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Skol303

January Composition Challenge - VOTING ENDS TUESDAY!

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[color=#800000][size=5][b]Voting has now started on January’s Composition Challenge.[/b][/size][/color]

[size=5]Here's the inspiration for this month's music, chosen by November’s winners [b]the boy[/b] and [b]Lord Sausage[/b]…[/size]



[size=5]…and here are the compositions. Please vote for your top [b]THREE[/b] favourites:[/size]


Bilbo [url="http://soundcloud.com/robert-palmer-1/way-to-go"]‘Way To Go’[/url]

xgsjx [url="http://soundcloud.com/gxmix/to-a-new-sunset"]‘To A New Sunset’[/url]

Rikki1984 [url="http://soundcloud.com/rikki-boyes/lonestar"]‘Lonestar’[/url]

Bleat [url="http://soundcloud.com/foolsjourney/colorado"]‘Colorado’[/url]

Dad3353 [url="http://soundcloud.com/dad3353/hobo-solo"]‘Hobo Solo’[/url]

lurksalot [url="http://soundcloud.com/lurksalot/back-on-my-pony"]‘Back On My Pony’[/url]

christofloffer [url="http://soundcloud.com/christofloffer/back-to-the-homestead"]‘back to the homestead’[/url]

Mornats [url="http://soundcloud.com/mornats/the-withered"]‘The Withered’[/url]

MoonBassAlpha [url="https://soundcloud.com/julian-moss-511168525/slowly-sloping-sunset-saunter"]‘Slowly sloping sunset saunter’[/url]

Skol303 [url="http://soundcloud.com/skol-mixes/serendipity-rides-again"]‘Serendipity Rides Again’[/url]

[size=5][color=#800000][b]Voting ends at midnight on Tuesday 31st January [/b][/color][/size]

Edited by Skol303

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Looking forward to having a listen to all of these. I've had a listen to some & the work is excellent. I think it's gonna be hard to chose just 3.

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I've missed these threads for a few months now. Always got to find it too late to vote.

The bar is really high on this month's entries. There's been some really good work done by you all.

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10 entries and only 14 folk have voted (so far). Doesn't seem to be capturing the imagination of Basschat at large, does it? It looks like only the entrants have voted and one or two of their acquaintances.

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Meant to do this before now but forgot...thanks for the reminders and long may this thread live..

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[quote name='MoonBassAlpha' timestamp='1485792851' post='3226714']
10 entries and only 14 folk have voted (so far). Doesn't seem to be capturing the imagination of Basschat at large, does it? It looks like only the entrants have voted and one or two of their acquaintances.
[/quote]

Sir!! I've never been acquainted with any of these folk in my life!! Good luck to them all.

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Something I've long thought about in these here competitions is I'd like to know more about these guys who enter.

What gear do you all use?
Do you use a pro studio at work, or is it done at home on a studio held together with string and chewing-gum?
How long do you spend on it?
What's the creative process and how do you put it together?
How can somebody do this on a shoe-string budget?

And.. how long have you been doing this kind of thing?

Just wonderin'

Edited by Grangur

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[quote name='Grangur' timestamp='1485797554' post='3226787']
Something I've long thought about in these here competitions is I'd like to know more about these guys who enter.

What gear do you all use?
Do you use a pro studio at work, or is it done at home on a studio held together with string and chewing-gum?
How long do you spend on it?
What's the creative process and how do you put it together?
How can somebody do this on a shoe-string budget?

Just wonderin'
[/quote]

It's a good question!

For myself I record very much on the cheap. I use my Zoom B3 to connect to my old laptop. I then use the Reaper DAW to record, mix and master.

Personally I usually (but not always) start with a bass line while looking at the picture and I work out a guitar part that works over it.
Eventually a song structure will emerge and I'll set up a drum track using EZ Drummer. I'll then write some lyrics (not my strength) inspired by the picture and work out a melody over the top. On this one I used the EHX Iron Lung vocoder to hide my vocals behind cos I really can't sing lol!

I usually don't have too much spare time to devote so I usually do it over the course of a week or so maybe half an hour a day (sometimes more, sometimes less).

I very much do this on a shoe string budget which probably explains why my entries tend to be the most amateurish sounding lol.

In a little honesty in terms of equipment you could get away with just a guitar/bass/microphone, an audio interface (I use the Zoom B3) and a laptop - if you learned how to use VST's to provide the various effects required.


Sorry for the aimless ramble - I'm still very much a rank amatuer at this recording lark! :-)

Edited by Rikki1984

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What gear do you all use? Whatever I can find.
Do you use a pro studio at work, or is it done at home on a studio held together with string and chewing-gum? The string and chewing gum model in my case.

How long do you spend on it? It varies but usually several hours.
What's the creative process and how do you put it together? I walk around for days mulling over ideas until something plausible presents itself and I then try and manufacture something that sounds like my original idea.
How can somebody do this on a shoe-string budget? Guerilla Recording. I have submitted everything from one take on a Zoom H1 to stuff I emailed to a friend to add real drums on HIS home studio. SKol has gone international at times. It's all part of the fun.

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[quote name='Grangur' timestamp='1485797554' post='3226787']
Something I've long thought about in these here competitions is I'd like to know more about these guys who enter.

What gear do you all use?
Do you use a pro studio at work, or is it done at home on a studio held together with string and chewing-gum?
How long do you spend on it?
What's the creative process and how do you put it together?
How can somebody do this on a shoe-string budget?

Just wonderin'
[/quote]

good point, that kind of thing does tend to end up on the recording section thread or on the soundcloud description. it may be beneficial to do a quick post on the voting thread about our entries. i did notice a lot more votes coming in when dad was doing his write up/review thing. not that i would ask him to do that, just focus on getting better dad. perhaps a little something in the general section thread would add a little interest to go along with our tracks.

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When I do an entry for this excellent compo I use my 50m2 live studio, hiring musicians such as Buckethead , Rick Wakeman, Billy Cobham or the LSO when needed.
We record live, using Neuman mics, onto 2 24track Studers via a 128 track SSL desk with eq by Neve and outboards by Eventide, monitoring by Bryston and TAD.
And when I'm not dreaming I use bass as both bass and guitar (bass whammy), via a Focusrite 2i2 into a laptop running Ableton 9, controlled by a N ovation keyboard, monitoring on AKG phones or Adam F7 speakers.

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I had 6 tracks all near the top of my scoring chart this month! I have to give a well deserved mention to Bleat who has scored my very first perfect 10. That was an absolute beauty of a track. You nailed the sound and the mix so well I'll be adding it to my reference tracks!

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Gear-wise? Way too much for my level of skill!

[b]Hardware[/b]
Focusrite Forte audio interface
Native Instruments S61 keyboard
Maschine MkII
Maschine Jam (not used on a track yet it's still quite new)
Fender MIM precision
Squier VM jazz
MarkBass 121P combo for DI
Yamaha HS7 monitors
Audio Technica ATH-M50x headphones

[b]Software[/b]
Komplete Ultimate 10
Maschine plus around 5 expansions
Lots of sample libraries including Apocalypse Elements percussion, Olympus Elements Choir, Miroslav, Impact Soundworks Rhapsody Colours, Bravura Scoring Brass Chords and FX, a number of Sound Dust instruments, Vocalise, Ethera, Storm Choir, Kirk Hunter Solo Strings plus many other small libraries and a whole bunch of third party synth patches for Massive, Absynth and FM8. Neutron is proving to be very good for me (even if it doesn't show in some of my mixes!)

So many instruments that I'm considering setting up a spreadsheet to keep track of the type of instruments and the type of sound I can get with them (or maybe I should add them to my Komplete Kontrol user library and tag them).

All the gear no idea eh? :D

Edit: forgot to add that you don't need all of this to come up with a great track and having all this doesn't mean you'll create a great track.

Edited by Mornats

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i make stuff in a pretty basic way. i do each track as a single playthrough, no loops or editing. whenever it try to fix things or edit things is somehow comes out a bit robotic. my gear is cheap, the biggest expense is my boss me-25 effects processor which acts as my line in to the pc. for software i have sonar LE (which actually came free with the boss processor) and it has a handful of effects on there like studioverb and EQ stuff which i use. hardware on this occasion was a naff old shine bass which i converted to fretless, an ailing westone guitar, and a yamaha psr-290 keyboard. pretty simple set up really. if i use drums then i have hydrogen drum machine which is free, and i really like. i also used to use audacity which is another free recording thing, i still use it now for converting to mp3 and things.
as for writing, i tend to listen to things which are in the style of the picture if nothing immediately springs to mind. i find it a great thing to make me try new styles and approaches. the looper on the boss pedal is great for trying out riffs and basslines.

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I use an old Zoom 1608 hard disk recorder. I normally play bass along with a metronome, then try my best to play live drums along with it. Then guitar and vocals, or just layers of guitar.
That said, this month's effort was just the band jamming along with an ill-defined set of chords.

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That's me voted. Disappointed at first to see that I've inly got a couple of votes, but then on listening to the excellent work & how hard it was for me to choose 3, I'm happy to have more than 1 vote. :)

[quote name='Grangur' timestamp='1485802866' post='3226855']
Thanks guys. It's good to get to learn more about you all.
[/quote]
My current set up is at home. I have an iMac running Logic X & a bunch of virtual instruments, a NI Komplete Audio 6 interface, a NI S88 keyboard controller, a Freshman electro acoustic & my Ibby bass.
For this month's track I came up with the chord sequence & the synth sounds & put down the arrangement. I then added a little guitar playing (trying to get a western feel), played about with the synth filter as the track played & then laid down the bassline. Did a little basic mastering to glue it together & that was it.

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Each month I see the picture and want to write and record the best rock song in the world ,ever, then I actually start work on it and sods law means it takes a different direction.
Being fairly unimaginative , I tend to find lyrics help me to describe a scene , but being a God awful singer means that sometimes I have to draw quite deeply on my ability to say 'WTF'
Equipment is sparse , focusrite 2i2, microphone, bass, guitar and/or a digital piano that gives me some different sounds or midi. EZ drummer and a few plug ins.
One of the drivers for me is the excuse to actually do it, I have always believed I can write the best song in the world , it's just that I now realise that it is going to take a bit of practice , and the monthly deadlines means that the focus all brings the day that I will At some point have the ability, to tell the story in my own words and music that I need to tell .
I only ever first used a DAW to join in with this challenge after a month or two of it starting , and now I have recorded nearly 50 tracks , incredible really , I love it :D

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