Mobile Song Process Documentation

Creating a song using only my phone was surprisingly a lot more frustrating than I expected it to be. After downloading several different apps (and subsequently giving up trying to figure them out with minimal instructions given), I settled on an app called Music Maker Jam, that I found in the Google Play Store. However, even this did not come without difficulty, as I had to watch a tutorial several times, and also scrap several projects before I was able to figure out how to work the app properly (and I’m still not sure that I am using it properly). Finally, after many attempts, I figured out that I wanted to layer all of the instrument samples that I had chosen. These included a bass track, a drum kit track, two different piano riffs, a synthesizer track, and an electric guitar track. While recording, I played around with having each of those enter and exit at different points, starting with just a bass groove, and building from there, until every sample was playing at the same time. In addition, I figured out how to change the number of measures per phrase, which was a handy trick when I wanted to achieve a building effect. I also found a very basic effect grid. The X-axis was labeled low-high, and the Y-axis was labeled soft-hard. All I had to do to mess with the sound was drag my finger along the grid, to achieve the desired sound. This also helped to show a feeling of the music building, but it was difficult to mess with the effects and change the phrase length simultaneously, so I know that it didn’t come out as cleanly as it would have on a real program.

In a sense, I guess I did perform this live. Sure, it was not in front of an audience or anything, but I hit the record button at the same time that I began playing the first sample, and I then improvised to an extent. While I did sort of know how I wanted to stack all of my loops, this was not something that I wrote down. I essentially just hit record, began playing and stacking the samples, and messing with the phrasing and the effects periodically for about three minutes. This was not done in sections in a studio, and then patched together and edited at a later time. However, I am not one hundred percent sure that this constitutes as performing “live”, especially since it was done on my phone. I am sure that there are people on both sides of this debate, and I would love to hear more arguments for each point.

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