Project Announcement + Week 1 Review

Hi, everyone! Today marks the beginning of a brand new eight-week personal project for bansheebeat. I've been making and releasing music under this project for nearly six years, and in that time I've had so many opportunities to meet amazing new people, perform around the southwest, and discover new ways to change lives through music. I am now incredibly excited to take the next big step in my career by reaching out to new locales, new audiences, and to spread my sound to a greater part of the world. Because you have all been my dependable listeners and supporters, I wanted to reach out to you in a new way, too, and invite you to go through the process along with me!

Some of you might be aspiring songwriters, producers, and musicians yourself. One of my goals is to share this journey with you so that you might step up and accomplish bigger things, too, when ready! I want this to be a real look at the life of an independent musician!

So what is this personal project?” you might ask. It is comprised of eight weeks of individual weekly goals and activities, each dedicated to furthering my skills as well as visibility in a variety of ways.

  • Learning photo and video editing software
  • Publishing new material on a more regular schedule
  • Creating more non-musical content
  • Increasing visibility to new audiences and demographics
  • Budgeting and producing professional merchandise
  • Promoting and curating advertising for a new album release
  • Film and edit a promotional music video
  • Organizing a release show and a summer tour

Among those features, there will be more exciting details unveiled in later updates, so stay tuned!

So, in starting out, I had a few specific goals for this week. On top of kicking the project off, I had to take the necessary steps to ready myself for the next several weeks. The first on the list was obtaining photo and video editing software. While I have been using various software and sound engines to produce music for the better part of ten years, I have absolutely no idea what to do when it comes to creating visual content, both static and video based. Fortunately, I have so many talented friends who are artists or film directors who have been kind enough to curate supplementary content for my material (album artwork, promotional videos, live visuals, etc.). However, I need to become more independent so that I can rely on myself more to accomplish these tasks, so I purchased two editing programs, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere. While I’ve read and watched various learning materials and tutorials for these programs, using them on your own is an entirely different and slightly scary undertaking.

                        Original sketch by Mari

                        Original sketch by Mari

For Valentine’s Day, I published an hour-long holiday themed music mix. Studio mixing (and live mixing in general) is honestly not my expertise by any stretch, so coming up with an hour of nearly seamlessly transitioning material was a challenge as well. Luckily, a few of my talented DJ friends offered feedback and criticism to help me smoothen out the product as best as possible. It was honestly a lot of fun, but ended up being more taxing and time consuming than I had ever anticipated! I also decided to create unique artwork to go along with the mix on Soundcloud, so I popped open Photoshop and got to work!

Starting out, my dear friend Mari Ralis, a freelance artist from Portland, OR, was kind enough to supply me with an art sketch to base the artwork around.


                       First digitally painted draft

                       First digitally painted draft

Taking that, I tried various methods of digital painting, color editing, typography, among other things over the course of two evenings. By the end of the first night, I ended up with this result. While a step up from the blank nature of the original sketch, the colors weren’t blending together in a way I felt satisfied with, and was overall visibly composed by the crude hand of an amateur. While several days of Photoshop tutorials have definitely made me more comfortable with the software, I was still nowhere near apt enough to make anything near a borderline professional standard. Out of ideas, I contacted my friend Calvin, of the SpaceMoneyOctagon podcast network, who has been proficient with photo and video editing for years. They helped me take what I had, tweak it, and transform it into a much better product. 

You can see the final product here:

While I have been dabbling with video tutorials for Adobe Premiere, I didn’t have too many opportunities to try my own hand at it. I was able to take short video recordings made in a practice room at the University, but I did not have ample time to edit the footage before running into space and RAM issues with my computer. I’m continuing to figure out how to work with video content around the constraints of my older laptop model by cleaning out and organizing storage as well as prioritizing memory usage.

This week was an imperfect start in launching the project, but if anything that just prepares me to be ready for anything and everything to present new challenges! Taking on new opportunities can be daunting and stressful, but I’m super excited at the things I’ll learn and experience in the coming weeks!

Thank you for joining me on this new journey, and I hope you’ll accompany me through the next several weeks as I unveil new and exciting announcements and work toward personal and professional improvement!


- Dylan