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Composing

using Soundation

You will be handed a piece of paper with two different emojis on it. Your task is to
create a composition in binary form (A - B) that reflects two contrasting moods. Each
section should last for 12 bars/measures.

There are two types of tracks: Virtual Instrument (MIDI) tracks and Audio tracks Virtual
instrument tracks are controlled via MIDI (Music Instrument Digital Interface). MIDI is a
protocol that allows digital music tools to communicate with one another, it does not make
sounds, but instead controls them using a series of messages eg. Note on, off.

Tempo = speed (beats per minute) the higher the number the faster the tempo

Time signature = beats per bar/measure in this project, the time signature is 4/4 by default
which is four quarter notes per measure or bar.

SECTION A In section A we will be using Audio Tracks (grey) only and therefore working
with Audio loops.

STEP 1 - ADDING TRACKS
To add an audio track, click on the + symbol in the lower right corner. These are pre-
recorded samples of audio (instruments) that are available in the sound library.

Grey tracks = Audio Tracks

Blue tracks = Virtual Instrument (MIDI) Tracks



STEP 2 NAVIGATNG LOOPS

Audio loops are divided into 3 folders based on genre and sub-folders based on tempo.

To audition the loops in
the Library, you can
double click on the loop
or hit the speaker icon on
the lower right corner. If
you want to loop a
preview file to hear it
repetitively, click the
Loop box in the middle bottom of the loop
library view. To hear any preview loop just
by clicking on it, check the Auto Preview box
in the bottom right of the loop library view.



STEP 3 - Find a drum loop you like and drag it into the sequencer on Audio Channel 1.

The first loop you drag into the sequencer sets the tempo. It is advisable to work with loops
that are the same tempo.


Note: If you select a loop that has a different tempo (bpm), after it loads it asked if you
would like to time stretch the loop to fit the current tempo (not recommended).


STEP 4 Add a bass Loop. When finding instrument loops that arent drums, you will need
to pay attention to the key of the loop. Key = The letter specifies the pitch and Major and
Minor determines tonality of the composition. Major = happy, Minor = Sad.

*Note a loop named C instrument is in C major, a loop named Cmin instrument is in C minor

Drag your bass loop on to Audio Channel 2. Click and drag the edges of the Bass and Drum
loops to make them repeat for 12 bars.


STEP 5 Add additional instrument loops. Recommended: Guitar, Synth, Keyboard etc.
Remember to make sure that loops are in the same key, otherwise you may hear some very
clashing sounds experiment at your own risk!





SECTION B Use a combination of Audio Loops (Grey) and Virtual Instruments (MIDI)
loops (blue) to create this section of your composition. Consider changing the key
(major/minor) and or tempo (bpm) of your loop selections.

Optional - Change the tempo by double
clicking the value and typing in your
desired tempo (BPM). All previous loops
will remain in the old tempo.

STEP 1 - Follow the same process you used to create Section A of your track Start off by
using an Audio drum loop.

STEP 2 - Use a combination of Audio loops (grey tracks) and MIDI loops (blue tracks) for the
remaining instruments. See notes below for using virtual instruments and MIDI loops.

Note: MIDI files from the Library can only be dragged onto Blue Instrument Channels


A virtual instrument needs to be assigned to
the track in order to hear any sound. Select
an instrument from the drop down list. See
page 4 for Drum Machine instructions.


Extension: you can create your own blank MIDI loops and write in notes. Double click on
a blank area in an instrument track to experiment.


Pointer tool - to adjust length and
position of notes

Pen tool - create notes

Velocity tool - adjust the velocity
(often volume) of the notes. Click and
drag up or down on notes to change
the velocity. You will notice that the
notes changes color to represent the
velocity.



EXTENSION: THE DRUM MACHINE MIDI SEQUENCED VIRTUAL DRUMS

STEP 1 - Select DrumMachine in the drop down menu from a blue Instrument channel.

STEP 2 - After selecting DrumMachine, up pops the DrumMachine unit, where you can
adjust the each of the 8, drum sounds in the kit.

STEP 3 - Double click on the instrument track to create a new note clip

STEP 4 - You can audition the sounds on the vertical keyboard. The DrumMachine starts at
C3 with the bass drum and moves up chromatically (step by step- white to black keys).

The drum kit note range is within the red box on the keyboard pictured above.

STEP 5 - Select the Quantize drop down menu and select a setting that will affect the feel
and swing of the beat. It will only affect selected notes, and even though you have
quantized some notes you can easily change their position later.


STEP 6 - You can change the volume(velocity) of
individual notes by selecting the velocity tool on
the top of the Edit Not Region window. Hold the
cursor over a note or set of notes, and while
clicking on the cursor drag up to increase the
volume (color becomes red) or down to lower the
volume (color becomes green).

EXTENSION: HOW-TO: FADE IN OR OUT

To Fade a channel, go to Automate and in the drop down menu click on Volume.

STEP 2

An automation line will appear.

STEP 3

Click anywhere in the track and an automation point will appear. This is two channels "cross
fading":

You can do this with any of the individual channels, but if you want to fade in or out an
entire song then you have to use the Master Channel automation settings.