Making Music on a PSP

In spite of the lengthy list of online royalty-free music sources I listed in my previous post, finding the right tune for your images can be a challenging and time-consuming process.  So I’ve recently acquired some new gadgets to help make music for my videos myself – one conventional, and another quite unexpected.  Not that I expect Spielberg to give me a ring anytime soon, but…

The first “gadget” (OK, it’s a two-man lift) is the Yamaha DGX-630 “Portable Grand”, which is a piano, multitrack recorder, keyboard, synthesizer, and music teacher all in one.  If you know just a little bit about playing a keyed instrument and have a feel for music, you can use the multitrack recorder and all of the built-in harmony features and sounds to put together something relatively complex and decent-sounding.  If you’re looking to capture a certain “feeling” for your video, you can play around with the sounds and rhythms until you come up with something that works.  This thing is so “smart” it can even figure out which chord to play with the left hand based on what you’re playing with your right.  So I took it for a spin this weekend and this is what I came up with as a first attempt:

Soundtrack final

If you can come up with something slightly more original to call it, I’m all ears!  [And if you like it and want to borrow it, feel free.  I’ll call it “Creative Commons – Attribution” but I’m really just curious what it would work well with, whether I get attribution or not.

The second gadget for making music I stumbled across is a little thing I call Playstation Portable.  Specifically, a “game” I picked up 50% off (ten bucks) called “Beaterator.”  Yes, it actually works.  Especially when you compare it to an $80 program (to be unnamed here) I bought to do the same thing (which it doesn’t).  You can use the thing to play “live” music composed of pre-loade, samples and sounds – or you can program it using individual sounds on 8 different tracks, record or upload your own sounds, edit individual sounds, and export to wav files or upload them to their sharing site.  Just playing around with the thing on a plane, here is what I came up with:

Flying To Kandahar (only so named because that’s what I was doing at the time)

Desert Attack (because that’s what I think it sounds like!)

So there you have it.  Now if someone could just get me an iPhone so I can use all the different music apps they offer, well maybe I could start a band like these guys.



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