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.
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.
On another PC, the SoundMix option in Windows sound options was a reasonable way of recording soundcard (Realtek) output to a wav file. However, that option is not there on my current laptop, which has an NVidia soundcard. Sure I could code something myself… but it looked like the effort was greater than the reward. In the end, I used the combination of 2 pieces of paid-for software, to get a working audio file that I can put on SoundCloud to demo my musical intervals app. Those 2 software packages are:
Soundcast-o-matic, which despite the cheesy name, works great for screen recording, and has a very reasonable subscription model. This allows me to save to .avi, which is recognised by..
Sony Sound Forge Audio Studio 10.0, which though old, works fine on Windows 10… as long as you haven’t lost that precious license key. I can extract the sound from the .avi, and save it as .mp3
In ITunes, I can then add the file, attach to a playlist, specifically for the purpose of burning that to a CD.
A lot of my spare time over the last 2 months has been spent doing the last 5% on an instrumental song that within a few days or so should propagate through to ITunes, Amazon and Spotify. How does it get to those places? Well, you can do it yourself, but a company by the name of TuneCore gets reasonable reviews, so I have gone with them.
Although I had a working name for the group/band and the single, and some initial stabs at artwork using my own art, my personal Focus Group, i.e. my 17 year old daughter, ruled that it was just not right. So I started again on the single name, and the artwork and the fonts. The ONE thing I’m less happy with is the volume of the mastered final song, which I put through ITunes based on the TuneCore advice (that’s not a criticism – their process is pretty good, I would say). It seems to have taken the volume down a notch or two, and I didn’t spot that before it went up. But it’s only $10 (they try to upsell various additional things.. and some of those I shall take) and the use of most of a precious Sunday.
Here then, is 30 seconds’s worth of a song that I’ve labelled as Pop, given the choices, but I don’t really know what to file it against:
And as SoundCloud chopped off parts of the ahem album cover, here’s the original: