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vijayan



Joined: Jun 01, 2003
Posts: 37
Location: Philadelphia.PA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2003 1:03 pm    Post subject: Green Newbie :) Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hello Everybody!

Firstly, WOW ! This website is an absolutley Fabulous idea. My Bestest wishes for this endeavour. Ok, I am a total novice. I have had no training in music in any form whatso ever. But I love sounds. I wish to be able to express my thoughts and emotions through sound. Here's my collection after scavenging ebay for 2 years ( I dont have much money, I'm only an international grad student Sad I have an Ensoniq EPS 16 + sampling keyboard, a casio cz 3000 synth, an oxygen 8 midi controller, a tabla, dozen flutes (indian, chinese and western), few harmonica's, a violin, casio DH 100 electronic horn/saxophone and other assorted niose makers. I run soft synths on a laptop with a Digigram pocket vx card. Sometimes when I get up in the morning I find I can create really fantastic music on any of the fore mentioned instruments, though I cannot play any of them (beginners luck ?). I can do finger drumming reasonably well and seem to have a sense of rythm, so I'm able utilize some sonic space of any instrument.

My question is, is there a method I can follow to create a musical piece ? So far I have only been making free flowing, unstructured pieces which seem to happen by themselves (and are good only in parts Sad How do you guys do it ? I've read somewhere about a rythm track, a bass track and then melody and vocals... is this a reasonable way to go ? I guess I'm only groping about for a method to hold on to.

Honestly, I haven't learned to use all the features of my hardware/software. Guess I'll have to spend some time with my equipment also. I am currently learning scales and chords and the elementary music theory on the keyboards. I would really really appreciate some pointers from the experienced musicians on this forum.

I feel so excited that such a form exists and that too by/for people in the Philly area !!! This is also my first post, so my apologies for being a little scatterbrained. I'd so love to be a part of this community !

BTW, I was at the Landing Pad yesterday. Was so cool !

Thank you very much,
Swamy
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egw



Joined: Feb 01, 2003
Posts: 1511
Location: Asheville NC
G2 patch files: 8

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2003 5:17 am    Post subject: welcome Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Welcome Swamy!
I hope to see you at some of the events in the Philadelphia area.
As far as finding a methodology to make music - of course there is no single approach that works for everybody. You have to figure out what works for you by trying different things. If you like the results you are getting, try introducing new techniques incrementally. It also depends on the kind of music you are trying to make.
What are you using for recording? If you have multitrack capability, you can take your unstructured pieces where only part of it works well, save those parts, expand on them, add more.
As long as you keep working at it, if you have a good sense of what sounds good, your music will keep getting better!
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Norm Vogel



Joined: Feb 20, 2003
Posts: 157
Location: Central NJ

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2003 3:53 pm    Post subject: Newbie Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

WELCOME

"My question is, is there a method I can follow to create a musical piece ? So far I have only been making free flowing, unstructured pieces which seem to happen by themselves (and are good only in parts How do you guys do it ? "


I'm probably the only person here who doesn't know how to play or read music! Like yourself, i try to "express myself thru sound(s)".

I've created compositions like the one you mentioned.....the solution for that is to edit out the stuff you don't like!

For "dance music", i use groove boxes extensively; for ambient pieces, i "play" ("by ear") the keyboards. I multitrack everything, so if i don't like a segment that i just recorded, i simply erase it and try again.

I'm from the Old, Old Skool of the days of Gershon Kingsley, WALTER Carlos, etc. where they just laid down one track at a time.

MIDI, in my opinion, makes things too difficult! by the time you have everything set up, you could've COMPLETED your composition!

Ask any questions you like -- someone is bound to have the answer!

Norm

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egw



Joined: Feb 01, 2003
Posts: 1511
Location: Asheville NC
G2 patch files: 8

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2003 4:32 am    Post subject: midi Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I don't agree with Norm about midi - I find it extremely useful.

Also, you can make satisfying music without much knowledge of mechanics or theory, but the more you learn, the more avenues will be open to you.
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vijayan



Joined: Jun 01, 2003
Posts: 37
Location: Philadelphia.PA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2003 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks very much for your reply guys !

My set up is 2 audio tracks and 3 midi tracks. I'm quiet comfortable with 3 midi tracks, though I tried a fancy midi daisy chain with all my gear and could record from 5 different (midi) intruments on 3 midi tracks simultaneously. But it took me a looong time to figure out stuff at both the sending and receiving ends. I've only got a tiny inventory, so I'm very happy with my 2 audio 3 midi setup for now.
Ah, editing and rerecording is something I haven't tried so far. It makes a lot of sense though. I've been scared of doing that cus I use my old laptop (256 MB RAM, 20 GB HD). Good news is I'm selling it off to buy a desktop. (I got my tax returns ...yipeee !! Smile That should open up a whole lot of possibilities I think.

Hiya Norm ! Glad to find someone with my background Smile Smile I'm taking egw's advice also. So far I can identify a bunch of chords on the keyboard (I kinda developed a system where I can identify scales and chords easily. I place a long strip of paper marking all the frequencies used in major, minor. pentatonic and blues sales. I just need to move the beginning of the strip to the desired key to 'see' all the keys used in the scale) Fun thing is, I can create more musical sounding pieces by just plunking out keys and chords in a particular scale ! It certainly opens up more possibilities, but I'm not sure how much time I'll be able to spend learning theory. (I work full time on my research) Maybe little by little over the next 10 years Wink

Anyways, thanks again for your inputs. Me shall keep you posted about my progress.

Tata,
swamy
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Norm Vogel



Joined: Feb 20, 2003
Posts: 157
Location: Central NJ

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2003 6:01 pm    Post subject: equipment Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The only thing i use a computer for the the Final Mix. I record everything onto my Korg D-16 (16 trks), then mix it down to stereo.

Thats where the pc comes in. I use an inexpensive pgm called "Goldwave" to edit my stuff.

As i'm recording/mixing down into my PC (stereo), i do all my mixer tweaking --- panning sounds from left-to-right, "positioning" them (eg, slightly off-center to the right).

Once the stereo mix is in the pc, i then can normalise it, delete sections, boost/attenuate the volume in spots, etc.

Then i convert it to mp3 and/or burn it to a cd. I really like the Goldwave pgm....if you're looking for something that's VERY easy to use, you might want to try THAT!

Norm

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mosc
Site Admin


Joined: Jan 31, 2003
Posts: 17618
Location: Allentown, PA
Audio files: 125
G2 patch files: 60

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2003 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Great post Swamy...

You have a great variety of noise makers there so multitracking will be very benificial. Even if you use your 2 audio and 3 midi tracks, that's enought. I have lots of formal training in music composition. Consider this: trios (music written for three voices, or tracks) are one of the most common and successful musical forms. Much classical music is in three parts. Much classical Indian music is also in three parts as well. My point is that four tracks is plenty, many times, more than you need. Most of the Beatles recordings were made on four tracks. Most Bach choral music is in four voices. Think of all the great jazz groups that are trios. Most symphonies are only four tracks, at least the early ones.

Musical form is almost totally ignored by some of our colleagues. This is, in my opinion, unfortunate. When you compose pieces, start from the beginning (of you career as a composer) making them multi movement pieces. Not only is it a very good learning technique for a developing musician, but it makes the music more interesting. I think you'll do better with a piece of three two-minute movements, than one six minute movement. Most classical music concerti are of three movements, fast/slow/fast. That's a good one to use. Not that it's great or anything, but check out my Flute Concerto at http://www.mp3.com/mosc

These are very simple but very valuable ideas. Too much contempory music is written by people who know pop music only. The basically think of music as songs. Songs usually have a verse and a chorus, sometimes a bridge. That's fine, but electronic music is really more closely related to instrumental music. Listening to that is very informative and inspirational; not just European classical music, but Indian, Asian, and Arabic music as well.

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my music and other stuff
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vijayan



Joined: Jun 01, 2003
Posts: 37
Location: Philadelphia.PA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2003 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for the help Mosc. The alto flute pieces were inspiring ! I've decided I'm gonna compose a flute piece(indian bansuri) this weekend. I shall try to make it along the lines of your second movement. That was the only one which seemed doable to me Smile Will let you know how it came out Smile

Swamy
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mosc
Site Admin


Joined: Jan 31, 2003
Posts: 17618
Location: Allentown, PA
Audio files: 125
G2 patch files: 60

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2003 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

vijayan wrote:
I've decided I'm gonna compose a flute piece(indian bansuri) this weekend. I shall try to make it along the lines of your second movement. That was the only one which seemed doable to me Smile Will let you know how it came out Smile


I figured you from your list of instruments you'd be interested in that piece. First do the background tracks and then improvise the flute on top.

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my music and other stuff
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elektro80
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Joined: Mar 25, 2003
Posts: 21977
Location: Norway
Audio files: 14

PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2003 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

HOW TO BUILD A PIECE?

hmm.. I just thought of a certain piece of music that could give you some ideas about various approaches...

Which is :
The " Battle On The Ice" sequence .. from the orchestral suite version of "Alexander nevsky" by Sergei Prokofiev.

You could study the part.. listen to it.. and then ask yourself

what, why and how... and the piece is quite easy to figure out. This is actually film music..( film by Eisenstein ) and still innovative.


It combines several methods and might be even more interesting these days than in the 1930s.

And.. how did the flute piece turn out? Smile Is it online for us to listen to?
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