How I create my Sound-In (formerly ImprovFriday) pieces . . .

First of all, I was doing something like this just for myself prior to Sound-In/ImprovFriday, so I've just continued on in that manner.

My general rules are as follows (these are not hard and fast rules):

1. 2-3 minutes in length.
2. No more than three tracks.
3. Nothing is notated at any point in the creation.

Choice of instruments depends on the mood I'm in that day. It can be live and /or samples and/or electronic. I have a variety of instruments lying around, including xaphoon, tenor sax, electric & acoustic guitar, electric bass, upright piano and some miscellaneous percussion. As for electronic, I have a Korg Triton, a Roland SH-101, a Roland JV-1080 and a Proteus 2000 (all connected to Cubase via a MOTU MTP AV). As for software, I use Cubase 5 and a sundry of VSTs (synths, processing, etc.). All recording (MIDI, audio, etc.) is done in Cubase 5. Halion is my sampler and I do the final mastering (if you can call it that) in Wavelab. Oh yeah, I sometimes use instrument apps on my iTouch and/or iPad.

Sometimes I have an idea in my head. Other times I turn everything on and explore sounds until something inspires me. Sometimes I just start playing whatever instrument is closest.

Once I have the genesis of the idea, I start recording. Sometimes things are looped. I try to keep at least one track "pure improv." I almost never go back and clean performances up (and if I do, it's minor). After all, it's improv, right?

- Shane -