Wednesday, December 22, 2021


Insistence is another track that seeks to unite my electronic and instrumental music processes into one sound. For years, I used to think of my electronic music as a fun side project that didn't have much to do with my guitar playing. Sure, there was some overlap, but I had very much separated the two musical approaches. That started to change in my Music Technology class, where some of the assignments forced me to combine MIDI and audio tracks in one project. Since then, my electronic production and guitar playing have converged, and this track is a good example.

Another idea that I thought about as I worked on this track was the role of the drumset in my music. It's extremely easy to program up a cool sounding drum beat with generic fills, play some guitar over it, and stop there. Of course, rock beats have their place. I'm a guitar player, there's no way I'm going to ever give up my beloved rock-n-roll backbeat. However, the drumset can do more. Writing the drums with the other parts in mind opens up a new world of possibilities. When the guitar solo comes in, though, it's all rock-n-roll.

I started this track off in LMMS to write the synths parts, so that I could then export the MIDI into MuseScore to write the drum parts. Nearly all of the synth parts were doubled on guitar, and on this track I mostly used my Epiphone Les Paul standard. I also used the default MuseScore piano sound to fill out the track. As I work on creating a cohesive blend of multiple styles of music, I've found that doubling parts between live instruments, programmed synths, and even a touch of generic MIDI piano all blend to create that sound I wanted. It's not a synth backing track with a genre-blind guitar solo on top anymore. It's a track written from the ground up with all of the physical musical instruments and electronic plugins contributing their strengths in service of a whole. These principles have guided my experimentation over this past year, and I think it's been the most exciting part of making music for me lately.

To summarize:
  1. The synths were programmed first in LMMS, including melodies, harmonies, and a bassline.
  2. Drums were written in MuseScore with the MIDI output from LMMS as a reference, so that the drum part could compliment the synth parts as best as possible.
  3. At the same time, the MIDI piano from MuseScore was exported so I could mix it in for color.
  4. The synth parts were doubled on guitar, with a few lead parts added as my ear guided me. 
  5. Guitar solo out, because improvisation is another great way to make music come alive.

No comments:

Post a Comment