Perseverance and Experimentation

On both of my recent experimental tracks I have been fairly stuck. Luckily, tonight I think I have figured out how to subside that issue (at least to a point). For the most part I just start loading samples and presets into the the machines and start hitting keys until I find something that works.

Although, for that track with the piano in it, it’s just been a matter of getting over the laziness to compose the next part. Still haven’t done that, haha. So yeah, heads up, if you’re stuck just try random sounds and eventually you’ll find something to work with.

All text post, but hopefully a little inspiration for others in my situation.

Format Changes?

The more I research Midi controllers, PC DAW’s etc. the more I feel like I need to change the format of this blog. While waiting for my Midi converter to show up so I can start doing those online piano lessons, I have concluded that I have come to a bit of a road block regarding android music production.

Therefore I am beginning to realize that my blog should probably be less Android focused and more “Learning Music Production on the Cheap”

I have all sorts of articles I could start writing about pertaining to powerful free Virtual Instruments, links on how to use powerful, yet inexpensive PC/MAC DAWs like Reaper. I also believe that by doing this I could reach out to a larger audience.

We will see what happens, but I expect to start doing mixed articles on Inexpensive Android and PC production shortly.

For everyone following my blog and people that are just visiting, feel free to comment on what you think about me doing this. Thanks y’all.

Scratch that. Frank Malm from Musical Android made some very good points in the nice comment that he left. Expect this to remain an Android Based Production Blog.

Making it Easier

As time has progressed over the past three weeks I have come to realize that even regarding basic hip hop production, it is very difficult to produce anything without some sort of musical training. So while I continue to experiment and post stuff on here I will also be learning to play piano (pretty sure I mentioned that earlier).

Since I don’t really know what I am doing I have decided that teaching myself out of a book or off of youtube might be a little difficult. So after a little research I found an interesting computer product called “Piano Marvel.”

Piano Marvel is an online music teaching program set up with a subscription fee and requiring a Midi enabled keyboard controller. From what I have read online it is a fairly viable way to learn the basics. The Midi component allows the program to track errors you are making and provide you with dependable feedback. It costs about $12 or $15 a month and allows you to take unlimited lessons while subscribed. I have the link to the website below as well as a nice review I found on it. Have a look, I’m going to at least try out the free demo month to see how it works.

http://www.pianomarvel.com/

The following link is the review website. Note it also includes how it stacks up to other computer based music learning programs.

http://piano-lesson-software-review.toptenreviews.com/piano-marvel-review.html

55513-piano-marvel-box

Chop Progress

I finally got around to trying to chop that song. So far I seem to be getting be getting good samples that go together quite well, but honestly I can’t sequence them to sound catchy. I think I may be barking up the wrong tree… Perhaps I will start off with what others recommended and switch to a classical or jazz song.

Either way it’s fun. I’m also starting to get a good enough sense of rythym to use Su-Preme MPA. I can more or less accurately combine chopped samples to seamlessly sequence parts of the original song. 165ms audio latency schmatency…

Once I get a song chopped decently I will try to post the samples and HOPEFULLY a PCMsynth preset so other can mess around with it. My new casio keyboard also has some fun sounds that I may sample and make presets for PCMsynth, so look out for that. Can’t wait to get my Midi to USB cable next week!

If you’re wondering how I know I am making decent chops, have a look a few posts back at my original article on the subject.

No media to post today SORRY!

Chopping Samples

I’m on to my next project. Despite the awful Audio Latency on my Kindle Fire, I’m going to give Su-preme MPA a shot.

This time I am going to try chopping and sampling an already made track using Niko Twenty’s Sonic Chop. I’ve already had a go messing around with it, and the app is VERY user friendly. It looks like the easiest genres to chop and use in hip hop tend to be classical, jazz etc. I think for my first track I am going to use “300 m.p.h Torrential Outpour Blues” by the White Stripes.

I did some research on how to get clean chops, but I ultimately learned you just need to experiment yourself. On the other hand the following video has some very helpful tips. One of the biggest recommendations I read online is to make sure when you play your sample that you can loop it and it sounds natural. Also try to start each chop on a beat. Yeah. Watch the video and have fun.

Just so everyone knows I will not always be focusing on hip hop. I just thought it would be a fun genre to start producing in.

First Track is Done

Well I finally finished that track. It’s kind of boring in the beginning, but I don’t think it is too shabby for a first go. Unfortunately I can’t upload it… There appears to be something wrong with my soundcloud account. I’ll have up as soon as the problem clears.

Until then, does anyone have a suggestion of a track to chop?

Android Touch DAW Controller

I stumbled upon a cool app today on the Google App store called “Touch DAW.”

Ever see those bulky midi controller that a lot of professionals or more advanced producers use? Well this app takes the the same functionality as that hardware, but utilized your android device.

Unfortunately it needs a supported PC Digital Audio Work Station for it to work 100% as the controls have program specific presets. I managed to get it working with a program called “Reason” and it’s quite nifty not having to click all the nobs and slider in the actual program with a mouse. I tried to get it going with a couple of unsupported programs like the free “Linux Multi Media Studio” and Open Labs “Stagelight” but the functionality was too limited and in the end not worth it.

It also has a midi controlling Drum Pad with a Y/X modulator (no idea what the Y/X thing does yet) and a midi keyboard controller. Two hiccups I have found in Touch DAW is that sometimes the Drum Pads get stuck in the on position and my Kindle only supports 2 touches making it difficult to use the keyboard.

For around $6 it seems worth it if you are using one of the programs it natively supports. Reason seems to be the most reasonably priced out of all of them at only $60, but you need to provide your own instrument plug-ins and it also lacks a step sequencer like Caustic 2 has.

Here is a link to the developers site.

http://www.humatic.de/htools/touchdaw/