Wrapping up the 2015 challenge

Wrapping up the 2015 challenge

I recently finished my last year’s challenge to create 2 new tracks every month. It all started pretty well and up until the summer i was in schedule. But after the summer vacation i had a new job assignment which required me to travel a lot (i’ve actually been totally 11 weeks on business trips since August 2015) so the progress in creating music slowed down quite a lot. However i was still able to release new tracks every now and then even in the autumn. I was able to release 18 tracks during the last year which i’m quite happy with. There are a few remix versions of other songs but all in all i’m happy with the amount of tracks i created.

The results can be listened in Soundcloud under this playlist: https://soundcloud.com/westis/sets/two-tracks-a-month-2015

Eventually the challenge was a good thing and i can recommend everyone to try to challenge yourself in a similar manner. When it comes to composing and finishing tracks, the challenge gave me a reason to not overthink tracks too much and not to enter the endless phase of finishing and polishing tracks up to the point where you feel like the track is over produced and lost a lot of the original ideas. This time i had a “permission” to just let go and release tracks which sounded ok enough to just release them. Somehow the challenge also opened up my inspiration and i was able to create new ideas in a lot less time than before.

Materia Obscura

I also realized that the variation of musical styles i’ve released under my main alias Westis has been too broad. Therefore i decided to create a new alias “Materia Obscura” which i will be using with the more chill out and ambient styled tracks i’m creating. Under my original alias Westis i will be releasing faster tracks under genres like electro house and trance just like before.

So from now on my new releases can be found in two separate Soundcloud profiles:
Westis: https://soundcloud.com/westis/
Materia Obscura: https://soundcloud.com/materiaobscura

Clash of Sounds EP

I also released an EP with some of the tracks i think make a nice compilation being quite similar in style, the Clash of Sounds. The EP is now available in most stores and streaming services such as Spotify, iTunes, Deezer and Beatport.

Spotify: Westis – Clash of Sounds
iTunes: Westis – Clash of Sounds EP
Beatport: Westis – Clash of Sounds

How has the challenge been this far?

As you might have noticed, i challenged myself to compose two tracks every month during the year 2015. I have now released a total of eight tracks and so far i haven’t felt that the challenge would’ve been too demanding for me. Actually it’s been quite easy to start working with something new right after you’ve completed the previous one!

The biggest change has probably been that i’ve streamlined my workflow in many ways. One great example would be mastering the final product before uploading it online. I now have a template project where i import the bounced project as a stereo file and have some “basic” settings which i have now found working quite well. Then the final mastering phase needs just a few tweaks (EQ, gain limiting etc..) here and there and the track is ready to be published.

In the old days i would’ve used the original project file with all the separate tracks while mastering my track and i could have used weeks for the mastering phase. It was a mess because i couldn’t resist the temptation of tweaking the track specific settings while mastering. However, now i clearly have two distinctively different phases in creating a track: 1) Composition and general mixing phase 2) Mastering phase.

My challenge can be followed in Soundcloud: