Richie Daniel Jnr.
When I was 9 or 10 years old, I had a friend that I used to regularly visit from Primary School (We’re still friends to this day). We used do random stuff like make home videos, mess around on computers, play games and so on.
So one day, I came around and I noticed that his father was playing guitar – really well I might add. He was recording it on his computer and playing it back to himself. I was curious, so I stood around for a while and watched him play and record. I wanted to do it too, but at 10 years old you have very limited knowledge of these things. He gave me a copy of the software and I experimented as much as I could with it, but I could never fully understand how to use it until years later.
I was 12 years old when I actually started playing guitar. The story behind that happened at the end of the first year in High School. We used to have curriculum activities that we could do as a reward, kind of like “Toy Day” in primary school. Anyway, so we had a choice of either going to a theme park, playing in the chess club, watching movies, and all that kind of stuff.
I was really unsure about what I wanted to do, but a friend of mine said that he was going to go to the guitar classes. So this was new to me, and we decided that it would be fun if we both went. Then on the day, I was the only one that showed up and it went on from there. I learned to play basic chords and then some Green Day/Oasis/Blink 182/Sum 41 and the classes carried on even after that because they were quite popular.
Soon after I turned 15, I discovered computers; ways of obtaining software, and was able to play guitar somewhat, so I gave it another go. I got hold of Fruity Loops and started off making songs that imitated the guitar, because I hadn’t found a way to plug my guitar into the computer.
By this time, I was into Thrash Metal like Pantera, Metallica, Testament and Melodic Death Metal like In Flames, Arch Enemy, At the Gates, Children of Bodom and many more.
After a fateful holiday to Italy later on in 2005, I found something to convert a standard guitar jack into something that could be plugged into a soundcard. It worked, although the quality wasn’t great.
I was obsessed. Churning out songs like a Granny knitting jumpers. I had fun listening to the end result. And that’s what kept me going.
By 2007, I came across better means of recording like using a mixer and better software like Cubase SX3. I had also purchased a better guitar, modded with Dimebucker pickups after my favourite guitarist – Dimebag Darrell.
Around late 2007/early 2008, I discovered Bulb (Misha Mansoor) on soundclick after randomly browsing around the charts and comparing my music to others, just to see where I could improve.
This kind of music was new to me. Extreme, loud, exciting and intricate. It featured something I had never heard before - Polyrhythms.
I was also amazed by the tones he was getting out of his gear (which was a Pod XT at the time). I went full fledge and bought a Pod X3 for myself so that I could imitate that kind of sound.
By this time, I thought I had everything I ever needed, but I was missing one crucial element.
The art of mixing/mastering is a path that one must venture alone into to define their own sound.
It takes years of practice to train your ears properly. So keep on trying, and you will get there eventually.