Friday, January 02, 2009

SynFire Pro

SynFire Pro is an intriguing new product from Cognitone Systems. It will probably revolutionize the way professional composers work on a day to day basis. It greatly facilitates melodic development end harmonization. Probably of greater significance is how it enables the exploration of ideas. There is really nothing out there that comes close. There are other products that scratch the surface. Some generate both melody and harmonies, notably Band in the Box an interesing and useful product in its own right. Others, like the Palette help in melodic development. Yet others like Onyx Arranger will morph your input based on the notion of templates from a variety of styles. Again all of these just scratch the surface and although useful and not to be dismissed they do not provide a comprehensive solution. Therefore, it is probably fair to say the SynFire Pro is a one of a kind product. Unfortunately for some or rather for most it comes at a one of a kind price tag. Indeed, only those that would use it on a daily basis can justify the hefty prize of approximately $1,500.00 dollars. However, that target market i.e. the professional composer market is according to my sources responding well to the recent intial offering. In conclusion, I would say that words cannot at all come close to giving justice to the promise of SynFire Pro so I'll challenge the user to be as equally intrigued by SynFire as I have by checking out their videos here:

I plan to blog about some of the features illustrated in the videos found above as well as other features once the evaluation demo is available to the general public.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Making the Time

First of all, are you sleeping 8 hours a day? Well, that has to stop. It needs to be cut down to 6 or 6.5 hours per day with a half hour nap upon returning from work. Basically 6 hours at night plus that half hour nap. Then again maybe you have spare time, I don't.

Let's smell the coffee together. releasing my first CD , your first CD will take time and it requires putting in the time. This doesn’t mean that we need an 8 hour day but we do need to find 1.5 to 2 hours a day and try to push for 3 to 4 hours on Sat. and Sundays. For most people that's do-able. It just requires some time management.

Now that we have decided to put in the time I'm afraid that putting in the time is not enough, it has to be quality time. You cannot be falling asleep at the wheel or with your guitar strapped on. So when would that be? What is the best time to focus on your obsession ? You may not be at your best after a hard days work. So for me and because of that the best time turns out to be in the morning after having had some rest and regained the alertness to let the creativity flow.

Those first 5 minutes are tough, still are today and even after a few months but I have my techniques and very strong dark tea.

My morning starts by actually standing up to turn off an alarm strategically too faraway to snooze off and the knowing that I have to be quick not to disturb the rest of my sleeping pack. That is followed by some shock therapy. I start with a burst of refrigerated pressurized saline spray right into my eyes , face and nose. Followed by more cold water on my face and back of my neck. I then go to the kitchen guzzle some oj for the sugar rush, and fuel up with nuts and dates. Then a couple sets of push ups and then and only then am I awake enough to think about music.

A mountain will never be climbed if you don’t put one foot in front of the other.

So what are you doing to climb your mountain ?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

REAPER | Download

Just in time for Christmas:

REAPER Latest Version

REAPER v2.54 - December 22, 2008

* Dynamic split detection improvements
* Action: restore previous scroll position
* ReaVerb/ReaSamplomatic user/gdi object leak fixes
* Docked midi editor / fx window / mixer user object leak fixes
* Fixed looped-resampled-item glitches
* ReaSynDr, ReaSynth, ReaSamplomatic, ReaTune: smoother automation
* JS: fixed some issues with small increases in PDC
* Better wav/wv project filename setting when autosaving to .wav.rpp
* MIDI bank/program tracking fixes, duplicate note removal
* OS X performance updates
* Display rendering updates
* Faster meter rendering
* Left/right edge adjustment snapping now respects X track-distances like moving
* Massive memory use reduction when using large numbers of MIDI files
* Fixed bugs removing automated parameters from ReaPitch/ReaDelay/etc
* Fixed end/start of item sample rounding for items with no fades
* OGG decoder: fixed subsample seeking accuracy
* Clipping fix for fully buffered peaks drawing mode


Friday, December 19, 2008

2009 Release of RealBand and Band in a Box

Both of these products can create great stub or placeholder tracks. Great tools for n brainstorming a new tune.

Here's a blurb from their site including links to video and audio. Check it out:

Watch the Videos!

There are Video Demos here:
- BB 2009 Features video: (or download )

- RealTracks demo: (or download )

Listen to the audio demos below!

Audio Demos for All 101 new RealTracks

(note: many of these demos are demoing the RealTracks instrument only, and have MIDI tracks as well to accompany them. We will be replacing those MIDI instruments with "Real-only" demos.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Inspiration , where does it come from?

  1. Internal
  2. External

Internal inspiration is what comes to me when I walk my dog or at other unexpected times. Since it's unexpected it is best to be prepared. My pda cellphone has an audio recorder which I use to capture these gifts .

Then there is the forced type of inspiration which one forces to different degrees. For example:

  1. Record yourself Jamming to somebody else's music.
  2. Record yourself doodling on your instrument.
  3. Jam to your fav. synth patch
  4. Jam to some drum loops
  5. Grab a midi file from the web, strip out the melody and drop some riffs.
  6. Grab a lead sheet, copy chord changes into Band in a Box or Jammer then drop some riffs.
  7. if you can, do all of the above on a guitar, bass, keyboard end vocals. you will get different results

Word of advice make recording easy. I have set up things so that pressing the low E in my Keyboard controller will trigger recording.

After this initial important step produces the seed for your new tune, its important to commit. commitment is essential. Without it one can get stuck, in "doodling" land for a very long time. Been there , done that. and it is hell.

Rev: 1.1

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Trinity is Complete

I finally took the plunge and bought Trilogy the last in the trinity of Spectrasonic’s instruments:

  • Omnisphere
  • Stylus RMX
  • Trilogy

This now gives me a go to bass module and its really all there. It truly sounds great and now I’ll be eligible to the upgrade to Trilogy’s STEAM engine integration.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Methodology For creativity

A methodology is:

A set or system of methods, principles, and rules for regulating a given discipline, as in the arts or sciences.

It's a way of thinking about a subject matter, in other words a way to skin a cat. This is my personal method. Developing from thoughts I gather as I try to compose music to my satisfaction. Ideas that can turn into a process which I hope will make me more fluid and ultimately more productive. A lot of these ideas come from my software development experience but most from my struggles with composition.

So lets start by brainstorming some concepts:

  1. Inspiration
  2. Commitment
  3. Vision
  4. Big Picture
  5. Go with the Flow
  6. Development
  7. Stamina
  8. Energy
  9. Space
  10. Gravity
  11. Direction
  12. Focus
  13. Contrast
  14. Speed
  15. Incremental and cyclical
  16. PlaceHolders

Enough for now. Next I will try to define these terms.

Coming Soon.