Sunday, April 23, 2017

Making of 'Candles and Stone"

Making of Candles and Stone (April 2017)

Often I have an idea of a song/tune before I start but this one just sort of came out mostly in one night and then I refined it the next evening and that was it.

I had been watching one of Howard Goodall's documentaries on Western classical music. I'm a pop-tragic myself so generally I don't listen to much classical music which I tend to find goes like a rambling story with no ending.

However, I am trying to understand it a little more and I have vinyl records of some of the great composers, so I am hoping to open that door a little...anyway...I'm rambling like a story with no ending...Anyway, back to the tune: I have gratefully been able to take time off from work and as is my custom, I crashed and burned when the holidays started. Usually I get sick, which I did again, but this time I unwittingly added a bit of melancholy to the mix.

So, not one to be beaten easily, I spent an evening using music to climb out of it, just jamming on my guitar and recording bits that i might use later. I had an idea just to do a two part guitar piece but before I knew it, it turned into a somber 'ambient' tune which became Candles and Stone.

Here's the nerdy stuff

Webcam lead guitar part for Candles and Stone - so this is me playing the lead part live without edit from beginning to end. I wanted to capture the idea even though it was raw:


I really wanted to keep it simple, so I used Sonar LE's on board midi keyboard VSTi's. It is really a demo pack but I managed to salvage (what I thought were) some very good sounds The 'orchestral' parts were made using these four Cakewalk sounds:

 Midi Keyboard 1 'Mutant Orchestra'

 Midi Keyboard 2 'Solo Bass Pizzi (loose)'

Midi Keyboard 3 'Violin Ensemble1'

Midi Keyboard 4 'Oboe Modern Ensemble1'


So the tune is made up of:

Electric Guitar picking chords

Lead Guitar

4 x Midi Keyboard parts

And that's it. have a nice day.

Saturday, March 18, 2017



Here's the clip:

You can download it on soundcloud for free if you like: 

I've been trying to teach myself Ableton Live 9 Lite on and off for the last few months. I actually found it counter intuitive to most programs I have used before. Probably because I am mainly a home-producer and not a performer (except I did last night after a decade of absence) I have been using FL Studio type of programs like LMMS and Sonar.

It was finally after watching teenage YouTube tutorials that I found a foot into it and discovered the differences and how it worked. So I decided to limit myself to making a tune totally on Ableton Live 9 Lite, which I did..well...sort of. I used all the 'on board' sounds to make the tune, which were quite impressive. I added some 140 bpm drum loops later in the tune from the good people at to add some muscle to it.

I also took the raw tracks and edited them slightly in Sonar Lite to bring out the best and minimise the worst parts.

Here's some photos while I was making it to show the sounds I was using if you are familiar with Ableton 9 live lite:

Here are the chords I wrote as I was writing it - now you can play along if you want ;-)

Friday, January 20, 2017

'Restless' - the making of...

I don't know if many people actually read any of these posts but I am finding it helpful nowadays to record the journey for myself - and if anyone else benefits; well, that would make me happy.

After experimenting with electronic only music I became actually restless and just wanted to make an old school guitar-blast tune. I went against many of my principles and did not concentrate on 'melody' so much as just making a noise - the result is the tune 'Restless'. Here:

The tune began accidentally as I had been listening to Led Zeppelin and playing around with 'Since I've been Loving you'  which gave me the feel for what was going to become 'Restless'. However, by the time I came to put it together it just turned into a scrambled jam instead. Oh well. I also borrowed my son's violin bow and decided to record (rather loudly) myself playing the guitar with a violin bow, which is actually harder than it looks. I shoved it as the 'middle eight' in the tune.

The actual guitar parts I used the RP50 effect and the Wah Wah Pedal which doesn't seem to be working so well nowadays but still gave it a bit of expression:

The drums were 100 bpm 'blues' acoustic drums from the looperman website, that someone kindly donated for download.

The rest, well, I played these puppies:

If you are interested in anymore, I made two videos explaining it a little further:

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Wonderland - making the tune

'Wonderland' is made totally on midi keyboard and computer DAWs, though the original tune, I wrote on a normal stand up acoustic piano. I had the idea floating for quite a number of years and I thought I would finally try and finish it.

When I started to record it I wanted it to be a danceable tune but it kind of wrote itself into a 'Bambi' sort of sountrack. I'm not sure exaclty how that happened but sometimes I just follow it where it wants to go and that's where it seemed best. So I put away all of my 140 bpm drum dance loops and it finished with Timpani drums and a kick only.

The 'voice' on it is from Sonar LE's Cakewalk sounds called "Ahh Female". It goes for just over one second. I played the melody with the 'voice'  via a midi Keyboard and then sculptured it rawly to have fade ins and outs and a bit of reverb to make it slightly more voicey. I didn't try too hard because I also wasn't pretending it was a real voice, I wanted it to sound sampled as well.

As far as the song itself goes, I had the basic structure which is strongly around C and Dm (with Am) but worked out the middle eight with an unplugged electric guitar pad and pen. I was after a shift without losing the feel:

Knowing I have a blog and being a 'drop in the ocean' I know not many will read this but becuase I like to learn from other music folk, I took some photos on the journey of making it and I put descriptions of the VSTi's among other shots if this is your bag. Enjoy the wonder of it all ...

Monday, October 10, 2016

Sunday, October 9, 2016

'Underwater' and 'Hopeful'

I finally was able to finish off two (mainly) electronic tunes this past week. I had started them in May and July 2016 and they had been sitting on my computer unfinished up until now (October 2016).

The tune 'Hopeful' came out sort of accidentally as a by product of me uploading a a few guitar loops for others to use at the site . Because I have an uneasy sense of rhythm I depend on drum loops or drum machines heavily, so I have been extracting drum loops from this site for a number of years now. Though sometimes I do program my own beats, more often than not I use loops and layer them.

Anyway, I thought it was about time I paid pack the site with loops that others could use and so I uploaded a small number.

I had a thought that it might be cool then to use some of these guitar loops and make a song out of them.
As usual with me, whatever starts an idea for a tune often gets lost on the way and I ended up using about three loops and the rest was made up by my own playing and a few more audio loops from the fine people on  Somewhere along the way because I usually listen to dance music when I'm driving the car (mainly from I thought it might be fun to attempt a house-sort-of tune. The end result is 'Hopeful which is more a 1990's dance-ish style':

And here is a blurry video of how I put it together

The tune 'Underwater' really started with playing with an original 1980's Casio MT 70 keyboard that my dad bought brand new back when we were young-er.

It looked like this when it was new:

Somehow I eventually inherited it and it's sat in a few different sheds and houses along the way. I was playing with the very basic sequencer on it - I think it was after listening to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon album with the use of a basic sequencer on the track 'On the Run'. I get easily inspired and so I programed in a basic pattern on the keyboard and that was beginning of the tune.

The next inspiration was a routine rental house inspection. I always load up my mp3 player with music to keep me going with the preparation. This time around I had collected a few Chemical Brothers albums from a second hand shop, also an earlier work from BT and The Prodigy's Fat of the Land.

I have no idea how they get such fat sounds but with my vintage computer and bits and pieces I tried to make a track with a little more muscle using mostly electronics. I did play live bass on the track because it needed more live grunt.

So here is 'Underwater':

And here is the 'making of' Underwater:

Monday, June 20, 2016


I have finally placed a lot of my instrumental music on the site 'Bandcamp': you can name your price or download it for free - here are the instructions:

(1) Go to



Search Tim Oestmann in the search box:


Click on the artist Tim Oestmann and you'll come up with the page "Seabird" if you choose to download all songs  (just know there are 57 tunes up there, so it might take a while) then click on"Buy Now" tab - this is for the all the tunes at once:

You still have the choice of donate or free download, it ain't over yet

  • to "name your price"put a price/donation of your choice in the box and follow the prompts until you get the download. If you have any problems please let me know.


  • To get all of it for free just write a zero (0) in the Name Your Price box and it should let you download all of it. (Please contact me if you have any trouble)


To download single tracks only (i.e.not all of it), click on the blue name of the track and it will take you to this page where you either "name a price" or put in a Zero (0) for free download:

Let me know if you need further instructions via the links or the "contact" page