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Project & Portfolio Competency 3: Composing in the DAW

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Shannon Kropf

on 18 November 2015

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Transcript of Project & Portfolio Competency 3: Composing in the DAW

Rhythm Track
Composing In Logic X
What you'll do
Your composition will contain a rhythm track, harmony track, bass track, and melody track.
Your composition will use the concepts learned in this course.
You'll compose an original 17-measure beat in LogicX.
What you'll learn
•How to sequence rhythm, harmony, and melody in a Digital Audio Workstation.
•The basics of melody, harmony, and rhythm.
- How to make a realistic rhythm track.
- How the bass and harmony should connect.
- How the bass and rhythm should connect.
- How the melody should connect with the other components.
•Beginning composition techniques.
What you'll need
Logic Pro X
Instructional materials found
Before you begin
Read through these instructions and watch the enclosed videos so that you have a thorough understanding of the project.
Beginning your project
Watch this video about rhythm, harmony, and melody:
Rhythm, Harmony, and Melody
Open Logic and select File > New.
Choose "Software Instrument" and create 4 tracks. Click "Create."
Save your file as LastName_FirstName_PPC3"
Press "Save."
Prepare your Logic Pro X file
Planning: File Prep
Open the Sibelius planning file provided on FSO.
Save the file as Lastname_Firstname_PPC3.
Chose a
major or minor key
which you will use for your piece. Only choose a minor key if you are confident working with diatonic triads in the natural minor scale.

Type the name of this key in number 3. You must use the same key/scale in each track.
Number 5: Click in the diatonic triads for your chosen key, and include the corresponding Roman Numerals.
Number 6: Write out the pentatonic scale for this key.
Number 4: Click in the scale which corresponds with your chosen key.
Select one groove from your first Logic Project (Drumset Transcription) to use as the basis of your rhythm track. Type the name of this groove in number 2.
Let's write music.
Harmony Track
Bass Track
Melody Track
Let's get started...
Planning: Choosing Groove
Planning: Choosing Key
Planning: Creating the Scale
Planning: Creating Triads for Harmony
3. Type "p" to bring up the piano roll.
4. Select one of the beats you sequenced in "Portfolio Comp 1: Rhythm in the DAW."
Sequence that beat into the first measure in this new project.
5. Customize a few notes that you think sound good.
Create a region in bar 17.
Place the kick, snare, and hi-hat on beat 1.
Select an appropriate sustaining harmony instrument from the library. Make sure that it is not overly effect-heavy.
Stretch the region to four measures, starting in measure 5.
Rename your second track, "Harmony."
Next, loop this region through measure 16...
...then create a region in bar 17, and place the tonic triad on the downbeat.
When you're satisfied with your bass line, loop the region to the end of bar 16.
Compose your bass line using the tips in this video.
Stretch the region to 4 measure and
move it to start in measure 9.
Name your fourth track "Melody" and create a 4-bar region. Drag the region to begin in measure 13.
3. Compose your melody by using the scale you selected in your Sibelius Planning Document.
Choose a "lead" or "solo" instrument for your melody. Do not choose an instrument with lots of delay, effects, or arpeggiation. Choose a simple, clear solo instrument. DO NOT use any custom instruments or plug-ins.
Then, create a new region in measure 17, and end your melody on the downbeat, using one of the three notes in the tonic chord.
Rename the track "Melody."
6. Click or play in your pattern,
Keep it SIMPLE and TASTY!
1. Set up your project with the tempo and key you've chosen.
You must use the key you selected in your Sibelius planning document.
7. Loop the region all the way through measure 16.
...is done. Booyah!
Sequence four chords from your chosen key into these four measures.
Choose a sustaining instrument from the library. Make sure your selection is not overly effect-heavy.
• You may make each chord a whole note or an arpeggio ("broken chord").
• You should have one chord per measure.
Use only diatonic chords in your key.
2 down, 2 to go
Read the directions, then type your
name in number 1.
Rhythm Track...
Name your third track "Bass."
Select an appropriate bass instrument and create a new MIDI region. DO NOT use custom instruments or plug-ins.
Create a region in measure 17.
Place the tonic note in the bass.
Guess what?
...is done!
Finishing Touches
Place these three files into one folder:
• Original Logic session file (.logicx extension)
• Bounced .mp3 file (.mp3 extension)
• Sibelius file (.sib extension)

Name the folder:

Compress the folder and upload to FSO.


Sample Project (Don't Reproduce This!)
in this presentation.
Stuff you should know from previous projects
How to set up a Logic Pro X file
How to create a new software track
How to create regions
How to loop regions
How to bounce files from Logic
How to input midi information
Project 1
You will be able to customize this percussion track to your liking.
Don't use C Major or a minor. Do something more interesting and show off your music chops!
You'll use this scale in your BASS track and MELODY track.
These triads will be the basis of your HARMONY track
This scale will be used for your melody.
Great job! Be sure to check FSO for your feedback on the project.
Instructional Video
Instructional Video
Right-click and choose "Create Empty MIDI Region."
Extend the region to be two measures in length
Select the Drum Kit or
Drum Machine of your choice.
*Don't use custom sounds or plug-ins.*
Right-click on the track title and select
"Rename Track."
Name the track, "Drums."
customizing notes so that the second measure
is different from the first.
Something sounds skunky?
Fix it!
Listen to your piece several times. You may experiment with different instruments as long as you keep in mind the parameters listed throughout this assignment.
Make your final instrument selections, and then tweak the volume of each so that they are all heard and nothing is jumping out of the mix.
Select File > Bounce > Project or Section (or simply press command-b).
example: Kropf_Shannon_PPC3_2015-12
You can also close the library to give yourself more space, if you prefer. You can open it again by clicking the "Library" icon on the top left of the screen.
5. Create a region
Create an empty MIDI region and move the region to begin in measure 5.
Turn on "Cycle Mode" and extend to the end of measure 17.
Be sure to turn off cycle mode before submitting the file.
Save the bounce as shown above.
Bouncing your track...
Failure to submit any of these 3 files will result in 0 credit for this assignment. Empty or incomplete files will be considered non-submissions and will not be graded.
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