Derek Hanke on Finding Creative Inspiration In Modern Day Music-making Apps


Derek Hanke’s journey in the world of music has started after playing around with an iPod Touch app called Beatmaker 2. The user-friendly software and its ease of use quickly became something Hanke would look for in his future tools and currently his whole music-writing and production process happens on an iPad. Currently in the process of finalizing his brand new EP as A Paradigm Behind we caught him for a quick chat to learn more about him and his music.

Hello, would you present yourself and tell how did you become a musician?

My solo project is called A Paradigm Behind and I am Derek T. Hanke. A lot of my inspiration comes from bands like The Whitest Boy Alive, The Postal Service, and Gorillaz. My music genre of choice is indie rock, although back in the day I did some synthpop experiments. What makes my approach somewhat unique is that my songs are made almost entirely with an iPad. I’m thankful so much effort is going into producing apps and software people like me can use those to create original music.

Growing up I could only play one instrument fluently and participated in the school band. One year, I got an iPod Touch (for my birthday) and started making songs using a program called Beatmaker 2. This is where I started gaining experience with midi programming and finding what kind of sounds I like. After years of searching, I’ve discovered music programs like Cubasis and Logic.

Introduce your current musical projects and tell us what makes each one special for you!

My main project right now is my first EP, ‘Retrospect’. This EP is an invitation for listeners to positively reflect on their past experiences as they find their way through the tumults of life. While making songs for the EP my goal for each one of them was to be as immersive as possible. In my teenage years, I’d listen to the Pink Floyd album ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ on repeat at night to calm myself and think. I hope my album can touch my audience like that album reached me.

I’ve put countless hours into this EP and will continue to do so until I get it published. Six out of the eight songs are ready to be mixed and mastered, and the others need vocals before they are ready as well. After my songs have seen the studio it’ll be time to promote my music! I’m planning on music videos, performances and mailing out lots of CDs. Who knows, maybe some of those CDs will get listened to by record labels.

You have been playing music for a long while! How do you find the drive and inspiration to keep going all this time?

My passion for music is the driving force that leads me to make new songs. Some days when I’m having trouble finishing a song I switch key signatures or listen to other artists for inspiration. Finding inspiration for music is like drawing water from a deep well, if you reach far enough you’ll surprise yourself. Also, reflecting on past experiences and reading stories gives me ideas for songs too.

How is your local music scene in your perspective? Do you feel like you belong there?

In my local area music genres like rap and country are very popular. There are venues in Louisville and around town where those kinds of music are played constantly. Though this place is somewhat limited, I feel the internet has opened up more possibilities for people like me. Platforms like Drooble, YouTube, Soundcloud, and others allow me to show my music to the world and find my audience.

What is your all-time favorite record and how did it change you as an artist?

The Whitest Boy Alive album ‘Dreams’ is a phenomenal record you should definitely listen to if you haven’t already. There are two songs on that album, ‘Burning’ and ‘Golden Cage’, that have shaped my music for years. Earlier in my music career, I focused on synths and other sounds that aren’t as rich as the sound of a guitar can be. When I heard the song Burning for the first time (around the 1:33 mark), it changed my mind about how a great guitar and vocal can influence a song in a positive way.

What are your favorite software and hardware tools for music production?

A great musician never reveals all of his secrets. However, I can tell you that I frequently use Cubasis along with a drum machine, guitar, and piano emulator. My hardware includes a Novation Launchkey and Focusrite iTrack Dock. In recent years, I’ve found that keeping an open mind and always searching for apps that can improve my sound can make me a better artist. For others who make music with software like I do, I highly recommend investing in an iPad and a few great instruments and DAW apps.

What is your songwriting process like?

It begins with me choosing a key signature that I like the sound of that day. From that point, I create a guitar or piano melody that I feel fits well with that. Then I normally incorporate the other instruments (for guitar, piano, and vice versa) and then add bass guitar, synth, and drums. I make music in layers with each part working to complement the other. When I finish with all the parts, I make a sample composition in Cubasis by adding effects to each track and doing a sample mix and master.

Out of all the live shows you played, which one was the most memorable, and why?

Three out of the four years I was in high school, my marching band went to state finals at Lucas Oil Stadium. The first year it happened I remember feeling nervous as we were about to take the field. Throughout the performance, I gave it my all, and at the end, I felt a sense of pride that was new to me. I’d love to have that same feeling of accomplishment after my EP gets published and people all around the world start listening to it.

What is your biggest musical goal?

If I could accomplish one thing with my music, I’d love to help others explore and express their emotions. Sometimes people are afraid of what others might think. I think people should never feel this way and hope that my music can help others find their confidence and be proud of who they are. Come take a journey with me on my EP, Retrospect, and together we’ll face the world.

How has being on Drooble helped you as a musician?

Spending time on Drooble helps me interact with other musicians, get feedback and grow in my art. If you’re new to Drooble or just visiting, you should highly consider investing time into this site. You don’t have to spend any money and you will learn so much from the people on this platform. With the tools supplied by Drooble, getting started on your journey as a musician could never be any easier!

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