Tower Dorm. Heavy drum beats thump against the walls. An electronic melody playfully bounces against the rhythm of deep bass.
No, this is not a rave. It’s the newest song from aspiring DJ Carter Hsu.
Coming to OVS in the middle of his sophomore year, Carter uses his dorm room as a makeshift studio, complete with a laptop, virtual keyboard, and speakers to create and produce original dance songs.
Having no background experience in music, Carter is entirely self-taught via YouTube tutorials and lots of practice.
It all started when his dad, Michael, bought a DJ set for him and his brothers when he was around 10.
“I believe a DJ set is better than an iPad or PlayStation,” Michael commented on why he chose that gift. “I am proud of him. I didn’t teach Carter anything about music but I gave him the chance and environment for him to fall in love with music.”
About two years ago he started learning to make music with the GarageBand app on his iPad. Although it took a long time for his songs to get to the level they are now, it was back then when he discovered his love for creating dance music.
The first song Carter released on YouTube was called “Friends,” though he feels that it isn’t the a representation of his best work.
The process of making a song is not an easy one, Carter said, and usually takes about a month to come out with the finished product.
He always starts with playing out a melody on the piano, then adds drums, bass, and anything else that adds to the quality of the song, recording it in a program called FL Studio.
“I always start with melody because I have to catch that feeling so I can keep going,” Carter said. “If I start with beats it will be boring for me.”
While he only started seriously creating songs recently, Carter’s love for EDM (electronic dance music) has been around since he was growing up.
“The whole idea [of my dance music] was influenced by my dad and I was raised with the music,” Carter recalled. “Because my dad doesn’t like pop or classical, he just kept playing it. I feel like EDM is like my lullaby or something.”
Carter says his love for creating music will drive him to create music well into the future, though he hasn’t seriously considered having a career as a DJ.
“I love the music, and it’s not just a beat,” said Carter’s dad of his son’s work. “Carter’s music is deep and has its own style.”
Carter posts his music to YouTube, Soundcloud, and Instagram. While he loves that people listen to and enjoy his music, his reasons for posting music are not that he hopes to become famous or well-known, but simply because it motivates him to continue pursuing what he loves.
“A lot of people make music and hope to be famous or something, but I’ve learned a lot through this process so I can know better about those presets and how music works,” Carter added. “I just keep learning. I wasn’t hoping for it to be famous or anything. I post it for motivation.”
Carter’s latest song is called “Syrup,” and you can listen to it here.Share