New gear: Korg Volca Modular synth, Jabun's 15-4-20 album receives a Front Page Award on Newgrounds.com + more updates!
Hi everyone and hope you're having a great week so far. It's been an intensely busy one here at JabunAudio, mostly sorting out and proof-listening to all the uploads for Jabun's upcoming 3rd album (all done now), as well as doing a variety of admin tasks too. Not much actual music making this week, but I did receive my new Korg Volca Modular synth in the post which has been intensely fun! A little more news to share with you this week as you can tell by the title but let's start with a little update on the new synth!
As many of you know I've been using the Korg Volca Keys for years, most notably in tracks such as Better Than The Book's Meteor Shower, or Jabun's Anxiety, and after so many years working with it, it's been amazing to add another Volca, the Volca Modular to my synth armoury! Based on the Buchla "west-coast" method of synthesis, it's taken a little while to get my head around compared to my experience with the more common "east-coast" style synths and with the highly flexible patch-ability of it, it's been hours of great fun exploring new synthesis methods and sounds over the past week (so much so that I'm almost through my 2nd set of batteries for it already; gotta pick up some more rechargeables). While I originally intended to use it for making light ambient soundscapes, I've actually found it easier for making intense and gritty sounds unlike anything I've been able to do up until now instead, a testament to the versatility of the unit despite its compact design. For those interested in something alien, but fun and a great bang for it's buck, I'd highly recommend one, with the warning that things might not always go how you expect them to when working with it (at least that's what I've found). Looking forward to using it in a new track soon(ish)!
Interestingly, on my first day playing with it though, I discovered a strange behaviour which seemed unintentional. After reporting it to Korg tech support, they've managed to reproduce my result on their end and confirmed that I've indeed found a bug (likely in the firmware) and so the information has been passed onto the Korg development team in Japan, which if you ask me is pretty darn cool! Hopefully there'll be a firmware update shortly but in any case I'll be having a tonne of fun with the synth in the meantime while a solution is found! Seems I've had a knack for finding bugs recently! I wonder if I'll end up with 2 of these as well!
Onto other updates for this week, some amazing news to share as Jabun's 15-4-20 album received a Front Page Award on Newgrounds.com, gathering over 2000 listens in the week since its upload! Thanks so much for the love folks, I think that's a record for me, and check out 15-4-20 on Newgrounds below:
Hope you enjoy the music, and if you like it, pick up a copy on Bandcamp below:
Or grab it with the entire Jabun and Better Than The Book discographies + all past rewards for your tier when you become a supporter on Patreon for as little as $1 a month! More music to come soon!
Find out more: https://www.patreon.com/NickStanding
See the past rewards: https://www.patreon.com/posts/44575319
That about wraps things up for this week! I've got a tonne of spreadsheets etc... to sort for Jabun's 3rd album release so it's looking to be an admin heavy week for me, though hopefully I'll have some time for more writing / jamming and there is another SUPER exciting project coming up which I should be revealing at the start of next month if all goes to plan! Until the next one (which may be next week or not, though there'll certainly be one on the 28th), I hope you have a great January to come and thanks as always for supporting JabunAudio and my various projects in all the ways you can. Stay safe, take care, and all the best!
Jabun's full 15-4-20 album is now streaming and playlisted on YouTube and Newgrounds, announcing PATREON REWARD ARCHIVE posts for 4th October 2018 -> 1st January 2021, setting goals and reflecting on 2020, a new synth on the way + more updates!
Hi everyone and hope you're having a great start to 2021 so far (despite the UK being back on national lockdown...). It's been a busy week here getting back into the swing of things, setting up Patreon reward posts for the next few months as well as promoting the newly updated REWARD ARCHIVE (more on that in a moment), updating all the websites with the 2021 dates as well as some more admin, maintenance type work. Some exciting things to look forward to though, as following last week's ponderings for new gear, I've treated myself to a new synth (at a great price too): a Korg Volca Modular! Feel free to Google it if you're interested and hopefully it'll arrive by the time I post this, but I'm certainly excited to start learning the (rather alien to me) Buchla West Coast method of synthesis! No doubt this'll be a source of inspiration for new Jabun material to come! Onto the main news, it's going to be a long post this week with some new music uploads to share as well as lots of reflecting on monthly and yearly goals as has become tradition. Let's start with the final upload for Jabun's 15-4-20 album: the full album stream!
The final (for now) weekly new music upload is here and Jabun's full 15-4-20 album is now available for streaming on YouTube and Newgrounds! Check out and relax to the full 15-4-20 album below:
Or check out the playlisted songs on the platform or your choice:
And if you like what you hear, pick up the 15-4-20 album on bandcamp:
Or grab it with the entire Jabun and Better Than The Book discographies + all past rewards for your tier when you become a supporter on Patreon for as little as $1 a month! More music to come soon! Hope to see you there!
Find out more: https://www.patreon.com/NickStanding
See the past rewards: https://www.patreon.com/posts/44575319
And that wraps up the promo period and uploads for Jabun's 15-4-20 album! I hope you enjoy these ambient soundscapes for years to come and I'll be back shortly with the next batch of Jabun tracks in the spring! More details to come soon!
Speaking of Patreon I have a HUGE update to share with you this week as on January 1st I announced the second set of Patreon reward archive posts for all rewards covering from 4th October 2018 (when I started on Patreon) to 1st January 2021 for the convenience of Patreon supporters and new patrons!
These months' rewards cover the full discographies (as of 1st January 2021) for my ska punk / pop punk project Better Than The Book and electronic / cinematic / ambient project Jabun, as well as a few bonus tracks and covers, and the REWARD ARCHIVE is here for your convenience so you can pick up all these rewards (Mp3s, WAVs, artwork and more depending on your tier) in one place when you sign up. No need to search through all the posts manually: Just click the link to the REWARD ARCHIVE below (which will be pinned to the top of your feed when you sign up), select the archive for your tier, dig in and enjoy the music! Hope to see you in the comments!
Become a patron for as little as $1 a month to access the REWARD ARCHIVE below and all new music as it's released:
And find out more and become a patron below:
Music rewards include:
Better Than The Book's full discography (as of 1st January 2021):
Jabun's full discography (as of 1st January 2021):
As well as:
For those of you on the $10+ DEMOlition Pigeon tier, you'll also have access to all the work in progress, demos and behind the scenes monthly articles too including:
More Better Than The Book will be coming soon(ish) as I'm busy writing the project's 3rd album, but the next few months will be focused on my "other" music as plain old Nick Standing, as well as Jabun's upcoming 3rd album which is due for release spring 2021! Until the next post and then, thanks so much for supporting Better Than The Book, Jabun and my various music projects on Patreon, and I hope you enjoy the music (and articles) above and to come!
Finally this week, it's time for some reflections on December and 2020 as a whole and to set some new goals for January and 2021. I think it goes without saying by this point that 2020 was not the year we all expected it to be, and with that came much disappointment, but let's look back at the goals I set myself at the start of last year and see how I did. Here's what was set:
1) Finish and release that cover song!
2) Finish or at least be in the final stages before releasing the 2nd Jabun album
3) Release the 3 mystery bonus projects I plan to release!
4) Play my first full band gig as Better Than The Book
5) Start work on a new BTTB EP/album?
6) Make a new and updated Patreon intro video
7) Invest in some new studio equipment and/or instruments
8) Keep doing what I do, and keep getting better at it!
9) Make 2020 the best financial year for JabunAudio yet!
Now, ya' know, considering the unexpected circumstances, I don't think things went that badly at all! Of course the main disappointment was not being able to play my first gig (or any gigs) as Better Than The Book, especially after all the hard work and investments at the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020, though I've been sure to keep up my practice throughout last year and apart from getting back in sync and practiced with the guys again, I'm feeling mostly ready for it when the time comes! Musically it's been a very successful and productive year 1) was revealed as Jabun [Alternate Reality]'s debut track Warrior (Ke$ha Metal cover), 2) although not the album I'd planned to release at the time was Jabun's 15-4-20, though my 3rd album as Jabun is already complete and ready for release in the spring (apart from admin work) and I'm STILL sitting on an additional 70+ minutes of demos as well! 3) Turned out to be the 3 silly mash-ups around April Fools and my 30th birthday "Mark Your Wall", "The Bigger Call, Maybe..." and "Erase Stuff", as well as Better Than The Book's Hopes and Dreams [Instrumentals] bonus album, and speaking of 5), apart from some lyric sheets to finish and of course properly recording and producing it all, I've got a decent amount of material for the next BTTB album on the back-burner for working on throughout 2021 as well! One thing I really didn't get around to was making an new Patreon intro video. By the time I had some free time (which wasn't a lot), it felt like it'd be irrelevant again, and so I figured I'd delay it until it felt right to do another, and just concentrate on actually making music for the moment. And speaking of making music, although not on the goals list or even my radar at the time, Cyberdevil's INK 19 mixtape, our collaboration "Away Fear", and my Metallica "Nothing Else Matters" cover for my Dad's 60th birthday were more grand additions to the music of 2020! Onto 7), not only did I get a cabinet for my at the time new Orange amp, but I also invested in the lovely Yamaha YC25D vintage combo organ (something I've wanted for decades) AND fixed it up to 100% working order again (not to mention making my own service manual and finally repairing my Moog too). I think 8) goes without saying as accomplished and my longest interview to date in October on Newgrounds is a good illustration of that. Finally although it could have been a complete disaster, 2020 understandably wasn't the best year financially for JabunAudio, but it wasn't the worst either (partially thanks to the SEISS grants from the government which have helped keep me afloat). It's been a bumpy ride for sure, but things are going better than expected given the circumstances. Overall, while 2020 was an awful year for socialising and gigging, the isolation made for some good productive time and inspiration and I'm sure there'll be plenty more music to show for it (not just from me).
With those reflections done, let's set some goals for 2021! With all the uncertainty of the future, these'll be tentative, but I'll see how I get on:
1) Keep doing what I do, and keep getting better at it!
2) Make 2021 the best financial year for JabunAudio yet! (I can only try)
3) Release Jabun's 3rd album
4) Finish writing and start recording Better Than The Book's next album
5) Play the first BTTB live gig (still hoping)
6) Release or at least finish recording another (4th) Jabun album?
With the Korg Volca Modular on the way, it'd be nice to invest in more gear, but there's no quota to meet for a 2021 goal and I've probably treated myself enough already. Goals 1) and 2) will always be so and I hope at the very least I'll still be able to do this in a year's time. Goal 3) is pretty much in the bag as everything just needs to be uploaded and the admin sorted ready for launch and promo. 5) I'd really like to do, though it's not really up to me anymore... we'll see how it goals. 4) I'm not even if I started now I'd be able to get the album out this year (Maybe if I'm extra inspired with the final bits of writing), though I don't want to rush it either, but I'd at least like to be well on the way recording-wise before 2021 is out. 6) I think it'd very much be possible to release another Jabun album in 2021 on top of the 3rd album, and there's still a lot of (IMO) great material from the writing sessions of 2019 and 2020 I'd like to compile and release. We'll see how it all goes with Jabun and BTTB and I'm sure one of them will be close to or have already launched another album before the year is out! Wish me luck and I hope you all have great 2021s to come!
Onto reflecting on December's goals, I didn't set many for the month but here they are:
1) Release Jabun's 2nd album "15-4-20" to the world!
2) Sort the next set of Patreon Reward Archive posts which'll go live at the start of January.
And not really much to say! Jabun's 15-4-20 was released and so were the new Patreon reward archives! Done! I've already done a considerable amount of the things I'd intended to do in January 2021 (Updating the Patreon page with the new reward archives, updating the websites, finishing the 15-4-20 promo period, and sorting the next few Patreon reward posts), so the rest of my goals are mainly focused around admin on Jabun's upcoming 3rd album:
1) Sort the Bandcamp, RouteNote and streaming uploads for Jabun's 3rd album (proof listening)
2) Make an announcement video for Jabun's 3rd album
3) Make a promo schedule for Jabun's 3rd album
4) Try to finish another 3+ 1st draft lyric sheets for Better Than The Book's next album
Goals 1) - 3) are essential to keeping the next Jabun release on track, and there'll be more to do on that next month as well. Goal 4) is more causal, though I'd like to make sure I keep working at the new Better Than The Book album while I'm busy with all this admin work. I'll also be keeping up with live practice, and I've even started practicing (roughly) some of the new demos too + I need to update some of my records for upcoming royalty payments, and serial numbers when the new synth arrives etc... It's looking to be a busy month overall, though with the new lockdown and ongoing isolation fatigue, I'll be making sure to keep tabs on my own mental and physical health too and doing my best to balance the hard work and play / relaxing time. Hope it's a good month ahead and hope you all have a good month to come as well!
And that wraps up this gargantuan start of the year blog post! It's going to be busy on my end I'm sure, but I also can't wait to get patching and experimenting on the new synth when it arrives and having some fun making music in a new way! Until the next post which may or may not be next week but will certainly be on January 28th at the latest, I hope you have a great start to 2021 and thanks as always for supporting JabunAudio, Jabun, Better Than The Book, my projects and just me, Nick Standing, especially over the past crazy year. I look forward to bringing you new music soon! Take care and all the best for 2021!
Nick Standing; HurpADervish; Jabun!
Keep up to date with all of Nick's projects on a weekly basis right here!