After Troika I wanted to create a faster song and I also wanted to play around with some dubstep although I had doubts whether I could really make that sound happen (so far I haven't followed any particular musical genres) and to be honest I wanted to get back to the 4/4 time signature as well. The song Dubitation is the result. I named it after dub and picked a name that also includes the meaning 'doubt' since I wasn't sure if it was going to really had a dubstep sound in it. In this track I programmed my own drum sounds and included something similar to a 2 step tutorial I found online and made up my own dubstep and dance grooves.
After a long hiatus I decided to create some more music on my computer. I purchased the latest version of Cubase Pro (4 versions had been released since I last used it) and starting playing around on the keyboard. For some reason I had a hard time figuring how fast or slow to play the melody I created until I figured out I had the track in Cubase playing using a quadruple (4/4) time signature and what I was playing on the keyboard was a triple (3/4) time signature. Once I updated Cubase to reflect that the melody fit perfectly. I had never done a song with a triple time signature before (I do mostly EDM music and that is typically using a quadruple time signature) so I had fun playing around with it. The resulting song is called Troika after a carriage that is drawn by three horses. I found the name fitting because of the triple time signature.
When I made the movie of our Ocean City 2012 vacation the movie ended up being 8 minutes long. I had no songs that were that long so I created an extended version of Myriad for that movie.
All the songs prior to this one were made with my old Dell laptop which wasn't all that powerful. When I added more than a four or five tracks to a song it started to run into trouble. For example when I played back the song it would at times make mostly static noise and you could barely hear the music. This is the first song that I made after I purchased my new MacBook Pro and is the first that uses more than a handful of tracks, it uses twelve of them. The new laptop makes making music much easier! I named the song Myriad because of that (myriad means 'a high number').
When I wrote this song I was mostly done reading the Dance Music Manual by Rick Snoman. One
of the chapters described Trance music. Butterfield was my attempt to follow some of the
things Rick describes in that chapter. It was also my first attempt to play around with
automation in Cubase where I had it automatically adjust settings in some of the effects
that were used. The drums were hand-written for this songs versus using some of the loops in
Nexus as I did in Monoceros. I found using the loops very limiting. You can either play the
loop, or you can't. You can't start with a basic drum and then slowly add instruments, which
was what I did in Butterfield by hand writing (or really hand-clicking in the Cubase drum
editor) each drum and hi-hat hit. The song was named after one of the sounds that I used in
One of the goals I had with making my own music was to create my own soundtracks for the
movies I make of my children. Whenever I put a regular commercial song as the soundtrack
(which I have done for a number of movies) I cannot upload that movie to YouTube because of
copyright issues, which I think is quite frustrating. I do have a few free songs I use with
the movies, but I won't really want to repeat the same song in movie after movie. You can
also purchase songs the way a TV station buys them, but they are quite expensive for a home
movie. The Science Center song was my first sound track and it was (surprise surprise) used
in a movie that I made of the kids in the Science Center.
I started working on Monoceros right after my Christmas vacation and I wanted to create
something with Chrismas bells in it, but to my dismay, I did not have any sounds that
sounded like the regular Christmas bells. I started to play around with a sound that kind of
sounded like a bell and the song evolved from there. I also started using some of the drum
loops that came in Nexus for this song. One of the sounds in the song was called 'Unicorn'.
When I had to pick a name for the song, I googled for "Unicorn Bells" and found an article
about the Monoceros constellation describing it as "There's a unicorn in outer space that
holds a rose and a star that rings like a bell".
Late December I bought Nexus 2 which is rompler library (which basically has a bunch of
sounds in it) because I found myself very limited with the sounds that came with Cubase and
I did not have a synthesizer yet to create my own sounds, just a regular keyboard. Of course
after having bought it, I had to try it out. A number of sounds in this track come from
Pacifica is the second song I created. This was purely created by playing around in Cubase.
I actually don't remember what prompted me to pick that name for the song.
After reading a Music Theory For Computer Musicians by Michael Hewitt, the Getting Started
guide for Cubase and installing Cubase it was time to practice. This is the first song I
created. I started out with trying to reproduce the drum line from an existing song but I
was not able to get it quite right. Instead of trying harder to get it to work, I started
playing around with adding extra tracks and slowly the song evolved. It was originally
called First Song, but after deciding that naming all my songs First Song, Second Song,
Third Song etc wouldn't really work. Since it has an eery kind of sound in it, I named it