I’ve been watching Max for Live waiting for the patch that will make me buy and Schwarzonator made me do just that. Grid pattern making patches and hardware hacks don’t get me going as much as software that helps me create melodies. Schwarzonator was created by Berliner Henrik Schwarz and I am finding it very useful. I really love the random function! Check out the video above for what it can do.
“The Schwarzonator is a note twister. It’s all about helping musicians (or non-musicians) find the right notes and chords in real time. It turns one finger playing into chords that fit together well. Choose from a list of Chord Sets in a drop down menu. Then all notes you play on your keyboard will fit into the selected Chord Set.” – Henrik Schwarz (from Ableton’s website)
Get the Schwarzonator here: www.ableton.com/schwarzonator
This entry was written by Ableton Live, song writing and tagged ableton, Ableton Live, Max for Live, patch, Schwarzonator. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
I believe melody is hardwired into human’s brains in a way different than hearing just sounds. We remember notes as they hum up and down scales. Every time I leave The Gap I end up singing whatever song was playing over and over in my head for hours. So I always say piano lessons beat a new Apogee interface for making your tunes better. I really like helper applications like Harmony Navigator or even something like Microsoft SongSmith. Harmony Improvisator is a new plug-in from Germany in the same vain. The cochleor website says videos and a demo download are coming soon. It’s Mac/PC VST for 99 EUR.
Improvisator is a programmable chorder and sequencer VST plugin which outputs chords as MIDI data or sound from an internal synthesizer. It can be controlled via MIDI input or by clicking the harmonic functions of the graphical user interface. The first thing in the process of working with Improvisator is to click chords with the mouse which you hear immediately. – www.cochleor.de
For more info: www.cochleor.de
This entry was written by plug-ins, song writing and tagged chords, generator, harmonies, Improvisator, plug-in, vst. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Here’s a sample of a new song I am almost finished with called “Modern”. Clearly inspired by my day job at Energy Management Solutions. Most of the song is real analog equipment: Vermona DRM1 MKIII and Yamaha CS5. My voice is through a Shure KSM-32 and TC Powercore.
“All the modern. Super Building. Super Building. Growing into a new day.” – The Horrorist
photo credit: boliston
This entry was written by music, song writing and tagged Modern, Powercore, TC Electronic, The Horrorist, Things to Come Records, Vermona DRM1, Yamaha CS5. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
I was reading an interesting article on Wikipedia about a long gone practice called “Song Sharking”. Essentially there were businesses who ran ads asking poets to send in their poems which would then be turned into songs by professional musicians. In 2003 PBS produced a documentary about Song Sharking called “Off the Charts”. To see a full preview: pbs.org/independentlens/offthecharts/ It’s also available on Amazon: click here I wonder what other old music business practices that have long been forgotten.
“The business of recording song poems was promoted through small display ads in popular magazines, comic books, tabloids, men’s adventure journals and similar publications with a headline reading (essentially) Send in Your Poems – Songwriters Make Thousands of Dollars – Free Evaluation. The term lyrics was avoided because it was assumed potential customers would not understand what the term meant. Those who sent their poetry to one of the production companies usually received notice by mail that their work was worthy of recording by professional musicians, along with a proposal to do so in exchange for a fee. The early 20th century versions of this business involved setting the words to music and printing up sheet music from inexpensively engraved plates.” – Wikipedia
Read the full entry: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Song_poem
This entry was written by song writing, video and tagged poem, Song Sharking, songwriting. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Microsoft Songsmith is a PC only application that you sing into and then the software creates a full song behind your voice. It uses some neat algorthms, technology from PGMusic’s Band in a Box and sounds from Garritan. You most likely already know about Songsmith but I found a really interesting website/mashup you may find new. It’s call Robert Songmith and basically it’s a good looking website that is Songsmith + The Cure + You. I spend a nice while listen to other people’s creations last night. You can also follow Robert Songsmith on Twitter: twitter.com/robertsongsmith
Listen or create your own: robertsongsmith.com
This entry was written by song writing and tagged fun, Microsoft, Robert Songsmith, Songsmith, songwriting. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
I just got back from a live show I performed in Denver, Colorado. I played the second day of a three day EBM, PowerNoise, Goth type Festival. Some of the other acts included Hocico, Phyclon Nine, Rome and Terrorfakt. I’ve never been to Denver before and overall it was a good experience. Denver is called the mile high city because it’s exactly one mile higher than sea level. It has more sun than L.A. and the driving from the airport Denver looks like a desert with the giant Rocky Mountains off in the distance. The city’s old area looks a bit like a cowboy town mixed with a Long Island N.Y. strip mall.
I decided to go early to the club (The Bar Standard) and hear some music. I was a bit disappointed. The bands and DJs before I played were all competent. Songs had beginnings, middles and ends. The live shows had scarred keyboard stands in front of patent leathered heavily made up freaks. The showman ship was there. They bands ran back and forth in front of the audience and the audience yelled on command. So what was the problem? It was all derivative, watered down, copy cat music. Each song had some elements of a once great song. The message was, “We sound like…” instead of “We are…!”.
I know it’s not just the EBM/goth scene that is suffering from this phenomena. One could argue all art is going through a similar type of troubled these days. All I can plead is for artists to find their own real voice based on their own real life actions. Don’t try and be interesting. Be interesting and then afterward tell us about it. Those are the only stories, songs, paintings I want to hear!
For more info: www.myspace.com/vendettafestival
photo credit: quinn.anya
This entry was written by political, song writing and tagged Denver, songwriting, The Bar Standard. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
It’s 6:30AM and I just jumped a few feet out of bed. For some reason a few days a week vivid nightmares pry my eyes open. The dreams don’t bother me. In fact, I’m amazed how clear and wild they are. Last night’s dream started with a Depeche Mode concert and ended with giant scorpions making incredible screeching sounds attacking people. I know it sounds stupid but trust me it was real enough at 6:29AM.
The interesting part is for most of the dream Depeche Mode were singing new songs. Songs that only exist in that dream last night. With every waking moment they are fading quickly from my memory but I am sure I heard at least three full tunes. I remember the themes were about love and the usual DM musings. The songs were very good and I was excited to hear them. I guess since my own mind was creating them it knew how to make the songs exactly how I personally would like them. The tragedy is I can’t recreate any of what I remember.
Once every year or so I dream I am making my own songs. I create perfect pieces with lush melodies, incredible lyrics and spot on pitch. Maybe someday there will be dream catchers that save to SoundCloud or something. I’d even be happy with the screeching scorpion sounds. Until then sweet dreams…
Do you ever dream you are creating music?
photo credit: just.Luc
This entry was written by music, song writing and tagged Depeche Mode, dreams, songwriting. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
I was watching videos and reading comments over at Create Digital Music concerning the beta release of Melodyne’s amazing new Direct Note Access feature. The one thing this software guarantees is we will be getting a new music genre soon. With every technological pro-audio feature jump we have seen artists create something new. Glitch and mashups are quick recent examples but something about Direct Note Access makes me think “this is major”. With enough stare at the computer screen time producers with well trained ears will be able to pull Hendrix guitar lines from a song and pair it with Kurt Cobain singing… singing “We are the World”. Ok maybe that’s not exactly possible but that’s going to be the obvious first goal with people who have the time and skill to try. I’m hoping we are going to get something even more off the wall, more new sounding. Music needs something new sounding to bring back a little shine (iTunes LP isn’t it).
Melodyne editor is the first Celemony product to offer the revolutionary Direct Note Access technology. This makes possible what had previously been considered impossible: access to individual notes in polyphonic audio material. Correct wrong notes in a piano recording; change the chords in a guitar accompaniment after the recording is over; refashion a sample lick. Melodyne editor lets you do things of which, until now, you could only dream. – www.celemony.com
For more info: www.celemony.com
This entry was written by song writing and tagged Celemony, Direct Note Access, genre, Melodyne. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Here is an interesting video from the UK containing a bunch of great Ableton Live tips. I never thought of setting up follow actions and after wards recording into cycling clips. Spending a little time setting triggers and MIDI mapping before you head into “Right Brain” mode will surely make your song a bit better.
“This video shows you how to use Ableton Live’s clips as chord banks and trigger them with one key. It also touches on the following features: Follow Action, Launch Modes, Midi Mapping & Routing, Pitch (midi plugin)” – flujo
For more Ableton Tips: click here
photo credit: tripp-e
I was talking via IM to “Raytrace” who’s name you see all over music tech social media sites. We were talking about checking our mixing in cars and he said that the Volkswagen Beetle is known to have the best shape for audio playback. I never heard that before but on the surface it makes sense. I guess if the circular interior walls are matched with a killer Blaupunkt system right?
Here’s my check the mix workflow:
Remember to listen from other rooms from where the speakers are playing with the doors shut. The next door effect can point out too loud mix elements. Try mixing with a fan or noise in the room. Check mixes in loud cars (see above) and in parked cars. Remember to mix with fresh ears before any other music making.
photo credit: nitrox09
This entry was written by song writing and tagged Adam, automobile, car, headphones, mixing, song writing, Sony MDR-7506, Volkswagen, Yamaha. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.