Mar 08

Beginner’s guide to sample packs.

by in Melodics

A sample pack is a collection of sounds that are designed to use as pre-made building blocks for producers to create music with.

These sounds usually consist of loops (a musical phrase that can repeat such as a guitar riff) and one-shots (a single sound such as a kick drum).

You can use them within any DAW (digital audio workstation) such as Ableton Live, Garageband, Logic or FL Studio. Many of these have a free version for you to use if you are just starting out.

Producers typically use sample packs as an initial starting point when creating a new song, or even as inspiration to explore into new styles of music.

rewards

Melodics’ sample packs contain a combination of loops and sounds found in our many lessons, covering a huge range of musical styles. If you complete your practice with Melodics you might be lucky enough to receive a free sample pack as a reward for all your good work. We give them away on a regular basis!

To use a sample pack simply:

  • Download the sample pack from the link provided
  • Open your DAW (e.g Garageband)
  • Upload to your DAW of choice. 

(As an example, if you have a Mac, open Garageband, create a new ‘audio track’ and drag one of the sounds direct from your finder into that audio track.)

You can now use your new sample packs as a starting point when producing music or even as inspiration to explore new ideas.

Give it a go, you could be on your way to creating the next big hit!!

Jul 06

7 questions with Mark de Clive-Lowe.

by in Interviews

Mark de Clive-Lowe is an internationally renowned keyboardist, producer and DJ, based in Los Angeles.

Half Japanese, half New Zealander, he began piano lessons at age four. We had a chat with this master of the keys to find out what makes him tick. You can play Mark’s course here.

Tell us a little about your music.

I’m a studio producer and live musician. My most formative years were spent living in the UK for a decade from 1998 – deeply entrenched in the broken beat scene, collaborating with the best of London’s underground talent. In combination with my deep love for jazz music, that time spent in London informs a lot of what I do – whether I’m producing for a soul singer, lacing keys on a dancefloor joint or exploring something more experimental. Sometimes I’m writing for acoustic instruments, sometimes in an electronic setting, and often it’s a combination of both.

What’s your background with keys?

I grew up playing piano from a really young age in New Zealand and in my teens it was a mix of jazz on the piano and hip-hop on the speakers – I’d practice the piano inspired by people like Herbie Hancock, and try to make beats inspired by Native Tongues hip-hop. I’ve collaborated with so many of my favorite musicians and artists – Pino Palladino, Bugz in the Attic, DJ Spinna, Kenny Dope, Leon Ware, Kamasi Washington and dozens more.

How do you think the keys skills fitting into a producer’s music making ability?

I see instruments and being able to play them as a fundamental skill in music making. You can make music using a 16-pads interface or just a laptop, but there’s something so real and very human about making music using a traditional music interface – a keyboard, a drum kit, a guitar or any other conventional instrument. Even just having a bit of knowledge on a keyboard opens up new understanding and infinitely more possibilities in expressing creativity.

You have a unique style of improvisation. How do you incorporate keys into your music and your live performance?

Keys are my main interface to creating music – I have a USB controller keyboard hooked up to Maschine and Ableton as well as some hardware keyboards and sometimes a grand piano or Rhodes. I create and loop everything from scratch each show and really enjoy challenging myself to find new ways to approach the same themes from show to show.

What’s your all-time favourite song to play?

Any song that has lush harmony is a favorite for me. Harmony is the heart of the music and can bring so much emotion to a song. Whether the song is 100% electronic, acoustic, or somewhere in between, it’s one of the most powerful tools you have to create with.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and J Dilla are three very special inspirations for sure.

What’s in your opinion the most useful aspect of keys to master for music production?

Anything that helps you move around the keyboard with a sense of confidence is more than useful. Every little skill or technique you can learn is a key to unlock the instrument to another level.

Want more…hear what Mark has to say about his Melodics Keys course Bassline Bootcamp or open the app and play some of Mark’s keys lessons.

 

Dec 05

Bassline Bootcamp from Mark de Clive-Lowe

by in Interviews, Melodics, Uncategorized

We checked in with producer Mark de Clive-Lowe to get the info on his new course.

How would you describe your new course Bassline Bootcamp?

I’ve made a range of bassline examples over different style and tempo beats. They all look at applying different ideas to take you from a simple single note vibe to bringing in fills and embellishments that you can apply in your own creations. Basslines are little melodies themselves so it’s a great way to learn multiple skills at the same time.

How would you recommend Melodics users approach your course to get the most out of it?

Some of the lessons have challenging aspects so I’d definitely recommend using the practice mode to loop up those bars or sections that are harder and slowing them down. Slowing down whatever you’re practicing is the magic trick to mastering something – it might not seem as fun, but it’s definitely the tried and true method.

What will Melodics users be able to do after finishing this course? How will it help in regards to their overall music production?

If you go deep and really nail it as well as taking note of the associated information – like what key something is in and what technique it’s applying – you should be able to build basslines around any chord progression, create fills and make alternate versions of your main idea.

Are there any other comments or things you want users to know about this course and the new Melodics lessons?

Practice makes perfect!

To try Mark’s course in the Melodics App simply download and head to courses in the LEARNING tab.