For my drum beat I decided to keep if fairly standard and so I tried to get a bass, snare, and some auxiliaries. I found it was easiest for your beat to get too busy and os I tried to keep it simple with bass and snare playing off of each other. Then I would add decoration as needed to keep it grooving. I also needed to slightly manipulate the samples to get the sounds that i wanted so that it would sound more like a normal drum sample. I first tried to get some nice, melodic chords in the synths. I took the chord progression of a song I knew and slightly modified it and created two tracks of it, low and high. After that I tried to get a melody piece that mixed with it, and so I played along the progression, switching it up. THen when exploring sample loops I found some really nice ones which I decided to put in and surround those chords, even though those clips became my favorite. When mixing my key was avoiding clipping and spread out the sound. I tried to spread the instruments evenly with some drums to the left and right, and melodies switching between left, right, and center. After achieving that I used the compressor and eq to smooth out the sound, and clean it up boosting some areas where the tracks specialized and cutting down on the unnecessary. During this project I relearned all the quirks of Ableton. I better understood how to maneuver between screens and I understood the connections a little bit more. I got significantly better with a drum rack. I mostly learned how to mix in Ableton, importing an EQ, adding compressor, and adding audio effects to tracks. To finalize the project even further, I decided to strengthen my vocal choir synths, to better carry the melody and just to generally improve the sound
Chaos of the Human Mind-Atmospheres
I decided to try and switch up my melodic style and experiment with some truly creepy music. I focused on ambient and evolving, “pitched atmosphere”, for a basic tone setter. I played low down and changed some of the macros to get a creepy and dark atmosphere builder, complete with wind sounding after effects. I then decided to add some of the glass cave to give a bit of sharpness and danger to the piece, but I used in sparingly as it gets annoying when overplayed or too loud, but in small quantities it gave the edge I needed. I was proud of adding the heavily modified space arpeggiator. I added high space amount with high frequency played in the very low notes, the echoes and side to side panning lost the distinction of individual not and just became this unnerving grating sound. Towards the later introspective part of the piece, I utilized a more harmonic “light and shadow” to add a hauntingly angelic melody. It was a nice contrast to the chaotic beginning, but still kept the air of otherworldliness. In selecting my slides I decided to keep with the theme of dramatic and thought provoking artwork. I looked for all periods and styles of art throughout history. I made sure to keep either a dark theme or a creepy one. I decided that the more disturbing pictures would be placed closer to the beginning with the more unsettling tone of of the beginning, and the more introspective yet dark pieces would go later, matching better with the calmer tone of my piece. This created a vibe of the music and the art both changing and developing over time, not random changes, marking a consistent link between the two, increasing synergy. When revising, I first added on EQ’s to most of my tracks cutting out ranges they did not utilize and subtly boosting those that needed. Specifically my ambient and evolving really affected the bass, giving an unsettling feeling that almost out of audible range but is still there lurking. Taking feedback into account, I tried to smooth the entrances and exits of some instruments specifically my haunted bell which had a noticeable sudden stop, not in line with the easier going tone at that time.
A minor Jammin-Modern Music
For this piece, I worked on developing an all original piece made by me in a modern, minimal feel. I built this song piece by piece in the key of A minor. I started with a simple melody, repeating every 8 beats on a lively keyboard, then building the accompaniment around that. I then listened and added accompanying chords, to match and to shape the music further. I altered those chords into the bass and arpeggios, altering root notes and octaves, sometimes switching tonal processions. All 3 tracks came from the same 8 beats, but were developed into individuals, playing off of one another, not copying, but rhyming with each other. In choosing instruments I knew I wanted a crisp keyboard for my melody, to remain distinctive and a firm constant of the sound. i've always loved orchestral strings, and I felt it matched with the modern, minimal feel, a nice contrast to my more electronic instruments, giving it a cinematic feel. In balancing the song, I tried to give every track its moment to shine before melting back into the piece as a whole, every instruments its niche in the sound, but occasionally gets to step forward for a solo.
This was complete learning experience as I interacted with a new DAW called Pro Tools. Throughout this project I familiarized with the new and impressive features of ProTools which Ableton did not have. For this project, I took the individual stems of Michael Jackson's "Beat it" and mixed them together. This involved intensive use of compressors and eq's. I used them on each track to maximize the sound. I wanted each track to be distinct and take up a certain niche in the sound profile. I also sought inspiration from the original mix for direction. I specifically remember a tough vocal section where no matter what I did, the track would clip at once specific syllable. I think mJ must've leaned a little too far into mike, so I had too apply a limiter for the sole purpose of stopping clipping at that one point. My mix keeps the spirit of the song intact while giving my own original take.
This was also a learning experience in Pro Tools. This time, it involved composing in the new DAW. This was modeled off the shpongle style of music where repeating patterns over a wide variety of instruments were introduced and exited so that the music evolved over time. After creating several beats to unify the song with a common link. I composed my initial hook. The initial hook immediately sets the intensity and the piece launches from there. To spice it up further, my other loops were moved octaves up or down and on their own unique instruments. To further diversify I made two more melodies which appear in the end to keep it fresh. My favorite discovery was a ticking clock which kept time and marked the repetitive style of this music. When mixing and mastering a panned the tracks specifically so as the music evolved, so too did it surround you and move form focus to focus.
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