Dear Gavin (and anybody else this ought to be addressed to)
I just wanted to take the opportunity to say a big, big Thank You for this wonderful site you've created. I only joined CF about a week ago, but already I'm so impressed! There's so much lively discussion and sharing going on here and the members are all FANTASTIC. I've already had so many opportunities to be inspired by other people's creations and have already learned so much from the feedback. In my day-to-day life, I often feel very alone in my personal pursuit of music. But I feel like this forum might be exactly the place to be in the presence of other like-minded folk who understand. I'm so glad I've found CF. Thanks for making it possible. Cheers.
Hey Ray. That's cool you're using Studio One. If I wasn't on Ableton already, I'd probably look more closely at that. I've been all over their website many times and I really like what I see. I'm piggybacking off my son's Ableton license and I'm too cheap to spring for a new DAW. If they ever figure me out though, I might need to right quick, LOL. Do you enjoy working with Stuidio One? Does it do everything you need it to do? (Judging from the great quality of your projects, I would have to assume the answer is yes). Interesting to hear about your unique approach to stickwork. I'm not a drummer myself, so that whole side of things is Greek to me, but now that you mention it, I think I can totally detect the good balance between drums and cymbals in your work. When I was listening to both movements, the thought that would have gone through my head responding to that was "intricate". I'm guessing that's harder to achieve with big, heavy sticks. Cheers
Hi, Frank - so I checked out your Ibanez, and yea, I see the connection between that instrument and what you're producing on bass (naturally, your skill is a considerable factor).
Thanks for supplying details on how you're getting such good piano sound. MIDI has been recommended to me before and I may have to make the plunge. My own workflow is simple. I use Presonus Studio One. Anything played on a keyboard gets to the interface/converter (Cranborne Audio 500 series) via L/R xlr cable, and winds up as an audio file in the DAW. I put three mics on the drum kit, and one mic on a guitar amp. An occasional touch of eq and reverb is the only processing. I don't play drums with standard drum sticks. My sticks have a short length of plastic or wooden dowels functioning as the tip. This gives me great control in balancing the drum-vs-cymbal dynamics. You will hear this effect in the last movement of my piano/synth suite which I'm putting up today.
Thank you for commenting on the overall sonic quality. I think mic placement/gain-staging are the key. The moog synth, just seems to do well on its own, as long as I am careful not to overdrive oscillators.
Thanks again for explaining your piano / bass story. You produce terrific sonics! --Ray
Hi Ray - thanks for your note.
The instrument I'm using in the two bass tracks on my Soundcloud page is an Ibanez EHB1506MS, which is a headless 6-string electric bass that I have custom tuned from low E to high F. I don't know if you happen to be a bass player yourself or not, but if not, by way of explanation that differs from standard tuning by virtue of dropping the low B typically found on these instruments, and raising everything by a 4th. I find that this tuning gives me a lot more real estate in the upper range, which I really like, because at heart I think I'm a closet guitar-player-wannabe, LOL. If you want any more info on the Ibanez, here is the product page: https://www.ibanez.com/eu/products/detail/ehb1506ms_1p_01.html
Thanks also for your kind words on my piano pieces. No special tricks or anything (i.e., premium piano plugins, although I do confess that I have a purchase of the Lekko virtual felt piano from Felt Instruments on my shopping list). Currently, I basically just export the parts from my Musescore files into MIDI, pop those into Ableton, apply one of their stock piano voices, and then do some jiggery-pokery with compression, EQ, and reverb. And sometimes also the velocity levels of individual notes in the MIDI piano roll, as I find that Musescore's definitions of certain dynamic markings is a little strange at times - mostly way too loud, IMHO. Then I export the finished WAV file into Bandlab's free online mastering tool, and that's pretty much it!
I have to say, I was pretty blown away by the sonic quality of your Synthesizer & Drums suite. I wouldn't mind, in turn, learning a bit about your workflows and tools too, if you don't mind.
Hi, Frank - Please, no rush to answer....
I spent some time on your SoundCloud site. Can you tell me what the instrument is you're using for "She Followed Me Into My Pint" and the "Raindrops" bass solo with the rain (sorry I butchered the titles). It's wide range and timbral clarity are killing me (in a good way).
Also, I've been enjoying your piano re-imaginings and your fugue writing. Accolades to your fugal skill. How does your piano sound come about? I ask becasue my own piano sounds are crummy, and your's I like. I have to listen to your's again thru full range speakers, but thru cans....wow!
Glad you're enjoying your stay!