Hey I just wanted to clarify something for everyone. For the work I am currently doing, I am utilizing the Caustic Android app on two platforms. I am currently using it on Android when I am out of the apartment, but when I am in I am using the ported version for Windows.
Why? Well for some reason the keyboard is not connecting properly to my Kindle Fire. I would love to do it all on my Kindle as the pure Android Caustic build is more stable, but for some reason the two devices just don’t agree. Generally I have to press 2 keys at the same time for the tablet to register any Midi signals. When it does register one key at a time, the notes won’t turn off.
I am hoping this issue will be solved when I get my new tablet, but in the meantime I can’t honestly say if cheap keyboards with cheap Midi adapters work on tablets. Researching the subject I found that Midi keyboards need to have “standard midi interface” meaning they don’t require additional drivers for windows.
I am going to try and make it to a local music shop to try out some “completely compliant” keyboards with my Kindle. Hopefully that will narrow down whether it’s my tablet or the keyboard.
Cool news for us newbie mobile producers and experienced mobile producers alike! It loos like Caustic 2 is being upgraded to Caustic 3.0! Having a look at the coming updates there are going to be some very major changes. Extra machines for us to learn and utilize, new effects and what I am most excited about, additional machine slots.
Hopefully I will be able to get my hands on an early alpha release so I can learn how to use these new features before launch! Stay tuned in coming weeks for new information. In the meantime visit http://www.singlecellsoftware.com/node/1692?page=1 and keep in mind that all the content is subject to change, as this is still far from release.
In other news I am going to work on getting some more Casio samples up today. I figure it’s about time to get the drums going as I would like to use some of the sounds.
Also here is a sample of an experimental kind of ambient dance track I am working on. I don’t really have any structure for it and like the piano track I posted last week I still don’t have too much vision for it yet.
I am interested in how people that read my blog figure out how to build there music past an intro and verse? It’s like writing a paper and running out of material.
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.
Took the wife out shopping last night and had some time to mess around with the Subsynth in Caustic 2. I need to go over the tutorials again, but I ended up making a cool wobble that would sound good for a dance song intro. Feel free to download it and have a look.
Started working on another project last night. I’ve given up on chopping track samples for now, but will come back to it eventually. Anyway for those that are interested in the process I took to get the bare bones of what I have now, here it is.
First I decided on a lead instrument. As mentioned I am doing some online piano lessons and decided to use a nice piano PCMSynth preset from the Single Cell Software forums. I then hooked up my Midi Keyboard and started playing random notes and chords in different octaves until I found combinations that sounded interesting. I would then click the triggers to input the notes into Caustic. If a note didn’t sound right I would delete the trigger, then use the keyboard to sound out different notes in it’s place in real time.
Following finding a nice melody, I added a simple beat with beat box just to get a better feel of what I was working with.
Of course this is far from over. Right now it is just the beginning Piano lead and one beat box pattern. Eventually I will add more instrumewnts, FX etc.
I think it already sounds 100% better than the final product of my first track.
I said I would have at least a preset up for peeps today, so here it is. The sample I used is from the tone bank on my Casio. I was flipping through it looking for sounds for future projects and thought that this sounded fairly unique. Also the scratching sound from my headphone jack seems to disappear as tones are transmitted, so it came out fairly clean.
To add this to your preset archive copy the .pcmsynth file into the pcmsynth preset folder. You will need a file explorer to do this and I would recommend looking up the app “ES File Explorer” on Google Play. Enjoy.
CASIO VOICE BS.PCMSYNTH
I will also have a new page archiving samples as I make them soon.
Wow… I have to say that the wait for converter cable has been totally worth it. I finally hooked the keyboard up to Caustic 2 today and even without the ability to record live, being able to test different keys out in real time is so nice. Even with the latency on most devices, having the ability to at least sound things out in real time streamlines the production process a LOT!
In other news, i’m going to try to make some presets for Caustic today out of samples from my Casio. Unfortunately there is an ungodly hissing sound coming out of the headphone jack, which is the only sound out. Going to try it anyway, the presets may only be good for super LoFi projects. We’ll see, I should have some up tomorrow.
Hey all. So my ventures into chopping and sampling have been thus far… Sub par at best. But I figured it would be worth showing everyone a trick I learned from the Caustic forums that enables you to step sequence samples you may have or may have chopped.
Utilizing PCMsynth I have provided a 6 step tutorial below
1) Open a new PCMsynth. Long click the “Sample” button
2) Select the sample you want to use. Here I Selected a Kick drum
3) Long press the root key button, then press the keyboard key you want to use.
– If this is your only sample match it to the root note of the sample and you are done
– If this is one of multiple samples you want to insert, choose a root key and continue following the tutorial (C4 is a good key to start with)
4) Long press Lowkey and match it to the root key
5) Long press Highkey and match it to the root key
– The sample will now be stuck to the root key and not work with any other
6) Short press sample and turn the dial to select the next sample
– Follow the tutorial again for however many samples you would like to insert, just utilize another root key
In other news I have figured out how to sample my Casio and as I mentioned before it has some interesting percussion samples. I think while I am figuring out this chopping nonsense I am going to take some very LowFi .wav samples for people to have fun with. Who knows maybe there will be a PCMsynth preset with them.
There are also some fun sounds so I will most likely sample some of those over time as well.
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.
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.