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Dear Readers,

It’s been a little while since “City Dreams” came out and I thought I should tell you that, yes, I have been busy working on new material! Here’s a small sample:

Untitled Work in Progress

For this work, I’ve been focused on making a clean ambient sound. This should be the kind of music that can sit in the background while you study, sleep, or meditate. And, so far, I’m pretty happy with the results. That said, I’m still very much in the initial creation and mixing phase of my workflow – so I don’t yet have a target release time or any more details about the album.

My main focus, in creating the cleaner sound, has been in improving my mixing. I’ve largely focused on doing better with equalizers and, in some cases, attempted to apply a more standard song structure. My plan is to avoid drums in this release or, if they are added, having a minimal amount of them. What I want is to have a mostly free-flowing piano lead with a variety of ambient drones and strings in the background to invoke a nice sense of calm.

As for other techniques, I’m using a limited amount of compression, a variety of delay and reverb techniques, and a whole lot of shimmer. (See: https://valhalladsp.com/shop/reverb/valhalla-shimmer/). I don’t have too many third-party plugins but that one is definitely one of my favorites!

Anyway, I wanted to share some updates because I’m excited about this future release!

Sincerely,

Achira

Dear Readers,

I’m pleased to announce that I’m releasing a new album on all platforms May 28th, 2021! Over many months, I worked on creating this chill music combining city life with dreamy synth textures and I can’t wait for release day to hear your feedback! I truly hope this music brings you the same level of chill and inner peace it brings to me every day.

For this release, I wanted to dive in a bit on what makes this album different. So, a quick recap:

  • “Inside the Red Room” was my first full length release which contains 17 songs mostly combining piano sounds with sound samples geared towards yoga and meditation music. The album was produced entirely in GarageBand as a labor of love and passion but with very little technical knowledge of the music making process.
  • “Exodus” was an EP created in the month of February for the RPM Challenge. When I created this music, I was already a month or two into the process of creating “City Dreams” but I took a timeout for the challenge. I learned a lot leading up to this EP and from creating this EP – relying a little less on samples, moving to Logic Pro, starting this blog, and learning about all sorts of things along the way.

“City Dreams” is different in terms of applied knowledge – I just know a lot more about the process now than I did when I started making music. (For the record, I still have a lot to learn.) It’s also different because I had very specific targeted goals like wanting to target a lo-fi feel in the production. Some other things were done for consistency which I didn’t bother with before: using the same BPM across most of the songs, creating and using the same drum kit across all the songs, etc. The end result, I feel, is a more technically accurate sound.

The drum kit component was also very different this time. “Inside the Red Room” was done purely with samples – any percussion in those songs was chosen from purchased samples and used, pretty much, as-is. “Exodus”, given the speed at which I needed to complete the songs, was done using the Logic Pro drum sequencer and a stock drum kit. With “City Dreams”, all the drums were programmed via MIDI which was a painful process at times but I felt led to better outcomes.

You may also note that the raw piano sound is missing from this album. I really love the sound of a piano but I decided to switch that out for an Alchemy-based sound that I customized a bit. When I was chasing that lo-fi feel with my piano sounds, I kept backing myself into this corner where the piano either sounded far too distorted or was still too piercing. I just wasn’t getting to the sound that I wanted – so I tried a lot of different things and finally got there.

Why move away from the piano sound? The highs were just too jarring for the dreamy feel I wanted to get to.

Enjoy this preview from Track 1 of the album taken from the middle of the song!

Preview: Downtown from “City Dreams” by Achira

As always, thanks for sticking with me and I hope you enjoy this album when it comes out!

Sincerely,

Achira

P.S. Don’t worry about marking your calendars, I’ll post a reminder on release day!