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Topic: Tara's Melody (First Attempt Using a Midi Keyboard)

  1. #1

    Tara's Melody (First Attempt Using a Midi Keyboarding)

    Well, I remember having a conversation on here about midi keyboards a while ago. I again, have decided to take the keyboard out and wipe the dust off. I have been composing for a long time now, but feel the need has come where I must expand upon my skills by gaining practice with the midi keyboard. So here is my first real attempt using the midi keyboard.

    I decided to start with one of the most precious pieces I have ever composed, Tara's Melody, which is from her theme. I composed her melody years ago to help the memories of her flow throughout me forever. When I listen to her melody it paints a beautiful picture of the moments we shared together.

    Libraries Used:
    - Black Grand Piano (Sampletekk)

  2. #2

    Re: Tara's Melody (First Attempt Using a Midi Keyboard)

    I can always tell Richard when someone playing in real time on a keyboard versus midi mouse entry or one at a time key entry. You can never match the slight nuances of tempo and velocity that you get with real time playing.

    Your melodic line really sings, the best I've heard Tara's theme played so far. So thumbs way up on that!!

    What's killing your rendition here is your left hand with the static repeated chords played four times for each chord. I realize this is just a test for you and you probably didn't take the time to develop the left hand line. If you want to add some effective sensitivity quickly to the left hand to match the right hand, change the triads you are playing just slightly in the four repetitions of each chord. For instance, throw in a 2nd or a 6th or 4th or whatever every once in a while to alter the triad plunking sound so the left hand doesn't have the metronomic, mechanical sound, and it will blend in with the right hand.

    At any rate, really beautiful heartfelt playing on the melody!!!


  3. #3

    Re: Tara's Melody (First Attempt Using a Midi Keyboard)

    Thanks for the feedback Cass!

    My bad, I forgot to explain that I only did the melody with the Midi Keyboard Live. I used the midi keyboard in step mode in sonar for the chords. I tried doing both at the same time... and it didn't turn out too well lol! Thanks for the tips, I can definitely vary the chords a bit so they are not loop-like.

    I will be doing a lot of practice with the keyboard over the next while! Attempt to I guess will really try and get both the left and right hand working together.

    I am glad you liked this version to the melody. I liked it to, it does seem more naturally flowing as compared to the point click entry of notes.

    Thanks again!



  4. #4

    Re: Tara's Melody (First Attempt Using a Midi Keyboard)

    Very nice! I'm a firm believer that playing live almost always produces the best results. I do it with 95% of my work. The nice thing is, you don't have to be a fantastic pianist. You can always tweak the notes afterwards without losing the natural sound. Removing a wrong note, changing the velocity of a note, shortening the gap between two repeated notes, trying a different chord - these and many other things can be done easily with the existing recording.

    One easy trick you might try: Move the first chord of each measure down an octave, and remove all but the bottom note of that chord. It fills out the accompaniment and helps with the "plunking" sound that Cass mentioned.

    I encourage you to persevere with your keyboard!
    __________________________________________________ _________________
    My website: www.tunespace.net

  5. #5

    Re: Tara's Melody (First Attempt Using a Midi Keyboard)

    Thanks for the feedback Owen!

    I did some more practice... as frustrating as it is... I am actually having fun using the keyboard! This is definitely not going to be an easy task for me... but it must be done. I notice the natural flow of using the keyboard in regards to timing... it sounds more real. I have made a schedule with myself to practice at least 1 hour a night. I am determined to get this keyboard under control, LOL!

    Thanks for the further tips Owen, I definitely need all the advice I can get.



  6. #6

    Re: Tara's Melody (First Attempt Using a Midi Keyboard)

    Nice, Richard! It's great that you're expanding your musical horizons with that MIDI keyboard you've recently dusted off. Already, with this really sweet sounding recording, you're reaping the benefits of doing some hands-on playing rather than just mouse note entry.

    Your fellow Forum members, Cass and Owen, have given you excellent input and encouragement. I'm sure you're agreeing with them that this is a very worthwhile thing you're doing, starting to use your keyboard more, and I'm here primarily to add to the cheer leading team - "Goooooooo Richard!" 8-)

    Quote Originally Posted by sururick View Post
    ...I used the midi keyboard in step mode in sonar for the chords. I tried doing both at the same time... and it didn't turn out too well lol!...I guess will really try and get both the left and right hand working together...
    Playing with both hands, pianistically, can be a goal - but it's not an absolutely necessary one. There's nothing wrong at all with making multiple passes over a track, concentrating on the left hand, then on another pass, playing the melody. When I work with a piano patch, I hardly ever record both hands at the same time.

    It's also not at all necessary to record long passages at a time. I often work on just a few measures at a time. There's no awkward "punching in" like we had to do in the old days of recording on tape. You just engage record, let the project play, and add more to what you have. It's rare for me to record volume data at the same time I'm playing - I've developed a mindset that works for me, feeling like I'm playing the piece as I hear it playing back, but I'm actually just playing what's already in the track as I use my Expression pedal to record the volume part of the performance.

    In other words, even when working with a keyboard, you can work in manageable chunks instead of driving yourself crazy trying to emulate a totally live performance.

    To help with the timing, it's good to keep the metronome playing even after you have a substantial amount of music recorded. And of course the PRV is there for you to tweak the results - there's no need at all to try over and over again to get a perfect recording. Better to capture what you can, and then take a critical look in the PRV, adjusting the start times of notes as needed --with SNAP OFF!--don't make the error of keeping snap on, or you'll be going back to the quantized over-perfection of note-by-note entry.

    Congratulations - you're doing very well lad!


  7. #7

    Re: Tara's Melody (First Attempt Using a Midi Keyboard)

    Thanks Randy for some more tips and for the CHEERS! I am indeed glad I am starting to tackle this... I bought it, tried it a few of times and put it a way for long time :P.

    I have been practicing a lot. I think your feedback is really good. Do the piano with one hand instead of two and just d multiple takes. I am getting much better with just one hand. But playing full fast sequence with two hand is just not gonna work for me right now.

    But I am having fun, and am learning more!

    Thanks again for the help and advice!


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