I Protest Against Your Protest

It seems as though we are living in an endless world of protest. Anti Trump, anti Teresa May, anti Brexit anti everything! I’m bored with it all to be honest, in the UK we had a referendum on whether or not to leave the EU and the people chose to leave, the people of the USA had a Presidential election and they chose Trump – these are all democratic decisions and this is what this song is all about. It seems people who don’t get the outcome that they would prefer are acting like petulant children who’s mummy won’t let them go to McDonalds. Get over yourselves nobody says you have to like the outcome but it’s becoming ridiculous! As for celebrities apologising on our behalves or shedding fake tears to get TV time because they are shit celebrities is simply pathetic and pretty laughable. I just wish people would read beyond a headline or TV soundbite and actually learn the facts before signing a dumb petition that is highly unlikely to change the democratic vote. I say this to both sides of political spectrum, left and right, however it seems to me that most of the whinging is coming from the left side at present. Play nicely and stop labeling people you don’t know.

GarageBand iOS – A studio in your pocket?

Apple released a new version of Garageband yesterday (18th Jan 2017) where among a host of improvements you now have access to the Alchemy Synth which is awesome (well a cut down version of it that will only work on newer iOS devices). It also added features to make it easier to work with it’s desktop daddy Logic Pro X. The track above was created in less than an hour and that included actually leaning how to use the app!

So, is it now a powerful studio in your pocket? The quick answer is no but if you consider what equipment we needed 15 years ago to achieve the same results with then perhaps we could say yes! However, there is a monumental issue that Apple themselves have made and for me at least, its a deal breaker. Yes, you’ve all heard about it – Apple killed the headphone socket on the latest iPhone. So what? Well here is the problem.

On previous iPhones the way mobile musicians work (mostly) is to stick on a pair of headphones into the headphone socket and connect a small USB midi controller keyboard such as the Akai LP25 to the lightning port via a little dongle. OK, we could not charge our devices when doing this but it did give us a few hours of true mobile music making. When you are making what I would call ‘real’ music where you actually need to be able to play an instrument rather than mashing samples together you need a keyboard or a guitar attached to your iPhone to either get midi data or audio data into it whilst being able to listen on your headphones or on a connected speaker.

Now we only have a lighting connector so although it is still possible to get midi and audio into it we can’t actually monitor it or listen to it through anything but the iPhones inbuilt speaker which sucks massively. Bluetooth is a big no no so we won’t even go there because you press a key on your midi keyboard and hear it half a second later which makes it impossible to play. With all of this in mind it is now also impossible to use your iPhone as a live instrument as many people do. You can’t get the audio out if you are already using the lightning port for midi or audio! OK, so there are companies out there with an array of dongles nobody wants to carry around as that negates the ‘mobile’ part of mobile music.

So, there we have it. With one hand Apple gives and with the other hand it takes away. I’m not even sure why they are bothering anymore with mobile music making apps like Garageband because they have paralyzed it by taking away the headphone socket. Apple you suck big time. Don’t even get me started on the new MacBook pros and their un-connectivity! It’s actually stopping me buying a new MacBook Pro!

So, to wrap it up – if you are happy to use the actual iOS device’s touch screen as the instrument which is extremely fiddly for anything but the most simple tracks, then it’s a great little sketchpad for a real instrument playing musician. If you are a loop and sample mixer then you don’t need an external controller in most cases so its also cool for you. A mobile studio for anyone with an iPhone 7 it is not.

Better Than Me – New Song Revised

I posted this song yesterday from SoundCloud but have been messing around with it more today and have been working on the guitars as I was not happy at all with the solo, it was too staccato and top heavy. I’m a bit happier now but am sure it will change again as I listen to it more. This time I have uploaded the video to YouTube and overlaid the lyrics on the video itself.

I have been working on this song for around a week and actually started composing live on Facebook with just me playing the piano. I then took that idea and expanded upon it and came up with something based on it but did change the chord sequence in the chorus as that would never have worked vocally for me. It’s not my usual style as this one initially focuses on the vocals and I don’t proclaim to be a particularly good vocalist but you deal with what you’ve got!

The actual song itself has been inspired by the constant moaning I have seen on various social media sites and even the BBC news regarding Britain leaving the EU. What I am seeing is people on the left of politics abusing those who voted brexit casting labels and generally talking the country down. I found it quite sad if I am honest. The song starts with me wanting to understand the the other person and showing that I am willing to listen. In return, just because my view differs the other person refuses to consider seeing the world through my eyes and is somehow in denial rather than getting on with it and indeed along with other peoples, the majorities, view and simply throwing knee-jerk abuse. The same seems to be happening across the pond in America with Donald Trump. We may not always like people’s choices but surely democracy should reign.

The lyrics are overlaid onto the video which is just basically the song playing in Apple Logic Pro X.

 

Better Than Me – A New Creation

I never know exactly how a song idea will actually come out until I complete it! The ideas sort of come as I am jamming on the guitar or the piano, in this case I started with the piano which I have not done for a long time.

This song was actually inspired by the attitude of some people who want you to listen to them but are unwilling to listen to you. This is called Better Than Me

Lyrics:

I wanna see your world
I wanna see it through your eyes
I need to see your thinking
And when I’ve seen the world
When I’ve seen it through your eyes
I guess I’ll understand

I hope I can figure you out
But right now I don’t know what you’re talking about

I wanna walk the world in your shoes
I guess what have we got to lose
‘Cause now you got me thinking
And when I’ve walked the world in your shoes
I guess then we’ll have to choose
Which of us was wrong

I hope I can figure this out
But right now I don’t know what you’re talking about

You and me no we’ll never agree
‘Cause we’re so, so different you see
You think you’re better than me
Maybe some day we’ll figure it out
But right now I’m sick of your doubts
I just wanna get out

You’ll never walk the world in my shoes
You’re just sore ’cause you had to lose
God knows what you’re thinking
All you do now is abuse
A label to accuse
Is that the best you got?

I doubt you can figure it out
‘Cause right now you don’t know what you’re talking about

You and me no we’ll never agree
‘Cause we’re so, so different you see
You think you’re better than me
Maybe some day we’ll figure it out
But right now I’m sick of your doubts
I just wanna get out

Guitar Break

You and me no we’ll never agree
‘Cause we’re so, so different you see
You think you’re better than me
Maybe some day we’ll figure it out
But right now I’m sick of your doubts
I just wanna get out

Ba da ba ba bada ba ba
Bada ba ba bada ba ba
Badam ba ba bada ba ba