Aug 28, 2009 New compositions
Mi Fortuna is the title of my new track. I’m not sure what it means, but I don’t think it’s dirty. I downloaded a sample CD and on it someone kept saying “mi fortuna” (I think) and I incorporated that sound clip into my song. It’s got four more samples from that CD, all vocals, so this track has been an opportunity for me to learn how to use samples, using Ableton’s wonderful Sampler application.
So let’s get down to it:
The track can be down loaded from http://paintings.name/sub/media/audio/mi-fortuna-hi.mp3.
By NO means use your lap top (even if it’s a “home theater” or something) or mobile phone to play this music.
As you can hear, Mi Fortuna is quite different from Compostion One, my previous track. Mi Fortuna is much simpler harmonically, because from the outset I used the track to test my marvelous new drum software, Toontrack’s EZdrummer. With the drum part adequately taking care of the rhythm, I tend to write a rhythmically simple bass part, which then leads to simple harmonics, because that’s how my way of writing counterpoint works. Now thanks to EZdrummer I’m finally beginning to understand drums as an instrument. It really determines the character of a song. For instance, of the four different drum kits I used, one sounds big (the rock/pop kit) and one sounds tight, the Claustrophobia kit, such named because it was recorded in a small room, with no reverb. Even though I put a lot of reverb on Claustrophobia’s snare drum, all parts of Mi Fortuna that use Claustrophobia still have that low-oxygen feel to them. The two kits combine excellently, because the pop/rock kit spurs the music on and Claustrophobia puts the breaks on.
EZdrummer also made me realize how important Charly Watts has been for the sound of the Rolling Stones, because I always thought that he was some kind of musical shoulder padding and that Jagger/Richard were doing all the hard stuff. Now I know that a drummer can really leave his imprint on a band’s sound.
Putting Mi Fortuna together has been tremendous fun (and ball breaking hard work) and for a bedroom production I don’t think it’s too shabby.
The only thing that limits me down now are the vocals. I’m down with the drums, but adding vocal samples to a piece of music is like a collage, because you’re creatively limited to someone else’s idea. I tested Yamaha’s Vocaloid 1, which is something like a singing robot. You enter the text and the notes and the software will sing it. The idea may sound silly, but after a second try I was able to get encouraging results. The difference with a real voice is clearly audible, but still, it does the same thing to a piece of music that a real voice does. Which shows that music is all about association.
Kudos to Yamaha, as no electronic task seems too daunting or (seemingly) farfetched for Japanese engineers.