Project Clarification

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.

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Second Track

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.

Get Midi

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.

Putting Samples in Caustic 2

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

pcm1

 

2) Select the sample you want to use. Here I Selected a Kick drum

pcmsynth2

 

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)

pcmsynth3

 

4) Long press Lowkey and match it to the root key

pcmsynth4

 

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

pcmsynth5

 

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

pcmsynth6

 

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.

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

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