Sun, Jan 2, 2022, 8:15pm Minima
(Last updated: Mon, Jan 3, 2022, 2:22am)
t's something of my goal to try to create at least one recording per day. Or at least on average, but I need to keep myself on a short leash or I'll let months go by without realizing it. (Why is this so hard to notice when you're doing it?)

The rule is: anything. Scream into a tape recorder, done. Make a 24-track masterpiece, whatever.

Part of it is to encourage recording fluency, where recording becomes so natural I don't give it any thought. Like how programming is for me now. Another part is learning about the tooling, and then lastly, actually exploring the space of possible recordings.

Last night I was going to produce a 3-track piece using GarageBand, and started out with this fun drum track. But then I couldn't get happy with my overlays. But at least I got something in.

It's a drum track of the built-in Taiko drum set, using GB's sequencer. Taiko drums are very satisfying in their deep resonant sounds, also not feeling like drums in most radio music. I'm constantly changing the rhythm as it goes along, but the sequencer is incredibly basic, only letting me add items on the beat, and the beat is very simple:

Apologies to anyone who knows how such drums should be used, of course.* When I create such uniform beat tracks, I usually like to mess with whatever goes on top to make the whole thing sound more organic.

* — Note: I will rarely ever use instruments how they are supposed to be used. I look for any opportunity to steal sounds from anywhere, though I will never try to steal from other composers in an underhanded way. Likewise, I exhibit what I'm doing here with the same request from others: don't claim stuff done here as your own. Most of it will be garbage anyway.

  • Groove25 (Mon, January 3rd, 2022, 5:26pm UTC)
    Sounds great! It conjures something. Pretty much a jungle feeling, I guess. Exotic and/or foreboding. Could be film title music or…?

    I've never played much with GarageBand's sequencing, so I couldn't fully imagine how you might have composed this. But I gather it wasn't in real time, track by track, but more like adding each percussion hit to a visual track or timeline.

  • Jeff (Sat, January 8th, 2022, 10:11pm UTC)
    It was in real time. It has a grid structure (which is limiting, but it has various controls to help it sound more natural), and you can change the rhythm for each drum instrument as it records, giving it some element of live performance instead of a constantly same pattern.

  • Groove25 (Sun, January 9th, 2022, 7:00pm UTC)
    Oh yeah! MIDI recording, right? That middle ground where you're recording a performance for the computer to play back, rather than recording an audio file.

    Back when I was recreating pop songs in Cubasis, I'd program complex drum tracks by building them up visually, within a grid, copying and pasting measures as needed. Then I'd record live instruments on top, as audio tracks. I forgot about the middle option. Players of string instruments haven't traditionally had as much impetus to use MIDI input. Plus the worse or less confident one is as a player, the more tempting it is to rely on visual/programming input to trigger MIDI output.

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