Been There (working title)

August 15, 2013 10:05 AM

One of my first attempts at making music on a tablet (well, except for the guitars)... This is still very much a work in progress, but I kind of like how this mix is shaping up. This will eventually have vocals. Part of a bigger new project I'm working on under the tentative working title "The Big Dismal."

posted by saulgoodman (7 comments total)

A little more explanation on the production technique: I created the basic tracks using Caustic 2 on a cheap little Samsung tablet, then dumped the individual waveforms onto my DAW, where I added some guitars and effects. I'm really pretty impressed with Caustic 2. It has it's limits but it's surprisingly useful for a cheap tablet app.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:58 PM on August 15, 2013

Sounds great. Like the odd guitar chords at the end

That Samsung tablet, is that an Android one? I eschewed getting an Android tablet for an iPad (despite my dislike of Apple) a couple of years ago because it didn't have any decent music apps...
posted by TheAlarminglySwollenFinger at 5:52 AM on August 16, 2013

Yep, it's one of these super cheapies running Android 4.1, Jelly Bean. The app I used (caustic 2) is pretty cheap, too, and though there are some potentially annoying limits to what it can do, I've been surprised by how useful, convenient and fun it is for composing and arranging.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:37 AM on August 16, 2013

Sorry if I seem a little over-enthused about that particular app right now; there are plenty of others for both Apple and Android devices, I'm sure, but that's the only one I've had any personal experience with so far...
posted by saulgoodman at 11:12 AM on August 16, 2013

Hmm! Very nice! I'm generally skeptical about these sequenced, synthy tracks, but it flows really nicely, and the real guitar helps add an air of...humanity(?) to it. The only thing I might fine to tweak is the transition at the end from the beat to the arhythmic guitar chords--there doesn't seem to really be one, so it's a little like pulling out the floor and discovering there's now no gravity, rather than falling down a pit of despair. Still very cool, but disorienting. Does that make sense?
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 12:09 PM on August 17, 2013

Sounds very good to my ears. Agree that it's the guitars that really make it work, but the synth sounds mesh well with them and the sum is greater than its parts, basically. It all sounds like one whole thing. And yeah -- using these tablet apps can be a fun way of approaching songwriting from a different angle, right? I've been able to squeeze one or two songs out of experiments that started on ThumbJam, an iOS app. They're songs I never would have written in a million years using my usual methods, with soundscapes I never would have created.

I don't feel like I've come up with anything GREAT yet, but that's more my own fault I think. I don't often play with these things long enough to come away with a reasonably realized song.

Anyway, great job!
posted by edlundart at 10:54 PM on August 17, 2013

Thanks edlundart! It's definitely a new approach for me, too, and I wasn't really expecting it to work out. What's kind of nice about it to me is how quickly I can sketch out basic ideas this way. It's sort of like having a musical sketchbook handy.

AskmeaboutLOOM: agreed about the ending. I've gotten similar feedback from my wife and had some similar thoughts myself--as I say, it's still in progress so I still plan to give the ending a little more attention before considering it "done."
posted by saulgoodman at 8:44 AM on August 18, 2013

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