Archive Monthly Archives: December 2016

Claude Von Stroke on Native Instruments Maschine

Check this post by CVS.


OK so I'm not here to endorse Mashine, yes I'm a fan but no reason to repeat what CVS said above in his post.  The kicker for me, is what "Albert Candy" wrote about the swing/groove.

And CVS relying saying he didn't even know what it is.

Do I think CVS is lying? No, but who knows.  The point is that swing or no swing won't make or break your track. It's just a subtle effect that the old Akai Samplers did really well. But again, it won't make or break a track.

I found it kind of amazing that Barclay didn't know what it is.  He's got some soul so it's entirely feasible that however he programs drums already has enough swing and groove built it.

I love examples of how you can be great but not need to know what every bell and whistle does, be it Maschine, Ableton, Reason, Synths etc.

Till Next Time.

PS here's a direct link to the post if you want to grab some pop corn and check the comments.









Making More Music In 2017 Has Little To Do With New Gear & Software

It's the most wonderful time....of the year....the hap happiest season of all.

OK not going to Christmas Carol for you.

Here's the thing.

Retailers around the globe just pounded us with sales and that includes your favorite places for buying gear, software, samples and other musical goodies. And if you've been waiting to pull the trigger on something or looking forward to being gifted some new gear, by all means enjoy it.

But, once the season is over and we get back into the normal swing of things, our shiny new toys won't be as shiny.  The buzz of newness wears off, and it's like being at square one.  Sure a new piece of gear may help you start some cool new ideas, but what about finishing them?

You see, those that make gear want you to believe that buying their shit will do all sorts of magical things for you.  And they're right to a certain degree, but they also have to sell product to stay in business.  Because life isn't black or white, and us big boys and girls need to see the sort out that sometimes elusive middle ground.

For example both of these statements are true.  "A good carpenter never blames his tools" and "You have to have the right tools for the job."

Do you see what I mean?  It's both skill and tools.  And it's more important to master the skills before accumulating tools or gear.

Here's what I mean.

The skills are generating original polished ideas (even if they are just your own short loops)

Arranging those ideas into fully fleshed out interesting songs.

Mixing all of those individual tracks so they sound like 1 cohesive file.

And finally mastering your song so it has that professional sheen and sparkle.

These are the skills. And you can do all of this with a few choice sample packs and your favorite DAW - and maybe like 1 synth.  And you don't need to know all the bells and whistles of the DAW to do this, nor do you have to know everything a mix engineer does to mix down your own tune.  And you can totally get by with just a solid pair of headphones.

It's also totally fine to send your finished track out for mastering.  It's super time and cost efficient and this is what the majority of artists do.  Arranging and mixing can be so time consuming do you really want to give yourself more to do by trying to self master?  If you like to be smart with your time I'd think the answer is no. And if you believe in your music, spending $25 for a pro master isn't a big deal.

Taking your track from loopy loop to arranged & mixed does take some work, but if you break it into phases the whole thing is more approachable.

And here's how I can help!

For the past few weeks I've broken down what I know about each phase and made videos, and samples so you see me go through each phased of the production process.

Generating Ideas.



Final Mix and Master.

If you can master each phase the whole game of production gets easier.  Especially the arranging part, that's skill just like mixing.  You have to know what to do, and then practice it.

My course gives you skill set in each area.

This is the un-sexy but needed stuff that you don't see makers of gear and software promoting.  It's always about features and stuff.

And by and large the end result is people become masters of features but still don't have songs done.

I'm eyeing the Maschine Jam, and Native Instruments just put out some videos about how it integrates with other DAWs like Ableton, Logic & Bitwig.

And what do you see people doing in the comments? Bickering over minutia.

"Push is better"

"Ableton Better Watch Out"

"Are the drum rack pads randomly colored"

"Hmm.. I can do almost all of these things in my scripted APC mk1 P.S Basically i can do more"

And for all of these people commenting and yammering on, I couldn't find more than 1 who had their own original songs out.

Remember there's a million things you can do with electronic gear other than making music. Shit like making controller mappings takes time, which maybe be helpful to a point but in the end is fuddling w/ tech is not making and finishing music.

The good news is that these are learned skills, you just have to pony up and invest the time to learn them.

More on that coming soon.

As you make goals and plans for 2017, think about acquiring or sharpening your skills.

Here's a quote if you like that kinda shit.

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe."
Abe Lincoln