Toontrack has announced Backbeats MIDI, a collection of drum beats and fills specifically tailored for the songwriter focusing on classic rock, pop and country compositions.
“I based this pack purely on what I think a songwriter might need when coming up with a new song. Solid grooves, strong backbeats and a nice flow without getting in the way”, says session drummer and Austin, TX native Stephen Belans.
In other words – the perfect addition to your everyday songwriting drum needs. Or as Stephen puts it: “Just authentic meat-and-potatoes versions of popular American music feels, some more traditional, others more modern”.
Backbeats MIDI features
More than 500 individually played files.
Categorized in different songs.
Full intro / verse / pre-chorus / chorus / bridge / fill sections in each song.
Ballad / Midtempo / Uptempo / Doubletime.
Swing and/or straight feel in 4/4.
The Backbeats MIDI library is available to purchase for 25 EUR / $29 USD.
Hal Leonard Books has published The Power in Logic Pro by Dot Bustelo. This book is the first choice for any artist seeking quick, fun, easy-to-digest insight into the depth of Logic.
The Power in Logic Pro: Trailer with author, Dot Bustelo.
Dot Bustelo’s signature approach to teaching Logic will get you up and running quickly. She’ll help you move beyond the basics to discover a professional-level Logic workflow, taught through highly musical examples that expose Logic’s essential features and powerful production tools.
You’ll find many of the tips, tricks and insider techniques that powered Logic to its industry-leading status as the bet tool for unleashing creativity in songwriting, composing, making beats, and remixing.
Plus, find out why musicians over the years have sworn Logic “grooves better.” Dot provides the powerful methodology for creating in Logic that she has shared with countless high-profile bands and Grammy Award-winning producers and engineers.
The Power in Logic Pro is available to purchase for $16.99 USD.
Toontrack has released EZkeys Grand Piano, a plugin and stand alone instrument that combines a world-class piano player, songwriting partner, arranger and a meticulously sampled grand piano – all in one package.
Complete with an extensive drag and drop MIDI library, a groundbreaking smart transpose functionality that allows the user to change chords and add harmonic color on the fly as well as introducing an intuitive interface with a streamlined workflow, EZkeys is not just an amazingly sounding instrument, it’s a songwriting palette that sets a new benchmark in creative music software.
EZkeys Grand Piano features
The songwriting & MIDI — EZkeys comes with an extensive MIDI library performed by a professional session pianist. Played with increasing complexity in full eight bar song sections and covering all major genres such as Rock, Pop, Country, Gospel, Blues and Funk, this library is not only a creative boost, it’s an untapped source of inspiration for your yet unwritten songs. Drag, drop and lay down the foundation to a track in no time!
The smart transpose functionality — When you drag and drop MIDI in the timeline of the song browser, EZkeys will immediately analyze and separate all chords. If you click any of the blocks, an intuitive chord circle will open. This allows you to transpose or alter any chord or full song on the fly. This works just as well with the included MIDI as any user imported files.
The timeless sound — EZkeys comes with a mint condition Steinway and Sons model D grand piano, sampled to perfection in a world-class recording studio using only the best of the best in vintage and modern recording gear. The model D grand piano is the undisputed industry standard among performers and producers worldwide and has over the past century and half had an overwhelming amount of musical history and heritage created on it. The sounds were mixed to sit perfectly in a production environment without any additional tweaking. There is also a selection of ready-made and user controllable presets available, making your sound options seem almost endless.
EZkeys Grand Piano for Windows and Mac (VST/AU/RTAS/Standalone) is avaialble to purchase for $179 USD / 139 EUR.
Point Blank has announced Summer School 2011 Courses, summer music courses for young people taught by experts from the music industry.
Following the popularity of last year’s summer school, award-winning music college Point Blank has announced this year’s collection of activities aimed at music-mad school/college students who want to develop their skills over the summer break.
Each course is taught in a small group at Point Blank’s state-of-the-art recording studios in Hoxton, London. Tutors at the college include Grammy nominated songwriters and producers who have worked with a host of acclaimed artists including Michael Jackson, Massive Attack, Alicia Keys, P Diddy, La Roux, Amy Winehouse, Estelle and Sugababes.
Summer School 2011 Courses
Music Production Summer School – Duration: 1 Week, price: £395.00
Singing Summer School – Duration: 1 Week, price: £395.00
Songwriting Summer School – Duration: 1 Week, price: £395.00
DJ Summer School – Duration: Weekend, price: £245.00
Radio Summer School – Duration: Weekend, price: £245.00
The courses run throughout the summer holidays from July 25th to August 29th.
Hal Leonard has released Rikki Rooksby’s The Songwriting Sourcebook, a book which reveals how to turn chords into great songs.
Originally published in 2003, and now revised and updated, The Songwriting Sourcebook is the latest entry in Rooksby’s bestselling How to Write Songs series. This easy-to-use book is designed to help musicians write better songs by explaining the art of writing effective chord sequences.
In The Songwriting Sourcebook’s 10 sections, Rooksby shows how three and four chords can lay the foundation for a simple song, and how to move on to progressions using five and six chords. He shows how to give chord sequences additional color by adding chords that are not strictly in key, as well as taking progressions into new territories by changing key. He shows how to write in major and minor keys and how to fine-tune the color of chords by understanding the emotional potential of sevenths, sixths and ninths.
The Songwriting Sourcebook can be read sequentially for musicians new to the craft of songwriting or used as a reference or to inspire new ideas for those already writing their own songs. Rooksby’s presents songwriting concepts in a relaxed, easy to understand writing style. These concepts are further enhanced by the use of many chord progression graphics and accompanying guitar chord fingering charts, which allow the reader to play the given examples and experiment with presented concept. Also, an accompanying 20-track audio CD features original recordings that illustrate some of the points made in the book.
The Songwriting Sourcebook is available to purchase for $24.99 USD.
Groove 3 has released Songwriting Theory Explained, a new video tutorial series.
Eli’s back with another awesome music theory based series! In this collection Eli reveals the mechanics and creativeness behind modern songwriting. Learn popular chord sequences and cadences as well as analyze the chord progressions of some of the most famous songs ever written.
Songwriting Theory Explained features
20 Tutorials / Over 2.5 Hours Total Runtime.
For intermediate to advanced musicians, producers and writers.
NOTE: You should have a solid foundation in the skills taught in Music Theory Explained.
Tutorials written by musical instructor Eli Krantzberg.
Simple to use video control interface for Mac & PC.
Indaba Music has announced the Blue Microphones Songwriting Competition.
Purchasing a membership to Indaba Music is always a great idea, but the next two weeks will be the perfect time to join the state-of-the-art online music community. From January 10th through January 24th, Blue Microphones is proud to offer new and renewing Indaba members some of their innovative products. Blue Microphones will provide a free Icicle ($59 value)—a stylish new USB converter and mic preamp combo — with the purchase of a $50 Indaba “Pro” yearly membership. Those who purchase a $250 “Platinum” Indaba yearly membership will receive a free Yeti ($149 value) — the most advanced and versatile multi-pattern USB microphone available anywhere – plus, an Icicle. Both Indaba memberships also include free shipping, with no tax.
By joining Indaba, members also have the opportunity to enter the site’s latest original songwriting contest. Sponsored by Blue Microphones and beginning on January 10th through February 7th, artists can submit songs in any style featuring vocals for the chance to earn a Grand Prize that includes a round-trip flight to Los Angeles, two nights in a hotel, a day recording at Blue Microphones’ state-of-the-art studio and $1,000 cash.
IndabaMusic.com currently enables over 550,000 musicians from over 200 countries and territories to network and utilize professional recording, music lessons, artistic collaborations, and other career-making opportunities at its recently launched Opportunity Marketplace. Multi-platinum recording artist Rivers Cuomo of Weezer said, “Indaba opens the door for a giant population of musicians.”
In addition to receiving an Icicle, the annual ($50/year) Indaba “Pro” membership includes:
Unlimited submissions to opportunities like major label record releases, remix competitions, music licensing, and jobs.
Distribution of 15 songs to iTunes.
An embeddable direct-to-consumer store.
15% off purchases of digital sheet music and video lessons.
Discounts from Connect by Hertz, Sweetwater and Electronic Musician and more (a value of more than $200).
In addition to receiving a Yeti and an Icicle, the annual ($250/year) Indaba “Platinum” membership includes all the benefits of a “Pro” membership plus:
Distribution of 50 songs to iTunes.
30% off purchases of digital sheet music and video lessons.