Thoughts: Getting back in ‘shape’ for music, since I took a break last week n’ all. So this time I’m just kind of starting from nothing, and I’m not taking much liberty to trying to be creative. (Ahhh, I know.) But hopefully we’ll see that change in the next few versions I post up. I might even scrap this, but it’s always interesting how I go from one thing to another.
Pros / Cons:
Cannot decide yet, since it’s merely a ‘music idea…’ so I’ll leave this blank for now.
What I Did: I knew I wanted a more ‘lighthearted,’ kind of happy spring feel for my next piece, and I’ll be using this as a base for the next few days. (I’ll be posting evolved versions in the next few days as I figure out what to do with it.) There are some unique things involved this time: 1) the guitar is on the right & left channel, keys in center, and I used bird chirping sound effects and tried to time it at specific points in the song. It’s also my first time using the fade in and fade out in Ableton. (If I had known earlier, I would have done the same for the next song)
- The first half sounds nice, the second half sounds mediocre in timing. I’ll do some fixing up. The harmony feels out of place starting at 14 second mark.
- Again, the beginning isn’t good enough in bringing a person in. But this is one snippet of the song. So it needs an intro, then another outro.
- The fade in and fade out on guitars are unbalanced. Fix it.
- Bring the guitar in after the piano, not the other way around.
- Fix the guitar and choose a softer sound?
- Add pads, but make it subtle and “way back” in the background. (Panning effects)
- Add another key melody, either an octave lower or same octave
- Transition this melody to another one (and thus it becomes “accompaniment”)
Hmmm, that’s it for now. All other ideas will probably come to me later tonight.
This is probably the last post for Suspense, (thank god) and any future changes will just be modified on my computer for my hearing pleasure. Unless there are any other huge changes, I think this is it.
What I Did: There are lots of changes this time, albeit very subtle: normalized the song (amplified to its potential maximum), re-did the violin part, changed some of the Pad’s notes here and there, changed the beginning piano note (the “bass” part), adjusted a bunch of the volumes (to shift focus to the melody part), and fixed some of the timing (esp. on melody)
- The beginning still feels sluggish at some times, but maybe that’s just me
- Minor mistake at 0:07… but I’m too lazy to fix it, export it, and convert to MP3 again. (Haha)
- The ending is cut off, but that’s because of my program… I wanted it to fade out with the last note (the ambience) but it got cut off. Oh well.
- I have a hunch that some parts are kind of ‘convoluted’ and hard to hear because of the overwhelming pad effects. It might be that way, it might not. (For me it’s fine, but that’s just because I’ve been replaying this over and over…)
Some extra thoughts:
I can’t judge how the composition of the song. I think it’s simple, & it is rather suspenseful. When I listen to this, I don’t really know what kind of scene to think of. (Best is “walking in darkness” or something) There could be another way to transition the first part to the second piano part, but I’m running out of ideas. I originally wanted to add about 10 ~ 20 bars on the song (30 more seconds), but there was nothing quite fitting to add on. I could have copy and pasted some parts together, but that’s just too repetitive. So, I think that’s it for this little song.
(Plus, I’m feeling “Spring time” now. The upcoming piece will hopefully reflect liveliness, energy, and happiness.)
What I Did: I improved my last post with a lot of changes: lengthening the song to 25 bars, changing some of the piano keys, added reverbs to the keys to make it sound more realistic, fixed the timing, deleted the guitar, added violins, added a new second-half part, etc.
Pros: Sounds a lot better & cleaner, lots more ‘suspenseful’
- Violins & Timing
- Transitional phase
- Pad: overwhelming, conflicting?
- Volume of 1st part of the secondary keys
- Not a really good ending
- Need to adjust some parts like the delays & reverbs
Sounds used: Keys (3), Guitar, Pad - Snow & Sandman
This particular one is not bad compared to my previous sucky ones, but it still sounds rather awkward. The beginning starts off too sudden & fast, and definitely doesn’t draw people in. So it doesn’t have any introduction nor buildup. (Next time I’ll think of how to do that.) The guitar is too slow at 0:07 - 0:08 and the beginning also has some timing issues… I’m also kind of iffy about using the guitar sound because it seems to kind of drag the song down.
I’m also not sure what kind of emotion I wanted to create, so I get the feeling that people are left feeling confused. (I am too!) Though, this is actually supposed to be a fun practice of notes and chords I think that harmonize well. (And sadly, it’s all I can do for now!)
I expect that I’ll probably create several dozen of these kind of awkward-songs, but it’s probably still necessary. My options are limited even more when I don’t have a midi controller. (I have to create these using the keyboard.)
What I can improve next time: double check timing, build up the notes & lay a nice foundation in the beginning, find more notes that work well together, don’t add too much sounds at once because it feels overwhelming
Good points: On the bright side, I did discover a lot of things too. I added some EQ effects, reverb, and some panning too.* While I was working on another thing, I found an Ableton folder full of mixing and mastering stuff.
* But I also made the mistake of converting the song to mono which took out the panning. I actually had the the keys on right channel, and another melody on the right, which originally gave it a more wholesome feel to it. Whoops.