Originating from England and now living in the Pacific Northwest, musical polymath Jeremy has been making waves in the RepostExchange charts with their breadth of sounds for some time. Having diversified his sound into four different projects - from the ambient stylings of Siegfried Jünger, to the Icelandic Post-rock of Laxá, from the modern classical vibe of Jeremias Langsämmer, to the alt-rock of singer-songwriter These Guitars Say Sorry (TGSS) - helping Jeremy approach music making with a consistent and varied approach. Here's what we learned when we got to know FL Studio user and Re-Ex chart topper Jeremy in the studio!
I've been performing solo for a few years, playing 101 shows in the year before COVID! When COVID happened I realized the gigs were going to dry up and I had always wanted to write other kinds of music: classical, piano, ambient, and electronic while continuing to put out singer-songwriter material. I learned by trial and error, improving with each track (hopefully) and learning how to arrange songs better and give space in my mixes.
My main DAW is FL Studio Mobile which surprises people. I have Studio One also but tend only to use that for vocals and occasional guitars.
The reason I chose FLStudio Mobile was I wanted to compose on Chromebook as well as Windows and wanted a DAW that was capable but wasn't so complex I couldn't produce what I envisioned.
It's been working great, it's capable and flexible across genres and fully featured enough to not leave you wanting more.
I have a really minimal set-up. I wanted something I could use in the house and be easily mobile so I don't have much to choose from!
So I would go with my Korg nanoKEY2 and my headphones (Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro) that I use to compose and mix with.
FL Studio Mobile is a closed environment. I like it is self-limiting, it forces you to be creative within the constraints you have so I most enjoy getting creative with native instruments and morphing their sounds so they are useful but unrecognizable from their original counterpart.
I sit down and I write about an hour a day. I open up the DAW and decide which band I am going to write a song for: Jeremias Langsämmer (Modern Classical/Soundtrack), Siegfried Jünger (Ambient/Electronic), Laxá (Icelandic Post-rock), or These Guitars Say Sorry (Singer Songwriter/Alternative Rock) and just start in composing a little each night.
I return the next night, review what I have done and keep going. I tend to write in 4 to 8-bar chunks and stack all the instruments on top of each other in the timeline to make sure they complement each other. Once I have decided the track is done I then arrange it, stretching each part across the timeline, trying to offer light and shade in the sound and keep it engaging.
At the end, I tend to cut parts out so there's just the core of the song left.
Doing it this way has allowed me to produce nearly 140 songs and 10 albums of work across a range of genres since July 2020.
I think it's important though, for each artist to develop a process that works for them, there isn't one 'correct' way.
I don't use too many resources. I may look something up if I have a particular issue and I also post on the FL Studio Mobile message boards for technical stuff relating to the DAW. My main resource is practice and when I discover something new hidden away in the DAW, I try to apply it.
I also listen back to my tracks to see how the sound is developing, what works, and what doesn't. Does a rich sound pay off in this genre or does a more minimal sound work better?
It was a video on amending the piano sound in FL Studio Mobile. Untreated it can sound really cold so was looking for some new ideas.
In the end, I ended up using this as a starting point and applying it to the strings on the piece I was working on.
I think advice appears as you're ready for it. I have got some great advice from Re-Ex composers that I wouldn't have understood until I was ready. I really appreciate the comments I get too, it allows you to learn (if you're open to it) from people who only have the music to go on.
Maybe my one thing that comes to the fore is: “Keep it simple. Put the music first and don't worry too much about the gear."
I kind of freed myself from writer's block by not constraining myself to write for a particular genre or have to produce a certain amount of music in a certain amount of time. Time is always an issue but you can turn that to your advantage.
Sometimes you can spend too long sitting; if your time is limited it gives you focus, “What do I want to achieve in this hour?”
As I mentioned earlier my set-up is simple: turn on the laptop and I'm recording in five minutes. If I had to set up a studio every time I needed to record that would hold me back.
Just write. Don't agonize. Be you, not what you think people want to hear.
Make layers work for you. Intertwining even the most simple lines can make something special.
Leave some room in your mix for mastering. Panning is your friend but mix in mono so you can hear how it all sits.
Yes, I use Landr. That way I control the whole process of production I can mess with masters and Landr's getting better all the time so I'm able to nuance songs.
Sure. I share them online on SoundCloud mainly and solicit comments. I have changed tracks around as a result. Someone may say the intro is too long, I listen and they're right. Cut! Or the drums are too loud. I'm happy to listen to advice as it allows the songs to be better.
RepostExchange has been great too. I get comments from all over the world and have had my stuff played on the radio across continents which is really encouraging.
I guess the listeners get to choose! Let the Dead Ride is my most popular track. I liked the title and the song went from there: a cinematic ambient piece that moves along organically. It even reached #2 in the Re-Ex chart!
It has kept me creating, which is a good thing. I want people to have something new to listen to at least once a week and because I create a cross a range of genres I get to share the different styles with a lot of great musicians.