Categories
Albums Organ Music Recordings YouTube Videos

New Album Release

Starting March 1, 2021 my latest album will be available on streaming sites everywhere.

Album cover art

A demo of the album is available on YouTube:

Please leave comments and questions here in the comment section.

I also have 13 other albums available on all digital music streaming sites (Scroll to the bottom for links to all the sites)

Categories
Albums Organ Music Recordings YouTube Videos

New Album – Classical Organ Music

Cover art of the album
Album art work

Classical Music for solo Organ

I’m happy to announce that my 13th album is now available. You can listen to it on YouTube at: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_mv5_JJPl9WFBnKCAV-yTDfqFEuzdGECaM You can also purchase it at https://music.apple.com/us/album/classical-music-for-solo-organ/1544011235 or listen on Spotify at: https://open.spotify.com/album/6Qz1uT9cZSc3ZQmdp6I2t5

This album is an all Organ music album. It features the following short works.

Sortie-Franck (2:45)
Allein Gott in der Hoh sei Ehr-Telemann (2:15)
Aus Tiefer Not-JC Bach (1:36)
Schmucke dich, o liebe Seele-Telemann (2:31)
Adagio – Mendelssohn (3:11)
Christ lag in Todesbanden-Telemann 1/2 (3:28)
Christ lag in Todesbanden-Telemann 2/2 (1:21)
Ach, wir armen Sunder-Telemann (3:06)
Grave_Adagio_Mendelssohn (4:41)
O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig-Telemann (4:07)
Blessed Jesus At Thy Word-Elert (2:45)
Cantabile-Franck (4:32)
Grave_Bach (2:11)
Vater unser im Himmelreich-Telemann 1/2 (2:08)
Vater unser im Himmelreich-Telemann 2/2 (1:12)
Blessed Jesus At Thy Word-Able (2:48)
Komm, heiliger Geist, Herre Gott-Telemann (3:46)
Christus, der uns selig macht-Telemann (3:13)
Andantino Moderato Dubois(4:49)
Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend-Telemann (2:35)
Benedictus-Elert (2:57)
Herzlich tut mich verlangen-Telemann (3:13)
Gregorian March (4:50)-Alexandre Guilmant

Categories
Albums Arranging Website YouTube Videos

Videos and links

Update: @JGSheetMusic is my Twitter handle

Since January of 2020 I’ve posted quite a few videos on YouTube. These videos are demos of various sheet music titles I have available. They are full length recordings along with the sheet music. You can see them all at my YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/user/jamesgilbertmusic

I also released a new album earlier this year called Hymns – Plugged In. See the article in this blog for details or visit my music catalog for links to the titles.

In addition to the numerous videos I have added a little more than 20 new sheet music titles to the catalog. Click on the link at the top of this page to see all of my sheet music titles. A tip for searching my catalog: Enter New Title in the search box and the newest titles will show up. (I usually consider a title to be new if it has been released in the last six months).

Long before the pandemic I was teaching piano lessons over the internet. If you are looking for a piano teacher or perhaps you are interested in learning music theory, composing or arranging, drop me a note using the contact page and we’ll get started.

For those of you new to my website, I made major changes to it in the first half of this year. Some of the links in old blog articles that directed you to specific pages on this site will probably not work. However, the content is still here. Select the most likely page from those listed in the menus above and you should have no problem finding it. Any articles that reference my YouTube, Linked In or other social media pages, be aware that the only social network accounts I have are with YouTube and SoundCloud. I find Facebook to be more or less useless for any serious business efforts. (Anyone who doesn’t have a Facebook account will have trouble using it). I find Twitter to be relatively useless in promoting my music and far too much of the content is unverified or contains comments that no sane person should be forced to have to read.

Categories
Albums Church Music Recordings Website News YouTube Videos

New Album Released

Hymns – Plugged In

I’ve been at it again. A new album is now available. It is title Hymns – Plugged In.

A collection of traditional hymns set in contemporary styles using all electronic instruments.

Available at: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B083TPXRBP as well as on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and all digital music sources.

Here is a demo of the whole album:

Categories
Albums Arranging Reaper Recordings

No Time To Relax (Album Notes)

No Time To Relax

Track 9 from my album Sampler. It can be found wherever digital music is available

A melancholy piece featuring pads, light drums and vocalise melody to start with. Then the track adds in some synth leads and synth bass part. The end echos the feel of the start.

The Gravity sound library is used for the bulk of the vocalise. For the drums I used Drum Lab from Native Instruments. Also used for some rhythm elements was Grid II.

The bulk of the sound in this track comes from the instruments. There is no EQ used on any of the instrument tracks. I did use the REAPER ping-pong delay and Native Instruments RC48 reverb unit with some EQ on the reverb. Only the two vocal tracks have any reverb added to it. Although I have the delay unit on a bus, I just realized nothing is being bussed there. So, just reverb is added to this track.

For mastering purposes, I did not do anything beyond a peak limiter (just to make sure nothing peaked).

To my ears at least, this piece just “worked” with the combination instruments I chose and without having to do anything besides balance levels. That’s something to think about as you compose and record music. Get it as good as you can prior to recording to audio and the mixing and mastering process will be easy.

Please, please, if you like the album or these track notes, drop a note in the comments. Even if you don’t like it, drop me a comment. Now that I think about it, I’ve not had any comments since I moved the blog here. Maybe the comments only work for me? Anyone care to test it out?

Categories
Albums Arranging Reaper Recordings

Is Something Bad Coming (album notes)

Continuing with my series of liner notes for my album Sampler, we get to track number 8. This is a darker sounding track. It consists of 6 instruments and various effects.

You can find all of my albums anywhere digital music is available.

First up is the Bass, the Padaboom patch from the Substance library by Output.

Next is the Arp Harp Loop patch from Output’s Signal Pulse library. I believe the patch may be part of an add-on library.

Next is the After Waves patch from Output’s Exhale program. The patch is probably part of an add-on library.

It looks like most of this piece uses Output’s various libraries. The next track is Tears in Rain patch from Analog strings by Output.

The next patch is a PolyBrass 2 from Kontakt’s RetroMachines Mk2. I believe this is an emulation of a Korg PolySix patch. The PolySix was the first synthesizer I ever owned.

Finally we have Battery 4 using the Sad Flamingo Kit.

For all the instruments, I only used automation on the Battery kit and that was for some volume changes.

I must have been happy with the sounds of the instruments because I used practically no effects on anything. Only the drums (Battery 4) were processed. I sent them (-13db) to a rever bus. The reverb was the Native Instruments/Softube emulation of the RC48 using a Medium Hall preset.

I sent the reverb (0db) to a Gate buss.

On the master bus I cut out frequencies below 30hz and used the Lurseen Mastering Console from IK-Multimedia. I used the Classical (More Glue) preset. If I made any changes, it would have been to the De-esser or compressor in the chain view options (icon at top). This plugin makes a huge difference in the final sound. It isn’t just louder, but better sounding.

Any questions or comments, please let me know.

Categories
Albums Arranging Reaper Recordings

Exciting times (track notes)

Continuing my liner notes for my July 2018 album “Sampler”

Track 7, Exciting Times, was my first experiment on doing something entirely from loops. Not audio loops, but MIDI loops. The entire track was produced from MIDI loops.

I use to subscribe to a magazine that included a download link or a DVD that had various samples and loops on it. My notes don’t show which issue or magazine name, but it was from a magazine. I took loops that came from what I think was a Trance selection. The majority of the magazine content was audio loops or samples, but from time to time they include midi loops.

Here are the instruments/patches I used for this track. My notes don’t show what changes I made to presets and it would take too long to figure out. Whatever they were, they were not dramatic changes.

Battery 4 (Argon Kit) with ReaEQ highpass at 40HZ and Supercharger GT compressor with a modified drum buss preset. Automation on ReaEQ highpass frequency.

Massive with Thelonius preset (modified). ReaComp sidechained from drum track; ReaEQ with a slight boos around 300hz and a low pass cut at 1.1K. Another ReaComp with sidechain. Supercharger GT with modified Synth Bass preset. NI VC 2A compressor, modified Electric Guitar preset. ReaDelay (modified Dehuminator slower preset). Automation on the Wavetable position and cutoff in Massive as well as the Bypass on the ReaDelay.

Reaktor Razor, Centauri preset (modified); ReaComp sidechained from Drum Buss, 0ms attack; 47ms release, 4:1 ratio, 0 to 481Hz input filter; ReaEQ highpass around 60Hz. Another ReaComp sidechained with 30-225Hz input filter. 3ms attack, 100ms release, 4.1 compression. (The two compressor settings basically end up being sidechained by only the bass drum from the drum sidechain input). Automation on two Macros in Razor. Automation on high pass filter in ReaEQ.

Absynth 5, Arcadia patch (probably modified). ReaComp sidechained similar to above examples.
ReaEQ. Automation on Pan and EQ Low pass frequency

Reaktor Monark, Sakwenzer patch (probably modified). ReaComp with sidechain from Drum track 0-745HZ input filter. 0ms attach, 100 release, 4:1 ratio. ReaEQ, low pass at 8.5Khz and high pass at 100Hz. Automation on lowpass eq filter.

Reaktor Kontour, Twin top patch (modified). ReaComp sidechained similar to above examples. ReaEQ, high pass, automated. Another ReaComp sidechained similar to above. Automation on pan.

Kontakt, string ensemble symphony series, string ensemble patch. ReaComp, sidechained similar to above. ReaEQ High pass around 60Hz, automated.

Kontakt, Rise & Hit, Heavy Fuzz patch. Automation on Volume and Rev-Heavyfuzz.

Kontakt, Exhale by Output, Backwards patch.

Four tracks were sent to a ReaDelay buss that had a 4-tap ping pong delay

Four tracks were sent to a Reverb buss with NI Passive EQ in mid/side mode. Some low mid boost in middle and some low boost on the side.

I printed all the midi to audio and produced the final mix from there.  I used an IK Multimedia Quad Compressor and Quad Image to widen out the sound a bit. I used a few sidechained compressors on some of the audio channels.

Please leave a comment or question below. You can also subscribe to this blog to be notified whenever a new article is posted.

Categories
Albums Arranging Other

Very Confused (album track notes)

To continue with my notes on the songs on my 11th album, Sampler, we get to the 6th track. That title is called Very Confused. The description of how I did it may be as equally confusing.

As inspiration for and as a way to try different ways of composing, I took an existing piece, the first movement of the Opus 2, No. 1 Beethoven Piano Sonata. I loaded a midi rendition of the piece into my DAW. I used a function that takes all the notes of the file and extracts them to separate MIDI tracks. I forget how many unique pitches there were, but it was a large number. Based on the visual look of each track in a piano roll editor I moved tracks around and combined many with specific percussion instruments in mind.

I ended up with 16 different midi tracks. Using what I thought would sound good in combination with all the other tracks I assigned various percussion instruments to each of the 16 tracks. All the percussion sounds were from the Native Instruments sound library Percussion Symphony Series. Even the mysterious piano sound was from that library.

Processing, as with much of my music was minimal, once the desired sounds were recorded. The Claves had Replika XT (from Native Instruments) on it with a special effect patch highly modified. The Rain Stick track utilized the Movement plugin (from Output.com), 11.8 pitcher from one of the expansion packs. The vibraslap track sounds like a metalic flying object with lots reverb. That was accomplished by sending it through the Dual Crystals effects chain in Absynth. I used a little bit of EQ and compression here and there.

The original Beethoven Sonata movement, with repeats is nearly 20 minutes long, far too long for a track on the album. So I cut and chopped different sections, mainly silence and shortened it to less than 6 minutes. I was surprised by how much silence there was in the original piece when broken into its individual notes.

It is definitely Very Confused. I hope you like it. If you do or have any other comments or questions, please leave them below.

Categories
Albums Recordings

Escape Is This Way (Album Track Notes)

Escape Is This Way

This is both the 5th and 11th tracks.

Please leave a comment if you like these liner notes. That way I’ll know that you want me to continue posts for all the tracks on the album.

Track 5 is an “acoustic” version and the 11th is an “electronic” version. The piece is based on a piece from my sheet music catalog “12-tone piece for 4 instruments.”

I used instruments from the Symphony Series String Ensemble from Native Instruments. Basically the 4 parts are comparable to a string quartet. I used minimal EQ. I added some risers, orchestral percussion and Cuban style percussion. The risers from the Rise & Hit library from native instruments. The percussion from the Kontakt factory library all percussion preset. The Cuban style percussion from the Discovery Series: Cuba by native instruments.

The two percussion channels I sent to the stock delay in Reaper with a modified ping-pong, 5-tap delay preset. The riser channel I sent to the RC-48 reverb using the snare roll preset (with modifications).

For the instrument and effect channels I cut out some of the low frequencies (below 50Hz) that can creep into software based instruments. On the master channel I cut low frequencies below 100Hz. I also used the T-RackS Bus compressor from IK Multimedia with a slightly modified Glue preset. The final link in the effects was the Lurssen mastering console with a modified Classical (Warmer) preset.

On the electronic track I kept the same percussion parts but with the Supercharger compressor with a modified Drumbus on the Cuba percussion. I didn’t use any EQ or other compression in the mix. I did use the same compressor on the master track, but did not use the Lurssen console.

I did some panning automation on the Percussion channels. All the sounds were kontakt instruments. In order: 1) Gravity Natural forces pack, Hope eternal patch and Analogue strings from the Retro series Kontakt library; 2) Gravity Natural forces, Mystic Fifths – Amb01 and ChoirInt from Kontakt Retro series; 3) Retro Strings 1 and Gravity Natural forces Stacked Ahh, Eee, Ooo and 4) Matrix Pad 2 from Retro series and Gravity natural forces, Scorched Earth – Amb01

Let me know what you thought of these two tracks.

Categories
Albums Recordings

It Is Different (Album track notes)

It Is Different

The fourth track on our album Sampler

The album and audio samples available wherever digital music can be found.

Please leave a comment if you like these liner notes. If nobody comments, then I will probably not include all the liner notes for all the tracks.

This track is one of the most experimental tracks on the album. I used an old DOS, early Windows piece of software to generate notes based on fractal math. You can probably hear in the somewhat abrupt changes where the different formulas changed.

I used various electronic sounds for the 4 tracks. For the pluck sound I sent to the RC48 lexicon reverb utilizing a modified medium random hall & echoes. On three of the other tracks I sent them to the Reaper default delay, modified 5-tap ping pong. The percussion track also got sent to delay and reverb.

All tracks were fed into a parent folder. On that I had a 3-band splitter. This allowed me to send the lower end to one processing chain, the middle to one and the high to another.
I used Supercharger on the two lower bands and solid bus comp on the higher band.

On the master buss I used the Lurssen mastering console modified a bit from the EDM preset.

I did say that It Is Different.

Categories
Albums Recordings

Looking Ahead track notes

Looking Ahead

The third track in our album Sampler

The album and audio samples available wherever digital music can be found

This track is one of 3 tracks where I was experimenting with brass instruments. Please leave a comment if you like this liner notes or I may not include liner notes for all of the tracks.

For this track I used Native Instrument’s Session Horns utilizing various of the brass articulations available. I used key switching in the midi files to switch between articulations.

The rhythmic comes from the Heavyocity Kontakt instrument Damage. My notes don’t tell which instrument(s)/patch(es) were used. On that track, in addition to cutting off some low end with an EQ I also used the Native Instruments Supercharger compressor with a modified drumbuss preset. I also used some sort of riser in a few spots.

I used some EQ on all the tracks, except the master buss. It was mainly to remove unneeded low end and in a few cases a high-shelf. I used reverb on the risers. I used a Computer Music magazine version of the Acon Digital Reverb. I used the Large gothic cathedral preset, with of course, modified to fit the sound.

On the master bus, for mastering purposes, I used the Lurssen mastering console. I started with the default classical preset and made changes to fit the sound I wanted.

Categories
Albums

Engergizing Daydreams track notes

Energizing Daydreams

The 2nd track from our album Sampler

This is part of my continuing series providing what are essentially liner notes for the tracks on my album. Please leave a comment if these liner notes are of interest or I may be inclined not to do notes for all the tracks on the album.

There is a piece of software out there that professionals I’ve run across don’t like to admit they use. Or maybe they don’t want others to find out how helpful it can be. From an educational point of view, it is an excellent way to learn about many aspects of popular music styles. That program is Band in a Box. It would not surprise me if many pieces of music out there aren’t straight from the program with little more than simple mixing added.

For those that don’t know, Band in a Box, from PG Music, lets you enter the chords symbols and structure of a piece of music, choose a style and press play. Depending on the style selected (and other factors) one will then hear either recordings of live musicians playing based on the chords or midi instruments playing whatever instruments & software you’ve assigned Band in A Box to play. All in whatever style you’ve selected. What is heard, again depending on the style, are drums, piano/pads, guitar(s), bass and strings/brass/other. You can export, depending on the style, either audio files of each instrument (stems) or midi files of each instrument (and sometimes a combination of them) as well as an audio of the stereo mix. This program is light years ahead of similar iOs apps I’ve run across.

For this track I chose a midi only style – a style that only creates midi notes. I exported the midi tracks. I took the midi files created by the program, loaded them into my DAW (Reaper) and adapted, changed or added to those files. I then bounce the midi instruments to audio files and mix and master as usual.

The bass part is a cello like patch from the Novo expansion pack 1 by Heavyocity. For the drums I used the Afro Shop Kit in Battery 4 from Native Instruments. The piano part I used the Emotional Piano from Soundiron with Solid Bus Compressor from Native Instruments. For the pad part I used Soundiron’s Mercury Elements Amb F with Solid Bus Compressor. For the string part I used Spitfire audio’s Bernard Herrmann composer toolkit Studio Orchestra patch, long articulation. For the melody I used Exhale from Output with Solid Bus compressor and Replika XT Tape 30fps Delay.

I typically make modifications to any default patches in the above instruments. I did not keep detailed enough notes to know exactly what changes I made to the patches. For the strings, I duplicated the audio track (after bouncing from midi) on another channel. I then panned the original string channel hard left and the new one hard right pitching the left down in pitch ever so slightly and the right one up ever so slightly in pitch. This helped to give the strings a wide sound.

As with the first track of the album, I used a master folder on which any effects or mastering plugins went. All the tracks mentioned so far route to it. I then sent some of the master folder to the reverb track (in this case, not part of the folder). I used the RC48 delay unit from Native Instruments modified from the Small Church reverb preset. On the master folder I put the Solid Bus Compressor from Native Instruments with a modified mix glue preset.

It doesn’t look as though I did anything on the master bus for mastering purposes. Between what Band in a Box does and what the midi instruments I chose do, there wasn’t much need to anything special with the mastering as I did on many of the other tracks.

This track I suppose is about the most mainstream, pop sounding of any of the tracks on the album, with the exception of maybe one other piece.

Hope you enjoyed this track and the notes. Questions and comments are welcome.

Notes about the rest of the tracks will be in future articles if I get enough feedback from those of you reading this.

Categories
Albums Reaper Recordings

Beginning The Adventure (Album track review)

Sampler

Beginning The Adventure

(This is the first of a series of articles about the tracks in my new album Sampler)

The album is available on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon MP3

The first track is called Beginning The Adventure. As a side note, I have to say that coming up with titles for my music is probably one of the most difficult aspects of composing I have. I always start with the music first and since there are no lyrics in my music, it makes sense. The last thing I do is come up with titles. Since I needed something a bit upbeat to set the mood, this track seemed appropriate, although I did give consideration to the “trance” like track “Exciting times,” but I thought “Beginning The Adventure” was a better choice.

I probably should have included Heavyocity in the name of this song. As best as I can tell, I only used Heavyocity products on this recording.

As I do most of my recordings “in the box,” that is, in my computer the sounds come from various software sound libraries, software based instruments and in rare situations, something from a loop. Some of the sounds I used were from synthesizers or modeling software that creates the sound as you go. Some were from samples of real recordings of acoustic instruments

This piece started out as my experimenting with the Heavyocity Gravity expansion pack “Vocalise.” There are 3 tracks that utilize some of the phrase menus. They are “A Phrase MV sus” (twice) and the C minor phrase menu. As I experimented I realized it would make a good piece, even for listening (as so much music I run across these days sounds like background music to a video or game and only useful for that, not listening). I also utilized Heavyocity’s NOVO strings at the very beginning for the low filtered sound that gradually comes in and helps set the mood. I don’t keep very good notes so I don’t know which patch it is. The low bass lick that comes in just before the voices start is from Heavyocity’s Aeon Rhythmic using the Synthocity preset. Underneath the vocals is the Heavyocity Aeon Rhythmic patch Falling Filters. The rhythmic pulse throughout comes from Heavyocity’s Aeon Rhythmic

I’m not big on using hundreds or even dozens of tracks to make a piece of music. The Heavyocity material frequently has 3 channels of sounds in one preset and offers a wide choice of effects all within the software avoiding the need to do a great deal of processing in my DAW. So, I only ended up with 7 tracks. I use “Reaper” as my DAW of choice. All of the original 7 tracks were MIDI tracks. I “freezed” the tracks once I had the sound I wanted. “Freezed” (or should it be “froze”?) is the term Reaper uses, in this case, to turn a MIDI track into an audio track. It renders the midi instrument into an audio file. It’s like in the old days of recording, committing to tape the take you best liked of live performers. The nice things is that in Reaper it is very easy to “un-freeze” (no they don’t call it “thaw”) the track if you don’t like it. (You do loose the edits you’ve made to the audio file, if any, but that’s kinda the point in “un-freezing” it).

Since there were so many processing and sound sculpting options in the software instruments – and I did process the default patches – I did very little processing in Reaper. In fact I only used two effects prior to the stereo bus. One was the Native Instrument/Soft Tube emulation of the Lexicon RC48 reverb. I modified the Grainy Echoes preset using a Random Hall and setting it on effect rather than reverb. Since this was on its own bus it was 100% wet. I used the send amounts to balance how much reverb each of the 7 tracks got. You may hear other reverb sounds but those come from the individual instruments themselves. I then routed the reverb to both the stereo bus (0 db) and to a delay bus (at -23db). I used the built-in ReaDelay that comes with reaper. I modified the basic ‘5-tap ping pong’ delay. Each tap was 1/4 of an eighth note after the other, panning left/right and getting softer. That went straight to the stereo bus.

In Reaper there is always a “master mix” channel. (See photo above). Other than a hard limiter (to prevent accidental or hidden clipping) I don’t put anything on it. Instead I setup a folder, the parent folder being the final stereo mix. The 7 music channels and 2 effect bus channels feed into it. Since I was having to master my own material, I put an EQ on this channel with a high-pass filter removing unneeded low end. I then added the IK-Multimedia mastering plugin “Lurssen Mastering Console.” I started with the EDM preset and modified to get the sound I was after. For this album I opted to mix everything using the TR5 Metering plugin from IK Multimedia for an average mix of -16 LUFS (which is the level at which many online streaming services prefer tracks to be and is a broadcast industry standard).

And that’s the details on that piece.

Categories
Albums General

New Album

New Album

Album cover

It’s been nearly 3 years since I released an album so I thought it was about time to release a new one. This one is a sampler of various styles of music I compose, arrange or record. Some of it is available in sheet music from my website.

Look for it June 1, 2018 on iTunes, Amazon MP3, YouTube Music, Spotify and more.

I plan to post some details in the upcoming weeks about various tracks.  Please consider buying a copy of the whole album or individual tracks or stream it on Spotify.

Many of the titles are available in sheet music form at his website. Those that aren’t rely too much on specific computer sound libraries to be played by acoustic instruments. Three titles are based on brass quintet arrangements, but of course added to for the recording. One piece is based entirely on the results of fractal math formulas. Another one, the all percussion piece, Very Confused, uses a Beethoven piano sonata as the source rhythm but then highly manipulated. Another piece is based on a 12-tone instrumental ensemble piece. Yet another piece is more like modern trance music, but with James’ own twist. A couple came about as a result of experimenting with various sound libraries. Waiting and watching found its origins from music written on an iPad using NotateMe while in a doctor’s waiting room! While every title might not be for everybody, there is something here that you will like.

Categories
Albums Arranging General Organ Music Piano Lessons Reaper Recordings Sibelius Website News YouTube Videos

May 2018 update

Current news

I’m always looking for subjects to write about here or tutorial to do on YouTube. Please use the comments section to give me some ideas.

I’ve not shown a map of where people are buying and performing my sheet music for some time, so here’s the latest (as of Mar 31, 2018)

I’m making some changes to the music catalog. Rather than offer individual keyboard arrangements, I’m only selling collections. I have 8 piano solo collections available. As time permits I will remove organ solos from the catalog and only offer collections. It is easier to manage collections.

I have no plans for anything on YouTube at the present time. This is for two reasons: 1) Nobody who watches my videos on YouTube has bothered to let me know what they want to see and 2) YouTube no longer allows me to monetize my channel and nobody who watches my videos has donated anything to keep it going.

As always, check the sheet music catalog for new titles. At least once a month, sometimes more often there are new titles.

After 15 custom arrangements for a single client I must be doing something right. If you have a beginner/intermediate instrumental group or a church orchestra in need of arrangements, let me know so I can write it for you.

I’m always “playing around” with my various sound libraries and live instruments in my home studio. Look for at least one new album out this summer, if not two.

I continue to teach piano lessons locally and over the internet. So, no matter where you are in the world I can teach you. I can also tutor on composing, arranging, music theory and more. Drop me a note if you are interested.

Categories
Albums General Recordings Website News

New Album available

So I have nothing better to do than teach piano, compose music & record albums. Oh, and perform from time to time. And of course, I have no idea how to publicize it (and all my efforts at learning how haven’t worked). Here’s my my 10th album. Variegated Plate.

Categories
Albums Arranging General Other Reaper Recordings Sibelius Website News

Variegated Plate

Wonder what this might be?

Coming soon...
Coming soon…

var·i·e·gat·ed
ˈver(ē)əˌɡādəd/
adjective
1) exhibiting different colors, especially as irregular patches or streaks.
Botany: (of a plant or foliage) having or consisting of leaves that are edged or patterned in a second color, especially white as well as green.
2) marked by variety.

Think definition number 2. Coming soon…….

Categories
Albums Arranging Church Music General Recordings Website News

Website update

Website update

I’ve made some major changes to the website in the past two months. Visit JamesGilbertMusic.com to see all the changes.

More free music

In the process of getting rid of collections (see below), I decided to move several titles to the free category (listed at the bottom of the music catalog pages). As an example, all of the instrumental hymn improvisations are now available for free.

Singles – no collections

Most print publishers sell music in collections. Multiple titles contained within one book. Overall it is cheaper per piece for the customer. But, in my experience, the collection contains to many titles I didn’t want to buy but were forced to. When I first started the website, I only sold music as single titles. A little over a year ago (I think) I switched to collections for most everything. Thanks to your feedback, I’ve learned that online customers just want to purchase a single title.

Almost everything on the site is now available as a single title. What collections there are will disappear soon to be replaced by singles.

Albums, singles, EP and audio recordings in general

I’ve been an active contributor to SoundCloud and have announced my uploads via Twitter, this blog, facebook and the like. However, on the website, all I had was a link to my SoundCloud page. Those are mentioned on the website’s main page, but nowhere else. I’ve updated the sheet music catalog to include those in the listings with links to the two sites. For most of 2014 my recordings have only been available via online sources other than my website. For various reasons that is best for me and will continue to be that way. Those include Amazon, Spotify and Apple Music as well as various online streaming sites.

New titles

I’ve added several new titles to the sheet music catalog. Click on the New Titles icon to see all of them.

Categories
Albums General Other

How do you listen to music

Please let me know in the comments or on twitter how you listen to music.

Listening to music

Why I’m asking this question.
I noticed in my collection of computer “junk” that I had a speaker system of a powered sub-woofer and three speakers. They were from a 2006 era computer. The sub-woofer is good, but the other speakers are not high-quality. I couldn’t remember why I wasn’t using them with my current system other than I have some nice near-field monitors. (But they don’t do low end well).

I hooked the system up and they sounded nice. The low end was a dramatic improvement over my current setup. But, after about 20 minutes the speakers started crackling and making a lot of static. Due to the unique (proprietary?) way the sub-woofer connects to the other speakers, I can find no way to use the sub-woofer without them. So, I’m back to just my near-field monitors and good over-the-ear headphones for listening and mixing.

I really liked hearing the low end in the music I was working on. I would like to get the sub-woofer to work with different speakers, but I can’t. This all got me to thinking, how do you and people you know listen to music? Is a sub-woofer commonly used?

Few listen to live non-amplified music

Most people will listen to music via some sort of speaker/amplifier system. Unless you regularly go to live performances of non-amplified instruments – which I do recommend – then you are listening to music via a speaker. I’d like to know what type of speakers you listen on. No, I don’t want to know models or brands, just general information. You may listen in various locations. I want to know what the most common speaker setup is for you.

Speaker listening possibilities

Here are some possibilities. Do you listen only in your vehicle? Do you only use ear-buds? Do you use the computer speakers that are in your laptop? What about over the ear headphones? Do you use the speakers that came with your computer desktop? Do you listen to the speaker of your phone or tablet? Do you listen through a home stereo or home theater system? When listening on stand-alone speakers are the largest speakers big (10 inches or more)? Are there multiple speakers within the speaker cabinet? Or maybe you listen via some other speaker setup?

To sub-woofer or not?

What about a sub-woofer? Do you listen to most of your music via a system that has a sub-woofer? (That’s the ‘point 1’ in a 5.1 or 7.1 system). What do you think of your music when you have to listen on a system without one? When I record or mix music, should I assume most people don’t listen on a system with a sub-woofer and not worry about mixing so it sounds excellent on a system with one? Although I try to mix so my music sounds good on all systems, I’m wondering as a result of this experience whether I need to spend so much time trying to perfect the sound for all systems or focus on the ones that most people listen to? Of course I’ll always strive to sound better on as many speakers as I can, I could save time by not spending so much time working on trying to please all speakers out there.

Any thoughts or comments are welcome here or via my Twitter account @JGSheetMusic

Visit my website JamesGilbertMusic.com for details about my sheet-music, recordings, piano lessons and more.

Categories
Albums Arranging Other Piano Lessons Reaper YouTube Videos

Summertime (2014)

Summertime

It’s always slow in the music world in the summer, at least for me. Everyone’s out and about and the last thing they want to do is buy sheet music. I guess most people don’t buy CD’s to begin with, but even digital music (MP3) slows down in the summer. Even my piano students like to take off and disappear for a few weeks or even months. So, I’ve not had much to talk about in the blog.

The music workshop I talked about (see earlier post) came and went. I couldn’t get very many people to attend. Apparently, after the fact, everyone who should have told me, now decides to tell me that “oh, you need to start publicity & sign up way back in April.” Thanks for the help then. Not knowing any better, I started publicity in late May. Even with so much advance time, almost 2 months, I still couldn’t get the teens to come. As to the course, everything went quite well. It being a computer music workshop, the potential for technical issues was great. We had none. There were some issues with one person not having installed one of the software titles I required, but the next day they had done so.

Latest activity since May:

All 9 of my CD albums are now available in physical format in addition to mp3 or FLACC format.

If you don’t follow me on my SoundCloud page, please do. I’ve posted quite a few short pieces in a variety of styles. And go back and listen to previous tracks.

In addition to selling sheet music on my website, I’ve also partnered with Sheet Music Plus digital to sell selected titles on their digital download site. They are my go-to site if I need printed sheet music.

My YouTube channel has a few new tutorial videos about Battery 4 & Reaper as well as an introductory look at the new SampleTank 3.

Of course, Spotify, which has an absolutely free version and lets you choose what you want to listen to (unlike Pandora, right?), all of my albums are there. I hope to have a new album or two out later this year.

If you are at all interested in piano lessons from me over the internet, please get in touch via the website, JamesGilbertMusic.com. (I also teach composition, arranging, music software tutoring, etc. on any schedule or frequency you like).  Of course, I also continue to teach lessons locally (near Gainesville & Ocala, Florida).

Any suggestions for content here or on YouTube or SoundCloud or what type of music to put on my next album(s), drop me a note.

Thanks to those that subscribe and to all that read.

 

Categories
Albums Arranging Church Music Organ Music Other

SheetMusicPlus Digital

For those who may not know this, SheetMusicPlus – an online distributor of printed sheet music – is also selling music digitally. As a composer/arranger, they allow me to submit material to be published digitally. I get the impression they prefer original material rather than your new typesetting of a public domain title. From the customer standpoint, one can either print out a copy or use an app for a tablet. Apparently they only have an app for the iPad and not Android devices.

I’m happy to announce that I now have about 50 titles (collections) available for purchase on the SheetMusicPlus digital download site:

JamesGilbertMusic.com music on SheetMusicPlus

Update 2020: I have about 1,000 titles on the site now.

You’ll find Choral, Organ, Piano, Handchime and Handbell titles. The organ music includes solo material and hymn accompaniments.

Of course, I’d like it more if you bought material straight from my website (and the website has more content and no DRM restrictions like their site). I also have free titles available at my website

You may find obtaining my music via this new service easier or better for you than my website. Either way, I encourage you to check out the listings at either location and please spread the word about my music.

My recordings can be found on AmazonMusic iTunes, Spotify

Categories
Albums

My music on Soundcloud

My music on Soundcloud

For those that did not know and for those that would like a single link, I have a number of titles available on Soundcloud. Some are full-length titles and a few are only found on Soundcloud. Here’s a list of everything I’ve got on Soundcloud.

Here’s the Soundcloud list:

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/users/1114965″ params=”color=00cc11&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

To listen to full albums of my music, I recommend using Spotify:

spotify:album:6Kj6filriY1IeuFglIJXrN

Categories
Albums Website News

I Won’t Give Up (New Album)

I Won’t Give Up

I Won't Give UpThat is the title of my latest album. Available now in digital download from the sources listed below. The album is a collection of New Age titles, with pop, rock, jazz and electronica influences.

Track list:

  • I Won’t Give Up
  • Somebody I Use To Be
  • Awakening
  • Give Me A Reason
  • Lead Us On
  • I Remember A Rose
  • Don’t Stop Me Now
  • Waking Me Up
  • Trying Something Different
  • That’s The Way

Most of the tracks were written for this album. Sheet music adaptations will be available on the website for most titles in the Summer of 2014. The track “Lead Us On” is already available in slightly different instrumentation.

The first two tracks have an ethereal, electronic feel with minimal percussion. In Awakening, some of the percussive elements take on a leading role along with the melody and the ‘tinkle’ sound (as an early listener called it). Give Me A Reason has a strong ambient feel with light percussion/rhythm and a memorable melody. Lead Us On is a little more pop in style with some comedic elements in the percussion. I Remember A Rose continues the Pop/New-Age/Electronic hybrid sound with a catchy melody and nice bass part. Don’t Stop Me Now continues with more percussive/rhythmic feel than the early tracks. Waking Me Up returns some ambient feel with a folk-like feel to it. Trying Something Different returns to a more New Age feel, but with a noticeable percussion/rhythm part. It also as a Middle Eastern feel to it. To finish things out, That’s The Way features a trumpet melody with a nice string and bass part to accompany it.

I hope you like it. If you do, please comment wherever you heard or purchased the album.

I will have samples on SoundCloud soon if they aren’t already there. Click here

Here is a list of all the places you can find the album:

Amazon MP3
iTunes

Spotify playlist:
[spotify id=”spotify:user:jlg-gnv:playlist:7onHYckVkOhFiKTFqqxJHO” width=”300″ height=”380″ /]

Categories
Albums Other Website News

Request and New Album announcement

Another album?

I know someone reading this is saying, hold on, another album? Didn’t you just release a Christmas one last October (2013) and an EDM one in Dec 2013? Yes, I did. And I’ve got another one out now and will probably have a couple more out this year (2014).  Unlike a lot of artists, I’m not stuck in any one musical style. Maybe I should be, but I’m not. Plus, I’ve never met a woman rich enough for me to want to marry, so my time is pretty much all mine. I spend that time composing, arranging, recording, mixing and releasing albums. This new album is different than the others.

A Request

I don’t expect everyone who reads this blog to rush out and buy one of my albums, but it would be nice. Different people have different tastes, so not everything I record will appeal to everyone. If you have bought an album or listened to them online, may I encourage you, beg? you to write a comment about my music? Please? Pretty please??  The nicer the comment, the better, but really any comment would be welcome.

You can search for my name on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, rdio, Rhapsody, etc. and enter comments there.

I’ve had many requests from people I meet for physical CD’s. They either don’t know how downloads work or prefer the physical format. So, I’m in the process of getting all my albums into physical format. For the time being, I’m going with professionally printed and duplicated CD-R rather than the expensive ‘replication’ or ‘glass pressing’ that you might typically buy from a major label. I’ve yet to find any CD player that can’t play them and shelf life isn’t that much different.

I Won’t Give Up

That is the title of my latest album, available now in digital format and soon in physical format. I’ll have a new entry here that goes into details about that album. In the meanwhile, you can check it out at the link above or listen to it on Spotify.

Categories
Albums Arranging General Other Sibelius YouTube Videos

Sibelius 101 Video tutorial series

Sibelius 101 video tutorial series

I’m sorry I’ve not posted anything in over a month. I’ve been busy with a few new projects. Check out my Soundcloud page:

http://soundcloud.com/jamesgilbertmusic

Among other things I’ve been working on a new video tutorial series for those new to or inexperienced with Sibelius 7. I’m calling it Sibelius 101. I’m trying to keep the videos short and faster paced so you don’t have to spend too much time on any single video. Rather than go through every feature, I’m focusing on the options that will help you get things done in as efficient manner as possible. I’m also showing tips and practical ways of doing things.

View the videos at this YouTube playlist.

Part 1 covers the basics of Sibelius with regards to setting up the program and where to find things that you may want to adjust to your like.

http://youtu.be/REF0j7BOM40

Part 2 covers basic note entry. How do you get notes into Sibelius. Several ways of entering notes in step-time is shown. Mouse entry, computer keyboard entry and midi/external keyboard input.

http://youtu.be/mjED2JZgccI

Part 3 covers real-time entry and basic note editing. How to use your midi keyboard to enter notes is shown. Some tips for cleaning up your played notes are shown too.

http://youtu.be/3ZKl5hydpsQ

Part 4, 5 & 6 cover various topics about editing your notes once you get it into Sibelius. I talk about how to use voices including converting existing voices to other voices, copying and pasting notes, adding intervals above and below existing notes and more.

http://youtu.be/l0vi1Ugmd_A
http://youtu.be/7TbvGt3ZS0s
http://youtu.be/UenxdqmeJxY

The whole series is now available – 11 parts in all – see the Playlist at the top of this page to view the other 5 videos. You can also visit our YouTube Channel to see all the videos. I also have separate videos about other Sibelius topics available on the YouTube site. 

If you’ve not visited our website, please do:

http://jamesgilbertmusic.com

If you’d like to listen to my albums – I now have 8 available – listen to them on Spotify

Update 2020, I now have 13 albums available everywhere digital music is available.