Here are my revisions for essay#1 and essay#3. Enjoy!
For many producers today, mostly up and coming producers, equipment is very expensive. The most common instrument amongst producers is the MPC (Music Production Center) which is produced by the Japanese company Akai. The MPC was invented as a drum machine which gives its users the ability to sample records which is a huge part of hip hop today. However, Akai’s MPC’s can range from one thousand to close to four thousand dollars, which is why it is popular among established producers. On the other hand, there is a digital audio workstation by the name of FL Studio developed by Image-Line Software, which is a much cheaper alternative for rising and beginner producers. FL Studio prices can range all the way from $49 to $399 (a dramatic price difference to that of the MPC and other competitors). As a user of FL Studio, I would say that it has its ups as well as its downs.
As taken from the official FL Studio website, “FL Studio (previously known as Fruity Loops) is the most complete virtual studio currently available. It will play any sample file (wav), generator (softsynth), VSTi & DXi) or midi instrument* you feed it”. FL Studio allows the user to create wav, mp3 or midi songs or loops in minutes. “FL Studio is a fully featured, open-architecture music creation and production environment for PC.” FL Studio does not require any extra software to produce music, because a whole complete kit of instruments and tools are included in the package. These virtual instruments can be played with the use of a USB ready keyboard or with the simple click of a mouse into the piano roll section of the program. With the plugins included in these packages, the user can create full songs, backing tracks, loops or beats. The program produces all music from genres such as pop, rap, hip hop, R & B, techno, funk, jazz, etc. As taken from a wiki site for the program, there are five main steps in producing a track in FL Studio. These steps go in the order of sounds/instruments which makes the sound used in the song. Then comes the composing/sequencing where the music is either played and recorded live via MIDI keyboard or entered manually in the Piano Roll. Then a producer must arrange his or her track by placing it in the Playlist window. Next, the track goes through a mixing process where effects are added. Finally, the track must be exported to a WAV or MP3 file. Now the final product is ready to be played.
As a FL Studio user, I would have to say that it is a very inexpensive alternative to the expensive music producing equipment today. When I first started producing, I could not afford and MPC or a new keyboard, so I downloaded FL Studio since it was so convenient at the time. In a YouTube interview, established producer 9th Wonder stated that he too started off using FL Studio and still does because when he first got into the game he couldn’t afford a MPC. He says that he will continue to use FL Studio because it is what he started his career with and is what has helped him get to where he is at now. In contrast to 9th Wonder’s feelings, I’m pretty tired of using FL Studio. I feel as if it has helped me as a producer develop and better my skills but feel as if I am now at a point where it is time for me to move on to bigger and better equipment such as the MPC (after using it for over 8 months). This program does contain a wide array of instruments, drums sets, and effects. However, from this large library, I have yet to find a decent sound that catches my attention. All the sounds included in this program sounds like instruments a person would hear from a Fisher Price toy or a videogame. Whenever using FL Studio, I have to use sounds that I have imported (mostly from free websites for producers) into the program because the original sounds seem too “simplistic” and “childish”. I noticed these flaws upon receiving my first Casio keyboard. The sounds on the keyboard had better quality and sounded like it could produce music that a person can hear on the radio. On the up side, FL Studio’s step sequencer makes making sampled records much easier. Once I place my chopped up samples in the program and find the right tempo for the sample, the step sequencer help me keep the kick drums, snare drums and hi hats on key. Also, from current music ratings, the “childish” sounds that come from the FL Studio program seem to please the younger (8-17) demographic. This is proven in music from artist/producer Soulja Boy Tell’ Em who used FL Studio to produce his smash hit “Crank That Soulja Boy” which spent seven weeks at #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The success of this record opened many opportunities to produce for other artists.
In comparison to many other virtual studios that I have used, such as Apple’s Garage Band program, FL Studio is much easier making it better and more convenient for the average or beginning producer. When using Garage Band, I could not discover any sounds and then realized that I had to download the sounds and instruments from Apple. FL Studio came already loaded with hundreds of sounds, instruments, and synthesizers. Unlike in FL Studio, while trying to produce in Garage Band I recognized that there was no countdown to recording which threw me off a couple of times and kept my recording off tempo. An advantage that FL Studio has over Garage Band is its step sequencer which can be used to create in-tune drum and snare patterns. While using Garage Band, my drums always seemed a bit off tempo. I do not know if I had so many problems with the Garage Band program because I was new to it or maybe because it was just that difficult, but what I do know is that my first time using FL Studio was a complete “walk in the park”. Being that I was so confused with this program, I began to search for any video tutorials which may have come with the product as did in FL Studio (which was a huge help). While searching for any featured tutorials, I realized that just as the sounds and loops, the tutorials had to be downloaded from Apple too. While trying to download these sounds and tutorials I came across plenty of numerous errors which prevented me from doing so. As a conclusion to the comparison, FL Studio is a complete package. It contains all the sounds, instruments, tutorials, effects, and synthesizers all in one unlike many competing programs (such as Garage Band) which require the user to download all the sounds and other necessities key to composing music (which can be time consuming and in some cases be very costly).
Overall, I firmly believe that FL Studio is a great program for starting producers. I believe so because prior to downloading FL Studio, I had no experience in producing music yet alone knowledge of the subject. However, with a month into using the program, I saw dramatic changes. I quickly learned the basics and fundamentals of producing music within days and learned how to compose a full record in just a few weeks thanks to the included video tutorials and very simplistic setup. The FL Studio program has many great capabilities. It has a built in metronome, step sequencer which makes creating drum patterns much easier than on many other programs, an onslaught of effects and mixer programs which can balance audio levels, a sample browser which makes access to audio samples or song files very quick, tons of generators, and dozen of music kits; however, it just does not contain the instruments to make high quality production. I would only recommend the program for practice uses just until a producer is ready to purchase or operate a MPC or other quality instrument.
*midi instrument- any instrument that can be connected to a PC/laptop through USB connection
FL Studio. Overview. 23 April. 2008
FL Studio. What’s New in FL 8? 23 April 2008
FL Studio Wiki. FL Studio Basics. 23 April 2008
“9th Wonder Talks About FL Studio”. 23 April 2008
*All videos are taken from Youtube
All images are taken from Google
*Below are songs produced in FL Studio
SOULJA BOY’S SO SILLY INSTRUMENTAL PRODUCED FOR VIC
9th WONDER’S GIRL INSTRUMENTAL PRODUCED FOR DESTINEY’S CHILD
SOME OF MY MUSIC CAN BE VIEWED AT http://www.myspace.com/beatbattlenyc
Today I was very bored and decided to look at some videos over Myspace. I came across this video titled “Man Almost Hit by Train”. I thought it was some foolishness or maybe just a video to catch someone’s attention. But like I said, I was bored and decided to watch it. As the video progressed I began to realize that this is very much real. The first thing I thought was “Look at this ass (excuse my profanity)”. This man actually ran in front of a speeding on coming train and ended up falling on the tracks. He may have thought this was a joke before getting into it or maybe just wanted to impress the camera man, but whatever it was, it nearly cost him his life. As you can see in the video, this guy sees the train coming and begins to run across the track in an attempt to make it across before the train neared. However, it seems as if he slips on some gravel alongside the rails and ends up falling in between the tracks. Miraculously, the guy was able to recover and the train missed running him over by a split second.
How stupid can a person be to get a little fame or internet buzz? If anything had went wrong, this guy would have lost his life. Is that something to risk just to entertain someone? This reminds me of that video that was swarming the web months ago called “2 Girls 1 Cup”. In this video, one girl eats the feces from the other and then vomits it out right back into the other girl’s mouth. The contents of this video were very disgusting and disturbing. I use this video in comparison to “Man Almost Hit by Train” because they both show the extent that people would go just to get recognized or entertain people. What ever happened to good old performances, or displaying artistic/musical talents?
Videos like these are just proving how ignorant and adolescent society has become to find things like this amusing.
I would like to know what’s the big deal about drinking? In my opinion, people who go out, party, and get drunk have nothing better to possibly do with there lives. To me, people can enjoy themselves without getting liquored up and intoxicating themselves. In today’s world, there is always something to do, but that time may be wasted puking out all of last night’s drinks, or suffering from a next morning hangover. From what I have seen and observed, when a person is drunk, you see the worst in them. You see a whole new side of that person that you never would have imagined.
There was a situation that I recently discussed with one of my old friends. He advised me to share this with people who love to drink. He lost a very good friendship due to alcohol. One night, he and his friend’s wife met at a party. They ended up getting drunk and one thing led to another, and they ended up having sex. This cost my friend a friendship and cost his friend a marriage. People do real dumb thing once intoxicated and from observation, there is always hurt at the end of it all.
Then there are the people who get drunk and drive while intoxicated. This really ticks me off. This to me is one of the most selfish things a person can do; for one, you are risking your own life and two, you are putting someone else’s at stake. In the United States, DUI carries 41% of all traffic deaths. In the past, I have lost someone in a car related death and I vowed never to let myself ever get drunk.
People say that they use alcohol as a party starter or as something to loosen up. It is obvious that these people have no self- esteem. If you need a harmful substance, which has been proven to cause liver cancer, to loosen up, you need help. Drinking has no benefits whatsoever. People nowadays, especially teens, need to smarten up and take responsibility knowing that drinking not only affects its consumer, but also everyone coming into contact with that person.