Lose Your Lover Boogie

1:03 pm Audio Recording, Composition, Education, Software, Songwriting, Synthesizers

[UPDATE: rant and ‘Loopie’ Groove Clip project added below]

Ok, I got inspired after I started working on one of the Basic Ear Training assignments for week 9 last night and just had to roll with it. I’ve been itching to put my new BMPR-177 chops to some use, and I’ve had these blues lyrics laying around for, like, ever, so I figured what the heck.

These maybe aren’t the best production choices in the world, and blues in C is just at the tippy-top of my very rusty range (next time I’ll knock it down to A), but it came out pretty fun for about 10 hours’ work, total, including sound-deadening my little office/studio.

The assignment was to use a pre-recorded blues bass line to write a melody with form AAA or AAB. Overachiever that I am, I had to do both. And the second one two different ways. With a tempo change. And background vocals. And synth horns, swing drums, a little reverb. You know… 😉

Form is: AAA – {break} – AAB – CCD (?) – AAB – CCD (?).

Not sure if the CCD verses would actually be categorized as “CCD” – they’re different from the AAB ones but they still follow an AAB form of their own.

BTW, this track uses the provided accompaniment bass / drum track throughout, I promise. I just, uhm… “tweaked” it a little. I kind of rolled the drum part off with EQ and sped it up just a ‘smidge’ after the break. Thankfully, whoever originally recorded it did so at precisely 120bpm, which made it very easy to work with.

Lose Your Lover Boogie – MP3 – 192kBps – 2.1MB – 1:28 min.

On the Producing Music with SONAR side, I’ve unfortunately grown a little disappointed. The class hasn’t had near the depth I’d hoped and no one at Berklee seems interested in helping students with the numerous technical issues that always arise when using software of this type. I’ve posted more forum entries as ‘tech support’ than I have in doing actual coursework (I’m guessing readers like Jim, Bill and John can relate).

The course has been invaluable in terms of providing a structured exploration of SONAR 8, and of all the things I’ve learned about myself over the years, structure is an absolute necessity for learning. But in terms of discussing the rationale and/or technical details involved in using SONAR’s myriad features, or covering any of the logic behind, say, when to use a compressor vs. a gate, etc., the lecture content has been far too light for a $1200, 12-week course. Scott Garrigus’ SONAR 8 Power! (at about 1/35th the cost) has far more vital detail. As an example, the assignment for week 8 was to lay out the insert and send effects we’d apply to each track in a 16-track mix (standard pop music instrument array). It would have been great if we’d ever actually covered the rationale behind using specific types of effects on specific instruments, or groups of instruments, but we didn’t (and there’s no prereq that implies this foreknowledge, unfortunately). The exercises in the lecture consisted of “open the effect plug-in and experiment with the knobs and sliders to see how the sound changes,” which wasn’t exactly the sort of instruction I was hoping for. I can “experiment” on my own – what I take classes for is to learn how to do things correctly, and why.

Last week we covered ACID and REX audio Loops – “Groove Clips” in SONAR-speak. Again, we were pretty much left to “experiment” with the functions that control these, rather than being offered detailed information one doesn’t get in a book, but even so some folks managed some pretty creative sounds. The ditty below was constructed from a combination of both types. Scott G. may recognize some of the loops from his Groove Clip Exercise in SONAR 8 Power!‘s Chpt. 9.

‘Loopie’ – MP3 – 64kBps – 200kB – 0:24 min.

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