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Hip Hop Tools and Techniques
I've never been much of a hip hop producer. I've never had an MPC or used samples very often. I've done a bit of sample chopping, but it's typically been my own performances, chopped up and rearranged. I've tried to make hip-hop from scratch and hopefully those compositions did offend anyone with the label of 'hip hop'. I've always felt that something is missing in my track - maybe what is missing is 'the sample'. Not just a drum hit, but samples of dense, textured and rich sounds from the mid to late 1900's.
This last week, I picked up the Native Instrument's Maschine - a software/hardware combo. It's a grid controller that lets you sample, sequence and effect sounds without much looking at a computer, which it needs to be plugged into. It comes with a nice variety of sounds, both percussion and one hit samples. It's a fun box that has a really nice feel. I played on one a few years ago when the first came out, but was just getting the Ableton APC40 controller at the time. In the past few years, the software has been updated, pushing past some bugs and performance difficulties. The standalone software has been a delight so far - not a single crash in over 20 hours of use. The plugin has had some latency issues inside Logic, but they have been short lived.
A couple things I've come across this weekend while exploring this piece of gear are worth sharing. 5th Seal's vLog, showing how he samples and arranges sounds on his MPC, which the Maschine can mimic. I was in need of some Acapellas to put over some beats I'd been working on. I went to the pirate bay, searched for 'Acapella' and sorted by 'seeders' - this gave a 6GB library of hip hop acapellas. I use uTorrent to download the torrent contents and then remove the torrent when done. If you leave the completed torrent in your uTorrent client, you'll be uploading whatever you downloaded to other users - so be warned of the legal and technical impacts of that (uploads will kill your gaming experience!).
About half of them are horrible quality, but the rest are usable. Now to categorize by BPM. There are other sources of Acapellas out there, you just have to do some looking. Acapella Archives had a nice little selection of vocals to choose from if you can suffer through the rapidshare downloads - no wait on the rapid share, which I remember for some reason.
|Watching internet on the TV||
We've had a computer connected to our TV for the past two years. Our Samsung 32" LCD has a VGA input. We had cable for a year since it was coming free with our internet, but cox got stingy and decided to take that away. For the 5 years before that, I didn't have cable.
|Why is this so hard?||
I've been trying to get a performance setup going with a laptop on OS X leopard, some max/msp apps, sooperlooper and some midi/osc hand and foot controllers.
I'm trying to get sooperlooper to act as a master, slaving max/msp and the sequencer. Max triggers instruments in the sequencer as well.
|Apple headphones = crap + ouch!||
I dropped my iPhone on the cement the other day when coming home from work late at night - I must have been delirious. The music started skipping shortly thereafter. I decided to give it a reboot to see if it would fix it. The phone decided to not come back on. I immediately booked an appointment at the Apple store. I went in later that day. They pushed the power button and my old phone came on. They were puzzled - "What's wrong with it?". I walked away, relieved.
|Installing Komplete 7||
I'm instaling NI Komplete 7 right now. Almost done after 3 hours of swapping disks. It's 90GB off a stack of DVDs which each take about 15-25 minutes to copy to disk. What a chore to install! However, there are things you can do to enhance the next few hours you'll be spending exploring the presets - if you're lucky enough to have enough time when finished.
After the first disk is done, all the plugins are installed, so you can poke around a bit while the massive Kontact and 9GB Battery are installed. You can also start up ServiceCenter up and get your serial number input. I didn't try to register until the install was done, didn't want to mess anything up.
Manuals for all the products are installed the Applications/Native Instruments folders in OS X. The libraries are in Users/Shared. I excluded this folder from Time Machine backup for the duration of the install, so it will not make requests to the disk while the DVD is being read.
|Logic 8 Performance Environment Tutorial||
I get into Logic's most lauded feature in this tutorial. Many people say that Logic's MIDI handling power is unparalleled. It's all contained in a page called the environment, where you can route incoming midi into modules that modify the signals.