01 EUPHORIC DANCE
Created while following a lesson in dance/trance music transitions - used stop-clap,
record-stop, filter in and out etc. Call and response opening, trance saws leading,
and seventies style lead.
02 JUST CHILL
This began life as a moody chord playing session on the piano. That session remains
as the root of the track, the bass line was built to follow it with a syncopated
beat to compliment. Each section gradually builds with added layers to an unusual
crash down. The middle section (I call the 'sweet bit') is inspired by Jean-Michel
Jarre's Equinoxe era, though the track as a whole has, I feel, a Chicane feel to
it. This version features guest vocals by Jenny Semper.
03 HEAVENLY SHORES
Relentless arpeggios, filter swept white noise, gated and swept synth strings give
this a constantly moving atmosphere. This was the earliest composition for this album,
and features soundfont samples adapted to a software sampler.
04 MIDNIGHT TRAIN
My favourite track on the album. Atmospheric and rhythmic. Inspired by some cafe
del mar trance/chill out tracks from the noughties.
Features a Dune baseline and plucky bass lead. Plex chorals, Avatar and SynthmasterCM
provide some clear fresh sounds in second part.
05 NEW HORIZON
This tune evokes a sense of life-change and adventure, with strong confident piano
chords, slightly wistful melodic elements, and main synth melody in final section.
06 THROUGH UNCERTAINTY
Follows on from new horizon, broken up with a glitchy off-key section. Contains plaintive
moody elements and reassuring melodic parts which move between different instrument
07 HAPPY PLACE
Firmly rooted in a compelling sad/wistful chord sequence, this opens with guitar
playing arpeggio which continues throughout the track. The first half plays through
the chord sequence and melody with gated and filter-swept layered synth strings,
firmly held back with sidechain compression on the beat. The second half lets go,
giving full reign to the sequence, only pulling back near the end.
For me it's the feeling of the last day of a great holiday.
08 JOY of FLIGHT
Originally produced for the KVR One-Synth Challenge in October 2013, at the height
of writing tunes for this album, I always intended this should be included.
Starting with an arpeggio on the chords which slows down to lead on to the full bass
sequence, this has a euro-style rhythm and progression which leads to a plucked bass-lead
solo, and on through a further bass drop leading to the final melodic sequence with
a gratifying 'arrival' arpeggio. Ends with a return to the arp and rallentando from
Made entirely using DUNE-CM made by Synapse Audio for Computer Music Magazine, which
has great sounds and is a pleasure to use.
I have updated it to use the full version, with few changes - just the mix, EQ, and
some of the sounds slightly altered.
09 A HAPPY TUNE
A Jolly, anthemic tune, its like the opening day of a major event, everything in
preparation. Created using Square synth, SynthmasterCM, Avatar, Plex and Dune.
Inspired by PPK uses a square wave for lead and arpeggiated accompaniment. I recorded
and sampled the whistling parts.
10 AN EVENING CRUISE
An atmospheric acoustic guitar and synth chillout tune, inspired by Hank Marvin and
Created using Spectral Synth by Linplug, for the KVR one-synth challenge. Everything
is in the synth with no external effects. Not much changed from the original apart
from mix levels, and slight variations in the lead.
11 COMMUNICATION AGE
Created using T-Force Alpha Plus for the One Synth Challenge. An upbeat fun trance
tune using a plucky lead sound, trance saws, and some robot-voice sounds (chipmunks).
Remixed for the album, including replaced piano sound, shorter edit, and solo sections
on the saws for extra impact.
12 COLD FRONT
Created using OBXD, an Oberheim synth emulation, for KVR one-synth challenge. Slightly
remixed and remastered.
“Happy Place” - where I go to in my head when composing tunes.
I must have had a blank expression when a friend at work said ' You were miles away,
what were you thinking about?' In fact I was replaying a melody in my head, and I
replied ' oh, I was just in my happy place'. So this became the title for that tune,
and also the album.
These tracks were all created in my spare time while learning to use virtual synthesisers.
I hope you like them.
A Big thank you to all the guys at Computer Music magazine for their tireless efforts
to produce an exciting, informative and jam-packed publication every month. This
has been a big influence in the making of this album!
Many thanks to all the talented people in the KVR - one-synth challenge group. Its
a great community with a helpful spirit which I’m proud to be a part of.
Cover design and artwork (also tea making, feeding, patience, critical appraisal
- and some excellent vocal work) by Jenny Semper - many thanks.
I would like to thank the authors of the following:-
DAW - Steinberg Cubase 6.5
Angular Momentum - Virtual Kicklab / DatSounds - OBXD / HGFortune - Avatar, SerenityFree
/ KV331 - SynthmasterCM / Linplug - Spectral / RGC Audio - Square1 / Synapse Audio
- Dune, Plucked String / Steinberg - Padshop, Retrologue, GrooveAgent and others
/ T-Force - AlphaPlus / Uhe - TyrellN6 / VemberAudio - Short Circuit sampler / Wolfgang
Palm - Plex
Cableguys - WaveshaperCM / Delamancha - Machin / Flux - STTool / LiquidSonics -
ReverberateCM / Melda Productions - MmultiAnalyser / minimal system instruments -
PPD Echobox / Photosounder - SpiraCM / T-Force - TranceGate / TAL - Dub3 / Tone2
- Bifilter2 / Vengeance-VPS Philta / Voxengo - Span / Xfer Records - OTT.