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About mikeastarb

  • Rank
    King Hippo (+15)

Profile Information

  • Location
    Berlin, Maryland

Contact Methods

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  • Biography
    I'm a recent Computer Science graduate (got my B.S. in May 2012). I'm currently working for a computer security company developing forensics tools. I've been a musician since I was 10 and played trumpet through my public school system. In high school I taught myself to play guitar, a little bit of piano, and a little bit of percussion. I have a knowledge of music theory and knowledge in professional recording environments and processes.

    I have a passion for making music, and a desire to make things that sound good but, something always seems to hold me back. I also have a beginner's level amount of skill on many instruments but, I'm not particularly fantastic at one specific instrument. I'm hoping that, over the next few months now that I'm finally done with school, I'll be able to learn how to better express myself via music and be able to focus and become better at the instruments I'm familiar with.
  • Real Name
    Michael Astarb
  • Occupation
  • Twitter Username
  • Xbox Live Gamertag
  • Steam ID

Artist Settings

  • Collaboration Status
    2. Maybe; Depends on Circumstances
  • Software - Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
    FL Studio
  • Composition & Production Skills
    Mixing & Mastering
  • Instrumental & Vocal Skills (List)
    Electric Guitar: Lead
    Electric Guitar: Rhythm
  1. I'll start looking for some Roland samples and see what I can find for free online. If you, or anyone, can point me in the direction of a good set of samples, or a nice soundfont for some electronic drums, that would really be appreciated. I'll also try adding some more effects onto those chippy sounds to make them sound a bit different from each other. I'm worried that adding in effects is going to destroy my low end but, it's all a trial and error process I suppose. Thanks for the reply, and for all the advice you've given
  2. So, I went back to the drawing boards with this one. In short, I'm still learning how to use my DAW and once I decided on the changes that needed to be made, I had realized that I had things set up in the project horribly and that it would be easier to learn from the past and start fresh. Anyway, there's a really detailed write up in the description of the song for what sounds I'm using and a little more about the composition and arrangement. I have taken into account a lot of advice I've gotten when restarting this project. Keeping the low end clear (or clearer to my ears) while keeping t
  3. Thanks for the suggestions everyone there still is a lot of work to be done here. Looks like taking out the bass synth wasn's such a good idea after all. I've had a lot of comments on the blandness of the synths so, I'm looking into making them a bit more interesting. This track is probably going to go back and get some new arrangement to keep the sound full but not muddy, then get some new Eq attention (now that I have a better idea of what I'm doing). I feel like I should know this but, what do you mean by atmospherics? Are you thinking that I should be putting in another pad or two or
  4. https://soundcloud.com/mikeastarb/brambles-chillout-room-wip-3 Took some advice from a few sources and this is where the track is currently. This is really the best work I've ever done and, to my novice ears, it sounds fantastic but, I know there's still room for improvement. Any suggestions or advice about where to go from here?
  5. You are right, its all synth sounds. I just don't know what the names of anything are :/ thanks for the advice though.
  6. Awesome! Thanks for such an in-depth review. Right now I'm working with side-chaining the bass to the kick. I have the two things panned left and right (the bass/pad/thing on the left and the bass/guitar/thing on the right so they wouldn't interfere with each other. I'm thinking I might just completely cut one of them to take some pressure off the low end. Any suggestions on that? Would the 75% pan still be enough to separate the two? How would you foreshadow that builddown? I feel like there needs to be a transition there but have no idea how to start that "this is going to drop off"
  7. Hey all, I've finally gotten around to getting a mix started again. I've done one WIP already and got some feedback on it from a few friends and now I'm ready to get things out there to the community and see what comes of it. Specifically, I'm really new to working with EQ. I've done some research online and read some threads about EQ over on reddit.com/r/wearethemusicmakers and I've got this track to show for it. I'm not sure how it sounds to others though. I'm working on a cheap audio interface with Skullcandy headphones and I'm not sure how the sound is being colored by those things.
  8. I like the intro! It does a lot to set the mood and I think it's a really nice touch. I would take out the music from it though and keep it with just the voices and swirling air. Something about the town music is just a little too... energetic for the rest of the track, if that makes sense. I really like the new instrument at 0:53, its the little things that make a track. Also, way to go on fitting in the melody! That's such a good addition and you did it perfectly. It's still a little short but, you've got so much more content now than you did originally. Now, what I'm left craving is
  9. I definitely think you should try to fit it in. It doesn't have to be note for note, or even have the same rhythm though. Between 0:35 and 0:48 (where you have the melody line come in kind of quietly) the song starts to build some energy. At 0:48 there's an opportunity to transition the chords to something new/different where you could fit a new phrase that has the other part of the melody in it. I've been in your position before where I've written something but it's short, and I feel like things just won't fit into what I already have. What happened with my song was that I got used to ho
  10. It was really nice to listen to! There should be more!! 1:44 is just too short. The part at 0:18 gives you a really nice backing track. I also like what you did with the part from 0:00 to 0:18; it's a good introduction to the sound and feel of the track. I think it would do good though to throw some more of the source melody (with some variations of course) in though because, for a while, I wasn't sure if I had the right link or not. I'm excited to hear what gets posted next!
  11. Very nice work. Things sound much better now I think you may have something ready to send out to the judges (or at least get a mod review)
  12. Gotcha, that will probably help solve some issues that I've had. My laptop that I'm using currently is a Dell Studio that's about 3 or 4 years old now and I've always had just a small but noticeable amount of delay between my key presses and the sound being rendered. Thanks for the reply!
  13. thanks for the reply This is what I do now but, I suppose it never occurred to me to shut down steam, skype, dropbox, etc.
  14. Cool, thanks for the reply. I've been making really not good music for a few years now and have finally resolved to take things a lot more seriously and asking questions seems to be the best way to learn (instead of my old "figure everything out myself" method).
  15. It's a question that's been on my mind for a while now but, how do you all deal with latency while recording from an ASIO device and when recording from MIDI? Do you cut down the buffer size temporarily and deal with the artifacts so you can time things correctly? Or do you record it without listening to what's happening and then touch everything up in post?
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