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boxart.midisupertracksTalking about loops Band in the Box is probably fair to say loops on steroids. I’ll be interested to see how the Logic’s Chord track compares. I’m guessing BIAB will leave them in the dust but I might be wrong. PGMusic has been doing this for years and every year they add a ton of new features. One of the most interesting advents this year is the concept of Midi Supertracks which are basically live played but midi captured tracks. Computing power and midi technology have come along to the extent that one can with midi capture the slightest performance nuances. The advantage is that you have an output that you can tweak immensely and pair up with some increidible instrument samples. PGMusic’s blurb does a better job of describing them. Read and listen to a audio sample.

 

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Loop Based Composition

loop_composingWhen I first encountered the concept of music loops many moons ago when the only real player was ACID I didn’t quite get what to do with them. Sure auditioning them , stringing them together was fun. Jamming to them was somewhat fun but what else? I got the concept of drum files. Those substituted the very expensive drum machines I had collected through my years. Drum loops made sense. Everybody needs a drummer and drum parts let’s face for the most part are the same per genre. However the notion of using other types of loops to create my material just didn’t make sense. I mean no matter if they were royalty free , it still felt like stealing and at the very least terribly un-original. Of course , again I was filtering through my own lenses.

Loops do have a place in music creation e.g. music for commercials i.e otherwise known as jingles, loops for film scoring etc. For original works loops can have a place as well . They can indeed be your muse , that source of inspiration which sparks your next great tune. Sometimes you just need something to rattle your brain. They are particularly helpful if you are trying to force yourself to write in a particular vibe or genre.

Apple’s Logic Pro comes with a ton of loops. Today I decided that I was going to attempt my luck at a laid back bossa feel. I simply took the first of every bossa thing Logic had for me i.e. drums, bass, piano and guitar. All of these loops are in this case midi based and all using the internal Logic instruments.

That results in this:

Taking Notes on Your Music

Growly NotesPart of keeping it together and on the road to accomplishing your music goals is organization. Staying organized saves time and really every second away from actively pushing for your music objectives is just time lost. In the past I have used different mechanism to keep my music “Notebooks” from personal wiki systems , to the very awesome OneNote on Windows and now on the Mac to Growly Notes.

So Growly Notes allows me to first thing in my practice session open my notebooks. From their I can go to the repertoire I’m working or whatever other objective I have. Once there I have collected ,for example in the case of repertoire, sheet music , audio and video files, and most usually I have a Transcribe file associated so that I can use that valuable tool. The objects in Growly Notes are actionable i.e. you can click on them which will open the associated appls. In the case of audio it will actually provide you with a transport bar for immediate playback. That’s the same for video files.

I can also keep mental notes there for me such as “bar 14 -16: tough transition needs more work” etc.

All of this saves you precious time and it very importantly keeps you focused.

addictive drumsAddictive Drums is an affordable but very powerful virtual drum software pak that I just started to use with Logic Pro for prototyping of compositions. I plan to work it in in a few ideas so maybe I can demo something using it soon.

Read on and follow the link for some impressive video and audio samples.

Addictive Drums is one of the most powerful and popular drum softwares in the world and can be heard on countless hit songs and albums. Read More

Features:

  • Three pristine sounding drum kits
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Built-in professional effects
  • Production presets
  • Thousands of drag & drop rhythms
  • Full E-Drum Support

Score Everything !

musescoreMy practice time is precious and very limited  so when I have to look for sheet music that detracts from my time spent on my music project. I had considered photo copying but invariably something would happen to the sheet music. In my case one of my dogs Kenya would be very likely to get to it. I also considered and was for a while scanning sheet music.

However , I have decided and decided again to score i.e. notate into notation software music that I think is important enough to study.

To that end I have settled on Musescore. Why ? Its for core  notation and decent playback very adept. Its also easy to use and if you Sibelius key combos they are essentially the same. The other  reason is that well, its free. I can have it installed on my Win tablet , Android tablet , PC and Mac Mini.

One of the features I like most about Musescore is that it keeps all current sheet music as tabs. Therefore I can keep all of my learning repertoire on Musescore and available in one spot right at startup of the app.

Did I already mention that there are Android and iOS apps which allow me to review music on the train. Again , my music time is precious and reviewing music scores helps quite a bit.

Is it to much work ? No, I don’t think so. Its valuable and time well spent. For me, scoring the music helps me get closer to it. It also helps albeit in an indirect way with one’s composition and arrangement skills

 

Recording with the Godin Nylon

godinmultnylonsaToday I decided to test recording with my Godin Nylon via the Focusrite Scarlet 2i2. The Godin Nylon has an output jack and thus I’m not recording via a mic but rather from what I recall to be piezo pickups on the Godin. The advantage of course is that all room noise is eliminated which is a constant hassle in the home studio. The track below also has applied some effects to warm it up a bit although not perfectly tweaked. The question is whether this is a viable approach.

I’ll leave it up to the user to make their own opinions.