Photo: Steinar La Engeland, Unsplash

A higher quality, mastered version of Only Ghosts is available as a free download on SoundCloud.

I’m thinking that I’ll release music on SoundCloud, rather than iTunes, Spotify, etc. Streaming has ruined profitability for all musicians, independent or otherwise. Literally an entire generation has been trained to view music as a utility — a nearly free resource.

It costs me a few hundred dollars to get my music on iTunes and Spotify, where I’m paid 0.0001 per stream. I would need to generate 100,000 streams just to make my money back.

Since this is the new paradigm, why not just release all my music for free, where at least I control it? If someone want’s to use in a film or project, I can just sell it outright, without the hassle of publishing rights.

I think more musicians will do this now. There’s also the idea of music becoming a physical product again with the resurgence of vinyl and CDs.

My work flow for YouTube and Soundcloud

Only Ghosts is the first song I mixed and mastered myself. First I recorded the video for YouTube with my Zoom Q8 camera which doubles as an audio interface. I’m able to record high quality WAV files at 96kHz/24bit — so I save the audio as a separate file.

For the YouTube video, I do some light editing in the Handyshare software that can be downloaded for free from Zoom’s site. I then run the video through Auphonic, a free, browser based mastering program,that enhances the volume and sound quality with one click.

To edit the video for YouTube, I use a very affordable program called Wondershare Filmora.

For SoundCloud, I take the high quality WAV file from the video above — and use a lightweight DAW (digital audio workstation) called Acoustica by Acon Digital.

I’ve tried everying thing from Pro Tools, Ableton, Acid, etc. Acoustica by Acon Digital was by far the most intuitive and easy to use. I use Acousica to edit, add reverb, and generally enhance the recording.

From there, I use Auphonic again to master the final version of the recording.

How to play Only Ghosts for classical guitar

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This song was inspired by the photo above. The photographer is Steinar La Engeland, a graphic designer based in Norway.

You can find his photography on Unsplash, where all photos are creative commons zero. You can take whatever you want, and use it however you want.

Other than photography and film, my influences range from: Gustavo Santaolalla, and Johann Johannsson — to Radiohead, and Jeff Buckley. I think that’s the genesis of my sound.

The guitar tab for Only Ghosts is only two pages long. My order of play looks like this, in accordance with the guitar tab: Verse 2x, Chorus 1 — Verse 1x, Chorus 1, Chorus 2.

Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

Only Ghosts is played one half step down. Your tuning will look like this from low to high:  D# G# C# F# A# D#. Or, depending on your tuner, like this: Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb.

Only Ghosts, a song for classical guitar


Written by:

Matthew's dad, Jennifer's husband, bass player - New Invisible Joy, YouTuber, film composer - Broken Noons, creator of modern content for guitar.