Music

Loops and Beats

November 4, 2009

I haven’t been writing all that much lately, which is usually a bad thing, but lately it’s just because my writing time has been usurped by GarageBand.

GarageBand is a music program that comes on the Mac.  When I first switched from PC a few years ago, I gave it a cursory test drive, but didn’t find its workings all that intuitive and I sort of forgot about it.  But recently I gave it a more concerted effort, and it turned out to be less difficult to use than I thought.  Now that I’ve got the fundamentals down, I’m using it pretty obsessively.  It’s a  great tool for the lapsed musician, especially an ear player — my theory has always been pretty shoddy, but I’m good at figuring things out, so GarageBand is a perfect fit for me.  Basically by layering beats, percussion, and loops, and bending the pitches to give the songs shape, you can actually “compose” music.  (It’s a little like finger-painting with notes, in some ways, so I’m sure real musicians would look at it as a “cheat” — but hey, that doesn’t make it any less fun!)  My weak area tends to be coming up with melodies, but I’m working on it.

So anyway, if my blogging has slowed down in the past month or so, or if you’re an editor eagerly awaiting my next story [*snurk–spit-take–hahahaha!*]…well, GarageBand is to blame.  I’m working up a collection of songs, most of which sound like 1970s TV theme music — remember when TV shows had theme songs?  The album-in-progress is called Episodic. Not available in stores…

Oh, and just in case you weren’t aware how awesome my girlfriend is she surprised me yesterday with plug-and-play keyboard and percussion pad accessories.  Jenn, you rock!  🙂

Anybody else played with this program?  Are the expansion kits worth buying?  If I’m still enjoying this a couple months from now, I might try have to try them out.

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  • MoviePen November 6, 2009 at 4:49 am

    I look forward to hearing your debut album. 🙂 I use GarageBand for work-related mashups and for music tracks for my home movies, so I’m not using any accessories. (Or original music for that matter.)

    But it’s still a LOT of fun!

  • Chris November 9, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    It is too much fun…like, keeping me up until 2 AM fun! The album has nine songs already…