In this episode, I talked about and played a new age song that features my saxophone called Follow The Advice Of Your Heart that was inspired by a fortune cookie as per Composer Quest #6. I also played 8-Bit Frenzy, my submission for Disquiet Junto #99.
I started with 8-Bit Frenzy. I talked about the instructions. The new Xbox One has a 3-note sound when you start it up, which you can here in this blog post. We were to record a song with 8-bit flavor that started by playing and repeating those three notes.
I downloaded two Commodore 64 emulators from de la Mancha plugins, basic 64 and mini SID. I started with the pattern, and then went into a section on a C chord. I briefly go to A minor, and then back to C. I added some white noise drum sounds, and some sound effects to the end. I then played 8-Bit Frenzy.
I then talked about Composer Quest #6. Composer Quest is a great composition podcast hosted by Charlie McCarron, a composer from Minneapolis. His quest #6 was to have people compose songs based on the fortune they got from a fortune cookie. My fortune was “Follow the advice of your heart.”
I heard about a website called FocusAtWill.com that has you stream relaxing music while you work to get you keep your focus. It gave me the idea to write a relaxing chill-out type of song. This is my first song using the Omnisphere synthesizer. It has amazing patches. I demonstrated three that I particularly like (from the beginning of the alphabet!): Anaheim Fun Live, Choral Menagerie and Aerophonica. I have three different kinds of parts for Anaheim Fun Live, and simultaneously rock back and forth with sustained chords on the other two patches. These three patches make what I am calling my “first layer.”
I was originally thinking of composing a song with two versions, one with just one layer and a second with a second layer on top of it. This is similar to what Ben Prunty did on his FTL soundtrack. But, I changed my mind and decided to have all the layers in the same song. My second layer has a synthetic bass and acoustic drums. The third layer adds more bass and more drums but uses the same sounds.
I talked through the form of the song. The 8-measure sections are four measures of F maj7 and four measures of D min9.The first two times through is just the first layer. The next two times adds layer 2. The fifth time adds my sax solo. The seventh time adds layer 3.
On the ninth time, I changed the chords to Bb maj11#9 and D min9 as a change of pace. I also add a shaker and woodblock. On the eleventh time, the aux percussion stops and I go back to the original chords. I then fade out layer 3, then layer 2, then the saxophone (leaving just layer 1), then the whole song.
I then talked about mastering and how I mastered this song. I learned how to master from Joe Gilder and Graham Cochrane. The chain is gain, EQ, Compressor, Limiter, Metering. I needed a gain plugin and downloaded Blue Cat Audio’s Blue Cat’s Gain Suite. I am also using TT Dynamic Range Meter to see what my dynamic range is to make sure it is right for a master.
I then played Follow The Advice Of Your Heart.
I was able to write and complete this song in just one day last Friday. I want to complete more songs, and I made a personal goal to complete one song every week. If I can do that, I may try to release a podcast every week, but I will really try to release one at least every two weeks.
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