Yesterday, I started playing with a super cool new MIDI note generator called Elysium. A few hours after getting it installed I posted my first track made with it, Glockenfunmachine. Sudara over at alonetone asked me for a screenshot, I obliged which led to more questions around how I did it. Seemed like a good topic.
First I played with Elysium and built layer one and trying out various sounds. I'm still learning here and have no plan but eventually a cyclical pattern emerges. So I move on to create a simpler pattern on layer two (sending the MIDI to channel 2), again auditioning sounds and other playing around. Lastly I create a third layer that just alternates 2 notes on a pad sound.
I leave Elysium playing and here there's a some screwing around in Live, trying sounds, trying effects racks, twiddling knobs.
Eventually I recorded that for about 30 bars into clips in session view. (Rather than worry about syncing Elysium and Live, I just set the record quantize to 1/8th notes and hit play on Elysium at the right time).
Now I've got all the midi data now, so I'm done with Elysium.
Next I figured out an appropriate loop point in each of my 3 clips, reducing them to 24 bars. Now I press play and let it run.
There's a lot more screwing around at this stage, trying sounds, try effects racks, twiddling knobs. Developing a sense of what's gonna work.
Part of what I'm thinking about is how to start the piece. I like to build so I copied the clips so I had something like this:
3 Scene 1 2 3 Scene 2 1 2 3 Scene 3
Then hit the master record, clicked the Scene 1 launch; waited 4 bars, scene two launch, 4 bars, scene 3. Now play with knobs (which gets recorded as automation). After some time goes by, stop.
Switch to arrange view and tweak automation to clean up some rough edges, add more than I had hands to do live, etc.
Then I think about how to end it. I figured I'd just go with an abrupt ending. I had to do a little extra to catch the delay tails.
Now export to aiff.
Once exported, pull it into itunes, setup all the info, find a photo, etc. Then convert to mp3 and aac and start uploading.
Obviously there's a bunch of knob tweaking, preset selection, etc here that I've glossed over. Surely nobody is interested in that.
So I leave you with the important stuff. The music...
Sounds. A musicians, we shape and direct them but they also have suggest where they want to go, who they'll play nicely with. Electronic musicians with sound design skills make their own. The rest of us rely on them to provide us with useful presets...
To now, I've resisted paying money for sound banks, sample libraries and the like (aside from those included in DAWs) cause I'm cheap and I'm proud. But having previously got free stuff from Puremagnetik, when I saw their Big 08 collection announced I was overcome with a sense of what-the-heck.
Big 08 is a 3GB collection of samples, clips, instrument and effects presets for Ableton Live. The only thing that I don't particularly care is the old Atari video game sounds (I'm old enough to remember the original and I'm not very nostalgic). But basically, from my minimal experience, I gotta say this collection is Awesome.
Still much to explore but I have made two tracks based on the included sounds to give you a taste.