How many do you see?

My style combines lo-fi video game sounds with dance, big sweeping orchestral lines, and piano performances.

I first started writing music electronically using a tracker — originally ModEdit, but I found my way to ModPlug Tracker (now OpenMPT). I’ve since moved onto Reaper, but many of my pieces retain elements of the demoscene and video game music sound. Combined with my classical music and jazz piano background, many of my tracks don’t fit neatly into any one genre.

I entered this track in a Native Instruments competition.

Technical notes on this track:

  • Produced using Reaper DAW
  • Two instances of “The Maverick” NI piano
  • Session Strings Pro for basses, celli, violas, violins + stock Kontakt ‘bones and vowel-morphed choir
  • Bass is a custom Massive patch
  • Drums by Drum Lab
  • Arp courtesy of Oki Computer 2 in Reaktor
  • Bell lead via Rounds
  • Also includes sampled monkey balls and bowed saw, as well as Droopy the Dragon (from Kontakt 3)
  • Lots of Guitar Rig ensembles for Fx, as well as Replika and stock Reaper compressor
  • Performed on a first-generation S61
Creative Commons License

[Music] Waltz in C Minor

This piece was written purely as a way to help me get to grips with a completely new music production workflow. With a new Komplete Kontrol S61 (which is fantastic) comes the need for a more MIDI-aware DAW; I’m trialling Cockos Reaper as it seems to be feature rich and reasonably priced. I don’t imagine I’ll leave OpenMPT entirely — I’ve been using it for over a decade now, and it’s ingrained in my muscle memory.

I’m still struggling with getting routing working the way I want in Reaper. It’s really easy to create 16 MIDI channels for a VSTi like Kontakt, and easy to map plugin outputs to separate outputs, but I can’t for the life of me work out how to have a MIDI input track also function as one of the outputs. I want to do this so that I can set up an output for each instrument in Kontakt, allowing me to use a single Kontakt instance to save on RAM and CPU cycles, and not have a thousand-and-three tracks to manage. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know!

This piece is performed “live” — the MIDI events for the drums, guitar, piano, bass, and strings are all recorded directly from the Kontrol (and tweaked slightly); I’m trying to find the best way of rapidly getting music down. It’s made a little more complex by the fact that I don’t have the world’s largest desk, so using the keyboard and mouse is now somewhat uncomfortable.

You can grab and listen to it on Soundcloud, or use the embedded player and download links below.


(Download: Opus | Ogg | MP3)

Creative Commons License
Waltz in C Minor by Barry van Oudtshoorn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

If you’re interested in using any of my music in your games, videos, or other multimedia productions, let me know!

[Music] Falls apart

This piece starts out quietly, but moves into a fuller, orchestral and synthetic middle section. To my ear, it would work quite well in a game, with its emotive melody underpinned by a driving rhythm, parenthetically enclosed by an almost-melancholic processed piano.


(Download: Ogg | MP3)

Creative Commons License
Falls Apart by Barry van Oudtshoorn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

[Music] Next to you

Although originally conceived as a lyrical piano piece, this track is at its best in the central section, where bass and synth lead dominate (at least in my opinion). It’s somewhat experimental (there are some interesting sounds in the mix), but not, hopefully, too much so.


(Download higher-quality mp3)

Creative Commons License
Next to you by Barry van Oudtshoorn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

[Music] If only for you

I love glitch kits. Perhaps its the strong transients or the unique timbre — whatever it is, though, they lend a unique sound to a piece. In this track a glitch kit is combined with a few synths, some tuned gongs, recorders, accordions, and other eclectic instruments to produce something that doesn’t fall neatly into any specific genre, but that’s hopefully nonetheless enjoyable.


(Download higher-quality mp3)

Creative Commons License
If only for you by Barry van Oudtshoorn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

[Music] Tabula Rasa

This is a more down-beat, semi-acoustic, easy-listening pop track — just waiting for lyrics and vocals. For those interested, the primary chord progression is A, F#m7, Fmaj7, Esus7 – E. It’s a somewhat melancholy progression, suited to subtly-changing ostinati, and lightly-improvised piano and bass lines.

There are lots of Guitar Rig effects at play in this one, mutilating sounds from FM8, Massive, Battery, Kontakt, and Absynth. Guitar Rig has become my go-to VST effect — even though I don’t actually use guitars all that much in my music!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


(Download)

Creative Commons License
Tabula Rasa by Barry van Oudtshoorn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

[Music] Skyclad

Ah, synthpop! Ah, 7/8! I have a fondness for both, and so it seemed only natural to bring them together.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


(Download)

Creative Commons License
Skyclad by Barry van Oudtshoorn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

[Music] Frequency

This track is, in many ways, a harkening back to my earlier compositions. Its structure is more straightforward, its arrangement is more natural and less synthetic, and it came about from a session in front of the piano. These elements form the basis of much of my earlier work, and, if I’m honest, they probably define my preferred method of composition.

Let me know what you think!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


(Download)

Creative Commons License
Frequency by Barry van Oudtshoorn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

[Music] Ventilate

Well, it’s been a fair while since I last uploaded a piece of music — over two months, in fact! So here’s my latest piece.

This piece actually started out as an experiment — I recently got my hands on all sorts of shiny new toys, and my DAW got an awesome upgrade, so I couldn’t resist seeing what I could do with them.

I managed to use all but one of the products that came with Komplete to make this track — FM8, Massive, Reaktor, Guitar Rig, Kontakt, and Battery. Much fun. 😀

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Hmm… For some reason, the version of this uploaded to thesixtyone gets some distortion on the bass during the intro section. I’ve tried uploading at various bitrates, multiple times, but it still keeps on happening. I think they must be doing some re-encoding. :/ Very annoying.

Songpack #1

[Download archive]

I’ve uploaded an archive of my music for easier download. This archive currently contains eighteen tracks, eight of which are no longer available anywhere else! The tracks included in this pack are:

I may well create other ‘songpacks’ for download, so keep checking back. There’ll always be a couple of exclusive tracks in each pack, so it’ll be worth your while. I hope. 🙂

Download all eighteen tracks now!