Manually Adding Drums in Reaper, a Blessing and a Curse

I realized something guys.


I can’t deal with playing drums on a keyboard, both piano and computer.  Any time I tried to add drums with my VST through playing, it was such a headache to line things up.  Eventually, I just gave up on adding any drums to stuff.  That is, until I watched this video series on how to write a song in Reaper with midi, live instruments, and all that jazz.  The first step that the person took in the video, was opening up the piano roll and clicking in the notes with the mouse.


And that’s when it clicked!  No pun intended~


I can manually add things in with the keyboard and keystrokes.  So I started doing that, and boy what a difference!  It takes up more time of course, but for the most part for drums it’s more manageable for me.  It’s still a headache regardless, but it’s better than not using them at all.  I know it’s something I’ll get the hang of – have only been doing this method for a few days – and two major problems are having the notes completely line up with the time signature, and figuring out where the notes fall when you add new ones.  I’d love to be able to just add a ton of notes and then go across the timeline and add the midi information on blank notes in each bar.  Now keep in mind this may be highly possible, but as far as using it with the scripts I need to use Reaper I haven’t seen a way.  It’s just the learning curve thoUGH:  I just add one note to the next bar and then move said note around, kind of have to figure out how it works because right now new notes I add always wind up on beat 4 lol.


But it’s been nice!  I have just been making simple drum loops, and due to the nature of the original music I write, I copy and paste the loops.  Have to get the hang of that now too, but it’s a new method I’ve been doing after learning how and it saves a lot of time.  I don’t have to play and play and play the same thing over and over again, can just play one verse worth of chords then copy paste to the next verse, saves lots of time.  I’m a little nervous to record vocals to my new tracks for a number of reasons – one of them being I’m afraid it just will be a garbled mess of drums and strings and I have never done a non acappella original track with lyrics, so a bit of stage fright there.  It’s a little irrational,  I know, but just something I have to do and hope for the best lol.  Can always add more to it later!


I’m working on doing originals right now, and doing originals with lyrics and vocals, and VSTs is new territory for me.  That’s another reason I’m getting recording cold feet:  will my old originals sound as good the way they are now?  Is it all garbage?  Should I just suck it up and record (yes) it’s just one of those internal things I have to work through, and will.  I like to have all the music done first though, and still have one original to finish the instrumental for.  I’m like half excited half nervous about it, so yeah!


And that’s been my midi experiences as of late.  Music, and midi actually haha.  Fingers crossed I get all of these tracks done by the middle of April!


Ambient Fantasy is Available in Stores!

My newest EP, Ambient Fantasy is now available on all music platforms!  This ep is a 3 track cover album where I take 3 tracks from the Final Fantasy series and spin them to sound more atmospheric, and ambient (obviously).  If you’d like to stream or purchase it, links are below!  Doing either goes miles in regards to supporting me, and helping me be able to release more music in the future.  It’s not cheap to get these things out I tell ya what~





Apple Music






Google Play

Amazon Music


Hope you enjoy the album.  Up next, I’m going to be working on an EP of originals, so be on the look out for that!

EPs, Original Music, and an Overall Musical Update

If that title doesn’t say it all, read on for more of a break down!
I’m currently in the process of uploading one of the Final Fantasy EPs I’ve been working on for the past few months to online music distributers, and can honestly say I’m very excited to be done with it’s production.  I love Final Fantasy music, but working on copious amounts of it for as many months as I did took a bit of a toll on me.  It won’t be the last Final Fantasy EP of mine this year, but I have to wait for another album I’m contributing to to drop before I can release that one (a track on the EP has to be released on said album first before I can do what I want with it).  I’m really happy I pushed myself to make these EPs though, because they gave me the confidence, and format of how I want to do the rest of my EPs this year.


While working on my ambient Final Fantasy EP, I kept on trying to add a fourth track to an EP that already had 3 tracks.  For some reason, in my head, the EP just had to have four tracks:  probably because that’s how I always see EPs formatted.  But no matter how hard I tried, going through at least six, if not more attempts at arranging a fourth track, nothing was working.  I got frustrated, and almost gave up…until I thought back to an article I read from a DIY musicians blog that had talked about doing what they called a 3p – you guessed it, an EP with three tracks, instead of four.  Their reasoning was, because you can work on 3 tracks fairly quickly, experiment with genres, song writing, etc etc, and not be fully committed to making a full album.  You can then release that content, have things for people to stream and purchase, and in the mean time work on another project of yours.


And that’s when my arranging slump had ended.  Because I already had a third track recorded, and just had to add vocals to it.  But re-reading that article gave me the confidence to just go and make a 3p:  which, according to soundrop, is still an EP.  A single is 1 to 2 tracks, an EP is 3 to 4, and an LP is 5 tracks or more, aka a full album.  So that was even more perfect!  Now I have a huge weight off my shoulders, and am just waiting for the tracks to get on stores.  And, with that creative hurdle done with, I have so many other ideas for 3Ps, including originals I can group together in that format that I already have recorded, ideas for EPs that I didn’t have before because doing 3 tracks at a time seems to be the magic number for me, and is a really manageable  amount for me to work on at any given time.  I can do 3 tracks in a month, and have consistent content coming out, and keep my creative juices flowing.  All win-win scenarios for me!


Another awesome thing I can do now, is hire my friend to do art for me!  I am beyond excited to have the budget to be able to do that, and to have someone reliable  to hire for said art on an ongoing basis.  Getting art done is my least favorite part of the process, because I don’t like having to hunt an artist down, if I’m being completely honest, so just having an awesome friend that I’m glad to hire for stuff is a good thing 🙂


My next musical projects are a little up in the air.  I’m deciding between doing a spiritual hymns EP, or re-recording originals of mine and releasing them as an EP:  I wrote them back in 2015 when I had no virtual instruments, not nearly as much  composing knowledge as I have now, and my voice has definitely gotten better, along with my mixing and production quality.  So I would really like to revamp, revisit, and release those tracks.  I’ll wind up doing both eventually, but I’m just deciding which project to do first.  I’m leaning more towards the original redos, because that’s what I’m inspired to do right now (and I have album art done for it already I got done waaay back when I wanted to release the acappella version of one of the tracks  and chickened out lol).  I’m debating recording a third track with lyrics I’ve had written for years for that, or just writing an entirely new song for it.  The EP would be based on different stories about different warriors, is the idea I’m having so we’ll see if I wind up writing something new for it or just redoing stuff.


I really want to get back into writing original singer/songwriter songs with lyrics too.  I love my covers, but I also love writing originals, and I haven’t written a non VGM based orig in foreeeeever.  So I really need to get my writing chops back up to par so I can get back to that, I miss it tons – luckily, I came up with a chorus as I was listening to music tonight, so fingers crossed I can get that turned into a nice song!


A rather big post, but I’ve been busy music-wise.  I’ll post again when Ambient Fantasy is available to stream/in stores!  I hope all of you are doing well, and having a great year so far!

I found my favorite way to make Truffles!

So after the last time I did truffles, I’ve been looking lots into making chocolates.  I’ve learned a lot and am excited to try making a ton of fillings and different chocolates, even if I do think the difference between bon bons, and truffles is silly (I’ll still just make the filling and dip it in chocolate, if it has a different filling I’ll call it a bon bon lol).  But I saw on Wiltins website a recipe to do the truffle fillings with candy melts, and just had to try it no matter how chocolated out I was.


So today, since I also had some caramel sauce, I decided to use some of my candy melts and make that into a filling.  I have vanilla candy melts around the house, so the filling wound up being a vanilla caramel mix – which I also like better.  Chocolate on chocolate, the flavor doesn’t do much for me.  But the filling turned out perfectly rollable, and melting the chocolates was a breeze!  All of my video watching paid off 🙂


The last time I made truffles, rolling them in cocoa powder only was a bust, they melted because there was no coating to keep the soft fillings protected, and had to stay in teh freezer.  This time, I decided to roll in melted chocolate chips, and I’m happy to say after a few hours of being out of the fridge, they kept their shape!  And they’re so delicious – a milk chocolate outside, witha  vanilla caramel filling, yum!  I think vanilla brings out the flavors I prefer to be in fillings – like fruit, caramel, etc etc, so my go to filling is more than likely going to be vanilla flavored candy melts for both that reason, and they’re easy rollability.  I also like using candy syrups to make the ganache instead of heavy cream, for the same reason:  makes the mix thicker, and more rollable, and also adds a lot more flavor than just plain heavy cream.  When I did just heavy cream, honestly didn’t like how it just tasted like plain chocolate – so I guess I’m more of a bon bon person than truffle, since I read that’s really the only difference between the two (even though you can technically do the same technique for making both, as long as the filling is rollable).  Alternatively, If I wanted to do a chocolate center, I’d probably roll in vanilla flavored candy melts instead of chocolate, or butterscotch chips or something because I like the contrast of flavors.  But that general setup is going to be how I make truffles/bon bons.


Really excited I got making these down though!  In a way I like to make them.  It took a few times experimenting, but I think I have the way I’m going to make chocolates from now on set – can’t wait to do different flavors, I really want to try making a fruit syrup and combining it for the ganache!

Down the Truffle Rabbit Hole

For Valentines day, I decided to make chocolate caramel cups.  They didn’t turn out too well – weren’t sealed at all, and caramel dripped everywhere, so I thought why not use my left over caramel sauce to try and make truffles?  I was going back and forth about whether or not to do the cup or truffles, and after making them out of chocolate and caramel sauce, I’ve been truffle obsessed.  I can’t stop looking up different wayt to make truffles!  They’re so easy to make!

So at first, I had 1/4 of a cup of caramel sauce left and used 1/2 cup of chocolate chips to  have as my ganache to roll.  That one had absoutely no problems, was super easy to rol, coat, and delicious to eat!  So I figured, since I rolled those in cocoa powder, why not try dipping them in melted chocolate next time?  The caramel truffles had to say cold or else they melted, but having them cold I liked a lot better honestly – at room temperature, you couldn’t taste the blended fudgey awesome that was caramel adn chocolate.  I usually am not a fan of cold chocolate, but for those, I made an acception.


So I figure, try some more on Sunday Crystal.  You can use heavy cream, do the traditional recipe, and it’ll turn out just as great!  So I did that today, and…


They weren’t hard enough to roll.  I had them in the freezer for five hours, and they just weren’t rollable.  I realize now that I should have upped the chocolate in a heavy cream recipe, because heavy cream is probably thinner than caramel, but I figured at the time that I could just rolls them and it’d work!  But nope – no matter how hard I tried to freeze them, they just weren’t solid enough for said rolling.  Putting them into my candy melts while the melts were too hot was a baaad idea too, because it just made the chocolate melt.  So instead, I froze the candy melts for a while to see if that would work.  But nope again!  Like I said, they were just entirely too soft to roll or work with.
So, as an artist usually does, I improvised!  I mixed the ganache and melts togehter, instead of trying to coat the ganache, and it worked!  It didn’t keep the flavors seperated, but it did make a truffle.  Tasted like a black and white cookie sort of truffle with a soft center.  Since it was a test batch, I only got four of them, but glad I was able to figure out a way to rectify the situation instead of just be discouraged about the situation, which is what I’d normally do.


As much as I’d love the experiment more, and try a 2:1 chocolate to heavy cream ratio, I’m honestly truffled out!  THey’re delicious, but bo, are they rich.  The candy melt ganache combo wasn’t nearly as weet as the caramel chocolate ones, but they still were very decadent and full of ooey-gooey truffle goodness.  I thought it was really interesting to see that the ganache still kept it’s softer shape amongst all of the candy elts, and likewise, the candy melts got hard.  So, I think maybe if I upped the flavor profile in the ganache and made it stornger tasting, doing a truffle that way would work?  I’ll have to intentionally do one that way and see how it comes out to see!


I’m really enjoying making chocolates, and can’t wait to do more…once I take a break.  It’s me and my brother eating these because my Mom doesn’t want to get hooked on them, and I don’t blame here because they’re so god and hard to not just want to eat them all up after making them XD  But I definitely will be making truffles, and experimenting with them throughout this year!  Didn’t realize how easy they were to make~ I got a little discouraged about making them after the year befor elast and botching them at Christmas, but I think I’m at a far better place in my baking journey atm so I can fix things that go wrong, as I did today.


That’s what I’ve been up to in the kitchen!  I say I won’t be making anymore chocolate things, but my brother really wants some chocolate oatmeal cookies…
What have you been up to in your baking?  Would love to hear in the comments!

1000 Words Final Fantasy X-2 Fandub/Cover, Happy Valentines day!


I really wanted to do a cover for Valentine’s Day this year, but doing a traditional love song just isn’t my cup of tea.  What is? Video game music!  And since I’ve been on a major Final Fantasy kick, and have always wanted to cover this song, I figured why not?  Forget Eyes on Me, this is the true classic FF love song that transcends time!


I don’t care what anyone says:  I adore FF X-2.  It was one of my childhood RPGs, and despite it’s flaws I just can’t hate it, especially for giving us this gem of a song, and this gem of a scene.  I’ve always wanted to do singing fandubs, but never had the equipment to do so…until now!  So decided that this song would be my first one because it’s so iconically linked to the scene in the game for me.  It was tons of fun to do, and honestly, making music videos out of the game scenes, or just syncing up with where the song plays in game has been something I’ve been really enjoying…and I’m tempted to adopt it as my main video style, but we’ll see!  Not ruling out any video styles honestly, this year, I want my channel to be super chill 🙂
So yeah, hope you enjoy this cover/fandub!  And have an amazing Valentines day.  I’ll probably be making some cookies with left over caramel sauce from the caramel cup chocolates I made yesterday!  I’ll see you after I leave my sugar coma rotfl.

Learning to Use the Midi Editor More Efficiently in Reaper

Usually, when I have problems in a track, I re-record until I get it down right.  With a recent track I’ve been working on I tried that, and it just wasn’t working.  No matter what I did, there were still breif timing issues here and there, and it had gotten so bad that it just wasn’t worth trying to re-record.  So I did my second best option, using the midi editor.  And in doing so, I learned so much!


Before I only knew the basic controls of using the midi editor, which was making big jumps with my notes.  But through using the shortcut help mode in Reaper, I figured out how to move it by tiny lengths, and man what a difference!  I had always been annoyed by the midi editor because I thought you could only do big jumps, but now I see how much control it gives you to just go in and edit parts you don’t like.  There were a few sections that I would have never been able to fix via recording, and all in all the control I had over my midi notes was really exciting to be able to do.  It’s just another skill in my toolkit that I’m so happy I can use, and it majorly enhances my composing flexability!


I’m so happy I can use the midi editor to it’s full potential, now I see what people mean by midi being really easy to control and use!