Experiments in Syncopation (2012) - If you can't see a list of music tracks, try SoundCloud directly. The set is called Experiments in Syncopation and is by drajmarsh.

I like composing my own music to run as backing tracks for some of the educational videos I do. As such, they are not meant to be hugely melodic, but serve to establish an up-beat rhythm to kick the visuals along. It also means they have to be a bit formulaic (8-10sec quiet intro for titles, distinct separators for topics changes, etc). However, they are great fun to do, particularly when experimenting with different repeating patterns that then come together to form a reasonably coherent flow. Some more successfully than others, but you will have to be the judge of that.

Some Background

I still find it pretty amazing how music software has now pretty well entirely replaced all the gear you used to need in a home recording studio. As you can see in the images below, I had a fair bit of stuff to lug around way back when I was a student just getting into electronic music. Now, of course, you can have all that capability on a laptop computer. Moreover, you can line up any number of virtual modules and effects units on a track without being limited by the single rack-mounted reverb you have to route everything through.

My Workstation in 1992 - This was my MIDI synthesiser and sampler setup circa 1992 when I was a Uni student.
My Workstation in 2011 - My Reason 4.0 workstation in 2011. The microphone is there solely for training video voiceovers, I harbour absolutely no singing ambitions.

Reason is the perfect tool for someone like me who started off by physically plugging stuff together. It’s interface is a near perfect simulacrum of that rack-mounted workflow. I’ve barely scratched the surface of what it can do, but the fact that I can work on stuff just as easily when I’m travelling as when I’m at home on the iMac is just great.

2023 Update

For some of my latest tracks created with a much newer setup, see my main music page.

My Workstation in 2023 - This was my latest Reason 12 setup. The latest keyboard controllers do pretty well everything now, so I just need one of those and some decent monitors and headphones.


2 July, 2012 - 07:41Jimmy

Hello Andrew,

Nice lean and clean setup. Never got my hands on Reason as I am a long time Cubase user (I also started in the late 80ies, and got the Midiverb from Alesis too ;-) and now more on Ableton Live. But will certainly have a look at it. I went into VSTs and virtuals synths, though to be honest I am recently going back to hardware modules and synths. Perhaps a kind of vintage feeling rising ;-)

BTW: have you drop all your hardware stuffs ?


23 June, 2012 - 15:13Tom

I remember you making new bits for those MDF cabinets.

The new setup is much better looking.


23 July, 2012 - 19:04Dr. Andrew Marsh

Hi Tom - Great to hear from you…

In my defence, I’d just say that I was way ahead of my time in their design - it took at least 15 years from that time for rounded corners to gain the popularity they deserved (at least in web and UI design :).

14 April, 2012 - 16:33Guest

Pity about the spam.

Gone are my days of tinkering with Reason.

Great setup Andrew. And very nice tunes.

17 April, 2012 - 16:36Dr. Andrew Marsh

Yeah, my site has been a bit targeted lately and am having real problems with comment spam. I have been relying on an image-based CAPTCHA with good success for a while, but a lot is getting through now. Looks like an exploit for this particular module has been found.

I might have to switch to moderated comments :( …


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