Sunday, September 30, 2012

An Inside Look At Midi Sequencing And Production

If you feel that you need a creative challenge, and you're interested in music and music production, you may want to check out MIDI sequencing and the latest technologies and products associated with it.

What's so special about MIDI production? Well, one unique aspect is that technology has evolved so much, that you can actually use the same software as famous Grammy-winning artists, without paying a fortune for it. This is not like toying with a small drum kit in your basement; you'll get access to the same technology as pros, and you can test your limits to the maximum. Who knows, maybe you'll even come up with the next number one hit in the process, but, until then, you'll definitely have a lot of fun with all the new and exciting features.

If you're just starting out with MIDI production, you may want to take a course first. Almost all suppliers provide extensive tutorials and manuals for their products; but it may be a good idea to enroll in a short training course, just to make sure you understand all the options.

A typical such course in MIDI production may take anything from one day to a week, and will explain the basics. Previous knowledge in music production may be an advantage, but don't worry if you know nothing about the topic, as you'll catch up quickly. This is a good opportunity to figure out whether this hobby is right for you or not, before actually investing in equipment and software. Plus, you will get a general overview of unique features and individual capabilities of each application, so that you can make a better informed purchase decision in the end.

The fee for the training in MIDI sequencing will probably be around $500, maybe even less, depending on your location and the number of training companies available in your area. In order to make the most of it, try to find a course that includes practical activities, so you have a chance to play around and make some mistakes of your own in the process.

Also, there will probably be one or two introductory sessions about music theory in general and the basics of MIDI sequencing, so, if you're already familiar with these concepts, you may want to skip ahead and save some time.

When it comes to actually purchasing the DAW, make sure you understand what you're paying for, and shop around for the best option. The most common mistake among the beginners is to look for the very best audio quality. Of course, all producers claim they offer the very best, and the reality is that the race is so tight, the quality varies very little - pretty much to the point that it cannot be distinguished by the human ear.

So, with audio quality taken out of the equation, you can select your product based on how comfortable you feel with it, how compatible it is with the equipment you own, and, of course, the price. Enjoy the experiment, and remember - louder is always, always better.

Friday, September 14, 2012

3 Double Bass Drum Techniques For Improved Speed And Power

Over the years, bass drumming has gone through many stages. Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich amazed the masses with their hand speed, but little attention was paid to their kick foot. Jazz drummers like Ed Shaughnessy began using double bass drum set ups in the 40's and 50's and rock drummers like Ginger Baker, Keith Moon and Carmine Appice made the double bass drum setup popular.

The creation of the "slave pedal" allowed drummers to have 2 beaters hitting one bass drum, allowing for smaller setups without sacrificing the double bass ability. The use of the double bass is predominant in heavy metal, death metal and punk music. There are 3 predominant playing styles for the bass drum pedal.

The first is the "heel-toe" technique. The technique allows a drummer to play two strokes in a single motion. It consists of two parts. First, the foot is suspended above the footboard of the pedal and the first of the two notes is played with the ball of the foot. Then, the foot snaps forward, the heel comes up and the toes complete the second stroke. This technique allows for rudiments to be played with the feet, as well as increased speed.

The second is the slide technique, in which the pedal is struck around the middle area with the ball of the foot. As the drum produces a sound, the toe is slid up the pedal. After the first stroke, the pedal will naturally bounce back, hit the toe as it slides upwards, and rebound for a second strike.

Of course, many drummers like simply using the flat foot technique, which simply applies the majority of the foot to the pedal, and only the heel is elevated slightly off the pedal. This method utilizes more muscle groups than either of the other 2 methods. It also relies more on repetition and less on "technique".

The great thing about double bass drumming and the various techniques is that there is no right answer and no wrong answer. It is all about personal preference. If you tallied up the most amazing drummers in the world, you would be able to find each technique in use. What works for one drummer doesn't always work for another drummer - this led to all of these inventions and techniques being created.