mre's 100 Most Recent Forum Posts

Timing issues Mac 1 month ago
Using GarageBand 11, I recently switched studio computers from a MacBook Pro to a MacMini and started to encounter latency issues with recording audio. After some research I discovered that using plug ins such as guitar processing was causing the problem. With projects already underway I created a secondary reference click to enable physically dragging tracks into synchrony (tracks can be dragged to a great degree of accuracy by zooming in to the maximum amount). I now use external pedals when recording my guitar and the problem seems to be solved. I usually record a count in with drum sticks clicked together first thing so I can hear if there is a discrepancy with the metronome sound right away.
I hope this helps save you from having to upgrade your computer. smiley
RIP Chris Squire 2 years ago
Sad to hear... he had a very distinctive tone on his picked Rickenbacker. Those early Yes albums with their futuristic airbrushed album art and progressive sounds were a big part of my formative soundscape also. RIP
Welcome New Moderators! 3 years ago
Congratulations! Moderation in all things!

Wait, that's extreme moderation... smiley
Notifications to email stopped working 3 years ago
I've never ever received an e-mail notification from iComp.
IntervU by lyla 3 years ago
OK, I'll go first:

1) Anything by Bach:

2) That I am able to explore different timbres and colours and allude to different cultural mixes:

3) Anthem For The Earth using music to bring about change and awareness for environmental concerns:

4) There are quite a few: Dave Holland, Jaco, Miles, Wayne Shorter, Chet Baker, Alan Holdsworth, Alan Jones, Phil Nimmons, Don Thompson, Don Clark, my wife, my son, my band mates in various groups. I try to be open to influence, there are many more...

5) I would never try to get rid of any popular artist; just because I don't like a person's music doesn't mean other people shouldn't be able to hear it. There's plenty of bandwidth these days for all styles and persuasions!

6) the most recent one: The Day I Wasn't Born. Do TV series count? If so, Game Of Thrones

7) Wouldn't you like to know! hehe... presumably some appendage would still work so I could probably figure out a way to point a cursor and still edit and choose notes, durations and attributes

Thanks for the interview, I enjoyed it! smiley
outlawing Explicits 3 years ago
Precisely, the "explicit" warning is sufficient. smiley
Im new to Bass Guitar! I need help. :P 3 years ago
Of course you are free to tune the bass however you like, but if you want to take advantage of the last 300 or so years of bass players' literature, go with the standard tuning. The main thing about bass is time, making a steady predictable beat while playing roots on strong beats and alternating with 5ths (count up the scale to the 5th note). Here is a link to Scott Devine, he is really great at presenting the info, you'll have to dig for the beginning stuff as he has tons of lessons: good luck!
is iComp dead ? or dying ? 3 years ago
Well put, Tony, such divisive discussions can bring about unintended consequences, like young lovers, forgetting about enjoying each other's company and doing stuff together, choosing instead to discuss the terms of their relationship... Just share, trust that your audience will find your work and enjoy the results of others' efforts! smiley
is iComp dead ? or dying ? 3 years ago
annamaria wrote:
But in these years I noticed a lot of true professionals and musicians invading this playground for amateurs, and it was an easy win for them to "shine" compared to "commoners" like me and hundred of others... so this playground is now a stage. And in Latin I say "Domine non sum dignus", I am not worthy: I studied music on my own, I have simple tools, I don't record at studios. I upload my music (or "not music", as opinions go) just for personal fun. And am contented with this.

1) Where does it say "for amateurs"? Aspiring it says, independent, it says. I don't think it is possible to "invade" an open place... 2) iComp is not a stage, it's a place to post where people can choose to listen to and comment on one's work. It's not about comparison, I could drive myself crazy comparing myself to Richard Bona but I work hard at my own skills and issues in the Wretched Hollow and hope that something worthwhile comes out, just as everyone else does. We are all learners on the path and the point is to take the next step!

Keep posting your work, there are many here who will encourage and guide your efforts! smiley
Wish there would be a "Fusion" genre. :) 4 years ago
Fusion: to meld seamlessly, also happens in stars where elements fuse. Musical genre to me is expressed by a set of rhythmic harmonic and melodic norms that become associated with a given cultural context. Whenever musicians from differing cultures collaborate, there is some sort of melting pot effect whereby something new is created. Such melees can potentially have greater numbers of inputs than 2, what about orchestral/klezmer/hiphop? Perhaps those whose uploaded songs don't fit the prescribed genres can default to "other" and provide a more detailed explanation...

an interesting discussion and links, thanks for sharing smiley
all your christmas songs! 4 years ago
Best of the season to iCompers everywhere:

A non-traditional take on a traditional carol by my wife's choir smiley
Attention Vancouver area icompers!! 4 years ago
I'll be thinking of you from across the Salish Sea smiley
Lyricist looking for music/musicians 4 years ago
Hi Louise, welcome to iComp. I am one of the "instrumentalist" text challenged types as well. Can you post or PM some examples of your work?
The iCompositions Flag 4 years ago
Thanks for the compilation of the pictures, @jl looks like a lotta folks had a ton of fun! smiley
The iCompositions Flag 4 years ago
Thanks for the flag file, C's
Do you play live? 4 years ago
Did you use this survey to do promotion/market research into who was using your competition? smiley

By the way, they're irrelevant in this neck-of-the-woods... smiley
Need a DRY intro for my next CD 4 years ago
How about an ambient recording, appropriate to the theme of the CD, the music could then segue from this background sound...
Problem uploading videos 4 years ago
Just tried again...
Problem uploading videos 4 years ago
I'm having a similar problem with uploading a video: under 30MB and under 500 frame size, sound but no picture l when it uploads! I've tried several times in various formats (mov. and m4v.) and compression levels, with the same result.
would appreciate some guidance or advice,

The iCompositions Flag 5 years ago
smiley Congrats to all the tenacious sleuths!
Possible Trouble at Apple... 5 years ago
I had to install Java to set up a camera and have been having problems with Safari... hmmm... Thanks for the discussion smiley
The iCompositions Flag 5 years ago
There are known unknowns...
how to...match tempo 5 years ago
Not sure that I understand the problem, but: if you play along while listening to your "ghost" track on the headphones, whatever you lay down in record mode, whether live or midi, will automatically be in time with your MP3 track. What you hear in your headphones, called the cue mix, is important to get balanced between the guide tracks and sufficient record level of the input sound.
In some cases where there is not a clear beat to follow, like a rubato ballad, you might make a second guide track where you concentrate on where you want the beat to be to give something more obvious to follow, like a simple cross stick or wood block on the modulating beat; in either case the metronome in GB is useless to play to later, since tempo needs to be worked out first. Such "scratch" tracks can be easily muted for the final mix or deleted.
The iCompositions Flag 5 years ago
You guys are amazing! Great sleuthing! Go get the flag! smiley
12-21-12 5 years ago
On the upside: we can make plans again... smiley
all your christmas songs! 5 years ago
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all at iComp!
Dave Brubeck 5 years ago
Thanks for the great contributions-- the legacy, tunes, sons... condolences to Chris and Dan Brubeck
Rhythm Guitar - what is it? 5 years ago
The best situation, I think, is one where each of the players are on an even footing in terms of skill level and experience, knowing when and where to play with strength, conviction dynamics and musicality. Bass and drums establish metre, provide drive, outline the form while making the foundation of the harmony. The rhythm guitarist's job is to answer the ground rhythm of the bass, to complement it while providing the rest of the harmony through chords. This leaves the lead instrument to sing the melody or improvise his or her own. The one with the most freedom from the beat, and I would argue the easiest job, is the lead--if the rhythm section is providing a secure pulse. The one with the most important and influential effect in terms of time is the drummer. The one who should lead in terms of tempo and harmonic phrasing is the bass player. If everyone is listening, playing strong but willing to bend, it's beautiful. My son has led me to some modern rhythm section work with groups like Periphery and Animals As Leaders and Perfect Circle where the importance of the drums in contemporary music is confirmed. In this music a specialized electric guitar is used with extra strings, yielding a hybrid instrument that can function as either bass or guitar, blurring the lines between lead, rhythm and bass.
Rhythm Guitar - what is it? 5 years ago
Thanks for the clarification. Re Steve Howe: Yes! smiley

I believe the perceptions of the audience regarding guitarist's skills are not based on any objective points, such as notes per second or adherence to tonal concept, but rather on emotional response. This puts the scooping high notes of the lead player in a prime position to hook into the hard wired brain stem responses of the listener via wails, scoops and soaring runs. Since the rhythm player is largely playing in the middle range, his or her performance is also responded to by the listener since we hear sounds within our vocal range very well. This leaves bass players largely unnoticed, though they have the all important job of providing support and groove for the piece. Effective bass players must have a thorough musical knowledge of rhythm and harmony; they have to know the chord's notes contained in their single note lines, rather than playing memorized chord shapes as do "rhythm" guitarists. Further complicating matters, different styles of music are loved by some and hated by others according to cultural imperatives. Beyond "voting with their wallet" through their purchasing power, I don't think the typical audience member cares about the skills these three parts require. They just know how the music makes them feel.
Rhythm Guitar - what is it? 5 years ago
artneuro wrote:
you only have to compare the reputation of Pete Townshend with say, Jimmy Page to see that the traditional assignment of high medium low skill level is as much in the audience as the musicians themselves.

I'm sorry I do not follow the reasoning, please explain what you mean. I don't really know the reputation of either player other than as rock legends and don't understand the connection to hi/med/lo in the audience...
Rhythm Guitar - what is it? 5 years ago
I've heard this conception before, of the high, medium and low sonorities of the rhythm section matching the skill level or talent of the players. The idea is tidy and intuitive but leaves the drummer out, without a mention, concurrent with the stereotype drummer-as-non-musician. Can we expand the discussion to include the one who plays purely "rhythm"?
Need accompaniment for my melody 5 years ago
davidsmith99 wrote:

Can you post an example?

This will make a big difference as to who might be able to help you.

The accompaniment does what it says, it "goes with" the melody to enhance it, but without knowing what the melody is, in what key and tempo... Can you post what you have? Even if it is incomplete -- say, one verse and one refrain, then specify how many verses to complete the form. Even a temporary recording to show the melody and tempo so a chord background can be suggested, I call this a "scratch track", with a metronome which could be played along to, with the final vocal track to be added later.
good luck,
A bunch of metronomes out of sync get in sync! 5 years ago
Really interesting, thanks for posting!

I"m guessing it would not work with all tempi, the board on which they sit is free to move and since the board + metronomes has a mass and the support structure is flexible, the whole assembly has a specific frequency at which all the metronomes would have to be set. It's then a matter of "sympathetic resonance" as the flexible board gradually pushes and pulls each one into sync.

A similar phenomenon works with an old out of tune piano:
play a loud bass note, one that is fairly in tune, and play the ascending melodic minor starting a fourth below (or 5th above) the bass note with the sustain pedal depressed (only if it works) and all the strings will pull into true intonation since the melodic minor, fourth mode is so close to the overtone series... sorry, yeah, I know, too much information... smiley

Rhythm Guitar - what is it? 5 years ago
telecaster29 wrote:
think of jimi hendrx playing live. where did the rhythm end and the lead begin?

It all comes down to time, whether playing "lead" or "rhythm" Jimi was a perfect example of it all coming together in one person.
Some folks play their leads exactly in time with the rhythm, others float independently and still others float until there is a strong rhythmic part to absolutely nail to confirm things are on track. smiley
Rhythm Guitar - what is it? 5 years ago
I understand the term "rhythm" to mean giving a time and harmonic regime for the lead sound, whether it is supplied by voice, lead guitar, saxophone or other melody instrument, to exist within. Lead guitar solos tend to be meaningless without a chordal accompaniment. The rhythm section, drums bass and guitar/piano, is usually working together to provide such backing but the rhythm guitar can also be self contained and capable of accomplishing this by itself, such as in the case of the singer-songwriter. So, not so much an "instrument", shiny or otherwise, but a role to play; many times two guitarists will switch these roles and take turns being the accompanist whilst "jamming"...
Official Song Plugging Thread 5 years ago
Created in memory of colleague, mentor, inspiration and fellow 'ukulele player Francis Keen who left us 6 summers ago:
Kick drum solution 5 years ago
My kick drum size has also reduced over the years. Starting with a 22 with one head; I filled it with pillows and muted it with a piece of corrugated cardboard to mute it. I found that a 20 X 12 inch drum with one muting pillow and both heads made a much deeper sound since a closed vessel resonates at a lower frequency. I now have an 18 X 16 inch bass drum which contains a bit more air than the 20. I also run it with no muting and so the heads are free to produce some higher frequencies. I tune both heads to the resonant frequency of the container on all my drums for maximum response. A big mistake, in my opinion, is to use a vented front head; this is done to insert a BD mike into the drum via a boom stand: this radically reduces the resonant frequency of the drum in an acoustic setting. Many Jazz players will tighten up their BD heads for more bounce on the pedal to yield a sound more like another floor tom. The low frequencies are still there but much shorter in duration and coloured by the many more higher sounds.
One more thing (last one, I promise) the mechanical efficiency of pedal you are using is dependent on the connection to the bottom lip of the bass drum (or lifter in your case so the beater hits the centre) since it only has a couple of wire struts to maintain the position of the foot plate. Try using a pedal with a solid bass plate so the stanchions are rigidly and integrally connected. The difference in response is dramatic owing to the lack of lost motion as the foot comes down on the pedal deflecting the stanchions before the crank has a chance to move the beater...
Good luck with the percussion explorations with your son. When my son was 5 years old I gave him a jingle stick and showed him a basic hand pattern: R - R - both - R and the rest, as they say, is history! What a wonderful thing for a father to share his musical interest with his son...
What Are You Listening To Today? 5 years ago
Not Now But Soon*

Genius, Imogen Heap, at work...

*done for Heros whilst working on Ellipse

cheers, mre
What is 'flava'? 6 years ago
A student recently asked me the difference between a "major", a "minor" and a "7th" chord and I said it was a different "flava" - I guess I mean't flavour... thanks for the synesthesia, Erin!
Your Music 6 years ago
Hardly ever. To me music is a journey. Nice that we can leave traces in passing... I'm stuck in the here and now, but looking forward to the next combinations of sounds. Too many interesting pieces to listen to from others on this site to worry about my own back catalogue. cheers, mre
all your christmas songs! 6 years ago
Merry Christmas and all the best for 2012 to my iComp friends!


~ Grahame
Lady Gaga NEW VIDEO 6 years ago
Lady Gaga is certainly no stranger to drama, in my view this is were the similarity to Madonna, with whom she is often compared, ends. I admire her unshakable conviction and knack for grabbing and keeping the spotlight. Her video, Marry The Night, is no exception paying homage to contemporary issues and her own struggles with addiction and mental anguish. She is not afraid to portray herself, as lead and director in her video, in unfavourable light and situations from which others would rather shrink. She has proven herself time over to be an artist that can change with the times and still come up with novel ways to shock and titilate, and remain on top of an industry that has become increasingly dilute and stagnant.

Recently I have discovered a female vocalist and multi-instrumentalist from my homelands who also manages to retain control of her music even though employing the multiplier effect of crowd sourced sound scapes. Please check out Lifeline the first in the latest group of Imogen Heaps songs:
the ending never fails to get me...
best wishes, mre
IMPROVISATION: Is It For You? 6 years ago
Improvisation is also at the core of what I do. Whether vocal, guitar or bass and drums, my process is to discover sounds that sound good to me, learn how to repeat the bits that I like and arrange them into a cohesive form. I've recently been trying to think of it as a subtractive process, too, similar to peeling away an onion to reveal the Music in its intricacy like the chipping away of the marble to liberate the sculpture inside. I like this idea as music is pre existing, waiting to be discovered and refined.
best wishes, mre smiley
RIP Steve Jobs 6 years ago
I am grateful for all he has given us. A progressive contributor to human cultural and artistic interaction, he linked computers and creativity and made wonderful tools that paved the way for a new paradigm in thinking and expression.
My sincere condolences to his family and co-workers.
Thank you, Steve Jobs, rest in peace...
Is music trans-dimensional? 6 years ago
Is music trans-dimensional? I thought perhaps you were refering to the parallel universe that musicians seem to be coming in and out of from time to time... this is usually most apparent at some critical juncture where something in the real world needs to be done, such as finding the car keys or cooking. But I am now guessing you must be referring to the axis of pitch versus time that mathematicians and sequence builders are happy to use to graphically describe musical events arranged in a spacial way with height for pitch and horizontal progression left to right to represent time. In fact playing music requires many more "dimensions" to juggle including interacting rhythms and harmonies as well as timbre, dynamics, form and, in the case of singing, remembering the words--like driving down a multi lane highway at speed in all lanes at once. words are so inadequate to describe music though: most folks think of music as songs but compositions are just fashioned from music as the raw material. Raw material that is not even tangible in the hold-it-in-your-hand sense. Sure it is vibration that bounces around in a room before it impacts your ear drums but music can exist in our imagination before it is written out for the string quartet to play, or be stuck in our head as an ear worm all day... is that not a musical dimension?
What do you use online to transfer files in a collaboration? 6 years ago

Also skype has file sharing with no limit on file size -- files go directly to the destination computer as long as both parties are on line and in communication to initiate the transfer.
Official Song Plugging Thread 6 years ago
Are you feeling lucky? Make my day!
Official Song Plugging Thread 6 years ago

Sometimes we visit a place we've spent lots of time, maybe in our youth, and our presence triggers a flood of memories. This song is about such an experience: in the backwoods of British Columbia an aging lumberjack visits the location of a logging camp and sees the forest re claiming the land that was once barren of trees and dotted with the cook houses and shanties of those who made their living Cutting wood. Now you're logging!
Please, leave a comment when you listen!
Acoustics better after dark! 6 years ago
Hot air expands, cold air contracts and becomes more massive and so able to transmit sound waves more efficiently. I've experienced this playing my horn outdoors through the seasons listening to the natural reverberation from trees and rocks.
Damn Scientists and their scienc-y-ness 6 years ago
Mu-sic: to the Ancient Greeks, The Mother Of All Sciences...

Without the imposition of logic it would just be noise; it is the relationships of the sounds in time and pitch that holds its appeal to our brains.

Music touches on all aspects of human learning, social, spiritual, technological... as well as maths and sciences!

Cheap Microphone 7 years ago
I love my Neuman clone by Marshall MXL 2010 ( it does need XLR connections and phantom power) multi-pattern, great sensitivity, -10db pad. $ 175 cdn.
The large diaphragm condenser microphones are so popular because they capture more information; like a camera with a large aperture lens is able to catch more light, they are able to capture more sound energy and dynamics (soft parts of sound as well as the loud bits) than built in mics. smiley Good luck with your investment.
How do I record a Cajon in Garageband? 7 years ago
Shure SM57, SM58 are industry standards for live sound and a good investment but for recording there are tons of good reasonably priced condenser microphones, both USB versions that plug into your computer or the standard type that plug into an XLR mixer input with the necessary phantom power. The large diaphragm side address multi-pattern type are my personal favorites as they are so versatile for recording voice or instruments. The large capsule captures more detail in the sonic information, somewhat like a large lens on a camera captures more visual information compared to the tiny camera on a computer. Good luck!
How To Break a Writers Block 7 years ago
I discussed this with my son who is a prolific songwriter. Here are his thoughts:

1. start to learn a song in a half hearted sort of way, use the ideas and they somehow morph into a new original combinations of ideas

2. something else that you have to get down on record seems to get his creative juices flowing... creativity through procrastination

Not the same as sitting around waiting for inspiration though: music, as with any art form, is 99% perspiration!

Interesting topic, interesting responses, thanks for kicking it off Axel!
How To Break a Writers Block 7 years ago
I think we are considering the ebb and flow of creativity here (except the above comment); it seems to have peaks of more and valleys of less. I think it more important to consider what we do during the valley times: there is always lots of work to do on past creations, keeping chops up, arranging, mixing etc. If we keep busy, in the musical mode, when that creative spark strikes, we'll be ready!


Re-introducing myself 7 years ago
Pleased to meet you! Welcome back aboard... did I mention I have live drums...

Official Song Plugging Thread 7 years ago
Tribute piece to friend and collaborator Uncle Harry Hill. Title comes from the groove based on a regrouping of a 7 beat:
Naaji Birthday (woooohooooo) 7 years ago
AMM... OC4...
Official Song Plugging Thread 7 years ago
Head Threads is a song about neural plasticity... no, I mean, it's an instrumental improvisation made on a simple cassette 4 track with drums, electric fretless bass and two guitar melodies having wildly contrasting tones. Did you know that our brains constantly rewire themselves in response to sensory stimuli? That means that by listening to music...
I hope you enjoy:
Great Performance Videos Thread 7 years ago
Hey SoulSurvivor, you'll dig this then:


Great Performance Videos Thread 7 years ago
To loop or not to loop? Check out this amazing performer doing multi-instruments and vocals live:

cheers, mre smiley
Excuse Me! 8 years ago
Here's hoping you can take comfort in the well wishes of our music making community; add mine to the mix!

Tips & Tricks 8 years ago
My idea for a thread: Sharing studio related tricks and tips, such as best practice, song starting ideas, theoretical concepts, compositional approaches, organizational advice ... Here's mine:

Using re-cycled TP rolls, the cardboard tubes, to store the plethora of cables, patch cords USB, firewire, AV, Audio Y etc. that we use. You can flatten the tubes, label what they contain on the outside, zig zag the cord and tuck in in the open end. (zig zagging works better for cords since they don't twist as much and easily stretch out) They all fit in a small space and DON'T TANGLE! smiley

Roll Call! Where In The World Are You? 8 years ago
Hi all, I'm finally on the map! You have to first create a google account to edit the map and enter your info... smiley
Roll Call! Where In The World Are You? 8 years ago
Great idea for a forum! Most of the time I'm running around so much I feel I'm not anywhere at all... I rest, and also practise, at Black Creek on Vancouver Island BC. Come on iCompers, lets see our geographic distribution!

mre smiley