A 2016-2017 Project

The magical software commonly called DAW offers opportunities for beginners and intermediate (as well as big time producers and musicians) to compose original songs or covers along with all elements of the song into various audio files that can be played from any website on any computer, android device or on You Tube. I have been experimenting with the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) Mixcraft. DAW is nothing new. DAW hardware and software has evolved from programs with limited features into magnificent canvases on which a composer can create a variety of musical genre and minor sketches. Jazz, Classical, Film, Blues, Rock & Country, Hip Hop, and many others form the pallet from which a composer can paint. As a beginner (going on four years now) my interest in DAW as a self teaching and experimental medium has lead to a growing number of examples or mixdown files that represent the focus of various studies.

For example, listening to You Tube lessons by Quaverbox, a student can practice some improvisations taught by Terrance Oh. The work, chord and melody tracks, can be played by the student into the DAW, mixed down to an mp3 file and made available on a website, Facebook or You Tube to invite comments, criticism or suggestions from fellow students. The files that will populate this page are of my own creation with, guitar, harmonica, piano along with the many instruments in the vast Mixcraft and Native Instrument libraries. To clarify, notes of a simple song like Yankee Doodle Dandy can be placed upon the DAW canvas. One can easily assign a small flute or the full Vienna Orchestra to play the song on the DAW canvas; a truly exciting proposition. My mp3 & mp4 files will be posted below starting with "Foggy Dew" a song about the Irish Revolution of 1919. Each file will have some audio track or tracks of my playing, guitar, piano, or blues harp.

2015 Foggy Dew I created this version of Foggy Dew by listening to several versions of the song on You Tube. My first DAW piece, I worked out the notes on keyboard and with the midi keyboard played them into Mixcraft, my Digital Audio Workstation. Building the basic tune in A minor different instruments, percussion and sound effects tracks, the bells and birds, were inserted. Foggy Dew, written by Father P. O'Neill, is about the failed Easter revolt of 1916 against the British that went very badly but ended in steps toward an Independent Ireland in the years that followed. The Oboe solo is in memory of Vic, a good father, and friend and Oboe master, a truly fine fellow and mentor who I came to know as a young Marine long, long ago.

Malaguena 2015 Finally, right? I've inserted several bars of Malaguena and recorded a response in an audio track. Sort of like dueling DAW. I'll expand this exercise on through the whole song, with correct notes played digitally followed by a live audio of my guitar. It took many takes until correct, thus learning happened. Listen carefully and you can hear the difference.
The first 2016 of film score track sketches. This is done with Mixcraft 8 and VSTs in that library plus nice string VSTs out of Garritan Personal Orchestra. The results of the 'orchestral sketch' is quite nice. Oboe, Strings and Piano in B major. The idea is to match a situation or action with a musical expression. Here, Pensive, resolve.

Chords and Melody 2016 Exploring chord and melody here's a sketch that begs to continue. As Michael New states in one YT lesson, "its knowing what to do next". These sketches will hopefully build that skill in time.

2016 Hard Voyage 2016 Further exploring chord, melody and percussion (Taiko Drums), here's a dark sketch. Suggesting a struggle ahead, a perilous 18th Century sea voyage comes to mind. The low choral and cello drone in D, sets the mood. The fiddle in the same key plants a chill and adds an Irish ring. Better pack your slickers for this one.

ArpegiaPie2017For me, Rock Band on iPhone is a blast. with iPhone connected to an amplifier the enormous variety of samples and virtual instruments liberates the player from customary real guitar and piano and shifts the focus on sound, composition and rhythm. I see this tiny interface (iPhone) as a musical sketchpad where song composition can be tested without a more 'formal' DAW and midi keyboard or guitar rig. Once an idea is viable, then it can be transferred to the DAW and developed. Fun basically.

International Livery 2017 As an exercise, here is an ad for a luxury car livery service. Using music tracks and loops construct a glossy expensive sound that appeals to the high end international client needing only the top luxury cars on a moments notice. Enjoy. Composition done with Mixcraft 8, the audio voice is my own processed in two ways.

2017 Here is the complete video and sound track. A film score exercise, the work is to demonstrate some mastery of video and audio editing, film score construction using the loop library from Mixcraft 8 and Corel VideoStudio Pro 10. Lux Livery International is a fictional luxury car rental company. Source-Stock luxury car photos on line. Source Video segment footage from a Mercedes Gran-Turismo. The sound track composition is my own. The voice overs are my own processed at several level of compression and fx.

2017-The Fall season this year (2017)here in Pennsylvania has been slow and colorful. Here's a slide, video and music track capturing some of the beauty of this time of year. Some orchestral segments are audio loops from the Mixcraft 8 library. The editable orchestrations in Apple's Garage Band are terrific. I have inserted some piano solo comps of my own as are the photos [except one] and video. I used Corel Video Studio to edit the wine pour and stock photo. I find working up these music track really develops a sense of key, chord and melody...even on a beginner level. Until the next feature, enjoy !

This Fall season video is now on You Tube, my first You Tube upload. This feature includes an edit and is the final version. Go to my new You Tube channel.

2-5-1 Exercise This is a 2-5-1 Jazz exercise in C. I play to a walking bass running Dm7-G7-Cmaj7. The bass was created as a backing track on my Mixcraft 8 DAW. I play on a Steinway VST. Using markers,each base chord gets a improvisation played with the Pentatonic Hand Grip on the right hand. The root notes beginning each riff are D, G, C, in the C scale respectively. I'm learning so I probably ran away with the bass, but I tried to go through the motions using the 'rules' as taught by Oliver Prehn in his wonderful New Jazz series on You Tube. (Also, I've used some basic mastering tools on this track. I used G-gain with Broadcast Multiband Compressor with suggested settings. Multiband is in Mixcraft 8.

2-5-1 Exercise Here is a second version of the 2-5-1 New Jazz exercise. The same guide lines apply here. I got a bit crazy and added a set of trumpets from Mixcraft, but the trumpets and piano -played on my midi keyboard- play within the C scale using the three Pentatonic Hand Grip positions. Oliver Prehn's teaching and process allows for playing improvisation with the aid of various markers to eliminate the debilitation thinking. In each exercise I used Mixcraft's film feature to add photos that compliment the music. Also the rain track in Market Rain above is really neat.