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Song Making Tutorial For New Users

 
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KermEd
Skale Newbie


Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 48

Posted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 11:20 am    Post subject: Song Making Tutorial For New Users

If the images aren't loading, try right clicking on them and select Show. If this doesn't work, the tutorial is posted on the site listed at the bottom of the tutorial.

Getting Started:

First things first, you need to download Skale Tracker!

If you want to hear what this tutorial will sound like completed, check out the tutorial mp3 its available through [url]skaletutorials.atspace.com[/url].

Next: Configuring Skale Tracker!

Execute the ConfigSkale.exe executable file in the programs installation directory.

You will see the following display:



- Make sure the sample rate is set at 44100, this is very close to the sample quality of a real cd. Ensuring your music sounds the same on a cd as in the tracker.

- I recommend turning Full Screen off. Why? Now you can use MSN, Notepad, Explorer, etc, allowing you to research any work your doing on your song. As well as display lyrics or anything of importance.

Now, configure the >Setup Directories.



These folders are all straight-foreward, just make sure you have your vst directory set to your Cubase VST (sound plugin's) directory.

Now, execute skale.exe


Loading the Sounds to use inside Skale Tracker

The program will start with an "empty" song which will look like the following:



This is the default empty song, with no samples loaded, and no patterns created.
First things first, we're going to want to load some samples (or sounds) for our song writing!

So, we're going to click on Disk Options.



Which brings up a screen simular to the following:



Click on the Instrument tab, this allows us to load .XI files (an .XI is basically a collection of wav file's with loop points, stereo effects etc. saved into the archive, this provides a more seamless & realistic sounding instrument). Now, you can browse to any instruments you want, but lets load the instruments from the following file for simplicity:

[both the .SKM file and the .XI Instruments can be downloaded at the following url: www.angelfire.com/journal/confess/downloads.html]

Creating a Tune!

Okay, now once you have highlighted and selected the Bass Drum sample (I placed it in the first sample slot) you're ready to put down some beats!

Hit the space-bar now, this turns the tracker into "record" mode. Until record mode is turned on, skale tracker will not place down notes.

Once you hit space to enter record mode, you should see simular to the following screen:



The only difference from before being that a red "record" bar appears on the top and bottom. Watch out for this, because sometimes you'll be messing around with a melody from the Disk-Options, and not realise you have your record mode turned on. (In otherwords recording your messing around overtop of the notes you entered earlier). Just trust me, keep an eye on this.


Now Record A Beat

On the 00, 08, 16, 24, etc. all the way to the bottom - Press your Q key. This will record a C-5 note by default. It should look like the following:



Now, if everything lines up so far, press your CTRL key to listen to what you've entered. If not, you did something wrong.

Still, got a beat, but its not very interesting is it? Lets spice things up by laying down a basic rock-groove.


Spicing Up Our Beat

Now, to make things interesting, select your snare-drum sample. In this example I saved the snare to slot #2. One way is to click on the instrument. Another way is to press shift-down (or shift-up) to move your instrument selector.

Now while in record mode, enter a beat on 4,12,14,20,28,30,etc. Following the highlighting, Like the following:



You'll notice, i moved the cursor over the volume slot and set the odd snare-drum at volume 50 (from 0-80). I don't know, it gives it a bit more of a live feeling.

Now, lets add some hi-hats. When working with hi-hats for the first time, try using them as a drummer would a metronome, using the ticking as a way of staying on beat.

So to start with, lets add the open-hihat (slot 3 for me) on 2, 6, 10, 14 etc (keep moving up in 4's). This is called off the beat.



Now lets add the closed hi-hats.



Now your going to learn to cut and paste, I think we've covered note-entry and you're probably a little tired of entering the same notes all down the page. Highlight the closed-hihat we just added from 0 - 15 with the mouse.

Alt-F4 (normally closes a window I know) copies what is highlighted. Highlight from 00-15 with the mouse. Now press Alt-F4, then move the cursor down to line 16, and press Alt-F5.



Voila! It pasted from 16-31. Now go to 32, paste again, then 48, paste again. Now the closed-hihat goes throughout the pattern without you having to enter it by hand. Cool eh?

Give her a listen too and see what you think of the beat so far. Little plain sounding still?


Alright then, Lets touch up the ending bit to finish the pattern.



Lets change up the snare drum at the end of the song [pattern 58, 59 & 62] and change the closed-hihat on 56 & 60 to an open hihat. This creates more of a harder drum feeling at the end of the pattern.

Lets go all out and add a cymbal on 60. (the beat at the end of the song).



Okay, if you have made it this far without messing anything up too seriously, your doing good! Listen to your beat, starting to sound good eh?


Adding More Than Just a Beat!

Lets add our prophet sound at the beginning of the same channel as the crash-cymbal. Why? That way when the cymbal strikes, the Prophets sound terminates. We're gonna keep with this tutorials tradition and put the prophet down as a C-5 note.




Add an Additional Pattern

Now, cool as this is, its kind of annoying to keep that prophet going over and over again. To make a new page within the song, you need to add a new "pattern".



You can use these arrows to change the pattern number your currently working on. You can also click on INSERT PATTERN button to add another pattern in the pattern list.

See if you can make a pattern 01, and copy and paste everything from pattern 00 to pattern 01 using the above copying technique. Then place them one in front of another in the pattern list.

Faster Hint: using CTRL-F4 to copy, copies the entire pattern, whereas ALT-F4 copies what is selected. Use CTRL-F5 to paste entire patterns.

Now in the new pattern (01) lets delete out that prophet sound. To do this, simply press the delete key while in record-mode.



It should now look & sound like it did prior to having the prophet placed down. You can delete notes by pressing the delete key while record mode is enabled.

Instead lets add in a bass-sample. Now, most percussion instruments will be put down as a C note in songs. Wouldn't be very interesting if the rest of the song was C-5 as well, would it?


Adding A Bass Line

In the second pattern, select the bass sample (NOT the bass-drum). Now the prophet was a C note, so lets put our song in the Key of C minor.


This is how i entered the bass line, going from 0 - 64, (not in 4 different channels as hinted above, but placed down all in one channel

Now, I found the bass was a little too strong sounding, so I decided to use the effect-parameter.



Effect Axx is a volume slide. A06 slides the volume down 6 points per tick. Meaning the bass is being muffled, almost like palm-muting with a bass.

Hint: Click on help inside skale-tracker to read about the effect parameters and their functions.


Final Check & Save

Alright, now click on your Mixer button, and listen to the song all the way through. Your checking the volumes now, to see if there is too much bass-drum or not enough prophet noise heh. When your done setting the volumes, its time to save your song!

Its a good idea to save your songs every few patterns just to be safe. You never know when a system is going to crash, and you can lose some great tunes that way.

Okay click on the Disk Options again.



This time, select Modules, enter a filename (bottom left of image) and click save!

You can now select WAV (to put on a cd) or SKM (skale modules can be reloaded to be worked on in the future. You can (by-the-way) use Winamp to convert a song from WAV to MP3 for internet distribution. I recommend using LAME mp3 encoder plugin for it.

Save your file, and voila! You're done!


Mp3's of this tutorial & the Lame MP3 Encoder for Winamp can be found at the link at the bottom of this page.

Hope this helps!

Peace.
_________________
-= Tutorials Available at http://skaletutorials.atspace.com =-
-= My Webspace http://kermed.spaces.live.com/
=-
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Guest






Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 8:08 pm    Post subject:

Hey, good guide for a n00b like myself
A shame that this forum seems dead, and nobody took the time to say thanks...

But well, I do: Thanks!
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kerm_Ed
Guest





Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 12:18 am    Post subject:

hey no problem thanks for the input!

Sorry the pictures aren't loading, I haven't checked this thread in a long time and I will see if I can find a place that will re-host them

Thanks again for trying it out!!

-=- KermEd -=-
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Guest






Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 12:21 am    Post subject:

you can always check the version containing the pictures here:

http://skaletutorials.atspace.com/tutorial/index.htm
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Guest






Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 7:24 am    Post subject: n00b

kerm_Ed wrote:
hey no problem thanks for the input!

Sorry the pictures aren't loading, I haven't checked this thread in a long time and I will see if I can find a place that will re-host them

Thanks again for trying it out!!

-=- KermEd -=-

Well, I assume the Guest above me was you again.

In any case, yeah, thanks, the images are still displaying correctly from the other link... I assume it must be some HTTP REFERRER problem with your free webhost (maybe some anti-hotlink feature) and thats why the images dont display correctly here @ this forum.

In any case, your first download link
http://skaletutorials.atspace.com/tutorial/../downloads/tutorials/downloads.html

Is wrong and should read
http://skaletutorials.atspace.com/downloads/tutorials/downloads.html
Anyways, the files are gone...

But they are working on the other link (the angelfire link)

So, thanks again, though its a shame almost nobody has read your tutorial... a real shame.

Cheers !
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n00b
Guest





Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 7:25 am    Post subject:

Well, now the images in this post are working... but thats just my browser's cache
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KermEd
Skale Newbie


Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 48

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 5:53 am    Post subject: Thanks Guys

I'll try to get around to updating this site in the near future, make it a little more user friendly I'm hoping to purchase some serious web space and I can post it up there without problems.

Thanks for the support guys, good luck with your tracks!

- KermEd
_________________
-= Tutorials Available at http://skaletutorials.atspace.com =-
-= My Webspace http://kermed.spaces.live.com/
=-
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dBlues
Skale Moderator


Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 338
Location: Finland

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:50 am    Post subject:

I want to make one important remark about sample rate: set is as high as possible when you create songs. This creates much less aliasing, therefore you get songs that have less "extra" sounds (noise that is reflecting from 44100 kHz). Try it and hear the difference (no more ear ache).

You can always downsample the song later, preferably save the song with the high samplerate (wav), open it for mastering in some other program (like cubase), compress/limit it, add whatever mastering magic you want, and render it to 44100kHz with dither on (unless you want somebody else to master it for you, in that case do not dither/resample, leave the samplerate as high as possible and burn the whole track on a cd or a dvd).
_________________
"MacReady: Why don't we just wait here for a little while... see what happens?"
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KermEd
Skale Newbie


Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 48

Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 3:48 am    Post subject:

Excellent point. This works well with photography too, its always better to start at the highest quality and keep it that way. I must add this remark to the site. thank you dblues
_________________
-= Tutorials Available at http://skaletutorials.atspace.com =-
-= My Webspace http://kermed.spaces.live.com/
=-
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Manwe
Skale Lover


Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Posts: 137
Location: Russia

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:10 pm    Post subject:

Some plugins wouldn't work on higher sampler rate at all.

P.S. KermEd, are you sure, tutorial on your site still accessible? I tryed two web-browsers...
_________________
Manwe/SandS
www.thesands.ru/manwe.html
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KermEd
Skale Newbie


Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 48

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 2:02 am    Post subject:

Hmm I'm willing to bet its the frames, I still have no problems accessing the site.

However, I'm working on a new site right now with a lot of updates and modifications that is very different and much simpler html so that hopefully it will load across on everyones systems okay.

odd that it doesn't work though. interesting anyways.

thnx for checking mate
_________________
-= Tutorials Available at http://skaletutorials.atspace.com =-
-= My Webspace http://kermed.spaces.live.com/
=-
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dBlues
Skale Moderator


Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 338
Location: Finland

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:51 am    Post subject:

I had no problems with Moz, but the image in the header was too low. No hold on, I cant access anything but the front page, "news" section. Please dont use frames, they are evil. PM me if you need an alternative solution...
_________________
"MacReady: Why don't we just wait here for a little while... see what happens?"
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