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Topic: Island Dreams

  1. #1

    Island Dreams

    My first post here.. Been playing and writing music for all my life (retired now). This piece started out more Reggae, but I modified the drums and bass. Really only the organ and flutes have a Reggae flavor now.. it does have a 'happy feel'

    Island Dreams - https://soundcloud.com/mstykes/island-dreams

    Island Dreams Score - https://app.box.com/s/rr9sxhn4v9ccx1xhr2gkbzvnkv1g318z

  2. #2

    Re: Island Dreams

    Nice music, I certainly feel the Caribbean presence. Although its length it is interesting all the way, new things happen continuously.
    Tell me, how was it produced?


  3. #3
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Shelton, Washington State

    Re: Island Dreams

    That was great!

    The percussion and effects really make this music shine. I would call it island pop. There is lots of detail and kraft in your production. I'm also curious about how you produced this music. It has a different sound than what I've heard.


  4. #4

    Re: Island Dreams

    Thank you Kjell and Fastlane.

    I use Logic Pro as a DAW (although any of them are fine at this point).. I usually work out a chord progression first. with out too much thought to the melody, although this had a very simple melody..

    I do a lot of experimenting with different patches.. (I have a sizable # of Kontakt libraries, and UVI libraries (UVI Falcon is a great virtual instrument - with a lot more flexibility to it's sound engine than Kontakt)..

    I then build up a sound palette of 'interesting sounds, and ideas'.. as I'm doing this it becomes more apparent to me where the song is supposed to go, (or what it is supposed to be).. I begin to then tailor it towards getting there..

    I use a process (that years later I read Prince used).. That is as the piece takes more definition, I go back and redo a lot of the parts, a new Bass part, which in turn leads me to a new piano part, with xtra stuff in it,. Then re-do the guitar part to accommodate, the other two parts. As I add more parts, I often go back and refine, what was previously there, to 'fit' better.

    I liken the process to creating a fancy woman's dress, I cut a part out, and add a new panel, then something else to accent that, which means, letting other sections out, tucking some in.. Another analogy would be, 'creating a crossword puzzle'.. Get a few strong ideas (or large words), then going backing and redoing sections, to make it appear the whole thing makes 'sense'.

    I spend a lot of time exploring sounds. When I find one I like. I try to work it in.. Sometimes I just put Logic, in 'record, mute track, loop around record again'. I'll do several passes like that, then go back, and cut out the chaff. Copy/paste, slide improvisations to a new place, and alter the necessary notes to make the melody fit in with the current chords..

    I always create a full blocked chord progression (think like a simple organ parts playing full blocked out chords).. Although, I always mute this out.

    The last several years, I've shied away from using a bunch of full sounding chord parts.. I'll create additional parts, that play 1 - 2 notes at a time..

    Also have to thin quite a bit out, so that not too many instruments are demanding your attention..

    My personal theory, is the human brain can process 4 - 6 different strands of musical data at once, more than that becomes too much work, and the brain becomes overworked and looses interest.. Naturally there can be many instruments, if they are working closely with an already established musical stream.. (just as 20 violins playing what only 6 might have if they were a smaller ensemble)..

    I took a free online course at coursera.org.. called something like 'biology as music'.. It focuses on the human body was created to process and create music.. Part of its focus was on the harmonics, and resonance of sounds. How they alone can evoke an emotional response. For instance a tuba, can very easily be a 'funny' sound.. An oboe, can easily sound 'sad' (of course depending on notes played too). It got me thinking about creating patches on these virtual instruments, so the harmonics used, already started to create an emotional response in humans, and then furthering that by the melodies it played. For instance the 'synthetic flute' used in this piece already evoked humor, so I used a simple melody.. It reminds you of a flute, but you know it's not.. It already puts a smile on your face, and I haven't really put much effort into the musical notes it plays..

    I started back in late 60's playing synthesizers.. always a great passion of mine. At first they were just unfiltered sawtooth and square waves. But as technology, then samplers, then the hybrid of instruments, they became far more powerful in their ability to create an extremely large sound palette..

    Now in the last 10 years, with this glut of 'virtual instruments', some sampler based, others exotic waveforms, convoluted filters, FM, etc. you can find a seemingly infinite variety of sounds, or potential 'instruments' to use.

    I search these out, create them by modifying patches.

    Often when a piece is near completion, I go back and re-voice some of the parts (find a new patch or instrument).

    A part that was 'just OK' can suddenly take on a whole new stance, with a different patch.

    The orchestra took hundreds of years to evolve what it currently is.. introducing new instruments, taking some away, finding the appropriate number of strings to brass to balance it.. Then the pairing of certain orchestral instruments, doubling the same line, is an analogy to the use of odd or different virtual instruments.

    More later..

    Mark Styles (aka Angelonyc)

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