Inside The Mix | Music Production and Music Mixing Tips for Music Producers and Independent Artists

#71: MIDI Tips for Music Production | Produce a Song From Scratch VII

February 28, 2023 Marc Matthews Season 3 Episode 71
Inside The Mix | Music Production and Music Mixing Tips for Music Producers and Independent Artists
#71: MIDI Tips for Music Production | Produce a Song From Scratch VII
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Show Notes Transcript

 In this seventh episode of our "Produce A Song From Scratch" series, we dive into the world of MIDI and explore how to import, use and edit MIDI files to create a complete track. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned music producer, this video will provide you with invaluable tips and tricks for enhancing your music production skills. We cover everything from how to import and use MIDI files in your DAW, and even how to edit and customize MIDI to fit your specific needs. So if you're looking for music production tips and want to improve your MIDI skills, make sure to tune in to this episode of our series!

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Marc Matthews:

Hey, inside the Mix podcast fans, it's Daniel Barton AK Heartbeat hero. You can find my music on Spotify by typing in one word, and that is Heartbeat Hero. Hi Ho. Hi Ho. It's off the mix. We go check out Inside The Mix podcast with your host. Mark Matthews. Hello and welcome to the Inside the Mix podcast. I'm Mark Matthews, your host, musician, producer, and mix and mastering engineer. You've come to the right place if you want to know more about your favorite synth music artists, music, engineering and production, songwriting and the music industry. I've been writing, producing, mixing, and mastering music for over 15 years, and I wanna share what I've. With you. Okay folks, and welcome back to the Inside The Mix podcast. If you are a new listener, thank you for joining me, and please do hit subscribe. And if you are a returning listener, welcome back. Now in this episode, we're carrying on with the producing a Song from Scratch series. Now I think we're on number seven now, and this is what we are gonna be doing today. Cool. There we go. Apologies I didn't start it right at the beginning, but you get the idea. Let's dive. Okay folks, so here we have the project, and what I want to do in this particular part is I want to add some piano to my intro. So at the moment it sounds like this, okay, pretty standard. So what I've got is I've got the M one house piano. As you can hear, I've got some reverb dialed in on that, and then I've also got the organ, so it's a split piano with organ as you can hear. What I'm gotta do is I'm gonna go and see if I can find some preexisting midi that I can stick in here. So let's search E minor. Let's put that in. And I'm gonna drag that in place and it's probably gonna be super loud because Yep. The velocity is at 120, as you can hear, 27. So I'm gonna bring that right down and I'm gonna set the velocity. I'm just gonna adjust it slightly. So I'm gonna go random velocity and I'm gonna put it between 1785. Just add a humanized feel to it probably isn't enough to be honest. Let's, let's even, let's randomize it even more randomized velocity. Let's bring that value. I'm gonna bring that value down to about 75. In between 55 and 75. Okay, and now I'm gonna play it. And what you find with this mid is it's already got a humanized feel to it cuz it's not quite on the nose in terms of the quantization. But what I'm gonna do now is this, at the moment, it's all on that one piano. So I'm gonna duplicate it down on the second piano, and I'm on the fir on the second piano. Am I on the second one? I'm just gonna double check. Uh, I am and I am going to remove all that. So this is my organ. Which I quite like, actually. I'm gonna see how that sounds just on its own without the, um, the top. So I'm gonna mute that, think that second part doesn't really fit. So what I'm gonna do is maybe if I. Now we'll leave it there. Well, I'm just gonna go ahead and do what I was gonna do. So this is the top part. I'm just going to, what I'm gonna do now, this is the this the M one house piano that is still the organ. This is the M one house piano. I'm gonna delete that bottom. See you have this now with the pen organ as well. What I might even do, I might delete those second notes. I am gonna, I'm gonna duplicate these two actually, cause I might actually want to keep them. I'm just gonna chuck them somewhat where I'm not working at the moment and I'm gonna split this mini region and I'm going to just move the second, well rather the last four bars and move those outta the way as. So I'm left with this. Let's stick some delay on that as well. Fight with the delay. I'm gonna go into the piano. I'm gonna get rid of that and I'm just gonna find, I'm gonna put his own delay on it. I wouldn't usually do this, but I feel like I want it in this instance. There are no rules. Stereo, and let's go with, I wanna sync and I want to feedback. I'm bring that down to 20. Quite like that. See that sounds in the mix. I might duplicate. So it sounds when everything else comes in, Sounds a bit odd. Maybe I'll play it from here. Okay, cool. I quite like that. So I'm gonna lead that there for now. And um, yeah, that is just taking a mini file, checking it in to my piano, separating it out, playing with the notes a bit, and then we've got our piano intros. So let's play it from the beginning. Fact with that house piano and probably, I'm gonna roll off some, this is probably gonna guess what I wanted to do with it in the e first instance, but let's give rid high end. Cool. I think that's pretty cool there. We. Okay folks. So while we're on the topic of midi, I'm gonna try something similar and I'm gonna drag some midi into my verse section. So this is what the verse currently sounds like. It's not a massive amount going on, but when you go into the final eight bars, I've actually got a vocal chop in there that sounds like this. Okay. Um, but before that I'm gonna drag some MIDI in and I'm just gonna stick it on the same piano. And I'm gonna go e minor again and I'm gonna see what else we. So I'm gonna drag this into the correct space, which I believe is there. Let's try that. Nope, put it on the wrong one. There we go. And I'm just gonna play this in isolation and see what it sounds like. It's quite nice. Nice humanized feel to it. Cool. I think what I might do here is I might stick it on the organ piano and see what it sounds like might help if I un solo in. Let's give that, let's give that a try in context. I might play around with these milli notes a bit. What we got and, and we're an E minor. I'm just gonna make sure it's actually in the key of E minor. Should double check these things before you actually start playing around with us. Highlight all that quantize. Yeah, it is cool. What I might do there is just, Cut that. I might just duplicate that cord and then come in with this next part. No, I am not sure. Maybe I just need the top. Yeah. Can get rid of this last bit as well. So let's play that from the beginning. In fact, what I might try and do is, it sounds good, a piano, I might try it on a bell, so I'm gonna create another software instrument. And I'm gonna see what bells we have. So I'm gonna go to Anna to Bells. Oh. Oh man, we got a lot. Let's try 'em out. It's not bad. Let's try d y me. Quite like that. I'm gonna try the mamba, so I'm gonna drag that down onto the mamba. Uh, interesting. I might try a different sound. What was the first one? I had only got a DX seven type of bell. I wonder if there's anything like that. Ah, here we go. DX seven. What we got DX seven, please. That's after something like that. And what I might do is, Move this, and I might have it come in when the vocal chop comes in, so I'm gonna have it as normal. For the first part of the verse, it might conflict a bit. I'm not entirely. Let's move it back to the beginning. I think there's too much going on there with that vocal chop. So what I'm doing here is I'm just extending those notes and dragging out a bit. I just get rid of those altogether. Ah, I know what I need to do. I need to extend the mid region. There we go. Not entirely sure. I like that final phrasing, to be honest. I could just have that repeating over and. What I'm gonna do though is I'm just gonna duplicate this phrasing so I don't lose it. Stick it out there. There we go. So I moved that outside of the mid region, like a Ooh. So what I'm here doing here is I'm just gonna replicate all these. Quite like that. Let's do that again. I suppose maybe I could bring in that, that there. Let's try that from the beginning of the verse. I love that DX seven bell. They're our key. That's what it. That's better. I knew someone didn't sound right at the end then. Cool. Let's, I'm gonna send that to a re reverb just so it can blend in with the rest and send it to that medium verb. You know what, I'm gonna try distorting that a bit as well. Let's check some distortion on that. So I'm gotta go to killer hearts. That fact, I'm just gonna use the builtin. One in logic, wherever it is. Pitch, specialize, exercise. Set note. Where is it? Distortion. Oh, finally enough. It's under distortion. Uh, I'm gonna try the bit crusher on it. So it's just gonna come out the editor window. Maybe a bit of tremallo, what the spreader sounds like. That's dimensional enhancer, using the spreader. That sounds quite cool. Without, with. Cool. There we go. Using Midy notes again. Okay, so the final thing I'm gonna do in this particular piece, in this intro is I want to add some like ethereal chords, not necessarily called like an ethereal lead sound in this intro. So what I've done is I've got this massive X patch that I really like and it's called waves, and it sounds like this. This is really nice. I'm just gonna rename. Waves cause it was in it to begin with and I'm just gonna play along and see what I can come up. Okay, so cool. Something along those lines. You can hear it rings up for quite a while, so I'm just gonna record that in and then play around with it. Let's see what we can come up with. Might help if I hit record. Okay, so I'm just gonna play around and see what I've got on here. I think one of those notes might have been slightly out key. I'm just gonna double check and it's going the editor window and select, and I know they're all in. One thing you can do with, um, with the editor window here is if I press option shift drag on the edge of a mid note, I can resize them all to the same size mini note. And I wanna bring down that velocity. And they're a bit too on the button. I'm gonna move them out slightly. I'm gonna move the timing. Um, I'm gonna duplicate that and see how that sounds. I've probably gone on too many here. Let's delete that last note. Yeah. Maybe we'll do eight bars. Let's try that. Add some verb to it. It's already reverb in there, but I'm adding some fruit via the send here. So what I'm also gonna add is just, I'm gonna add a high cut on this as well. There we go. Just some like ethereal synth lead sound in the beginning there to add a bit more variety to that. Okay folks, so that is the end of this producer song from Scratch, episode and number seven, look out for. eight. Okay, so what have we done in this episode? We have, we've used midi, we've imported MIDI regions into our D A W, and we've chopped and changed them to fit our production. So it's a great way, this is a great way if you're stuck for ideas and you just wanna see or use something that preexist to sort of kickstart that creativity. And also what I've done is I've used a sort of lead bell sound in the beginning there as well to add a bit of lush texture to it as well. So let's quickly play what we have. Cool. So there we go folks. So that's what we have so far. We're gonna continue this in another episode of producing a song from scratch. Now. If you are watching this on YouTube, please do hit subscribe on that notification button and also leave a comment and let me know what you think. And if you're listening to this on your podcast Player of Choice, head over to Instagram at Inside the Mix Podcast and let me know what you think. There's also a new Facebook page for the Inside The Mix podcast as well, and you can find it inside the Mix Podcast. What I also want to make you aware of as well, folks, is my producer Growth Scorecard. Now, it's a free scorecard that I've used, which has tripled my songwriting and production output. The idea being is it's a scorecard whereby you can gamify your songwriting and production and it'll just give you some more accountable. Well, it'll give you accountability in your productions, and it's great. I've used it for the podcast and I've seen my podcast sort of downloads and the audience grow exponentially, and I've used. A similar version for my productions as well, and it's worked amazingly. So what I want you to do is head over to and look for the producer Growth Scorecard. Give it a download 28 day challenge, and you can continue it on from there as well. And let me know what you think. And until next time, happy. Hey, this is Tim Woodruff. My favorite episode of Inside The Mix podcast is episode 52 on songwriting tips you Need to know. Just really enjoyed to hear the song.

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