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[Tutorial] Quick Introduction (Basic)

 
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Soapy
Skale Clueless


Joined: 25 Nov 2003
Posts: 5

Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2003 3:12 pm    Post subject: [Tutorial] Quick Introduction (Basic)

A friend pointed me in the direction of Skale a few days ago, and I love the tracker. However I found that a basic tutorial was hard to find, so I made one myself.

It's basic but should be enough to get you started.


Ok here are some quick findings re SKALE.

The front end is a bit dark, it's hard to see what the dials are doing when panning etc. I'll come back to that later...

First thing to do, is get some samples, either rip stuff from CD's or google for "Free wav samples" and you'll get loads.

I like to have folders set for "Drums" "Bass" "Guitar" "Synths" "pianos" "pads" etc so I can find what I'm looking for easily.

In Skale, everything revolves around the "Disk options" tab in General options, mid screen.

Lets say you want a bass drum, select disk options, then under "items to load" select "sample".

Navigate to the folder with your bass drum samples and chose one by left clicking. It should now be loaded and appear in the sample bank on the top right.

Hit a letter key on your keyboard and you will hear the bass drum at various pitches. Use the F1 to F6 keys to change octave.

Repeat the process for your other samples, say a snare, hihat or ride, a bass synth or guitar and some mid to high range sample ( Brass, piano whatever )


The above didn't seem to work for me at first and I'll tell you why

I assumed the green lights to the right of the sample bank related to the "playing" "record" "solo" etc buttons, but they actually relate to the samples, if the light is off you won't hear that sample.

Also before you load a new sample you need to click on the number in the sample bank, and also the area where the sample name will appear, otherwise you will be overwriting the bass drum sample allready loaded.

So you have your samples loaded, lets make a tune

Exit the "Disk Options" menu and make sure no other tabs in "General Options" are selected.

You will see the track screen, tracks numbered from 0 upwards run verticaly, you have from 0 - 63 to enter notes into.

Highlight the Bass drum sample with your mouse, then (using the arrow keys) make sure the track screen is highlighting track 0 at postion 0.

Find the pitch of the bass drum you like and then press the space bar.

A red line appears at the top pf the window to show that you are in record/edit mode.

For this example place the bass drum on postion 0,4,8,12,16,20,24 and so on, use "delete" if you missplace a note and the arrow keys to go back to the postion.

Once this is done, and if the tempo is 125 bpm, you will have that annoying "Rave" bass pattern.

You can use delete and remove every second bass drum so that the bass is on postions 0,8,16,24 and so on.

Hit space bar to come out of the record/edit mode.



But Pat, it sounds boring

Yup, its just a thump so far so add a snare drum.

Select the snare from the sample bank, make sure it;s highlighted and the green light that corresponds to it's position is on.

Then (using the arrow keys) highlight track 1, postion 0.

Place the snare at positions 4,12,20,28,36 etc and when the track is full, select play song/pattern from the general options.

Now you have a simple bass/snare pattern, if you are creative you can move the bass drum notes around to get a more human pattern.

Great, thump, dush, thump, dush, not very rock n roll is it ?

Add a new sample to the sample bank, using the same steps as you did for the bass drum and snare.

I'd add a bass type sample, or a mid range sample played at a lower octave.

Make sure that the track select in on track 2.

Now you can play the sample along with the drums to work out what you want to do, then using space to get into record/edit and the arrow keys to place note you can tap away at your keyboard and create some music.

I'll move on to creating and playing extra patterns later on, but I usually make an intro, a verse, a chorus, a break and an outro, then I stitch them all together afterwards.

What about the levels and panning, it sounds weird man!!

In the General options section, select "mixer" then play song/pattern.

You will see faders along the bottom underneath you have the sample names. Use the faders to balance the level of the instruments, also you can pan them using the "bal" dial. This one is a bit tricky if you have bad eyesight.

You left click on the dial and then holding the mouse button in, move the mouse up/down. If you are eagle eyed you will see the dial revolve, if not you will hear the sample panning left/right.

Pan as you wish so that the samples are not all in the same stereo space, I like my bass drum right of centre a tad, snare left a tad, bass guitar/synth goes almost all the way right and mid range stuff almost all the way left. But it's up to you.



Cool I sound like New Order but I want some FX

This again revolves around the "Disk options" tab, select it and highlight "FX", then navigate to the SKALE main directory and you can load 4 effects, Delay, Echo. Flange and Chorus.

Load them all in and they appear where the sample bank was.

Select "Multi FX" from the general options and you can change the FX's variables if you wish.

Go back to the mixer and play your song.

There are numbers above the dials in the mixer area, if you highlight ( turn on the green light) for numbers 1 to 4, you are selecting that effect for that track. On the right above the sub mixer faders there is yet again, a bank of faders, these correspond to the FX you have loaded.

Green light them and the effect will be applied to the track.

Use the faders and the dials to add the amount of effect. A subtle echo on the snare will lift it up, a bit of chorus or flange on a bass guitar will make it sound groovey baby. Fart around with the effects to taste.

And that is as far as I've got with it.

Hey, I want to save my Opus, you didn't tell me how, yah bastage !!!

When you have mixed and added effects, you can save your work by going to the "Disk Options" menu ( I told you everything revolves around it) and select "Module".

Here you can save your work.

If at any point you want to delete the entire thing or just parts of it, use the "Zap" tab in general options, you can clear all patterns, samples, instruments,effects or nothing (if you hit it by accident).

Thats all for now folks, I hope this is enough info for you to get started.

Have fun.
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skagen
Skale Jedi


Joined: 12 Nov 2002
Posts: 508
Location: Norway

Posted: Sat Aug 28, 2004 12:57 pm    Post subject:

There you go, stickied it.
Also edited you topic title, hope you don't mind. It's to make it more useful when browsing the tutorials so people can see what the tutorial briefly is about.

PS. Some pictures would be nice
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Soapy
Skale Clueless


Joined: 25 Nov 2003
Posts: 5

Posted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 8:55 am    Post subject:

Many thanks Skagen, I hadn't been on these forums for more than a year, but I have just downloaded Skale again and I'll try to get some pictures made to illustrate the steps in the tutorial
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