Music Sequencing:

Music sequencing or recording software has four distinct types of tracks. Audio, MIDI and Instrument tracks usually appear next to each other in the arrangement window. Tracks are listed vertically and measures or the time line progresses from left to right:

Where to start? That's simple with whatever you have got. You don't have to have a completed song, chord chart or lyric. The beauty of this technology is that changes and edits can be made at any time. Parts can be copied, moved around, added to or deleted. If all you have is an idea for a chorus then that's the place to start. It's a good idea to get things down for example record a guide vocal early in the piece. As the vocals are often a major part of the song having a guide allows you to arrange the instrumentation around it.

Once you have the basics of the song perhaps a verse and chorus, use the cut and paste facility to make a basic arrangement. This helps to quickly gain an idea of the overall feel of the tune.

 

The RODE NT1A is a relatively in-expensive large diaphram condenser microphone that is suitable for vocals and acoustic instruments such as guitar. It comes with a 10 year warranty.

 

Here are a few recording tips and tricks:

The Shure SM57 is a classic and very useful to have in the arsenal. Excellent for guitar amps and percussion micing. And very tough!

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If the tempo of the song and loop are not exatly the same they may lose sync...usually later in the song.

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In more advanced software audio files can be made to change tempo independent of pitch without losing quality.

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All manner of instument are available, but the use of VIs is now much more common.

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1982 in fact, this may be useful ...later...

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Most higher end music software has reasonable amp simulators included. 3rd party plug-ins are in general even better.

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That simulates the sound of a guitar amp, effects processor or pedal.

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Such as all the keyboard parts. Or track bass and drums separately and all the rest together etc...

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Or simply turn the levels of all the other parts down to zero.

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As in many sounds from the one MIDI device, many modern MIDI instruments can play up to16 sounds on different channels.

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If you track the MIDI instrument as audio and then wish to change the sound or patch then this will have to be re-recorded.

 

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No sound travels down the MIDI cable. The external MIDI instrument must be recoreded as an audio track.

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Many modern MIDI devices can play 16 (and sometimes 32) sounds over respective MIDI channels.

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Once the MIDI is tracked as audio, changes such as a new sound will have to be replaced.

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Or recorded as audio files via the audio outputs from the synth into the audio inputs on the audio interface.

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MIDI interfaces are available for guitars but are a great deal more expensive than a keyboard.

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You CANNOT hear MIDI data only when it is send to hardware like a synth or a VI, then that is what you hear.

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With an upright remove the wood panel...the one that you look at when sitting at the piano for a brighter sound.

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Having a Shure SM57 in you collection will never be un-loved!

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Perhaps the AKG D112, or even a Shure SM58 or SM57 for starters.

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As opposed to a condenser microphone. Dynamic mics are commonly used for live performance.

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DI or Direct Inject box converts instrument signal to microphone level that can be connected to the mic input of the interface.

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Try a dynamic microphone such as the famous Shure SM57.

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Such as a guitar FX pedal board with stereo line outs.

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One track fully to the left and the other fully to the right of the stereo field. This is done in the Mixer section of the program.

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Only found in gereral in more advanced music sequencing software.

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Stereo or dual small diaphram condensers are good...but there are no absolute rules.

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Also termed 'comping' or 'compiling' as the best parts from different takes are compiled into one.

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Tech talk for record, some software can record takes as layers on one track as opposed to using multiple tracks.

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Where sound from the speakers (or headphones) is picked up by the microphone.

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A condesnser microphone picks up all the detail and nuance of the audio source.

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This refers to the capsule inside the microphone that picks up the audio signal.

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The Chorus can be moved along to make way for a Verse or Intro.

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Deleting is very final. As songwriting progresses the use of track or part MUTE is recommended.

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Simply turn the metronome or click on, hit start, play along and adjust the tempo to suit.

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It is usually possible to work with minutes and seconds rather than beats or bars.

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Such as 4/4, 3/4, 6/8 etc these can change during the course of the song if desired.

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Re-production of Virtual Instruments can be very taxing on the compter.

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Termed differently in respective software programs.

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Many external MIDI devices like synths now connect to the computer directly via USB.

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This is the main window where the different tracks are displayed. Other windows are mixer and audio or MIDI editors.