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Sometimes It Snows In April / Talented New Member...Must Listen!

I met @Gravitas on the Time Bounce thread. Listening to his music (many different genres) I wanted to introduce him to you all. Composer, singer, instrumentalist, arranger, producer and iOS fan, Gravitas brings originality and style to our community. Just wanted to share his music with the forum. He deserves a listen and a warm welcome.

Comments

  • So, a new take on the Prince classic, eh? Welcome, @Gravitas. One of my favorite Prince tunes and enjoyed listening to your slant on it.

  • @lukesleepwalker

    I introduced Prince's music to quite
    a few of my friends so it had to be done.

    Thanks for listening dude and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  • Forum Reader's

    The artist has 4-5 distinct musical styles in SoundCloud and without exception they are all
    excellent. Well beyond the usual SoundCloud production levels for recording quality, mixing and most of all (for me) musical skills. A lot of live instrument recording I think.

    We have a lot to learn here for anyone hoping to use IOS to simulate traditional recording studio production.

    As a drummer the "african drumming" soundcloud exmaple I listened to was really exciting with beats structures that are unpredictable and beautiful polyrhythmic interplay of drums.

    I hope @gravitas hangs with us and shares some of his workflow and production secrets.

    Here's the list he provided of his musical genres:

    Live band stuff, groove based

    www.soundcloud.com/mdbch1

    Film soundtrack stuff

    www.soundcloud.com/MDBCinematique

    Percussion based stuff/ I studied with the master drummers of Africa as part of my journey

    www.soundcloud.com/MDBBeatingDrm

    Vocal stuff

    www.soundcloud.com/Moderndayblue

  • @McD

    I was typing on the other thread.

    Dude.

    Respect.

    Squirrel.

    Yeah, happily so.

    I really like this platform.

    Thank you for making me feel welcome.

    :smile:

  • Lovely piece of music :-)

  • A song formerly sounding like Prince.
    More listens are in order.

  • @audio_DT
    @McD

    Prince was and still is an inspiration.
    I changed some of the lyrics to suit the moment,
    I recorded this a couple of days after he passed away.

    Thank you for listening.

  • I'd love to hear about the process of making this track:

    products used
    software used
    steps to create the project
    mastering/mixdown details

  • @McD

    With pleasure.

    I'll write it up over the next couple of days.

  • The Process

    I mentioned it before that I had introduced Prince's music to many of my friends,
    it came as a great shock to us all when he passed away so young.
    A couple of them were rather distraught to say the least and understandably so.

    There is a tradition amongst the blues musicians and in many respects
    in quite a few cultures where you honour the passing of a musician
    by singing their praises so to speak so I decided to record
    this song in honour of Prince and for my friends.

    I cleared my schedule and set aside the time.
    I called up the chord sheet as I don't read music notation
    and began the basis for the recording.

    The part of me that is the jazz musician took the chords and started to add
    to the harmonically structure, alongside this I started warming up my vocals.
    I created a little percussion loop and started practicing the chords.

    Once I had found my comfort zone for my vocals I recorded the piano.

    For vocals

    I almost always use my TL Audio 5051 MK i valve preamp
    and for this track it was no exception.

    The microphone was my SE2200a which I had acquired
    when a friend of mine was clearing out his studio.

    It's a good combination.

    To be continued...

  • I haven’t heard the original but you have a great voice.
    When you put some air behind it and let it fly, well we all wish we could sing like that.
    Great work.

  • @Gravitas said:
    The Process

    I mentioned it before that I had introduced Prince's music to many of my friends,
    it came as a great shock to us all when he passed away so young.
    A couple of them were rather distraught to say the least and understandably so.

    There is a tradition amongst the blues musicians and in many respects
    in quite a few cultures where you honour the passing of a musician
    by singing their praises so to speak so I decided to record
    this song in honour of Prince and for my friends.

    I cleared my schedule and set aside the time.
    I called up the chord sheet as I don't read music notation
    and began the basis for the recording.

    The part of me that is the jazz musician took the chords and started to add
    to the harmonically structure, alongside this I started warming up my vocals.
    I created a little percussion loop and started practicing the chords.

    Once I had found my comfort zone for my vocals I recorded the piano.

    For vocals

    I almost always use my TL Audio 5051 MK i valve preamp
    and for this track it was no exception.

    The microphone was my SE2200a which I had acquired
    when a friend of mine was clearing out his studio.

    It's a good combination.

    To be continued...

    Awesome. Using chord sheets is a powerful way to re-create existing "songs".
    I have a singing daughter that took this path into the world of creating music.
    It was also my approach. I can learn from piano notation but only by mastering 1-2 bars a day. My wife used this approach to learn Moonlight Sonata over a period of 6 months after
    a performing pianist showed her how to slow the music down and comparing each bar to a recording. Like the reverse process of "transcribing".

    I have a nephew that's an Akai Force (now) style PAD focused DJ. Yet another path into
    music production.

    Your process is very close to what I see as the target of my path... learn every instrument required. Buy equipment rivaling the best studios of the 60's. Build a project as a layering of performances. My most recent purchases involve drum pads to have more organic drum and percussion tracks and not need loops of Drum Machines at all.

    I'll be excited to see this type of disclosure over months and the creation of new works
    using more of the "cool beans" tools discussed here. If "cool beans" doesn't mean what I hope it does check out the YouTube Channel of @thesoundtestroom.

    For other musicians using a lot of your techniques check out and maybe PM @richardyot
    and the master keyboardist @linearlineman. I know @linearlineman is very active in reaching out to new members and sharing his knowledge.

  • @McD

    Thanks for the comments dude.

    When I first started on drums the bands I played
    with didn't use chord charts at all as they
    were mainly funk, rock and electronica and we were all self taught.
    There were very, very few music courses in the U.K
    back then so everything was learnt by ear.
    We were almost a

    It was only when I reached the jazz bands playing bass that I discovered that
    the chord charts made it easier to learn the structure and original key
    if I didn't have the recorded song to hand and I was about to play.

    For this song, I know it very well so reading the chords for me
    was a way of being able to make this version mine own.

    I changed some of the chords as I went along.

    The chords in this piece are slightly different from the original.

    Yeah, I know the soundtestroom.

    Definitely in regards to building my own music room.

    I've worked in big studios so I know the sound.

    @LinearLineman is really cool.

  • @Gravitas said:
    @McD

    Thanks for the comments dude.

    When I first started on drums the bands I played
    with didn't use chord charts at all as they
    were mainly funk, rock and electronica and we were all self taught.
    There were very, very few music courses in the U.K
    back then so everything was learnt by ear.
    We were almost a

    It was only when I reached the jazz bands playing bass that I discovered that
    the chord charts made it easier to learn the structure and original key
    if I didn't have the recorded song to hand and I was about to play.

    For this song, I know it very well so reading the chords for me
    was a way of being able to make this version mine own.

    I changed some of the chords as I went along.

    The chords in this piece are slightly different from the original.

    Yeah, I know the soundtestroom.

    Definitely in regards to building my own music room.

    I've worked in big studios so I know the sound.

    @LinearLineman is really cool.

    I can only approach music through scales and chords. I asked @linearlineman what the chord progression is for one of his projects and he wrote back "I have no idea". His musical brian is "post-song form". He explains his path to this level by saying pick a melody and sing it. Play in on the keyboard. Starting seeing what additional notes seem to work with that melody. Keep reworking from that melody for 5-15 minutes every day. After a few weeks... pick another melody. These melodies become your repetiore. He never mentions drilling chord changes but maybe that comes in a later stage or you discover chord as in the process of weeks of really listening to what you play. Not sure. It's almost a mystical meditation process that throws out all the theory and focus on creating.

  • @McD

    I had to go through the chord charts for accuracy and even
    then the chords starting changing whilst I was playing them.

    I totally get LinearLineman when he says ,'I have no idea'.

    For most of my cinematique stuff I made sure that I played the parts
    in using midi so that I could get some one to transcribe them later on
    for a human orchestra, other than that once the moment is past
    I almost totally forget what I've been playing and I need to learn the part myself.

    I don't do chord drills.

    For this track it was necessary to start of from the original at the very least.

    When it comes to writing my own material, it just happens.

  • @Ben said:
    I haven’t heard the original but you have a great voice.
    When you put some air behind it and let it fly, well we all wish we could sing like that.
    Great work.

    Thank you for the compliment.

    It took awhile to achieve the confidence to be able to sing.

    I practiced.

    If you can sing the notes you can play them for the most part,
    after that change the sound to words.

  • @McD, I actually did a ton of chord work, but, as usual, Connie’s approach was very different. Around the second lesson she gave me a sheet of paper filled with numbers. 135, 1235, 1356, 17, 137, 1357, etc. Then 251, 2561, ,2569, etc, then 351 3561, 3571, 369, 3569, etc, then chords beginning with 5, then 6, then 7. Play these chords thru all twelve keys she says. I do. And I do, and I do, and I do, for years. Many different sheets! Minor, Dom7, diminished... you get the idea. It was equally training my hands in different shapes as hearing the sound. Now when I play I often just shape and reshape my hands. Cool, huh?

  • @LinearLineman

    That's an awesome work out for the hands.

    Good advice.

    I'll try it over the coming months.

  • @LinearLineman said:
    @McD, I actually did a ton of chord work, but, as usual, Connie’s approach was very different. Around the second lesson she gave me a sheet of paper filled with numbers. 135, 1235, 1356, 17, 137, 1357, etc. Then 251, 2561, ,2569, etc, then 351 3561, 3571, 369, 3569, etc, then chords beginning with 5, then 6, then 7. Play these chords thru all twelve keys she says. I do. And I do, and I do, and I do, for years. Many different sheets! Minor, Dom7, diminished... you get the idea. It was equally training my hands in different shapes as hearing the sound. Now when I play I often just shape and reshape my hands. Cool, huh?

    Cool method... absolutely cool! Isn’t this a bit like playing guitar, like it’s a trillion ways to make the same chord, but it’s all just reshaping of your hand position...

  • @LinearLineman said:
    @McD, I actually did a ton of chord work, but, as usual, Connie’s approach was very different. Around the second lesson she gave me a sheet of paper filled with numbers. 135, 1235, 1356, 17, 137, 1357, etc. Then 251, 2561, ,2569, etc, then 351 3561, 3571, 369, 3569, etc, then chords beginning with 5, then 6, then 7. Play these chords thru all twelve keys she says. I do. And I do, and I do, and I do, for years. Many different sheets! Minor, Dom7, diminished... you get the idea. It was equally training my hands in different shapes as hearing the sound. Now when I play I often just shape and reshape my hands. Cool, huh?

    Interesting. There was a book about learning Jazz piano called "The Way of the Hand" which probably would make a lot of sense to you. It didn't show me much but I was already fixed in my thinking my studying music theory and how you can drill scales, progressions and use harmonic substitutions like Bill Evans so I didn't see the relevance of hand training.

    I suppose taking a hand position and changing one finger would teach me how to make chords progress without analyzing the chords invoked but hearing the sound that are created. I hear everything as intentional patterns and without catching intention I tune out as that music is without logic.

    I think I'm finally ready to go from sound to muscle memory (hand forms) and skip the theory involved.

    I'll try the list of scale tones you list here. Do you like to move them through specific scales or using circles of 5th's and/or 4th's to get through all 12 keys?

    I saw a cool video recently where a young pianist recommended move the major 7th up the major scale to create interesting jazz progressions. I had never heard of that one.

    My pentatonic playing on guitar is starting to become "rote" and making that leap beyond theory. I drilled penatonics up and down the neck and after several years it's unconscious now to play something
    approaching the blues. So, I can at least get an inkling of how you approach the instrument.

    I suppose if I could stop judging myself I could just play and slowly discover better ideas but right now I just hear wrong notes because I can't play what I'm "hearing in my head" yet. The best advice I've heard is "slow down" and just back up and find the note you intended. Then "errors" will start to become fewer with more practice connecting thought to resulting sounds. I just need to stop playing so hard I damage my hands. Going loosely would help that too. I'm just a drummer and want everything to sound like something I'd dance to.

  • @Kühl said:
    Cool method... absolutely cool! Isn’t this a bit like playing guitar, like it’s a trillion ways to make the same chord, but it’s all just reshaping of your hand position...

    Yes. It's like taking the ideas of movable shapes to the piano with one caveat:

    C major 7 and F major 7 are identical shapes
    D major 7 and E major 7 and A major 7 are identical shapes
    C# major 7 and D# major 7 G# major 7 are identical shapes
    ... etc

    the "neck" or topology of the keyboard is irregular but doesn't have a few recurring shapes.
    Learning all your keys involves the specific shapes relevant for that key. Pianists tend to favor
    some keys over others. The greats can just transpose between keys based upon knowing the tune
    analytically. I was trying to get there but was too lazy (or actually interested in so many areas) that
    I just didn't do the work.

    I took detours through:
    mathematics
    physics
    engineering
    electronics
    computer hardware design
    software engineering
    operating systems design
    software applications programming in 20 languages
    computer networking and networking protocols
    ... etc.

    Now I'm back to music and would like to do some of the work. Just the fun parts.

    NOTE: To many starving musicians. Pick a job that pays well if you're not making good money with music.

    For me it was computer engineering that gave me the income to buy the instruments I coveted.
    I'm sure plumbing would have worked just as well or selling high margin products (like real estate).

    Making money from music is as much luck as it is talent. I also couldn't be trusted to work around alcohol so there's that small detail in my change of careers. I was getting paid to drink. I got really good at it. Too good. Free shots...

  • 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾🔥🔥🔥

  • Making money from music is as much luck as it is talent. I also couldn't be trusted to work around alcohol so there's that small detail in my change of careers. I was getting paid to drink. I got really good at it. Too good. Free shots.

    When the gig money barely covers your expenses and you’re effectively being paid in drink vouchers. We’ve all been there 😂

  • @McD said:

    @Kühl said:
    Cool method... absolutely cool! Isn’t this a bit like playing guitar, like it’s a trillion ways to make the same chord, but it’s all just reshaping of your hand position...

    Yes. It's like taking the ideas of movable shapes to the piano with one caveat:

    C major 7 and F major 7 are identical shapes
    D major 7 and E major 7 and A major 7 are identical shapes
    C# major 7 and D# major 7 G# major 7 are identical shapes
    ... etc

    the "neck" or topology of the keyboard is irregular but doesn't have a few recurring shapes.
    Learning all your keys involves the specific shapes relevant for that key. Pianists tend to favor
    some keys over others. The greats can just transpose between keys based upon knowing the tune
    analytically. I was trying to get there but was too lazy (or actually interested in so many areas) that
    I just didn't do the work.

    I took detours through:
    mathematics
    physics
    engineering
    electronics
    computer hardware design
    software engineering
    operating systems design
    software applications programming in 20 languages
    computer networking and networking protocols
    ... etc.

    Now I'm back to music and would like to do some of the work. Just the fun parts.

    NOTE: To many starving musicians. Pick a job that pays well if you're not making good money with music.

    For me it was computer engineering that gave me the income to buy the instruments I coveted.
    I'm sure plumbing would have worked just as well or selling high margin products (like real estate).

    Making money from music is as much luck as it is talent. I also couldn't be trusted to work around alcohol so there's that small detail in my change of careers. I was getting paid to drink. I got really good at it. Too good. Free shots...

    Very interesting. I worked 8 years as a travelling DJ, and with my earlier lust for alcohol, I had to make the hard choice of no drinking or illegal smoking at work. I actually stopped drinking altogether after 5 years as a DJ, and I haven’t been drunk since.
    The thing you see when being sober around drunk people, is that chronic drunkenness not encompasses any bright future.
    The 70s version of myself would have kicked my ass now :smiley:

    Guitar neck & piano keys have the differences that you just outlined in brilliant fashion.
    As I think of it, I love to play in E flat major on the piano. Actually, personally I find it easier to transpose on piano than guitar, even as a guitarist. There are some things on the guitar that can’t be played in other keys, or it would sound totally different in other keys, and than there is tuning (and capo’s).

    I have my electric classical guitar in for new setup now. I have a friend who’s an expert. He has played with James Burton (Elvis’s guitarist) and Burton was here in October on a visit in my friends studio :smile: Cool dude indeed. I picked up a few rockabilly licks that I liked. However... I haven’t been able to play for about 5 years now, so I wanted to try with lower action. It fit my fingers beautifully, and after a few weeks of total darkness in my head, I couldn’t remember anything, my Motorik Memory kicked in and suddenly I played through the first prelude of Villa-Lobos like I had the score before me. Now I’m in full restoration mode :)

  • @Kühl said:
    I have my electric classical guitar in for new setup now. I have a friend who’s an expert. He has played with James Burton (Elvis’s guitarist) and Burton was here in October on a visit in my friends studio :smile: Cool dude indeed. I picked up a few rockabilly licks that I liked. However... I haven’t been able to play for about 5 years now, so I wanted to try with lower action. It fit my fingers beautifully, and after a few weeks of total darkness in my head, I couldn’t remember anything, my Motorik Memory kicked in and suddenly I played through the first prelude of Villa-Lobos like I had the score before me. Now I’m in full restoration mode :)

    This good news. I like your guitar playing in addition to your composed music.

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