Friday 30 January 2009

Student Diary - into week 3

This week Ian taught us about some basic music theory and a few of the useful features to be found in the environment window. It was something that my own delvings into Logic hadn't uncovered before. I'm beginning to realise that Logic 8 is so enormous that guidance on the key tools and features from someone who knows it inside-out will prove highly comforting in two ways: 1) The assurance that I am using the software to its maximum potential and 2) The knowledge that time and energy saved on technical concerns like working out the best tool to create a certain effect and then getting to grips with it, can now be spent on experimenting with the musical possibilities that the tool in question allows. After all, it’s the creative side of producing that attracts us (well me anyway), the desire to craft a unique, emotive piece of art to call your own. The rest is essentially a means to this end.

So now I know how to assign chords to individual notes on the keyboard using the Chord Memoriser. This will cure a lot of the frustrations I have encountered so far. I can usually make up chords that work together but don’t have the dexterity of a pianist to be able to play these chords together in a melody... the chord memoriser solves that problem, reducing the amount of different fingers your brain has to control at once. The arpegiattor is the real dogs nut-sack (excuse my French) when it comes to creating intricate melodic patterns though. Apparantly the one that comes with Logic isn't the best compared to Cubase, but it is still a brilliant tool which can immediately add life into a snooze-inducing riff.

A little tip I have picked up: randomize the arpegiattor and increase the octave range for some crazy sounding melodies.

Now I can see how these two tools, when used together correctly can be the basis for a great track and why so many producers swear by them.

Have a great weekend peeps... I'm playing with Bass Clef tonight at Phantom Fridays. If you haven't heard of him check his myspace, he's the don of glitched out 2-step dub and his live show is truly something special – cowbells aplenty! I'm feeling the afro-kissed techno at the moment so expect some tribal grooves from me... get down if you're in London.

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