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In this project, I am going to provide a few insights into the various strategies for doing ReWire with NOTION 6 and Studio One Professional 3.5+ . . . :)

For reference, I am writing a book on digital music production (which is coming along nicely); but while never lacking in what at times is overwhelming self-esteem and occasionally considering myself to be the "Source of All Knowledge in the Known Universe", when I decided to include a chapter on ReWire, I had to pause for a while to determine the correct way to present the big picture . . .

I have been doing ReWire sessions since 2010 with Digital Performer (MOTU) as the ReWire host controller and NOTION and Reason as ReWire slaves; and for the most part this was focused on ReWire Audio, where the VSTi virtual instruments were hosted in NOTION and the AU and VST effects plug-ins were hosted in Digital Performer . . .

This strategy works nicely; but some of the VSTi virtual instruments are highly resource intensive, which overall maps to NOTION becoming overwhelmed by all the processing that has to be done in real-time on the fly . . .

The solution is to create songs in layers, where each layer is a NOTION subscore that has only a few VSTi virtual instruments and no VST effects plug-ins . . .

When I am creating songs this way, it's not unusual to have 25 to 50 NOTION subscores . . .

I start with what I call the "Basic Rhythm Section", which is a sketch of the song and has simple drumkit, bass, and rhythm guitar or piano staves, along with a staff for the simple melody, where the drumkit usually is a kick drum, snare drum, and hi-hats . . .

Initially, I focus on the structure of the verse and then later add a chorus, bridge, and interlude . . .

Since I do everything myself, every strategy is based on doing one thing at a time; so the concept of creating songs in layers works nicely here in the sound isolation studio; and from a practical perspective it takes about the same amount of time as it does to do this with a musical group when you count development, practice time, and studio recording . . .

The primary advantage of doing this with music notation and virtual instruments is that there are no practical limits on instrumentation and orchestration . . .

One of the most important secondary advantages is that it's affordable, since for example you can get a professional quality VSTi audio engine and corresponding set of sampled sounds libraries for less than the cost of perhaps 10 seconds of hiring a real orchestra or any other type of group of musicians . . .

THOUGHTS ON "THE FORMULA"

I am not very interested in composing operas and symphonies, although this certainly is something one can do in the virtual music universe . . .

Instead, I am focused on what I call "popular songs", which basically are songs played on the radio to entertain teenagers and the so-called "Youth of Today" . . .

In the 1950s, this mapped to songs by Elvis Presley; and in the 1960s, it mapped to the Beatles . . .

There are more singers and musical groups, of course; but when you study these types of songs, what you soon discover is that all of them have a pattern comprising some combination of {verse, chorus, bridge, interlude} . . .

This set of patterns is so important that it maps to a practical goal, which specifically is to develop a system for creating "popular songs"; and I call this system "The Formula" . . .

"The Formula" is like a cookie cutter; and once you have the cookie cutter, it's vastly easier to bake cookies . . .

There are a few recording studios and entities that are associated strongly with cookie cutters in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s; and these include Abbey Road Studios, The Brill Building, Capitol Records Tower, Gold Star Studios, Hitsville U.S.A., The Record Plant, and The Sound Factory . . .

There are more, of course, but I think these are iconic and representative . . .

Over the past few weeks, I have been exploring the new ReWire MIDI functionality in NOTION 6 and Studio One Professional 3.5.5; and this completes the big picture for ReWire . . .

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THOUGHTS ON NOTION 6 AND STUDIO ONE PROFESSIONAL 3.5+

It's very important to understand the differences in External MIDI and ReWire MIDI . . .

For practical purpose, every Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) application that supports ReWire also supports interacting with NOTION External MIDI staves; and this is done via Virtual MIDI Cables, which on the Mac are provided by Audio MIDI Setup and are part of Mac OS X; but on Windows machines, establishing a Virtual MIDI Cable requires using a third-party Virtual MIDI Cable utility program . . .

These are the two most frequently used Virtual MID Cable utility programs for Windows:

LoopBe1 (nerds.de)

virtualMIDI (Tobias Erichsen)

In contrast to doing External MIDI, doing ReWire MIDI does not require a separate Virtual MIDI Cable; so it's easier to do ReWire MIDI . . .

At present, the disadvantage to using ReWire MIDI is that as best as I can determine, Studio One does not record the MIDI sent from NOTION over ReWire MIDI buses and channels; but while this might be the case, the solution when you need to record MIDI sent from NOTION in Studio One is to use External MIDI staves for this specific functionality . . .

You can mix and match ReWire Audio, External MIDI, and ReWire MIDI in a NOTION 6 score and Studio One song project; so you are not limited in using just one of these technologies . . .

For reference, at present the only time I need to work directly with MIDI in the Studio One MIDI Editor is when I am using Realivox Blue (Realitone) as a female virtual soprano; and the reason is that Blue sounds most human and realistic when she is singing legato, which in turn requires the durations of notes to overlap. This can be done only by editing the MIDI notes, and it's consistent with the general concept of legato, which is a continuous type of singing where notes flow from one into another, hence the overlapping note durations . . .

[[/iNOTE: You also can do this in NOTION 6, but it's more precise when you do it in Studio One with the MIDI Editor. The strategy I use at present is to start with NOTION 6 and use music notation with Realivox Blue, which runs in Kontakt 5. So Kontakt 5 is hosted in NOTION 6. Then when the phonemes and melody are starting to sound good, I transfer the notes to Studio One as MIDI, and then switch to doing the precision tuning in the Studio One MIDI Editor. When that is done, I transfer the MIDI from Studio One to NOTION 6, where it's converted to music notation. I can adjust note durations in NOTION 6, but the real precision occurs in the Studio One MIDI Editor. When all that is done, I start working on the generated audio in Melodyne (Celemony), which is yet another way to fine-tune the way Blue sings; and with Melodyne I can create custom echoes and modify or enhance phonemes to add emphasis or increased enunciation to the starts and ends of phonemes, which is important for clarity. In some respects, it's a bit complex, but the result eventually sounds natural. I write "eventually", because there is a steep learning curve to using Realivox Blue, and at present I continue to be in learning and experimental mode with respect to Blue. What in the beginning took days now takes hours, so I am making good progress. The best way to understand this is that Blue does exactly what you tell her to do, which in turn maps to needing to understand what to tell her to do; and this is the aspect that is not so intuitive, where an example is singing "i" (sounds like "eye"). There is no "i" vowel in the Realivox Blue phoneme vocabulary, and "i" actually is a diphthong which is the combination of "ah" followed by "ee". Who knows that stuff? I know some of it, but it's a different language where words are "spelled" phonetically in the Realivox Blue scripting language; so instead of writing words the way they are spelled in English, you need to "write" the words the way they actually sound. It makes sense after a while, but it requires a lot of learning, experimenting, and so forth . . . ]

Making Blue sound as human, natural, and realistic as possible also requires a bit of custom editing in Melodyne (Celemony); and in this forum, I have a separate project that explores this . . .

Project: Realivox Blue (PreSonus NOTION Music Forum

Other than a few special cases, my general perspective is that I prefer not to get too involved in MIDI . . .

Stated another way, I prefer working directly with music notation; and ReWire MIDI is perfect for this purpose . . .

It's also important to understand that at present, Cubase Elements 9.5 (Steinberg) and Digital Performer 9.51 (MOTU) do not support incoming ReWire MIDI, as curiously is the case with Reason 9.5 (Propellerhead Software) . . .

As best as I can determine so far, this makes Studio One Professional 3.5+ unique with respect to using incoming ReWire MIDI from NOTION 6 to play AU and VSTi virtual instruments hosted in Studio One, which is the reason this project is focused specifically on NOTION and Studio One, with an occasional venture into the Reason universe when I need some fantastic synthesizers . . .

[NOTE: "AU" is the abbreviation for "Audio Unit" and is a Mac OS X technology, hence is not available in the Windows universe. In the Windows universe, you will use Virtual Studio Technology (Steinberg), where "VSTi" is the abbreviation for VST virtual instruments and "VST" is the abbreviation for VST effects plug-ins. VST virtual instruments and effects plug-ins appear in two general versions (VST2 and VST3), where VST3 is the newer technology but generally is backward compatible with VST2. This is important, because for example on the Mac, the FabFilter Software Instruments "Twin 2" virtual instrument works correctly when you use the VST3 version, but the AU and VST2 versions do not work with Studio One, which is fine with me. The VST3 version of "Twin 2" works nicely, so I am happy . . . ]

I made some YouTube videos to get started, and after pondering everything for a while, I decided to call the song "Flying In The Storm" . . .

The first YouTube video is an overview; and the next three YouTube videos are updates on "Flying In The Storm" and have more instruments and more ReWire MIDI staves in the NOTION 6 score . . .

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[NOTE: When I first start working on a song, I notate a few measures (8 in this instance) and then copy and paste them several times so I can listen to the basic pattern over and over without needing to rewind and play repeatedly. . . ]

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[NOTE: This version has chord pattern changes, but it's focused on the verses; so there is no chorus, bridge, or interlude in the pattern . . . ]

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[NOTE: This version adds a pair of Twin 2 synthesizers; a pair of Kontakt 5 (Native Instruments) "Cuba Collection" timbale rigs; and a pair of MachFive 3 (MOTU) Stratocaster guitars played through Fender Twin amplifiers. This is mixed when listening to the calibrated, full-range studio monitor system here in the sound isolation studio and then fine-tuned for headphone listening. I like to have motion effects for headphone listeners . . . ]

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When you primarily want to work with music notation, this is the best strategy I have identified since 2010; and if you position Studio One at the top of the desktop but not full height, and then position NOTION a bit lower so that the bottom part of NOTION always is visible, it's very easy to switch from NOTION to Studio One or from Studio One to NOTION. If you want to work in Studio One for a while, click at the top to put the application focus on Studio One; and when you want to work in NOTION for a while, click on the bottom of NOTION, which shifts application focus to NOTION . . .

In all these version of "Flying In The Storm", I used single instances of the various AU and VSTi virtual instruments, which is useful for getting a sense how how many AU and VSTi virtual instrument engines Studio One can handle; but in doing this I noticed that some of the AU and VSTi virtual instruments work with multiple inputs . . .

Working with ReWire MIDI in NOTION and Studio One is a new activity for me here in the sound isolation studio; but I already explored the multiple instrument and multiple channels aspects of Kontakt 5, SampleTank 3, and a few others; so connecting the dots did not take very long . . .

I need to verify a few things; but if it works the way I think it works, then I can use one or two instances of SampleTank 3 for all the ReWire MIDI staves in the NOTION project that are playing various SampleTank 3 VSTi virtual instruments . . .

I did another experiment to determine whether it's possible to have several NOTON 6 subscores without needing to have a separate Studio One project for each one; and this works nicely . .

The strategy is to use a different set of ReWire MIDI buses and to have a separate set of AU and VSTi virtual instruments for those ReWire MIDI buses in the Studio One project (a.k.a., "song") . . .

Doing a bit of thinking ahead, at some point it's a bit too complex to have a NOTION 6 score with 100 to 200 ReWire MIDI staves, although I am starting to think this might be possible . . .

So this is a variation of the Digital Performer and NOTION "layer" strategy, except that instead of the NOTION 6 subscores having only a handful of VSTi virtual instruments, the AU and VSTi virtual instruments are hosted in Studio One, and the NOTION 6 subscores have 16 or more ReWire MIDI staves . . .

Both strategies work with layers, but the ReWire MIDI with NOTION 6 and Studio One strategy has more staves for music notation in each NOTION 6 subscore, which is simpler and more straightforward . . .

The high-level perspective is that while it's interesting from the standpoint of software engineering to make sense of all this computer stuff, ultimately I want to create songs, not to devote most of my attention constantly to messing with computer stuff . . .

Ultimately, it's all about "The Formula"; and I think it's coming along nicely . . .

(1) If I need to work with ReWire Audio generated by VSTi virtual instruments hosted in NOTON 6, then I can do this in a ReWire session where Studio One Professional is the ReWire host controller and NOTION 6 is the ReWire slave . . .

(2) If I need to work with AU and VSTi virtual instruments hosted in Studio One and Reason (Propellerhead) VSTi virtual instruments and Reason synthesizers played via External MIDI staves in NOTION 6, then I can do this in a ReWire session where Studio One Professional is the ReWire host controller and both NOTION 6 and Reason are ReWire slaves . . .

(3) If I need to work with AU and VSTi virtual instruments hosted in Studio One and played by music notation on ReWire MIDI staves in NOTION 6 scores, then I can do this, too . . .

(4) If I need to record real instruments in Studio One, then I can do this . . .

(5) If I need to record real singing in Studio One, then I can do this . . .

(6) If I need to record real MIDI in Studio One and then use it to play virtual instruments in Reason, then I can do this . . .

[NOTE: There are a few more advanced combinations, but these are sufficient for now . . . ]

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I have verified all these scenarios on the Mac; and to the best of my knowledge they work just as well in the Windows universe, although at present I have no way to verify this guess . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

P. S. Coming Up: In the next few posts, (a) I plan to provide some YouTube videos that show how to do all this stuff starting with as few presumptions as possible and (b) I want to take a bit of time to focus on what you need to do once you discover that you can do pretty much everything, where the latter focus can be understood best in terms of a Pop Quiz, where the first question is "List all the instruments you need for your formula or cookie cutter" . . .

I have been studying and experimenting with this stuff since 2010--usually every day-- and I have a mostly eidetic memory; but even though I know most of the instruments available in the various virtual instrument engines and their respective sampled sounds libraries, this is not the same as taking the time to select 100 to 200 instruments that are most likely to be used in "The Formula" and then to map them to NOTION subscores, Reason songs, and Studio One song projects . . .

It's not practical to list every possible instrument; but I think it is practical to select a few sets of instruments . . .

The primary list does not need to include every possible instrument, and there certainly as songs where an instrument which is not in the primary list will be perfect for the particular song; hence (a) the list needs to be practical and (b) "The Formula" needs to be flexible in the sense of allowing the creative option to use virtually any instrument, which is fabulous . . .

Fabulous! :+1
Last edited by Surf.Whammy on Sun Mar 11, 2018 5:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by themaartian on Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:45 am
Great thread! Bookmarked.

I need to spend some time reading it carefully, but I just want to add a quick note re Virtual MIDI cables.

I tested both LoopBe1 and loopMIDI. I wound up buying a license for LoopBe30 ($20).

LoopBe1 worked problem-free.

I experienced unacceptable latency when playing through loopMIDI in real-time.

Others' mileage may vary.

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by Surf.Whammy on Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:18 am
themaartian wroteGreat thread! Bookmarked.

Glad you're enjoying the topic, and thanks for the tips on loopMIDI . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by Surf.Whammy on Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:35 am
The high-level goal is to define "The Formula" for creating popular music songs that are played on the radio and other media . . . :)

It's an achievable goal, but while in many respects it's a simple activity, there are a lot of details and complexities, since it needs to be complete, which in turn maps to needing to cover everything . . .

In the digital music universe of ReWire sessions, it begins with mapping Virtual Instrument Engines and their Virtual Instruments to ReWire MIDI staves and their corresponding buses and channels in NOTION 6 and Studio One . . .

Here in the sound isolation studio, I define the most basic rhythm section as the set {L. Kick Drum, R. Kick Drum, Snare Drum, Hi-Hats, Höfner Beatle Bass, L. Rhythm Guitar, R. Rhythm Guitar, and Lead Guitar} . . .

Add a cymbal and some tom-toms, and it's the basic rhythm section for "Tuff Enuff" (The Fabulous Thunderbirds) and nearly every early Elvis Presley and Beatles song, albeit with a grand piano, Wurlitzer Electric Piano, Hammond B3 organ, or Vox Continental combo organ, here and there . . .

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This is a simple map of Virtual Instrument Engines and their respective Virtual Instruments to ReWire MIDI staves and their corresponding buses and channels in NOTION 6 and Studio One . . .

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In this example, these are all SampleTank 3 (IK Multimedia); but to be precise they are legacy instruments from SampleTank 2; and I like them . . .

Each instrument has its own separate SampleTank 3 engine; but there is another way to do this, since SampleTank 3 lets you create instances that have several instruments; and these are called "MULTIS" . . .

This is a user-defined SampleTank 3 MULTI for the same eight instruments . . .

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The mapping is the same, except that instead of the SampleTank 3 channel being "1" for every instrument, each instrument in the MULTI has its own channel; so the MULTI channel set is {1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8} . . .

Done this way, there is one instance of SampleTank 3, which is considered to be one instrument in Studio One; so there is just one Instrument Track; and the audio for all eight instruments is sent to Studio One as premixed stereo audio . . .

The disadvantage is that there is just one Instrument Track and one Audio Track for the set of eight instruments in the SampleTank 3 MULTI; but this actually is an advantage, because (a) it keeps the total number of tracks small in Studio One and (b) instead of mixing the set of eight instruments with separate tracks for each instrument in Studio One, you will use the SampleTank 3 Mixer to do the mixing and effects for the MULTI . . .

[NOTE: Another disadvantage to using a MULTI is that you are limited to the effects provided by the Virtual Instrument Engine, although this is balanced by some of these Virtual Instrument Engines having a virtual festival of effects, where for example SampleTank 3 has all the typical effects one finds in a guitar pedal board rig, as well as other types of effects. However, if you want to use specific AU and VST effects plug-ins for individual instruments, then it's best to use the "simple" strategy rather than the "MULTI" strategy. It all depends on what you need to do . . . ]

However, this is a bit more advanced; so for now I want to focus on the most simple way to do this, which is to have a separate instance of SampleTank 3 for each specific instrument . . .

The NOTION 6 score is identical for both methods; so this is a matter of the way you want to work with SampleTank 3 in Studio One . . .

I am using SampleTank 3 for this example, but it just as easily can be Kontakt 5 (Native Instruments), MachFive 3 (MOTU), or any other Virtual Instrument Engine that has MULTI functionality . . .

And for reference, there is at least one additional way this can be done; but for now I think it's easier to understand when it's done in the most simple way . . .

The first YouTube video in my previous post shows how the simply way works; but It starts with everything mostly configured; so for the next YouTube video, I am going to start with an Empty Song project in Studio One and a blank score in NOTION 6 . . .

COMPLEXITY, HURRICANES, AND PLYWOOD BOXES

At first, all this stuff can appear to be considerably more complex than designing and building a small house or cabin; but I started doing that back in the 1980s with a 15' by 15' plywood box, which basically is like a loudspeaker cabinet but with doors and windows . . .

I had to read a bunch of books and learn how to use a lot of tools, which on the safety side included studying the National Electric Code and making sense of Plumbing Codes; but it comes together after a while; and since nearly nothing I design and build is the least bit standard, I am skilled in doing a lot of what I call "custom" (a.k.a., "Mickey Mouse") workarounds . . .

Generally, I like to avoid locales that require building permits, inspections, and all that stuff;, but what I design and build is solid and safe; and i like to do extra things which generally are a bit beyond "not necessary", with my favorite example being using a Simpson Strong-Tie® metal bracket or connector on every piece of framing lumber . . .

One such house was in the eye of a Category 5 hurricane, and the only damage was one asphalt roofing tile blew off, and I think it was an extra asphalt shingle that was just sitting on the roof, which was there because I was busy and forgot about it. The "eye" part was totally calm; but the 12 hours before and 12 hours after were FUN . . .

[NOTE: I think most sane people would be terrified; but I was inside the house in "Bring it on. I might be an idiot, but I don't think so." mode at the time . . . :P ]

The walls shook and vibrated, but they held through the extended wind gusts in the range of 125 to 150 miles per hour, one which was sufficient to snap a 5 ft. diameter cedar tree across the street like it was a toothpick . . .

I used Reisser® wood screws from Germany to install the Simpson Strong-Tie connectors; and the Reisser wood screws are strong enough to stop a 1.5 horsepower Makita® electric drill without snapping-off the wood screw heads (provided you use Reisser or Snap-on® screw drivers, which are only ones that don't shred when the wood screw becomes hard to turn). If the driver doesn't shred, then it will stop a 1.5 horsepower Makita electric drill (AC, not battery powered) . . .

[NOTE: I like to use wood screws instead of nails for framing and plywood, since driving nails with a hammer gives me "tennis elbow"; but I use air-pressure nail drivers for installing trim; and I really like plywood; but I really don't like wafer board and particle board. Metal angle brackets are a personal favorite, and I put them on everything. More recently, I have started using Deckmate® wood screws; and they are pretty good and don't cost nearly so much as the Reisser wood screws. Reisser wood screws are the best, but they are expensive and not so easy to find . . . ]

Angle Bracket (Simpson Strong Tie Connectors

R2 Wood Screws (Reisser)

It's like doing ReWire with Studio One, NOTION 6, and Reason (Propellerhead Software) . . .

Yeah . . . :ugeek:

It's a complex activity, but after you understand the rules and do it a few times, it's easy . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by Surf.Whammy on Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:03 pm
I added a Reason 9.5 (Propellerhead Software) Subtractor synthesizer to "Flying In The Storm" . . . :)

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THOUGHTS

Reason does not do ReWire MIDI; so I used an External MIDI staff in NOTION 6, along with a Virtual MIDI Cable, to send the MIDI from NOTION 6 to Reason in the ReWire session where both NOTION 6 and Reason 9.5 are ReWire slaves . . .

The interesting aspect of the Subtractor synthesizer is that it uses an algorithm to determine which notes of a chord to emphasize at any given time; so what happens is that when you send it chords via the Virtual MIDI Cable, you get a melody that fits nicely with the chords . . .

On the not-so-good side, Studio One crashed a few times; so I think having 24 active Virtual Instrument Engines is very near the upper limit . . .

On the good side, there are several strategies that provide solutions; so this is something I will be exploring and explaining in subsequent posts . . .

I need to do a few more experiments to determine the rules; but as usual, I strongly suspect the MachFive 3 (MOTU) Mark79 virtual instrument is just too "heavy" (a.k.a, "resource intensive"); but there also are a lot of SampleTank 3 instances; and in this version, I added Reason as yet another Virtual Instrument Engine; so it depends . . .

At present, the Basic Rhythm Section has a chord pattern for the verses; but I have not added the choruses, bridge, and interlude; so before doing any of the advanced solution strategies, I want to complete the overall structure of the song, which here in the sound isolation studio is what I do with the Basic Rhythm Section . . .

Among other things, I can combine most of the single instances of SampleTank 3 into one or two SampleTank 3 MULTIS; and I can record the audio for the MachFive 3 "Mark79" and then remove the corresponding instance of MachFive 3 . . .

When the single instances of SampleTank 3 are combined into a few MULTIs, I can record the audio; and then start a second layer of the song in Studio One, where the exported audio from the first layer is imported to the second layer of the song, at which time I can start working with a new set of Virtual Instrument Engines . . .

Similarly, I can create a new NOTION 6 score for the new layer; and this way, if necessary, I can recreate the song by revisiting the layers . . .

Yet another possible solution is to move the MachFive 3 "Mark79" to the NOTION 6 score and to send its generated audio to Studio One via ReWire Audio, which is very easy to do and has the advantage of creating an audit trail; since I can clone the NOTION 6 score and have a version with the MachFive 3 "Mark79" and another NOTION 6 score without it, which then becomes a "PT-1" and "PT-2" type of thing, where "PT-1" has the MachFive 3 "Mark79", but "PT-2" doesn't . . .

I usually go forward, but occasionally I decide in a later layer to change something in the structure or instrumentation and orchestration of the previous layers; so I like to be able to go backward when necessary . . .

The way George Martin, Geoff Emerick, Beatles, and company constructed "Strawberry Fields Forever" is an excellent example of adjusting a song and constructing it from different parts and layers after the fact, where initially there were two versions of the song; but they decided that combining them was better; so technically, it's a song that's a combination of parts of two recordings with additional overdubs and enhancements . . .

[NOTE: There is more to it that what is explained in this interview with George Martin; and if you listen to the instrument mix, you can hear that the tempo is too fast compared to the final version of the song. I think this is explained somewhere else, perhaps in another interview. The first part of the song was at a slower tempo; but the second part was too fast; so the engineers at Abbey Road Studios devised a way to match the tempos while keeping them in a consistent key. The point is that as a song develops, you need to be able to make adjustments and to explore different moods, textures, instrumentation, and orchestration. The ability to do this always is a primary aspect of the way I define "The Formula" with respect to digital music software. You need to be able to go forward--which nearly always is easy--but you also need to be able to go backward to make adjustments and to modify the overall structure of a song. Another way of explaining this is that "The Formula" needs an audit trail that can be used to recreate the song at its most basic layer, so you can make changes without needing to redo everything. From this perspective, it's a complex activity; but for practical purposes, it's the only way to do it that works reliably and can be repeated without losing good performances and ideas . . . ]

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"On 22 December, [George] Martin and [recording engineer Geoff] Emerick carried out the difficult task of joining takes 7 and 26 together. With only a pair of editing scissors, two tape machines and a vari-speed control, Emerick compensated for the differences in key and speed by increasing the speed of the first version and decreasing the speed of the second. He then spliced the versions together, starting the orchestral score in the middle of the second chorus. Since take 7 did not include a chorus after the first verse, he also spliced in the first seven words of the second chorus from that take. The pitch-shifting in joining the versions gave Lennon's lead vocal a slightly other-worldly "swimming" quality."

[SOURCE: "Strawberry Fields" ~ Final Edit (Wikipedia) ]

It's all good . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
User avatar
by Surf.Whammy on Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:00 am
I recorded a new YouTube video tutorial to show how to configure Studio One Professional 3.5+ and NOTION 6 for ReWire MIDI in a ReWire session where Studio One is the ReWire host controller and NOTION is the ReWire slave application . . .

The VSTi virtual instruments hosted in the Studio One project are instances of SampleTank 3 (IK Multimedia) and are the set {L. Kick Drum, R. Kick Drum, Snare Drum, Hi-Hats, Electric Bass, L. Rhythm Guitar, R. Rhythm Guitar, and Lead Guitar} . . .

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I did a bit of arranging, composing, and producing; and this is the first version of the basic rhythm section of the song, which at present based on the instructions the Aliens From Outer Space beamed me is named "Surf Zot" . . . :P

[NOTE: For reference, the composing strategy I use begins with a Basic Rhythm Section and a simple melody. At this step in the development of a song, everything is highly repetitive and generally very simple. I listen to it over and over; and after a while I start identifying measures where the notes, chords, or rhythms need to change a bit. It's an iterative process; and generally I am listening to the way the notes, chords, and rhythms interact effectively to create musical phrases, harmonies, counterpoint, and rhythms that are not actually in the music notation for the various instruments. I like to use simple arpeggios and melodic scalar phrases as placeholders for what later will be the melody; and in "Surf Zot", the key phrase is the one the lead guitar repeats in the first, second, and third (resolving) sections of the verse. I play lead guitar, so it's not difficult to modify melodic phrases. From this perspective, it's a matter of revealing the Gestalt one layer at a time; and it's something I do primarily "by ear", but with an occasional foray into music theory when it's useful . . . ]

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Lots of FUN! :)
Last edited by Surf.Whammy on Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:20 am, edited 3 times in total.

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by themaartian on Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:54 am
Very useful integration video. Thanks!

Loved the tip about using treble staves for everything! Had never considered that.

Satisfied my "learn at least one new thing a day" requirement.

Question:

Was your vocal mic bleed included in the audio stream when playing Notion score? The channel meter was active. Just wondering.

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by Surf.Whammy on Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:28 pm
themaartian wroteVery useful integration video. Thanks!

Loved the tip about using treble staves for everything! Had never considered that.

Satisfied my "learn at least one new thing a day" requirement.

Question:

Was your vocal mic bleed included in the audio stream when playing Notion score? The channel meter was active. Just wondering.

Glad to help! :)

The reason it's vastly easier for me to do nearly everything with treble staves is that I learned to read music notation when I was in a liturgical boys choir and at the time was a soprano . . .

I can sight-sing soprano treble clef music, but an octave or two lower now . . .

Curiously, since nobody took the time to tell me I wasn't a soprano anymore, I only realized this in an immediately conscious way a few years ago when I started focusing on being Pretend George Martin, who basically was the choirmaster to the choir called "The Beatles" . . .

Several years before that, I was focused on being Pretend Elvis Presley; but that didn't help very much, because Elvis was a baritone or tenor . . .

I had started connecting the dots to a certain extent when I had a difficult time being Pretend Celiine Dion; but that was balanced by not finding it so difficult to be Pretend Brian Wilson . . .

Code: Select all
x lyrical soprano

✓ falsetto

The required epiphany was two-part; and the first part occurred when, as Pretend George Martin, I told myself (a) that I was trying to sing songs in the wrong key signatures and (b) that I needed to practice singing a song at least a few times before recording it . . .

Prior to this part of the epiphany, I usually composed the vocal melody for songs on the fly in real-time as I was recording the vocals, which was the result of misunderstanding something an audio engineer told me about Paul McCartney and the "R.A.M" album, which as I heard it was, "Paul does everything on the first or second take" . . .

I thought this was simply amazing; so my thinking was "If Paul McCartney does everything on the first or second take, then this is what I will do" . . . :+1

Years later, I discovered that what the audio engineer actually was telling me was that, "On a few songs, Paul did some harmony overdubs on the first or second take" . . .

Nevertheless, for about a decade I never did anything more than once or twice; and while it was strange at first, after a while I got pretty good at it--at least for drums, electric bass, and lead guitar . . .

As best as I have been able to determine since then, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Paul McCartney did everything over and over until they were happy with the way it sounded and George Martin also was happy . . .

In contrast, I think Ringo Starr tends to get it right very quickly . . .

The second part of the epiphany occurred after I strained my back in 2012 and had to take strong prescription opioids for about three months--which I absolutely hated--so I could sleep for more than 45 minutes every 24 hours . . .

As I realized soon after stopping the opioids--which I did as soon as I could sleep continuously for four hours at a time--I had gone Country Western and had recorded a set of Country Western songs as Ferliss Nuberton, who was inspired by Pretend Johnny Cash . . .

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I can go to town on treble stave music notation; and from my perspective there are only 12 notes, each of which can be low, middle, or high depending on what makes the most sense . . .

Skip forward to last year when I was working on "Sweet Hour of Prayer", and I practiced the singing in the slow, traditional Intro several times before recording it . . .

After the Intro singing was recorded, I did a virtual festival of pitch correction in Melodyne (Celemony) that took days, if not weeks; but no melody appeared for the fast part . . .

So I sang the fast part in monotone on the first or second take and then did an Everly Brothers style harmony in another take or two, which I did quickly so that I didn't have to remember the phrasing of the lyrics, which are the complete lyrics to the song from the mid-19th century . . .

[NOTE: The lyrics were written by William Walford; and the music for the slow, traditional Intro was composed by William B. Bradbury, with both of these being done in the mid-19th century. I worked from a piano sketch for the slow, traditional Intro and did a bit of arranging, instrumenting, and orchestrating, which included adding a soprano backup melody sung by Realivox Blue (Realitone), my female virtual soprano; but the fast part is based on a Metal song I composed for one of my pretend musical groups, KnightKocK, which is a parody on the absurd Metal musical group, Gwar. It works; and for reference, it's not a parody of "Sweet Hour of Prayer". The parody aspect is the name of the pretend musical group, and it's focused on the fact that Gwar is a bit beyond totally silly--except that they remind me of KISS, so I like some of their songs . . . ]

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Project: Sweet Hour of Prayuer (PreSonus NOTION Forum)

Regarding the vocal microphone in the video tutorial, I used a TrackPlug 5 (Wave Arts) noise gate on it; but later in the video I forgot to enable the noise gate; so for a while the voiceover was noise-gated but not in the latter half of the video . . .

The first part of the video tutorial is a different Studio One and NOTION project from the second part of the video; and in the second part I added the voiceover microphone and TrackPlug 5 noise gate but forgot to enable the noise gate. The raw video runs for about 33 minutes, but it's edited to about 10 minutes. If I showed everything I did to get the first part to the behave and look like the second part, it would take hours, which is too long for a YouTube video . . .

Renaming the NOTION 6 ReWire MIDI staves to give them meaningful names takes about 10 minutes; and it's not necessary to explain all that stuff to convey the important information about using VSTi virtual instruments hosted in Studio One and playing them with music notation on ReWire MIDI staves in NOTION in a ReWire session . . .

I presume that folks know how to change the color indicators for tracks and how to give tracks meaningful names . .

I didn't want to wander into producing in the video tutorial; so I skipped the work involved in adjusting the mix and using several VST effect plug-ins, since that's perhaps another topic for a video tutorial, although it's easier to do than to explain (a) how to do it and (b) when to do it . . .

[NOTE: TrackPlug 5 has a brickwall low-pass and high-pass filters; multiband equalizer; two compressor limiters; a peak limiter; and a noise gate; but when I am using it as a noise gate, I only use the noise gate . . . ]

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TrackPlug 5 (Wave Arts)

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by Surf.Whammy on Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:54 am
I did a bit more work on "Surf Zot" and added a harmony guitar . . . :)

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THOUGHTS

The first thing I did was to add another instance of SampleTank 3 (IK Mulltimedia) for the harmony guitar, which is the same preset as the lead guitar ("Strat Vibrato") . . .

Then I made a few changes to the lead guitar melody--nothing complex, just a few simple changes . . .

After that was done, I copied the lead guitar notes and pasted them to the harmony guitar staff, which also is a ReWire MIDI staff, as are all the other staves . . .

I used the Transpose tool to do a quick experiment to hear how the harmony guitar sounded when transposed upward by a minor third in the same octave; but it didn't sound so good . . .

[NOTE: Select some notes in NOTION 6 on a staff and then right-click to get the Tools context menu, which then does a fly-out to show the Transpose menu item . . . ]

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Next, I tried transposing the harmony guitar upward by a chromatic major fifth; and I like the way it sounds; so this is what I am using at present for the harmony guitar . . .

I did a bit of producing, which included adjusting the levels and changing the panning on the Timeless 2 (FabFilter Software Instruments) echo units for the lead guitar and harmony guitar . . .

The drumkit phrases are enhanced a tiny bit--mostly to add some splash cymbals and to update some of the snare drum riffs . . .

This is all very simple stuff; and it's based in part on some of the composing and arranging strategies explained in the Schillinger System of Musical Composition (SoMC) . . .

From one perspective, SoMC is vastly comples; but there is a simple perspective, and it's the one I use . . .

Either way, it's possible to compose virtually anything--a simple song or an elaborate symphony--by starting with a handful of notes and a few measures of simply rhythm . . .

George Gershwin studied SoMC with Joseph Schillinger; and one of Gershwin's songs provides a clue to the vast usefulness of SoMC . . .

[NOTE: One of the clues to SoMC is that you can transform a simple melody or chord patter--just a few notes--by flipping it horizontally, vertically, or some combination of these, which includes playing it "upside-down". Gershwin explains the concept by saying that "You shouldn't let one hand know what the other hand is doing", referring to a variation of "I Got Rhythm" where the left hand is playing the melody upside-down while the right hand is playing it right side-up . . . ]

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SoMC uses a simple geometric representation of notes to explain some of the techniques for what I call "flipping" musical phrases; and this is an example of starting with the notes of a C Major triad and then doing a bit of "flipping" . . .

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Instead of starting with {C4, E4, G4}, "I Got Rhythm" starts with {C4, D4, F4, G4} and then "flips" it horizontally to create the primary phrase of the song . . .

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There is more to it than just doing a bit of "flipping"; and some of it is "by ear"; but the geometric stuff is very useful once you have the basic melody . . .

After that, it's mostly a matter of arranging and orchestrating . . .

Sometimes, you hear a melody in your mind; but other times you have a few notes but nothing appears . . .

This is where SoMC becomes vastly helpful, because it provides different strategies you can use to do experiments; and after a bit of experimenting, you start hearing in your mind where the melody needs to go as it moves forward in time--even though it might be backward or upside-down . . .

Then you need to listen to it for a while--over and over--and make adjustments "by ear" until it sounds good . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by Surf.Whammy on Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:24 pm
This is the new version of "Surf Zot", and it has an updated melody and corresponding drumkit enhancements . . . :)

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THOUGHTS

[NOTE: To be as clear as possible, I made all the changes in a ReWire session where Studio One Professional 3.55 was the ReWire host controller and NOTION 6 (current version) was the ReWire slave. All the staves in the NOTION 6 score are ReWire MIDI staves, but I changed the staff names to make them descriptive and relevant to the particular instruments. This strategy works very nicely. In the Studio One project (".song"), there is an Audio Track for each Instrument Track, and when I want to record the audio, I use the Audio Tracks. I have templates that I use for Studio One and NOTION 6; so for the most part configuring everything is just a matter of opening the respective templates and then doing a "Save As . . . " to start working on a new song or another set of instrument layers for an existing song. I have been doing digital music production using NOTION since 2010 using a variety of different strategies, and this is the easiest and most intuitive strategy for working with AUi and VSTi virtual instruments in songs that have multiple layers and as many as 100 to 200 instruments. There is more to the strategy, mostly to make it easier to work with songs that have a lot of AUi and VSTi virtual instruments; so this is something I will describe and explain later in this topic . . . ]

To add a bit of variation in the melody, I used the "flipping" technique from the Schillinger System of Musical Composition (SoMC) that George Gershwin used to create the primary phrase for "I Got Rhythm" . . .

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"I Got Rhythm" ~ Primary Phrase Notes (simple durations)

Instead of repeating the single measure, primary phrase, I "flipped it" but kept the note durations the same; so it's the simple, primary notes played forward and backward . . .

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"Surf Zot" ~ Primary Melodic Phrase ~ Original (repeated)

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"Surf Zot" ~ Primary Melodic Phrase ~ Flipped (note durations not flipped)

When I was doing the "flipping", I forget to add an eighth note in one of the measures, but after listening to it a few times, I like the syncopation; so I kept it and enhanced it with a different snare drum pattern for the respective measure . . .

While it's subtle, this type of syncopation adds a bit of suspense, which is another aspect of SoMC as it relates to the psychology of listening and musical moods and themes . . .

For the resolving measures (or "tags"), I made the note changes "by ear" using a bit of music theory and SoMC concepts with respect to keeping it consistent with the requirements of resolving . . .

[NOTE: One of the things that happens when you have repetitive sets of 8 measures but then "flip" every other measure, is they become sets of 4 pairs and are not repetitive, which is the case because your mind perceives them as being fours rather than eights. Listen to the first version of "Surf Zot", and then listen to this new version to understand this . . . ]

On a related note, as I explained in a previous post to this topic, the SampleTank 3 (IK Multimedia) "Hofner Beatle" bass note for A1 is flat by a half-step, so this is the reason it's sharped in the music notation.

When you remember this, the bass line makes more sense and is consistent with the key signature probably being C Major or A Minor, or whatever it happens to be . . .

[NOTE: In this respect, I think like a Nashville electric bass player, and mostly I just need to know which fret is "1", which is all that matters, really. If nobody knows what "1" is, then I find it "by ear", although until a few years ago I had never heard of the Nashville Number System, per se. After making sense of the bass notes for "Louie Louie" (The Kingsmen), it appeared logical to remember it as {1,4,5}, which is the mnemonic I use. Chord numbering systems continue to make no sense to me, at all. Instead, I remember chord patterns based on the first song (or singer who sang the song) I learned that uses a particular chord or chord pattern, which for me is intuitive and generally makes sense to musicians who learned how to play "by ear" via learning songs from records one note or chord at a time. Here in the sound isolation studio, guitar chords have names like "Purple Haze", "Stormy Monday", "James Brown", "Beatles", "Tighten Up", "Sleepwalk", "This Boy", "Walk Don't Run", and so forth . . . :+1 ]

Nashville Number System (NNS) ~ Wikipedia

Here in the sound isolation studio, there are 12 notes and 10 octaves (2 of which most humans cannot hear); and I generally avoid flats and sharps unless they are necessary, in which case I add them manually . . .

And to the extent possible, I do everything with C Major or A Minor treble staves and use the NOTION 6 "Transposition" functionality in Score Setup to cause notes to be played in the correct octaves . . .

This way (a) I don't need to remember a bunch of notes and key signatures; (b) I don't need to do a lot of strange and bizarre staff and clef mapping; and (c) if there is a horn section, I can resort to using flats and Barre chords, which is the best way to prevent horn sections from making you crazy . . .

Those of you who have worked in musical groups which have horn sections understand that horn sections have daily "team meetings" where they devise virtual festivals of ways to annoy guitar and keyboard players; but horn sections are nice to have for certain genres, so you just need to know how to manage them, which mostly is a matter of letting them play everything in keys that have flats . . . :P

As long as they have their flats, horn sections tend to be happy; but this doesn't stop them from having "team meetings" . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by Surf.Whammy on Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:38 am
I did an experiment using "Surf Zot" where I started with a NOTION 6 score that had the same SampleTank 3 (IK Multimedia) VSTi virtual instruments as were hosted in Studio One in the previous post. Michael Myers (a.k.a, "TENSiViTy") used a similar technique in his recent topic, and I like the technique; so I did this experiment to see how it works with ReWire MIDI staves . . . :)

Then I sent the notes to an empty Studio One Professional 3.55 song, which worked nicely and got the MIDI into Studio One . . .

The "Send Notes to Studio One" process also created the Studio One Instrument Tracks for the respective SampleTank 3 (IK Multimedia) VSTi virtual instruments, which is very nice . . .

I changed the track colors, but the NOTION track names were used, which also is nice . . .

After some experimenting, I discovered how to save the various SampleTank 3 instruments as presets in a folder named "SW Presets"; and this saves time for commonly used SampleTank 3 instruments, although technically the instruments I use are from Sample Tank 2 and are "legacy" instruments. I like them; so these are the ones I use . . .

Having the particular instruments saved as presets in the "SW Presets" folder saves time when configuring SampleTank 3 in Studio One and NOTION; so no matter which way I decide to do the SampleTank 3 hosting, the configuration work is easier and faster . . .

Next I cloned the NOTION score; created 9 ReWire MIDI staves; copied the music notation from the VSTi staves to the corresponding ReWire MIDI staves; and then deleted the VSTi staves, at which point the music notation was on ReWire MIDI staves, but there were no VSTi virtual instrument staves in the cloned NOTION score . . .

The VSTi virtual instruments are hosted in Studio One, and there is MIDI sent previously from NOTION to play the instruments; so the cloned and updated NOTION score is there only for visual cues . . .

There is music notation on the ReWire MIDI staves in the cloned NOTION score, but there are no instruments hosted in the NOTION score; so NOTION has a very small CPU and Memory footprint . . .

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THOUGHTS

There are so many ways to do all this stuff that making sense of it requires a diagram and a worksheet; so I am going to draw a diagram and put all the information in a worksheet, with the goal being to define a set of rules similar to a flowchart to provide information on when to use each strategy . . .

The fascinating aspect is that you can use a combination of strategies rather than only one strategy . . .

When you add Reason (Propellerhead Software) to the strategies, it adds several more ways to do everything; since now Reason can host VSTi virtual instruments and VST effects plug-ins . . .

And there there are real instruments and real vocalists . . .

In some respects, it's as complex as it is mind-boggling; but the important aspect is that there are particular strategies for each scenario one encounters in digital music production; and this includes recording real instruments and real vocalists . . .

I refer you to the updated diagram of the "Complete Digital Music Production System" for a few clues . . .

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Complete Digital Music Production System ~ March 2018

The most important aspect of this Complete DIgital Music Production System is that when I need to do __________________, there is always at last one way to do it; and in many scenarios there are at least two ways to do it, whatever "it" happens to be . . .

This is a high-level diagram of the system; but to the best of my current knowledge, it covers every possible scenario . . .

I include Reason (Propellerhead Software); because Reason has unique capabilities that complement the capabilities of NOTION and Studio One . . .

Reason (Propellerhead Software)

There are things you can do in Reason that cannot be done easily any other way, so it's all good . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
User avatar
by Surf.Whammy on Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:32 am
This high-level diagram is one way to make sense of the various ways to work with real and virtual music . . . :)

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Digital Music Production Decision Tree

[NOTE: If you want to use Reason as a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) application for recording real instruments and vocalists, then run Reason separately by itself--not in a ReWire session where Studio One Professional is the ReWire host controller and Reason is the ReWire slave. If you want to record real instruments and vocalists in a ReWire session where Studio One Professional is the ReWire host controller and NOTION and/or Reason are ReWire slaves, then do the real instrument and vocalist audio recording in Studio One Professional, since in a ReWire session the ReWire host controller handles the audio . . . ]

THOUGHTS

You can work in each of the applications separately for a while (NOTION, Reason, Studio One Professional), but ultimately you will want Studio One Professional to be the high-level Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) application, since Studio One Professional can control NOTION and Reason . . .

This is an example of Studio One Professional as the ReWire host controller in a ReWire session where both NOTION and Reason (Propellerhead Software) are ReWire slaves and NOTION is playing one of the Reason synthesizers ("Subtractor") via music notation on an External MIDI staff with the MIDI sent to Reason via a Virtual MIDI Cable and the Reason audio sent to Studio One Professional by a pair of ReWire Audio channels . . .

[NOTE: Among other things, the Reason "Subtractor" synthesizer examines a stream of chords and then creates a melody based on a fascinating algorithm. Reason has a virtual festival of synthesizers that do a cornucopia of useful musical activities; and Reason now has the ability to host VSTi virtual instruments and VST effects plug-ins. Reason also has a deep and rich set of third-party Rack Extensions, VSTi virtual instruments, and VST effects plug-ins that are available in the Propellerhead Shop. Some of the advanced Rack Extensions have the ability to apply various music theory algorithms that transform and enhance streams of notes and chords . . . ]

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Propellerhead Shop

The AutoTheory (Pitchblende) Rack Extension for Reason is a personal favorite . . .

[NOTE: I do everything primarily "by ear", so I don't need AutoTheory and so far have not used it, even though it's in my set of Rack Extensions. I purchased it to support the software developers; and from the perspective of software engineering, it's simply mind-boggling. Among other things, I am a software engineer; so at a high-level I know what happens in AutoTheory, but how do humans actually do this stuff in a reasonable amount of time? I have no idea . . . :reading: ]

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The perspective here in the sound isolation is that when you can do everything, there are no limits to what you can do, which is a good thing . . .

Lots of FUN! :-)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
User avatar
by Surf.Whammy on Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:30 am
I was asleep and awoke hearing the primary melodic phrase for "Surf Zot" being played in a longer phrasing, similar to what one might do if playing the phrase on a Fender® Stratocaster® with a whammy bar . . . :)

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THOUGHTS

[NOTE: I did the preliminary producing and mixing while listening to the song played through the calibrated, full-range studio monitor system here in the sound isolation studio and then did some fine-tuning while listening with studio-quality headphones (SONY MDR-7506, a personal favorite); so the best listening experience occurs when you listen with headphones, although it also sounds good when listening with a calibrated, full-range studio monitor system . . . ]

This activity is a combination of composing, arranging, and producing; and once I made the changes to the lead guitar melody, I switched to producing mode and made a few changes to the mix to add clarity to the left kick drum, rhythm guitars, lead guitar, and harmony guitar . . .

Specifically, I increased the input level for the left kick drum in the T-RackS 5 (IK Multimedia) "Brickwall Limiter" to give it more punch; balanced the left rhythm guitar and right rhythm guitar; moved the lead guitar to top-center; added a second Timeless 2 (FabFilter Software Instruments) echo unit to make the lead guitar a but more syrupy; and lowered the volume level for the harmony guitar to balance it better with the right rhythm guitar, since the harmony guitar is more to the right (panned to R25 in Studio One Professional), with the right rhythm guitar being panned far-right . . .

The left rhythm guitar continues to be panned far-left; so moving the lead guitar to top-center reveals a tiny bit more of the left rhythm guitar; and the volume levels for both rhythm guitars are adjusted, as well . . .

Increasing the dynamics of the left kick drum has the interesting effect of making it sound like the left rhythm guitar is strummed two times (eighth note strums), even though it's a half-note single strum. The left rhythm guitar is run through a tremolo unit in SampleTank 3 (IK Multimedia), which contributes to the "virtual double strum" synergy with the left kick drum (which plays two eighth note beats at the relevant times) . . .

This is based in part on something a drummer told me decades ago, which is that if you want to accent a cymbal without actually hitting it harder, then play a kick drum note at the same time, where as I understand it, the idea is that the kick drum essentially "punches" or "propels" the cymbal note . . .

The technique works, which is what matters . . . :+1

When I switch to producing mode, I always consider everything from the perspective of Pretend George Martin, which among other things maps to understanding that every Beatle is equally important and needs to be heard clearly and distinctly . . .

There are other aspects to the persona I call "Pretend George Martin", but this is one of the key aspects; and it's part of what I call "The Formula" . . .

In a later producing and mixing step--which I have not yet done for "Surf Zot"--I focus on increasing the clarity and distinctiveness of the instruments and, if present, singing by applying a combination of brickwall frequency range filters and "ducking", which is based in part on the way Charlie Watts (Rolling Stones) plays snare drum rimshots when he wants them to be heard clearly and distinctly . . .

I first noticed this in a YouTube video of a live performance of "Miss You" (Rolling Stones), because it looked awkward . . .

After watching it for a while and doing a bit of studying, I realized what he is doing, which specifically is that he stops playing everything except the snare drum rimshot . . .

I think he discovered this technique as he gained experience in the recording studio, but this is just an intuitive guess . . .

When I imagine I am Pretend Charlie Watts, the goal is to be heard over everything else at least every once in a while, which is not so easy to do . . .

Actually, all the Rolling Stones do this; and as you can see in this YouTube video, they don't all play at the same time . . .

[NOTE: Listen to this when wearing studio-quality headphones, and focus on the way the various instruments and vocalists appear and then disappear in a fascinating pattern. And, of course, watch the way Charlie Watts plays snare drum rimshots, observing that he does this when playing a hi-hats and snare drum rimshots pattern rather than all the time. He usually does not do this when playing a ride cymbal and snare shot rimshots pattern. You can do essentially the same thing with brickwall frequency range filters and "ducking", but it's not so specific unless you have (a) the hi-hats and respective snare drum rimshots on separate tracks from (b) the tracks for the the ride cymbal and its respective snare drum rimshots, which is easy to do with a virtual drumkit . . . ]

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Instead, they separate each measure into increments and take turns playing specific increments while not playing during other increments . . .

These are key aspects of arranging, composing, and producing; and it's not just one of these aspects more than the others . . .

There are different ways to visualize this, and when it's visualized in terms of frequency ranges, it maps to creating a distinct "stack" of brickwalled frequency ranges, where each instrument has a separate and distinct, brickwalled frequency range . . .

There are overlaps no matter how you do it with brickwall frequency range filters; and this is where "ducking" is used to add clarity and emphasis . . .

When the brickwalled frequency range filters of two instruments overlap but you want one instrument to be dominant at specific times, you can use its volume level signal to "duck" (or temporarily lower) the volume level of the other instrument . . .

An example of this is kick drum and electric bass guitar, which have a bit of overlaps in their primary frequency ranges . . .

If you want the kick drum to be dominant when it plays a note, then use the volume level signal of the kick drum to "duck" the volume level of the electric bass guitar for the instant when the kick drum is hit, which temporarily moves the kick drum to the front but just as quickly moves it backward, at which time the electric bass is dominant until the next kick drum note . . .

I use Pro-C (FabFilter Software Instruments) for "ducking"; and it does "ducking" very nicely . . .

[NOTE: You use Pro-C as an effects plug-in Insert on the track you want to "duck"; and the "side chain" signal is bussed from the track that you want to control the "ducking". When the "ducking" control track plays a note, this triggers Pro-C to "duck" the track for which you temporarily want to lower its volume level. In the kick drum and electric bass guitar example, the kick drum track is the "ducking" control track; and the electric bass guitar is the track being "ducked". The focal range in this instance is full, but it can be made very specific for increased "ducking" control . . . ]

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This is even more dramatic when the kick drum is run through a noise gate . . .

Electric bass guitar notes tend to be constant and sustained; so when this is done in a subtle way, the result is that the electric bass guitar is perceived to be playing constantly sustained notes; but you hear the kick drum notes more clearly and distinctly, where the key is to do the brickwall frequency range filtering and "ducking" in a generally gracious and subtle way . . .

Physical mixing boards have unique tonal qualities and behaviors; and this also is the case with the virtual mixing boards of Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) applications . . .

I like the way the virtual Studio One Professional mxing board behaves and sounds, which is very important when one is using these advanced producing and mixing techniques . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
User avatar
by Surf.Whammy on Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:17 pm
I recorded a new version of "Suf Zot" that has an enhanced, melodic drumkit section which is more attuned to the rhythmic interactions with the rhythm guitars and lead guitar melody . . . :)

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[NOTE: After listening to the YouTube-processed version for V5 of "Surf Zot", I decided that the left rhythm guitar and lead guitar were too hot; so I did a new mix and lowered the volume levels of the left rhythm guitar and lead guitar, which includes adjusting the panning of the lead guitar to center it better. The adjustments were small (approximately 2 dB lower), but it makes a difference in the way YouTube processes the audio. V5 and V5.1 are on YouTube, so you can compare them. At lower listening levels, it's about the same; but at higher listening levels, V5.1 is the better mix. For reference, the left rhythm guitar does not have any effects plug-in inserts; so I lowered its volume level with the Studio One Professional track volume control slider (from -7 dB to -9 dB); but the lead guitar has three effects plug-in Inserts; so I lowered it's volume level in the T-RackS "White 2A" effects plug-in and one of the Timeless 2 effects plug-ins, which included adjusting the lead guitar panning in the primary Timeless 2 effects plug-in to move the dry and wet panning to the right by a small amount. When adjusting volume levels for tracks, I use the strategy where I focus on a specific instrument and then lower its volume level by a tiny amount to see if it changes the way the instrument is heard. If it makes no perceptible difference, then I lower it again and continue doing this until it makes a difference, at which time I raise it a tiny bit. Making an instrument or vocal track louder than it needs to be is not a good practice. It needs to be heard, but beyond that it's just too loud. There is a finite amount of sonic space for a song; so the producing and mixing strategy is focused on conserving sonic space, which is what I call the "Goldilocks Strategy" . . . ]

THOUGHTS

I added an instance of Addictive Drums (XLN Audio) to double the snare drum rimshots and to add a tiny bit of cowbell to emphasize some of the doubled snare drum rimshots . . .

The SampleTank 3 (IK Multimedia) "Studio Natural" drumkit plays some syncopated high tom-tom and middle tom-tom beats every so often; and I did a bit of composing and arranging for the overall drumkit . . .

There was a bit of rapid syncopation in a few measures of the lead guitar melody, which sounded too awkward; so I smoothed it . . .

If this were a real musical group, then one way to explain these new changes is that the drummer is now playing melodically with the rhythm guitars and lead guitar melody; and the lead guitar player made a few awkwardly syncopated measures smooth to create some sonic space for the drummer and rhythm guitars . . .

The rhythm guitar players are happy; so they turned-up the volume on their Marshall stacks a tiny bit . . .

The overall structure of the song at present is two sections of measures; and I am pondering the idea of adding a slower tempo interlude between the two sections, mostly because I have been listening to a Metal radio station (iHeartRadio), and it appears that slow interludes are "popular" among the so-called "Youth of Today" . . .

The "Youth of Today" need to be encouraged vigorously, and slow interludes appear to be the ticket . . . :+1

"The world must be peopled."

("Much Ado About Nothing", William Shakespeare)


Surf.Whammy's Tip of the Day:

"Most of the 'peopling' occurs during musical interludes."

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
User avatar
by Surf.Whammy on Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:42 am
Let's focus on what I think is the practical reality of digital music production in the early-21st century . . . :)

THOUGHTS

For a while, years ago, what one might call "popular music groups" had just a handful of instruments and were recorded in real-time with a handful of microphones, which was fine in those days; but for practical purposes starting with the release of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (Beatles), everything changed in the "popular music" arena . . .

Recording technologies improved and expanded; and the focus shifted from recording musical groups in real-time to creating songs in layers, one instrument at a time, often with enhancements made by having the same instrument play something similar "on top" of what already was recorded . . .

The practical aspect is that this mapped to songs having a lot of tracks . . .

Until recently, this was only practical to do for top musical groups; since the recording and mixing equipment is very expensive . . .

However, over the past five or so years, it's now practical and affordable to do this in the digital music production universe; and everything is different . . .

Some of this started happening 10 years ago; but for the most part, it's a recent phenomenon . . .

QUESTION: Why does anyone need a lot of tracks?

ANSWER: Why not!

Sometimes, there are a lot of instruments and vocalists in a musical group; and this typically maps to having a lot of tracks; but when one focuses on arranging and producing, there are more reasons for having a lot of tracks . . .

For example, consider that for headphone listeners you want to add some motion-based effects in a very precise way where the motion is created and controlled primarily with music notation in NOTION 6 . . .

Consider what I call the "Rainbow Panning Arc" as it applies primarily to headphone listening . . .

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Using the technique that I call "Sparkling An Instrument", what originally was one staff of notes for an instrument is transformed into as many as eight staves where the individual notes are dispersed or spread across the eight staves to create motion . . .

The way this is done in NOTION 6 is that you set the panning for each of the eight staves to a specific location on the Rainbow Panning Arc, which is done in the NOTION 6 Mixer; and then you put specific notes on the particular staves that are panned where you want the notes to be heard . . .

I started doing this with NOTION 3, and over the years I have explored this technique in great detail . . .

This is a simple example of a Sparkled Psaltery Harp, and you can hear it best when you listen with studio quality headphones like the SONY MD-7506 (a personal favorite); and the notes for the Psaltery Harp are spread over eight staves, which takes about an hour or two, but is a nice motion effect that cannot be done easily and precisely any other way . . .

[NOTE: There is a sawtooth bass synthesizer, which remains constant at top-center . . . ]

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[NOTE: These are two measures of the music notation for the Sparkled Psaltery Harp. It takes a while, but it's very precise. The panning for the respective staves are set accordingly; and the panning is made all the more precise after it's recorded in the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) application. The motion pattern varies over the song; so it's not just this particular pattern repeated continuously . . . ]

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At the time, I knew about the "Panning Rule" (see the diagram, above), but there is more to it than just adjusting the relative volume levels at the different panning positions . . .

The simple explanation is that at top-center, you hear notes in both ears when listening with headphones; but at far-left and far-right, you only hear notes in one ear; so to keep the volume levels similar, you need to lower the volume levels for top-center but to increase the volume levels at far-left and far-right, which is what the "Panning Rule" explains visually for guidance purposes . . .

Top-Center, Far-Left, and Far-Right are easy locations for panning and controlling volume levels; but this is not the case for the panning locations between (a) Far-Left and Top-Center and (b) Top-Center and Far-Right . . .

Making it all the more difficult, instruments in NOTION 6 are stereo; and the problem is that while the NOTION 6 Mixer almost has true stereo panning controls, there are no separate volume controls for each channel of a stereo track . . .

You can correct this in Studio One Professional; but it's important to understand that it's something that needs to be corrected . . .

Strange as it might appear, ideally you want to work with raw monaural tracks when the goal is to have a bit of FUN with producing and mixing . . .

The problem with stereo sampled sounds is that someone else produced and mixed them, which includes applying spatial effects like reverberation (natural or otherwise) . . .

As the producer, you want to be the person who ruthlessly controls things like spatial effects (reverberation, phasing, flanging, echo, and so forth), volume levels, panning locations, and everything else; and this requires a bit of work when you are using stereo sampled sounds . . .

It's not difficult to do; but discovering that you need to do it takes a while--unless someone like me provides the necessary clues . . .

Consider that the musical group has five instruments (drumkit, bass, rhythm guitar, keyboard synthesizer, lead guitar) . . .

This is five tracks, if you do it the way it was done in the 1960s; although in the 1950s everything usually was on one track, including the vocalists . . .

Since you are doing the instruments virtually using stereo sampled sounds, this maps to five stereo tracks, each with two channels (Left, Right); so now you have 10 monaural tracks . . .

Now consider that you want to Sparkle part of the lead guitar solo or a few lead guitar phrases . . .

If you use 8 tracks to Sparkle some of the lead guitar phrases, now you have 13 stereo tracks (or 23 monaural tracks, where each channel is a monaural track) . . .

And then you decide to Sparkle some of the keyboard synthesizer phrases, which maps to another 8 stereo tracks and a new total of 21 stereo tracks (or 42 monaural tracks) . . .

After doing this, you decide to spread the drumkit over a set of stereo tracks, which is something I always do as part of "The Formula", where I like to have three tracks of kick drum; three tracks of snare drum rimshots; and pairs of tracks for cymbals, specific tom-toms, Latin percussion instruments, and so forth . . .

The more the merrier . . . :+1

Now you have added another 10 to 16 stereo tracks, for a total of 37 stereo tracks (or 74 monaural tracks); and this is just for what I call the "Basic Rhythm Section" . . .

As the song develops, you add more instruments and more tracks, perhaps Sparkling some of the newly added instruments; and then you start focusing on the singing, if there is singing . . .

If you thought doing instrument tracks was an elaborate activity involving a lot of tracks, then listen to the vocal producing on "Who Owns My Heart" (Miley Cyrus), where if you study the song diligently while listening with studio quality headphones, you will discover that there are hundreds of vocal tracks, overdubs, custom echoes, background singers, and lots of other vocal production effects and techniques . . .

This is a high-level panning map of "Who Owns My Heart", with emphasis on "high-level" . . .

[NOTE: "LV" is the acronym I use for "Lead Vocal" . . . ]

Image

[NOTE: This song was produced by Rock Mafia, hence the attribution at the start of the song . . . ]

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Nobody actually sounds like this in the real world; so it's a producing activity, and I call it "Making It Sound BIG or Larger Than Life" . . .

This is how the same songs sounds when performed live with at most minimal producing and effects . . .

[NOTE: Live sound reinforcement for Pop music performances nearly always is monaural and loud; so while it sounds a bit embarrassingly awkard as a recording, in the live performance in the concert hall, it was hot; but that's another aspect of the Gestalt. Miley Cyrus can sing, and it's easy to make her sound larger than life when you know how to produce vocals. The clue occurs at approximately 2:29 in the YouTube video when Miley kicks into high gear and sings fortissimo, although nobody beats David Bisbal on this. . . ]

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Now you know why producers of hit songs and skilled sound reinforcement audio engineers make a lot of money . . . :lol:

THINGS TO COME

If you recall from earlier posts in this topic, there is an upper limit to the number of AUi and VSTi virtual instruments that Studio One Professional can host without becoming overloaded; so we need a strategy when it's likely we will need perhaps 100 or 200 tracks for a song (or perhaps as many as 1,000 tracks) . . .

There is a practical way to do this; but it's advanced and requires a bit of explaining, which is the subject of the next few posts in this topic . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
User avatar
by Surf.Whammy on Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:40 pm
I added an Interlude to "Surf Zot" in a ReWire session with Studio One Professional as the ReWire host controller and NOTION 6 as the ReWire slave, using ReWire MIDI staves in the NOTION 6 score and AU and VSTI virtual instruments and effects plug-ins hosted in Studio One Professional, which is very easy to do. The YouTube video shows the music notation, but Studio One Professional is controlling the audio and the ReWire session. NOTON 6 provides the music notation and sends it to Studio One Professional via ReWire MIDI staves . . . :)

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THOUGHTS

I want to have a bit of FUN with echo units and spacetime in the Interlude, so this is the basic version of the Interlude . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
User avatar
by Surf.Whammy on Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:29 am
I did a bit of reading and watched a few YouTube videos on doing Automation in Studio One Professional and made sense of doing Automation on Inserts for Instrument Tracks . . . :)

Then I had a bit of FUN with Automating effects plug-ins during the Interlude section of "Surf Zot" . . .

[NOTE: I mixed this while listening to the calibrated, full-range studio monitor system here in the sound isolation studio but then did a bit of fine-tuning for headphone listening. The spacetime sonic landscape is designed primarily for headphone listening. SONY MDR-7506 headphones are my favorite headphones, because (a) they go subsonic and (b) they are nicely balanced tonally, which maps to being accurate . . . ]

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THOUGHTS

It wasn't abundantly clear at first that Inserts on Instrument Tracks could be automated; but after watching a few YouTube videos, I found one that provided the necessary information, which actually is very simple . . .

Automation is toggled ON/OFF by the Automation icon or by pressing the "a" key on the Mac keyboard . . .

There is a tiny rectangular button to the left of the vertical track color-bar for an Instrument Track in the track lane; and this expands the Automation lanes when there are Automation lanes . . .

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When Automation is ON, the selected Instrument Track will have a drop-down listbox that you will use to add or to remove Automation parameters for various effects plug-in Inserts on the Instrument Track . . .

[NOTE: You can see how expanded Automation lanes look in the YouTube video (see above) . . . ]

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When you select "Add/Remove . . .", a dialog box appears; and this is where you add or remove specific effects plug-in parameters . . .

[NOTE: I have the Automation mode set to "Read", since I prefer to edit the Automation parameters manually using the mouse. It's more precise when you do it this way, and it's easy to do gradual linear parameter changes, as well as ON/OFF parameter changes for parameters like "Bypass", which is one way you can control whether an effects plug-in Insert is ON or OFF . . . ]

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In this version of "Surf Zot", I automated the "Wet Level", "Wet Pan", and "Dry Pan" parameters of the FabFilter Software Instruments "Timeless 2" echo unit on the Lead Guitar; and I automated the "Bypass" parameter of the IK Multimedia T-RackS 5 "CSR Hall" reverberation unit that I added to the Inserts for the Lead Guitar, so the Lead Guitar will have obvious reverberation during the Interlude section, which is the only time the reverberation unit is ON, and is done by not bypassing it during the Interlude section, but bypassing it all the other times . . .

This version has the FabFilter Software Instruments "Saturn" mastering effect plug-in on the Master stereo output channel; and it's configured using the "Magic Mastering bM" factory preset, which is nice . . .

Image

SUMMARY

Once you do a bit of discovery, using Studio One Professional 3.5.6 Automation is easy; and it works nicely when you do it in a ReWire session with Studio One as the ReWire host controller and NOTION 6 as the ReWire slave providing the music notation and MIDI via ReWire MIDI staves to play the AUi (Mac) and VSTI (Mac and Windows) virtual instruments hosted in the Studio One song . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
User avatar
by Surf.Whammy on Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:43 pm
After doing a bit of reviewing, I noticed that I mentioned the way Charlie Watts (Rolling Stones) plays "isolated" snare drum rimshots in certain sections of songs that have hi-hats and snare drum rimshots, where the strategy is to play only snare drum rimshots rather than playing a hi-hat beat at the same time, which is not what he does when he is playing a ride cymbal, in which case he plays both the snare drum rimshots and ride cymbals simultaneously on the same beat . . . :)

So, I did a bit of editing on the drumkit notation for "Surf Zot" and did the "isolated" snare drum rimshot technique during the sections where there are both snare drum rimshots and hi-hats . . .

Until you notice it consciously, the Charlie Watts' "isolated" snare drum rimshot technique is a bit subtle; but it makes more space available in the sonic landscape for the other instruments and voices . . .

Additionally, I found a better ride cymbal in one of the MachFive 3 (MOTU) drumkits and now use it in the Interlude section in the middle of the song--but nowhere else . . .

While doing this, I smoothed the transition from the Verses to the Interlude and back to the Verses; and I did a bit of producing and mixing . . .

[NOTE: This is fine-tuned for headphone listening, but it started while listening to the song played through the calibrated, full-range studio monitor system here in the sound isolation studio . . . ]

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THOUGHTS

There now are 11 AUi (Mac only) and VSTi (Mac and Windows) virtual instruments hosted in the Studio One song, which along with the effects plug-ins is at the upper limit that Studio One Professional 3.5+ can handle on the Mac Pro here in the sound isolation studio . . .

Consequently, I am switching focus to defining the system for having a lot of virtual instruments, which is a key aspect of the the Studio One and NOTION "ReWire MIDI" strategy . . .

The plan is to record the audio generated by the Instrument Tracks to Audio Tracks and then to export the Audio Tracks as "stems" (or audio clips) . . .

Then I will create a new Studio One song and import the "stems", which then makes another 10 or so Instrument Tracks available, because the new Studio One song will start with only the imported "stems" . . .

I also will create a new NOTION score with 10 ReWire MIDI staves to use for additional instruments hosted on Studio One Instrument Tracks . . .

If this works--and I think it will--then it's similar to the system I have been using for years, which has a set of NOTION subscores with 10 or so staves per score that I use to create layers of instruments for a song . . .

The plan is to have 10 or 20 Studio One songs and 10 or 20 NOTION subscores, which with a bit of submixing Audio Tracks will map to the capability of having 100 to 200 instruments--including Realivox Blue (Realitone)--for a song; and I will do something similar for real instruments and real singing . . .

I need a lot of instrument and vocal tracks--mostly for "Sparkling" instruments and vocals--and when nearly everything is done by one person with a combination of virtual instruments, virtual voices (Realivox Blue), a few real instruments, and real voices, it has to be done in layers, which is fine with me . . .

In the 1960s, George Martin and the audio engineers at Abbey Road Studios devised a system that the Beatles used to record "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" on a few analog 4-track tape machines; so it's basically the same strategy--but using a set of virtual "10-track" digital recording "machines". . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
User avatar
by Surf.Whammy on Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:33 pm
I did a bit of reading and found two YouTube video tutorials that provided enough information for me to make sense of doing submixes and exporting audio clips (a.k.a., "stems") in Studio One Professional 3.5.6, which is the version I am using at present . . . :)

[NOTE: I do everything on the Mac, so instead of using WAVE format audio files, I use AIFF format audio files. I exported the audio as AIFF with 32-bit (float) resolution at 44.1-KHz sample rate. The reason for 32-bit (float) is that this probably is what Studio One uses internally, although it might be 64-bit (float). The general rule on this is that no matter what the resolution, bit-depth, and sample rate of the imported audio, the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) application will convert it to floating point for internal use. Technically, "resolution" and "bit-depth" are not the same things, but bit-depth determines resolution. The "bit-depth" is the number of binary bits, and "resolution" is the number of discrete values that can be represented over the range of analog values. A single sample is called a "lollipop" here in the sound isolation studio, and a "lollipop" has two parameters: (1) the time when it occurred and (2) its amplitude. Resolution refers to the number of discrete values in the possible range of amplitude values. The amplitude value is a number, so the greater the range of possible values, the more bits are required. When the bit-depth is 16 bits, there are 65,536 possible values. This is the bit-depth for standard CD quality, so it's the resolution of standard CD quality audio. . . :reading: ]

Digital audio IWikipedia)

Audio bit depth IWikipedia)

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[NOTE: This YouTube video explains busing in Studio One . . . ]

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THOUGHTS

Once I had the necessary information--which took about an hour to discover--I did submixes for each set of instruments, which is done via buses . . .

For example, to do the submix for the Drumkit, I selected the Drumkit tracks and then created a bus for the selected tracks, which as the second video (see above) explains is very easy to do in Studio One Professional . . .

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After doing submixes for the Drumkit, Bass, Rhythm Guitars, and Lead Guitars, I added an IK Multimedia T-RackS 5 "Brickwall Limiter" to the Insert for each bus . . .

The brickwall limiters ensure the audio does not clip when it's exported as stems . . .

[NOTE: I used "0dB" in the name of the custom, user-defined preset to indicate that the Input is not lowered or increased. The output of the brickwall limiter is set to "-0.1dB", which is the factory default output value for the T-RackS Brickwall Limiter . . . ]

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This is how the submix buses looked before I exported the audio for the buses . . .

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Then I saved everything and created a new Studio One ".song", to which I imported the four submix stems as files, and this adds them to the Studio One "Pool" for the song . . .

Next, I added two Instrument Tracks to the song to use for some Lead Guitar "Sparkling" . . .

[NOTE: The two "Sparkled" guitars have Automation for their respective Volume levels, which is the reason you see "Read" on these Instrument Tracks. The corresponding Audio Tracks are hidden, and they are not automated. At present, I prefer to do the effects plug-in work on the Instrument Tracks; so when I need to automate something, I do it on the Instrument Tracks. If I record some real instruments and singing, then the effects plug-in work and automation will be done on Audio Tracks, but the focus now is on Instrument Tracks . . . ]

Image

This new Studio One Professional ".song" is the second layer, where the previous iterations are the first layer; so now there are two high-level layers, each of which is a separate Studio One Professional ".song" . . .

I added two more ReWire MIDI staves to the existing NOTION 6 score, but I put them on ReWire Bus 2 to keep them separate from the 11 ReWire MIDI staves that are used with the first layer, which are on ReWire Bus 1 . . .

This way, I see all the music notation for both layers; but only the two, new ReWire MIDI staves are playing Instrument Tracks in the new Studio One Professional ".song" for the second layer . . .

This might appear to be vastly complex, but it's actually very easy to do and does not take a lot of time to do . . .

The Studio One Professional User Guide does not explain how to do all this stuff, but the two YouTube videos (see above) provide the practical information--which is fine with me, since user guides are not intended to be tutorials . . .

For reference, this is the first time I have done submixing and exporting stems in Studio One Professional; and it was easy to do . . .

I know how to do this in Digital Performer (MOTU), so it's not a new concept here in the sound isolation studio; but it works a bit differently in Studio One Professional and actually is very easy to do in Studio One Professional . . .

This is the YouTube video for the new version of "Surf Zot", and you can see the music notation for the two "Sparkled" guitars at the bottom of the screen. It's simple "Sparkling", so there are two guitars (one panned far-left, and one panned far-right) . . .

[NOTE: This was mixed first while listening to it played through the calibrated, full-range studio monitor system here in the sound isolation studio. Then I did some fine-tuning for headphone listening, so it's best enjoyed when listening with studio quality headphones . . . ]

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There probably are a lot of ways to do this stuff, but this way is simple and easy; so I like it . . .

I like the way the Studio One Professional Mixing Board sounds, and combined with (a) carefully selecting AUi and VSTi virtual instruments and their corresponding sampled sounds libraries and (b) knowing how to use AU and VST effects plug-ins, this maps to getting good levels and tone for everything when it's uploaded to YouTube and played, which at present is the goal . . .

I have a few songs that I use as "audio reference standards" to do comparisons, and one of my favorite songs for this purpose is "Blue Ain't Your Color" (Keith Urban), which according to me is Keith Urban's signature song . . .

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The current version of "Surf Zot" is sufficiently close that it's what I call "ballpark" . . .

There is a lot more producing and audio engineering in "Blue Ain't Your Color", but I can do that stuff a bit later . . .

In this version of "Surf Zot", I am not doing any "ducking", noise-gating, tone-sculpting, and instrument frequency range-partitioning, but so what . . .

These are producing and audio engineering activities, and I do them later in the development of songs . . .

SUMMARY

The "ReWire MIDI" strategy for creating songs in layers is working nicely, and it's easy to do . . .

I like the way the Studio One Professional Mixing Board sounds, which is excellent . . .

NOTIION 6 has plenty of headroom when there only are ReWire MIDI staves in the score, which also is excellent . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
User avatar
by Surf.Whammy on Tue May 01, 2018 9:22 am
I listened to "Surf Zot" over and over--which is something I always do when developing a song--and I identified a few measures in the Interlude where there was space in the sonic landscape for a pair of "flying" lead guitars, although at present they aren't actually flying but instead are bouncing around in a large concert hall reverberation universe . . . :)

The "flying" guitars are what typically are overdubbed embellishments rather than being something totally different . . .

The current concept is that "Surf Zot" is performed by a musical group with six instruments (drumkit, bass, two rhythm guitars, a lead guitar, and a harmony lead guitar) . . .

[NOTE: The music notation for the "flying" guitars is shown at the bottom of the screen, and they only appear in the Interlude section of the song . . . ]

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THOUGHTS

The NOTION 6 score now has 15 ReWire MIDI staves, and the additional instruments and first set of submixed instrument stems are in a new Studio One Professional 3.5.6 ".song", which in this version of "Surf Zot" has four Audio Tracks loaded with the submixed "stems" from the first Studio One ".song" and four new Instrument Tracks (two pairs of SampleTank 3 lead guitars) . . .

Image

This is very easy to do, and everything is done in ReWire sessions where Studio One is the ReWire host controller and NOTION 6 is the ReWire slave . . .

The NOTION 6 score only has ReWire MIDI staves . . .

The imported stems (submixed audio tracks from the first layer) and four Instrument Tracks are in the Studio One ".song" for the second layer . . .

On the Studio One side, each layer is a separate Studio One ".song" . . .

In this system for developing songs, NOTION 6 provides the music notation on ReWire MIDI staves and sends the resulting MIDI to Studio One to play the AUi and VSTi virtual instruments hosted in Studio One . . .

There are several important benefits of this strategy:

(1) NOTIION 6 is responsible only for music notation and ReWire MIDI staves, which keeps the work NOTION 6 needs to do as simple as possible, which maps to low overhead with respect to system resource usage . . .

(2) At most, each layer of the song in Studio One is responsible for a reasonable number of Audio Tracks and Instrument Tracks, as well as a reasonable number of AU and VST effects plug-ins, which is well within the system resource usage capabilities of Studio One . . .

(3) Since all the work is done in ReWire sessions, I have immediate access to the music notation and everything on the producing and mixing side with Studio One . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!

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