Song #15: Valis
A pure Trance track mixed with some creepy vocals chanting snippets of Philip K. Dick’s VALIS. Key: Bb, BPM: 138
Song #14b: Network
This is a mash-up of Howard Beale from the movie Network going absolutely insane and a excellent little generic Electro-House track to form an electro-dance protest song. This is the first attempt at something like this: both loud and dancey but angry and political simultaneously. Contains a fair amount of awesome but is a bit weak in the double chorus section. Still full of good, solid anger. Key: D, BPM: 157
Song #13: Bright Lights (Instrumental)
A peppy little dance music song. There’s not a whole lot of depth here. It’s just fun and happy and dancable. It is more a tribute to an experiment in working the kinks out of workflow than anything. It could use some spice: some effects, a little bit of automation, and some vocal to make it special. Key: E, BPM: 120
Song #12: Saltarello (Heavy Mix)
The unholy mashup of a nice Medieval tune often played at RenFests and Heavy Metal. When I’m wandering around a RenFest, I’m thinking that all the place really needs is a good dose of drum and heavy distortion on guitar and some dude with huge hair. Key: E, BPM: 122
Song #11: Science Fiction Pornography (Remix)
I pulled Sci Fi Porn into Logic and mixed it right. Now it sounds a hell of alot better. Key: C, BPM: 95bpm
Song #10: Tigris
This is another little Middle Eastern tune. It meanders for about a minute and a half. The groove sits very well with the flutes and stringed instruments. Key: C, BPM: 120bpm
Song #9: Peppy Beatz
After two months of struggle, I finally began to produce music in Logic 7.2. Peppy Beatz was the first complete song to come out of the DAW. It’s made entirely from loops but it still sounds decent. It’s a peppy little dance track. Key: C (I think), BPM: 137bpm
Song #8: rain
I wrote every bit of rain by hand, including and especially the piano loops, which I also then played back into the DAW through the MIDI Controller. This is the best Garageband can sound. It was melting my machine and it still needed some help from some better DSP. It sounds pretty good, though, despite the limited tools. It’s very Philip Glass. Key: Am, BPM: 137bpm
I have tried remixing rain twice in Logic, and it hasn’t worked out yet. Perhaps a third time is a charm.
Song #7: TranceSazz
A standard trance song with a big TR-909 trance drum with compression slopped all over the bass. Instead of using a standard synthesized voice, it uses a Turkish Saz for the main lead instrument and some vocal clips for accent. While working on this, I discovered that some of the canned breakbeat MIDI drum loops in the World Music Jam Pack make much more compelling ethnic instrument loops. Key: A, BPM: 137bpm
Song #6: La Mantovana
A medieval song played with medieval instruments. Put together in Garageband painstakingly by hand. Probably would have been better if I had moved to Logic by this point and used some of the plate reverb and the Sculpture instruments. Sadly, Garageband simply doesn’t have the tools to make something like this sparkle. It’s a candidate for a possible remix/rewrite. Key of Am, BPM 83.
Song #5: Science Fiction Pornography
Science Fiction Pornography is the first serious foray into making electronic music. It’s partially crafted by hand and partially crafted out of loops from the Remix Jam Pack. I wrote the drum loops and actually gave some thought to the music structure. Surprised that it came out well, I started to actually learn about electronic music, although still stuck in the Garageband ghetto.
Song #4: Katherine Ogie Rocks Out
I chose this song out of the big stack of medieval sheet music because it was easy to play on the MIDI Controller and I have no actual keyboardist training. It came out extremely beep-bloopy in a bubblegum pop sort of way. Created in Garageband on a M-Audio Axiom 25, which is used in every song after this one.
Song #3: Middle East Beats
I wrote this little song while sitting on the couch in my parent’s living room. It is all Apple Loops out of the standard Garageband install. It emphasizes my belief that sitar goes well with trance drums. It sounds more like Juno Reactor than anything else.
Song #2: Bach Concerto for 2 in Am
I found a pile of Bach Concertos in MIDI format, took one more-or-less at random, and learned the wonders of counterpoint while attempting to apply a funk drum loop with a standard rock kit. I have a sneaking suspicion that it was not originally in Am, and nor did it feature a Hammond Organ. This is entirely in Garageband with standard sounds.
Song #1: Popcorn (Remix)
A (somewhat awful) cover of Hot Butter’s classic bleep-bloop track, “Popcorn.” The very first foray into MIDI editing and electronic music. I found the MIDI on some site somewhere and messed with it until it sounded okay enough with various instruments.
We’ll Meet Again
This was the first experiment with a K&K Sound single mike pickup on a Fluke Ukulele. The song is We’ll Meet Again, chosen both because the tabs were readily available online and because it is referenced in Pink Floyd’s song Vera from The Wall:
“Does anybody here remember Vera Lynn?/Remember how she said that we would meet again some sunny day?”
This is one long, rambling take.
This is the result of fooling around for a few hours with the MIDI controller and Garageband. Contains two different clips, both 16 bars a piece. For both of them, Key: G, 80 bpm.
I have a bright yellow Flea ukulele (GCEA tuning) with a K&K Sound Hot Spot pickup. It was plugged into a BOSS ML-2 Metal Core guitar effects pedal and then out through a Soundtech Lightsnake 1/4â€³to USB cable. From here it went into Audacity, since Audacity has the easiest recording facilities Iâ€™ve found for MacOSX. After that, I applied compression at 2:1 ratio, -12dB threshold and 0.2s attack time. Oh, and some chords.
A demo using ZebraCM (Zebra from Computer Music).