Doing things to music for fun. Now profit. How ambition doth poison all.

Cranky Rabbit's Blog

Devdiary: A little bit of progress on SEAR

(SEAR (A-D-C-A) is one of the tracks on my ballyhooed Body to Soul project, and this diary is an attempt to pump myself up to finish it this year.)

I've downloaded a free sampler called Grace, which has been a godsend for little ol' me. I can't afford the full Ableton yet. I don't need it yet either. My producer-fu is still a bit weak.

Anyway, the big thing about Grace is that it allows you to use multiple samples, as opposed to Ableton's Simpler, which merely squashes or stretches a sample to change pitch. The important thing is to disable the preview, otherwise adjusting sample maps can get flaky.

So far I'm using two packs from Samples From Mars: SID From Mars and Soviet Synths From Mars. Making the maps is a drudge, but it should pay dividends in the long run with a distinctive sound. (SID From Mars gives a nice chiptune feel to things and reminds me of when I'd happily sit in front of the Commodore 64 listening to music in demos or such.)

I also have a load of bass/melody loops from somewhere. And last night, while faffing around with the possibility of a second lead line, I found a MIDI that, once repitched, made a nice change from the more repetitious variations of A-D-C-A I had earlier. This is good, since I tend to song map as follows:

  • Open up the root folder of my music collection.
  • Roll a random number.
  • If it's a folder, open it, then repeat #2; else import into the project and apply markers.

SEAR ended up with Xavier Cugat's Tea for Two, which has things changing slightly every eight bars. Not exactly riveting! I stretched each 'verse' out to double the length, to pass the 4-minute minimum length.

With this new MIDI clip, as well as an accompanying one that would work great for a bridge or build-up, SEAR might actually get its song map filled out. Which is an important step.

Just need to song map SOAR, SOUR and SOUL next.

Body To Soul sculpture, Wellington, by Mary Louise-Browne 1996


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Paraparaumu Beach
New Zealand
Phone: +64 27 281 0935
Email: dj@crankyrabbit.nz