Adding some magic to GarageBand songwriting
Posted 25 April 2008 - 06:51 PM
I play guitar and don't plan on learning to play drums or keyboards. I know other people that play those instruments very well. I also don't know why it would be better for me to play a drums on a keyboard than to use a loop played by a real drummer.
I don't think this is something we will find common ground on, but thanks for commenting.
Posted 25 April 2008 - 06:52 PM
With respect to your jamming along to Magic Garageband to keep up your chops, that's great. I don't take any issue with that sort of use at all, and can readily agree with your assessment of the benefits of doing so. Having a virtual band jamming while you go to town on your instrument is not at all what I am decrying. After all, in doing so, you are demonstrating that you can play and are interested in getting better at doing so.
Posted 25 April 2008 - 07:04 PM
I use the loops only to get my ideas out -- that's it. When I put the song together, I do so with a full live band consisting of a drummer, bass, guitar and vocalist.
They also get input into their parts of the song. So please, PLEASE tell me why I would learn to play the drums when I have a perfectly good drummer to play that part for me!!
Posted 25 April 2008 - 07:04 PM
Tools are good things.
By the way, I'd take the second doctor you mentioned, but I would hope he kept up with the available technology and used whatever tools available to further the craft, even if they weren't live bodies...
Posted 25 April 2008 - 07:28 PM
Nor did I mean to suggest anything regarding how/when/where/why you use loops. Using loops in the manner you indicate puts us on the same side of the argument, in practical terms, anyhow.
Just a question!
Also, I didn't mean to imply that you should learn to play the drums, though in reading my post again, I can see how it came off that way. What I really meant to say, in my own inimitable long winded fashion, was that playing the parts for yourself ("yourself" in general, not specifically just you) is a more productive way to really hear what your imagination is trying to say to you.
Posted 25 April 2008 - 07:35 PM
That's exactly my point. I DON'T rely on my instruments to reproduce anything for me. I compose and play every single part myself. My synths may have been pricey, but any of the bells and whistles that would have them "play for me" go utterly unused.
Tools are VERY good things. Much of my student loans were spent on tools... to my own chagrin years later.
If by learning to play myself you meant the actual acoustic instruments, well, I'm afraid that would be incredibly pricey. The majority of what I compose is orchestral. A quality instrument from any family in the orchestra would cost more than my house. Anyway, no composer in all history played every instrument in the orchestra!
Posted 25 April 2008 - 08:03 PM
This same mindset occurred in the art field in the 90's. We had the purists and the techie artist wannabe's butting heads. The real artists with vision caught the fact that computers were just a new, more productive medium, that could further their creative experience. Eventually in music this will happen and already has started with Mac (yet again) leading the way with more accessible and creative freedom centered products. macmusicmaker, look for the benefits and expand your thinking to realize this could be a real tool to reach more people with music. The traditional music arena has suffered great loss in numbers over the last decade,(especially in school aged students), and this trend is only worsening. So instead of becoming a musical hermit and hiding from this technology, be a banner waver and gather as many students to yourself as you can with the draw that Garageband has with young kids.
Posted 26 April 2008 - 08:47 AM
While I agree with those who point out that real musicians can and do use anything that helps them in their work, I also agree with macmusicmaker that one result of having programs like GarageBand is that they make it so easy for people with no talent to assault the ears of the world with their so-called music. The same could be said of the amazing advances in digital graphics and photography that make it so easy for almost anyone to create "art." Right. It IS sad to see the aesthetic sensibilities of society at large corrupted by an onslaught of works by clueless amateurs in every creative field. But then, that's life!
Posted 26 April 2008 - 09:23 AM
I guess if you can't devote hours to practice and training, and if you can't find or hire musicians to record every single part, you have no right to want to make your own music, even on the simplest level. Music creation is a rarefied act to be enjoyed only by those with impeccable chops and training. The rest of you just shut up and press Play.
Jim Heid, Senior Contributor
Posted 26 April 2008 - 11:01 AM
Actually, I pretty much agree with everything you said; I'm not sure if you caught my original few posts, but once more (and last time, sorry, but I'm not going to repeat myself in quadruplicate), I DO use and highly respect Garageband. And technology. And tools and toys to help us grow. And I do use it (in fact, require it) in my Intro to Sound Recording course.
You're dead on about the state of music in school aged students; I don't teach young kids, however. I teach in a college music program wherein, as is the norm for college music schools, prospective students need to have a background and pass an audition to enter the program. I don't need to wave any banners for them; music has already "grabbed" 'em. If, however, I taught in the public school system, especially at the grade school and middle school levels, I absolutely would wave the banner. And I'd use ANYTHING reasonable to get their attention and excite them about music, including loops, magic garageband, etc. But once their attention is caught, it would definitely be time to upgrade their participation to something more physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding than stringing loops together, though I wouldn't cut off their access to those things.
Posted 26 April 2008 - 04:44 PM
I use drum loops all the time while recording in GarageBand, and I'm a professional musician (my band is how I make my living). I find a loop that fits the overall feel of the song I am recording and lay the basic guitar track down to the loop. I then record bass and maybe more guitars, and finally I record a real drum track while playing to the loop (it's much easier than the built in metronome, which isn't very loud). After that, I delete the drum loop, and there you have it- a totally organic recording that I played all the actual instruments on while still utilizing loops. All Jim is trying to say here (from my impression) is that using Magic Garageband can be a fast way to vent the creativity you are feeling at that particular moment without having to build it track by track from the ground up.
I don't quite understand your high and mighty attitude, bragging about how musically proficient you are and how you own "multiple thousand dollar synths". This article is not about how one way is better another way, and you come in here saying that the mentioned method is wrong and your way is better. I'm sure your way works great for you, as mine does for me, and this article simply states another way to try doing things.