Listen to the beat

Freshman finds inspiration through music production
While working on his latest project, music producer and freshman Mark Carbajal creates another original piece. Carbajal has created background music for multiple video games and short films. I try to find this like this nice relaxing and kind of lush sound, Carbajal said. Once I get it, my mind opens all these possibilities on what I can do.
While working on his latest project, music producer and freshman Mark Carbajal creates another original piece. Carbajal has created background music for multiple video games and short films. “I try to find this like this nice relaxing and kind of lush sound,” Carbajal said. “Once I get it, my mind opens all these possibilities on what I can do.”
Erica Deutsch

It all started with a thought.

The new chords and rhythms start to come together in his head. Then, he creates something of his own – a unique beat filled with empowered tunes.

Freshman Mark Carbajal has been involved in music since the fifth grade. He developed an interest in creating his own music and began teaching himself basic music theory. From there, he began watching tutorials and guides on how to make chord progressions, professional rhythms, and how to arrange correctly.

“One time my friend, he was working on a video game project, and he was like, ‘Hey, Do you know where I can get some music for my soundtrack? I’m working on this game,’ ” Carbajal said. “I said, ‘I can try.’ That’s how it started.”

In addition to creating tunes for video games, he also produces music for podcasts featured in Eagle Nation Online, videos, and short films. He said his family were the ones who really inspired him to be involved with instruments.

When I heard Mark’s music I was amazed at how talented he was. When I was working on finding background music for the first episode in season two of my personal podcast, ‘Memory Space,’ I thought to myself, Mark sent me some pretty good tracks, I should try them out. And if you listen closely you can hear one of Mark’s songs.

— junior and Podcast editor William Ligon

I feel like the thought of having music or like able to play just from video games or soundtracks of films and stuff just sounded pretty cool to me,” Carbajal said. “I just like the thought of having my own music, and soundtracks. Plus, all my siblings have been very musical in school, so I wanted to be like them.”

Carbajal and his brother and junior, Hank Carbajal, are both members of the PHS Band. Mark plays the alto and tenor saxophone.

“His desire and motivation to create and learn music is really admirable,” Hank said. “I have been able to see his dedication and interest in music production every day, and it really pushes me to put the amount of dedication he puts into producing, into the things I do.”

Apart from the influence he acquired from his siblings, Carbajal said he looks up to several artists when it comes to creating his own sounds.

“There are a couple of people,” Carbajal said. “(One of them) is someone named Brian Eno. He is a very iconic person in ambient music, which is like a soundscape, like a relaxing soundscape kind of study music.”

Carbajal said that as soon as he gets the sound he wants in his head, he loads up his computer and gets to work.

“Usually, like I said earlier, ambient music, so I try to find this like this nice relaxing and kind of lush sound,” Carbajal said. “And I can usually for most of them, just try to find that perfect sound and try to pin it down. Once I get it, my mind opens all these possibilities on what I can do. Like I can try all these different things and chords.”

Developing new melodies and rhythms can be a challenge, Carbajal said. He uses a software called FL Studio, which accommodates to those who are beginning to produce their own music. He also utilizes Ableton Live which can be used for creating cinematic soundtracks.

I think that Mark’s ever growing passion for creating his own music is really cool. His overall knowledge as a musician has grown so much ever since he started writing his own music.

— junior Hank Carbajal

I just have a lot of trouble trying to pin down that exact sound that I want,” Carbajal said. “And usually, I try to look for other software, and see if they have any good options — or effects, anything like that.”

When producing songs for short films, he focuses on creating lo-fi/electronic pop tunes, and for video games, he makes chiptunes, which are retro-style songs. According to Carbajal, there are multiple ways to create one sound.

“Sometimes you can find like, really quick ways that have way more options and way more like accessibility,” Carbajal said. “(Instead of) maybe like one really long procedure. So, you can do way more effects, like distortion and echo stuff. With one, you may be able to do like a lot more. Just another quick button.”

A current goal of his is to get one genre of music down, and expand his presence in the music industry. Carbajal also aims to produce all different genres of music in the future. Through the graphic design class at PHS, he said that he has learned ways to promote himself to be recognized.

“For this year and maybe future years, (I want) to have at least one genre of music produced, or listened to every month, so I can try to reach out to a bigger audience,” Carbajal said. “I guess I’m trying to just make as many songs, different genres as I can, and make film soundtracks. I’ve already made a couple for my friends, but my hope is that using websites, advertisements, and all this stuff through graphic design can help me reach out to other clients, and help me get my name out there.”

The inspiration to create a new song or sound can come easily to Carbajal as music is a prevalent part of his life.

It’s kind of like hard to go away from music,” Carbajal said. “Whenever I hear any song like on the radio, or background music in the hallway, or at the mall, I always think like, maybe this could be good for if I reuse it or something like resample it in one of my songs. So, if I hear like a nice drum sound or a nice keyboard. I try to find that song on YouTube or anything, and then like, just try to recreate it or use it in other ways.”

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Erica Deutsch, Feature Editor
Erica Deutsch, originally from Orlando, Florida, is a junior at Prosper High School. This is her second year working for Eagle Nation Online and she serves as the feature and entertainment editor. She adores photography and hopes to create a positive impact with her writing and podcasts. Outside of school, she enjoys playing guitar, watching movies, trying new baking recipes, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
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