Ed Hickey

Hi, I'm Ed Hickey. As you'll discover below, I'm passionate about music, software development and many of the ways the two intersect. My interests have taken me to professional recording studios, to basement project spaces, to web startups and, currently, to one of the world's largest technology companies. I've tried to distill this varied career and set of interests within this website.

If anything here interests you, feel free to reach out.

Code

Metropolis JS

HTML5 Web Audio API sequencer

One of the modules I've lusted over since I began building my modular synth is Intellijel's Metropolis. It's a music sequencer inspired by a classic made for the Roland System 100m. I've yet to obtain Intellijel's, but since I was looking for inspiration on my next project, I decided to try building it using the Web Audio API.

The UI is basic, but the functionality is approaching the core of this amazing hardware sequencer. More to come here... Demo

Google Play + Vim

Control Google's Play Music website from within Vim

As you might imagine, I listen to music when I code. One of the major annoyances is having to switch context in order to interact with the music (pause, skip, rewind, etc.). To stay in the zone and still have complete control over listening to music, I brought the control into my text editor of choice, Vim.

It's installed as a Chrome plugin which uses the Native Messaging protocol.

Mr. Eko

Playlist creation based on music metadata

I've had little luck with playlist generation tools which only require overly-general inputs like genre or decade. I'm more interested in the details, e.g., generating a playlist that starts at 100 BPM and climbs to 150 BPM over the course of 90 minutes and includes music with high energy level and preferably in a minor key. Mr. Eko lets you do that.

I leverage the Echonest API to obtain the music metadata and some simple cost analysis (plus some SQL for good measure) to generate the best playlist.

EchoTunes

Graphical Playlist Generator

A spin on Mr. Eko that uses your local iTunes Echonest to create highly customizable playlists. It was born at Music Hack Day SF 2012 in order to expose the concepts within Mr. Eko in a more user-friendly fashion. My goal is to someday integrate this project with Mr. Eko to provide in-depth playlist creation as well as user-friendliness.

Liner Notes

Bringing the album experience to the desktop

A major drawback to the digital distribution channel most consumers use for music is the lack of rich information that was once provided via album packaging. This project's goal was to leverage music APIs in order to recreate some of that experience.

Liner Notes integrates with iTunes to display album artwork, engineering and performance credits as well as lyrics for the current track. It's my hope that this will help revitalize the digital listening experience by bringing the data lost with digital distribution back to the fore.

Tomahawk Resolver

Needle-dropping record shopping online

One of the best things the web brings to the world of music is sheer availability -- almost every song is online in some form. Tomahawk is an app which leverages this by "resolving" your music queries by searching myriad online sources (e.g., YouTube, Spotify, Soundcloud).

My app allows you to provide a list of RSS feeds from your favorite record review site, music blog or label and have Tomahawk resolve the songs in order to provide audio samples of all the releases. An experience akin to needle-dropping a stack of records from your favorite record store.

Music

My relationship with music over the years has been varied, including traditional studio engineering, personal production, album mastering and a bit of advertising work thrown in for good measure. I have formal training in percussion and recording engineering (FullSail) while the rest was learned from hours of working with gear and listening.

I've organized this musical history below, categorizing it as Personal output, which is that of my own artistic creations, Studio output, which is mainly recording and mastering and Commercial work, which is a blend of both.

Personal
In the early 2000s I formed an electronic music group named EVAC with my longtime friend, Jeremy Goldstein. At that time, a new sound was emerging in electronic music. It was darker and more aggressive than before, incorporating aspects of Drum & Bass, electro and breakbeat. It was dubbed "nu school breaks" and our early output was heavily influenced by it. I was so into the music, that even before forming EVAC, I created one of the first websites for the genre, Nubreaks.com. During the website's rise in becoming the canonical resource for the genre, I became deeply entrenched in the community as well as the genre's progression. From streaming web radio shows to interviewing producers to performing at massive festivals like Ultra Music Festival, it was an exciting time with many highlights.

While the early EVAC releases were definitely influenced by nubreaks, we also generously incorporated our love for electro and IDM. In everything we did, we relished the technical over the danceable and the dark over the light. Over the years we released EPs and remixes as well as collaborated with visual artists on both commercial and more artistic endeavors. Below are some of the highlights of our solo and remix work.

Terra EP

EVAC - Terra EP
Contribution: Producer Title: Terra Release Date: 2001 Label: Napzzz Music Format: Vinyl 12"
Info: My first proper release for my first completed song. It was great seeing this song get spins from some of the top breakbeat DJs at the time. It was well received by reviewers and listeners proving that EVAC was a name to watch.

Apocalypse EP

EVAC - Apocalypse EP
Contribution: Producer Title: Apocalypse EP Release Date: Oct, 2002 Label: Muti Music Format: Vinyl 12"
Info: On our second release, we had progressed notably on the technical side of things and come closer to realizing what I think of as the "EVAC sound." We were moving away from a breakbeat-focused sound to one closer to electro. The EP received rave reviews from Urb, Lotus and BPM magazine.

Crunch 2

Crunch 2 LP
Contribution: Producer, Remixer Original Artist: Crunch Title: Crunchinnumbers (EVAC remix) Release Date: Oct, 2002 Label: Colony Recordings Format: CD
Info: We were excited and a bit nervous about remixing one of our all-time music heros, Tipper. The deal was that we exchange remixes, with he and Mike Wallis (aka: Crunch) remixing our "Below The Zero" track.
The source audio we were given was less than ideal, but that allowed us to take the remix to a very different place than the original. The final product ended up being one of my favorite EVAC releases. The 2nd part of our mix was chopped off for the CD release. I've included the song in its entirety here as it should be!

Colonized 01

Colonized compliation
Contribution: Producer Title: Edit Release Date: Apr, 2007 Label: Colony Recordings Format: CD
Info: This compilation was the result of our second collaboration with Crunch. Some of the other names on the release (Funckarma, Logreybeam and Tipper) were (and still are) some of our most respected electronic musicians.

The track is sample-heavy and has a strong dose of funk which was a nice departure from our more serious, somber releases. We experimented in this tempo and genre further, but this was the only tune (so far) that has seen a release.

Get a high-res copy here from Bandcamp for free!
Commercial
Below is a sampling of the web, DVD and TV commercial work from EVAC.

Ultra Love Ninja

Release Date: May, 2002 Video Production: MK12 Format: DVD Info: Being very familiar with the creative work of MK12, we were really excited when we got a chance to collaborate. They had original audio for the video already, but asked us to remix for inclusion on their DVD demo reel. As you can hear in the original, we came up with quite a different sound.

LA vs. NY

Release Date: 2005 Video: Theo Jemison, Justin Flash & Brock Batten Format: DVD Info: Another collaboration with a creative group of video artists. This one isn't as polished as the MK12 video, but I still like it. The song used, "Pixel Scrub" will be released on 12" vinyl in 2014 on Touchin' Bass records alongside "Dementia" and a brand-new EVAC tune.

Hummer H3

Release Date: Mar, 2005 Video: Modernista! Format: TV
Info: It was the first time I heard one of my songs on TV, so it is nothing if not memorable. When writing the song, I never imagined it'd be on TV - much less on a Hummer commercial - but in the end I think the song fit the spot well.

A version of this song, "Dementia," will be released on 12" vinyl in 2014 on Touchin' Bass records, Andrea Parker's record label.

Motorola Razr

Release Date: Jun, 2005 Video: Ogilvy and Mather Format: TV
Info: Like the Hummer comercial, this song was on a demo CD that Ogilvy heard and liked. It took some serious editing and a touch of FX to fit the TV spot but in the end I feel it worked.

Fun fact: we actually started this song with the intent of submitting it for a "Red Pill" remix competition. Therefore, it has several Matrix dialog samples in it that you can't hear in the commercial.
Studio

After obtaining my degree at FullSail, I worked with several recording studios -- primarily Black Lodge and Neighborhood Studios. Most of my mastering work is done at my home studio where I can spend more time digging into specific sonic issues in a room I know well. I've worked on every stage of the recording process: tracking, mixing and mastering. Through the unique requirements and restraints of the various genres I've worked with, I've learned much about music. I feel lucky to have had so many different types of engineering experiences as it's made me a much more versatile and creative engineer.

Me on Discogs.com

Tracking, Mixing & Additional Production

Pretty Good Dance Moves - Demons Dancing (w/ Popstatic) Arthur Dodge - The Perfect Face Danny Pound - Surer Days Kansas City Film Fest - Introduction University of Kansas - Rock Chalk commercial Nezbeat & Nomi - The Sun Rises With The Moon Harpist K - Vivace Podstar - Lovely32

Mastering

Popstatic - Kaleidoscope Pt. 9 The Old Black - EP Deep Thinkers - Necks Move Nezbeat - From The Huge Silence Various Artists - Innate Sounds: Alpha Approach - Welcome To Share Walter Meego - Romantic, Hollywood 12" Archetype - Bleed For Them

Contact Me