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Skol303

January Composition Challenge - VOTING ENDS TUESDAY!

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Just to add , 28 voters in total at time of posting is fantastic, thanks for all your support , I really hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoy making it :)

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Voted; hard choice, as usual (although there were a couple I was less taken with...). Good stuff, y'all; I'm ever surprised by the originality and sheer quality, month after month.

How is all of this 'magic' produced..? I did a 'selfie' video a couple of years ago, highlighting my 'pica-studio'; here it is...

http://youtu.be/p25-13Z_y5U

Not much has changed since, excepting longer facial hair, and more use of virtual drums as my health wanes. Still, it gives some idea of the uber-technology required for entering this erstwhile Challenge (and also partly explains my poor results..! :blush: )
I would agree that some background info, either in the Challenge topic, or in the Soundcloud description, adds much to the ethos of the Challenge, as do comments and appreciations from others concerning the tracks. I'm still determined to get back to being able to give my own, personal, view of 'em all, once fitness returns. Watch this space (but it may not be quite as early a return as all that, unfortunately... :( ).
I'll finish by saying that, of all of the forum's contents, the monthly Challenge is what I am most impressed by, if for no other reason than its longevity and consistent quality. It's an excellent motivational tool, for me, at least, to try to produce stuff, despite the odds. Long may it continue to shine, as a bright gem. Thanks to all who have contributed, and thanks in advance to those who'll contribute in the future, and the voters.

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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?[/quote]

More votes since but we've never had an overwhelming response; and I don't expect it to be honest. Very typical of every music community I've been involved in and not something that's ever a deterrent to those who do take part. The stubborn stalwarts that they are :)

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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...[/quote]

I work mostly 'in the box' (on a computer) using Propellerhead Reason re-wired into Ableton Live software, with some analogue odds and ends in the signal chain where appropriate (currently having a lot of fun re-amping with old guitar pedals). Very much a simple home set up and far from 'professional'... which just sounds too much like work and too little like play ;)

On average I spend probably a day on each Basschat entry from writing to recording to mixing; split into odd hours here and there throughout each month. Elsewhere and other projects I can spend days/ even weeks (e.g. mixing and remixing projects for friends). It's all a hobby for me so I just do what I can, when I choose.

My creative process is all very immediate. I'm fortunate in never suffering from 'writers block' - quite the opposite - so I tend to form ideas very quickly and spend the majority of time trying to make the noises coming out of my computer match those in my head. Enjoying many happy accidents along the way! Having a picture does help and the monthly deadline can be a good motivator - it forces me to finish stuff, rather than having numerous half-baked ideas cluttering my hard drive.

Yes you can certainly do this on a shoe-string budget. If you have a computer with an internet connection, you can make music with no budget at all. A few hundred quid will get you set up sufficient to make 'pro quality' tracks... as cliched as it might sound, it really is all down to learning the tools and how to apply them. Very much like learning an instrument. Quantity of time invested = quality of output. There are no shortcuts.

I've been making music on and off since my early teens. I started out with tracker software in the early 90s; moved on to Cubase making dance music in the mid-late 90s; gave it all up for ten years or so and then got the bug again sometime around 2010.

And I have a very patient wife who's just happy I'm doing this instead of playing golf or building a train set in the spare room :)

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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?

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

Just wonderin'
[/quote]

1. reasonably powerful PC, built by myself about 18 months ago... no prior knowledge, just watched loads of Youtube vids!.. and it still works!... A cheap and cheerful Alesis Q49 midi controller and a few, now ageing software instruments.

2. I'm not a pro musician , just at home... it's all held together with gaffa tape and blu-tac, ocaisionally sprayed with WD-40.

3. Current composition ... hmm about a week on and off...it varies. I have no nagging wife or partner to contend with so I spend my time as I wish!

4. I look at the picture and allow myself to be taken on a magical, musical mystery tour and take notes while I'm there!... I have a "sound" but take influences from many styles of music. I am a hard/heavy classic rock bass player but exist in a completely different sphere of music for composing work.

5. Everything I do musically is on a half-a-shoe-string budget, but I use this limitation to drive me to be a better, creative musician instead of being distracted into throwing endless money at new shiny things! (though it would be nice to sometimes!)... it helps to make much wiser purchasing decisions also.

6. It all started with a Casio VL-Tone when I was about 12. (now getting close to my mid 40's) . I have always been creative, but only "seriously" since getting a decent pc and software am I now starting to realise my music in a more satisfying and productive way.

If it wasn't for this composition challenge, I would not have the bulk of "demo ideas" that I do to produce a forthcoming "album".

:)

Edited by Bleat

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[quote name='Skol303' timestamp='1485855453' post='3227152']
Yes you can certainly do this on a shoe-string budget. If you have a computer with an internet connection, you can make music with no budget at all.
[/quote]

A good start would be to grab the free players from Native Instruments. Each of them comes with a selection of content for each player and is enough to help you get some basics down. https://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/free/ Do note that pretty much all of the very cheap and free Kontakt instruments from third parties won't work in the free Kontakt player (well, they run for 15 mins in demo mode). You need the full version of Kontakt for those.

IK Multimedia do a Custom Shop version of Amplitube (guitar amp sim) that comes with some free gear: http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/amplitubecs/ and they also do a similar version of Sampletank: http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/sampletankcs/

Browse through the recording forum on here to check out threads about other stuff and the occasional offer. Just watch out for the difference between Kontakt Players version (that work in the free player) and those requiring the full version of Kontakt!

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Thanks all for the information. It's been interesting to hear more about it.

I'm quite surprised that there are none of you who are pros.

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My set up is essentially an old version of Cubase SX, Sibelius 2, some Vst instruments I can barely use, an audio interface, a mic, five guitars, two electric basses and a double bass. I increasingly find I am leaving the VSTs alone and just recording real acoustic and electric instruments. The IT based stuff just takes me so long to bear fruit compared to a straight guitar.

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[quote name='Grangur' timestamp='1485883846' post='3227495']
Thanks all for the information. It's been interesting to hear more about it.

I'm quite surprised that there are none of you who are pros.
[/quote]
I hope to see you make an entry in the near future.

This section of the forum is very helpful & it's where the comp starts out each month...

http://basschat.co.uk/forum/10-recording/

At the top you'll see a great thread started by Skol303 that will help you with everything you need & if there's something you can't find, just ask. :)

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Many thanks all for taking part and for the voters , a splendid performance on both counts .
As wt midnight , close of play , I am humbled to announce that joint winners with a very close run challenge , are myself and Bleat .
We shall confer on a photo and I will post February's thread this evening :)

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[left][size=4][color="#222222"][font="Arial, sans-serif"][size=4]And the winners are...

Bleat and Lurksalot..!

[sharedmedia=core:attachments:167486]

Here, then, are your Winner's Certificates (download and save as pdf file, then proudly print and frame...) ...[/size][/font][/color]

[attachment=237055:BC_Chal_Cert_2017_01.pdf]

[color="#222222"][font="Arial, sans-serif"][size=4]... which look like this (but bigger, of course..!)...[/size][/font][/color]

[font=Arial, sans-serif][/font][/size][/left]

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A close run all the way. Paul and I were both only one vote each away from a four way tie. What this says to me is that, whatever gear is available to us, it is the ideas that matters and that, with a little thought, anyone can come up with a credible composition. Well done all.

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Well done chaps. I'm looking forward to this month's comp & seeing what the inspiration pic will be. :)

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Well done to Lurksalot, well done me, well done everyone else!! :D

I thought my effort was a bit rubbish this time, all felt a bit half hearted when I did it!. I genuinely was not expecting this one to be so well liked, so thanks to everyone who voted !

I officially nominate, and will be more than happy for Lurksalot to choose the next pic, as I am much better at being inspired than trying to inspire others to be fair!

Cheers,

James
:)

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Well done guys..... great interpretations of the photo. I was working on a song but didn't get it finished in time (it's still not finished).... looking forward to the photo.

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[quote name='Bleat' timestamp='1485961853' post='3228045']
Well done to Lurksalot, well done me, well done everyone else!! :D

I thought my effort was a bit rubbish this time, all felt a bit half hearted when I did it!. I genuinely was not expecting this one to be so well liked, so thanks to everyone who voted !

I officially nominate, and will be more than happy for Lurksalot to choose the next pic, as I am much better at being inspired than trying to inspire others to be fair!

Cheers,

James
:)
[/quote]

many thanks and well done James , I will find a picture tout-suite , you can ignore the PM I sent earlier asking if you wanted to choose a pic :lol:

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no toutes , but maybe an en-suite :blush:

February challenge is GO, GO ,GO

[url="http://basschat.co.uk/topic/299683-february-composition-challenge/"]http://basschat.co.uk/topic/299683-february-composition-challenge/[/url]

Enjoy yourselves :D

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