This is an original composition, classical in nature. You can build your own story based on your thoughts while listening.
This is from the Private Lightning album released in the early 80s. I play bass on this. The picture is three band members on top of the volcano on the island of Montserrat where we recorded.
A new release by Without Focus. Dave Overland wrote and sings. Robert Foy on Keys, Mike ‘Smokey Toobz’ on Guitars. I’m on Bass, drums and production.
This is a George Harrison song from his Cloud 9 album in 1987. @mojoespage from Bandlab asked me to sing and play the piano on it – everything else is his work.
From 1963, written by John Lennon. An early experimentation by Paul with 5ths in the bass on the verses. Lead vocal by Iowa’s own Doug Cross.
Classic Mamas and Papas track from 1965. @filun and @thetreblettes handle the vocals.
This is my cover of a great Paul Simon song from his 1986 album Graceland. It was the fifth single released. I was completely surprised that I didn’t know (until now) that it was Linda Ronstadt singing the female harmony. On my version, @kiwichrys from Bandlab does the honors.
This is an English radio station – here are some details. Dave Overland talks about Without Focus. https://www.facebook.com/112129290440054/posts/wwwweirfmcouk-saturday-kicking-off-at-1800-with-adam-francis-the-theme-show-from/161476968838619/
This is a trick I use often and I thought you might find useful.
The Sonitus Compressor that comes free with Cakewalk is the most clear picture of what each of the compressor parameters do in my opinion.
Here you see a spike in a clip. I put the compressor on this and set the attack time at zero so it gets activated right away. I set the release to 1ms because I want it to stop acting really quickly. I just want to blunt the peak.
The two gauges on the left (input) show you the signal level. Here in this snapshot you can see I just passed the peak when I took this snap shot, but it was captured as two green lines where the peak was. I set the little pull down button just below the peaks (here about -10 db). I set the Ratio at 3:1 and the knee to hard, which you can see on the nice graph. I set the limiter on as well.
Now, the peak will be reduced. You may need to adjust the Attack time and the Release time depending on the peak you want to cut.
I’ve used the Sonitus Compressor for over 30 years and it never fails me.
For this version of the Gloria Estefan song, Madame Z adds her vocal. Check out her new album release, produced by Baselines Designs https://baselines.com/?p=5629 – All of the music and other vocals are done by Steve Schreiber, except the marimba, which I added. Bandlab is wonderful!
A Kinks cover this song was released in 1965. @kiwichrys on the high parts.
Here’s my version of the Beatles song Girl.
Thanks to @kiwichrys vocals and @the_m_project guitars from Bandlab. I did the piano, bass and drum programming…oh and the whistle and cowbell 🙂
This is an original song by Cocobark. I added keys, some bass and drums and produced it.
There were a series of distinct pops in this vocal track. The first screenshot shows them and the second screenshot shows the fix. They are the 5 bars that go up the whole frequency spectrum about a quarter of the way over from the left.
I did this really quickly and it sounds acceptable. If I spent a lot of time I could probably get it perfect.
It was as easy as highlighting sections of the noise bars and cutting them out of the track. Then highlighting what remained and hitting delete. The delete function brings those sounds down without fully erasing them. I hit delete a few times and it mostly fixed the issue.
To put the final nail in Covid-19, I present for your consideration, Do the Conga. This is mostly Steve Schreiber on Bandlab. I added Marimba and produced.
@kiwichry adds her great vocals to my song about losing a loved one.
Sometimes a track will sound great with a few exceptions, where the player hit a note a little too strongly. Here’s a good way I’ve found to make these spikes better without having to record again.
This is not a radical example here – the spike shown is probably mostly under control, but I’m using it just to demonstrate that sometimes your eyes are almost as good as your ears.
Here is a bass note recorded into Cakewalk by Bandlab. You can see a small spike near the beginning of the note, particularly on the bottom side..
Looking at the rest of my track, this only happens in a few instances. In order not to affect most of the track, I cut so that I am only processing this one note.
In Cakewalk, I really like the simplicity and the quality of their free Sonitus plugins. You can right click on the little cut track of the note and then insert an effect only on to this clip. I’m going to put the Sonitus compressor on it.
Here’s how the plugin looks. I’ve already set some of the parameters, which I will detail below. There’s a small square in the right hand top corner where you can get to the plugin you loaded on the clip.
I’m just trying to get rid of the spike above where my cursor is. I set the attack to zero because I want the compressor to act right away. I set the release to 1ms because I only want the compressor to work for a short period of time, so that the rest of the note is not affected.
I played the note to get an idea on how loud the input is.. You can see on the bars on the left what the level is. I slide the threshold control (on the colored volume bars) down just a little to -3.3. I set a pretty hard ratio of 5.0:1 with a hard knee. There is a limiter button also, which I usually keep on.
All of these values are trial and error. Once you get something that will work, you can apply it to the note segment (select the segment, right click and bounce to clip), and the waveform you see will change. I did this here, and this is what the wave segment now looks like.
You can see that the spike is somewhat reduced. If you find that things are flattened out to much, like in the image below, you can always edit->undo in Cakewalk and get back your original waveform.
It’s a little bit of trial and error, but at least you have a visual indication of what you are working with.
This can also be done for a whole track if you need to, but it is always a good idea to try to not affect anything other than what you need to fix.
Here’s a before and after side by side.
@thelonewulfproject and @chry-me-a-river on vocals. I play the instruments. If the video does not show, there’s a local link to it below.
Here’s a new release by the band Without Focus. Written by Dave (@eipi) at Bandlab, with Robert Foy on keys and Mike (@Smokeytoobs) on Bandlab on Electric Guitar. Dave plays acoustic and does the vocals. I did bass and drums and produced the song.
My cover of a song by Joe Jackson. Released unsuccessfully in October 1978, re-released in 1979 and was a hit. @thelonewulfproject on vocals.
A song about a TV Show from a few years back that I binge watched. The great @darrengarrett on vocals. He sings along with the Morgan Tabernacle Choir at the end of the song.
Waking up this morning and I’m lacing up my shoes.
Gonna take the boat on a midnight cruise.
Gotta get supplies, set it up like I should.
I got a feeling Angel, there’s gonna be blood.
Rita’s got the baby and she’s packing up the kids.
Gonna take a breather down in south Madrid.
Dad is riding shotgun and he’s going through the code.
Me, I’ve got my needle, and my eyes are on the road.
Rudy’s got a problem, he’s been taking folks apart.
Now he’s got my sister and he’s going to break her heart.
He’s been incognito, he’s been doing it so well.
But now he’s on my table and I’m sending him to Hell.
A new song by Without Focus. That’s @eipi who wrote, sings and plays acoustic guitar, @smokytubes on electric guitars, @rabbitwithmachinegun on keys and myself on bass and drums. I handled production chores on this one as well.
A quick sojourn into the Twilight Zone.
I’ve updated this song. Written by @cocobark who provided vocals and piano. I added drums, bass and synth. @gbailey played the guitars.
@martingagliardi on Bandlab recorded the guitar track. I added bass and piano. “Makin’ Whoopee” is a jazz/blues song from the 1928 musical Whoopee!. This song has been called a “dire warning”, largely to men, about the “trap” of marriage.
This is not clearly explained in the manual, but I found a nice guy willing to help on YouTube.
Check out the video here. In the Replies is more information on the mapping which I will try to repeat here.
You will need the Controller Editor, which came with your Mikro – you should find it installed or in the Native Access program. On my Windows 10 machine it is here: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Native Instruments\Controller Editor. You will need to open this in Administrator mode. I created a link on my taskbar.
First create new template and name it in the controller editor. Here a snapshot of mine (after I set it all up)
Then, select all the pads (shift click from right top to bottom left to select all). Once you do this , go to ASSIGN tab, then the action tab labeled “Press” and set Type to None.
In Superior Drummer 3, I selected the drum set I wanted and set up all the routing. Don’t forget to make sure you have set the MIDI input in your DAW to the MASCHINE Micro MK3 and also make sure your drums trigger on channel 10 if you chose to do that. Then once you are happy with your drum setup, save it as a project in your Superior Drummer. You can probably make this a default but I haven’t done that yet.
Now this is the lame but necessary part. You need to decide how you want your drums to be laid out in your head or write it down. You will need to go back and forth between SD3 and Controller Editor and change the values for each pad that matches the note values in SD3. In the Controller Editor you do this under ASSIGN>Hit tab, note. Use the format C0, NOT C-0, or you will be sorely disappointed.
In SD3 you find these notes by unfolding the “midi mapping tab on the right side of SD3. If you don’t see it, it is under the show pop down menu. make sure to unfold hamburger menu in midi mapping and view “show keys”
Now, select the individual drum with mouse to identify the value and punch that in to the controller editor.
Remember you can change the articulations of each drum but you will need to save it under: Mini in/EDrum Settings > Save as under user presets.
Make sure your MIKRO is in MIDI mode. It should show up in the little window on your MIKRO.
I did a couple of other steps as well. I set the MIDI channel to 10 on all of the pads and changed the color values. Here’s an example.
You should make sure the final template is save in the controller. You can call it up anytime you need it.
I use Sonar as my DAW (Free from Bandlab now!) – I’ve set up a nice template that has everything set up the way I like to start. If you do this you should have very little setup to do after you initialize everything.
A big thanks to Broken Bird Productions https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRNjeL7ftmQYVfXuqqiGjiA
Please check out his YouTube videos and subscribe.
Here is my colorful MIKRO setup
Here’s my current drum setup in Superior Drummer
This has been the bane of my existence, but I came across a post that showed how to do it. I am capturing it here for any poor lost intrepid souls.
If you have a tempo map that you spent hours, yea, days to perfect, you can move it to a new project. I wanted to do this so that I could update an old project to a new template. Here’s what I found out:
Load the MIDI file containing your source tempo map into Sonar as a new project. Then open up the tempo map to make sure it’s actually in there.
Then Select All and then hit ALT-CTRL-C (Copy Special) and make sure that only “tempo changes” is ticked. Hit OK. Now the clipboard should now contain the tempo map
Then open up the project that you wish to merge this tempo map with. Move the NOW to the start of the project. Hit ALT-CTRL-V (Paste Special). Make sure that the Tempo Changes is the only event type ticked. (All other event types should be greyed out as the clipboard should only contain tempo change events)
Note, you may need to open up the tempo view before doing the Paste to make sure there are no existing tempo changes that would confuse the project.
Open up the tempo view and your tempo map should be present there as pasted.
This cover is the Dave Edmunds version. Me and my Bandlab buddies @thelonewulfproject and @mojoespage.
Here’s an updated cover of the Beatles Fab Song called Because from Abbey Road. @kiwichrys from Bandlab helps out with some vocals here.
I added the bass line to this Bandlab collab with @beatledrex. Maybe I’ll update it with more instrumentation at some point.
Stephen Weber posted this on Drooble. It is a pretty cool idea. Zoom in for detail.
2019 is coming to an end. I put together two CDs of my collaborations with some very talented Bandlab musicians and also some solo efforts. I’m making them available to whoever wants them. The links below to Disk One and Disk Two will take you to pages that have a player that shows all of the songs on the CD. It allows you to download individual songs if you want. The player will cycle through all songs if you let it run.
I use a program called imgburn to create these images, and if you need it, you can use it to extract and burn the images to CD. It is free.
So, the process will be like this. Go to the DISK ONE and DISK TWO links. Download and UNZIP the image files. Take note of where they are saved. Normally it will be your DOWNLOADS folder. Then, if you need the software to create the CDs, go to the link about imgburn and download and install that program. Using either your own burner software, or the imgburn program, you will create your CDs from the two image files.
To download Disk One which you can burn to your own CD, click here.
To download Disk Two which you can burn to your own CD, click here.
To download imgburn and also get more information on how to install and use it, click here.
The two disk images are about 650MB each, so on a slow system it will take a while. There is a button on each disk page to download the CD images to your computer.
Unless you already have something to extract the CD images, you should install imgburn from the download link provided above. Once you have imgburn installed and the two CD images downloaded and unzipped you are ready to create your CDs.
If you see any errors or omissions on this site, please let me know.
Here are the contents for both disks.
Here is some information I have about each musician on the CD
@eipi – Dave is a Guitarist, Vocalist, Songwriter from the UK who wrote ‘Bend’, ‘This One’s for Her’ and ‘Band of Brothers’. He plays and sings on those songs, and also on ‘Norwegian Wood’, ‘Imagine’ and ‘Wild World’.
@rabbitwithmachinegun (Robert Foy) from Georgia, primarily a keyboard player, he prefers creating or collaborating on original works. He utilizes synth arps (kinda like a loop), and drum loops on occasion but mostly creates from scratch. He is a member of Without Focus and plays on ‘Bend’, ‘This One’s for Her’ and ‘Band of Brothers’.
@dawningday Guitar – Klint was part of the band Without Focus who worked on ‘Bend’ and ‘This One’s for Her’
@elizabethdarcel is a singer/songwriter from Kansas City, Missouri. She started singing at 4 years old in church choir then moved on to school performances. In 2017 she started focusing heavily on writing and producing her own music. Her influences are widespread across all genres – influences include John Mayer, Maggie Rogers & Fleetwood Mac. Her style varies from song to song easily switching between a folksy Americana feel while other tunes provide R&B, Country, Pop & Jazz feels. Most recently, Elizabeth was featured on Phat Talk Radio and the November Featured Artist for the Bandlab Blog as well as being regularly streamed on several internet radio stations. Elizabeth did the vocals on ‘Killing Me Softly’, ‘I’ll Be Around’, and ‘Walking in Memphis’ on this CD Set.
@eungang – Bill Farr is a songwriter and guitarist, formerly from the Boston area who now resides in the Land of the Morning Calm, S. Korea. Bill wrote ‘Night From Day’, ‘The Other Day’ and ‘The Nameless Heights’ and produces his own music. Along with his songs here, he also played on ‘Killing Me Softly’, ‘Norwegian Wood’ and ‘Wild World’, ‘San Tropez’ and ‘Lucky Man’.
@darrengarrett is a guitarist, bass player, keyboardist, drummer, vocalist and songwriter from the Winnipeg area. He sings on ‘Walking in Memphis’ and ‘Use Me’ on this CD set.
@thelonewulfproject Doug is a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter from the Des Moines area. He plays guitar on ‘Tupelo Honey’, ‘Well Wishes’, ‘Ruby’ and does vocals on ‘Here Comes the Sun’, ‘Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters’ and ‘From the Beginning’.
@kiwichrys is a songwriter, performer, vocalist, guitarist, music teacher, and songwriter from Auckland New Zealand. She wrote ‘Well Wishes’ and provided lyrics for ‘Words’ and performed on ‘Words’, ‘Well Wishes’, ‘Every Night’, Harvest Moon’, ‘Always Remember Us This Way’, ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’.
@textured_grooves is a professional drummer from Manchester UK with over 30 years experience who does session work (both live or programmed). He played on ‘Someone Saved My Life Tonight’, ‘The Other Day’ and ‘The Nameless Heights’.
@azzronika Aaron is a guitarist, keyboardist, drummer, vocalist, songwriter, and bass player who provided vocals and some instrumentation on ‘Someone Saved My Life Tonight’ and ‘Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters’. His musical influences include Queen, The Beach Boys, Vocal harmony groups, Beatles, Muse, ELO, EJ and Film OSTs. He writes and has a large portfolio of original material. A pianist by trade, he loves arranging lots of instruments and sounds. Visit and subscribe to his YouTube page, won’t you?
@mojoespage Joe is a Guitarist, Keyboardist, Drummer, Vocalist, Songwriter, Bass Player from Florida. He likes to produce good music for singers. He produces all his tracks but prefers to have others perform the vocals. Check out his album, MoJoe & The Indispensables for his best collabs. Joe played guitar on ‘Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters’.
@cocobark – Cocobark is an Americana artist from Houston, Texas. She’s been compared to Natalie Merchant and Neko Case, but Coco’s distinct style is one of a kind. You can find her recent work on Spotify under “cocobark”. Coco sings and performs on ‘Tupelo Honey’, ‘Bad Moon Rising’, ‘You Don’t Know Me’ and ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’.
@therealmadamez is from California, Madame Z is a singer/songwriter and multi-faceted creative talent whose music has been described as jazzy neo soul with a rock edge. www.madamezmusic.com – She wrote and sings on ‘Choose Happiness’.
@michelefortunato is a professional trombone player from Italy – he plays and records around the world. Michele played trombone on ‘Fall Apart Blues’.
@doesdwars From the Netherlands, Walter is a songwriting who is adept at composing, arranging and mixing all kinds of music. He plays guitar, bass, drums and is a vocalist. With kiwichrys , he wrote and produced the song ‘Words’ for this release.
@the_mooney_blues from West Virginia has been playing guitar and singing since the 90’s, and is also a vocalist. He is an in demand collaborator on Bandlab, and played and sang here on ‘Lucky Man’.
@paranoidcitizen – Veena is a Guitarist, Vocalist and Songwriter – She wrote and sang on ‘Dance Class’ for this release. She always enjoys playing around with novel and unique sounds. She grew up learning Indian classical singing and aspires to bring elements from her roots into her music. She also hopes to record her first EP of acoustic songs next year.
@gbailey Gerald Bailey is from Arkansas and has been playing guitar since he was 10. He has played on Bandlab with the Global Remotes and contributes his lead and rhythm guitar to many tracks on Bandlab. He plays here on ‘Dance Class’.
@jannasyn Kai Hale is a keyboardist, vocalist, songwriter and plays ukulele – She wrote and performs on ‘We’ll Get By’.
@steve2k2 A&M Recording Artist, Private Lightning Band, Home Recording, Cakewalk Sonar Platinum user, Love Izotope and Waves products. Based in Massachusetts, I provide whatever was not mentioned in these previous bios. Very thankful for all of the contributions from the many talented artists on these CDs.
Now this was fun. This is the original video of a live Bill Withers tune – The audio however is done by myself and Darren Garrett (@steve2k2 and @darrengarrett on Bandlab)
Here is the link to the audio file by itself
I’ve remixed and mastered this song
Here’s my version of one of my favorite old songs. @elizabethdarcel (Bandlab) does the great vocals and I do the instruments. There’s also a video available below.