Mr. Carmack layers loops to create music

Aaron Carmack, aka Mr. Carmack, says music is ‘all in the loops." – Courtesy Arron Carmack

Aaron Carmack, aka Mr. Carmack, says music is ‘all in the loops.” – Courtesy Arron Carmack

On Nov. 12, Aaron Carmack aka Mr. Carmack filled Hale A’o with sound, music and bass.

The three-hour workshop, sponsored by WCC’s Hawai‘i Music Institute, was an opportunity for WCC students and the public to learn and be inspired by digital music.

Carmack, a composer, writer, producer and world-renowned disc jockey, had the audience in a trance as he layered his loops to the old school beats of hip hop and the futuristic style of techno.

“Loops y’all, loops. It’s all in the loops!” he yelled through the microphone. “Make music like no one’s listening.”

According to Carmack, learning how to layer loops is the best way to create music. A loop is a recording of a single instrument or a sound that repeats over and over again. Loops are then combined together to make multitracks.

Students were able to ask questions about music production and the digital world.

For many questions, Carmack answered by repeating: “Loops, loops, it’s all in the loops.”

Carmack grew up with music around him. His father, Ka‘ala Carmack, is a music instructor and the director of the Hawai‘i Music Institute.

He got an early education in piano and other instruments, as well as in Hawaiian music .

“My music is an expression of experiences that I’ve had in my life up to right now,” he said. “I take inspiration every day.”

He jump-started his professional career by uploading his music to Soundcloud, a free online database where anyone can upload their own music and listen to music uploaded by others.

Carmack’s inspirational sounds came together to help form what is now known as the Los Angeles-based distinctive sound of hip hop and techno-infused beats.

His followers are growing in number each day on social media and Soundcloud.

He has toured five continents over the past two years, but he is humble and says his roots bring him back to Hawai‘i.

Although he lives in Los Angeles, his family is still here on O‘ahu.

His father and sister attended the workshop, and all three sang a Hawaiian song, while Carmack’s father also played the ‘ukulele, to end the event.


Zachary Rupp-Smith, Ka ‘Ohana Staff Reporter