Composing and Songwriting - WeWillShareAnecdotes


#1

I guess I’m making the first musical contribution to the creative forum.

I’ve been learning how to make music on my PC for about a year and change. Maybe I’ve gotten better in that time, I can’t tell. So far:

I have some originals in my repertoire

A couple of video game covers

and sometimes I make theme tunes for podcasts that didn’t ask for one

There’s more on my soundcloud if you’re curiosity is piqued.

Right now, I’m working on a cover of Gaur Plains, which i’m hoping to have done within another couple of weeks or so.

Comments, criticisms, suggestions, all welcome. Anyone more familiar with music production willing to lend an ear is also appreciated.


#2

Pretty neat :slight_smile: What kind of software are you using? I usually only do short demo recordings for my band (I’m playing guitar), for when I want to show them how I want the next part of whatever song we’re composing to sound like. So I mostly just use Audacity for recording and Hydrogen for a bit of drums. I also have some limited experience with Fruity Loops and Cubase, but haven’t had the chance to get deeper into it.


#3

Ah, thanks for listening!

I’m using REAPER. It has an evaluation period but it’s not enforced through the software. You could potentially not pay for it at all but a discount licence is only $60 if you decide you wanna stick with it. I quite like it. Interface isn’t too scary and it’s customisable, no shortage of information and tutorials about how to get it to do what you want etc. I do recommend using it over Audacity. You might find it easier/more flexible for sketching ideas.

As for the software instruments, it’s all stuff i picked up on sale when i was earning more. So, EZdrummer for drums, EZ Keys for piano, and Kontakt 5 for orchestral and synth sounds. Still using free plugins for guitar sounds though


#4

Interesting. I hadn’t come across Reaper before, but it looks pretty cool, and $60 isn’t too bad, especially compared to Cubase level prices. I’ll look into it, thanks :slight_smile:

A friend of mine used EZ drummer for a Power Metal album he produced (recording drums is a nightmare, and he didn’t have a drummer to do it anyway), worked out rather well.

And yes, Audacity is rather limited in various respects, which just goes with the territory I guess. My biggest problem right now is that it isn’t compatible with Asio drivers, which tends to mess up communication with my external audio card, causes crackling and such. But the card is old, and I most likely will have to buy a new one anyway.


#5

ah, yeah then REAPER’s def probably worth having a look at, seeing as it is compatible with ASIO drivers. i’m using a scarlett focusrite 2i2 to interface my microphone and guitar with my computer. that’s served me pretty well so far and was relatively inexpensive. definitely want something like that to cut down on latency in recordings.


#6

That would be extremely useful. I’ll check that out, see if the external card is still having problems when I run stuff with Asio drivers. I’m assuming it will, because it’s an ancient Mobile Pre which are notorious for bad Win7 drivers.

The focusrite looks pretty good, but it’s a bit outside of my price range for the moment, so I need a cheap interim solution. I’ll probably end up with one of those super cheap Behringer cards, they should at least do the job for now. I’ll have to look into that a bit more though.

So what kind of guitar do you play? I’m always curious about guitars :smile:


#7

I’m using an Ibanez S470 that I got nearly 10 years ago as a teen.

i got it when i was still into wanky shred music but i’m not so sold on that kinda stuff these days. it’s still comfortable to play but i wish, in retrospect, that i’d gotten a guitar that didn’t have a dual locking tremelo. such a faff to restring.


#8

Yeah, I’ve got an Ibanez RG370 about 10 years ago as well, for pretty much the same reason. I know aaaaall about the restringing crap, especially since the trem on the cheaper RGs is really shit too, pretty unstable, not very well built. I’ve actually had to replace the screws for the trem block in the back because the fucking things broke on me. I’m also not really comfortable with the pickup sound anymore, they have a fairly undifferentiated output. Super high volume, just doesn’t sound very good. I liked the fretboard of the RGs though, that worked pretty well for me.

These days I mainly use a modified Fender Strat with a Gibson and a Dimarzo humbucker put in. I totally lucked out on that one, it’s a really good guitar. I use it together with a Sovtek 50 watts Marshall imitation and a whole bunch of pedals with the band, and I’ve got this crappy POD 2.0 at home for very basic demo recording.


#9

I really like your mixing. I’m from the classical music world and I’m still trying to learn production, so anyone who’s proficient in it is amazing to me. What mic(s) do you use for vocals?


#10

Ahh, I can’t say I’m proficient honestly. I do use some presets alongside fairly rudimentary knowledge and just try to keep everything balanced as best as my ears can judge. Like I said, I’m learning too. But I’m glad you like what you heard!

The mic I used was a Rode NT1-A condenser microphone that a friend of mine let me borrow for a while. I quite like the results I got from it. One of its selling points is that it’s pretty quiet so, despite not having an ideal recording environment, I didn’t have to do a lot to minimize the amount of background noise it picked up. Also, I got good results recording acoustic guitar with it, so that’s exciting too.


#11

It’s been a year since I last updated this thread. So, what have i done that’s worth sharing since then?

A cover of a song from Night in the Woods

And various attempts at writing music that sound like they could be part of a game soundtrack



Have a listen!