Monday, December 15, 2008

Trans Platform Express

I've been working on a song called Xen Rails lately. It started on my trusty old Powerbook, with Logic Express, until it got so big I couldn't get it to mix down any more. I was close to satisfied with the way it sounded at play back time, but when bouncing down to a stereo mix, a glitch developed where I couldn't get all the tracks to bounce together for some reason. Anwyway, after fooling around with it all evening, I finally sent it to my Vista notebook and imported the drums as an MP3 file, and the rest as MIDI to Sonar PE.

Then, I started assigning VST and DXI instruments to the MIDI tracks. On the Mac, I was happy with an Absynth voice on one track, using an organic Cello kind of sound. On Vista, I chose a Stringer string machine voice that really cuts through the mix. I like it better, but now I have to edit that track to get rid of some artifacts (accidentals) that I made while recording it.

There were a few tracks that I couldn't figure out which voice I'd used, even though I have the same synth on both platforms. I couldn't get the same sound, so that leaves me something to work on later. I guess I need to start labeling my tracks with the actual voice name since Logic sort of haphazardly picks that info up from the synths. I guess some of the synths have a more compatible interface with Logic, and that may explain why I couldn't get a mix down.

So far I'm happy working with it on Vista, but I'm further away from feeling finished with it now. The tracks are all in sync, but now I can hear things that I want to change that weren't quite as noticeable on tha Mac. I have a preliminary level mix going on Vista, whereas on the Mac everything was pretty much at the same level going in, only keyboard velocity making the difference in loudness.

I uploaded an excerpt from my mac version to MySpace a few days ago. The whole piece is about 4 minutes long. I'm thinking now about trying to tighten it up a little bit. As it is, it wanders around a bit and doesn't have a very good ending. I think I can fix that now.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Persistence of Vision

I find myself tooled up without any clear direction at this point. In the past, I've been more spontaneous with my musical projects, reluctant to edit myself, basically churning out songs like spent bubble gum. Distance and pride make me want to slow down and proceed with greater care and with more revision than I have previously maintained.

My sound pallete is greater now, and that gives rise to more thought about choices to make, but will it cripple me? When I had two keyboards and a 4-track deck I used to be prolific as hell, but maybe that's the life of a single 20-year-old vs. that of a 45 year old man of greater means and lesser inspiration.

I'm not sure that inspiriation is lacking so much as self-control has evolved. It is the kind of self control that is akin to modesty, or humility that I have, and to some extent it is to be despised. Because without some experimental muscle, my brand of music is nothing. The music I live to create is mine, so there is some sense of pride, and a willingness to edit within some degree of quality. Yet, there can be no experiment without throwing caution to the wind, and blowing the dust off the keys that haven't been touched before, or as often as some others.

Being a manic type though, I know there will come an impulse to create, and that will dictate more than my written words can mettle.