A new Digital Work Station (DAW) called Ableton 10 Live; a new computer; the addition of dozens of new Virtual Instruments (VSTs) including a fantastic symphony collection based on the performance of the BBC Orchestra recorded at the famous AIR studios built by George Martin – and a lot of spare time due to social distancing – has resulted in a flood of musical ideas that have been sitting on my hard drive waiting to come to life.
The point of this experiment was to stay from my guitar collection and learn more about the piano while trying to improve my keyboard skills. I’m not a great pianist but with the help of MIDI editing tools, I can get by.
BBC One – My first RECORDING using the BBC Orchestra symphonic collection.
Tick Tock – Love those vocal samples and the drums programmed with the classic MT Drum kit.
Getaway – Need a theme song for a car chase?
London Symphony – Inspired by a recent trip to London and a collection of sound samples taken of the London Underground. Almost all of the percussion on this track is based on recordings made in the subway system.
No Strings Attached – It may sound like a guitar, but it’s not.
Sounds Like The 80’s – Think “Stranger Things” which is immersed in 80s nostalgia and flooded with analog synth sounds.
Whatever – this song was recorded in a little over 2 hours, the main riff the result of setting up my Strat after changing the strings. Yes, there is one track on here of an actual guitar, but the rest of the production is midi based. There is another version with my granddaughter adding some vocals here.
Kijiji People – Short and sweet. Inspired by one line of a vocal sampled across the keyboard.
Oakwood House – A new theme for a short horror film shot in Super 8mm in the early 70’s in Oakbank, Manitoba. The original super 8mm film has been remastered and color corrected and a new soundtrack added using sound effects and samples from the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
The Old Upright #1 – I love funky old pianos that are slightly out of tune and have wonky acoustics. With electronics, that can be hard to recreate until I found this great sample of an old upright.
Unmoored – This song was started on BandLab (a great free online music site) and then developed further in Ableton Live. Listen for the ukulele breaks and the harpsichord near the end.
Tiny Steps – Giant Steps was John Coltrane’s amazingly complex first song on his 1959 jazz album. Featuring over a dozen unique and complex chords, soloists talk about it as one of the hardest songs to play in Jazz. I took the dozen chords, wrote the names down on individual scraps of paper and randomly picked them out of a hat. I then scored the main theme with the resulting mix of chords and wrote a melody. Thanks, John.
For Jeff – The Jeff in the title is the producer and writer Jeff Lynn. A huge influence. He is, as they say in Britain, brilliant.
Midieval – Sounds vaguely Midieval … and hey! There’s the word MIDI hidden in there. How could I resist?
John Wayne – Been watching a lot of John Wayne movies lately and the key instruments on this track are two guitars. Rio Bravo is still my favorite.
Wasteworld – Coming Soon! Inspired by the third season of Westworld.