thanks for your interest in those efforts. very kind of you to say so. i see your avatar and can only say wow, your zendrum looks like its on fire! very cool
the zensmiths really nailed you a killer looking instrument. great of you to get with the kids too. if it were me they would be like, hey mr. gimme back my zap already!
j/k ill do my best to share everything i can with you. you can expect some of the more enlightened tribesfolk to offer you help too. ive seen many a mention of ableton live plus a half a dozen more of the software instrument giants(bfd, battery etc.).
im only too happy to share my M.O. i made all the songs using garageband on an imac. i have a motu 828mk3 audio interface and a motu midi express xt to get it all plugged together. i did every song different so ill list each one with its own directions:
let's start this party
i chose 5/4 time to learn to play something in a new way. i chose g sharp minor as the key, just a random selection i had no musical intention other than avoiding c major which seems very common. 2 midi tracks of software instruments for the intro. i used the little vertical keyboard in the editor window to manually put some midi 'dashes' on the piano roll looking section. i dont use its musical note looking section just because i dont know standard written musical notation like whole notes quarter notes, rests etc. on a bass or treble staff very well. i moved a few notes around until i found an agreement for lack of a proper musical term. i clicked on the loops section and found a few bass guitar loops in 5/4 i drag and dropped them into the workspace and tweaked them a bit to my liking(cut and paste, effected them, changed instrument types etc.) i played through my alesis dmpro in realtime and recorded the audio drums next. effected them a bit then added a midi guitar track which i manually added more midi 'dashes' and effected. you can use any midi controller to put your drum parts down even to put down the synth and guitar and bass. i used my handsonic but a zendrum would work just as well and arguably better by some here.
i made a midi track using the the 2-step remix kit in GB it has like an electronic low boom sound with pitched kick drums. i manually placed the dashes in and adjusted them to taste. i found an audio loop with vibraphone and added some chorus and compression plus a little eq to bring out the mallet strike sound. i again recorded the audio from my dmpro going through a peavey kosmos(lets start this party's drum track also uses the kosmos) in realtime banging on my(insert preferred midi controller type here). i chose a fat bass synth audio loop and sliced and diced it to reduce a drone effect(i know 99% of the hiphoppers just let their loops repeat exactly through the song but im no fan of same thing over and over). the GB program has a master pitch track and i use it to go up 2 pitches and back down at certain spots much to the chagrin of my guitar player friends that say it shouldnt change right there! im a drummer what do i know?
i was perusing the clavinet loops in GB and liked these old cop movie sounding clav parts. reminded me of baretta or starski and hutch shows. i made the track to be like a story line. the beginning has celesta playing a piece. i imagined an old woman living alone looking at the pictures of her children, grandchildren etc. on the left of her tiny city apartment. then she glances to the right side and the strings come in as she sees all the pics of her parents, deceased husband and other dead friends. she notices a face reflecting off the glass and turns to see an intruder and meets her demise. the drums and 12 string guitar begin her case. the detectives spring into action driving around way to fast questioning low lifers and seedy leads. finally they seek out a huggy bear type pimp/drug dealer informer guy thats gives them the info they need to make the bust. they catch the guy rough him up throw him in jail. the celesta, 12 string and drums signify the solving of the crime and theyre back busy on the job. finally after work they visit the old womans grave with flowers, last celesta sounds. its a +10 on the corny story scale but i had fun.
cool clean coyote
theres a jazz music station called kyot(coyote) here in arizona. music sounds crisp and bright there. i tried to emulate the flavor i get from listening to it. all tracks a midi instruments except for the tambourine that ones audio. seeing the dashes in the midi tracks gives a new perspective on making drum parts. i highly recommend 'seeing' music. if you can read music then you already have that edge. ive always been a play by earbilly
this one is 7/4, again making myself learn fresh rhythms. i found a midi loop and applied it to many bass software instruments until i liked one. its an over the top huge effected sound i got from running the bass through a guitar amp simulator saturated with overdrive and eq heavy in bass. drums are realtime dmpro through peavey kosmos into audio track on GB. when i say realtime i mean i played along with a looped section until i felt my performance wasnt too far off and kept that.
belly belly belly
my mas a belly dance instructor and has a troupe of performing dancers i occasionally makes songs for them. i used midi loops, audio loops and midi software instruments with dashes on the piano scroll editor to do this one. lots of copy, paste and effects to make new tracks from existing ones. it is pretty unlimited what GB allows me to do. i do consider myself a beginner at it too. someone in the know could put out a song in 1/4 of the time i take from hit and miss recording plus undos and that stuff.
i dont know your situation but if you have mac access id be happy to send any/all my files to you. when you open them in the GB application it really simplifies how they are made. like a card trick once you know it you go ahh thats easy. im flattered i would be considered a source for answers. please ask away anytime. i have no problems yakking it up in public forums but if my long answers are annoying to some others i understand and you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
enjoy your returns for helping the children, channel them into your zenning and you will have much success with your drum experience.