The Most Popular Stuff in 2013; a Year in Review

Maybe I'm a little late, but I wanted to write about some highlights in the AfroDJMac universe in 2013.  After analyzing the data, here are the results!

Most Popular Free Ableton Live Pack: Brostep Synth.

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I'm not going to lie, when I wrote the BroStep post in late 2011, I was pretty surprised that it became the most popular post of 2012.  What is even more surprising, is that it was also the most popular one in 2013!  It's kind of ironic isn't it?  The term BroStep is defined in the Urban Dictionary as "a relatively new sub-genre of music (born out of Dubstep micro-genre) which has no emphasis on soul." I've never heard anyone say that they love "BroStep," rather they refer to it as a sort of bastardization of a genre they love.  Kind of like when Bush came out in the wake of Nirvana.  So in a way, when I made this device, I was trying to make something that I find annoying.  Layer of irony #2: the synth actually turned out to be something I enjoy, when I use it for sounds other than offensive basses.  So the lesson? I guess don't take yourself too seriously.  I've put a lot more heart and soul into just about every other Live Pack I've made, but this is the most popular!  Lesson #2: Sometimes you can take sounds you may not ordinarily care for and repurpose them into something cool.  Maybe that's what makes this download cool and why it is now the reigning most popular AfroDJMac Ableton Live Pack.  Get creative and magic happens!  Click here for more information on and to download the BroStep Rack.

Most Popular Premium Ableton Live Pack: The Free Ableton Live Pack Archive

Nothing sold more units than the Archive of every free Ableton Live device.  As we near Free Ableton Live Pack #100, you certainly get a lot of sounds in one convenient download.  It's almost three years in the making and continues to grow!

Most Commented on Post: How to be More Creative.

I was pretty psyched that this post generated as much discussion as it did.  It especially lit things up on Facebook.  I love talking about being creative and how to maximize creative output.  I'm a firm believer that creativity is a skill; and skills can be worked on, nourished and improved.  If there is one thing I could do with my work, it would be to inspire.  Funny enough, when people tell me something I did inspired them to work harder or maybe create a track, that inspires me.  That inspiration makes me want to work harder, and that will hopefully lead to more inspiration, which will then make me more inspired. It's a perfect feedback loop!  Inspiration and enthusiasm are contagious.  Surround yourself with people that bring those feelings out of you.  I've written a little more about the topic in a recent post, and I am currently working on a book that goes even deeper, more on that in the futureā€¦ Read How to be More Creative.

Most Popular YouTube Videos

I don't really know if there is a way to determine what videos were most viewed in a given year, so I'll stick with all-time.  Again, I think this goes to show that you never really know what is going to catch on.

My Favorite Work of 2013

I'm going to call it a tie.  There were two creations I am most proud of from 2013. First was the release of my Live Performance with Ableton Live Course.  Learning and figuring out how to take my music to the stage has been, and continues to be, the product of years of work.  I did my best to educate myself and I experimented on a million different ideas.  In this video course I have distilled all of that work into 2 and a half hours.  While making it, I imagined I was making exactly what I needed about 4 years ago.  My hope is that, through the video course, I can save you years of your time and get you performing live ASAP.

Second, is the Super 8 Bit Pack, which I just finished at the end of the year.  The thing that got me into making electronic music, more than anything else, was when I realized I could use 8-bit sounds in my own music.  Growing up, spending more hours than I would ever admit to, playing video games, these sounds are ingrained in my DNA.  They fill me with a sense of nostalgia for my childhood.  I really love the way music can trigger memories and feelings from the past, and nothing really does it for me quite like video game sounds.  I created this collection so that I would have those tools at my disposal.

Super 8-Bit Ableton Live Pack
15.00 19.99
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The Biggest Accomplishments

There are two: Reaching 1 million hits on this website and becoming an Ableton Certified Trainer! Both of these accomplishments were things I never would have dreamed of when I began.  Super excited about them!

The Future

I'm very excited for the future!  Each year things have progressed incredibly, and yet again, I find myself in places I never would have imagined a year ago.  I have a lot of cool ideas for Ableton Live tutorials, instruments, packs and instruction.  There will be lots of new music.  I am also nearing completion on a book about creativity and personal philosophy.  I'm sure there will undoubtedly be some unexpected surprises.  I'd like to thank you for reading and checking out what I am up to.  If you have any cool ideas or suggestions, please let me know in the comments.  December was my most successful month, until January came along.  I'm really excited to see where things go and am super excited to have you be a part of it! Here's to the future!