Bleep Bleep

John Scalzi

Did you know (and its attendant corollary, do you care) that you can take the AI Drummer tracks in Logic Pro X, transmute them into common MIDI, put entirely different sounds on them, and then load them up with effects and filters until they’re entirely unrecognizable? Which, uhhhh, is what I did here, for a track that would not entirely be out of place at a club, although whether an actual DJ would play it is another matter entirely. Once again, I don’t claim to be a good musician, just one who is keeping himself amused as he learns new things about his music software. Also, I named this track “Bleep Bleep” because it leans rather heavily into bleepery. If you listen to it, you’ll know what I mean.

Incidentally, you should know it’s perfectly fine if my bleepage (and other musical stylings) interests you not at all. It’s amateur stuff! It’s not gonna be classic. And if nothing else you’ll be in good company; my Spotify artist stats tell me that in seven years of having music up on the service (the new music from this summer plus my Music For Headphones album, which I put on the service in 2015) my stuff has garnered a grand total of about 4500 streams. Which, fair! This is not even a side gig; it’s the hobbiest of hobbies. I’m having fun with it, but that’s not the same as saying what I’m making is going to grab anyone other than me.

It’s fine if it doesn’t; for this, I’m my own best audience, and when I listen to the stuff I’m making, I’m mostly hearing all the things I need to improve upon. All of this is practice. For what? Making slightly better composed and produced music in the future, I suppose. Which will still probably not be listened to by anyone but me and a few other folks, Which, again: totally fine. Love your hobbies, even if you’re not good at them. Being good at them isn’t necessarily the goal. Being engaged with them and getting joy from them is.

(Also, that art is what came out of Midjourney after I put in the prompt “John Scalzi with a French hat and baguette.” It’s not a particularly good likeness, either of me or of a baguette. AI art still has some work to do.)

— JS

12 Comments on “Bleep Bleep”

  1. Very cool!

    Back when I was a code monkey, this was approximately what I’d listen to while working. Yours has a bit of a faster tempo than my usual tastes, but yeah I like it!

    8.5/10 would code to it

  2. I don’t often comment but I love your musical explorations and it makes me so happy that you’re enjoying yourself with them! One of the things I love about living now is how much more accessible computer music is than it used to be when I started in the ’90s – you no longer have to be a gazillionaire to afford a DAW or decent sampled instruments, etc. Anyway, I find this track really catchy and hope it’s okay that I used the download option so I can enjoy it offline. :)

    I haven’t worked with Logic in years (I’m currently a Cubase user) but I knew this sort of thing was possible and I’m excited that you’re experimenting with it – for more fun, you can do things like create aleatory/pseudorandom music by processing MIDI with e.g. computer code. (I used to edit MIDI files BY HAND in a text editor because Reasons and am so glad I don’t have to do that anymore, hahahaha.)

  3. First impression is, opening credits to a B movie set in Africa. Which, I mean, Tarzan and all, okay. (Johnny Weissmuller era, to be sure.)

  4. Hey, John! It’s Sunday, you should post about the church again, make it a regular Sunday thing!

    Music via computer is amazing, really!

  5. I liked it. It sounded to me like something that R2D2 would sing if he were a vocalist with the Cantina band.

  6. Nice! I heard similar stuff in some of the nightclubs in the video game Mass Effect. I had your track on in the background sweeping my kitchen this morning. It made a tedious daily chore better.

  7. [Deleted because off topic. If you have errata to send to me, email is the best way to do it — JS]

  8. “Love your hobbies, even if you’re not good at them. Being good at them isn’t necessarily the goal. Being engaged with them and getting joy from them is.”

    There are moments when you express exactly (and with superior adeptness) exactly my beliefs… Have a awesome time with your music creations!

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