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Darius Wave
Ok. So I think there is no better idea than start working on Your first composition with my help smile.gif For the beginning I need to know what is Your software backilne and skills. Are You available to programme VST drums, do the multitrack recordings etc?
Madfish
QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Apr 11 2013, 12:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ok. So I think there is no better idea than start working on Your first composition with my help smile.gif For the beginning I need to know what is Your software backilne and skills. Are You available to programme VST drums, do the multitrack recordings etc?


Yay! How exciting! biggrin.gif
Multitrack recordings - yes. I already have some experience recording with Reaper + Amplitube.
Never done any VST drums before.
Darius Wave
QUOTE (Madfish @ Apr 11 2013, 09:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yay! How exciting! biggrin.gif
Multitrack recordings - yes. I already have some experience recording with Reaper + Amplitube.
Never done any VST drums before.



Great! I can record some bass tracks for You but You have to fing some vst drum machine and quickly learn how to draw in MIDI smile.gif That's a "must" and it will profit in Your future projects smile.gif

One of the best at the market is EZDrummer...and the basic version would be ok for the first steps. Samples have descent sound and it's pretty simple to configure.

Let me know if You can handle this and if You need my help configuring and making first steps with vst drums.
Madfish
QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Apr 11 2013, 11:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Great! I can record some bass tracks for You but You have to fing some vst drum machine and quickly learn how to draw in MIDI smile.gif That's a "must" and it will profit in Your future projects smile.gif

One of the best at the market is EZDrummer...and the basic version would be ok for the first steps. Samples have descent sound and it's pretty simple to configure.

Let me know if You can handle this and if You need my help configuring and making first steps with vst drums.


I already got myself the free version of Addictive Drums and wired it into Reaper. Is that OK as well?
Darius Wave
QUOTE (Madfish @ Apr 12 2013, 11:52 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I already got myself the free version of Addictive Drums and wired it into Reaper. Is that OK as well?




Yeah - that's also cool smile.gif Now...let's do the very first steps. There are maaaany ways to compose song. Sometimes it's melody first, sometimes few nice sounding chords, sometimes doing an arrangement for one cool riff. I would like You to try the way that usually works best for me.

Keep in mind that whatever You can do - how fast You are, how tricky things You play and how precise it's worth not much if there is no music in it so...When I try to compose I start from....not having guitar in my hands.

I suggest to try one of my methods to do the first song:

1. For easier work on later tasks We could Use well know A-minor (natural minor) scale.

2. I would like You to hit the A-minor chord (no chord progression - that is important) than play A-minor scale from the 5th fret (3 notes per string on every string) You will make yourself familiar with the notes We will Use.

3. Now THE MOST IMPORTANT! - try to imagine Yourself a simple, vocal-like melody that fit A-minor notes. Those can be some 3 notes patterns with different endings, Don't try to think about it as a guitar solo - think of music, think of What You would sing through it if You would be a singer....You can use "la la la" method smile.gif)). It would be great if You first record Your singing a than find those notes within A-minor scale.


4. Try to Make 2 different melodies - one for the verse and one for the chorus. Try to make some contrast and a little "more power" feel for the chorus melody. Once remember - at this level You are not a guitar player - You only use guitar to find the notes, that are in Your head

Imagination has no limits...no scales, no need of knowing the fretboard and no need of knowing any music theory...we try to bring out something from a limitless source - our brain smile.gif

5. You can "hear" the backing chords in Your imagination while singing - it's pretty obvious that melody will not work as a stand alone but...stop Yourself from finding the chords at this level. There is too much risk of using something You already played an something that is very obvious.


6. Hit the A-minor to make shure You're searching in the correct field.

7. You can use tap tempo to define the beat of Your melody
http://www.analogmix.com/tap-tempo-finder/ scroll down - there is a free a tap tempo meter - just hit with same freq as You would hit the floor with Your foot while feeling the groove of Your melody.

8. Set the displayed tempo on any metronome

9. If You have the recording o sang melody, play it and find those notes withing A-minor scale (You can use GMC scale generator)

10. Tell me the tempo and send me trakcs of both melodies with no backign tracks, no articulation (just a simple notes - no bends, slides etc...at this level You're a MIDI machine, will get to the articulation and will progress the solo section as a one of the final moments)



11. Don't avoid things that sounds like "I heard that beofre". This is how melodies are created. The base on what we have heard in music through whole our live. Many times You can caught Yourself doing a mix of a few melodies that already semms to sound "well known" for You. Don't try to run from this. It's a kind of natural way of what people consider being melodic. Of course...there are some geniuses that makes very uniqe melodies but that's the "hard level of composing" and not to be work on for now smile.gif


Give me those melodies and will progress them

Waiting for Your recording smile.gif

Madfish
Here it is. I'm a human MIDI machine biggrin.gif Tempo is 130.
Will that do?
Darius Wave
QUOTE (Madfish @ Apr 25 2013, 12:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Here it is. I'm a human MIDI machine biggrin.gif Tempo is 130.
Will that do?


Ok that is exactly what I meant smile.gif Now is a moment where the fun begins smile.gif We need a harmony backing and to be honest - there are no limitations. Let's do a few variations and then we'll decide which one would be the best.

First idea would be to post here the very first chords You think they fit this melody in a particular order - write them into bars to show me when they change. At this point we don't use theory but simply use our musicial feel. Very often the very first idea seems to work best but further You can experiment with the harmony to make shure the choice is best.


At this point give me Your very first chord progression and then I'll show You some ideas. You can also write down simple chords (with no added intervals) - all that contains notes from the A natural minor scale.
Madfish
QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Apr 25 2013, 12:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
At this point give me Your very first chord progression and then I'll show You some ideas. You can also write down simple chords (with no added intervals) - all that contains notes from the A natural minor scale.


Ok, here it goes:
verse F, Am, Dm, Dm
chorus F, Am, C, Dm, F, Am, C, G
That's more or less what I can hear. My chorus has a very weird timing. Think I should fix that smile.gif
Darius Wave
Ok...first idea is done smile.gif Try to record both - melody and backing guitar. Feel free to choose the rhythm You like for it. Upload Your results. Now...experiment:


Try to write down as manyl chords as possible. Chords available for A-minor what means that none of them should contain any other notes than A,B,C,D,E,F,G.

Now...let's do some test. Build a chord in which first note of melody would be a 9th , 7th or 4# (tritone) to the chord root note.

Example:

Long note in melody is an E. Find the name of the note that would be 9th down from the E (in this case it's D ). So the full chord would be D9 but....we have to decide would it be minor or major. At this point compare to the notes from A-minor and You'll know that it has to be D-minor add9 or D-minor 9 because D-minor = D F A (D-major = D F# A....F# is not a note from A-minor scale)

If something is not clear just ask smile.gif
Madfish
QUOTE (Darius Wave @ May 8 2013, 08:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ok...first idea is done smile.gif Try to record both - melody and backing guitar. Feel free to choose the rhythm You like for it. Upload Your results.


Hey. I'm getting there, although extremely slowly. Recorded the verse with a simple backing: Click to view attachment
Right now I'm doing the experiments you mentioned.
Madfish
Hey,
I recorded everything with the chords in the back. I modified the melody a little bit as well: Click to view attachment
In one place I did the experiment you suggested, but instead of G7 I decided to go with Gm7. Don't know why, but it sounds better for me.

Is this good enough?
Darius Wave
Great 2 example! This is very good ! Now write down Your new, full chord progression. Also it's time to make a decission would it a be a clean tone ballad or were gonna do a rock, distortion ballad out of this? What do You choose ?smile.gif
Madfish
Thanks smile.gif

The final progression looks like this:
verse: Dm Am Dm Dm | Dm Am Dm Dm
chorus: G, Am, C, Gm7 | G, Am, C, G

I'd rather go with a rocky - distorted sound.
Darius Wave
Ok. So what we need to prepare is a session with a drums and emulated bass. You can USe 4Fron bass (find via google it's free).
Play Set the tempo and try to record it with no additional modifications. We'll do them soon (Thinking about too much things at the same time can make some confusion).


One more Thing. Check the Key we were trying to work on and re-check the notes of each new chord . Write them down and write Your observations smile.gif
Madfish
QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Jul 25 2013, 01:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ok. So what we need to prepare is a session with a drums and emulated bass. You can USe 4Fron bass (find via google it's free).
Play Set the tempo and try to record it with no additional modifications. We'll do them soon (Thinking about too much things at the same time can make some confusion).


On it. Will get back to you with a basic bass track soon.

QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Jul 25 2013, 01:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
One more Thing. Check the Key we were trying to work on and re-check the notes of each new chord . Write them down and write Your observations smile.gif


Dm - D, F, A
Am - A, C, E
G - G, B, D
C - C, E, G
Gm7 - G, A#, D, F

There is very little of A note in the chorus part of the backing. It is G Mixolydian, isn't it?
Darius Wave
QUOTE (Madfish @ Jul 26 2013, 01:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
On it. Will get back to you with a basic bass track soon.



Dm - D, F, A
Am - A, C, E
G - G, B, D
C - C, E, G
Gm7 - G, A#, D, F

There is very little of A note in the chorus part of the backing. It is G Mixolydian, isn't it?



I was just trying to say that while doing this experiment with harmony and confirmation by the ear You just naturally created some outside smile.gif

Gm7 is chord with Bb (not A# - name is cause by the way we write down the notes) This note doesn't belong to A minor but it's ok to have a chord with outside. You just need to remember about the single note (BB instead of cool.gif every time You improvise and th Gm7 comes in the backing smile.gif

Nope...this won't be mixolydian. This will be G dorian mode smile.gif G A Bb C D E F G smile.gif
Madfish
Hey,
Here is the bass track: Click to view attachment
Is that more or less what you meant?
Darius Wave
QUOTE (Madfish @ Jul 28 2013, 09:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hey,
Here is the bass track: Click to view attachment
Is that more or less what you meant?




Please record guitar playing chords with bass and simple drums groove...it would be much easier to work this way smile.gif

Little tip for the bass. To make it more melodic and sit well in the arrange very often bass players play different note from the chord. For example when the chords are G and D...they play G and F# (major 3rd from the D) so when for example next chord is E minor, than You'll have smooth melody in bass section - G F# E. Otherwise You make a huge skip from G to D on the nex string and this not always sound cool smile.gif
Madfish
Hey Darius,
In the meantime I started working on http://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Metal-...t-Hand-Workout/ to improve my right hand.
Could you take a look at my slow tempo rec and drop me some comments/hints?

I know there are lot's of timing issues :/ Anything else that I am doing wrong? smile.gif
Thank you!

PS. The bass track recording is coming soon smile.gif
Darius Wave
Ok...so let me start from some very basic tips smile.gif Metal = bridge pickup position in 99% cases smile.gif That's why many metal players have only bridge pickup in their guitars biggrin.gif You tone is way too muddy but party it's a fault of switch position. Keep that in mind smile.gif Also...if it's possible try to record vids in the daylight so the camera could have lower lightening time and Your movements will be more clear smile.gif Try to change this and we'll see how can I help You with this metal rhythm smile.gif
Madfish
Daylight recording on bridge pickup:


Yes, the tone is another problem of mine. I've tried different LePou amp simulations with LeCab/Kefir loading Catharsis impulses without any luck. It all sounds very "electronic" for me. Definitely not like demo youtube recordings.

This is Amplitube Marshal simulation.
Madfish
I've done some work on getting some metal tone from my guitar. Here is a sample:
https://soundcloud.com/adampolomski/distorted-sound-test
Darius Wave
Mad...I'm afraid the main problem is not enough power from You right hand. I think this is one of the reasons You can't get the sound You want from some amp simulations that You know work well for some other people. Before going to the LePou and Impulse set up You have to make Your best shot choosing guitar and adjusting Your playing. This is where the 70 % of tone is. The more gain You give from the hand, the less You need to add on the amp - this profits with lower noise level and much tighter tone / attack.

When You play powerchords (not muted ones) You can play it using whole arm, wrist, hand...like playing normal chords. Also I found many times that the strength we give to play at distortion is like raping the guitar (it would sound ugly on the clean tone) but it works.

At Your current "out of hand" signal level I could say that when You'll think You play hard then still play a bit harder.

There are of course exceptions form this rule but basicly this is the main issue in Your case. I know it's a bit hard to understand until You'llfind on Your own butsince then You have to trust me smile.gif It's very hard to describe what "hard" means...would be much easier in real life to see You and tell things like "a bit more" while You play and very easy to show the proper strength just by takig Your guitar on the same amp settings.

But we can try to do this online. The problem with electric guitar is that the dynamics for a clean tone are a bit different then in case of distortion. When You play on the guitar while it's unplugged, You might think that You already play hard enough...but the truth is...when You plug to the amp and use a strength amount that makes guitar sound good on this amp....the same guitar will sound ugly on the clean tone or just unplugged.


Also this tempo is a bit to small for circle picking. This technique is good for a "turbo" motion but You should be able to play "wrist-only" in this tempo. Make wider movements and push the pick into the strings a bit more.
Madfish
Wow. I must admit, you have opened my eyes (ears?).

I set my chain of VSTs to a boosted SoloC.
Click to view attachment

I tried putting more power into my right hand movements. Is this going in the right direction? It definitely sounds better than previous gentle strikes. Obviously, long hours of practice are needed.
https://soundcloud.com/adampolomski/distorted2

I also allowed myself to peek into Sam's mixing thread and compared my bare guitar signal to the one you posted.
Click to view attachment
I noticed that my signal (lower track) gets muted very quickly after the initial punch. Yours looks completely different. It also sounds way better on the same VST setup. Would that rather be poor technique or gear ... or both? wink.gif

I record via PreSonus Audiobox. Could it be a problem with the guitar then?
Darius Wave
I'm very glad You wanted to try Sam's thread smile.gif Indeed that's partly same issue smile.gif Solo C LeCto, TSE X50 those are amps that have some extra amount of attack / brightness. You can use them if You're sure they fit Your mix but they are not good as a reference for "do I play hard enough" and "do I ange my pick enough" and " is my guitar bright enough for that kind of playing". Those are 3 basic reasons if that kind of playing doesn''t sound the way You like. Try to chalange LeXTAC. You will hear how the tone gets muddy and overcompresse on the highe gain settings. Try to lower the gain, find the angle and try to make sound good without that booster.

This is only for exercises purpose...As I sad...We can use any amp sim if it fits the mix but we need to try some harder amps for practicing so You could feel very comfortable on those, who are simplier to play
Madfish
QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Aug 28 2013, 09:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
playing doesn''t sound the way You like. Try to chalange LeXTAC. You will hear how the tone gets muddy and overcompresse on the highe gain settings. Try to lower the gain, find the angle and try to make sound good without that booster.

This is only for exercises purpose...As I sad...We can use any amp sim if it fits the mix but we need to try some harder amps for practicing so You could feel very comfortable on those, who are simplier to play


Is that any good?
Amp settings:
Click to view attachment
Recording:
https://soundcloud.com/adampolomski/lextac

My fingers hurt as if I was playing guitar first time in my life biggrin.gif
Darius Wave
ha ha ha biggrin.gif Sometimes it hurts biggrin.gif You can add some more gain like 1 o clock and please play the same metal rhythm You did before smile.gif Waiting for the file smile.gif
Madfish
QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Aug 29 2013, 04:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
ha ha ha biggrin.gif Sometimes it hurts biggrin.gif You can add some more gain like 1 o clock and please play the same metal rhythm You did before smile.gif Waiting for the file smile.gif


Aye aye. Gain set to 1 o'clock.
https://soundcloud.com/adampolomski/lextac-1
Darius Wave
Thaks for quick response wink.gif Very good smile.gif Now You have some reference point of how hard to play andalso we got some unfortunately bad information - You guitar is very dark sounding itselft. It can be party compensate with the TSE 808 TREBLE BOOST (the one You used before) but the brighter the guitar is, the less treble boost is needed and it keeps better low end and noise level. You probably noticed how boosting treble adds some noise. I want You to try tse x50. It's one of the best free amps in case of working with muddy guitars. Very often it doesn't need treble booster before amp sim. I would like to hear how it sounds with Your guitar. Also please go back to trying LeCto with booster and send me the results after we made clear some aspects of playing smile.gif
Madfish
Sure thing. Will keep practising on LeCto and come back with some more samples soon.
In the meantime, is there anything I could/should do regarding my guitar to brighten it up? Buy a new one? smile.gif
Darius Wave
QUOTE (Madfish @ Sep 1 2013, 11:57 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sure thing. Will keep practising on LeCto and come back with some more samples soon.
In the meantime, is there anything I could/should do regarding my guitar to brighten it up? Buy a new one? smile.gif



You have always two choices:

1. Deal with it - try to compensate lack of treble by adjusting the treble boosters, amps etc

2. Buy a new guitar - no matter how many pickups You'll try or how many settings. Playing You would like to master need guitar with good attack. This will always help You to get more attack without artificial treble boost and at the same time will help to avoid neddles noise etc. Well choosen guitar will sound the way You like on many amps with no additional devices. Otherwise it's always a hard job to fit the tone.

Being in Your shoes I would consider dinding different instrument. Keep in mind that more expensive doesn't always mean better. It could cost the same as You current guitar but it has to be brigther. Maybe something wih thinner body ad maple top?
Madfish
Ok, I'll make a tour around the shops and try a few. That brings up another question - how would you define dark and bright tone? I was looking for some comparison samples, but no success. Muddy = dark?
Darius Wave
Be aware of the samples. They can lead You nowhere. Start from borrowing instruments from Your friends. I usually use some trust worth amp sim or real amps. LeXTAC is very good for this. It's a "fat" sounding amp when You set high distortion. The sound is blurry but just because of this You will hear when the guitar itself makes it more blurry or if the attack is short and present.
Madfish
Hey Darius,
Went with the option 2 and bought myself a new guitar - Mayones Setius GTM. I think I'm in love biggrin.gif
Here is the same metal piece on the brand new axe:
https://soundcloud.com/adampolomski/new-axe/s-bw1Z8
Darius Wave
Much cleaner now! Congrats on Your new axe! Is it the one You mentioned in the PM ?smile.gif
Madfish
QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Oct 20 2013, 09:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Much cleaner now! Congrats on Your new axe! Is it the one You mentioned in the PM ?smile.gif


Yes, that is the one. smile.gif
Darius Wave
Great! smile.gif Now let's try to add a bit more gain to see how it works. This one should handle more gain while keeping the clarity smile.gif
Madfish
QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Oct 21 2013, 07:12 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Great! smile.gif Now let's try to add a bit more gain to see how it works. This one should handle more gain while keeping the clarity smile.gif


Hey. Here is a try with gain cranked up a bit.
https://soundcloud.com/adampolomski/metal-rhythm-right-hand
Darius Wave
We should work a bit on Your right hand - try to make more equal, maybe a bit wider movements to get better timming with those 16th notes wink.gif
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