There’s a Wolf in my Video!

If you saw my most recent video, Blue Fields from Final Fantasy VIII, you might have noticed that I had a seemingly unconnected prop showing up in some of my clips. If you look close you can see it.

Can you see it?

That is right, my video this week had a special guest, a beanie baby wolf. This wolf is not in this video because of Final Fantasy VIII. It is not there as some kind of prop or joke. It is there because I am a father.

See, my son, who is going to be five this fall, came upstairs while I was recording this video. He ran up to me to tell me that he was going over to his cousin’s house. He gave me a hug and an “I love you.” But then he handed me his stuffed wolf he was holding.

“Dada, I need you to take care of this wolf. He gets lonely and is afraid to be by himself. Can you take care of him?”

I promised my son I would take good care of his wolf while he was gone. He smiled, gave me one last hug and headed back downstairs. See, my son calls all his stuffed animals his babies. He is their caretaker, and he takes this particular type of play very seriously. He makes them food and medicine when they are sick and helps comfort them when they get scared. He sees that some of the most important parts of life are taking care of those you love, and he wants so badly to emulate that. So, being given the job of protecting a baby who is afraid of being alone was serious business. And I wanted my son to know that I took it seriously.

So, from that point on, my new friend, the wolf, helped me make the video. Since he didn’t want to be alone, he decided to be with me as I filmed all of my parts. You can see him most clearly hanging out on my lap while I play acoustic:

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“He gets lonely and is afraid to be by himself. Can you take care of him?”

And he was right there, watching me program my LSDj parts into the Gameboy:

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He makes them food and medicine when they are sick and helps comfort them when they get scared.

He even helped me put together my synth patches on the prophet 08:

being given the job of protecting a baby who is afraid of being alone was serious business.

being given the job of protecting a baby who is afraid of being alone was serious business.

I want my son to know that his priorities are my priorities. Even though I spend a lot of time making music, I will include his lonely wolf in what I am doing, because my son cares about that and that makes it important to me. I even will play into it, and tell him how the wolf helped make me feel less nervous in front of the camera and that he helped me make the patches on my synths.

I did this because I remember being a kid. I remember playing pretend. I remember that my parents always played along, and how happy it made me. I remember how seriously I took those games. I also see how important it is to my son. You might see a silly kid, playing make believe with some dated stuffed animal collectables his parents still had from when they got way too into beanie babies, but I see a future father, trying to be like his Mama and Dada, taking care of his babies. That is the kind of play I want to support. Not to say I won’t play along when he wants to sword fight, because I totally do that too. I love playing with this kid.

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Normally, my son isn’t super attached to my videos (unless they are from Minecraft) but when I told him that his wolf helped me make the video, we immediately had to watch it. He was so happy to try to find the wolf in every shot. I know that this video will be one of his favorites of mine, all because I put a stuffed animal on my lap while recording guitar.

I wrote this because I wanted to let you all know about the most important person in my life and how sometimes, there will be wolves in my videos. Because I love my son and I want him to know that his Dada cares. If you want to read more about our families adventures, you should check out my wife’s blog.

Up on my headstock. Can only see if you freeze on a few frames.

Up on my headstock. Can only see if you freeze on a few frames.

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I’m not salty, OCremix! I swear!!!!!

Last year, I submitted two tracks to OCRemix. When the first track got rejected, I may have appeared a bit salty as to their decision, and I really wanted to clear that up. I am not mad or hurt by their decisions. The two main points I made still have a lot of validity in my mind, but I figured I should elaborate, because 140 characters makes me come off a bit more frustrated than I am.

1. The wait times are killer. They just are. As a weekly content creator, it’s crazy how much I have grown, and how much content I have made since I submitted those tracks. The idea of going back and reworking them just doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. On my second track, the Crystal Snail cover, I did some silly hard pans which is one of the criticisms I agree with most. Unfortunately, I did it all on the hardware, so there is no real way of me counteracting that easily. I mean, even if I really wanted to go and rework those old tracks, I don’t even know if I could. Having an OS change and a HD crash happen over the last 9 months makes working on old songs really difficult if not impossible.

2. When I said they don’t get what I am going for, it wasn’t meant to be some aloof artist, clinging hopelessly to his concept. What I meant was, their mixing advice is perfect, if you are making clean, polished electronic dance music. Its fantastic pop sensibility kind of advice. But, that just isn’t what I am going for. I am super influenced by shoegaze, post-rock, and more experimental styles of recording. I like thick, lush synth sounds that you get lost in. Yes, some of their advice is great advice for all genres, but I feel a lot of the reason my tracks didn’t connect is because they aren’t mixed like EDM. I like thick, textures. I like giving a track a bit of mud here and there. I am not saying every decision back then was purposeful, or good. Yes, some of these older tracks could use a bit polishing, but a fair bit of what they criticize was intentional and I stand by it. Its that disconnect between my style of mixing and their ideal for a good submission that makes me just say, I don’t think you get it. For me, some of the new accepted submissions are so glaringly shiny and clean that I don’t enjoy the sound of them. I like dat warmth. I like to have a little mess in my mix.

Ultimately I make my tracks for my channel. I only have a week to make each one, and I don’t really have the time, outside of when I put together a VGM album to get nitty gritty with the production, and I personally believe this gives my songs a bit of their personality. They are not perfect, and I like that about them. I like that you can hear the humanity in my music. The blemishes in art are the human spirit shining through.

I may still submit a track here or there but waiting as long as I have had to get feedback is no fun. Especially when the feedback is either a difference of opinion and production taste, or something I agree with, but would mean completely rebuilding a track from scratch (the limits of hardware) that I finished 8 months ago.

No disrespect, OCR. You are good people, I just don’t know if its the right fit. We can still be friends though!

Love from this unsalted ham,
Ace.