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Everything posted by ectogemia

  1. Yeah, I hope it helps. I'm writing a Mega Man-sounding sort of hypermelodic song right now that has a sweet lead... but for whatever the hell reason, nothing is in tune with the lead, and it's not out of tune by semitones, so I can't easily just transpose things. Maybe Mr. Snoman has a solution!!!
  2. Yes, it has sections for trance, hip-hop, trip-hop, chillout/ambient, drum 'n' bass, and a few others that aren't coming to mind. Each section has an interesting history of how the genre came to be, how it developed, and where it is as of 2008. In addition, he explains common motifs found in the genres like effects, instruments, melodic and percussive patterns and techniques, etc. It's quite comprehensive and is helping to solve my problem of having all the music in my head but being totally unable to reproduce it in the sequencer. Of course, to really master that, you need a lot of practice, but how can you practice when you hardly know what to do? That's where this book comes in.
  3. Shameless (but totally unaffiliated!) plug: So I picked up this book a few months ago, and I've just begun to read it. It's called Dance Music Manual by Rick Snoman. A lot of neophytes to the e-music scene, like myself, find the titanic learning curve to be immensely discouraging, stifling, and depressing. We pine for some consolidated "how to" guide for beginning and understanding the technical concepts behind electronic music. zircon and others have written excellent, but brief, starter guides. What if you want to really grasp how all those LFOs and VSTs and SFs and 3OSs and HMOs and AIDS work? Rick Snoman, a jolly, happy soul, has answered our wishes and written a guide that covers all aspects of producing an electronic song -- not just dance music, as the title indicates. And for only $13? Solid buy. For anyone like me new to the scene, or even some experienced folk who would like to understand the ins and outs of the theory behind how it all works and the skeletons beneath several different styles, this is a fantastic resource. I would recommend that anyone in need of a tutorial go to the amazon link above and click the "look inside" button on the cover image and take a look at the table of contents to see if it has what you're looking for. The book treats each subject in detail (except the spectacularly crappy music theory chapter) and should leave anyone with a "teence" or "smidgin'" of reading comprehension a bit more capable than they were before. Hope this helps some of you looking for a more consolidated reference resource.
  4. :( Why does this always happen to me!! I should have so many Uncle Sam photos by now!!!
  5. Here are a couple of links to explanations on how to do the "blank" channel linking method of automation: The second is far clearer than the first, but they both show slightly different ways to do the same thing, and it's probably worthwhile to know each, just helps with becoming more familiar with the interface. You can also do the following (this example refers to automating volume): 1. Right click the volume knob next to the track you want to automate with volume changes. 2. Click "Add automation clip". 3. Go to the playlist and select the pattern you added the automation clip from. 4. There will be a "nested" display with two windows -- the top is where the automation clip that you will draw (in rhythm) will go, the bottom is where you pencil in when and how long the automation will occur. 5. To have a symmetrical, linear rise in volume, say, draw in a point in the center of the automation clip in the top window above the default line. The shape should be an upside-down V. Mess with the extreme ends of the V and the dot you just drew to pick the critical values for the volume minima and maxima. You can change the rate of the volume change by clicking the mark between the points you drew and dragging. Play your pattern in real time, and mess with the rates until it sounds right. 6. To apply this method of automation to ANY effect, just right click the knob on a particular pattern, mixer slot, effect, ANYTHING, and click "Create automation clip" and just repeat 1-5 with whatever variations in automation you desire. For instance, I automated the frequency cutoff on a low-pass automation using the Fruity Free Filter by applying that effect to a track and right clicking the frequency knob, adding an automation clip, and adjusting the automation graph in real time until the sweep sounded good to me. I did the same for volume and panning, added some static effects that are not automated, and now I have a cool, sweeping, swirling, dramatic arpeggio with 3 automated effects and 2 static effects. Hope this helps... just learned it last night myself It really adds a lot to your music.
  6. Ha. I can relate to "only being able to play by ear with your right hand." Just start figuring out the chords beneath them and practice voice leading which, although not necessary to creating a good piece of music, helps you learn why chords often transition the way they do and sound "good" or "bad." You'll get over this right hand restriction, and you can have an awesome time doing it. Might I suggest the Katamari main theme? Easy melody for the right hand, easy chords (C, Bb, G -- repeat) for the left hand. But start playing your own crazy variations (took me a few months to get to the point where I can vamp over it pretty much indefinitely). It's weird to say that themost important thing in my recent musical development has been Katamari Damacy. Awesome.
  7. Fantastic. Where did you get these lo-fi samples? I'm in love. Please tell me! No More Lies was by far my favorite track. The lead was AMAZING, so expressive... god, the pitch bends... gave me goosebumps. That's how you know you did your job as a composer. Bravo, gentlemen. My only complaint is an obvious one: not much variety. You two have mastered the hell out of creating disco-funk sorts of music. I took a look at some of your ambient music as well, and while I love ambient and I enjoyed what I heard of yours, it didn't much compare to this album. You can write a melody like a hero, but you have room for improvement on creating stronger atmospheres when melodies are a no-no, like in ambient music.
  8. This reminds me of the DKC1 ending credits to some extent. Maybe you could look for some inspiration for a lead there, although that lead is a bit minimal. I'm picturing some sort of sweeping, "positive" metal type lead for this, maybe even using a lead guitar patch. Specifically, what came to mind was the slower part of "Axis of Evil" by Derek Sherinian around 2:30 in. Maybe that'll help turn the gears a little? I really like the descending pad-thing that sounds like stuff is being beamed down. Good choice.
  9. Love the transition from the piano to bells. Slick transition to bassline's entrance, as well. Anytime you toss pizzicato strings in the mix, you'll be cleaning up my juices for hours. Here's a towel; now, get started. Seems a little treble-y for most of the piece. Maybe you could try turning up the bass a little. Awesome song, just seems like it's standing on a weak pair of legs. Beef those suckers up, but not too much. I'm not a huge fan of fadeouts, so you can ignore this critique given that it's your artistic vision and whatnot. I started to develop my own ending as the piece progressed, and I sort of "heard" a continuation of the piano arpeggios + choir + strings as they were while everything else drops out. A few measures later, piano slowly fades out. Choir and pizzicato strings remain together for another phrase or two, then on last measure, choir abruptly drops out and you get 3 last boop, boop, boop! plucks from the pizzicato strings, and the song ends. Jesus, did that make any sense? Again, that's my vision; you can certainly have yours.
  10. Well, I wouldn't say I'm very "far," musically speaking, but I'm a proficient guitarist and pianist, and I suppose I can sing fairly well when I feel the rare urge. It all started when I was 9 with piano lessons which I quit 5 years later. Guitar and bass become my new thing after a couple of years away from music post-piano debacle, but I dropped bass. I focused on guitar technique, having been in love with speed metal at the time, and I actually got fairly good. At about that time, a fatal problem in my musical development became clear: I knew shit-all about theory. Turns out, everything I had ever played in my previous 9 years of music had been rote, just mechanical practice of stuff on a page. Technically, I was a pretty good guitarist and pianist. Musically, I couldn't do much without a sheet of music. College came, and the first two years were NASTY; not a lot of music going on then. In the last several months, I've really been focusing on music theory, composing, and remixing, and my improvements have been vast. Here's my practice routine: 1. Read theory textbooks until my eyes bleed (doesn't take long) 2. Figure out video game songs on piano and play variations of the melody over the chord changes for hours 'til the roommates pull the plug (this happens quickly with Katamari's main theme and is really quite hilarious) 3. Abscond to my room to remix and write songs on trackers (because I have no clue how to even start with DAWs) 4. Play my NES and soak in what I'm hearing while blasting robots with my mega buster. 5. Repeat 2-4, occasionally sprinkling a bit of 1. on top. Random side note: I can whistle like a hero. Really, you should hear it sometime. I've basically been whistling nonstop since 1993, and it shows. Someone ought to start a whistling choir. Anyone? Anyone?
  11. Hey, yo, and what's up. I'm Nathan! Now forget what you just read. I'm Ectogemia! I'm a super-sarcastic dude, so you should probably never take anything I say seriously, unless I'm being serious. This being the internet, you can't really tell when I'm being serious, so you probably just shouldn't read anything I say to be safe. I'm 21 at the moment, will probably be 22 sometime, and I'm a semester away from my biology degree and starting dental school. I've been playing music since I was 9, starting with piano lessons for 5 years, interspersed with a few years of alto sax, followed by several years of guitar. I've been mostly self-taught and mostly poorly-disciplined (except for a couple of years of INTENSE guitar), so my musical development has been fairly, no, very retarded. At the moment, I'm working hard to improve my theory, composing, and remix chops because you sons of bitches here at OCR inspired and awed me ever since the first ReMix I heard (McVaffe's LttP Dark World ReMix). Interesting facts: -My favorite color is blue. -I like kitties. -I lead a primal, "Paleolithic" lifestyle as much as modern schedules and standards permit. Yeah, like a caveman, ok? Saves me money on car insurance. Makes me healthy and fit, too. And bacon and eggs for breakfast every morning??! What's not to love? Why do I do it? Ask Darwin and some hunter-gatherers; they could probably spell it out for you. -If you have a NES, you don't REALLY need any other systems. Sometime in the future, I'd love to contribute, but I guarantee at the moment that I'm not in any musical shape to pass by the judges' scrutinizing eyes, Napoleon complexes, and penis envies. As such, I'm sure you'll be able to find me in the WiP forum, with my music shrunken beneath the giants of genius that saturate this site. ECTOGEMIA NEEDS YOU ::points patriotically:: to rip his music to shreds so that he can build it better, stronger, and faster than ever before! My musical tastes are anything instrumental. Anything. I'm not a fan of lyrics being that I was able to sing and write them very well at a young age without much practice. I have never been able to play an instrument or write complex songs particularly well, even with significant practice, so I suppose my tastes pare down to me being amazed by instrumentalists and bored by lyrics and vocals. Well, that's about it. Hope to add to OCR sometime in the distant future, but for now, I'd love for you guys to humiliate and belittle me in the WiP forum!
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