Monday, July 14, 2008

THIS is what I should be doing

I had a very productive weekend.

Besides doggie-sitting for Portia, which is always wonderful in itself, I had my first session of private instruction on this super-duper music production software on Saturday.

What was even better, is that the private instruction took place in a real, live, super-cool music studio. I liked that. It felt right. I kept thinking, “THIS is what I should be doing.”

What was even better, was that I was actually able to make a sound on this incredibly complex software (Sonar 7 Producer Edition - - doesn’t that sound cool?). After an hour or so of asking, “What does that button do?” I was able to make a sound that resembled a yak in heat.

It had been about ten years since I had used any music production software. The last software that I had used was almost twenty years old and I was afraid that my abilities would be left in the dust. What I was really afraid of is that the super-cool, music industry instructor would think that the last music I had produced involved rocks and a stick.

Certainly, things have advanced in the past ten or fifteen years. A lot. But this old dog (me) has been around for a while and what knowledge I did have came in pretty handy.

It was really pretty groovy.

I kept thinking, “THIS is what I should be doing.”

Music production has certainly changed in the past twenty years. A studio used to looks so cool with multiple keyboards, patch cords, sound modules, racks, huge mixing boards and the like. Now, all those components are contained within the software.

Here’s a photo of Wendy Carlos and her Moog synthesizer.
Who is Wendy Carlos you might ask?

Wendy Carlos produced the first album of synthesized music back 1968 called Switch-On Bach. It blew the music world wide open. I remember listening to it back in the early 70s. She used that incredible Moog synthesizer you see there with all those complex gizmos and thing-a-ma-jiggies.

I remember messing around on one of those in a music store in Dallas back in 1972. I was only thirteen, but it was so cool. Oh, and the price tag was sixteen thousand dollars. I really wanted one but my whopping salary of thirteen dollars a week that I was making at my grandparent’s dry-cleaning store would hardly finance it.

And lookie here. In the music studio that I was in was a Moog synthesizer. It’s certainly been modernized to the 21st century, but it’s still a good-old Moog like God and Wendy intended.

On the first session, I learned how to lay tracks using MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) and actually make sounds, record them and play them back.

Oh, and that big Moog synthesizer that Wendy Carlos used? My software has that built in. You just click a few buttons and the actual panel pops up. You click-and-drag the patch cords and turn the knobs with the mouse and produce the same sounds. For all intents and purposes, I now have that sixteen-thousand dollar synthesizer at my fingertips.

In the next session, I’ll earn to lay tracks using digital audio recording and make MP3 files.

The last session, I’ll learn to sync music to video.

After that, I’ll download my first composition to iTunes, it will be a huge hit and then the only work I’ll ever have to do is to have things delivered to my apartment.

Won’t that be groovy?

And then I’ll kick myself after realizing that THIS is what I should have been doing all along.

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At 9:42 PM , Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

Good for you, for persuing this dream--finally! :)

At 11:01 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

We had "Switched on Bach". I can still hear every note of the Mooged out "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring".

This means there'll be music for the movie soon, right? (Nag nag nag)


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