Posts Tagged ‘sampling’

The Logic of Logic II

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

Every once in a while I just have to stop and be grateful for and appreciate the incredible tools I get to work with creating Inspirational music here in the 21st century.  I’ve been working with a software system for about 15 years now that was first developed by a German company named Emagic in the early 1990s called Logic.  In 2002, Apple, seeing that Emagic’s Logic had probably the most powerful engine of the various DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) systems, bought Logic from Emagic and has produced this industry leading tool ever since.

Coupled with a hot Mac computer and a few other relatively inexpensive pieces of hardware, this software system has taken the place of the entire recording studio of yore amazingly for the price of $499.

For 25 years I owned a major recording studio here in NYC and operated 3 rooms for various recording spending, over time, a couple of million dollars on equipment to keep up with the times and keep the shop running.

Today all that has changed dramatically.  Today I record symphony orchestras in my son’s converted bedroom in my apartment.  Of course I’ve put some serious money into the acoustics of the room including an isolation booth that fits five, but essentially, I’ve got everything I ever had before and more, for infinitely less. (more…)

The Sin of Sampling

Monday, September 21st, 2009

music_studentIf you haven’t noticed, we have a little debate going on regarding last week’s September 15 post Feed the Hungry – Heal the Thought. A number of astute comments poured in reflecting several musician’s thoughts and frustrations with the art of sampling.

It’s clearly a controversial world and I live smack in the middle of it seeing both sides with equal respect. However, tonight, I’d like to clear up several misconceptions about the sample process.

First of all, sampling is the act of recording the actual sound of the real instrument and then re-using those notes to build orchestral parts. Many people confuse this with synthesis.  [For a much more detailed study of this, please see: On Sampling – Part 1-3 in this very blog]

I have orchestrated for ‘real’ orchestras in my career and also for the virtual ‘sampled’ kind as well and though there are virtues to each, I believe the public generally misunderstands the latter. These too are ‘real’ orchestras. They are just as ‘live’ as a ‘real’ orchestra because they too are digital recordings of orchestras playing music.


But What About The Poor Musicians?

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

For the last several days we’ve been discussing the amazing art of sampling that is making such huge contribution to the music industry and to the way music is made today. With a virtual sampled orchestra library, a composer/orchestrator no longer needs to hire an orchestra, but can now create an equivalent sound with his sampling software and a powerful computer.

For a composer, this is a tremendously enabling concept. It means that the huge amounts of money previously spent before are no longer necessary for the completion of one’s musical creativity.

street musician

“But what about the poor musicians who no longer can get that kind of work”, I’m sure someone’s bound to ask. Well, it’s a good question. And the immediate answer is not pretty.


On Sampling – Part 3

Friday, August 14th, 2009

On Sampling – Part 3

If you missed the first two parts of this series, you can read them here: On Sampling – Part 1 and On Sampling – Part 2.

I have a wonderful software sampling program called “Heart of Africa”. It’s made by one of the best companies out there, my favorite company, Spectrasonics. For my money, they make some of the coolest stuff on the planet. I don’t even pre-listen to their offerings anymore, I just buy ‘em and use ‘em.

"The Father of the Electric Guitar"

"The Father of the Electric Guitar"

Heart of Africa is a 2-part series created by a team of recordists who went through Africa and recorded various tribes and musicians and African indigenous instruments. Part A is single note samples of their instruments – the kind of recordings that I spoke of in last night’s post where each instrument is recorded note by note, those notes are spread across a keyboard, and one can play one’s own parts and solos on that keyboard.


On Sampling – Part 2

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

On Sampling – Part 2
If you missed the other 2 parts of this series,  you can read them here: On Sampling – Part 1 and On Sampling – Part 3.

As little as 5 years ago, orchestral sampling was still in its infancy. I call it an infancy because whenever I heard a virtual orchestra, I could pretty much tell immediately that it was virtual, meaning it was not actual players sitting there playing the piece, but instead was ‘built’ by a programmer using samples.


For four years my wife and I had great season tickets at Carnegie Hall – wonderful seats about 2/3 of the way back and center on the main floor – for our favorite orchestra – The Philadelphia. They would come to Carnegie Hall 4-5 times a year and it really gave me a chance to study a great orchestra and see how it was done. I absolutely loved the experience. (more…)

On Sampling – Part 1

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

thought_synthesizerOn Sampling – Part 1

There are two forms of sampling going on today besides, of course, the high art of sampling your mother’s cookies. One is where a recording artist will take a sample or section of a previously recorded song and use it as a lick or a groove and then build another song or particular feel around it. One finds that done a lot in R&B, Hip Hop and Rap. This is not the sampling that I’m going to write about.

But I wanted to make the distinction, because people often get the two confused. Actually, there seems to be a lot of confusion over the word today and I’d like to take a shot at clearing some of that up. Also it’s just a fascinating new technology and art form that I think all music lovers should understand and appreciate.

I say, with slight tongue in cheek, that it was started by the musician’s union – or perhaps better to say that it came as a result of the greed of the union. Simply put, it just became far too expensive to record music. A first time out R&B album would usually be budgeted at $150,000 and much of that would go to the musicians and the high priced studios. (more…)

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