Vinyl for your CD Player

June 07, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on April 2, 2015

Creativity and originality are important abilities to possess. When I worked with underground artists during my teen years, I loved adding a bit of creativity to their otherwise normal tracks with interludes, sound effects, and other interesting dynamics. The first track I recorded for one particular artist began with an EQ resulting in an old low-quality radio sound. After a 2 second pause and delay effect, the unaltered song continued.

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X-Mini Speakers

June 07, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on May 10, 2015

In 2011, I competed in a Soldier of the Year competition hosted by 20th Support Command (CBRNE). I didn’t win, but I won’t rant about why I think I lost. . . okay, I lied:

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Reach by Tyler Allen

June 07, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on July 3, 2015

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Lady J, The Lioness

June 06, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on August 17, 2015

I’d just like to take this time to advertise my mother, Lady J – The Lioness of Lady J’s Kingdom of Music, and her first album and feature track – Ride ‘Em, available on iTunes, CD Baby, and Amazon.

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Aux Starter Pack 2015

June 04, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on December 7, 2015

No, all of the following songs were not created in 2015. However, this is my first starter pack. . . so screw logic.

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Deathmole-Final

June 03, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on May 21, 2017

One of my favorite rock bands is animated. Deathmole is a band created by Jeph Jacques in his webcomic “Questionable Content” which includes. . . questionable content. “Final,” from the album “Advances”, is one of my favorites because of its unique tempo and time signature feel (3/4) and ability to lead me through emotions of hype and calmness within four minutes. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to feel but this track helps me think. Since there are no vocals, my mind runs free.

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Kelly Rush-Council Commission & Take a Breath

June 03, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on April 11, 2016

Two years ago, someone asked me what types of music I like.  When I said “everything,” I didn’t expect her to introduce me to indie music that I’d later consider favorites.  “Council Commission” by North Carolina-based Kelly Rush is one of those songs, though.  “Council Commission,” from the album “Color Sessions,” was released in January 2013.

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Egypt Central-You Make Me Sick

June 03, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on May 9, 2016

The first time I heard “You Make Me Sick,” and of Egypt Central, was on WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2009 and it hyped me up so much every time I heard it that I downloaded it from iTunes. To this day, this rock/alternative song still reminds me of all the fireworks (mostly negative) from past relationships and the push/pull of such relationships with extreme highs and lows.

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Black Unity Essay

June 03, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on June 6, 2016

When I took a course on the relationship between music and politics last year, I got the opportunity to write a two thousand word essay on my choice of topic related to the course. I decided to write about the transition and differences between what Hip Hop/Rap was in the beginning and what it is today. I emphasized the use of racial slurs and others’ view on it, also. Admittedly, It’s not a very well written piece. However, If you’re interested, feel free to read on.

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Aux-Warning-Incubus

June 03, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on October 24, 2016

Warning, by Incubus, is a rock song about a woman who woke up one day realizing that she “called out a warning” and let life pass her by. In summary, it drives the point that you should be yourself and make the most of your life every day.

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Music Production Lessons in 2018

June 02, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on October 22, 2018

I haven’t blogged much this year because I’ve been focusing on mixing and releasing music (and making JtSpratley.com presentable). The only music blog, out of 7 this year, was about mixing music as a teen. It doesn’t help that my ad service Project Wonderful recently shut down. But I’ve uploaded 14 tracks to SoundCloud this year! I’ve been doing more than mixing music, though. I’m learning the business side. Continuing the trend from last years’ lessons learned,  Below are 7 lessons that have improved my 2018.

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Urbandub-A Call to Arms

June 01, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on January 14, 2017

Urbandub is a Filipino rock band from the Philippines who have been around since 2000. Their Wikipedia page looks aged once you see their years active – 2000-15 (on hiatus) – and their MySpace listed as their official website. I don’t remember how I came across this band, but I do remember hearing Hover (2013) and immediately adding it to my workout playlist. 🏋

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Unique-The Story

June 01, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on March 2, 2020

Creating Unique was my biggest music project (excluding learning music distribution) until 2019. During breaks at work, I would try to write and clean up bars. If I couldn’t come up with anything, and when I was done with lyrics, I’d work on arrangement some. I’m still learning to a lot about arrangement and transitions.

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Tracks I Found in 2018

June 01, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on December 2, 2019

I enjoy finding new inspirational music for when I work. Here are 10 great tracks I found in 2018 from multiple genres – Afro-pop, Dancehall, Drum & Bass (D&B), EDM, Hip-Hop/Rap, Jazz, Rock, and Trip-Hop.

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The 1 Tonight (Instrumental)-Album Art

June 01, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on January 18, 2019

“What is that on the 1 Tonight Instrumental album cover?”

I was online searching for a new watch, and I came across a binary clock. Being an IT guy in an IT college at the time, I was interested. So I asked others about it. While brainstorming for the album cover, and with The 1 Tonight being released without vocals, I took the opportunity to show my IT interests and Syracuse University affiliation early in my album art gallery.

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Step Off(2011)Movie

June 01, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on June 5, 2017

Like Hustle & Flow (2005), Step Off (2011) follows a struggling black male musician with a supporting cast on a road of overcoming obstacles to create and share music filled with his passion and story. Unlike DJay in Hustle & Flow, Rippa in Step Off is a college student and music producer with his eyes set on winning a beat battle awarding production time for a major record label.

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Special Tines And My Kalimba

June 01, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on March 9, 2020

I found out about the kalimba sometime last year while looking for Chillout music. I spent hours listening to kalimba solos including HIROYUKI’s TedX performance, April Yang’s YouTube tutorials, and original works like Can’t Help Falling In Love on a Kalimba by Acoustic Trench:

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Review Music For Money With Slice The Pie

June 01, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on March 16, 2015

Slice the Pie! Yes, you can earn money, up to ten cents per review, for providing detailed and well thought out reviews covering underground and indie songs. It may not seem like much, but it’s more for fun and helping others than a get-rich-quick scheme. Plus, you WILL find something you like sooner than later. The genres you’ll encounter vary, and within an hour, you could easily cover tracks of house, country, funk, pop, folk, and other alternative genres. Through “Slice the Pie,” I’ve become a fan of The Hong Kong Sleepover – Taste the Chain, an awesome hype rock track and PVRIS – St. Patrick, a fun high-tempo pop track.

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Releasing Music in 2017

June 01, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on September 11, 2017

Before the two rough mixdowns in mid-2015 (Atmospheric1 and House26) I hadn’t released any music since my mother’s Ride ‘Em album. But the recording engineer, not I, mixed those beats. I’d hoped those tracks showed my versatility and potential, though I didn’t choose them all. Instrumental 613 is still my favorite on that album. I remixed Instrumental 413 because its popular on iTunes but I didn’t like the drums and overall feel of the beat. I’ll cover the story of the others in a later blog.

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Real Man Remix-The Story

June 01, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on May 27, 2019

I released Real Man Remix to show versatility in my discography and artists I’ve worked with in the past how serious I am about my music now. Before Real Man I only had 3 instrumental house tracks. Following Real Man with Can I? (You Got My Lust) was to show contrast in style.

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[No More] Memory Lane

May 31, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on April 27, 2020

[No More] Memory Lane was a short passion project to symbolize the temptation to look back on past mistakes – the could’ve, would’ve, should’ve. It’s really just four minor chords on a piano over four bars. The supporting instruments – drums, synths, bass, kalimba – enhance an emotional vibe encouraging me to reflect more.

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My Plans for 2017

May 31, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on January 23, 2017

I asked IT professionals from the Rallypoint community what topics I should cover in future Linux and FOSS related podcasts. I got great suggestions involving security:

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Music Production Lessons Learned 2019-1-Archive-1

May 31, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on May 4, 2020

I learned some really important music production lessons in 2018. I spent most of 2019 continuing to release extended plays (EPs) that show my versatility and blogging about them here:

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Music I Found in 2018

May 31, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on June 5, 2019

This is the second blog I’ve done about lesser known artists and tracks I’ve found. The first one was in 2015 , but I have YouTube playlists for every year since then.

This is a playlist of independent musicians’ tracks released in 2018 (Full YouTube Playlist) with a short description about why I like it.

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Music I Found in 2019

May 31, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on March 30, 2020

I made sure this wasn’t as late as Tracks I Found in 2018. Make more music. Find more music. Share that music. Here’s that music: Dance, Dub, Hip-Hop/Rap, Rock, Trip-Hop, and Jazz.

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Mixing Music as a Teen in the Underground Scene

May 31, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on August 13, 2018

Korg XD-16 Digital RecorderI remember when I started mixing music for underground vocalists (rappers and singers) as a teen. They wanted to hear their freestyles over popular instrumentals. I wanted to improve my mixing skills and network for when I started releasing beats. I used a bulky $2,000 Korg D16XD Digital Recorder DAW with a touch-screen GUI similar to the classic Korg Triton. My mom bought it and the similarities made it easy to learn – no complaints. This was before I knew anything about FOSS – just Cool Edit (now Adobe Audition) and Audacity. Fruity Loops (now FL Studio) and Pro Tools were new to me. Flying faders that moved to sync with the selected submix (tracks 1-8, 9-16, etc.) and on-screen values was the new hotness from what I saw in Musician’s Friend and Sweetwater magazines.

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Honey Buns and The Nearest Bakery

May 30, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on March 16, 2020

I loved honey buns as a teen. In High School during breakfast, they were 50 cents, already warmed. Sometimes, I’d buy more than one. Honey bun was a favorite junk food, nickname, and popular gift from others for years.

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Home Studio DIY Notes

May 30, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on August 24, 2015

You want something between your studio monitors and its resting surface to improve accuracy between what’s being played and what’s being heard. MoPADs are awesome, and any Styrofoam could work just as well.

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Free Ways to Support Indie Musicians

May 30, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on September 29, 2019

Rapper and childhood friend Louis V. Lyrix once shared a post from a Virginia-based independent music artist stating you can support a musician with just a $1 purchase on iTunes. This reminded me of every time I’ve heard someone talk about supporting local businesses only to make excuses for not doing so when given the opportunity.

Remember this quote:

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The Foreboding Sense of Impending Happiness-HIM

May 30, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on February 20, 2017

HIM, formerly known as His Inferno Majesty, is a Finnish rock band. HIM’s music is categorized as gothic, dark, or alternative rock but they refer to it as love metal. They’ve stated their use of satanic imagery (i.e. “666” and the heartagram) does not represent their personal beliefs and this has in the past resulted in some issues with the black metal community.

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Evolving with Open Source Software at Syracuse University

May 30, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on May 15, 2017

I decided to do some guest blogging for an IT blog since I’ve already done two military-related for RallyPoint. Over the last few months I’ve done two for Syracuse University iSchool (school of information studies) InfoSpace blog. My first post explained 5 applications I think everyone should use. My second InfoSpace post – Evolving with Open Source Software at the iSchool – explains how I found ways to use open source software in six IT courses.

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Constructive Criticism

May 29, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on September 29, 2019

Many people explain what they like when, where, and/or how. What about the why? When I wrote free ways to support indie musicians, I said you can always share someone’s music even if you don’t like it.

But if you do listen to an independent musician’s work and don’t like something about it, don’t simply reply “I didn’t like it.” Why? Well, I can answer your question with your question.

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Can I? (You Got My Lust)-The Story

May 29, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on February 3, 2019

Erika Klash headlines at Syracuse Trexx Club While in Syracuse, NY, I was curious about the city nightlife and decided to check out clubs and bars. I came across Trexx night club and an Erika Klash poster. Why not watch a drag show on my first night out? I checked out her website (offline now) and liked her anime cosplays – especially the Sailor Moon characters.

After seeing her as Sailor Venus (I forgot her other cosplays that night), I thought to mention some of her cosplays in a song. I created the beat and the lyrics soon after.

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Barracks Night Album Art

May 28, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on April 29, 2019

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Aux-Hong Kong Sleepover-Taste the Chain

May 28, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on May 4, 2015

Taste the Chain doesn’t offer vocals from beginning to end. But even after ten seconds of guitar strumming followed by another 25 seconds of amped “Beer Rock,” the shouted words still push the energy to higher decibel. What follows is high energy maintained for the remaining three minutes of the song. Oh yeah, the lyrics. . . something about snakes, whiskey, and taste the chain. I get too hype listening to this to comprehend the all the lyrics. This song is great for any active bar or party venue. Ignore my statement below regarding more lyrics. If anything, it would probably take away from the song. And this doesn’t sound like Egypt Central to me. Egypt Central doesn’t have a track that motivates me to drink.

Below is my original review from SlicethePie.com:
This track belongs on my gym playlist. I could imagine myself doing power cleans and muscle-ups with this song screaming within seconds. This reminds me of a more acoustic and raging Egypt Central track. I loved everything about this track, but I really wish there was more lyrics to scream and a bridge to soothe me for a few moments before rocking out again. You’ve got a new fan.

Taste the Chain on Reverb Nation
Hong Kong Sleepover Official Site
slicethepie.com

Taste the Chain!

Tags: music, aux

Album Art-Needed Treatment

May 27, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on November 4, 2018

One thing I didn’t consider while preparing to distribute my first track – Needed Treatment – was album art. Yeah, I know. “Duh! Really, dude ?!” Yes, really. So I jumped in GIMP to touch up this drawing I did last year hoping to make a piece of art with a lot of symbolism. During a break I read the requirements for album art – 3000 x 3000 with 300 dpi. I didn’t need Waifu2x but I did need to enlarge the orginal image.

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5 Lessons I learned about Mixing Music in 2017

May 24, 2020 — Jt Spratley

Last updated on December 12, 2017

In fulfilling my 7 tracks new years resolution I’ve learned a lot about mixing music. Here I share what I believe to be the five most important lessons of the year.

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Music I Found in 2020 (Aux 2020) Volume 1

May 23, 2020 — Jt Spratley

My Tracks I found in 2019 blog was very late. So this one is very early.

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