As I couldn’t get the lovely Dell XPS-13 on Black Friday at the right price, I went for the reduction that Native Instruments were offering on the Komplete 11 upgrade (£79.50, now back up to £159). The items of most interest to me were Strummed Acoustic, and India.
I did a few bars (right-click to download the mp3 is easiest) on Strummed Acoustic – disgracefully simple, and doubtless cheating, but if a nice clean tone helps with your composition thoughts, I say why not. Chords are F, A, G, Bb.
Well, actually DNB has hijacked all the alternative spellings I think, so for the sake of clarity (current fave caveat-phrase), this is drums… (pause) and bass on separate tracks, pop, rock, whatever, but not DNB. Oooff, as John Shuttleworth might say. In fact, gratuitous plug for him.
All the files are here.
Picture says it all:
In a DAW, those 3 drum types are represented as C(bass), D(snare), and G#(hi-hat). So that will be confusing for anyone maybe expecting F(bass), C(snare), and G(hi-hat), as it were a treble clef. Here’s how something a bit more regular than than above looks like in a DAW (Reaper, in this case):
Then I went looking for a song to test out my new found knowledge. On YouTube, there is a very good drum tutor, who kindly also includes the drum notation for what he shows. He demonstrated Superstition:
I took the first 7 bars from the pdf in the demo and stuck that in a Reaper and midi file. It’s here. I can’t guarantee it will always stay in that location, but if you look for [SuperstitionStart] in GitHub, you should find it if it does move.
While doing this, I found a great free drum VST – http://www.powerdrumkit.com/. Those are the drums you here in the wav I recorded for this.
This is a good explanation of drum notation, and they also include a PDF.
A google search.
Notes from a Reaper/Kontact Factory Library drums session (Pop kit):
This is quite interesting – no pretence that there is any musical skill on my part here… this is a set of mostly percussive instruments, with some token melodic ones being forced into the western musical scales.
From the drums, I have randomly picked the Gidamba library to save as a midi and an audio file. My only contribution was to press the highlighted pink keys below – that’s what you here.
To get to Session Strings, you go via Kontakt. I found that to record a (midi) session, I had to go into Reaper (that is, my DAW). Even then it was not enough just to have a hack using the on-screen keyboard – I had to hook up the (piano) keyboard. Only then would it record. And this is some real simple rendered output on SoundCloud, around C and G.
While I could record wav directly using Reaktor (for example), for recording Massive I find I have to drop into my DAW (Reaper in my case), save to Midi, and render to wav or mp3 from there. But no issues on CPU overload with this one. Hm… while I haven’t yet checked, the overload might be because Reaktor’s output is direct to audio, not midi. Regardless, I can imagine that as I start to multi-track with more than a couple of the instruments across Komplete, I’ll find myself in need of a way meatier machine than a 5 year old I5 laptop with a single mechanical disk and 8GB of RAM.
Soundcloud quick sample here, using Bansuri in Orange. The number of synths or whatever name I should give them is again predictably massive. It must be tough thinking up new names for these.
Working my way through the modules in Komplete 10…
So Guitar Rig, Kontakt, all went without a hitch. Reaktor: not the same experience. Note the “Processor Overload!” warning below. In fact this is not borne out by Task Manager, which went to a max of 60% or so. So I reduced sample rate from 44,100 whatever to 22,050 in an effort to stop the warning (with obviously a cost to the quality of the output).
On the positives, it is easy to record the output to wav file. See the trivial example on SoundCloud and another here.