OMNIVERSE Album Drops Today!

My newest album, OMNIVERSE, drops today! This is my first full VOCALOID album, and features twelve original works and one cover song. Over the next month or two I plan to share more background information, release a few more single versions, and create more promotional materials like lyric videos. For now, let’s just get directly to the music!

 

So, obviously I want to get this music into as many ears as possible, so please like and share, but also let’s get some conversations going. Comment on the things you like, and even things you don’t like! Ask me questions so I know what you’re interested in learning about. I realize that Vocaloid is new for a lot of people, and I’m more than happy to share what I’ve experienced in my limited time working with this fascinating technology.

Also, subscribe to things! Especially YouTube and Bandcamp. The numbers help, but also, these are usually the places things will show up first. Videos go up on YouTube hours before I start announcing them or blogging about them, and Bandcamp has actually had the album live and available for sale since Friday, because I upload directly to them, instead of going through a distribution service like I do for the more popular services.

And while I’m on the subject, sometimes people ask me if I have a preference regarding which service they purchase/stream from, and that’s an easy answer: Bandcamp. They give me the biggest share of the profits, deliver that money to me the fastest, and give you the best quality product (or at least the choice, since you can stream or get MP3s from them if you want to) of any service. I’m thrilled to have you listen wherever is convenient, cost effective, or just preferential to you, but if it doesn’t make any difference to you, please consider giving Bandcamp a try!

Enjoy the album, let me know what you think!

Love & Music,

-David

First Single: Repress For Success

I’m in the middle of unpacking from my recent move, and I’m pretty sure I developed a hernia in the process, so I’m going to have to keep this brief so I can get back to dealing with all of that. I just want to drop some quick updates to let y’all know that I have released the first single, “Repress For Success”, featuring Megurine Luka & Dex, from my upcoming album, OMNIVERSE. You can check out my hand lettered lyric video now!

I wrote this track shortly after graduating with a B.S. in business administration, and feeling very lost. Despite having done well and accomplishing a lot, I felt like I really hadn’t learned what I set out to learn, and it definitely had nothing to do with who I am as a person, or my long-term goals. I was also struggling a lot with some very deep identity issues. I felt like I was presenting a different face to the world than the person I actually am inside. I still feel that way sometimes, and I think maybe that’s just something people feel from time to time, and I hope this song captures it well.

I feel like Luka lives in two worlds, being a primarily Japanese VOCALOID who also must sing in English when needed. She is probably embraced more by the English VOCALOID producers than most other Japanese VOCALOIDs, and so it seemed quite appropriate to me that she sing this song.

I’d like to give a quick shout out to all of the people who helped make this (and the soon-to-be-released album) happen: Marishelle Buchess for her awesome art, The Human @ Human Studios in Portland, Oregon, for his outstanding production work, support from Nathan Miller, Andrew & Michelle Haws, Stephen & Elizabeth Pate, my mom & brother, the folks on various Vocaloid groups and the Vocaloid Amino, and my local support team, Ann, her parents, & Kirby, without whom I would still be able to find socks.

Totally Synthetic Christmas EP Release!

It’s here! My holiday EP, the first project I’ve created using the Megurine Luka vocal synth plugin by Crypton Future Media, Inc. I’m not going to say a lot about it right now. Instead, I invite you to give it a listen and let me know what you think! I will likely give a bit more behind-the-scenes depending on feedback over the next couple of months. Would you like to know how I tune the vocal synth plug-in? What kinds of synths were used? How I came to certain arrangements? Let me know what you’d like to hear more about and I’ll put together some blog posts and/or videos to cover the topics you want to know! And without further ado, here’s the EP via Bandcamp*!

*The tracks have been submitted for release on other streaming and download services, and will be available over the next week or two. I will provide links to the most popular services as they become available to me.

I Love Luka

So this is just another quick update, really. I spent a little bit of time updating the rest of this site, so the RePulse track pages are more up to date. I may still add more to them but I think they’re pretty consistent now and it should be easy enough for y’all to find tracks if you want to stream or purchase them. I’ve added pages for my upcoming holiday EP featuring vocals by Vocaloid Megurine Luka (巡音ルカ). There isn’t really anything on them at the moment, but the placeholders are there, so as I start rolling out tracks and/or promos, info, etc., they will have a home.

Quick Shameless Plug

At least for the foreseeable future, my plan is to keep certain ‘add-ons’ exclusive to Bandcamp. If you want the full RePulse experience, including full resolution download options (like FLAC or ALAC), the video version of the full album (including all of the YouTube promo videos plus three otherwise unreleased videos) and the 24-page uncensored digital booklet featuring art, lyrics, etc. to accompany the album, you’ll need to purchase it from Bandcamp. Furthermore, there is a second version of the album ‘RePulse: Stripped‘ which features the tracks without samples (i.e. instrumental versions), and it comes with a 36-page exclusive ‘archive’ digital booklet with even more uncensored art and design work, behind the scenes notes and unused materials, etc., for the true die hard fans. You know who you are.

So, About Luka

I’m a little over halfway done crafting tracks for the upcoming holiday EP featuring Luka, and I am so happy with her performance so far. She has managed to learn the original Ukrainian words to a popular Christmas song, the original French version of O Holy Night, “Cantique de Noël”, and several fairly complex jazz-style vocal arrangements, without blinking an eye. She has a huge range, never misses a beat, never sings off pitch, and is perfectly content to spend hours experimenting with weird ideas for harmonies and styles. Of course, she also never really has any ideas of her own. I have to literally teach her every note, every inflection, every word in every language I want her to sing. So I guess she’s far from perfect. But does that make her less, or more human? Probably less. I’m going to go with less. Anyway, I love her. Not in a creepy ‘gotta buy a body pillow of her and cuddle with it at night’ sort of way (glares at friends who have suggested such things…) but in the same way I love my Moog synthesizer and my Mac Pro*. They are amazing tools that let me express myself musically in ways I never thought I could. Luka may be the best of them yet, and she is just the start. I will definitely be delving deeper into this, possibly moving on to Cyber Diva and/or Cyber Songman next, since they are apparently based on American voices and therefore perform with less of an accent. (Secretly I kinda like Luka’s accent though, it makes her feel more like she has a real personality than if she had, for example, a broadcaster-style American accent.)

So that’s it for now. I’m going to be super busy the next couple of weeks but then hopefully I’ll get back to updating things more regularly. Let me know what you think about Luka and the upcoming Holiday EP project, check out RePulse because it’s amazing, and generally keep in touch because I like hearing from y’all!

*Okay, fine… I ‘might’ have occasionally thought about cuddling with my Moog and my Mac Pro…

Quick Update

Life got busy. Most of what has been keeping me busy has been very positive. I’m getting ready for another long visit to the Oregon Coast, and I’ve re-joined my raid team on Final Fantasy XIV after taking a long hiatus (mostly due to the fact that I didn’t like the raids in Heavensward, though that’s really a subject for my gaming blog…) The latter has lead to a few hours of extra work in game ‘gearing up’, studying a few raid videos, etc., while the former is really what this quick update is all about.

Normally, when someone drops a new album, like I just did with RePulse, they would promote like crazy. I’ve done some advertising, dropping links on Facebook and Twitter, but it’s been pretty limited. A lack of marketing budget means that all promotion has to be clever and/or time consuming. Since I am not particularly clever, that time factor is huge. Every piece of content I write to promote the album is time I’m not spending working on the next album, which really bring us directly to the point: Much as I love RePulse, and hope it finds its way to as big an audience as possible, I am taking the next few weeks before my next trip to get as much work done on the next project as I possibly can. I will be bringing all of my tools with me this time (my full computer, speakers, analog synth, etc.) so that I will be able to work as efficiently there as I do here, but I also know there will be downtime. Gear has to be set up and tested. Travel will happen. Gremlins will eat the most important cables. Because life. Also, my work with mixing/mastering maestro The Human is likely to be more efficient in person, so I’m hoping to cram as much of that in as possible before I go. Finally, there is a sort of ‘seasonal deadline’ for the next project anyway. Even if things hadn’t gotten busy for me, I might still feel the need to cram for this next project because it’s, shall we say, a time specific release.

So, if you haven’t listened to RePulse yet, go check it out! It’s in all the usual places: iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play, Groove, and my personal favorite: Bandcamp (where you can get exclusive extras like a 24-page digital booklet and a link to an album-length video for a complete audi0-visual experience!) If you love it, go ahead and share it with.. y’know… everyone! Y’all are basically my promotion team at this point. Nothing I say about it will mean half as much to your friends as what you say, so I greatly appreciate any and all efforts you guys can make!

And then stay tuned, because the next project is going to be (cue the ‘dad pun’ voice…) very merry!

“Self” Video & Quick Updates

Today I released the official music video for “Self“. It’s a bit risqué, as it is not only intended to be about loving and caring for oneself emotionally, but also quite literally about taking care of ones physical needs, and the video isn’t particularly subtle about it (nor is the song itself). So enjoy it (in the privacy of wherever you enjoy private things, of course).

I am currently on vacation, sort of recovering from the recent loss of my father and getting my emotional and creative batteries recharged. I did a remote session with The Human to mix “Through“, which will be the last single for Pulse Depravity, and it sounds great, so I will release that next week, with a final video to follow. When I get back to the Portland area we will sit down and do a final mix on the entire album, including the non-single tracks that bookend the whole project. I will then do some video to accompany those tracks, and the whole thing will release sometime in July, with all of the final edits of the videos cut together to make an album-length short film.

I still need a lot of footage for the “Depravity” video. I may end up using a lot of ‘found footage’ like the rest of the videos, or shooting a lot myself. If you are planning on taking advantage of the “Show Off Your Sins” collaborative video effort, get to it! If you have questions, ideas, comments, etc., please comment below or contact me directly using the form on the about page.

New Release: Others 2017

Starting this week, in part because I’m still dealing with the fallout from, and emotional impact of, a recent personal tragedy, and in part because I realized it’s a better way to do things, I am releasing just the music and visualization video for the new version of “Others”, with the official video slated to come out next week. Since I release a track every two weeks, this will mean that something new is coming out every week. That’s better, right? I think it will be. Also, it means that you will get a chance to enjoy the music, and then the video will add context a week later, allowing you to delve deeper into it at that time. It should reduce confusion (mostly for me) about which video to share when and how often, since they will each effectively be their own release. That said, if you can think of a good reason for me to continue with the simultaneous releases like I did for “Because” and “Exists” please let me know!

I think this track is pretty self-explanatory, so I’m just going to link to some places you can listen and watch and leave you to it. Also, over the next week or so this track will join the others on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, and other popular download and streaming services. Enjoy ^_^

Free MP3 Download: https://theartistunion.com/tracks/224243

Buy full quality (FLAC/ALAC) download: https://davidsprinkle.bandcamp.com

Stream now:

Listen/watch the visualization:

“Exists” Release & Other News

This morning, in the wee hours, I released “Exists 2017” as a single, along with a pair of videos (official & visualization). This upbeat dance track features a familiar speech, and an overall hopeful message and sound. The Pulse Depravity album as a whole does question the darker aspects of our human nature, but it also features moments of happiness and hope, a reflection of the complexity of life. That said, I’ll just let the music and accompanying visuals explain themselves, and move on to some news.

I recently discovered a new music distribution service called “DistroKid”, which has a different pricing structure that has made it cost effective for me to release singles as well as albums. Right now, all three tracks that are currently on Bandcamp are also being processed to go to more popular services such as iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Pandora, etc. I will begin posting direct links once the tracks are live on these services.

I want to give some shout outs to a bunch of people who are helping in various ways to make this possible: My family for being patrons and participants in the process. An extra shout out to my dad for taming the sample noise! Nathan for moral support and help with breakdowns. The Human, for going above and beyond to make these tracks sound amazing. Steve, for finding new homes for my music. And especially Ann, for all of the things, too many to count or list. I’m sure over time this list will grow, but it’s never too soon to start thanking the people who make it possible to get up in the morning and pursue your passion. Thanks guys!

Depravity 2017

“Depravity 2017” released today! I’m going to hold off on doing an official video until I can figure out how to better crowdsource video clips for it, but I didn’t want that to stop y’all from hearing it because it’s a fantastic track with a lot of deep, heavy thumpyness and ear-shattering FM transients.

I should mention a few things in case anyone is curious, so y’all have some idea where I’m headed with all of this:

  1. You may have noticed that I’m not releasing on iTunes, Spotify, or other popular download/streaming services, and that may seem like a big mistake. I have every intention of releasing on those platforms, but I will do so once the album is complete. In the meantime, I strongly encourage you to try out Bandcamp, which I find to be an amazing service both as an artist and customer, or grab a download via The Artist Union, which brings me to my next point…
  2. Apparently The Artist Union asks for a lot of control of various accounts (Facebook, YouTube, and especially SoundCloud) depending upon the settings the artist (me) chooses. Unfortunately it is not always clear which settings require what information or agreement. I just want to get y’all signed up to follow me so you don’t miss anything I release. I’m not trying to get you to share your blood type and financial histories with a bunch of random companies. So, please let me know if you try to download a track and it wants something you find unreasonable. I will look into the settings and adjust them until it’s behaving the way that benefits the kind of musician-to-music-lover relationship we are trying to develop here.
  3. Finally, I really am intending to catch a unicorn here. I want to make music-centric art for a living, and I want to do so in as uncompromising a way as possible. To that end, I will definitely be relying on you to tell me what, if anything, I can do to create and share these projects in a way that would be valuable to you. What might make you want to pay to download, or subscribe to stream, or join a Patreon, or otherwise contribute money to keep me from ultimately starving in a gutter in pursuit of this dream?

On that happy thought, here’s a visualization video to match the one I did for “Because 2017”, as well as a bunch of ways you can stream or download the track:

YouTube

SoundCloud

Free Download (MP3) on The Artist Union: https://theartistunion.com/tracks/a1fef4

Or pay a buck (or more if you’re feeling generous) on Bandcamp for a high quality lossless download:

Because (2017 Version)

A few years ago I released an album called ‘Pulse Depravity’. It is a collection of 10 instrumental electronic works, and it was a lot of fun to make. As it turns out, I wasn’t quite finished with it. As much as I enjoyed the work I did, my production skills, gear, and a certain amount of creative roadblock led to me putting out an album that was suited, really, to pretty much just me and a few close friends and family. For people who are into words, or visuals (like a music video), or other experiences besides interesting compositions, I didn’t really deliver. The seeds were there, and in my mind all of those things existed, but I failed to really drive home the project on those levels, and that’s a real shame, because these compositions deserve a full multimedia experience. So now I’ve had several years to think about the best elements and sounds in those recordings, and the areas where things could be improved, and I am re-delivering them to you with all of the elements in place.

So I now present the first updated track, “Because (2017 Version)”. Instead of trying to do everything myself, I have left the mixing and mastering to The Human @ Human Studios in Portland, OR. He has done a fantastic job of bringing my ideas to the finest level of polish, and I’m glad to be working with him on this project.

I have also released a music video for this track (well, two, sorta). The first one is not necessarily appropriate for all audiences and venues, so some viewer discretion is advised. The second one is a visualization video which looks pretty, but doesn’t tell the whole story the way the official video does. You can find both videos embedded on my music portfolio page. Enjoy!