WeeklyBeats7 – Cold Night

Cover for my latest submission to WeeklyBeats 2014. Wanted to go for an atmospheric sound again, something more ambient. Maybe this worked. Maybe not, but it came out as a complete unit. Also tried sticking to a small ‘band’. In this case used instruments from SampleTank: Blue Phaser electric piano, Xpander Phat synth pad, Cosmic Pad synth pad, and Minimoog echo 2 synth lead.

Also brought in some Abstract Atmosphere 50 from Garageband — which I used as my DAW.

Image is from something I took out the window a bunch of years ago. Loved the light pillars in the minus 40 weather.

WeeklyBeats5 – The Conversation

My latest submission to WeeklyBeats 2014. Had a lot of technical challenges with this one. Slower beat required more consideration of instrument selection and placement. Also had to get various samples to sound ‘good’ at this beat and discovered the muddiness that can be introduced by tweaking the sample frequency. Not a great tune, but a great learning experience.

Novation Launchpad, Thor, GarageBand provided the tech and zing. Cafe.mp3 sample courtesy of moson on FreeSound.org

Gadget and Claire


This week’s WeeklyBeats creation – I had no idea what I’d be doing this week. Then Korg went and released the cool Gadget app for the iPad and I knew I’d be using it.

A few hours later, some futzing around in GarageBand for the drumkit, guitars and mix, and it’s done. Thanks to my drummer ‘Ian’ — though I think he kinda steals the show in a couple of places.

Now, I have to learn how to make something longer than a minute and a bit…

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/131269684″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Experiment in Atmospherice

Week Three
Well, I was disappointed that I didn’t have more time for my third (weekly) submission to WeeklyBeats — but it’s my own fault that I let my time get away from me this week.

In the time I had, I managed to stitch together a few tracks and make a salvageable attempt at an atmospheric bit. Perhaps something that would work as a background track to movie credits or a video game mood setter.

Anyway, give it a listen and I’d appreciate your feedback.

And you can review all my tracks here — at my WeeklyBeats page.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/130372766″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

WeeklyBeats – a year long project

Over the last few years I’ve been trying to learn more about music production. This has been an on/off interest of mine with real motivation driving me toward any learning structure. Last week that changed.

I found WeeklyBeats.com — a website that encourages you to produce — any type of music — one cut per week, and upload it. That’s it. No competition, just the knowledge that you’ve managed to turn out one piece of music for that week. Which in my case, is more than I’ve done in the past 6 months :D. Also there’s the potential for some encouraging feedback.

Yes it’s an artificial deadline, but it’s a deadline, and a commitment. Somehow those two manage to drive me to results. And with that segue, here’s my first composition of the year; In the Garage.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/127810475″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

The goal of this one is to start a foundation for a production workflow. I used GarageBand on the MacBook Pro to record/edit and sounds came from my iPad — Propellerhead’s Thor synth, and Novation’s LaunchPad app.

This one’s pretty simple, but yes, your thoughts and feedback are welcome.

Apple vs the App Developers

boot.jpgPreviously I’d written about the impending launch of Garage Band for iPad, and mentioned how Apple’s release of this app will challenge smaller independent app developers in the music creation space.

Today’ I’m at it again. With yesterday’s release of iOS 4.3, it seems that Apple has again taken a bite out of a developer’s revenue stream.

I’m talking specifically about enhancements to iTunes Home Sharing that enable video and audio streaming from any properly configured iTunes-running computer on your network.

Yep, this is a good thing, and it’s very cool tech. It’s great that Apple is making it available for free. And it’s unfortunate that it’s also putting pressure on the developers of the Air Video and StreamToMe apps, both very good streaming applications.

Innovate or else. This is competition?
So now the ball is back in the developers court. They have to prove that their apps worth real money, and are better or different than iTunes Home Sharing, which is free and just an update away.

And the developers aren’t working from a position of strength that Apple is with all the resources at it’s disposal.

stream.jpg

Air Video and StreamToMe and others offer significant differentiators from Apple’s Home Sharing, in that they can be set up to stream video from your home server to your location anywhere on the Internet, provided you’ve properly configured your network and the apps. I’ve not seen an easy way to set iTunes up to extend Home Sharing to an Internet connected device. It may exist, but I’ve not seen it yet.

But wait, there’s more!
Home media streaming isn’t the only area Apple’s jumped into recently. As mentioned at the start of this post, Garage Band for iPad launched today. And it looks like an awesome app!

korg.jpgWhich has some music app makers re-evaluating their product and pricing structures when compared against Garage Band iPad.

For example, today KORG dropped the price of its hugely awe-inspiringly-complex synth, the iMS-20. Given the complexity and power of the app, KORG had it initially pegged at $32.99. Today the price dropped to half at $15.99.

No update. No improvements. Just a change in the landscape tomorrow and an app is worth $15.00 less.

Sure, comparing a $4.99 iPad Garage Band against a full featured $32.99 $15.99 synth is Apples to Oranges. But is it? Many buyers of iPad Garage Band have Macs, which already have the full computer version of Garage Band installed as part of the standard Mac bundle. A built-in audience and income stream for the iPad app.

Winning!
In the end, the consumer is winning, it seems. With Garage Band, they get a new, reasonably priced and powerful app for their iPads. And they’ll also benefit by some price cuts on other apps whose developers will feel the need to compete with Garage Band’s price, bringing them into line with consumer new expectations. Winning – for the consumer.

For the app developers? That remains to be seen.

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