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  1. #101
    Member Koreabruce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    Hey Bruce, good to see you on this thread sharing your music with us.

    I just listened to And I Wonder on Bandcamp and think it's so peaceful and beautiful. I love the blending of the Native American flute with guitar and strings.
    When I have more time I'll check out some more of the songs..great work you've done here and the artwork on Autumn Muse reminds me a bit of a Moody Blues cover, specifically something from Justin or John Lodge.
    Sincere thanks! That cover artwork is a crop of a work called Rocky Mountain Landscape (1870) by American landscape painter Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902). I thought it made a perfect album cover. So interesting that the cover reminded you of the Moody Blues. They happen to be a HUGE influence on my music!

  2. #102
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    Thank you Bob for your kind comments! I've always favored music with a more organic feel to it, so whenever possible, I try to incorporate acoustic instruments. I've played guitar since 1975, so I do okay on acoustic rhythm. Of course, the flute parts also have to be recorded that way. Plus, all the drums were originally recorded acoustically.

    Software keys can be made to sound a lot more organic these days. I'm curious as to which programs you use. I use mostly G-Force/G-Media and IK Multimedia stuff along with lots of freeware.

  3. #103
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    Very pleasant stuff Bruce! I really like the acoustic instrumentation, all-digital productions sometimes feel very claustrophobic to me, but not your stuff. Will listen more when I have time.

  4. #104
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    Bruce.
    Checked out Spirits Afire, The Door to Autumn and Never Fear so far. There's an animalistic vocalization to the flute at times because your vibrato is so strong and the notes are so rich, which really appeals to me. Sounds almost like something not quite human singing. Interesting instrument.

  5. #105
    Quote Originally Posted by Dean Watson View Post
    I'd like to give a nod to Reaper as well. I suffered with protools and it's processor hogging. Many dropouts, low rez, low track counts, just a pain overall. Then I discovered Reaper - what a revelation! OMG. Everything just works. Period. I paid $60 for it - that was after playing the full version for free for a few weeks. It truly is amazing. My last recording - Track Of Days - was recorded entirely in Reaper on a Dell Laptop ( i7 8 gig ) with a Steinberg UR22MkII external soundcard. I recorded it in 24/96 which I could NEVER do in PT. Plus, they're updating Reaper all the time - like weekly sometimes - so they really care about the product. Not to necessarily flaunt my stuff, but if you check out my latest CD - you can hear what a laptop and Reaper and a $250 soundcard can sound like - even the mastering was done on my laptop - you can listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hou_jv2X7uw.
    Seconded. Reaper is the primary tool in our studio as well, although we use lots of different methods depending on the context. It ties everything together well and reliably. The main reason it's a good hub for us is that it integrates well with other things; plugins (both AU and VST), as well as our outboard gear and more exotic things (ADAT, yada yada). It's also cross platform, so we can use it in our networked environment with Macs and PCs, laptops, etc. It's even compact enough (i'm a programmer, so i'll try not to gush) that it can be installed on a thumbdrive. Take your DAW and sessions with you anyone? Yeah, it's a pretty damn cool program.

    If you need a kickass piece of software - regularly updated and pretty much always bug free - i recommend it as well. The free version will work perfectly fine, actually, if you just want to try it. But it's well worth the $60 - $225 versions, if simply to pay these amazing programmers
    And the code is a play, a play is a song, a song is a film, a film is a dance...

  6. #106
    Member Koreabruce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polypet View Post
    Seconded. Reaper is the primary tool in our studio as well, although we use lots of different methods depending on the context. It ties everything together well and reliably. The main reason it's a good hub for us is that it integrates well with other things; plugins (both AU and VST), as well as our outboard gear and more exotic things (ADAT, yada yada). It's also cross platform, so we can use it in our networked environment with Macs and PCs, laptops, etc. It's even compact enough (i'm a programmer, so i'll try not to gush) that it can be installed on a thumbdrive. Take your DAW and sessions with you anyone? Yeah, it's a pretty damn cool program.

    If you need a kickass piece of software - regularly updated and pretty much always bug free - i recommend it as well. The free version will work perfectly fine, actually, if you just want to try it. But it's well worth the $60 - $225 versions, if simply to pay these amazing programmers
    Another REAPER user here! I only ever scratch the surface with this DAW's potential, but I find it straightforward and intuitive to operate.

  7. #107
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    I'm using the Ableton Live Lite 10 that came with my keyboard. It's limited to 8 tracks but so far I've been able to make do with that and it was free. Still learning a lot each time I use it.
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  8. #108
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    Iím just now starting with a DAW - Sonar/Cakewalk and audio interface - Focurite Scarlet 4i4. The DAW is unrecognizable from the last time I dabbled with it nearly 20 years ago. The features and controls are massive, this product has evolved for 30 years and it feels like it will take me months to even become proficient with the basics considering the little time I have to spend on it: I need at this stage, perhaps more time practicing musicianship and playing and writing than fiddling with controls. The options an permutations for a single track are daunting! On top of that, this will be my first exposure to MIDI. Damn it, I should have started this long ago.

    I donít know if I should take the time now and compare DAWs or not - that seems a lot of work and Iím a lazy bastard. I could see giving Reaper a try but not sure it can do anything Cakewalk cannot. On the other hand Ableton does seem a bit different having very sophisticated sequencing capabilities. This is my impression anyway. Itís also my impression that it would be hard to find a major DAW these days that isnít feature-rich and sophisticated in its capabilities, and that the biggest differences ultimately may be the layouts/interfaces/workflows rather than what can be produced.

    Please disagree and set me straight if need be. I am really a total novice at this point. Maybe some of you can relate to this angst of time and working on musicianship vs. writing vs. production? Perhaps it is just my own whining and narcissism? First-world problems and all that...

  9. #109
    Member Koreabruce's Avatar
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    No, you are correct. Modern DAWs have incredible capabilities. It's now all about the "tyranny of choices," i.e. there are just too damn many!
    I do advise you that whichever DAW you settle on, make that your one and only platform, and then dive in! Don't be afraid to ask questions here. We've all dealt with the process of finding our way around new software, so all questions related to this are valid and welcome!

  10. #110
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    Here's another one just mastered today. These are all done on Cakewalk with thanks from all who have given me advice over the years regarding how to use it! I'm too old to learn a new piece of software!

    Last edited by Guitarplyrjvb; 01-25-2020 at 02:30 PM.

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buddhabreath View Post
    I’m just now starting with a DAW - Sonar/Cakewalk and audio interface - Focurite Scarlet 4i4. The DAW is unrecognizable from the last time I dabbled with it nearly 20 years ago. The features and controls are massive, this product has evolved for 30 years and it feels like it will take me months to even become proficient with the basics considering the little time I have to spend on it: I need at this stage, perhaps more time practicing musicianship and playing and writing than fiddling with controls. The options an permutations for a single track are daunting! On top of that, this will be my first exposure to MIDI. Damn it, I should have started this long ago.

    I don’t know if I should take the time now and compare DAWs or not - that seems a lot of work and I’m a lazy bastard. I could see giving Reaper a try but not sure it can do anything Cakewalk cannot. On the other hand Ableton does seem a bit different having very sophisticated sequencing capabilities. This is my impression anyway. It’s also my impression that it would be hard to find a major DAW these days that isn’t feature-rich and sophisticated in its capabilities, and that the biggest differences ultimately may be the layouts/interfaces/workflows rather than what can be produced.

    Please disagree and set me straight if need be. I am really a total novice at this point. Maybe some of you can relate to this angst of time and working on musicianship vs. writing vs. production? Perhaps it is just my own whining and narcissism? First-world problems and all that...
    Hey Bill, I wanted to suggest to you after listening to some of the songs you recently did with Spire, that since you're just getting back into the creative thing, it might be best to use Spire for awhile and enjoy the freedom away from technology and just write and record new material.
    The music I've listened to that you've done with Spire has a nice organic feel and sound to it. Very free flowing and feels like this is where you're at, at this time of your life. On a song like Don't Let Me Wake Up, you feel comfortable and the recording sounds great.
    I think you're already seeing the limitations of Spire(don't try to do too much), which is probably a good thing to not get bogged down learning new software at this time.

    As Koreabruce wrote, we've all been there and it can be overwhelming when trying to figure out the DAW thing. We'll be here to help, just start a separate thread with questions and we'll work with you.

    Meanwhile please keep recording and writing with Spire, I'm loving what I'm hearing from you.
    Soundcloud page: Open Window, musical meanderings https://soundcloud.com/precipice Bandcamp: https://richardhermans.bandcamp.com

  12. #112
    Member Top Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarplyrjvb View Post
    Here's another one just mastered today. These are all done on Cakewalk with thanks from all who have given me advice over the years regarding how to use it! I'm too old to learn a new piece of software!

    https://soundcloud.com/guitarplyrjvb...t-want-to-know
    Love this..guitar playing and tone have a great throwback sound, and your vocal harmonies are excellent!

    Just curious what drum software are you using? fits in quite nicely with the song.
    Soundcloud page: Open Window, musical meanderings https://soundcloud.com/precipice Bandcamp: https://richardhermans.bandcamp.com

  13. #113
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    Bob that is a really great, polished track. Excellent guitar. Overall it has a sort of Dukes of Stratosphere (vocals) / Jellyfish kind of vibe to it to me. Inspiration for me to learn Cakewalk.

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    Hey Bill, I wanted to suggest to you after listening to some of the songs you recently did with Spire, that since you're just getting back into the creative thing, it might be best to use Spire for awhile and enjoy the freedom away from technology and just write and record new material.
    The music I've listened to that you've done with Spire has a nice organic feel and sound to it. Very free flowing and feels like this is where you're at, at this time of your life. On a song like Don't Let Me Wake Up, you feel comfortable and the recording sounds great.
    I think you're already seeing the limitations of Spire(don't try to do too much), which is probably a good thing to not get bogged down learning new software at this time.

    As Koreabruce wrote, we've all been there and it can be overwhelming when trying to figure out the DAW thing. We'll be here to help, just start a separate thread with questions and we'll work with you.

    Meanwhile please keep recording and writing with Spire, I'm loving what I'm hearing from you.
    That’s sounds like good advice, maybe a way to keep things going while I get up to speed on using a DAW. Unfortunately I’m out of commission, threw out my back somehow, and can’t even sit up straight, intense pain if I move an inch so you may not hear from me for a while. I’m laying here now trying to summon up the courage to make it to the bathroom...

  15. #115
    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    Love this..guitar playing and tone have a great throwback sound, and your vocal harmonies are excellent!

    Just curious what drum software are you using? fits in quite nicely with the song.
    Thanks, Richard. The drum software is VSampler through Cakewalk using Pink Noise’s drum samples. I “play” them on the keyboard. I think it was you who encouraged me to upgrade to Sonar 8. I did and, boy do they cram a lot of bells and whistles into that thing. I learn something new every time I use it. One thing that is distracting is that successive MIDI takes are not muted so when you play them back, they’re all muddled together. Each has to be deleted or muted manually. The audio engine, though, appears to be more robust and sounds better than older Cakewalk versions.


  16. #116
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    Listened to a couple of your tracks TopCat. Don’t say no has a beautiful Beatlesqe melody. Legends has some great synth sounds and atmosphere. Sort of like latter period Genesis meets Grace Under Pressure Rush. You have a very nice singing voice , too!

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarplyrjvb View Post
    Listened to a couple of your tracks TopCat. Don’t say no has a beautiful Beatlesqe melody. Legends has some great synth sounds and atmosphere. Sort of like latter period Genesis meets Grace Under Pressure Rush. You have a very nice singing voice , too!
    Thank you so much for listening and your positive comments.
    Don't Say No is my most recent recording, however the keyboard melody driving the song is about a year or more old. I would often hum the melody when I listened although I had no lyrics and then added other tracks once I had the lyrics down.
    It seems no matter how hard I try to not write something POP like, it still comes out that way for some reason. lol
    I've resigned myself I'll never write that great epic prog song and accept who I am as an artist and just write songs the way I like and feel.
    That's one of the things I liked about your song, it is was it is, no pretenses and it's a very good pop song. So good in fact, I had the chorus with the harmonies going in my head later this morning.

    Legends is an old song from the late 1980's. It was my first song recorded on my then new TASCAM Porta ONE 4 track Cassette deck. At the time my main keyboard was a Casio CT6000 which had bass and drum patterns included in it. The synth sounds were from my first synthesizer, a Casio CZ101.

    Thanks again for your kind comments, I appreciate them a lot.
    Soundcloud page: Open Window, musical meanderings https://soundcloud.com/precipice Bandcamp: https://richardhermans.bandcamp.com

  18. #118
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    I had a Porta One years ago. When that thing came out, it was a miracle machine!

  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buddhabreath View Post
    That’s sounds like good advice, maybe a way to keep things going while I get up to speed on using a DAW. Unfortunately I’m out of commission, threw out my back somehow, and can’t even sit up straight, intense pain if I move an inch so you may not hear from me for a while. I’m laying here now trying to summon up the courage to make it to the bathroom...
    Sorry to hear about that..keep me posted ok?
    Soundcloud page: Open Window, musical meanderings https://soundcloud.com/precipice Bandcamp: https://richardhermans.bandcamp.com

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarplyrjvb View Post
    I had a Porta One years ago. When that thing came out, it was a miracle machine!
    Yep, I loved that thing. Previously I was using 2 cheap Sanyo cassette decks with a $30 Realistic 4 channel mixer and I'd play my 2 tracks through it and play live through the mixer and record them to the 2nd machine.
    I remember spending my 3 day Memorial weekend mixing Legends on it and after about 20 different mixes wound up keeping one of the first 3. "ain't that the way it is!".
    Soundcloud page: Open Window, musical meanderings https://soundcloud.com/precipice Bandcamp: https://richardhermans.bandcamp.com

  21. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarplyrjvb View Post
    Here's another one just mastered today. These are all done on Cakewalk with thanks from all who have given me advice over the years regarding how to use it! I'm too old to learn a new piece of software!

    https://soundcloud.com/guitarplyrjvb...t-want-to-know
    Love the energy.
    I continue to attempt working on using a slide, and then I don't.

  22. #122
    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
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    ^^ Thanks guys!

  23. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by frinspar View Post
    I continue to attempt working on using a slide, and then I don't.
    Matt, one way to make slide playing a little easier is to play in Open G (D G D G B D). You can get all the major 3rds (2nd and 3rd strings) minor 3rds (1st and 2nd strings) and perfect 4ths (3rd and 4th strings) by just playing straight across two strings. Playing without a pick so you can mute unwanted strings helps a lot, too. Also, you’ve got to adjust your target a bit to get the proper intonation. You have to place the slide right on top of the fret rather then just behind. You don’t have to be perfect, though! Therein lies the grease!

    Sorry if I’m being pedantic and you know this already!

  24. #124
    Member BobM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarplyrjvb View Post
    Here's another one just mastered today. These are all done on Cakewalk with thanks from all who have given me advice over the years regarding how to use it! I'm too old to learn a new piece of software!

    https://soundcloud.com/guitarplyrjvb...t-want-to-know
    Nice track indeed. I wish I could sing like that. Well produced and I love the ending.
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  25. #125
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    ^^ Thanks for the kind words, and Merry Christmas!

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