I just thought it would be interesting to see how other people go about it
After some thought, my MO is like this:
Taking a step back and considering the WAY I write - I guess it's not dissimilar to sculpture . . . .
One or other of the GREAT sculptors once described it this way . . . .
It might have been Michaelangelo though I wouldn't be so Pompous as to place myself in his class
Or something like thatThe Statue was always INSIDE the block of Marble . . . I just removed the irrelevant bits
ChrisI write in the same way. I guess, being primarily a Pianist, it is my NATURE to give as Full and complete a performance
as possible, whenever I sit down to play. This means Melody, Harmony, Bass and rhythm and twiddly bits - all together . . . .
OK - if PRESSED - I could probably play some sort of a Bass line that would be "correct", but without the rest of it,
the "context" would be missing and it would sound "Wooden" IYKWIM?
I'm pretty sure this is why most bands prefer to play AS A BAND in the studio -
but it is a nightmare for recording purposes.
The purely "MultiTrack" approach just doesn't do for me . . . .SURE - It'll be "correct", but devoid of any emotion
SO - I PLAY the whole thing on keyboard, and import the midi into Reaper . . . .
This first track will be the principal Keyboard Part - often Piano . . . .
I then duplicate the track a number of times - commensurate with how many instruments I have in mind.
I then start chiselling away at the midi, sometimes effectively creating keyboard splits, by filtering small ranges of notes,
sometimes taking out "ornaments" I have played in, and copying to a separate track to "voice" with a different instrument.
If I am going to have a Bass Instrument, I'll either extract it from the midi or play a new one in, if I'm feeling brave . . .
These extra tracks are then allocated different midi channels - so different VSTis can be applied . . .
I may then go into the Piano-roll and alter note lengths and velocities - to make it more "musical" or even draw-in
devices I'd not thought of in the original performance . . . .
The White-Note Glissandos on the Hammond in "Riders" were done this way -
I doubt I could have played them so accurately myself
Vibrato and Leslie on/off were done by key-switching "notes" written in on the Piano Roll
Volume and Mute envelopes are created per track to aid arranging and to enhance expression where needed.
The whole-tone modulation towards the end, on NI "Session Horns" in "Riders" was simply done by judicious copy/paste of
the midi at that point - and then the rest of the track(s) suitable transposed in a similar way, to suit . . .
The Tempo slowdown was done in the Master Track - applying a ramp between two tempos over a certain time,
returning "àTempo" at the end of the ramp.
Once you get "Inside" - there is so much you can do . . . it's quite addictive . . .
The trick is to KNOW when to stop tinkering . . .
If it gets to the point where you are SICK of hearing it over and over - then it's time to back off, work on something else,
give it some SPACE - and return later . . . .