My Creations

This website is brand new and is still heavily under construction, but in the meantime here are some things I've created to occupy your time and give you something of tangible value!

This is only a small subset of the work I've done over my life. I intend to build this collection up gradually (brick by brick) at a steady but relaxed pace designed to be perpetually sustainable. I place whatever I feel like on here, and I'm interested in a lot of very different things (ranging from very artistic to very technical), so you might be surprised what's here.

Entertainment and Exploration #

  • Blood Reactor (ZIP, 170 kb): a vanilla Doom 2 level I made from scratch using GZDoom Builder (which apparently has now been superseded by Ultimate Doom Builder and/or other Doom level editors). It's a decently fun level, so if you want to explore an obscure Doom 2 level made by the author of this site and have a bit of retro FPS fun then there you go.
  • The Secluded Wilds (MP3, 2.62 mb): an experimental instrumental yanqin-based song that I finished composing the melody for on . After an approximately 10 year hiatus from music composition, this is the first new song I've composed and finished since then! Breaking through that creative roadblock and being able to express myself again after such a long time is wonderful!

    I've been stuck in a many-year long period of creative stagnation mostly caused by a combination of analysis paralysis and spending way too much effort on preparing to do things and not enough effort on actually doing them. I composed this piece in FL Studio using a Native Instruments VST instrument to simulate the yanqin, including some of its articulations. I don't actually own a physical yanqin.

    I really like how the piece turned out and it is filled with several surprising changes in melody that help keep it from getting boring, which are fairly common in the pieces I compose and seem to be part of my natural style. I've decided to embrace that aspect of my style and creativity more from now on, instead of stifling myself with too many false "shoulds" and instead just trusting my own instinct and distinctive natural inclinations!

    Not trusting myself enough was I think a big part of why I my creativity got derailed for so long! I think it's about time that more of us in society take back our creative voices and distinctiveness and push suppressive forces and false overbearing notions of what things "should" be aside (both from society and from within ourselves). Creative breathing room is essential to finding joy in any creative process!

    Anyway, the piece (The Secluded Wilds) has a nice rustic Chinese sound to it. I designed it to embody a kind of adventurous journey through the wilderness beyond the reach of humankind. It's has a lot of energy and zest. Give it a listen!

    PS: I may make additional edits to this in the future for more depth and polish, but the main melody is done. There's little to no mastering in the current version, but it still sounds good.

  • The Misty Abyss (MP3, 4.71 mb) is a dark, dreary, and ominous instrumental music composition inspired by video games such as Silent Hill. With this piece I wanted to capture roughly some of the same oppressive mood as some old-school horror games and I think it came out fairly effective in that respect.

    I had some difficulty getting some of the sounds to sit well together and some parts of the composition are still more muddy than I would like, but it is good enough for release now though. Perhaps I well return to it some day to make it less muddy or perhaps not. Muddy audio fits dark music reasonably well though, so it still sounds good enough.

    For this song, most of the instruments I used are from FL Studio's Autogun and Ogun plugins. Like "The Secluded Wilds", I actually started composing "The Misty Abyss" a long time ago (maybe about a year ago?) but then dropped it until recently picking it back up and completing it. I've been on a roll lately, in part because building this website is inspiring me to be more creative again since I feel like I have a voice and audience reach that's under my control again. Social media in contrast was such a turn off that I didn't even want to share on it since the groupthink is so overbearing and toxic there.

    By the way, the FL Studio Autogun is a plugin I'm especially fond of since it is essentially a randomized sound patch generator with an easy interface and often produces good-sounding instruments. However, most "The Misty Abyss" instruments use Ogun actually.

  • The Murmur of Moss (MP3, 1.85 mb): an instrumental music composition that was loosely inspired by the soundtrack of Riven (1997), which is a masterpiece of pre-rendered first-person puzzle gaming.

    You can hear similarities in the instrumentation and especially in the background soundscape (the ambience) to how Riven sounds. However, as I composed the piece the melody naturally drifted towards a cheerful and whimsical sound that sort of partially overlaps modestly with the kind of bright and playful music you'd hear in a JRPG. Thus, the music ends up sounding a bit like "Riven... the JRPG" to me.

    I was happy with the outcome serendipitously, though I originally intended this piece to be closer to the sound design of Riven (i.e. more contemplative and "darker"). The "music inspired by Riven" aspect of the piece was always intended to be very loose though, so the outcome is still well within my aims.

    The musical instruments used for the melody in the music composition are a kalimba and an ocarina.

    The background atmosphere (a.k.a. ambience or soundscape) is woven from a combination of a rain stick, wooden wind chimes, and various otherworldly (but soothing) swamp creature sounds.

    The instrument and sound library plugin (VST) I used for the above was Forest Kingdom 3 (by Eduardo Tarilonte), which I own a paid copy of. The final audio was rendered into MP3 via FL Studio, like the previous two pieces.

    I have also rendered two extra versions, such that one contains only the ambience and the other contains only the melody. That way, you can hear the way the two layers sound when separated from each other. This also enables you to keep only one part or the other if you prefer either without the other's presence! I hope you enjoy it!

Pragmatism and Education #

  • Lua programming Anki deck (ZIP, 57 kb): a digital card deck for use with Anki for quizzing yourself on a variety of nuances of how to program in Lua, ranging from trivially obvious to obscure expertise. The deck is big (200+ cards) and is high quality. I made all of it myself and I use it myself often to stay sharp. It is completely free and you are even welcome make your own modified version and post your version online too if you feel like it. I actually have a bunch more of these kinds of decks for several other programming languages, which I may post here later.
  • 12-tone equal temperament tuning info and frequencies (PDF, 82 kb): a precise and concise introduction to how musical notes are tuned in the most common musical tuning system, which I wrote in college. This document explains exactly how to calculate the sound wave frequencies associated with all of the 88 notes of a standard piano tuned to 12-TET. It includes both a pre-calculated table of all of the frequencies of the standard tuning as well as clear how-to instructions that will enable you to derive your own alternative tunings or to recalculate the values yourself (such as would be useful in a music-related program if you are programming one).

    Also, note that the numbers of the octaves do indeed start at C and not A. That isn't a mistake. Thus, the note below C4 is B3 (not B4), even though the letters A through G were chosen to fill each octave and hence you'd expect the cycle to start at A, but it doesn't. Each octave starts at C. Standard music notation and terminology is filled with inconsistencies, unnecessary complexity, and misleading design choices like this though, unfortunately (thereby making music more difficult than it actually needs to be). In any case though, such pitfalls can be worked around with sufficient clarification, such as can be found in this document in the case of how tuning works.

  • 60-tone equal temperament tuning frequencies (PDF, 46 kb): a tuning chart that lists all of the sound wave frequencies associated with 60-tet. At one point I had planned to try composing some music in 60-tet, but the workflow in existing DAWs that I could find seemed too awkward and so I ultimately ended up not doing anything with this tuning chart. Nonetheless, this is a good example of an alternative tuning that can be generated using the understanding of how standard musical tuning works that the 12-tone equal temperament tuning info and frequencies document will give you.

    Note though that if you want to generate your own equally tempered tuning system that still has access to the existing notes of 12-TET (so that you can still use it to play existing music in addition to new things) then you will need to ensure that your chosen ET tuning system has a number of notes per octave that is an integer multiple of 12. Incidentally, 60 is 12 * 5, which was chosen for exactly this reason.

It's important to me to ensure that visitors to my site have actually fun or useful things to explore and to benefit from. I also like to ensure that everything is in a maximally accessible and minimally wasteful form, which is why you'll see that most things are downloads instead of being automatically loaded. The website is intended to be usable even with very poor internet connections. The aesthetics of the website will gradually improve over time, but first and foremost providing real value to visitors is my number one priority.