At this point in the semester i have completed 4 beats without vocals or mastering, 2 of the beats are all programmed sounds that come stock with garage band garage band such as synths, harps, and other random sounds, the other two are me playing guitar with programmed drums and sounds on top. I have created a file on the studio computer with 12 tracks (not including the finished songs) saved into the file, these tracks range anywhere from my first beat to a just 1 recorded baseline That might be used in the future. Each song includes there own dynamics that make each song different, the arrangement of my tracks are made to match the type of vocals i would have on each track, for example, one of my tracks was made to fit a rapper such as J.I.D who raps with fast melodic verses and not a lot of lyrical pauses, in order to do this i set my tempo very high and made my hats fast in some sections and slow in others for more vocal variety. For the guitar based projects it will be at a lot slower tempo and made for vocalists such as X or Lil Peep who on tracks like Spotlight and Before I Close My Eyes do lots of singing and slow more meaningful lyrics.
For my Final project the songs will not be mastered and will not have lyrics but you will be able to clearly see my improvement of my tracks and improved knowledge of garage band. For the future i am excited to learn more about outside plugins, mixing and mastering, and more dynamics in my tracks such as transitions, 808 slides. This will be my last blog but i am going to continue in my learning of producing and hopefully putting others or even my own vocals on my tracks.
Organization and Setup
Organization is not easy for me and it never has been, but I am slowly starting to get better especially when it comes to organizing for my final project in propel. When I first start a beat setting everything up before starting has become second nature and I have started doing it without even noticing. When I am setting up a workspace for my projects, examples include, naming the project, making sure I find a sound I like for the melody, finding a “vibe” or the type of song I want.
When it comes to organization, I make sure all my instruments have their own names, so it is easy for me or an outside viewer to see what everything is. Anytime I make even just a melody or a drum loop I still name the track and make sure it is put into my music file on the iMac. Other things I do to make sure I’m organized is a sheet with different EQ techniques and other settings for my 808`s depending on what kind of song I want, for example, if I want my song to sound like a Juice WRLD or X song then I follow one of my more chill 808 sounds but if I want a hard hitting ski mask type beat I will follow another set of settings.
Currently I am pretty happy with my progress, at the beginning of the year I definitely thought I would be further in my progress because of my little knowledge of producing but now that I have gotten used to garage band and it is getting a lot easier I can see that I have completed a lot of my goals and am ready to continue after propel. Although I am happy with what I’ve done, I also feel that there are some things I would’ve focused on more such as including more guitar. My focus when I started was that id have a unique sound with most of my beats being melodic guitar, but I found that throughout the semester I have mostly been focused on the drums less then the melody. In the future I am looking to improve my melodic guitar ideas and making sure that I find the sound I have been searching for this year.
Recently, most of the things that have been changed relating to my project are in my mind. When i started my project i knew i wanted to play guitar and i wanted to make beats, i knew how to play guitar but the making of beats was something i knew nothing about, growing up listening to older 50s- 90s music i had a good understanding of lyrics guitar and bass patterns but one thing i could never do was play the drums. Not knowing anything about drums has been a road block and something I am still working through to improve my beats, at the current stage I am in I have been able to hear all the little things in music (hip hop) that I had not been able to hear when i had started which has definitely improved my skills when making a beat. The key phases in my project include research, i have been working on this one a lot recently by watching a series called deconstructed which takes a look at big producers and songwriters and how they made there hit songs from scratch, My other phases include songwriting (melody, drums, basslines, etc), tracking, and mixing/mastering. In the next few weeks I plan to work on more researching and improving my melody’s and basslines, these are two things that I have not been able to come up with and I feel that I am at a writing block need to find a way to work through it.
To be one hundred percent honest at the beginning of my POC I thought id have a lot more done. Dont
get me wrong i knew it was gonna be hard but i thought with my music experience and garage band experience i thought learning to make hip hop beats would be easy. Last year i took a course on garage band called TMP and I know now that it was the biggest waste of a class, ever, we learned how to put youtube videos into an mp3 and then put them in garage band and also how to use basic loops installed i garage band. As you can see I am not over reacting (waste of a class) so when i started here i basically had to start from scratch. By the end of my POC i was happy with where i was but i really do believe if TMP taught me even i slight bit more id be at a more comfortable place in my music making skills. During my project i learned a lot! i learned how to EQ my tracks use and tune 808s which was something i struggles with before, im getting better at creating unique melody's and baselines, and also my guitar playing and riff creating has gotten better as ive learned differnt ways to incorporate the guitar. By the end of the year I should have a couple songs done whether they are instrumentals or full singles. Another very important thing is that the songs easily allow the the listener to hear that there are rock, hip hop, and a basic guitar influence to the tracks. Im extremely excited to see where all this takes me and find out exactly what my project looks like by the end of the year.
I came to propel expecting a space to work on my passions which is true in many ways but I am slowly starting to see what propel actually is. In the three weeks I have been in propel its made me realize that not everything is going to be perfect, in fact, nothing is. Recently I have started to see that propel isn’t just about making something with your passions its about learning about your passions. Example, Mr. Hansen and Mr. Patrician are not going to expect me to sit down and make a beat because, I’ve never made one before but i can learn and that is what this programs all about. Id like to sit here and write that propel is perfect for me and i like everything but unfortunately that is not the case, but that is OK. Things that i like about propel include the fact that there is a lot of room for collaboration which is great as there are some pretty amazing and talented people that i would love to work with that have not only helped me with my projects but they have also helped with life outside of school. Another thing i like about the program are the teachers, although they may get mad at me because I am extremely bad at handing things in on time, they are very easy to talk to and give great feedback which is something I really need and have been looking for a long time. Now, propel is great but id be lying if i said i do not dislike anything, one of these things include that i have to write a lot I know right big deal, but the fact is i like to express my ideas through the music I play and writing isn’t exactly one of my strong skills. The concept of the POC is that you can prove that you can accomplish what you want to do for your project in propel for example my project or POC is going to be a couple songs even if its just a melody that I have worked on to show my progress on garage band. I am extremely excited to spend the next couple months working on this and more, and also building more relationships here.