Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sample Library Plans

Here I am, barely knowing any instrumentation, and already planning sample libraries. What can I say, I'm a sample junkie. It is a fact, given that I'm planning to acquire more samples when EWQLSO isn't even installed :P

Long Term Plans:
Base Orchestral Library: EWQLSO Gold
Epic Percussion: Drums Of War
Drum Kit: XLN Audio Addictive Drums + Jazz Paks
Woodwinds: VSL Special Edition Woodwinds (or Westgate)
Strings: LASS Lite
Brass: CineBrass
Double Bass: Spectrasonics Trilian
Guitar: Ilya Efimov*
Kontakt 5*

Would love:
Spirfire Audio's Albion
Spitfire Harp - nvm, actually I want all the public spitfire libraries.

The libraries I've put down are chosen for several reasons: I think they sound good, affordable (VSL Special Edition Woodwinds is 75 euros!!) and relatively resource friendly. I kinda choked after realizing I didn't have much disk space for EWQLSO.

*Actually I have little interest in the Kontakt libraries, BUT, several sample libraries (e.g. Wavesfactory, Imperfectsamples) out there need Kontakt 5, not the player, so it's almost a need. Plus, I have several libraries that I can crossgrade to Kontakt 5, hopefully one of their sales will allow crossgrades.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It has arrived :3

Sad to say, I can't actually do anything with it as I don't have much space on my drive >.> Gonna hook up a FW800 drive for samples.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Saxophone Vibrato

I think the standard thing about saxophone vibrato you read from tutorials all over is moving the jaw up and down in a vertical motion. At today's pratice session, I realized that the way to generate vibrato is actually quite different across the registers - the low notes seems to do better with vertical motion of the jaw, but at the higher notes, doing that is very tiring - for me - and I actually found that rolling the lips forwards and backwards seems to be much easier, smoother and less wearing.

That said, I still have not yet reached the stage where I can actually do vibrato properly, only got taught the week before xmas. I'm still doing the vibrato practice routines against a metronome. Need to talk to my teacher about this.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Parallelisms: Flute and Saxophone - a newb perspective

It's been about 2 months give or take since I've properly begun flute lessons - 3 in total so far.One thing that stands out to me is how different the embouchures are between the sax and flute.

With the sax, is more about how I deliver the air against the mouthpiece by shaping my tongue, as well as the tightness of the sides of the lips. Changing the tone from piercing to a more mellow sound is again dependent on the airflow shaped by my tongue, and with subtoning, dropping the jaw.

Comparatively, the flute focuses more on the actual lips, in controlling the stream of air being blown against the cutting edge of the headjoint. Using the lips themselves to focus the airstream seems to be key here, and the more I experiment with the lips and placement of the joint, the more resonant a sound I get. The lips going dry here is a big issue though.

As either embouchures don't seem to get in the way of each other in terms of shape, I can see improvements on both instruments without seemingly affecting either in a negative way.

In practice terms, armed with this knowledge, I can focus my effects into getting a good strong focused airflow. Being the flute is my secondary instrument, I only dabble with it a few hours a week - like maybe giving it a quick blow whilst I fry some eggs or waiting for tea to brew.


The flute also exposes me to a different side of music - classical. This was unplanned, as my main requirement was - I have flute, find teacher that is nearby. My teacher is from a pure classical (french, iirc) school, and is not at all into playing jazz. In retrospective, I think being exposed to different viewpoints would probably help expand my perspectives. I'm personally not that interested in classical music, but just a few minutes ago, playing Bach's Minuet in G just lit up my heart. A simple melody (obviously, I butchered it) - but the delivery of emotion is so strong.

Down the road, I intend to take the flute down the celtic side, which is why I got it in the first place. Celtic music just resides in another realm, and I wish I had the concentration and time to study that area of music as well. Perhaps down the road.

I leave you with a rendition of Yasunori Mitsuda's Time Scar played on Flute, accompanied by guitar. It is a piece I hope to be able to play a few years down the road.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

ii V I progression

Working through some harmony lessons, here's testing a basic ii V I harmony in the key of C, Finale with GPO

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Got a Jamie Aebersold's Book 54: A Maiden Voyage

Been quite sick (literally) this week, and didn't get any sax time at all due to a horrid, horrid cough in addition to overall feverishness. Still feeling meh though most of it seems to be gone.

I was well enough for saxophone lessons yesterday, and was recommended I pick up Jamie Aebersold's Book 54: A Maiden Voyage. These are simplified versions of the tunes - though not as simplified the versions I'm playing from "Jazz Method For Saxophone" - and have a good description and choices of notes for improvisation (e.g. scales, chord notes are given - take your pick).

After the jazz academy course, I think my entire world has been thrown for a loop, going to re-plan out all my practice sessions - teacher went over what I had learnt in the jazz academy course, and pared them down so a music newb like me can understand, and also be able to make use in a practical sense, e.g. connecting chord notes with chromatic runs.

Go away sick, I want to begin this new journey.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Working on theory

With this new year, I'm trying to find a balance between improving my instruments, learning theory, and figuring out the technical aspects like music production. The current book I'm going through, is "Harmony and Theory" by Keith Wyatt and Schroeder.

I really enjoy... nah. I don't enjoy it at all. But what's really good about this book is it gives practice in music theory, something that I found missing in my day to day playing of my sax. Sure, it comes up in the books, but somehow it's not... really. Reading from sheet music is just that. Reading from sheet music.

Going through this exercises, makes one realize how to create the scales, what an interval is etc. The only downside I see is that the first few chapters have some quirks, e.g. wrong answers given, or answers that there is no way a student could have answered, for the concepts are taught in the next chapter! So far I'm about starting chapter 12, it's been smooth sailing. Whilst I can't say, play the G minor scale on the sax now, most of the sharp'd major scales come to my fingers very quickly. I can actually remember what E, F and F# major scales on my sax!

Next would be to find the time to work on the flatted majors. Ab major? Er.....

Sunday, January 1, 2012

12 Bar Blues Compo

Jumping in between books at the moment - this is one of the exercises from "Exploring Jazz Saxophone".