Influences: the winds of change.
hi! i run FAWM (mostly). i'm a science nerd and pop music junkie who grew up in the bluegrass, went to school in the tundra, and now i work in steeltown. i've been in bands in all of those places. for the 9-to-5 thing, i'm the research director at duolingo (https://research.duolingo.com).
historically i've been a guitar-rock kind of guy. before COVID lockdown i had only one hardware synth, no MIDI cables, and no DAW plugins. over the past year i've... started a collection. so i hope to start making better use of them for FAWM this year. in particular: some dawless live-jamming and baroque-pop orchestrations. we'll see!
despite having created this thing, i've only "won" FAWM s̶i̶x̶ seven times. life has gotten in the way a lot. but i hit 14 songs in 2021 for the first time in a decade!
2004 - ░░░░░░░▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▓
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2009 - ░░
2010 - ░░░░░░░▒▒▒▒▒▒▒
2011 - ░░░░░░░
2012 - X
2013 - X
2014 - ░
2015 - ░░░░░
2016 - X
2017 - X
2018 - ░░░░░░
2019 - ░░
2020 - ░░
2021 - ░░░░░░░▒▒▒▒▒▒▒ !!!
challenges i'm hoping to meet along the way:
some burr-related links:
|#1||Psalm 1: I Will Delight||
|#2||Sonic Experiment #2||
|#3||Psalm 2: Why Do the Nations Rage?||
|#4||Mega Feast: Pencil Man Stage||
|#5||Mega Feast: Dozer Man Stage||
|#6||Mega Feast: Blimp Man Stage||
|#7||■■■■ Tape 1: Sleep It Off @fourtracktape||
|#8||■■■■ Tape 2: What Had I Lost? @fourtracktape||
|#9||■■■■ Tape 3: Psychedelic Circus @fourtracktape||
|#10||Psalm 3: Holy Hill||
|#11||Psalm 4: When I Call To You||
|#12||Psalm 5: To Make Things Right||
|#13||Psalm 15: On The Inside||
|#14||Psalm 23: God Is My Shepherd||
If you can send me WAVs of tapes 1 and 3, I would appreciate it very much. Getting things ready for the Bandcamp album. If you have individual files, that's awesome too because it is always fun to remix, but if it is just the final songs, that is totally cool too. Thanks again - Looking forard to the videos, whenever they come out. 😀
Late response, but my life got busy for a bit: Thanks for your very thoughtful comment on my megaman-inspired song. 😀 I really liked the challenge and format of it. It really makes you think about the construction of a song differently.
Also, hello fellow Pittsburgher!
Thanks for your comment. This was originally planned to be like this before knowing that slothcore exists. But yea I figured afterwards it probably applies 😁
Thanks Burr - yikes..................
Hey Burr, if at any point you have time (or even can do this), would you put up two placeholders for me? I completely forgot to do it and want to put the 4 track tapes 2 and 5 on my board. If not, it’s totally cool. Thanks for all that you do.
I’ve got some friends that went to college there too. And ya, Hoosier through and through! Thanks to you and the whole team. I really love it and feel like I’ve found my people.
Congrats on hitting 14, Burr!
Congrats on the win! Quite a finish! 😀
Hey just wanted to say thanks! February has been a hard month for me for years but last year I found this site. Gave me 1/12 of my year back. Thanks so much. Love and respect, my friend.
Thank you so much for making FAWM!!!!!
Just read you bio, I have been doing duolingo everyday since the start of lockdown here in the UK so nearly at 1 year point, it is a great platform for dipping in daily, i really wanted to think that i could get something positive out of the lockdown and learning a language was what i chose.
Super cool that I pushed us past FAWM escape velocity. Love it! Thanks for telling me. 😀
Thanks for the comment on "Trash Man"! I'm actually kinda surprised there haven't been more entries. Then again, this was the first year I've actually gone and taken part in the forums discussion and even looked at the challenge thread titles, so I don't know what the "usual turnout" is. But it was fun to do. And now I'm gonna check out the other entries, as I've only so far listened to @ianuarius 's.
Hey! Thanks so much for your comment on Tell Me (Forever)! Delighted to be part of your first morph experience! (That sounds so weird when written like that 🤦🏼♀️)
Heh, yea, made the icon. My gamedev skills are finally coming in handy, haha.
Here's more sort of megaman-y music I made for a commercial game... (in case you're interested)
Thank you, Burr. Yes, it’s a tough subject to write about. I got interested when working on a work project, Alan T is an alum and I’m doing a 100th anniversary of the Engineering School project (he was a math major, I think). I found my way in with Gordon Brown’s speech, which didn’t exist when you tried your song. Thanks for FAWM, it’s a godsend at times like this.
Thanks for the comment Burr, you should get the 4track out. I think it's most interesting in the way it has forced me to change my process completely, producing different songs and I suspect making me less lazy in my songwriting. I can't just drop in or easily add tracks so I have to play each track more times than I would normally which in turn leads me to slight changes or even just cuttin out the boring bits! It's a time consuming absolute hassle... but fun!
Remember when we almost saw the Lemonheads in London? Hope you're all good!
Hi Burr, long time no see. Thanks for listening! Can't believe we're still doing this all these years later 😀 I'm digging the Psalms, especially #2.
Thank you for the kind comment on the song Elaine and I did. 😀
Hi Burr, thank you for commenting on my work. In answer to your questions, yes it's a clarinet, it's not a sample library, it's an emulation from Wallander Instruments that has sadly been discontinued.
On Sytrus, I wouldn't really recommend it. It's hugely powerful, but has a non-intuitive interface that is unnecessarily confusing. If you are interested in making those kinds of sounds, I would instead recommend the new Vital synth, which is a powerhouse wavetable synth, and has a very good, transparent, and visual interface that you can learn in about 10 minutes.
Thanks for listening to Breaking Chains! I remain astounded that here we are 55 years out and that Indian Harrison period is still so fascinating and even fresh!
Thanks for the kind words on Offer It Up!
Burr! I'm using Final Cut and a gopro for the multicam setup. I sync all the clips manually by lining up the audio signals and then it's just a matter of applying masks and scaling and rotating and whatnot. It's not as painful as it might sound once you get the hang of it. A video like that with a static arrangement is maybe a 15 to 20 minute ordeal.
Add Cat Herding to your bio
I _am_ back! It's cool to be able to disappear, live a decade of my life, and come right back.
I also happen to use Duo every day these days (after having moved to Stockholm), and it's fun to remember you're behind the curtain there.
Would love to get in on the fun of looking at FAWM data, by the way. Any thoughts on opening up the data / API / etc?
Howdy Burr! Long time no see... I still get your mail sometimes, but it's never a check, always a bill... D'oh!
Sir, if I'm understanding this correctly you are the person responsible for creating this lovely website. I hope you truly understand the magic you've created. If there is any holiness left in the world, it reveals itself through artists, and you have created a space to connect, feed, and cultivate artists. Bravo to you.
Aaron Nathans has written an Alan Turing song! Thought you should know. 😀
If Marshall, or a rep or somebody he recommends asks for my archive as is, give it please.
Good luck to you this year, Burr! How cool it must be to see this rich, worldly community that has built up around your creation. 😀
Oh... and I'm using Duolingo to try and learn more Korean (my wife's from SK)! I do wish it wouldn't nag me so much if I don't do my daily lesson by early afternoon... no, I'm grateful! 😅
Thanks too for asking about the TASCAM DP-006: it's a great little machine, inexpensive and very capable, as long as you understand its limitations. In short: it's a recorder (and a surprisingly good-quality one), but it's not a DAW replacement. No onboard EQ or FX; the only options for mixdown on the 006, are levels and stereo panning, so if you want/need to mix a song on the 006, it would be handy if you have access to some kind of mastering software (or if you're going for a "lo-fi" approach: no worries 😉 ). Bouncing tracks is easy, and as it's all digital, two handy tricks: (1) you can record *four* tracks at first, and bounce them to the fourth (ie you don't have to keep the fourth track free for the bounce); and (2) you can export the tracks you're about to bounce, store them on the 006's "export" area on the SD card, and retrieve them later via a USB connection (so if you get to remix the song later in a DAW, you can have every track separate). The bounce is non-destructive, but you'll obviously have to erase the tracks you've just bounced, to record on them again. TL;DR: the DP-006 is a great machine and very compact, though if you want more mixing features and have a bit more cash, maybe consider the DP-008EX? Phew... hope all this helps! 😅
Many thanks for your comments on "Frost On The Garden" 🙏 Uncannily... I *did* actually record the demo at our kitchen table (!), mainly as my wife was doing some recording in our "project studio" (the box-room 😅). I really like "Nebraska" - I've also got a few other albums in mind ("The Creek Drank The Cradle" by Iron & Wine is an all-time fave of mine). Look forward to hearing your posts!
Thanks for the welcome, and thank you for running it *mostly 😉
Hey, Happy FAWMing!
hi, burr. I’m so glad you made this thing. february would be something awful without fawm. I hope you get some life pauses this month so you can do some music. you our challenges seem deserving
Are we going to use Dolby NR on this tape or not?
I'm starting, so, I don't want to mess it up to horribly...
Also, HOLY CRAP HOW MANY YEARS HAVE WE BEEN DOING THIS?!
Hey there Burr, checking in for 2021 – every time I find myself back in the warm community of FAWM, it makes me so happy I soon start feeling the urge to drop by your page and express my gratitude. Hope all is well with you.
Hey Burr, using Duolingo in an attempt to learn Spanish.
looking forwars to your wordless protests. sometimes silence is the best protest.
No problem, Burr, I won't add more stuff on the threads. Thanks for chiming in tho.
I feel really discouraged to participate after being slandered and misconstrued left and right, and even asked to silence myself after trying to clear up the issues... ironically, in a thread about people being slandered and misconstrued (about their gender, that is).
On a practical side, for you, better forget about all that, and have a nice FAWM! It's a waste of valuable time, applicable to music.
hey Burr, thanks for FAWM, thanks for that comment, thanks for Duolingo, thank you for everything! ❤️
let me know if there is any problem and I will drop a phone number on you, unless you want to work out the issue openly so people know you're cool 😉 Have a great FAWM man.
Bring on the FAWMtronica!! Thanks for all you do around here. It allows this Ohioan to overlook the fact you are from Pittsburgh. Get ahta tahn, jagoff! 😉
Always been fascinated by NLP, took a killer Michael Collins course on Coursera when it first launched but I feel like I'm a stats junkie who had to earn a living before I really appreciated the beauty of math.
TLDR; Longtime listener, first time wall-poster. Thank you for FAWM.
You the man, Burr!!!
I owe a lot of happiness on your incessant upkeeping of the site and everything around. I hope you get to make some songs this year.
«I’m a science nerd and poop music junkie». I had to read that several times. this might say alot about me though. poop music. hahaha *sigh* I kill myself
Hi, I downloaded the demo of Amplesound ABU as per your post in the VST thread and yeah, it sounds real nice in general but the amount of buzz/rattle on some of the low notes (F and G in particular) seems excessive. Shame because otherwise its great.