xkcd Internet Band--Now Organizing (newcomers still welcome)

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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Seeking any (and I mean ANY) instruments

Postby Blinke » Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:59 pm UTC

icelizarrd wrote:Sounds good to me. We need to take it out of the "just planning" phase fairly soon before people lose interest or get their time drained by other endeavors, I suspect.
Exactly. I'm thinking maybe I (or someone else) could start sending out PMs to the people who have signed up to see who are still interested/have time? Chances are that some are forgetting about the thread and this way we can get a definitive answer.

Since I'm not going to contribute anything (musically), I think I'll leave decisions like song structure up to you guys.

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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Seeking any (and I mean ANY) instruments

Postby sillybear25 » Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:43 pm UTC

I agree that we need to get this thing going. I'm terrible at organizing things, so I would appreciate it if someone could help out with that. As far as song structure, I think it would be cool to get complicated, but we should probably stick to simpler stuff to begin with, whether it's the techno option or the vamping jam-session option.
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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Seeking any (and I mean ANY) instruments

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:56 pm UTC

How would those of us who can't read sheet music contribute? Is someone handling the mixing of all these disparate things? Are we doing cover songs?

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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Seeking any (and I mean ANY) instruments

Postby tin » Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:02 pm UTC

Yeah, i'm wondering how this will work with so many people expressing interest. Will someone be "auditioning" a select few? Or will every one get a part to play, depending on the nature of the song(s)? Also, all of what MJ said above me.
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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Seeking any (and I mean ANY) instruments

Postby Blinke » Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:15 pm UTC

sillybear25 wrote:I agree that we need to get this thing going. I'm terrible at organizing things, so I would appreciate it if someone could help out with that.
Then I could start PMing people (at least those who haven't recently posted in the thread) and report back with a list of those who are still up for it. Might get it done tonight, otherwise tomorrow. Might as well set up a Medifire account as well while I'm at it.

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:How would those of us who can't read sheet music contribute? Is someone handling the mixing of all these disparate things? Are we doing cover songs?
I'm guessing you don't have to be able to read sheet music to contribute, you can come up with your own stuff if you want to. icelizarrd can assist those that would rather be given a part to play. As for mixing, I believe scrt_rbt_agnt has offered to help with that.

It's really not my place to decide, but I think the intention was to record original songs. You could always do both, if you'd like.

tin wrote:Yeah, i'm wondering how this will work with so many people expressing interest. Will someone be "auditioning" a select few? Or will every one get a part to play, depending on the nature of the song(s)? Also, all of what MJ said above me.
It would be nice if everyone got at least a little part to play, but we'll have to see how that works out. Once I get replies to my PMs we'll get a better idea of how many we'll be.

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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Seeking any (and I mean ANY) instruments

Postby frogman » Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:23 pm UTC

I think we should all contribute something to the song(s), however minor.

Also, I have a friend who can play cello. Add "Frogman's Friend" to the list please.
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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Seeking any (and I mean ANY) instruments

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:25 pm UTC

So, I guess my options are:

Contribute a simple repeatable bass riff
Contribute some lead riffs / tunes
Some little funky flourishes to be used at various points in the song...

And it'll all just be mixed together? I'm cool with that, I just wanna know what's expecticated of me.

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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Seeking any (and I mean ANY) instruments

Postby Blinke » Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:39 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:So, I guess my options are:

Contribute a simple repeatable bass riff
Contribute some lead riffs / tunes
Some little funky flourishes to be used at various points in the song...

And it'll all just be mixed together? I'm cool with that, I just wanna know what's expecticated of me.
Something like that, yeah. Phill suggested earlier to " lay down a 'base' track with basic guitar, vocals, maybe metronome. That can then be distributed and people will all record to that track. Then that can all be mixed together separately." I think that could work out?

Once the Mediafire account goes up (I'll post the details here), people can start uploading their stuff. Who does what isn't really for me to decide.

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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Seeking any (and I mean ANY) instruments

Postby sillybear25 » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:12 pm UTC

Updated the list. Also, I'd like to sign up for the "not able to come up with a part on my own" list. I can probably improvise solos and stuff, but as far as the regular part, I'm not nearly creative enough to come up with my own music. In case you're unaware, the trombone is written in concert pitch (no transposing like most of you other wind players :P ) in mostly bass clef (though classical stuff uses tenor or even alto clef).
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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Seeking any (and I mean ANY) instruments

Postby scrt_rbt_agnt » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:33 pm UTC

i think instead of a real drum track, we would probably be better off using electronic ones. this would keep the BPM the same and anyone with a decent metronome could play along to that. icelizard, as i mentioned in my previous post, i can also do quite a bit of mixing/mastering and effects.

perhaps the best way to start would be to write a simple pop progression of verse chorus verse chorus bridge chorus. or something similar to that anyway. the verses and choruses could each be 4 measures long (or 8 or whatever).

maybe we can convince SecondTalon (or an admin) to create an extra little forum in here so we don't have to use this thread for multiple discussions on this topic. i think it'd be easier to have a thread for voting on things and a separate one for instrument input and a third for discussion. that way things would be a little more organized maybe and this project could actually get off the ground.

that said, i'm curious of those who would like to contribute:

what methods will you be using to record? i'd like to know what programs and file types we're going to be dealing with here. mixing an mp3 into a wave can sound... sort of crappy. if everyone has the ability to record to wav or other lossless formats this could be a lot easier.
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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Seeking any (and I mean ANY) instruments

Postby icelizarrd » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:58 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:How would those of us who can't read sheet music contribute? Is someone handling the mixing of all these disparate things? Are we doing cover songs?
You can make up your own part, or if you can pick out notes by ear, I can get you a sound file to learn from. I'm not so sure about the mixing-together-ness; I guess either scrt_rbt_agnt or myself would step in where it proves necessary.

I think original songs would be more fun, but I'm up for covers too. I guess that would switch my duties to orchestrating/arranging rather than composing per se. (Or it might just obviate my participation altogether :P )

tin wrote:Will someone be "auditioning" a select few? Or will every one get a part to play, depending on the nature of the song(s)?]
I've personally been envisaging a really open band here, where everyone gets to contribute in some form or another. It'll probably be crazy, and it might not end up sounding perfect, but I think it'll be easier on everyone if we keep it relaxed and non-competitive.

We can start having bitter drama-filled wars over ability and dedication after we get a record deal :D.


scrt_rbt_agnt wrote:icelizard, as i mentioned in my previous post, i can also do quite a bit of mixing/mastering and effects.
Sounds good, I didn't mean to be taking over your role or anything by listing that as one of my abilities.

scrt_rbt_agnt wrote: maybe we can convince SexyTalon (or an admin) to create an extra little forum in here so we don't have to use this thread for multiple discussions on this topic.
I was just thinking the same thing, actually. I'm playing with some compositional ideas that I'd like to post for feedback, to see if anyone even likes my compositional style, and to get a better idea of what "feel" the group will go for; it'd be easier in a separate thread.

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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Seeking any (and I mean ANY) instruments

Postby Blinke » Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:30 pm UTC

Right, I probably won't get around to PM people tonight but the Mediafire account is up and running. Uploading there should work, let me know if doesn't.

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I agree with having separate threads (or a extra forum), it would make things a bit more structured.

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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Seeking any (and I mean ANY) instruments

Postby sillybear25 » Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:40 pm UTC

scrt_rbt_agnt wrote:what methods will you be using to record? i'd like to know what programs and file types we're going to be dealing with here. mixing an mp3 into a wave can sound... sort of crappy. if everyone has the ability to record to wav or other lossless formats this could be a lot easier.


At the moment, I only have my laptop microphone array, which has a little bit of noise, but it's possible I could come up with something slightly better. As far as recording, I'll probably be using Audacity, so I can record .wav, .mp3, or .ogg files at a variety of sample rates, so any loss in fidelity will likely be upfront from the microphone.

Edit the first: If we do go with separate threads (without having a subforum), we should probably designate a "main thread" with links to auxiliary threads (each of which would have links back to the main thread) for the sake of keeping track of each of the threads.

Edit the second: Speaking of the idea of a subforum, has anyone PM'd any moderators regarding that? I will if nobody else has.

Edit the third: I have PM'd SecondTalon regarding the subforum idea, and am now awaiting a response.
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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Seeking any (and I mean ANY) instruments

Postby Blinke » Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:48 pm UTC

sillybear25 wrote:Edit the second: Speaking of the idea of a subforum, has anyone PM'd any moderators regarding that? I will if nobody else has.
I haven't done so. I actually have some stuff to do over here for once so go ahead and do it, hehe.

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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Seeking any (and I mean ANY) instruments

Postby scrt_rbt_agnt » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:33 pm UTC

i have pm'd secondtalon and he can not create subforums. i have pm'd the great and magnificent BELIAL on the topic.
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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Seeking any (and I mean ANY) instruments

Postby icelizarrd » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:45 pm UTC

All hail the great and magnificent Belial!

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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Seeking any (and I mean ANY) instruments

Postby poxic » Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:34 am UTC

We could try one of each of your suggestions (not all at once, I think) and see which suits this format best.
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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Seeking any (and I mean ANY) instruments

Postby Vohu Manah » Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:41 am UTC

icelizarrd wrote:
Ooh, also, I notice we don't have any drummers. Do we want drums? We could use drum machines or samples instead, if no one pops up before long. Or we could be hip and avant-garde and skip out on drums altogether. EDIT: Oh, wait, we do have a percussionist. That works too, although you didn't mention whether that includes a traditional kit?
.

I have access to a drum kit, but given the wide array of instruments here, it might be better to do something with non-traditional instruments (you can get really interesting grooves with everyday objects). But for now, it's probably best to stick with traditional instruments like a drum kit until we get better at organizing.

Edit: As for other instruments, I can easily procure bells. I might be able to use xylophone or triangle if I can bribe the band teacher.
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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Seeking any (and I mean ANY) instruments

Postby nyeguy » Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:41 am UTC

I'd certainly love to start experimenting with stuff, but to start off, as a sort proof of concept, we should start with simple song and structure. I agree that if we don't get a drummer, we have some sort of drum machine. With the potential for so many different instruments, I don't think we can afford to give a lot of leeway to individual musicians. Parts should be written to be played as if a concert or jazz band were playing them, with either no variance from written parts, or designating certain "lead" players who can add stylistic embellishments. If everyone were to do their own thing, it would end up too much like noise.
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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Seeking any (and I mean ANY) instruments

Postby Mr Cow » Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:23 am UTC

frogman wrote:I think we should all contribute something to the song(s), however minor.

Also, I have a friend who can play cello. Add "Frogman's Friend" to the list please.

I'm frogman's friend, if you could replace that with "Mr Cow" that would be much appreciated. I think we should start with main instruments and have them set down the style of the song(s), and then have the remaining instruments create harmonic parts to correspond with the style/melody.
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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Now Organizing (newcomers still welcome)

Postby Midnight » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:31 am UTC

I dunno about doing a trance-techno thing.

i like these options:
Third, we have a chaotic jam session over the same chords/riffs for the entire duration of the piece.
Fourth, we, um, do a pseudo-prog-rock kind of thing where we have lots of fairly distinct sections but without any real pattern behind them, giving us some arbitrary form like AABCDEEFBCG...
Fifth, jazz style, with a "head" (chorus) at the beginning and end (possibly in the middle once or twice, depending on the tune length), and improvisation in between, possibly with certain (a) specific instrument(s) soloing while the others are silent or play supportively.


We can do it in a trancey/jazzy/jam sense. Specifically, say, starts with a drum beat. piano or guitar chords slide in over it. bassline(s) go in over that. then like, add in some roughly-organized melody parts, played by the instruments. we can either have them all playing the chrods or all playing the basslines or something, and then people take solos over it. short little things. and then maybe switch to a different bit.

i dunno. i like the idea of people falling in and out but when it's stated as techno/trance i think of like "bum-chk-bum-chk" drums and crystal-method-esque high pitched sounds and repeated riffs. i'd like something a bit more flowy than that.


like uh, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umKEj_fFNBw
the lyrics can be nutty and stuff, but the way that The Fall is very much a jam band with a lot of people.. i like that.


oh yeah and one last edit: i can play rudimentary drums. keep a bit, basic fills, for most types of music. the sound quality might be shitty though, cause my microphone probably cannot handle transients like that.
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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Now Organizing (newcomers still welcome)

Postby poxic » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:54 am UTC

Hmm. Possibly useless anecdote starts here:

In our 8-person jam band, we usually need a good, strong beat to get started. (Fortunately, our drummer kicks ASS. Not just normal ass, mind, but specially imported, platinum-plated ass.)

Ahem. Right ... so a good, powerful beat is an ideal start. On top of that, a kicking bass line. These two things together will drive the whole piece, like a foundation will drive construction of a house. If the bass-n-drums do one thing and everyone else does something different, everyone else will sound weird because they aren't following the foundation.

After drum and bass, one or two instruments drive the main part of the rest of the tune. One guitar does rhythm, holding close to the foundation the whole time. Or two guitars do that, trading off flourishes now and then. (Check out some King Sunny Ade for examples of how to get a 16-piece (I think) band to all hold the line, all the time. Masterful, wonderful stuff. Each participant does one very, very small part, but does it with complete concentration and commitment. It makes 16 parts sound like three or four complicated ones. Lovely.)

On top of that, the garnishes of shakers, keyboard flourishes, vocals, and assorted oddments. Oddments become occasional things, like the roses made of icing on the cake.

Of course, there are other ways...

If we don't start with drums/bass, then we start with a well-planned sequence of chords, usually mapped out on guitar but sometimes on keyboard. The drums and bass figure out how to fit themselves into that structure, and we go from there. That tends to give us more pop-oriented songs. The drum/bass-driven songs are more likely to be epic-style tunes, if the remaining players can discipline themselves enough to not chatter away the whole time.

And sometimes we've succeeded with just everyone piling on all at once, doing whatever they want. That probably only really works if it's live, though, when everyone can hear how it's going all the time and can adjust in real time. In a track-on-track situation, that would turn into "the first four tracks make all the noise and everyone else gets frustrated".

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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Now Organizing (newcomers still welcome)

Postby sillybear25 » Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:14 am UTC

Perhaps a combination of the two ideas? If we start with a chord progression, then put together a beat with bass, drums, and rhythm guitar, then add everything else over that, the rest of the instruments will still have something to follow with melodies and harmonies in addition to the rhythm.

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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Now Organizing (newcomers still welcome)

Postby Midnight » Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:07 am UTC

having a chord progression is indeed key for the bass and even moreso the rhythm guitar.
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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Now Organizing (newcomers still welcome)

Postby tin » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:56 am UTC

Midnight wrote:i like these options:
Third, we have a chaotic jam session over the same chords/riffs for the entire duration of the piece.
Fourth, we, um, do a pseudo-prog-rock kind of thing where we have lots of fairly distinct sections but without any real pattern behind them, giving us some arbitrary form like AABCDEEFBCG...
Fifth, jazz style, with a "head" (chorus) at the beginning and end (possibly in the middle once or twice, depending on the tune length), and improvisation in between, possibly with certain (a) specific instrument(s) soloing while the others are silent or play supportively.



I prefer these options too, especially the forth idea, having distinct sections which could allow for some people to do their thing, whilst others drop back. Maybe. Although, maybe for our first track, we should concentrate on something like...
scrt_rbt_agnt wrote:perhaps the best way to start would be to write a simple pop progression of verse chorus verse chorus bridge chorus. or something similar to that anyway. the verses and choruses could each be 4 measures long (or 8 or whatever).


...this and see where things go from here. Just to see how our styles work together and whatnot.

Midnight wrote:like uh, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umKEj_fFNBw
the lyrics can be nutty and stuff, but the way that The Fall is very much a jam band with a lot of people.. i like that.


I sorta like this idea. Especially, lyrics and vocal wise, which could be as free-flowing and jazzy as the rest of the band.

scrt_rbt_agnt wrote:what methods will you be using to record? i'd like to know what programs and file types we're going to be dealing with here. mixing an mp3 into a wave can sound... sort of crappy. if everyone has the ability to record to wav or other lossless formats this could be a lot easier.


I don't really have much of a setup, so i'd be singing into a teeny, weeny mic and recording into audacity (so, being able to export out to wav/MP3/flac). If that ends up sounding shite, i'm pretty sure I could just pop round to one of my more musically minded friends houses and use a better setup to record vocals.

I'll try and record myself singing something this weekend and upload it to the MediaFire site.
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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Now Organizing (newcomers still welcome)

Postby Chavroux » Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:26 pm UTC

I'm all for the AABCDEEFBCG approach (or AABCAA'DEAA''FG or something along those lines).
If we've got one or two riffs, and everyone tries to do something with those, we could layer some of them together and make an AA'BB'A''A'''...



Not trying to be mr. Killjoy by getting all thechnical here, but before we start jamming and sharing ideas, shouldn't we first see if people are uncomfortable with certain keys?

Mostly winds tend to be tuned into other keys, meaning that a C on that instrument is in reality a completely different note, and I've been told that some keys are nearly impossible to play in on certain instruments.

Does somebody has some more insight on what's best playable on which instrument?
Guitar and Bass should be able to play in any key (but are most comfortable when classical tuned in scales from F (with Bb) to A (F#, C#, G#). Keyboard... I don't know, Eb (Bb, Eb, Ab) to A (F#, C#, G#) maybe?
I can do the math, but I don't have the experience working with other instruments.

If I'm making things too complicated, just say so. But it would be a shame if we should come up with a nice drumtrack, groovy basslines and funky guitarsriffs in our favorite E minor, just to find out that it's a real pain in the ass for all the other musicians to play something over that.



scrt_rbt_agnt wrote: what methods will you be using to record? i'd like to know what programs and file types we're going to be dealing with here. mixing an mp3 into a wave can sound... sort of crappy. if everyone has the ability to record to wav or other lossless formats this could be a lot easier.

I have some descent microphones, or I can connect the output of my amp into my soundcard, or I can record with my looper pedal and copy the wav-file, ... And I normally use Audacity for sound editing, so I can give you wav, ogg, mp3, Audacity projects, ...

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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Now Organizing (newcomers still welcome)

Postby bbq » Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:45 pm UTC

I can do trumpet and tuba if anyone wants a bit of that.
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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Now Organizing (newcomers still welcome)

Postby Phrozt » Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:02 pm UTC

I do play the drums....

Not sure how that would really fit into the rest of your stuff tho.

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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Now Organizing (newcomers still welcome)

Postby sillybear25 » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:43 pm UTC

Chavroux wrote:Does somebody has some more insight on what's best playable on which instrument?


Brass instruments tend to be tuned so that it's easier to play in tune in the "flat" keys (C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, Cb, and relative minor keys) with Bb and F being the two easiest keys. In my experience, keyboards tend to be easier to play the fewer sharps or flats there are in the key, though it doesn't really matter whether they're sharp or flat. I'm not really sure about woodwinds.
That said, an experienced player should be able to play outside what they consider their "easy keys," especially with time to practice. A difficult key really only makes sight-reading more difficult; with time to practice, they're all just notes.

Also, as far as range is concerned, I can only tell you about brass instruments, but the maximum "beginner's range" tends to be about 2 octaves from F (below the staff) to F (above the staff). On a good day, I can comfortably get up to a Bb above that F, and uncomfortably (not to mention with a crappy sound) up to a C or D above that, though range differs between individuals (some people can go a full 3 octaves O_O), so it's best to ask each individual.

On the topic of transposition (I assume that's what you meant when you mentioned that a C isn't always a C?), the following wind instruments transpose (the note is the actual pitch when the player plays a written C): Clarinet (Usually in Bb, though A and Eb clarinets exist), Saxophones (Alto in Eb, Tenor in Bb, Baritone in Eb), trumpet (usually Bb), and horn (usually in F, sometimes in C). Almost all others read concert pitch, so no transposition is necessary (other than octaves to make it more readable)
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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Now Organizing (newcomers still welcome)

Postby icelizarrd » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:51 pm UTC

Chavroux wrote:Not trying to be mr. Killjoy by getting all thechnical here, but before we start jamming and sharing ideas, shouldn't we first see if people are uncomfortable with certain keys?

Mostly winds tend to be tuned into other keys, meaning that a C on that instrument is in reality a completely different note, and I've been told that some keys are nearly impossible to play in on certain instruments.

This is a fair point, and it's one I've been thinking about myself. Concert Bb major (thus, G minor) tends to be a pretty common key for orchestras and wind ensembles (or at least for military band music), I believe because most transposing woodwinds are either Bb, F, or Eb -- so you're only moving one flat away from their default, at worst. And those are pretty easy keys for keyboards and other non-transposing instruments to handle too. E..g, strings play well in the Bb, C, F region, or so I'm told.

Curiously, the orchestration books I have access to (Adler, Rimsky-Korsakov, Kennan and Grantham) don't seem to mention anything about the difficulty of keys, perhaps because they presume that modern performers will be able to deal with whatever you throw at them. (They do, of course, talk about other technical limitations such as range or the trombone's necessary physical movements in the lower register). I will assume, however, that it's a good rule of thumb to avoid a lot of sharps and flats in an instrument's natural key for beginner-to-intermediate playing.

A quick Google search does come up with a result in a preview of Forsyth's Orchestration for easy/difficult violin keys which corresponds to the "avoid lots of sharps and flats" rule. (This same preview doesn't appear to say anything else about key difficulty elsewhere, but of course it could just be missing because it's a preview). If we trust a random web source, this site gives suggestions for common instruments.

Chavroux wrote:But it would be a shame if we should come up with a nice drumtrack, groovy basslines and funky guitarsriffs in our favorite E minor, just to find out that it's a real pain in the ass for all the other musicians to play something over that.
True. But then we could just transpose it for the others -- assuming it 1) won't lose out on timbre and 2) won't make it much more difficult to play on the bass and guitar.

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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Now Organizing (newcomers still welcome)

Postby kinigget » Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:44 pm UTC

I would love to have a reason to keep my alto saxaphone after graduating, and this sounds like a good way to do that, as for songwriting, I'll come back when I'm tired, maybe I'll have ideas
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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Now Organizing (newcomers still welcome)

Postby Midnight » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:50 pm UTC

lets do it in the key of F. one flat. easy for brass instruments and woodwinds--do woodwinds go in non-C keys?
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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Now Organizing (newcomers still welcome)

Postby Mr Cow » Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:50 am UTC

I think we should do it in F or Bb Major. It would be easy for the brass instruments, and relatively easy for the strings too.
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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Now Organizing (newcomers still welcome)

Postby nyeguy » Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:56 am UTC

Midnight wrote:lets do it in the key of F. one flat. easy for brass instruments and woodwinds--do woodwinds go in non-C keys?

Concert F is G for clarinet/tenor sax, and D for alto/bari sax, so fine. Generally for woodwinds, I find sharp keys easier, but a good rule is no more than two or three sharps or flats tops for easy playing.
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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Now Organizing (newcomers still welcome)

Postby howardh » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:33 am UTC

Add me to the list.
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If this goes in the direction I'm hoping it does, I may get a trombone too.
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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Now Organizing (newcomers still welcome)

Postby kaniman2 » Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:00 am UTC

Uh, I'm in high school band and we've been re-learning this every year so I can help with transposition from X instrument to Y instrument. As for difficulty of keys, there's really no such thing. Once you know how to play an instrument well enough you should be able to play anything given enough practice.

So yeah, I honestly don't understand what this "let's do it in X key" or whatever stuff is all about. Playing in one key isn't really harder than playing in another key, it just means you have to play different notes. As long as the notes are in the range of the instruments there shouldn't be an issue. And since this is a recording thing instead of a live performance you can always re-record and modify stuff.

So, I can play guitar, piano, (Eb) alto sax, and I can kind of sing but not actually. The PC mic I have sucks though (unless I record at low volume there can be a lot of distortion, and there's always lots of fuzz when it isn't picking up sound) and since I'm in high school I won't be buying a good mic any time soon so I probably won't be contributing to that.

Also, as for difficulty in putting parts together, just pick a BPM, write out chords/sheets/tab for each person responsible for the song, record each part, and get someone to mix it. My ears aren't reliable so don't get me to do this.

It's probably a good idea not to get every member to play for a song, maybe when you write out parts for a song you list the parts you need and members sign up or take turns to play those parts.

I probably won't be able to help very much though, because my mic sucks and I won't be contributing songs. I just wanted to say some stuff.
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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Now Organizing (newcomers still welcome)

Postby Chavroux » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:32 pm UTC

sillybear25 wrote:That said, an experienced player should be able to play outside what they consider their "easy keys," especially with time to practice. A difficult key really only makes sight-reading more difficult; with time to practice, they're all just notes.


Valid point. (You should never take the easy way just because it's easier...)

It depends of course on how experienced everyone is and our songwriting process.

The way we mostly make music in my band is by jamming; playing the same piece of music over and over and trying lots and lots of things until we have a couple of things that sound nice (we record most of our jamsession, which helps a lot remembering everything we played in our 20 minutes improvisation). When another bandmember records something at home and sends it to the rest of us, I tend to loop that piece of music over and over again, trying everything I think would sound nice until I've got something that sounds right.

This method requires lots of improvisation, and in my experience it's easier to concentrate on the music if you don't have to think about notes or scales. (Then again, for my instrument (guitar) it's mostly a no-brainer because I can just slide to whatever key I need and play the exact same thing.)


But maybe this isn't the right approach for this band, as we are with a lot of musicians and if we have everyone add their own layer over the music, it might become a rather chaotic wall of sound. (But I think that's where our composer should make the decisions or give guidelines.)

... Just my 2 cents :-/

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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Now Organizing (newcomers still welcome)

Postby King of Frogs » Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:06 pm UTC

I think most bands need a leader of some kind (what is this, band fascism? :P) as it provides direction and a coherent theme. The trick with leading a band though is giving the instuments the fullest sound they can.

I think it would be a good idea for people to add their own sound samples to the band file hosting page and that can give any potential composer an idea of what people sound like and what they are capable of.

I'm happy to improvise my own basslines if people want, but can do what I'm told if need be as well :D.

I agree that we don't have to have everybody play on every song, we can operate a bit more like a collective than a band as it were.

In terms of recording equipment, I have a mic which I can connect to my computer, though I haven't used it for a while so I don't know how good it is. I also have a digital camera which can record sounds, it may well have a better sound quality, I'll get back to you once I have experimented.
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Re: xkcd Internet Band--Now Organizing (newcomers still welcome)

Postby tes » Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:15 pm UTC

Maybe i can think of melodies, too.

You could try different approaches for the different songs, like the first one with "verse chorus verse ... " and then another structure for the next one. Or try one song with someone giving the direction and others by proposal/discussion/approval.
This could lead to an interesting variety.

And a subforum is probably too much of an effort, right?


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