Harmless Figments - Dontchu Worry

Harmless Figments

Hello World again, greetings from Geneva! That’s where the turmoils of life have cast me for the time being, to make a living in the corporate world whilst sorting out a family matters left unsolved back in lovely France. I have meant to post a few things on these pages over the past few months, however impediments have been countless.

Welcome to Geneva! (Image generated by Dall-E)

Without trying to make cheap excuses, the sudden advent of generative AI in the creative space has been a shock! I used to think that I was a humble member of a small artistic pioneering movement exploring the possibilities of generative art. Back then, that was all based on algorithmic codelines running on CPU and GPU to produce complex visual animations on screen. Over the last few months though, GPUs have been entirely highjacked and retargeted at training large language models, which are effectively incredibly powerful dreaming machines, able to effortlessly produce seemingly original visualisations out of disruptive technologies including neural networks, transformers and diffusion algorithms. I mean, just look around, at what is spawned every second from Dall-E, MidJourney, Runway … not to mention the incredible SORA from OpenAI. The days of music visualisations based on GL shaders already seem long gone! And such tech based magic have left me somehow astounded and divided about which way to go, of either embracing it or refraining from compromising my own genuine human creativity with such powerful crutches.

Open AI SORA for “text to video” generation

The other thing has been my growing interest for music producing, beyond just audio based experiments. And I have been toying with a number of digital audio workstations and plugins, as well as educating myself with mixing and mastering techniques. But there again, AI has been smashing the entire industry with incredible breakthrough, notably with absolutely pristine AI voices and with on demand music generation. I would recommend the curious minds to play around with platforms like Suno, Audimee, or ACE Studio. It is absolutely mindblowing.

ACE Studio brings professional AI vocalists to your home music studio

So where to from there? Are we done with vanilla human based creation? Should we let the silicon chips and neural networks take over our entertainment and creative expression? Can it! Of course not. Like any one around I suppose, besides educating myself to overcome ignorance-based fears, I have been working hard on my imposter syndrome. I found out that the best way to do that was to throw myself in the water, assuming that I would learn to swim properly along the way šŸ™‚

As you may have guessed it, I have been hard at work on my keyboards, both the Macbook one and the Native Instrument Komplete and Maschine ones, to produce music. Luckily, I have been immensely supported in this effort by my partner DISPAS, who is another passionate music lover, an incredible juke box, a bottomless well of musical culture, and as it turns out a talented Drum & Bass producer, at least in my eyes. And with our first tracks finally mastered, we’ve broadcasted ourselves on the platforms out there, starting with Soundcloud.

As far as I am concerned, this first track is in the genre of Deep House, which is by far my favourite one. The journey has all started using the amazing Ampify Studio, to get going with loops and samples mixing and create base phrases. This has been a cathartic way to pull the first “harmless figments” from my musical imagination. With such rich buildings blocks, the arranging, fine tuning and mastering has then taken place in the absolutely fantastic LIVE platform from ABLETON, which is like a second digital home to me now, I am not looking back at Apple Logic Pro despite its immense qualities.

From Ampify Studio to Ableton Live

I have titled this track “Dontchu Worry“, probably to address my own anxiety in regards to this first creative act, intended for a wider public.

Don’t you worry Quad, it’s OK, you’ll be fine. This is the outcome of your own personal work, and you have all the license required to put it out there, the public might have the right to judge IT, mut certainly not YOU!

This is the kind of mantra that rolled back and forth in my mind as I was pressing the publish buttons here and there. So there it is, first published on Soundcloud on 21/04/2024. Modest debut so far, with only a couple of hundreds plays, but hey … Rome was not built in one day! And I know too well that from this point, it is going to be a matter of perseverance, application and consistency.

A word about the visual maybe? Well, on this occasion, I have been lazy .. or more exactly I have delegated the job, to my Dall-E assistant with the following prompt: Bingo!
Dall-E Image Generation

So what’s next? Well the track is now also published on Youtube, with some nice old school music visualisations baked in .. I could not help it šŸ˜‰

It also now features on my new Mixcloud account:

And maybe I did not mention it, nor did you notice it, but my visual identity as a music producer is evolving to Q.Damage, with a brand new logo. Feedback welcome! I hope you’ll enjoy the music, like it and share it if you do!

New Q.Damage Logo

Track cover: Dontchu Worry (Harmless Figments track 01)