Thursday, September 20, 2012

Creating and Editing Extreme Electronic Music

Guest post by Scott Lefebvre

My motivation for creating digital music is that the music I want to hear doesn’t exist yet, so I have to create it myself. I was looking for extreme break-core music and although I appreciate the work of musical artists like Bong-Ra, Drumcorps, Babylon Disco, Atari Teenage Riot, and Aphex Twin, I wasn’t able to find anything extreme enough to satisfy my desire for the ultimate in extreme electronic music, so it looked like it was up to me to try to create the sounds I was looking for.

Although the technology has existed for a few years to perform this task, the software has often been expensive, and required a significant amount of time to put towards learning how to use the software with any kind of proficiency.

I originally discovered NCH Software’s WavePad audio editing software through a general search for “Edit MP3s” on Cnet.com because I wanted to edit out the silence associated with many “Unlisted Tracks” on albums released by self-indulgent artists and play long, unnecessary silent periods.

While I was editing out those silences, I noticed that WavePad offered many other options to copy, save clips and to combine clips, so I began to assemble a sample library and experiment with mixing clips.

The single-track mixing offered by WavePad was prohibitive when I started thinking about compiling a full-length song, so I decided to try out NCH Software’s MixPad multi-track audio software. The interface of MixPad was simple to master and after only a couple missteps I was able to easily put together my clips in the way that I wanted to create new songs from the clips I had compiled.

A tip for new users: Don’t try to add all of your clips to your project at the same time or it will all play at the same time as an un-listenable jumble of sound. Add them one at a time and ease them into the sequence for the desired effect.

When I had a completed song, I wanted to post it to my YouTube account to share, but I wanted to create something visually stimulating to accompany the song so it wouldn’t be accompanied by a blank black screen. First I tried to use Windows Movie Maker, which I used to great effect when I was running Windows Vista, unfortunately, with my new laptop running Windows 7, Microsoft simplified the interface for Windows Movie Maker so much that it was impossible to do what I wanted. Since I had a positive experience with NCH Software so far, I downloaded their VideoPad video editing software.

VideoPad had all of the usability that older versions of Windows Movie Maker used to have so after about an hour of fumbling and playing around I was well on my way to creating the videos I wanted to make. Also it’s a relief that VideoPad has all of the effects and transitions making it possible to do some pretty amazing things.

Using Microsoft Paint and a 4,000 font package I downloaded for free from Cnet.com I was able to create a tribute to the title sequence to Gaspar Noe’s “Enter the Void” to accompany a re-mix I made while compiling a sample library from the discography of Japanese extreme pop music band Melt Banana:


Granted, it took a little time to figure out. But what probably took the film-maker thousands of dollars and weeks of time to put together I was able to do in a couple hours by myself using VideoPad.

My ultimate goal for this project is to put together an album of extreme digital music and to put together a band to perform the music live, kind of like Nine Inch Nails in concert was a live cover band for music created by Trent Reznor. I also want to create a video presentation to play behind the band to supplement the audio/video experience of the live show as I’ve seen done by Nine Inch Nails, KMFDM, and Neurosis.

To be perfectly honest, anyone can do what I’m doing with the NCH Software suite. All you need is the time and effort required to mix-down and sample your music library and the aesthetic sensibility to see how you would prefer that the samples be rearranged to suit your preference. So if you’re thinking about purchasing software from NCH Software, I say, don’t hesitate. The pros of this software are too many to list and the cons are so few that they are dwarfed by the incredible flexibility of the pros.

The only minor problem I have is with WavePad, and that I am not able to load an entire album of songs for editing down at the same time, but editing an album in ten song groups is a small price to pay for being able to capture whatever sample you want from whatever song you want and to be able to amplify and reduce noise on any sample.

The NCH Software suite has made it possible for me to easily create the music that I want to hear and I would recommend it to anyone interested in creating their own digital music without a moment of hesitation.

Scott Lefebvre creates digital music under the name Master Control. You can see more of his music projects on his YouTube channel or follow the adventures of Master Control at www.facebook.com/TheLefebvre

3 comments:

  1. I have to admit that it is an amazing article and educational, especially in case that someone wants to create by himself his unique electronic music. In addition, I would like to state that electronic music is a genre of music that nowadays, has been misunderstood and under-appreciated. Actually, it is one of the most pleasant sounds and finding related albums is very difficult, and I have dedicated years of research.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks!

      I'm glad you found my guest blog.

      What kinds of electronic music or specific artists do you enjoy?

      Delete

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