BlogThe usual and unusual happenings involving me and my musical projects

Aww Snap, the Mail is Down! News

neo | Feb, 5 2014 at 4:30 UTC | News

Well, it appears that the winter snowstorms have branched out from solely affecting physical mail and took down my contact forms. I apologize to anyone that came across this issue while visiting my site. The issue has been resolved, and error handling has been beefed up as well.

PS: If you like the image, it's not mine, but you can get stickers and shirts here.

Cubase and the Elusive MIDI Send Options Tips and Tricks

neo | Jan, 24 2014 at 9:55 UTC | Tips and Tricks

Not too long ago I came across a feature within Cubase that I didn't actually know existed- the MIDI send. The reason here is two-fold. First, I didn't have a need for it previously, and second, it's hidden by default! 

The purpose of the MIDI send is to allow you to send the MIDI data of a MIDI track to more sources than the instrument it's directly connected to. This type of thing could, for example, allow you to easily layer synths using a single MIDI track, making sure everything is always in sync. In my case, I was looking for a way to easily use a sampled kick drum along-side of EZDrummer. 

One could argue that this is a trivial task. You simply create two MIDI tracks, one for the kick and one for the rest of the kit. The problem is, now you have to edit the kick drum separately from the rest of the kit. It's much easier, in my opinion, to edit in a single piano roll.

For those who are in the dark (like I was) regarding the whereabouts of the MIDI sends, never fear, they are easy to find. You simply right-click in a blank area of the channel inspector column (far left side of screen by default) and check that you'd like to see MIDI sends. As a note, you should probably do this while inspecting a MIDI track.

Here is a partial screen shot showing a potential setup. You can see the MIDI track for Groove Agent SE doesn't have any MIDI data, as it's all coming from the track labeled "Metal Machine." As a note, in my situation I was looking to replace the kick, so the EZ Drummer kick is muted (not shown).

Trials of The Scenic Variety News

neo | Jan, 24 2014 at 3:02 UTC | News

Recently I've come in contact with a group looking to finish up a new horror feature. Being savvy, they are trying on composers by having each write a trial cue to a scene in the film. This is something I've often heard of, but amazingly have never been a part of one til now. It was both exciting and intimidating having no true direction and also knowing the cue had to stand against others.

Until the trials are over, there isn't a ton I can share. For now, here is the score-only version of the demo:

Setting Goals and Keeping Yourself Accountable Thoughts and Opinions

neo | Jan, 4 2014 at 12:01 UTC | Thoughts and Opinions

I've spent a decent amount of time away from blogging, and for some of it I even kept away from composing. I didn't lose interest, I just became overwhelmed with the birth of my son, Lucas. That is all fine and well, but sadly putting music to the wayside became habit. Was it the lack of projects? Was it the lack of focus? While those played into it, the biggest issue was a lack of goals, and a lack of ways to keep myself accountable.

It's quite easy in the creative world to fall into the trap of waiting for inspiration. The problem is it won't always strike when it's convenient. I've actually found it to prefer times when it's completely inconvenient. If I can't count on inspiration, what can I count on? Well, turns out that organization does wonders.

If I look back to past assignments, it's quite obvious that schedules are amazing tools. Set the times and be there. You may not feel inspired when you start, but going through the motions may just create the inspiration you need. Your most daunting task has all of a sudden become an exciting adventure.

Progress is made and you feel great, all because you set the goal and kept yourself accountable.