Catacombkid: Laying it down, mixing it up
Video by Gina Cole
Photos by Jeremy Smith
Western senior Harrison Mills, aka Catacombkid, makes beat-centered music on his laptop, either making sounds on a MIDI piano or manipulating samples from old vinyl records. He uses a device called an MPC (Music Production Center) 1000, to record and loop the sounds.
He then cuts the sounds up, layers them and tweaks each layer using Pro Tools on his laptop.
As a new media design major, Mills says his musical skills factor into his career goals because they show he understands timing and knows the pacing of, for example, commercials. His songs have already been featured in a series of promotional videos for The North Face.
Layers are important to Mills’ musical style because all his songs revolve around buildup — the addition of more sounds, more layers, to create a complete and engaging piece.
Mills says one of the most important things to think about when making music — whether it is his original work or a chopped-up set of old vinyl beats — is choosing the right sounds to go together and figuring out how to layer them in a way that immerses listeners.
“If you get lost in your own music, most likely other people will, too,” he says. “So I try to do that.”