Mixer Jaëxx - 5 AM Awake
MIDI Controlled Addiction
Mixer Jaëxx, U.S. Copyright Office, 2014
Inspiration happens in weird ways. Late at night, messing with my virtual drum machine, Redrum, I was feeling cooped up. So at 2 AM, I headed down to my local Steak ’n’ Shake. I walked in with my electronics backpack strung over my shoulder and the waitress asked “Booth or a table?” I motioned towards my backpack (black with reflective rainbow graffiti) and said “Anything with an outlet…”
While there, jamming with my decade old Sony MDR-V600 headphones on, I ended up on a pretty groovy hip-hop beat. Well, I hate hip-hop, so that no good. But I didn’t want my time out wasted after all. So I ended up replacing some of the drum hits with crazy sounds, some of the drum pads controlling synths and other just insane shit. What I ended up with was this wild sound… glitchy, in a good way. I tweaked it some more and realize I had changed this beat into an awesome, deephouse-sounding groove.
While sitting in Steak ’n’ Shake, having people eating there looking over with curiosity and wondering what I was doing (I had my Korg PadKontrol device hooked up to my laptop, flashing away with its pink-glowing lights), I ended up creating a virtual device for the drums. This device allows me to alter and affect sounds of drums, giving them a kinda’ crushy, static quality at times. This device ended up becoming so useful that I use it in most of my songs. It’s really become a signature sound by accident.
So not only did I start creating the basics for an awesome, deephouse-sounding song, but I came up with a prototype device for crushulating drums. Wow, what an inspiring, productive outing this ended up being (and the food was great that night, too).
By the time I realized I should get going, I noticed it was like 5:45 AM. Holy shit, I was there for a long time. In closing things down, my music studio program asked me to save the project. I decided on “5 AM Awake 01.rns”. And that’s how 5 AM Awake got its name; being awake at 5 AM at Steak ’n’ Shake creating music. Gotta’ fuckin’ love the future, ya know? Don’t take the technology we have at our disposal for granted, people a couple decades ago would kill to live in our times.
[Page background is of the actual device rack for this song.]