Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Computer Made Music Opus

Make Music with your Computer: An Introduction


Well guys, I’ve decided to write a short article on how to make music with your computer. When I started out, I couldn’t find anything to help me. I didn't know what to buy, or where to start. Hopefully this short article will help you in your quest to making music a fun and productive hobby or future profession.

Loops and SONY ACID Software

When I first started to create music I used SONIC FOUNDRY'S ACID MUSIC 3.0. It's a piece of software that enables you to create music with loops. Loops are small pieces of music, like a drum line or synth line. These loops are only a few seconds long, but, obviously, they loop. This means that you can draw the loop in for 30 seconds, 60 seconds, whatever length you’d like with no distortion or other strange noises when the loop starts over at the beginning. There are many websites and companies that create loops for production use. A lot of them are Royalty Free; this means that you can use them in commercial (for-profit) songs. Each of the companies that create these loops has their own license, which you’ll want to read if you’re going to release an album. The license is usually just a set of rules or terms that say what you can and can’t do with a loop. Most the time you can use these Royalty Free loops in commercial recordings, but you can’t, for example, resell the loops by themselves. You have to abide by the license.

As far as I know SONIC FOUNDRY was bought out by SONY, so if you’re looking for this software….

- Do a search for ACID PRO, or visit the link at the bottom of the article

- There are different versions of the software; one of the versions is absolutely FREE

The Reason to create

The piece of software I’d like to talk about in this section is PROPELLERHEADS REASON. This piece of software is much different than ACID. REASON is focused less on loops, and more on programming. When I say programming, I mean using individual sounds, for example, a kick drum, snare, or piano sound. You then use the awesome devices to create patterns. REASON includes a powerful list of devices. Some of the more important are the ReDrum Drum Machine, Synthesizers, and all new in 2.5, the mastering devices. I’m not going to get into this too much, because there’s just too much to tell in this article. If you’re interested in using REASON, I recommend that you get the tutorial CD-ROM from M-AUDIO. It will give you a good idea of how to get started with REASON, and if you think that it will be good for you.

Putting it all together

The great thing about the two pieces of software that I talked about in the previous two paragraphs is this:

- You can use ACID for all your loops

- You can use ACID to record vocals and/or guitars if you have the equipment

- You can use ACID to render your final recording to mp3, wav, aiff, and more

- You can use REASON to program patterns for drums, synths, etc.

(Keep in mind that these two programs can do way more than what’s displayed above)

The coolest part of this whole thing is that you can connect these two programs. Using a technology named “REWIRE”, created by PROPELLERHEADS you can have both of these applications synchronized. Add a loop in ACID, make a pattern in REASON, and have them play back together. When you’re done, you can render in ACID to have the synchronized music as one file, or track.

Wait! I have no sound

Okay, so now you have the software to start creating some awesome music. So the thing you’re missing is sound, speakers, headphones, etc. I use an external sound card by M-AUDIO, called OMISTUDIO USB. This thing connects to my pc with the USB port. It has two headphone connections and two instrument/mic connections with preamp power. It also contains several speaker connections, as well as other connections for mixers, etc.

There are several different types of these external sound machines. Most of them are either USB or FireWire. Most have headphone, speaker, and mic connections and come with the necessary drivers for your computer.

It’s all over

I hope that this short article gave you some ideas to start making music. I plan on writing more articles as time permits. See ya soon!


ACID PRO and other SONY Software - http://www.sony.com/mediasoftware

PROPELLERHEADS REASON - http://www.propellerheads.se

M-AUDIO Products - http://www.m-audio.com

Calab Coleman
Liquidesert is an electronica artist, and has been creating music since 2001. You can learn more about Liquidesert at
http://liquidesert.com - You can also find Free Loops and Beats by Liquidesert at http://www.beatstorm.com.

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Filmmaking Rate Card Verse

Filmmaking - Don't Pay Rate Card!

If you want to broadcast across Hollywood that you are an amateur, pay the rental company’s published rate card amounts for your production equipment. No professional pays rate card!

I don’t even know why they bother to print rate cards, except to give you an idea of the top of the price range, how high not to go in your negotiations.

You can get a deal on anything, but you have to ask. It really is as simple as that. You don’t have to know anyone or say a secret password. Just ask.

Let’s use dolly rental as an example. Now, you don’t just rent a dolly. I mean, you can, but that’s all you’ll get: the dolly. No tracks, no wheels, no camera mount, no seat—just a dolly. You want to rent a “dolly package.”

When you call to rent your dolly package, plan to shave 20% or so off rate card. Ask if they’ll throw in extra days. If you need if for eight days, ask for the weekly rate. (Usually two to four days rental).

Get the dolly first, then start adding in the extras. You need dolly track. Pay for the curved pieces, and ask for the straight ones for free or half price. Go through the entire equipment list that way.

There are two things to keep in mind when you call for a deal:

1) The equipment isn’t making any money sitting there unrented. They’d rather have it out for half price than not have it out at all.

2) They never rent at rate card. Odds are good the person you’re talking to doesn’t even know what the rate card prices are.

It’s called haggling. They do it with every single person who calls. You aren’t asking for anything special.

If you can’t get everything at the price you want, tell them you’ll have to check and get back to them. If you can call around and compare prices, do it. If you live somewhere where there’s really only one place to rent a dolly, be slow getting back to them, anyway.

When you call back, say, “Look, I just can’t go that high. Can you work with me some more on this?”

The person you are talking to wants to help. When she was eight years old, she was not saying, “When I grow up, I want to work at a production rental house.”

Odds are good that, like you, she is a filmmaker. She feels your pain and will work with you however she can.

If you’re working on an extremely limited budget, try this: Tell the person on the phone how much you can spend: “Look, I only have $1,200 budgeted for my dolly rental, and I need a jib arm, twelve feet of straight track, six feet of curved track, hard-surface wheels, and a seat, for ten days. What can you do for me?”

They’ll tell you what they can do for you. You may have to make concessions on your equipment list, but then again, you may be surprised to hear them say, “Yeah, we can do that.” You have to A-S-K to G-E-T.

Of course, there will be times when you just can’t get what you want, no matter how much sweet-talking you do. If there are a lot of shows shooting at the same time, rental houses won’t be as willing to let things go out cheap.

You still don’t have to pay standard prices, (I’m not kidding - no one pays rate card), but you may not get exactly the deal you want.

The Rolling Stones were on to something: you’ll get what you need. It’s more of a pain in the neck to work with less track, but you can do it. You may have to sacrifice the jib shot, but maybe you can get that hand-held. And maybe you can adjust the schedule so that you need the dolly less than eight days.

This process applies not only to your dolly and your grip and lighting equipment, but your post-production, as well. It’s a similar process, shaving percentages and getting extras, when you negotiate for your lab and editing.

The business of Hollywood is dealmaking. It starts when you put pen to paper. It continues through buying scripts, hiring actors and selling your movie. You have to make deals at every step along the way. Start haggling!

Angela Taylor is a Hollywood producer, and a seven-time Telly Award winner. She teaches Independent Producing at
© 2005 Angela Taylor, All Rights Reserved. You may forward this in its entirety to anyone you wish. Hollywood Seminars, Box 2449, Hollywood CA 90078 USA
This article is available for reprint in your ezine, website or ebook. You MUST agree not to make any changes to the article and the RESOURCE BOX MUST be included.

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Filmmaking Money Ode

Filmmaking - What To Do Until The Money Arrives

If you are not busy making your movie, you should get busy making your movie.

“How can I start,” you whine, “when I don’t have any financing?” I know it seems you can’t roll film or tape until you have some money, but your lack of funding isn’t permanent, is it? You will have money at some future time, won’t you? You must have faith that things will get better, or they won’t.

So that’s a good place to start. Generate a little faith, and step out on it. Actively visualize how your film will look, and sound, and how it will be financially successful.

Visualization is key here. It literally costs nothing, but makes the real movie possible. I recommend the book, “Creative Visualization” by Shakti Gawain. http://snurl.com/gr88

Ignore any negative people in your life, and drive yourself on faith that your movie will get done. Visualizing your movie may seem like a waste of time, but is one of the best uses of your time. Visualizing your movie is working on it.

A present lack of money should never keep you from working on your independent feature. Besides visualization, there are many things you can do until the money arrives.

Work on your script. Read it, then read it again, and rewrite it. Punch up the dialogue, fix the scenes, weed out weak characters, get to the point of each scene.

Your script is never perfect, it needs work. Working on it a terrific use of your time before financing arrives. Have parties, where you and your friends read it aloud, just like doing a radio play. Take note of audience response, and revise accordingly. After each revision, read it again, and again.

When funding comes through, you will know your script inside and out and upside down. You’ll know the scene numbers, without looking at the script.

Once your script is polished, start planning. Now you need to be as artistic as possible. Read your script again, with your Director hat on. Imagine what the players look and sound like. Make notes in the margins of your script, and figure out how you’re going to do it. For now, don’t even think about the money.

Once you’re sure how the movie will go together, start breaking the script down. Make lists of all the cast and crew and props and costumes and locations that you will need. Assemble your ideal team, on paper. Figure out how many special effects shots there are.

Then make up your preliminary schedule. Think through the shots and get a real understanding of how long setups and shots will take. Just because a shot only takes two sentences in the script, doesn’t mean it will only take twenty minutes to shoot.

Obviously, after you’ve broken down the script, and know what you’ll need to buy, then you make up your budget, last of all. Really think about each line item and do some research to determine realistic costs for crew and equipment. Call labs and rental houses and get rate sheets.

The good news is a practical budget and schedule and artwork will help you get financing. When you show Investor Prospects you’ve really put some thought into how the money will be spent, they’re much more likely to see it your way, and give you the money.

You might read “Secrets Of Raising Money For Your Movie,” by Sam Longoria, to learn how to gather and approach investor prospects.


You should be using your TBF (time before financing) to network. When you call those labs and rental houses, get to know the people who work there.

Ask for names, and write them down. They’ll be good resources when the time comes, to get things at a discount. Not only can they help you on rates, but they’ll know crew wanting to break into features, who will also work at lower rates.

Join a filmmaking group. A good one is IndieTalk, http://indietalk.com It’s online, and you can reach it from anywhere. Networking with other positive filmmakers gets you moral support, and you can learn from the mistakes of others. Be selective, don’t hang with people unless they have a “can do” attitude. If you let them, individuals and whole groups can waste your time! If all they want to do is argue or debate, move along.

Pitch in! Help out on other filmmakers’ shoots, to get a better idea of how a set runs, and how long setups and shots take. This helps scheduling your own film.

By lending a hand to other filmmakers, you also make deposits at the favor bank. You will need to visit the favor bank repeatedly as you make your film, so it’s best to have an account there. If you help on their projects, it will be hard for your new filmmaker friends to deny you assistance, when you call.

Put your face before the industry. Filmmaking associations have events where industry professionals speak. Go to these. Be bold, and push through the minions and introduce yourself. Go to film festivals and be sure to attend the mixers and panels. Go to film markets, and sit in the lobby and talk to everyone.

When your financing comes through, and you have a green light to start pre-production on your film, you will already have done most of the work, just about everything but casting. Your schedule and budget will be done, you will have leads on crew and equipment, and your script will be in top form.

Angela Taylor is a Hollywood producer, and a seven-time Telly Award winner. She teaches Independent Producing at
© 2005 Angela Taylor, All Rights Reserved. You may forward this in its entirety to anyone you wish. Hollywood Seminars, Box 2449, Hollywood CA 90078 USA
This article is available for reprint in your ezine, website or ebook. You MUST agree not to make any changes to the article and the RESOURCE BOX MUST be included.

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Vintage Guitars Poem

Les Paul Vintage Gibson Guitars - A History

Les Paul vintage Gibson guitars were first produced in 1952. These guitars were the first solid body electric that Gibson had made. The 1952 version of the Les Paul vintage guitar has a gold top nitro-cellulose lacquer finish, and no serial number. This Gibson was designed by Les and included Kluson tuners, a pair of P90 pickups, and retailed for $210.

These Gibson vintage guitars were simply called 'Les Paul' models, and later became known as Gold Tops because of the finish. Most Les Paul Gibson vintage Gold Tops have a gold colored maple top with natural back, a few guitars were made that had the gold finished all over.

In 1954 Gibson launched the Les Paul Custom vintage guitar. The Les Paul Custom has an ebony fretboard, with elaborate bindings on the guitar body and headstock. Among some guitarists this Gibson vintage acquired the name 'black beauty' because of its gold plated hardware and black finish. The Custom was the first fitted with a tune-o-matic bridge and tailpiece.

The Les Paul Junior has a flat, uncarved mahogany body with no binding. The Junior guitar is equipped with a single P90 pickup, along with an old wraparound combined bridge/tailpiece. Some Les Paul Juniors were referred to as Les Paul TV models because of their blond/yellow finish instead of a sunburst.

Jeremy Hier makes it easy to learn about guitars quickly and easily. Learn more by reading our guitar reviews and tips at http://www.best-guitar-deals.com.

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