The Outlier Saga

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The Outlier Saga…

The Outlier saga begins in March, 2018.  I had retired from a job I had for thirty years to devote more time for music and video pursuits.  I scrapped my web hosting service, began learning WordPress, set up a new website, fired YouTube, Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn, learned a new video editor (Filmora),  began a blog, and just walked away from anything that I could not support.  Also, we began a two month home renovation, so it was a very transitional time,  indeed.

Now What?

Now, we began by getting a  couple of sounds together…  I chose Waverazor to get a bass we can drop in when needed.  Then, I added a couple more sounds using Waverazor (again) and Syntronik.  SampleTank 3 is a VST I often use, and this time is no exception.  These plugins are made by Ik Multimedia.  I chose a 16 instruments-worth of sounds that I think might work.  My philosophy is simple- use a lot of instruments for small stretches.   If I’m bored, you’ll be bored, right?

I needed to have a title track for my new album-“Outlier”, so now what?  First, I had to shove away the clutter by getting the Skyypilot website back up, start a blog, switch my video host to Vimeo, learn  Filmora (for editing my videos), and began to use some new, essential Waves plugins.

Let the Music Begin!

After choosing 87 bpm (beats per minute), let’s let the music begin!  I just started out on Waverazor and got sounds for the two tracks that those two instances occupy.  Then, I picked a sound that Syntronik would trigger.  These samples are from vintage synthesizers, so that’s always interesting.  Putting old sounds with new is a good thing for we short-attention span folks!  No instrument is totally set in stone at any point (in my view).

OK, now I let the recording roll along and sparsely fill the space with sounds and little themes that I attempt to stitch together.  After starting and stopping for about 8:37,  I decide to end the free-form with a little rock.

I  put a rhythm and two slide electric guitar parts through Amplitube 4, another fine Ik Multimedia product for guitar and bass processing.  You can completely change any guitar tone AFTER the recording-invaluable!

I decided the bass parts would be shared with a sample from Ethno 2 , Waverazor, and Waves’ Codex.

Get a Groove Going

Time to get a groove going on the Outlier saga…  I put together midi loops from Waveform 9,  DrumCore 4, and various odds and ends.  Usually, I have a couple of different-sounding midi kits that blend together.  I selected drum kits in DrumCore 4 and one of in previously chosen SampleTank 3 instruments.

Now, I put my simple blues guitar theme on it- two slide and one rhythm guitar.  Next, I added a simple bass part, trading with a Waverazor instrument track.  I filled in a couple of chord progressions with SampleTank 3 instruments and percussion from Waveform 9.  

Taking Shape

This song is taking shape.  Next, I wrote  the lyrics to rock section- “Walk Away”.  After singing along a few times, I have a melody in a framework.

The end has a call and response thing going on.  I decided to be the three piece one-man chorus, so there you go…

The Choices…

All the choices we have in audio plugins are staggering.  I use mainly Waves and IK Multimedia plugins, but I’ll describe these and the others more in depth as my blog slogs on…  You have to “fish or cut bait” at some point, and live with your choices.

I’m finishing up this 16:30 monstrosity soon…

To be continued,,,

© 2018 J. Mark Witters 

Where There’s a Will…

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Where There’s a Will…

Surrounded by Chaos

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way”, goes the saying.  It’s tough being surrounded by chaos, but we are starting week seven of house remodeling, and the end is finally in sight!   Workmen are coming and going, (our dogs making note of each occasion), piles of boxes and stuff everywhere (shifting locations as needed), and constant upheaval make things uncertain.

Get over it.  It’s time to make music!

Inspiration, or Perspiration?

Which  is the catalyst – inspiration, or perspiration?  Too many seem to think you have to always be inspired to compose, but that’s just not true.  First, you have to start something.  That momentum will almost always carry you.  Ideas are hard to find.  If you don’t actively look, you might never find them.  On the other hand, sometimes they come to you when you aren’t even trying.   Go with whatever works, but just GO!


Now, I’m working on my latest composition “Outlier”.  Assuming that my audience is one person  (me), it eliminates questions like “is it commercially acceptable?”.  At this point, what difference does it make?   No one is clamoring for my latest release anyway.  When one goes the  true recording  “artist” route, assume you’ll be ignored and you’ll never be disappointed.  My goal is always- live to record another day!

The world is full of copycats.  That’s because imitation is a safe, tested path of conformity.  Cover bands or tribute bands, are technically great and sell a lot of booze at their venues, thus,  serve their purpose.  I am hardly  the greatest musician around, but I’m definitely not predictable.

“Outlier” will probably be over twenty minutes long, thus ensuring its non-commercial status.   It has three distinct movements.   Part 1 is over 13 minutes long!  I’ve written most of the lyrics for Part 2, although the music is yet unwritten.   I’m working on the orchestration for Part 3 as we speak.  Each song takes a different path to completion.  God leads, I just follow.

Sample Tank 3,  Miroslav Philharmonik 2,  and Ethno 2 is my instrument palette.  The first two instruments are made by IK Multimedia, the last, by Mark Of The Unicorn.  My method is to use sounds like spice.  A little goes a long way.  Use it, then lose it…

Moving Along

The secret for me is to keep moving along, no matter what.  There will always be reasons for not doing something.  I want to find a way to do it.  Isn’t that more interesting?

Back to the drawing board…


© 2018  J. Mark Witters