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Audacity Producer Desmond Simmons is Big in Japan

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Desmond Simmons, a.k.a. PreciseHero, produces music using only open-source software - he says his computer is too old to handle anything other than Linux. So how did Desmond's DIY mixes end up on the Japanese label P-Vine Records? Creative fortitude and a collaborative spirit have been central to Desmond's success. In this (50th!) episode of Composer Quest, Desmond shares his thoughts on our remix culture, and why 70s Brazilian music is the best kind to sample from.

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Dessa on Writing Hip Hop Lyrics

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Rapper and poet Dessa somehow found time to join me over the phone for Composer Quest Episode 21, in the midst of her nationwide tour (SXSW, New Orleans, Nashville, etc.). I was honored to talk with Dessa about her creative process of writing and arranging hip hop songs.

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Drum Kit Melodies with Pete James Johnson

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Jazz drummer Pete James Johnson has recently been getting into sampling his dad's old records to make beats for his DJ project Elephane. In this episode of Composer Quest, Pete shares his beat sampling advice, his experiences composing for jazz trio, and his new method of thinking in terms of "melodies" when he plays a drum solo.

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