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Saturday, 14 July 2012

Beat Chaser - 20120711ewMorTest v001 03

Listen to this on SoundCloud.com

This is the newest composition I've created. It is a rock piece called Beat Chaser. Working on this on the side, I started working on the piece on 11 July 2012, and finished it on 14 July 2012.

Created in FL Studio 10, all instruments are from EastWest's Ministry of Rock 2.

I composed this to test and showcase the instruments in Ministry of Rock 2 which I recently acquired. This is also my very first attempt at composing for this genre.

Only one of the lead guitars had an ImageLine effects plugin applied. The rest get their effects straight off EastWest's play engine.

Patches used:
MoR2 Kit
Fender Jazz Bass KS
Baritone Rhythm Guitar KS
CarvinBridgeLead KS
TelecasterLead KS (Image-Line Hardcore guitar fx applied)

Something to look out for in the piece:
- some time-signature changes from 29s to 35s. There are 2 cycles of 3/4 then 1/4.
- cowbells from 35 seconds onwards (Alvin this is for satisfying your cowbell obsession!)

I am very surprised at how pleasant the instruments sound. I did not really need any heavy processing to get them sound the way they do. All the rhythm and lead guitars in the piece have their outputs sampled straight from the guitar before amplification, as well from guitar amps. The TelecasterLead only has the clean samples. That is why I had to use the Image-Line Hardcore guitar fx on the Telecaster.

I have always had the idea that there are many more guitarists in Singapore than musicians who play any other kinds of instruments. (I did a search and the guitar and the electric guitar are in the list of the most popular instruments in the world, along with the piano, violin, viola, cello, drums, flute, clarinet and the piccolo. Some links, here and here.) So much so that I somehow feel that I am at a disadvantage not knowing how to play the guitar. :(

The guitar has such high level of expressive freedom, that to re-create a performance with virtual instruments will have a very high possibility of sounding fake, since we all know how a guitar would sound like, being played by a human musician.

However, seeing so many virtual instrument(VI) libraries featuring sections of an orchestra and even entire orchestras with complicated articulations being sampled, and having heard EastWest MoR 2 demos, I was convinced that I could make some decent pieces of music from guitars after all. These would definitely beat the guitars from EWQL Goliath and Kontakt Factory patches. :) That is part of the reason why I acquired the MoR2 in EastWest's buy-one-get-one-free sale.

It is very interesting that before this, I have not had any desire to attempt at creating a piece of guitar-heavy rock music. This genre isn't really my favourite kind of music. However, the results sound quite promising, but of course it is not perfect. For one, the structure probably isn't very polished. There are probably quite a lot of areas in the playing style and sound that rock composers and producers would look out for, that come with years of working with the genre.

Despite my inexperience with the genre, I was so surprised when during the composing process, I could find quite a number of compositional and arrangement devices in me to push the composition along. I was listening quite a bit from Nick Phoenix's demos on MoR1 and MoR2 product pages. I suspect I subconsciously picked up something from those demos. Also, I had a few opportunities to be helping out in events and studio recording sessions when a rock band was playing. I think all these add up to how well we hear/observe and how we can then make those things our own to use when we need them.