MIDI Song: The Process

Creating my MIDI song admittedly took longer than I anticipated, for several reasons that I will explain. The first part of the project involved actually finding MIDI to use. That was difficult, and not because of a lack of resources; on the contrary, I had so many options available to me that I had trouble choosing just one MIDI file to use. I finally settled upon a MIDI file of a Noteflight arrangement of Malagueña that I did for a theory project in high school. It imported into Soundtrap as all piano tracks, instead of the brass and percussion that it had been in the original score. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it sounded just as good, if not better than it did originally. However, the percussion tracks did not sound good at all, so I either changed them to a different instrument or eliminated them completely. After I figured out a MIDI file to use, I created a drum groove in Groove Pizza and inserted that into my project.

The tracks that I used included my drum track from Groove Pizza, Rhodes Keyboard, Electro Bass, Grand Piano, Clean Black Drumset (which was one of the tracks that did not transfer well from Noteflight to Soundtrap), and two sound effects, entitled “Hold Key 8 Bars Sweep” and “Sweeping Repeat”. I used some of the Rhodes Keyboard sounds because the part that had been 1st trumpet transferred into Soundtrap as Rhodes Keyboard, and I liked the sound of it, so therefore, I experimented with making what had been the 2nd trumpet track utilize the Rhodes Keyboard sound, as well. I used Electro Bass on what had been the French horn track, because I wanted something that sounded a little more “punchy”, and that did the trick. The other tracks in my project were chosen either because they had been the default and I liked the way they sounded, or they were effects that fit the sound that I was looking for.

I am definitely satisfied with my end result, although trying to figure out all the nuances of the MIDI files, including piano rolls and percussion parts, was a bit painstaking. If I had unlimited time to work on this, I might add some more variation to what I already have. If I had unlimited ability to work on this….well, it might sound better than someone’s first experience working with MIDI. I would also want to spend some more time just gaining familiarity with both MIDI and Soundtrap. I look forward to working with it again in the future and continuing to learn more about it.

Groove Pizza

Here is the link to my drum groove on Groove Pizza: https://apps.musedlab.org/groovepizza/?source=pub&museid=BJhhDbtKe

I decided to work by trial and error, starting by filling in every single circle, and then slowly eliminating aspects, until I found something that I liked. I would say that the groove I created belongs to the rock genre, mostly because after playing around with the application, it just seemed to sound the best to me on the “rock” setting (I did try my groove on all of them). It had a certain “drive” that none of the other settings had, so, that’s where I decided to leave it.

Loop Song Process Documentation

While making my first loop project, I used five different loops, entitled Jazzy Bass, City Synth Bass, Heavy Rock Drums, EDM Build-Up Kick (#3), and Dubstep Bass (#1). I thought it was interesting that most of these loops were considered to be bass sounds, when I found them under all different categories. I used these types of loops based upon the example that I observed in class, but as far as the specific sounds, I really had no reason for picking those, other than the fact that I liked the way that they sounded. For this particular project, I based my structure primarily off of the fact that the project had to be three minutes long. Ergo, I first copied and pasted my tracks until I had a duration of about three minutes, and then, I manipulated each section into a multiple of four measures, since for some reason, groupings of four measures are most pleasing to a listener’s ear (myself included).

I feel that creating music in this fashion is indeed a legitimate form of musical creativity, because it is still a product that one is creating. While the composer may not necessarily be creating every single note in this case, they are still manipulating each track to their liking, with the end goal of creating something of which people will enjoy listening. The way that I look at this, creating electronic music is hardly any different than creating music using traditional notation.