Producing My First Vocal Recording

Producing My First Vocal Recording

I’ve been exploring my lyrics in Spanish, my first language. The reason for that is because I can rhyme and improvise better with it. My written and spoken English is more academic rather than metaphorical or artistic. I felt limited.

This process took several months of trial and error. I’m mostly self-thought on my music and production skills. At a certain point I felt certain guilt of investing so much time, money, and hours on this craft and not releasing anything to the world. While it is not a requirement, I felt compelled to share my music and change of sound since my old project Ernesto Delirium.

I remember that I wrote that Phantasiis was going to be a new project where I’ll focus on hip-hop, rap, and instrumentals. I’ve kept my word. However, this website wasn’t reflecting that.

Which brings me to this post.

Here’s my first attempt at producing a rap song made by yours truly. I’ve invested in a microphone and decided to try it, after much hesitation on my ability to create something different than a rough recording. I’ve used all the tools that I had available and mixed this song to the best of my ability.

It turned out decent.

To me this is huge as a self-thought music producer. It is a new milestone on my skillset. I’m working on some releases and writing lyrics as well. I’ll update you soon about it.

Happy New Year!

On New Beginnings,

-Ernesto

Words And Beats | Interview with Gene Katsuro

Words And Beats | Interview with Gene Katsuro

Hey friends,

Welcome to the first episode of Words and Beats with Phantasiis!

Today we are talking with Chicago based producer, Gene Katsuro from MakeYourOwnDamnMusic.

In this episode, we discuss Gene’s creative process and mindset towards music. We dive into how music shaped our lives and why we must save music and not the other way around. Also, we dive into the world of meditation and eastern philosophies on how our psychology affects our music output.

We also discuss mental health and touch base on our personal experiences and struggles.

This was a true honor for me because Gene was the one who motivated me to get serious about music and start releasing songs. I never thought that I will be interviewing him and I am thankful for this opportunity.

For more about his projects please see his links below:

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/HowToMak…

Imminent Chaos | Dark Emotional Beat

Imminent Chaos | Dark Emotional Beat

Buy here: https://bsta.rs/1b7c030

I’d like to share with you my newest beat on Beatstars. This one was an interesting one for me because I didn’t expect to turn this dark. When I started making the beat, I was envisioning a feeling of closure, a feeling of redemption.

It turned out differently.

Once I started adding the melodies, I instantly felt the desperation the sound was portraying. Imaging a feeling of sadness that happens when you know something inevitable is going to happen. Hence, the title, “Imminent Chaos”. It felt right to name it that way.

As far as the structure goes, I went to a fast tempo, 150 bpm with a half time feeling. I spend more time on my hi hat patterns because I feel that’s one of the areas to improve with my music. Also, I tried different patterns with the kick drum. I liked how it turned out at the end.

One thing I still need to be okay with is the 808 bass. I’m sure I will make them sound better. On this occasion, the whole mix peaks at -6db. I hope to hear what a mixing engineer can do with the stems.

Please let me know what you think of it. Constructive feedback is always welcomed. Feel free to use the contact form to get in touch.

Let’s Inspire and Create,

-Ernesto

Pandemia Y Desamor | Instrumental Beat for Sale/Lease

Pandemia Y Desamor  | Instrumental Beat for Sale/Lease

https://www.beatstars.com/beat/pandemia-y-desamor-88bpm-5658753

I’d like to start with some updates since my last post:

I feel back to normal from my severe insomnia that I had for months. Now I have a more structured day and normal hours. I’ve been making music regularly and I’ve reached a point where I decided to move forward to the next step with Phantasiis:

Start giving value to what I make.

That’s why I decided to make the first step and created a Beatstars account. I only have this song for now and I will upload some unreleased songs in the next few days. It’s a nerve-racking feeling because I never tried to sell my music, other than sharing my songs from Spotify or SoundCloud. I feel that I’m at level where I feel that my music sounds the way I like.

I have a creative project going on in the background for all of you, which I hope you’ll enjoy. I’ll write more about the details once I have a finished product. For now, it is a mystery (?).

On another note, I started to play my electric guitar again out of nowhere. Not necessarily creating something with the intention to record it, but just for the fun and the pure pleasure of it. I realized that my hands actually get sore now after extended play. I suppose it is time to do those stretching exercises (there’s some by John Petrucci on Youtube in case you’d like to do some, too).

Also, I’d like to share with you that this is my first week as a Graduate student. It is interesting how life as turned out. I’m working on becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist. I hope to keep you posted on my progress and stuff that I find interesting. I miss writing psychology articles, such as the one for Morita Therapy that I did a few years ago.

It feels good be writing for the blog again. I hope that you are doing well. As always, feel free to email me using the contact form with your comments or questions.

Let’s Inspire and Create.

To New Adventures,

-Ernesto

‘Ya No Te Conozco’ | [Video] Demo by Phantasiis

‘Ya No Te Conozco’ | [Video] Demo by Phantasiis

Hello,

Here’s a video of a song I wrote in July. It’s in Spanish. I hope that you like it.

I was having lots of nostalgia when I was writing the lyrics, and the music felt right. There’s times where I write the music first, and the lyrics follow suit. Other times it’s the opposite.

I have a feeling that sometimes when I’m in a flow state the song writes itself. Has this happened to you?

Let me know.

Inspire and Create,

-Ernesto

‘Estoy Tranquilo’ – Instrumental by Phantasiis

‘Estoy Tranquilo’ – Instrumental by Phantasiis

Hello,

Here’s a new beat that I made recently. I hope that you like it. I spent several days without making any music. I’ve been, however, playing my guitar and doing freestyles in Spanish to get a creative flow going.

I’m finally sleeping better and feel like a human being again. I feel that my body is still recovering from extended sleep deprivation. I’m feeling great nonetheless.

I feel that I’m making progress with my music. Perhaps not in quality or uniqueness if you will, but I do feel a certain change on how I make music. I feel that I’m finally have some sort of system going on. A process where I can hear the song in my head and translate it to my DAW.

I’m slowly but surely switching from using Mac to PC. Mostly because of school and software compatibility. I’ve been okay with the transition. I’m going to miss Logic Pro for sure, it is great for mixing. I like its workflow.

For now, I’ve been producing on FL Studio 20. I’m still working on getting to know the program well and I know just enough to create songs and do mixes. It’s a great software.

For this song, I’ve used XLN Audio RC-20 plug in. It’s my first time using it and I like how it sounds so far. Perhaps it will be a constant tool on future songs.

I hope that you are well.

Inspire and create,

-Ernesto

Phantasiis – ‘Summer Beats’ | Instrumental Hip-Hop Playlist

Phantasiis – ‘Summer Beats’ | Instrumental Hip-Hop Playlist

Here’s a playlist of several singles that I released today on my SoundCloud. For some reason which I yet need to explore, I didn’t want to release it. Perhaps it was a sensation of impostor syndrome disguised as procrastination. I had several songs finished and ready to go, and I still did not do the last step -the easiest one, release them- for several weeks.

I believe I got trapped in a ‘it still needs to improve’ mindset. From now on, I’m going to release more frequently and with less hesitation about quality. I want to release well mixed music, of course. However, what might sound bad for me, my be good for others. It’s all about perspective. I need to be okay with that.

I’m still having recurring insomnia and is getting into a point of frustration. I hope, that with better sleep hygiene and cutting on caffeine I can rest better. I’m revisiting some of books which discuss sleep and how to optimize it. If I get results from what I learn, I’ll share here.

Lastly, I have a question for you:

How often does it happen to you when you have a finished product of any kind, and self-doubt kicks in and you delay its release? I’m not completely sure is self-doubt most of the time. I think there’s something deeper than that. Who knows? Hence, the question. Please let me know in the comments section what is your answer. Also, if you liked any of the songs from this playlist below.

Thank you for listening.

The Summer Demos

The Summer Demos

I’d like to share with you a playlist with some songs I’ve made during the summer. I’ve been practicing and learning how to produce hip-hop. My goal is to produce the LoFi genre.

It has been an interesting and enjoyable process for the most part. There’s much to learn, and not much time on my hands. I won’t be as active on the blog starting next month.

I’ve got the opportunity to join a graduate program. I’m going to start a Master’s program in Data Science this September. Therefore, I’ll be focusing on school for a while.

I hope that you are doing well, and doing better each day. I wish you inspiration, lots of creative juice, and plenty of sleep. I’ll be missing the latter.

Thank you for listening!

To our success,

Ernesto

Mondai nai!

Checking-In

Checking-In

Next week is finals week. I’ll earn a bachelor’s degree in applied psychology. Last Thursday was my last lecture as an undergrad. I felt nostalgia. 

A chapter ends and another begins.

Many years and sacrifices happened to get to this point. Below are some questions that I’m exploring tonight. I would love to read your thoughts on them, too. 

1. Would you do it again?

2. What would you tell now to somebody who’s starting out?

3. What would your healthiest and smartest self would advice you?

4. What did you had to give up for to accomplish this?

5. What did you discover about yourself?

 Allow yourself to learn something outside from school or your trade. That activity could become an outlet to decompress from school or related stressors. Learning about music and reading non-academic books were instrumental for me. This semester was one of the busiest I had.

Somehow, I wasn’t as stressed as I thought. It felt as if I chose to not get stressed this time around. Peers and coworkers told me many times that I looked calm and zen. 

I believe that Morita Therapy helped me with that. I haven’t had anxiety symptoms since October. Reading the book gave me a mental frame to work with my emotions differently. Also, I read and almost finished Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport. I’ve been a fan of his works for some time now. 

Taking a break from social media a few months ago helped with my work and school output. I must say that I eventually returned, but my usage is minimum. I reached a point that I don’t mind not using it; at best I use it to share my blog posts and music, no more than that.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I’ve been working on some beats that I plan to release soon. Music has been an outlet to explore my emotions, creativity, and learning skills. I’ve been getting into producing sample-based music. You’ll notice a different flavor under Phantasiis in comparison with my usual style. 

Summer is around the corner, and with it more time to dedicate to the craft. I haven’t written here in a while, but I’m still around.

What’ve you been up to?

Hasta pronto,

— Ernesto

phantasiis – My New Music Project

Exploring new sounds and emotions through music is important to me. I’m revisiting lyrics and ideas in Spanish, as reflected on my last spoken word record. This turned into my new project: phantasiis.

This project of mine is going to be entirely in Spanish, my first language. There’s something in me that I want to share with you but I cannot express it the way I intended to in English.

The main genre will be hip-hop or something close to its core elements. Some songs will be pure instrumentals, while others will have either spoken work, or my best attempt at rapping.

I feel I’m ready to start releasing songs for this project. Ernesto Delirium will continue, but it will be intended for my guitar driven songs from now on. I believe I have enough of a blend of genres in my repertoire, and I would like to keep it consistent with guitar and spoken word.

phantasiis is going to be for my hip-hop and rap explorations. Also, I started a blog for that project, too. You can find it here. However, its content will be in Spanish.

I’ve already posted my first blog post, which is a letter I wrote to myself about forgiveness.

I feel happy with the way things are turning out for my music endeavors. I believe that phantasiis will explore my emotions in Spanish, whereas Ernesto Delirium will explore my ideas in English.

Muchas gracias,

-Ernesto

Music Updates And Recommendations

Music Updates And Recommendations

This winter break was supposed to be dedicated to the craft. I was waiting for it. Almost to the point of romanticizing it. I didn’t go as planned, however. I wanted to use the newest addition to the home studio, the Maschine MK3.

Maschine MK3
Going deep with this one during my spare time.

I have a project that’s in the works right now. I’m experimenting with lyrics in Spanish, after releasing my first full-length album. I don’t have an estimate of how long it’s going to take, but I’m happy with the demos so far.

Getting Maschine has lead me to the world of sampling. It’s interesting, and I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to apply it to songs, but I’m getting inspiration from YouTube and Instagram.

If you are in to sampling, hip-hop, and gear reviews, I strongly recommend you this YouTube Channel Accurate Beats.

Also, I recommend this blog to my readers, Jordan Hall – Music Journalist. Jordan has a background in production, audio engineering, and writes for various publications.

He has great content on hip-hop, sampling, vinyl, and interviews from music industry. His blog was one of the first ones I’ve followed, and I’ve been a fan since then.

Songs On Repeat: I have these two songs on my head lately. The first one is by the band Flunk, titled “Hello (Demo).” It’s an acoustic version of their trip-hop song. It just sounds good to me.

From their Album: Chemistry and Math

The second song is by Minthaze, titled “Stüssy.” It appeared on my recommended songs from Spotify. The moment I heard the first snare, I was hooked. It just has that right tone and mix on any of the speakers I have.

For those that love instrumental beats

Last Thoughts: I’ve been slowly but surely updating the website. Trying a new template and getting a readable design.

I’ve joined SoundCloud in order to reach out to new listeners. My complete catalog is soon to be uploaded on their platform. It takes a bit of time. Let me know if you are on SoundCloud so I can follow you.

School and work already started. I’m hoping that with this structure I can make time to write here.

Let me know what your thoughts in the comments, or through the contact form.

Thank you for reading,

-Ernesto