space somewhere. It’s more than I can budget for this.

As a result, I’ve been working with this plugin EMVoice. I’ll assume you are unfamiliar and tell you the basics. Essentially, you plug in notes, sort of like playing on the keyboard, and then you put phrases to those notes. The phrases are uploaded to their servers and translated to a voice. On the EMVoice side, my understanding is that they recorded a number of actual singers and then broke those recordings down into the smallest chunks possible.

So what you get is real recorded voice, reassembled to match your phrasing and pronunciations. From a pure tech perspective – it’s pretty amazing. It hits all the high points: functional, easy-to-use, and affordable.

Though, I have to admit, the plugin seems wonky at times and the voice it produces is as good as your ability to program the notes. It’s been a lot of experimentation on my part.

In one potential song, I feel it’s pretty hard to tell that it’s a fake voice. In another song, it’s so obvious as to be distracting.

It’s probably my fault. Maybe, I’ll write more about this as I work with the plugin more and try to put lyrics to more songs.

Coming up with lyrics is also a challenge.

Trying to tell a little story in the span of 3 minutes and then breaking that story down into individual syllables in order to map those to notes for the fake voice to sing away? Yeah, it’s time consuming.

And I’ve said it here before, I’m not much of a writer. I’ve tried to fill that gap with two things:

  1. I’ve asked for help from my partner who is a talented writer in my humble opinion
  2. I’ve done the same thing as everyone else, asked ChatGPT

Working with ChatGPT / OpenAI to come up with lyrics is a touchy subject. I’ve talked about using AI in my other blogs (here and here) but to recap, it’s another tool in the toolbox.

The way I’ve been working with it is generally like this: first, I have a thought about what I want. Typically, this is a phrase or two and a style. Then I go to OpenAI and ask for lyrics using those phrases for a song in the style I’m playing.

I take that output and edit it to better match my style, melody, or feeling. And then, the EMVoice part which admittedly takes me a very long time to get done.

Wrapping Up

Anyway, I’m glad to say that I’m working on some fun stuff and I’m going to try this lyrics thing out. It might cause some delays in getting my music done but, that’s okay. I just want to make it the best that I can and put out more music that people like enough to save to their libraries.

As soon as I know more, I’ll post it here, so stay tuned!



P.S. I’ve mentioned before that I draw and do other art things too. If you ended up here because you like my work and are looking for a way to support my endeavors – well, you can buy something other than my music in my shop. Check it out here.

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