My Musical Adventure

28 Apr 2021

"midi setup" (C) Maksim Lin 2021

In the beginning

It all started innocently enough with a my discovering Bob Nystroms post of a beautiful piece he had posted on Youtube (if you haven't checked out Bob's music on YT I high recommend you go have a listen, they are excellent!) and Bob's reply to me:

Bob tweet to me

So was it possible? Could I actually, in my middle-age, learn to make and play music?

Giving it a go

While music has always been a important part of my life and I enjoy listening to it almost everyday, I have to admit my musical education at primary and early secondary school was medicore at best and since then has been very minimal.

But I decided that I'd give it a go. I also decide that rather than try to cover all of such a enormous field of human knowledge, I'd focus just on what interested me right now: learning about electronic music, how its made and to see if I could use that knowledge to begin making some myself. Knowing I learn best by approaching up subject from its core principles and working my way up, I planned to do the same here.

Bob performing "Neonate" on Youtube

So instead of just purchasing a "groovebox" instrument such as the Korg Electribe used in the piece I liked so much and by others I've since discovered on YouTube, watching a few tutorials, then twiddling knobs and hoping for the best, I chose to start from (almost) scratch, learning about the basics of electonic music making via tool such as PureData, as well as learnign the basic of music theory from the likes of Andrew Huangs excellent explainer. Then using this knowledge, I wanted to build on it by building some of my own music tools, using my existing knowledge of programming, if not from not completely from scratch, than by combining many of the fantastic tools and libraries that I discovered others had already created.

The road goes ever on...

Now, several months into this journey, I've been through quite a steep learning curve and still a huge way to go. But I've already learnt alot and I plan for this to be an on-going series of articles (as well as perhaps some videos), where I'll try to document what I learn and hopefully share it with future walkers along this path of discovery.