Original Composition

I’d just been using the built-in sounds, but thought I’d try arranging something with the custom drum samples the prior owner had installed in the instrument.

Put this together from three segments of a long session. The video in (1:50 – 2:50) is a little bit ahead of the audio. 4:15-on was completely unplanned, but maybe it can take you somewhere.

Experimental progression with no drum sounds. It took a lot of time to get the melody and harmonization right.

This was before I learned to splice clips together with iMovie. (It’s still unwieldy to get it right.) I probably would have done that to avoid repeating the first block while turning on each subsequent layer.

I recorded this using the instrument’s “Record” function, playing it back in front of the camera. For future songs I think it’s better to keep my fingers in the video.

Something a little more complex.

It’s hard to know how music will sound to fresh ears, after listening to the same loops so many times while composing it. If I go away for a few days and listen to other things and come back, there’s a sense of freshness for a short time, during which the patterns sound a little weird, until my brain learns them again. But to a completely fresh listener, the weirdness will be stronger and persist for longer. The balance is in keeping a song evolving interestingly through its course, while not confusing new listeners too much.

Basic tune I composed in a major scale.

I also got a bit more sophisticated with the recording: propped my laptop up on its front edge with the screen pointing down at the tabletop.

Something simple, playing around with the default major scale (“Ionian”). I’d been switching it to “chromatic” in the Play menu for everything in the past. This uses only built-in sounds, and I post-processed the audio in FL to amplify, adjust levels and add reverb.