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Staffpad Sketches

McDMcD
edited November 2021 in Creations

My mental prompt for this sketch was a Newscast theme or to be more current... a PodCast Theme to establish a sense of gravitas and something impending:

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Comments

  • Had a war/ western feel too. Though with the mallets it did sound like a news cast intro. I really like the horns with the dissonant chords in the way they build the tension.

  • For this sketch I thought of a Koi Pond. I pulled the rendered audio file into AUM and added extra spacey reverb and Magic Death Eye Stereo:

  • @mjcouche said:
    Had a war/ western feel too. Though with the mallets it did sound like a news cast intro. I really like the horns with the dissonant chords in the way they build the tension.

    Thanks... unlike AUv3's you can use the same high quality instrument many times without DSP/CPU concerns and build tones clusters like that. Good to know and probably useful in other ways. This app scales effectively in ways that my IOS DAWs don't.

  • I enjoyed listening to both, but Koi Pond was my favorite. Beautiful melody and arrangement.

  • I like koi pond. The balance between the ostinato and the flutes is much better at the end.

  • McDMcD
    edited November 2021

    This is inspired by a TV show that has prominent piano… This demonstrates the default piano in Staffpad. It's not bad. A bit muddy in the bass.

  • I like the last one. Especially when the strings come in. All three good stuff @McD

  • These are your best.

  • @LinearLineman said:
    These are your best.

    I shared all the recent Staffpad work with my wife and got some useful feedback on which
    ones deserve to be further developed. Her main comment was that everything is drenched in mystery. I can hear that... I aim for the mysterious but I need more variety in the catalog.

    I threw in a few AUM creations to see what she'd like and the improved drums and baselines worked since she loves to dance... but the synth ramblings turned her off.

  • edited November 2021

    @McD said:
    This is inspired by a TV show that has prominent piano… This demonstrates the default piano in Staffpad. It's not bad. A bit muddy in the bass.

    My guess on the TV show is Tales from the Loop? Very Philip Glass-like.

    I liked all of these. Sounds are very good. Are these all from the stock sounds in StaffPad?

  • @McD.All very good indeed. Really enjoyed the second and third one. @McM.Walk to School from Tales from the Loop is a favorite.

  • McDMcD
    edited November 2021

    @McM said:

    @McD said:
    This is inspired by a TV show that has prominent piano… This demonstrates the default piano in Staffpad. It's not bad. A bit muddy in the bass.

    My guess on the TV show is Tales from the Loop? Very Philip Glass-like.

    I liked all of these. Sounds are very good. Are these all from the stock sounds in StaffPad?

    Thanks... I make a very conscious effort NOT to emulate the music that inspires me. But something like the instrumentation or the use of rhythms or time signature will be my starting point.

    But I will seek out Tales From The Loop to help fire me up to make something compelling.
    These pieces are like art class sketches and are full of mistakes but they are helping me
    master a pretty complicated app that requires every little detail to be input by hand. I'm trying to use cut and paste and transposition to allow for whole sections to be re-copied from one section or instrument to another to reduce the burden of the laborious hand editing. Importing MIDI from something like Piano Motifs is another way to quickly build an arrangement that sound better than most random input of notes.

    Everything I'm doing in staffpad could easily be applied to a piano roll editor which is something I have never had the patience for. But now I can see that
    hand editing is a great way to make something you can hear and then start fixing like a sculptor pulls a finish work out of a block of marble with a million small decisions that start without a lot care but end with tiny polishing movements. Sculpting with clay is probably a better metaphor since no decision is fixed and final... everything is subject to being re-visited.

  • @hypnopad said:
    @McD.All very good indeed. Really enjoyed the second and third one. @McM.Walk to School from Tales from the Loop is a favorite.

    Hey... how are you doing? Did Covid kill off your income stream or did you find ways to
    keep being creative and productive.

  • @hypnopad said:
    @McD.All very good indeed. Really enjoyed the second and third one. @McM.Walk to School from Tales from the Loop is a favorite.

    Yes! Love that theme. I think I liked the music more than the show :)

  • edited November 2021

    @McD said:

    @hypnopad said:
    @McD.All very good indeed. Really enjoyed the second and third one. @McM.Walk to School from Tales from the Loop is a favorite.

    Hey... how are you doing? Did Covid kill off your income stream or did you find ways to
    keep being creative and productive.

    I’m doing ok these days. I had a bit of drop off in my job income and also in my creative output but both have since rebounded. I’m not doing much online stuff these days. My main source of inspiration these days are exploring new max for live devices and listening to new ambient releases on Bandcamp.
    How about you? How have external forces affected your creativity?

  • @hypnopad said:

    @McD said:

    @hypnopad said:
    @McD.All very good indeed. Really enjoyed the second and third one. @McM.Walk to School from Tales from the Loop is a favorite.

    Hey... how are you doing? Did Covid kill off your income stream or did you find ways to
    keep being creative and productive.

    I’m doing ok these days. I had a bit of drop off in my job income and also in my creative output but both have since rebounded. I’m not doing much online stuff these days. My main source of inspiration these days are exploring new max for live devices and listening to new ambient releases on Bandcamp.
    How about you? How have external forces affected your creativity?

    Got hit with a family illness that has made me a fulltime caregiver but things are starting to
    stabilize and I'm re-engaging with the iPad.

  • @McD said:
    My mental prompt for this sketch was a Newscast theme or to be more current... a PodCast Theme to establish a sense of gravitas and something impending:

    Something I like to do to sharpen my skills is to challenge myself to create a song that communicates a feeling in 15 or 30 or 60 seconds. Crafting a piece that has purpose and a very short time frame to get the message across helps me really focus a piece.

    We could have some fun challenges here to compose brief musical pieces (with or without vocals) and built around a theme.

  • heshes
    edited November 2021

    @McD Not sure, possible you're piquing my interest to pick up Staffpad if it goes on sale around Thanksgiving. But I was looking at a different forum where some users were complaining about delays in using Staffpad with lower-power iPads, upgrading to M1's to get better performance. What iPad do you use Staffpad with, and do you have any comments on smoothness of user experience?

  • @NeuM said:

    @McD said:
    My mental prompt for this sketch was a Newscast theme or to be more current... a PodCast Theme to establish a sense of gravitas and something impending:

    Something I like to do to sharpen my skills is to challenge myself to create a song that communicates a feeling in 15 or 30 or 60 seconds. Crafting a piece that has purpose and a very short time frame to get the message across helps me really focus a piece.

    We could have some fun challenges here to compose brief musical pieces (with or without vocals) and built around a theme.

    Good idea... should I (or you) start a thread with a specific prompt so it's not tied to the use of Staffpad? Something like "Creative Challenge on a Theme: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (60 seconds max)"

  • McDMcD
    edited November 2021

    It wasn't that the default Piano is muddy... it's that I was writing a muddy Piano part.

    I think I cleaned that up with less plodding chords: adding more movement and clarity.

  • Your StaffPad usage has turned your creativity around.

  • @McD said:
    It wasn't that the default Piano is muddy... it's that I was writing a muddy Piano part.

    I think I cleaned that up with less plodding chords: adding more movement and clarity.

    I like Version 1 better :)
    One thing...the piano sound too distant compared to the strings. Maybe less reverb on piano or more reverb on the strings.

  • McDMcD
    edited November 2021

    @McM said:
    I like Version 1 better :)
    One thing...the piano sound too distant compared to the strings. Maybe less reverb on piano or more reverb on the strings.

    Thanks.

    I'll re-visit the reverb settings.

    It's the only FX offered to the Staffpad user.
    FYI: It's a Cello that enters in the 2nd half. I have 3 potential Cellos I can audition... the default, Cinesamples String Soloists and the one I'm using "Tina Guy Cello".

    EDIT: I checked and the difference in mix isn't enough to make me re-visit the mix and upload again. Maybe it's the monitors involved but they sound pretty similar to me and the changes in made in the piano part are definitely an improvement for my tastes. I didn't know how to isolate multiple "voices" in a piano arrangement so one voce plays a whole note while a second part adds 8th notes over a fixed bass note. Every sketch reveals a new app feature for me.

    I'll move on to making yet another sketch but I appreciate that fact that someone listened and had an opinion between 2 versions. In the words of the immortal Ricky Nelson...

    But it's all right now, I learned my lesson well.
    You see, ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself

    Or Billy Joel...

    Do what's good for you
    Or you're not good for anybody
    James

  • OK. I have been itching to merge a Staffpad instrument with an AUv3 Drumming app.
    I picked up the Eastern Drummer bundle and added Mid East Drummer and Indian Drummer sync'ed together at 120 BPM and a Staffpad violin with some heavy AUv3 processing using Perforator and Fabfilter Timeless.

    Not great but a useful exercise.

  • Another merged sketch at 80 BPM using this scale:

    C Db E F G Ab b C

    I'm sure it has a name... but I don't know it off the top of my head.

    More strings and no mangling this time.

  • Is it right that the StaffPad stock library doesn‘t have no Vibrato-Articulation?

  • @Schimanski said:
    Is it right that the StaffPad stock library doesn‘t have no Vibrato-Articulation?

    I suspect it's the opposite... none of the parts play vibrato but you may be thinking of a more airy
    string open harmonic sound. Vibrato's are somewhat rare in sampled libraries with the exception of Tina Guo's Cello which seems to add vibrato a lot to sound expressive. The default library falls short of implementing most articulations. You can get a few by being very accurate with note lengths versus
    just writing staccato below a part that has that articulation implemented.

    https://forum.audiob.us/uploads/editor/qr/bqqlyemo7p1j.png

    You really have to dig through resources to discover what articulations are covered and which are not.
    Trial and error is also possible. In general the default library does NOT have a ton of articulation while the expensive add ons tend to have them.

    There's are Youtube demos of Staffpad articulations on the available commercial libraries. I just watched a few to decide which string library to purchase. I choose to buy the Spitfire Chamber Strings because the articulations I want (Pizza, Bartok pizza, staccato, etc) are really clean and they cut through a complex score. I had to use $99 of a gift card but I'm pretty engaged in learning here.

  • @McD, I think StaffPad does better with the epic cinematic genre. It would be nice if StaffPad had a swing option like Lumbeats. Precise note values don’t seem to work as well with Middleastern rhythms.

  • @McD Thank you so much for your info! But I meant : the stock library doesn‘t have vibrato at all? That‘s why sustained notes
    sound a bit „dead“ sometimes.

  • @LinearLineman said:
    @McD, I think StaffPad does better with the epic cinematic genre. It would be nice if StaffPad had a swing option like Lumbeats. Precise note values don’t seem to work as well with Middleastern rhythms.

    I was watching a video by the Staffpad leader (David William Hearn) and he added text to turn on swing.
    So, it has that but the key to jazz horns are the aggressive attacks and none of the libaries have aggressive attack options. They tend to hit the note gently and swell into a steady state like an orchestral
    brass player would. There are a few options for bending up to or down to a fixed note but it's not anything like a Jazz musician would play with pitch.

    It is DEFINATELY a cinematic/orchestral workflow tool. For pop, it's only useful for adding string section sweetening like the Philidelphia sound. There is a synth library bundle with some sampled synth sounds.

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