During this twenty time, I tried to put together what I learned and start making the song. I plugged in the notes I wanted for the beginning and slowly started making a beat around them. I will admit, at the beginning, it sounded atrocious. I was having a hard time making the third note and the bass making noise simultaneously. The third note was coming in too early and it sounded really awkward and rushed. I spent around thirty frustrating minutes playing around with the pattern area and trying to think of ways I could make it sound better. Then it hit me. I knew how to alter the pitch and rhythm of the notes. I realized that it sounded much better lower pitch because the bass went very well with it. By this time, I had around five minutes, and that’s about how long it takes to put away my laptop with all the cords. I feel like I’ve made some decent progress on my song. The thing I made was around seven seconds, but I feel like I’ll repeat it multiple times in the song. This is coming along well.
During this last Twenty Time, I watched a very long YouTube video that lasted about 40 minutes on my phone. It was hard to watch, but it was also very important. In the video, I learned how to alter the pitches of the sounds and beats in various ways. I also learned how to adjust the time and how many beats each note lasted. This was a key part in making the song. You do these thing by going to the panels where you adjust the beats and then dragging a few things around. My idea is to start out in a higher pitch, switch to a lower pitch, and then end with a higher pitch. After I watched that (somewhat boring) video, I had around ten minutes to test this out and screw around with the software. I am not even close fully understanding how this software works. I need to watch a lot more videos and I also need to polish my skills on the things I have already learned. The next Twenty Time I plan on watching a video on how to alter the beats more.
Instead of a work session, we evaluated each other during this Twenty Time. Everybody was given a sheet with a few questions. At first we were to answer the questions and evaluate ourselves, then the group we were put in had to rate us. I have hit many roadblocks this year. Near the very beginning of the year, my computer broke and I had to wait for it. That set me back by a lot. Another issue is how vast the software. I was reading online, and one of the pages said that the software takes years to fully master. Another person on a blog said that it took them two years to make a full song. I am rushing to learn as much as possible in such a limited amount of time. I am also hesitant to watch hour long video tutorials. Even if I am facing a few roadblocks, I do feel like I have had some great successes. I have managed to learn a ton in these past few months. I also have a brilliant idea for a song. To most people, that is the biggest step in music making. I look forward to the final product, and I definitely know I will be it. I do not need to re-evaluate my goals. As long as I keep working hard, I know I can make an awesome song!
During this Twenty Time session, I feel like I’ve accomplished a huge step. Before this Twenty Time, I spent my fifty minutes messing around with the beats trying to create something cool, and then watching videos on Youtube to learn about the program. It was during Winter break when I realized that I had no idea what my song was going to be about. All I had stored on my computer were potential beats that I could try to implement into the song. This troubled me for a long time. I kept on listening to music to see if I could get any ideas from them. Finally, it hit me. In my elementary school, the music class had to come up with a piece to present during an assembly. The end product of that assignment was just three notes being repeated. I can hear those three notes clearly in my head, but I’m not sure what they are. I’m going to try to figure them out on my piano at home. I have already come up with multiple ideas on how to build off of those three notes and turn them actually in to a full song. Now I have something to actually focus on.
Today, December 2, 2015, was our sixth Twenty Time period. I am really happy about this work session because I got a lot accomplished. I created a few more beats by messing around and I really like them. I used the same sound generators that I used in the beat from the last Twenty Time so the new ones would fit the theme. They sound really good. I think after one more Twenty Time of creating beats, I’ll be ready to watch more video tutorials and learn how to edit and distort the sounds. After that, I’ll be ready to combine all of the different beats and edit that. I can’t wait to do this because I really want to hear what the outcome is. Half of the school year is almost over, I will have to work really hard at home and during Twenty Time to make this sound really good.
Today, November 18, 2015, was our fifth twenty time period. As usual, I continued my project working with FL Studio. I watched a few video and messed around a bit trying to see if I could figure anything out or at least create a beat. I dragged a few sound generators into the pattern areas and proceeded by clicking the buttons to make it say my name. What happened next surprised me. I actually had a beat that I liked. I saved that beat into a folder I created so I’d have that next time. I feel like I want to incorporate that into my final product. These next few Twenty Times, I will continue to watch video tutorials. However, next time, I’ll also mess around a little to see if I can incorporate what I learned into my new patterns. I still don’t know how to actually make the song yet. I’m trying to catch up with the two periods I missed. Hopefully by December, I’ll have a few patterns that I like and will be able to start putting them together to make a full song.
This Twenty Time I finally had my computer. I was able to refresh my memory using the notes I took on how to navigate the software. For the first half of class, I messed around on the program to see if I could do anything interesting with what I already knew. Then, for the other half of class I watched videos to learn more about the site. I managed to sort of learn how to make a bass line. Each new beat requires at least twenty steps. I’m going to keep working with software this weekend so I can learn this better. I made an okay beat during class, but I’m not going to use it in my final product. I tried uploading it to this post, but it didn’t work. I’m going to start watching videos and practicing during my free time because I’m a slight bit behind. I will start working on he final product after Winter break which gives me plenty of time to get familiar with the software.
Yesterday was our third twenty time. Unfortunately, my computer had a slight delay and I got it back at around twelve this afternoon. I did not decide to buy the app because it was twenty dollars and had only three and a half stars. Many of the reviews said it had potential, but it was bad. This puts me back a little with my music making, but I managed to use the class time to listen to some music and take notes on some common traits that they all shared. These were some of my notes:
- Has some sort of “peak” or what some people call a “drop”.
- Some sort of buildup for the drop.
- The buildup slowing gets faster and faster.
- Right before the drop, it usually gets quiet for a brief moment.
- Has some sort of vocals in at least one part of the song
- Has a repeated beat throughout the whole song except during the buildup and drop.
- If it does have some sort of singing, it usually changes singers during the buildup.
- Most songs have two drops.
- The second drop tends to be faster and a higher pitch than the first one.
Another problem is that I don’t have any vocals. I could make a song with no vocals, but from what I’ve observed, every song has vocals in the main part or at least in the background. If I decide I need vocals, I may just do a remix of a song. There are many videos online on how to do that. In the meantime, if you have any ideas on a song I can remix, you can leave a comment at the bottom. Thanks. Can’t wait to use my computer next time!
Yesterday October 15, 2015 was our second twenty time. Unfortunately my laptop is broken and I have sent it in for repairs. The repairs will be done by the next twenty time. I spent this twenty time just watching videos and using a piano app on my phone to see if I could make any good tunes. I’m thinking of getting the FL Studio app which is just a simplified version. I can’t wait till next twenty time when I’ll be able to actually use my computer.
Today, October 2, 2015, we had our first twenty time. I really enjoyed it and was glad to be able to spend that time productively. During these fifty minutes, I used my phone to follow a step by step tutorial on how to navigate the pattern area. Once I was able to use the pattern area, I was able to make a basic drum beat. I’m probably not going to use the drum beat in my final product but it was very helpful to at least be able to know how to do that.
Unfortunately , there are some technical errors with the program and it constantly produces static crackling sounds. I think it may be a problem with the buffer speed and I hope I can fix it before the next Twenty Time. Next Twenty Time I’ll be using the pattern area to produce some other beats such as the bass line. I can’t wait till the next Twenty Time!