Rough Edge Loop

This is a down-tempo electronic loop that uses distorted bass, synths, drums and harp. Gritty, in a minor key, and mysterious. It makes a perfect loop at 44 seconds. It's my first song of the week, and I may or may not submit it. This is one of those ones that just comes out, but I can't help but wonder if it will make it past the reviewers. Not that it's horrible, it's just hard to see a commercial application for it.

I'll probably just leave it on the hard drive unless I can't make my 5 song quota for the week. I'm hoping that the next things that come out will have a little more curb appeal to them.

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Week 6 Scorecard

All 5 of last weeks submissions have worked their way thru the queue over the weekend, and it was a mixed bag. 3/5 made the cut - not a stellar week, but I'll take it.

The Pizzicato String Loop, Oriental Journey, and Ukulele and Marimba Theme made the cut, The Metro Strut and Free Range Organ didn't. That brings the summer total up to 19/27. I'm not setting the world on fire here, but still on track to get to 175 items for sale by the end of the summer. If it takes 5 submissions to get 3 in, I need about 13 submissions to get there. With a little extra effort, maybe I can get there by mid-August.
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Ukulele and Marimba Theme


I took a few days off for an extended weekend trip to see the video games live concert in Baltimore, but I'm back in the saddle. I can see that I forgot to post my last submission before heading out, so here it is.

This is a short, mellow children's theme song. It includes a 2 second audio tale, but if you truncate it to 32 seconds it loops well. I'm calling it the Ukulele and Marimba Theme and categorizing it under "children's music." 'Cause that's what it sounds like.

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Free Range Organ

My wife tries very hard to keep the family eating healthy - non GMO, organic, free-range, you name it. I sometimes thwart her efforts and annoy her in my charming fashion - "Now waiter, is the salad made with free range lettuce?" - but I do appreciate her going to such lengths to keep her family healthy.

"Free Range Organ" is a sad attempt at a pun. Somewhere out there, there is someone in a situation not unlike my own that may snicker. Or not. Yet I insist on my little puns, even if I am the only one who ever laughs at them.

Oh, right. Here's the song. It's my 4th submission for week #6.

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A good week for milestones!

I reached another one today, my first $150 month. I love how it happened, too - someone bought an extended license for a 10 second audio clip. It was this one.



Someone decided it worked well enough for a project to spend $27 on that 10 sec. audio clip. It's nice when that happens.

I'm not sure where to set my next milestone. $175 makes sense, or I could just set the bar at wherever sales end this month. I'll decide next week. Time for another trip for ice cream. Maybe I should consider that continued success on these milestones may affect some other personal health goals. But I figure even people trying to lose a little weight can eat ice cream occasionally, right?
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Oriental Journey

I composed this one with a slow and peaceful journey through the orient in mine. It's calming, relaxing, and meandering. It's the sort of music I would like to hear playing in the background if I should ever walk through a zen garden over the little bridge that crosses the koi pond.

I did this one because I have never actually tried anything like it before. I don't imagine it's the most authentic sounding oriental piece out there, but it's how a middle age white american THINKS oriental music sounds, and sometimes that's exactly what you want. Who needs the confusion of authenticity when you can just crank out a sensible cliche'?

This is song submission #3 for week #6. #4 is already "in the can," but I'm saving it for submission tomorrow to spread things out. The longer and more often my studio icon sits on the main page of AJ, the better.

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A couple small milestones

I checked a few small goals off of my list this week. This week I managed to knock these off...

-25 sales in one month
-At least one sale every day in one week
-A single item getting 20 sales

Celebrating the small victories takes the sting out of the rejections. I'm also approaching another milestone goal I set - $150 in sales in one month. I'm not there yet, but I've got a week left, and am getting very close.

A lot of these goals don't have much to do with action on my part, but I have them anyway. Kind of like the achievements in video games, they give me things to be encouraged about. Some goals I set for the summer that it's time to get working on....

A 100% ESX24 sampler song - My second submission of all times was a song I knocked off to experiment with a new Korg sampler. I did a whole song with nothing but a water bottle and the stuff inside it. It has actually become one of my best sellers over the years. The ESX24 is a software sampler built in to Logic. It's actually much easier to use than my Korg, and is pretty fun to mess with. I'll start working on something similar with this soon.

A song with vocals - I tried one, but it was rejected. There is a lot of irony in the fact that the guy who spends the majority of his life working with choirs has so rarely ever submitted songs with voice in them. My house is often just too noisy to record in - that's the excuse I use. I haven't given up yet. I gotta get this one checked off to maintain some self-respect.

A song made with drum loops created on Ableton Live using Push - I've learned enough about this program and the controller to get stuff done at this point. I'm just being lazy. It's so much easier just to knock stuff out on the software that I already know so well. It will take longer, but it will be good for me. The whole point is that it makes you think about how you write music differently. I need to shove myself out of my own comfort zone to prevent myself from being an old dog who can't learn any new tricks.

Those three are enough for now. I actually have others, but it's time to just pick one and get my butt in gear. I'll post results on ONE of them next week.
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Week 5 Scorecard

Results are in from week #5 submissions. I got 3/5 this time around. The "Accordion Duet," "Whistle & Ukulele Loop," and "Harp Boys & Chime" all made it in. "Clav Dance" and "Spy Vibe" were both politely rejected with a form letter. Se La Vi.

My running count for the summer is now 16/22. The more times you're at bat, the more often you're likely to get a hit.
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An experiment was carried out....

As a possible solution to the "September thru May" issue of music storage, it occurs to me that I actually have a good bit of storage space for this website that I don't really use. So what if I try hosting some of my OWN songs for a change, rather than farming everything out to Soundcloud? What if....

So here is a short loop that I just knocked off to experiment with. It's actually submission #2 for week #6, although I haven't uploaded it into the queue of AJ just yet. I'm going to upload a batch of three tomorrow. It's uncreatively named the "Staccato Strings Loop." I'll bet you can guess why without even listening, but please do anyway.


Staccato Strings Demo

It's not as dance or pretty as Soundclouds player, but it does the job, right?
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Soundcloud....full?!

I never thought that it could happen, but I guess it has - my free Soundcloud account is finally full. I have uploaded two hour's worth of music to that account.

What do I do now? I hate to shell out the cash for an upgrade. It's $6/mo or $55/year, and would take me up to 4 hours. My profile says that I have 49 people following me and have had 43 plays in the last week. Hmmmm.

Cost/Benefit analysis: Not exactly setting the world on fire with followers and there are hardly any comments. The 43 plays in a week statistic is actually pretty surprising. I have absolutely no way of knowing if anything I post on Soundcloud ever leads to an actual sale.

A recurring $6/mo fee seems steep considering the way I use the platform - it's just a storehouse for my files so I can generate links to my website. This website is more of a journal than anything else. I haven't made any honest efforts to ask anyone to read it. It turns out that I kind of stink at social media.

Solution - pay for August and quit. HolyHammer Audio is basically a June-August project. I'm way too busy dying the school year to crank out 5 songs a week. I can't even manage the tiny branding clips on a regular basis. After I try it out for 1 month, it will freeze out future uploads (unlikely to matter until next summer), and I'll lose access to my oldest songs (and I don't care.)

Next summer I can either clean out old material to make room for the new stuff, or buy 3 months instead of the whole year and see how they handle that. Sounds like a plan. I'm glad we worked this out.

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