An1​-​D3A Demo

by Cole Smoak

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The An1-D3A Demo is a collection of 12 songs that I produced over the past few months. This demo is being used to show the progress I've made over the past 4 1/2 years as a producer. The songs on the demo are originally part of a collaboration album made between my good friend Will (aka Fluffy Bugs) and I called Massive Crash by Fluffy Bugs and Ani Dea. These select 12 are the tracks that I produced for the album. Each song is made with an array of synth instruments produced with the VST Massive by Native Instruments as well as a few samples here and there often accompanied by a percussion section composed of different drum samples. The title Massive Crash was given to the album for a number of reasons including the fact that most of these songs would usually cause the synth-maker Massive to crash because it was using too much of my computer's CPU. A massive crash indeed, this album narrates a young man's experiences as he makes a numerous amount of transitions in his life. He begins to struggle when he is introduced to the world of drugs and music and feels that the two are a combination meant for him to embrace. These songs act as a soundtrack for his spiritual journey. If anything should be taken from this album it should be the proof of growth and progress. The first of many albums to come, the An1-D3A Demo:

1. I'm Okay: A serious tune in my opinion. I wanted to establish a confident sound on the first song of the album. The opening track narrates the young man's entry into spirituality and music. An ambient beat with a smooth sub bass that grooves and cradles the melody. Appreciate the steady middle section as well as the jumpy outro. Don't forget to stunt like it's '89 while you're listening to this track.

2. Bear Trap: You better put your dancing shoes on for this track. This song has an incredibly well-known reputation for making women dance and causing men to tap their feet. This song represents one of this young man's alter-egos that feeds off of the party scene. This song takes an interesting direction in contrast to the other songs as well as the young man's competing personalities. This sub bass just sounds mean and it's accompanied well by the bouncy synth blip. Woodblocks and reverb. Cowbells and various percussive instruments. A bold and snappy snare. What more could you ask for?

3. Lucidity: A true masterpiece in my eyes. Simple in structure yet complex in instrumentation. This beat is truly massive in size. This track tells the story of the young man's first spiritual journey. The song is meant to embody the anticipation, excitement, and euphoria associated with his various experiences. Follow his sound as he reaches new heights and levels of thinking. Close your eyes and let the song take you on a trip. Oh, and turn the bass up for those lower sub notes.

4. What If We Just: A very serious and emotional track initially but this song takes a turn in the direction of a polyrhythmic trap beat reminiscent of a battle in space. The beat symbolizes the young man's conflicting feelings about the world he lives in. The reality he sees is one of tragedy and sorrow. This is the sound of his struggle move rather than be moved in this world. The cicada sounding synth dies out and the beat drops. This is my favorite instrument section on the album. Just so things wouldn't heat up too much the song transforms into a bright percussive groove accompanied by a nice synth chord progression. The song ends with an uplifting melody as the young man decides that looking at reality in a positive way is the best thing he could possibly do for himself.

5. Interlude I: This is the type of song that makes you want to roll the windows down while you're driving around on a nice day. I really tried to establish a feel-good sound with the synth chords. This tune is used to show that the young man is feeling more stable and confident in himself. He is beginning to see the world in a new light. The song ends with a phased out synth played over a crunchy percussion section rocking a fat kick that sets the 3 over 2 beat with great care in order to avoid drowning out the phasey synth. This beat has a good atmosphere and feeling.

6. Nothing Really: One of my favorite songs on the album because of the second half of the song. If I could describe this song with one word it would be nostalgia. This is intended to be a love song about the young man and a young lady. The song is meant to embody the sound of the feelings that he had for her. This track features one of my best friends Brandon who created the section from 0:57 - 1:16 while he was over at my house one day. I love the melody he played with the vibe synth. The slower half of the song has more of a serious or even melancholic feel to it. Dem fat kicks. You can feel the sound of the tune orbit around your head if you're wearing headphones. Lots of cool synths and sounds hiding in the outro so listen closely and close your eyes. Look at the stars.

7. Dead Ends: Quite a dirty mix. Chords chords chords bass snare. I personally dig the lead synth solo section played over the synth chords. This synth was fun to mess around with because I made a lot of unintentional sounds that ended up sounding pretty good. Somewhere in there comes a hypnotic side-chained house section that transitions into the outro. The song represents the feeling of joy and accomplishment that the young man begins to feel. I wanted to end this song with the sound of accomplishment due to the fact that I wrote the outro a few hours after my high school graduation. Enjoy this funky feel-good song.

8. Morning Glory: The one and only rap I made for this particular album. I sampled my friends Will's (aka Fluffy Bugs) song Bowlcut Deluxe. I loaded the sample up with effects and it eventually produced an underwater sound that bubbles out of speakers and headphones. The lyrics of the rap were intended to be used to tell my listeners a little bit about myself. I'll let the lyrics say the rest. Let the bass on this song shake your soul and listen closely to the words. The verse is concluded with a nice synth chord progression (phased of course for added effect). The track dies out slowly.

9. Interlude II: This song is quite stimulating. The high synth chords are in your face but the sub bass is still heard well. If you listen closely after the sub bass comes in you can hear the sample that is played in the high range frequencies. That is a sample of a spray-paint can being shaken if anyone is curious. There's nothing wrong with a graffiti song. A catchy tune indeed ending with a laid-back break down section.

10. Amphetamine Guinea Pig: An interesting up-beat song initially. After a short build-up the song drops into a futuristically retro rap beat. This part of the song is heavily influenced by Samiyam whom I was listening to a lot of during the production of this song. The hard synth and upper synth chords fade out suddenly bringing in another interesting full-sounding synth playing an alternate version of the chords played at the beginning. The chords drop out suddenly and build until the beat drops. I really wanted this entrance to come in hard because it grooves so well. This outro beat section is one of my favorite drum sections of the album so make sure you can hear the sub bass hitting. A very good song to dance to and possibly freestyle over if you're feeling brave.

11. Quantum Star: A bouncy beat accompanied by a soft synth playing chords. The phased clap drops in and establishes the beat layed out by the sub bass. More synth chords make the song build and sound more dramatic. The beat drops out. Some people may assume that the kick now holds the quarter note. The trippy synth keeps building and BLAM! 3 over 2 beat drops in like Tony Hawk. Woooooooo that high, bendy synth! This song sounds best when you bob your head and dance. Also, the high-hat throughout most of the song is a sample of a sprinkler that I got off youtube that is adjusted to play at the tempo of the beat for those who may be curious.

12. Phase Out: This is the last song on the album. There's a lot of emotion put into the notes of this song. I attempted to create a track that would sound like a finale to a great accomplishment or journey. The synth chord progression is meant to possess a sound of relief. The best time to listen to this song is at the end of a long day when you think about all the things you love. This song is about the appreciation of beauty. This song is about life and love. The making of this album allowed me to learn a lot about music and myself. I believe that music can be one of the clearest ways of displaying emotions and expressing feelings. I grew as a musician and as an individual during the production of these songs and I've found that the flow necessary for me to create quality music is gained through the expansion of my mind especially in the area of creativity and love. Doing this allows me to open up completely and let my emotions flow out of me in the form of music. An idea exists behind every song. Thus, An1-D3A.


released November 8, 2013



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Cole Smoak Columbia, South Carolina

I do not make sense I make synths

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