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#448231 - 12/31/17 10:45 AM [User Showcase] Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS
aleck rand Offline
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Registered: 12/13/12
Posts: 958
What's better than a RealDrummer? How about two RealDrummers ... or even three. Each playing the same style at the same tempo. Here's a trick I often use to add more dynamics to rhythmic patterns using, in this case, one RealDrum track (of the Jazz Funk Movin'/Groovin' variety). Make a copy of your RealDrum track, located one track down but otherwise aligned with the original in the track above.

The trick: Slide or shift the second track to the right a certain number of beats. Trial and error, the way various test runs sound, rhythmic intuition, etc. are the most natural methods for shifting the second track. There are mathematical methods to make this determination. You'll be amazed when you hit that "sweet spot" and new rhythmic excitement and complexity jump out at you.

This original composition uses the method to create a multi-directional drum track that deliberately makes it hard to find "one" but still drives the tune forward. I like to do harmonically complex tunes that are out of the range of BIAB's instrumental tracks. So I wind up playing all the (real) instruments except the drums, at which point RealDrums become indispensable. There is an interesting back story, found on the destination page, to the title


.................................SOLARIS


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#448283 - 12/31/17 04:26 PM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: aleck rand]
Scott C Offline
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Registered: 12/08/11
Posts: 3542
Loc: Edmonton, Ab, Canada
Hi Dean. So glad to hear from you. Happy New Year..

What a cool song. Really loved the texture to all the different sounds. Especially the guitar. Loved what you did with the drums as well.
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https://soundcloud.com/scottt709

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#448291 - 12/31/17 05:11 PM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: Scott C]
aleck rand Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/13/12
Posts: 958
Scott, Happy New Year my friend. Enjoy the view from Solaris. Make a resolution to read Lem's novelette this year.

Dean

PS I kind of went off the deep end in the reply to Torrey and wonder of any of it sounds familiar or if you've thought along these lines yourself.


Edited by aleck rand (01/01/18 11:22 AM)

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#448318 - 12/31/17 07:01 PM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: aleck rand]
MarioD Offline
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Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 11449
Loc: Hamlin NY
Hi Dean, this is great.

When this started I immediately thought of Miles and Coltrane. Then you brought in a John McLaughlin and Jan Hammer. You also have a few Billy Cobhams playing also. All of them were under the direction of Zappa.

This is a keeper.
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My mind is like my Internet browser: 19 tabs open, 3 of them are frozen & I have no idea where the music is coming from.

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#448407 - 01/01/18 08:29 AM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: aleck rand]
Torrey Bliss Offline
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Registered: 07/11/15
Posts: 1664
Loc: Missouri
Wonderful, exquisite and extremely well performed Jazz Aleck!! An artist that came to my mind as I listened to this was John McLaughlin! I always feel like just putting the guitar back in the case when I hear material done as well as this (Just kidding)! Thanks for posting, it's a tremendous inspiration to a lot of us out here! Have a great 2018! Thanks, Torrey
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#448429 - 01/01/18 10:03 AM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: MarioD]
aleck rand Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/13/12
Posts: 958
Mari-o, my man

Been a while, too long really. Before anything, have a healthy and creative new year and if you can get to read Lem's novelette, Solaris, that would be good too. If you ever wanted to read a writer whose imagination outruns reality from the git, then Lem is your man.

Otherwise, your compliments are such a kick for me to get the new year off to a running start. My compositional skills are not that great but every once in a blue moon I'll have ideas come into my head. They seem to appear out of nowhere, not based on anything I've recently heard, and are more like instructions given by the tune in order to compose itself.

Solaris is the best example I can give of one of these rare events. When it's done, I listen to it and ask, "Did I do that?" And if it's good, I know it. But the names you bring in - McLaughlin, Billy Cobham, Zappa - go beyond the class of just "good." Deep thanks, my friend.

PS you may find interesting my reply to Torrey, about two schools of thought in improvising. I wonder if it makes sense and you've thought along these lines yourself.


Edited by aleck rand (01/01/18 11:23 AM)

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#448431 - 01/01/18 11:15 AM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: Torrey Bliss]
aleck rand Offline
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Registered: 12/13/12
Posts: 958
Wow! Torrey, such a profound compliment.

We could probably have a good back and forth about McLaughlin and two schools of thought on improvisation: melodists versus formalists Wes was the supreme melodist. Each phrase was a beautifully shaped, coherent, melodic idea pointing to the next idea. You could sing Wes's solos. He coudln't read and certainly didn't know much about modes and exotic scales. Basically, his mental map of the instrument was so perfect that he just used it as another voice to sing with. This leaves out all the other original things about the guy: the thumb, the octaves, the impossible chord solos. Even with the thumb Wes could go fast when he wanted too.

But not nearly as fast as McLaughlin, formalist supreme. By my definition, formalists rely much more on scales, modes, geometric patterns on the guitar, graphs drawn in the circle of fifths and other devices that may or may not translate into melodic ideas. If I'm right on this, McLaughlin himself shouldn't know how his playing will sound until after he plays it. When you can play that fast it almost doesn't matter, either a note is right or is an approach note to something right. What really needs to be right is the setup of the larger geometric blocks or other structures riding on the changes.

Pat Martino, probably my favorite of all time, plays both sides. He uses formal patterns which turn out the baadest licks ever heard on the instrument.

Somehow or other you're supposed to find the right combination that brings out your own unique voice. Yeah, right. No one tells you that finding this voice is a sure thing, or might take two lifetimes or you might find it and - surprise1 - you don't like it! Bummer. I've found my own voice at least 47 times. So I know what those "into the case, then into the fireplace" moments are like.

I didn't expect this to be so long, but you mentioned McLaughin and paid me a deep compliment. Thank you. I hope 2018 finds your voice honed to just the way you like it.


Edited by aleck rand (01/01/18 11:23 AM)

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#448476 - 01/01/18 03:36 PM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: aleck rand]
F.M.M. Offline
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Registered: 12/26/11
Posts: 1196
hi dean great stuff here its all about the timing awesome work the horns your guitar work well done great listen thanks eric

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#448585 - 01/02/18 06:25 AM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: F.M.M.]
aleck rand Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/13/12
Posts: 958
Hey Eric, Happy New Year,

I'm glad you liked this tune and thanks for the kind worda. Not for everybody, but I'm glad to get any listeners with the ears to hear what's happening and possibly use the trick of offsetting real drum tracks.

Dean

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#448771 - 01/03/18 06:04 AM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: aleck rand]
Charlie Fogle Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 4590
Loc: South Carolina
Good to see you posting again. I've always admired the complexities, melodic phrases and improvisation of your work. I don't know much about McLaughlin,Miles and Coltrane or Billy Cobhams and I get a type of music may not be for everybody, but I admire anyone who is the best at what they do and I totally appreciate your work. There are many others like me judging from the comments on the SoundCloud post.

I'm also a fan of BIAB tricks and will dive in and see what I can do with of offsetting real drum tracks.


Enjoyed this one a lot.

Charlie
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#448781 - 01/03/18 06:39 AM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: aleck rand]
dani48 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 3480
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Hi, brother !:))


There ain´t noone
around that could do
anything even close
to this ! You are
in a league of your
own and we love it
all of us !:))

Cheers
Dani

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#449292 - 01/05/18 11:12 AM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: aleck rand]
Greg Johnson Offline
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Registered: 12/21/13
Posts: 4247
Loc: Davis, CA
WOW!!!! WOW!!!! WOW!!!!, And a WHOA!!! on top of that!! This is more than "fun and games". What a cool, imaginative, thrill-ride of a tune. I've really missed having you around the forum Dean, and SOOOO Happy for your return. Happy New Year, and don't be a stranger!!! Take care. Greg

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#449442 - 01/06/18 04:59 AM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: aleck rand]
tommyad Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/22/11
Posts: 2797
Loc: Florida
Dean, I'm glad you're back. It sure sounds like you've healed up nicely. This is such a challenge to my ears. Since it is somewhat outside my genre I have to work at listening. I always enjoy what you post and it has broaden my musical horizons. I enjoyed your explanation of improvisation. Nice little trick with the offset drum tracks. Again you have shown your expertise on multiple instruments. You are a great player and arranger! Wishing you well in the new year, Tom

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#449873 - 01/08/18 07:30 AM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: Charlie Fogle]
aleck rand Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/13/12
Posts: 958
Hey Charlie,

You must know more about McLaughlin than you think because I see his double neck Gibson iyour pic! Except his wasn't white. I never took away much from him except that he was real faaaaaaaaast. Then I began to notice that you could pick any of his solos and start anywhere and you'd hear roughly the same thing on every tune. Billy Cobham was a thundering drummer that seemed to fit the approach of McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra. About Miles: I saw a movie called Miles Ahead, produced and directed by and starring Don Cheadle. The merciless picture of him must be an exaggeration. No one could be that hostile and have any energy left over for, say, playing the trumpet.

Your kind remarks are appreciated and so is your willingness to bear with some fairly "outside" music. Thank you.
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#449917 - 01/08/18 11:56 AM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: dani48]
aleck rand Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/13/12
Posts: 958
DAANNIII!

I never figured out how to handle over the top compliments like this. Thank you just doesn't seem to do the job and you would think that the English language, with its gigantic vocabulary, would have a better selection of choices. But it doesn't, so it's thank you ... very much. Anyway, you look terrific in your "new" pic (since I haven't been here in a while, it's new to me) and it's great that you're still composing, playing and posting. I suppose we'll never stop. I've decided not to do covers except on SoundCloud and since my compositional skills are not so great I'll have to distribute carefully the originals I have created.

Best of everything to you Dani in the new year

Dean
_________________________
Sweetwater Creation Station. BIAB 2018, Mixcraft 8 Pro Studio, Izotope Nektar 2, Ozone 8, KEYBOARDS: Kurzweil Artis 7, Crumar MOJO, Hammond XK-3, BASSES (fretted & fretless by Ibanez, LTD, Warwick. GUITARS by Guild, Gretsch, Ibanez, Eastwood (12 string)

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#450054 - 01/09/18 06:52 AM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: aleck rand]
Janice & Bud Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 6240
Loc: GA USA
Wow! The word is over used but we're gonna throw it out anyhow: EPIC!

We have been, for lack of a better term, peripheral jazz listeners for many years. Little understanding of the technical aspects but a big appreciation of the talent and time that goes into a product like this.

We also know enough about McLaughlin to get the connection that has been mentioned.

We enjoyed the piece and the informative backstory.

Welcome back...hope to see you here more!

J&B
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#450497 - 01/11/18 11:03 AM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: Greg Johnson]
aleck rand Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/13/12
Posts: 958
Woooohooooo! Gregsby!

It is great to be back and over the top reactions like yours, well, imagine what it's like strapping on a jet pack and just avoiding the elevator altogether. I've decided not to do covers on the PG forum anymore and have converted my signature to a more conventional look. Since being on the Forum last I've gotten a boatload of new equipment. One thing I won't get, though, is a synth, like the Yamaha MX88. These are beginning to generate automated backgrounds just by playing a few simple chords and choosing a "style." In a way, they are reinventing the wheel because BIAB has been all over this for decades.

My visits will not be too frequent - for some that may be good! - because I'm not much of a composer. Every so often, something will go bang! and I'll get a tune that seems to come from nowhere. In the meantime, I can't tell you how heartwarming it's been to get this fantastic welcome back. Thank you for your kind words, my friend. And all the best for 2018.

Dean
_________________________
Sweetwater Creation Station. BIAB 2018, Mixcraft 8 Pro Studio, Izotope Nektar 2, Ozone 8, KEYBOARDS: Kurzweil Artis 7, Crumar MOJO, Hammond XK-3, BASSES (fretted & fretless by Ibanez, LTD, Warwick. GUITARS by Guild, Gretsch, Ibanez, Eastwood (12 string)

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#450498 - 01/11/18 11:17 AM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: tommyad]
aleck rand Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/13/12
Posts: 958
Tommy,

Man, so great to hear from you. In fact, this welcome back has just been incredibly heartwarming. You made some thoughtful comments on Solaris, probably the best thing I've ever done in the original composition department, where I'm not very strong. I'll never forget you telling me that you turned out Once Forgotten Man, the minor blues we did, in 20 minutes one Sunday morning. Lyrics like that ... On the other hand, Solaris will stretch your ears and it's gratifying to have someone acknowledge that they had the experience.

Your kind remarks are deeply appreciated and, to you as well, all the best in the new year.

Dean
_________________________
Sweetwater Creation Station. BIAB 2018, Mixcraft 8 Pro Studio, Izotope Nektar 2, Ozone 8, KEYBOARDS: Kurzweil Artis 7, Crumar MOJO, Hammond XK-3, BASSES (fretted & fretless by Ibanez, LTD, Warwick. GUITARS by Guild, Gretsch, Ibanez, Eastwood (12 string)

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#450500 - 01/11/18 11:48 AM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: Janice & Bud]
aleck rand Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/13/12
Posts: 958
You guys!

First of all, let me congratulate you on that cool animated avatar. I blinked exactly as the moment when the faces switched and thought, "Did I see tha.." and then the faces switched back again.

This welcome back has been so heartwarming. When I retired in 2008, having neglected music for decades but knowing that I had limited time to squeeze the career into, the first thing I needed was a place to play. Actually it was the second thing, because the first thing was to find out if I had any chops left at all. I had heard of BIAB but didn't know it came equipped with the bonanza of the PG Forums. You play music because you have to. Same for me. I knew I would never make a dime playing the kind of stuff I do, which I consider "music for musicians." When I found folks like you, who could talk back to me intelligently about music that requires intelligence, and human and kind to boot, I knew I had found home.

All the best to you in the New Year. I'll be back as soon as I can come up with an original, which may be a while because I'm not the songwriter that each of you are.

Dean
_________________________
Sweetwater Creation Station. BIAB 2018, Mixcraft 8 Pro Studio, Izotope Nektar 2, Ozone 8, KEYBOARDS: Kurzweil Artis 7, Crumar MOJO, Hammond XK-3, BASSES (fretted & fretless by Ibanez, LTD, Warwick. GUITARS by Guild, Gretsch, Ibanez, Eastwood (12 string)

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#450532 - 01/11/18 02:44 PM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: aleck rand]
Rob4580 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/28/12
Posts: 2358
Loc: Murgon Queensland Australia
Great method with exciting results.
Well done .Rob

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