Tag Archives: website

Hexagon Craftworks Label 3x2 Black

06.04.2016 – Hexagon Craftworks

I’ve started a business!  I’ve been writing about my ideas in this blog for months about it, and the time has finally come.  I took care of all of the logistics and legal stuff, got set up with a great online platform, got some business partners / affiliates, and I did a lot of designing, coding, and talking.  It’s live.  I named it: Hexagon Craftworks, because of my love for geometry and also because of the geometrical usage in my artwork.

All of my in-progress projects will now be part of Hexagon Craftworks R&D, except for the software and music portions.  I’m dead serious about delivering great-quality and dead cool stuff – well, my idea of cool (which I think is very cool, of course 🙂 ).  And, there’s a market out there for that.  I’m serious about making this my full-time career – to put everything into it.  I have a Phase 1 (which we’re in now), a Phase 2 (about 6 months from now), and a Phase 3 (about a year from now) in my business plan, which will each mark new product lines, new buildings / moving / tooling, and revenue numbers to keep us afloat.  Once I get to that Phase 3, I’ll try to keep that rolling for at least 5 years, then reevaluate.

But, anyway, Hexagon Craftworks is an art and wood shop, predominately.  I’m the sole creator and innovator.  The art is formatted and sold at an online storefront as framed prints, on shirts, bags, accessories, and the wood art is also sold, packaged and, shipped.  Wood art is a phase 2 thing to be launched as soon as I develop the business system / procedure down for it.

Anyway, that’s a short writeup on what’s been going on with Hexagon, project-wise.  There are sooo many more projects to come now that this is set up.  And, this project log helped me come to many conclusions about what was possible.  Of course, structuring the business itself is a project on it’s own, but it’s also a formal outlet for the result of my physical projects.  I’m really excited about it and will make it succeed.

Hexagon Craftworks Label 3x2 Black

Hexagon Craftworks

In other news, just to resolve some of the other project threads I’ve had out in the past, since this is my personal blog…  The Audio Granulator has had some progress on it, but took the back seat while I formed this biz.  The Apple WWDC came and went – watched it, loved it…  Can’t wait to get back to it once things have settled down.

And, the guitar practice is staying constant and consistent into June.  I’m a far better player than I ever was.  I can run scales up and down the neck at 100bpm, sixteenth notes, no problem for every major and minor scale, these days – it just took 90 days of practice, though.  Haha.  But, the real marker of success would just be my ability to now improvise in a much better and more smooth fashion – over most keys.  I could already strum and knew chords (of course – listen to my recordings) before I started these 2016 practice sessions, but the goal of 2016 was to be able to solo and make riffs easier so that I could pull out whatever I needed when I needed it – it’s going well.  On to July with that!

And, lastly, it’s growing season again – I got more cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, basil, cilantro, ginger, greens, and a lot more going this year.  Can’t wait to see how they do, and even plan more for 2017.

Brad Ormand - The Spirit of Adventure Springs Eternal - Music Album

09.14.2015 – The Music Journey

So, my album “The Spirit of Adventure Springs Eternal” was released this month on the 4th.  I wrote the songs, played the parts, sang, recorded, produced, edited, mixed, and mastered it.  And, now I have released what I made to the public.  I’m both excited and relieved!  Now, I can mature my style and move on to the next batch of songs.  I have lots of new things planned!

It’s out in all major outlets – iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Spotify, XBox Store, and a lot of other places.

Here it is on iTunes  &  Google Play  &  Amazon :

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It’s out for sale and stream, but it’s also simply a statement that “I’m out here, too” and “I want to have fun with music, too, and engage in business with it, too“.  And, I’ve been receiving some attention for it from players in the industry.  It helps to put me in place to do more and more and more of it.  And, I’ll only get better and better at it because I’m determined to do so and I just work all the time.

Brad Ormand Album on Google Play

This one was far better-sounding and more balanced than my last, and the product gets better with each release.  My plans are to keep continuing to release every year or so until I am coming up with hit records every time with Grammy potential.  I may or may not be capable, in the end, we’ll see, but I’m sure going to try. 🙂  I mean, if you examine a successful entrepreneur’s or artist’s or businessman’s early work, it was likely not his defining work.  But, when they do succeed in a big way, the lessons and potential came from practice and those earlier experiences and their grit.

I’m already inspired by other July and August releases, such as from Dr. Dre, The Chemical Brothers, Astralwerks, and Skrillex’s labels that have forged my image of what better, more intricate touches the next album can contain.  I’m not saying the album I released this month is not strong work, because it is, but I am saying that I have even better-sounding stuff coming through the pipe, which is why I am somewhat relieved – it’s because now, I get to switch over to work on the new ones and prepare them for massiveness!  I’m going to keep doing this.

Brad Ormand Album on iTunes

In 2013, I completely re-vamped my production and engineering style.  I went back to basics and learned other ways to do many things, and then combined it with what I was already good at.  The process and practice paid off.  Now, in 2015, I am at that platform again.  I have dug deep into the interworkings of modern vocal synths and more advanced synth parameter automation with Pro Tools in the last few months, which was my 2015 goal – to do more with synthetic harmonics using formants and organic, voicebox sounds – both beautiful AND retched!  And, I can’t wait to take it to its depths in the next few months.  Also, I have a much better narrative and storytelling sense now, and I have an idea how I can improve my mastering approach.  I have so many ideas for sonic production that I can hardly stand it – from heavy songs to really chill, beautiful, warm songs.  A lot of good stuff is coming, I truly believe.

Anyway, I’m excited about Spirit of Adventure because it contains a few gems, some great choruses, and some powerful sub bass and kick drums (that I’m proud of) – all of that can garner attention and be licensed for broadcast, sustaining this.  I want this business to fund my writing and production process (and each upcoming album), and so the engine goes on and on, etc…  That’s all I ask.

Brad Ormand - The Spirit of Adventure Springs Eternal - Music Album

All this is part of my journey as a music producer.  The album had varied genres, and it can stand for what many things I am capable of doing up to 2015, my versatility.  I am an unknown artist, right now, but this album at least puts me on the map so that my next one comes through with people already paying attention.  I’m open for business, tho.

I’m dead set on making top-quality songs – songs that evoke real emotion and spread love and dazzle you and make you excited about life!  And, I already know where to go from here.

 

Brad Ormand's Etsy Shop

06.25.2015 – Etsy Store is Live!

***Update!! …  I have my own storefront now called Hexagon Craftworks .  My Etsy store is closed.  But, a lot of the same artwork is at my new store as prints and shirts and bags, etc!  I also stopped selling original paintings….

 

I’ve gone ahead and launched an Etsy shop with 12 of my paintings!  They are various sizes and go for various prices.  All originals on canvas – original paint and canvas texture and all.  I even got favorited, too.  Awesome.  I’m glad.  I had been wanting to launch a shop for a while now.

I have made drums and woodcarvings and hexagon lights that haven’t had a chance to mature to make an appearance up there, but, in time, more and more items will make their way to the storefront.  Lots of stuff to appeal to decorators and collectors alike.  The shop is still young.

The style, predominately, is geometric shapes, put together in a stylized fashion.  That’s where my heart is at right now.  Maybe one day I’ll do humans and dogs and lizards, but for now, I’m vibing off of the chained primitive shapes.  It’s a thing of it’s own.  Kinda like modern architecture – mostly straight lines and non-traditional.

Brad Ormand's Etsy Shop

Pick something out, and I’ll ship it to you.

That’s about all I had for now, but I’m working on some woodcarvings and plan to get the drums looking and sounding better.  So far, it’s still an adventure as I’m just going through living my life, enjoying it, getting inspired, and making things as I go.

Painting - Color Bubbles - Brad Ormand

05.23.2015 – Shake That Move & Painting

S O N G S

Well, I’m full into the new job and everything’s stable.  So, I started re-mixing a lot of my songs and painting and building a bit – whereas the last few weeks have cut into my personal and project life, since I really wanted to get the work stuff settled.  I added “Shake That Move” to my music playlist.  I can still cut it down a few minutes and remove some of the repetition, but the kicks and snares and vox are sounding really nice and all of the filters are leading into one another nicely.  I’m happy with how it’s going so far.  Days of work, addressing each little thing.

The opening kick sound is just what I have been trying to go for.  I mean, I am very, very happy with it!  And, the rest is getting more and more balanced every time I work on it.  And, of course, “Strike” and “Doing Fine”  have had a lot more work done to them.  …Just getting them all ready to be done and released…  I also worked on 3 of my “on deck” songs because I had ideas for them (not posted until “in beta”, so to speak).

Sometimes the best thing for assessing if something is working is a night’s sleep, some dreams, and fresh ears.  And, I can’t stress enough how much having a sub in the truck helps keep my kick and sub levels in check.  In the studio, I have a few 8’s, but there’s nothing like running the songs through real-world scenarios in between mix sessions.

Brad Ormand - Music Player

I have a zillion other ideas, and I can feel my workflow and creating ability, along with my production quality improve every time I do a song.  So, I’ll be happy once these are released and I can move on to some of the other ideas.

P A I N T I N G

So, I had an idea to do a whole bunch of circles on a gradient background like bubbles in a fizzy drink.  At first, I was inspired by a Sprite can that had a similar pattern that looked really beautiful.  I wanna see if I can do my spin on that kind of thing with acrylic on canvas.  Also, I did one really similar to that when I was in high school a long time ago on a concrete wall.  It came out cool.  And, I saw an art installation in Houston that had primary colors as different shaped square blocks around it, and that was striking.  I’m going to try something 🙂

Base Painting - Brad Ormand

Painting - Color Bubbles - Brad Ormand

I was going to run a prominent feature through the whole thing once I got the bubbles laid out.  There are like a thousand more bubbles to go, but one I get them in, I can start thinking about the finishing part.

A note about the feelings I’m getting lately…  I took a break from painting over the last few months, and realized that I was happier when I had the time to paint and was in the process of creating something artful.  And, now it’s confirmed – I feel more alive and happy if I have a painting or some creative visual art going at any point – I feel great just starting a piece and re-evaluating every so often to get it closer to my original vision.

I have other projects pending such as the Honeycomb Light and the Synth prototype, but feel like I have to spend some time painting to get my senses back and to get some creative juices flowing before I can effectively get back to those.  It’s about “catching” that wave of natural inspiration and motivation for me.  I can start making it “wavey” and then the right wave will come and in no time, and I’ll be surfing.  And, right now, I’m inspired by the painting and songs, and can feel the right stuff starting to stir up.

iOS Meal Tracker - Brad Ormand

05.04.2015 – Job, Meal Tracker & Wood stuff

I have been immersed in my new job, lately.  I spend a lot of time writing and debugging code all day long, but it’s inspiring.  It has also sparked a resurgence in me researching new software development methods on my own time.  Things change in this industry sooooo quickly!  And, I have to keep up.  I have been intrigued lately in several dev areas – mainly in graphics and animation.  Mostly graphical UI as related to application development, but I have been trying to borrow concepts from video game menus and sci-fi films.  So, most of my time lately, on and off the job, has been spent writing code.  I’m on kind of a rampage right now, as this is where my interests are leading me.

About a year ago, before I started this Project Log, I left behind a halfway-finished personal project that I was calling: “Meal Tracker”.  The name and domain have been pretty much taken in industry, so I’ll choose something different once I get a beta going.  I wrote the app for iOS in Objective-C and used SQLite and Cocoa.  It was a tool similar to MyFitnessPal for tracking calories and macros, but I had it tracking micronutrients, exercise, moods, and sleep, as well.  I have been revisiting that.  I went back and forth whether I wanted to dev it in JS and wrap it with Apache Cordova to deploy on multiple platforms, but ended up starting to port it over to Android separately with the Android SDK, because I had wanted to work with Java FX 2.0, since the newly revamped version looked so excellent.  But, that’s about where I stopped.

iOS Meal Tracker - Brad Ormand

And, now I want to develop in Swift, Apple’s new programming language.  I also want to try to build with Ember JS – we’ll see what happens, what I choose to go with.  It’ll be awesome either way – and a good chance to put together a good experimental UI.  And, I have a secure PHP backend written and nearly ready to go.  So, I’m picking this back up to try to see what I can do, here.  Right now, I’m just going to make my first commit and push to Bitbucket and make some progress toward a first version.

And, related, I am currently tracking my calories and macros in MyFitnessPal (as I work on getting back in the shape I was in last Spring 🙂  One of my goals is to run a 5k in 24 minutes by October…  the one I “ran” yesterday was almost twice that time!  (I walked some – ha)  I used to pop ’em out at about 30 a piece.  Got some work to do, but Anywayyys…. ). MyFitnessPal is great, actually, but I’m just wanting to go a little further as far as data accuracy and with more metrics to track.  I think it would be cool to have these extra non-nutrition-related features to get an overall picture of what’s affecting what in life – sleep, moods, weather, etc.  The extremely hard part with rolling my own app will be the nutrition database – especially getting restaurant menu items from everybody out on the planet to drop into the tracks..  Whew!  (not really feasible).

I have found many discrepancies in the data coming from MyFitnessPal, though – I think the users create them themselves and then share them.  The titles are sometimes all backwards and sometimes part of the nutrition data is missing or just wrong.  It’s ok, though.  It’s a great app, don’t get me wrong, but I was considering having something that was “official” for everything.  I was thinking of using the comprehensive USDA database and designing a way to provide estimates, but I am still doing research on it right now.  Also, I’m still investigating the licensing, too.  I just don’t know, yet, what’d it take to use…  But, there will always be the ability to create *user* profiles, so I’ll have a path there if I needed to somehow create the data myself.  It’ll take a few years.  But, I’d be willing.

W O O D W O R K I N G

Unsanded Wood Blocks

Woodworking has been on my mind a lot, recently.  As I get more and more involved with crafting wood items, the need for better, more precision tools is emerging.   I want to start adding to the equipment in my workshop.  I’ve got a router, a jigsaw, and a belt-sander, but I’d like to have a circular saw and a lathe one day.  And, maybe a lathe that could also double for cutting aluminum stock as well, I don’t know.  I could make my own PCB cages and standoffs, special bolts and nuts, etc.  That’d be fun.

I enjoy this type of work immensely.  And, if I could ever get to the point to where I had a stable production line of electronic modules for lighting coming out, I’d be all set up to create pretty much anything on a small scale.  But, also, I’d need the *time* to do it all, too.  Ha. (I still have to etch those SMD boards…)  I have my hands into a lot right now.  Still…  it’s about enjoying the process and exploring these new avenues as I enjoy them.  This project log helps me see where things change and what trends emerge, and helps me look back on what I was motivated by and when.

Brad Ormand Site - Home

12.10.2014 – Job & Site

I guess I’m gonna have to talk about this…  I usually like to talk about my personal projects on this site, but I think this relates.  It’s just that I’m experiencing kind of a heavy load from my job.  It’s not *too* much work, per se.  It’s just that I have it on my mind a lot – things I have to do with the projects there, things I’d do differently, and things I think that have been misunderstood and need clarification, and what’s the best way to communicate it.  It’s all part of a job, I guess.

However, that being the case, it’s kind of taking mental energy away from my projects in my off time, so I’m struggling to get settled enough to dive into some of the things waiting for me at my shop at home.  And, that directly relates to my projects.

So, logging this here is like another citing of what influences a smooth operation at my shop.  Having stuff on the mind that’s not worked out elsewhere comes with me to my projects.  I had a good experience yesterday calming my mind.  I went out in nature and walked around and sat in the sun for a good while just observing birds and the wind and the clouds, and that helps clear things up.  I think lots of times my mind just needs that space and resolves itself once it’s given.  So, I’ll try that again when I feel this way in the future.  I’ll keep that in mind.

Other than that, I’m organizing the assets for the final page of the site build.  I have a demo space on the www while I check it in various browsers, test the gadgetry, and adjust sizes.  I imagine it’ll be a few more days and the site will be ready to go.  It’s looking really hype.  I like the comfortable feeling while browsing through it.  And, I also like that it represents me well.  I mean, it’s just straight the truth of my life and what I care about.  And, that’s the best way it could be.

Brad Ormand Site - Home

 

Brad Ormand - Blog Posts

12.06.2014 – Songs and Site

Yup.  I made a whole bunch of edits and adds to these songs.  I was sitting at the computer programming my site, listening to “Find That Feeling” and had a melody idea, and just stopped everything and was singing it on the way to the audio workstation so I wouldn’t forget it.  I powered it up, jumped in and recorded it quite nicely.  I played it out beforehand on the JP-8000 synth just to solidify it.

While I was in Pro Tools, I went ahead and got in to my list of tweaks for 3 other songs, as well.  So, I have a few good, clean mixes to turn on tomorrow while I drive.  I drove the woofers in the studio to more than I’m used to in order to overcome the consistent error that I make of not having enough low end – since the very first post of this blog, in fact.  But, it is well taken care of now!

It’s likely to be too much, in fact.  …I keep saying that to myself and it never is, but this time, it’s right on the edge.  The goal is to have full-ass range in these songs – for the kicks and bass to shake any woofer it comes in contact with as much as the big studios mix theirs to do – but with also the presence and loudness of the instruments, as well – without sacrifice there.

Brad Ormand Pro Tools Session

And, it’s not just the gross bass level I’m concerned with, of course.  It’s the proper mix of the right high-mid punching frequencies and lower subsonic support – all working together to make something powerful.  It defies words – BY FAR, and it is only achievable by monitoring your built-in sensors – ears, of course, but the way your fingers vibrate on whatever surface you’re holding, the way your clothes tingle your leg hairs (if you’re a man, I guess) and the way your chest cavity responds to each transient, and the emotions you feel out of “in-tuneness”.  I mean – it’s not communicable.  You can’t tell someone what feels right without feeling it natively through those methods, first.  And, then, the words are hard to come by and usually come in metaphors like “punch” and “woofing” and “low” and “throaty” and “rumble” and “tight” and “loose” and “sub”, etc…

That’s why I like this shit.  It’s hard.  It’s not straightforward.  It requires the “native” stuff of being connected to your body and listening to your feelings.  FFT and analysis won’t help you if you don’t have the sensor-brain connection going on.  In other words – listening and feeling it, artfully.

But, anyway…  The mixes are, again, better than ever.  There are a few items that I might re-do or adjust bandwidth on, but all of it sounds like it could go out right now, really.  I’m not in that recording phase or the song-construction phase anymore.  I’m setting up the final mixes.  The whole last year was the other phase.

I’ll have QA sessions coming up with friends and I’ll run my own internal QA regimen on various systems, too.  I can’t be more excited about this release!  I mean, it’s my best effort to date, and it something special.  Something that I’m really liking – and that says a lot, right there. 🙂

As far as the site…

I built a couple of custom WP_Query (s) that make my Project Log home page  (where you’ll eventually be able to get to this post 🙂 ) show various selections of my blog.  And, the rest of the time was spent getting the CSS right for the design and for the different device widths.  Most of the blog / project_log homepage interface will be through “icons” of featured image and title as opposed to previews of blog posts.  I like it like that.  I have always wanted to do something like that, and here it is.

Brad Ormand - Blog Posts

I’m adding a Digital Art section, as I came across some of my earlier work and just felt like I want to show that as well.  I’m not a through-and-through “designer”, but I have done stuff, and that “stuff” is kind of cool, and I like how they turned out.  Most of it is user interface renders and 3d model renders.  And, some of it is design stuff like audio players and video players that I designed.  So, yeah.  It’s just that kind of fun stuff that I like to do in my spare time.

As for the server, I’m still downloading my complete server down to my local computer and organizing what other stuff I want to upload to the new server.  It’s a manual process.  It’s a little more complicated than “select the root folder of the old server and drag it over to start downloading all of it”.  Uhhh, yeah, because, well, my current host has major, major, problems and I can only get a few directories off at a time via FTP before an “Unrecognized” or “Lost Connection” error occurs.  Disconnect, reconnect, and it goes away.  But, I’m just being patient and moving on.  There’s no need to get mad or tell them anything.  I contacted them before I started the blog and well, it’s just really not very effective, let’s say.  They got bought out by a bigger company, and then I noticed serious degradation starting about two years ago. I have been patient.  But, anyway, the details are really boring.

So, now, I just have my home page to design and then I’ll be right as rain.  I’ll start that tomorrow.  I showed a circular sci-fi style interface before, but it’s not going that direction anymore.  I’ll have a cleaner style and something more modern happening.

And, I worked on so much other stuff around the site, too.  I was trying to profile the user’s bandwidth connection to my music player so that I could display it or select an appropriate baud rate for them.  I will still implement that, but really just for display.  I will set all music coming from BradOrmand.com at 128kbps instead of 192kbps.  I updated the legal section for users to read my policy on copyright.  It’s ultra short and that’s all it needs to be.  I changed some hover colors, search result formatting, h1 header styling, track listing layout, small display layout, and much more.  I’m exhausted, actually.  Ok, until tomorrow…  Thanks for tuning in.