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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Thanks very much.

Since you've used both Garageband and Logic, and since Logic seems preferable over the longterm, do you think it makes sense to skip straight to Logic? I'm into the music part of this process, but not so much the computer part, so would like to minimize the software learning curve, if possible.

Couple of points to add:

1) Notation in Logic is very difficult to work with (for me, anyway, and I used to program a notation app!) I prefer to use MuseScore if I'm going to start by notating music, or if I'm creating parts.

2) The sketching idea is great. A few simple block chords, or a bass line, can be a lot of fun to play over, and find the melody lurking inside.

3) If you have a chord progression in mind, a program like iReal Pro (very inexpensive) can provide a bass line, or piano part, or drum part, or the entire rhythm section. Export to MIDI, import into Logic (or other sequencer/DAW), and play around.

4) Work on your piano chops. This will enable you to be much more free inside the composing environment, whether it be Logic or MuseScore or something else.

As for whether it's possible to be "truly creative" within a computer environment, I humbly submit this arrangement (yes, Grumps, it's "just an arrangement") of Come Fly with Me.

Fly Me

Also, there are a ton of useful videos out there to help with learning this approach to composing. Spitfire Audio, a purveyor of (quite expensive) orchestral sample libraries has a bunch of tutorial videos that are chock full of great clues; here's one that might help get you started. Yes it's pointed at orchestral writing, but writing for a jazz rhythm section, in a DAW, is very similar.


Finally, there is nothing wrong with a music paper notebook and pencil, and I still use them a lot. But once an idea has progressed to the point that I want to expand it, on goes the Mac and up comes Logic. Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
That’s a beautiful arrangement! Were all the instruments except you midi samples? Assuming so, it’s amazing what you can do with a computer. Nice sax tone, too.
 

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That's a beautiful arrangement! Were all the instruments except you midi samples? Assuming so, it's amazing what you can do with a computer. Nice sax tone, too.
Thanks (sorry for the delay in reply, I've been sick). Yes, they are all sample instruments. Most are from the standard Kontakt library (a couple generations ago), the strings are from Spitfire Audio (their inexpensive string library). I do tweak them to "sound right"... at least to me. This means adding other plugins in some cases, and fiddling with the settings in the library.

To answer your previous question, yes I think you should go straight to Logic. It's inexpensive, compared to other DAWs, and works great. All these tools are very complex and will take some time to learn, but there are many many videos out there on how to use them, take what you want and leave the rest. Garage Band is attractive initially because it's free, and it is supposed to invite you in and make things "easy". The problem I have with it is that once you ask it to do something a little bit differently, it either gets as complex as Logic, or can't do it at all.

I suggest Logic because a) it's what I use :), and b) lots of composers use it. If you need some tips or just want to chat, feel free to reach out to me privately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Terrifically helpful, thank you. Hope you're feeling much better!

When I'm ready to dive in, I'll go with Logic. After researching home-studio components and putting together the likely list, I'm going to pause for a moment, since it seems like this involves the equivalent of adding a fourth instrument to sax, flute, and piano. I'm excited to try my hand at composing/recording, but am wary of cutting into practice time. That said, I'll probably just push the button on the purchases shortly!

Thanks (sorry for the delay in reply, I've been sick). Yes, they are all sample instruments. Most are from the standard Kontakt library (a couple generations ago), the strings are from Spitfire Audio (their inexpensive string library). I do tweak them to "sound right"... at least to me. This means adding other plugins in some cases, and fiddling with the settings in the library.

To answer your previous question, yes I think you should go straight to Logic. It's inexpensive, compared to other DAWs, and works great. All these tools are very complex and will take some time to learn, but there are many many videos out there on how to use them, take what you want and leave the rest. Garage Band is attractive initially because it's free, and it is supposed to invite you in and make things "easy". The problem I have with it is that once you ask it to do something a little bit differently, it either gets as complex as Logic, or can't do it at all.

I suggest Logic because a) it's what I use :), and b) lots of composers use it. If you need some tips or just want to chat, feel free to reach out to me privately.
 
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