This song, ‘Shine, Shine’ was written back a few years ago and refined several times. I played all the instruments and programmed the ones I don’t know how to play (horns). I always was proud of the way this song came out. This will be the first cut on my new instrumental album.

Here’s a video that goes with this song.

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.

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.

Here’s a jazzy metal song, a collab between Plop @backontrack, Steve @steve2k2 and @the_m_project. Plop and @the_m_project shared in the song parts and in solos but he built the melody and @the_m_project mirrored it while I played bass and mastered the mix.

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!

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.

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.

http://www.baselines.com/wp-content/uploads/all-songs/movies/hcts conv.mp4 [Download]

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.

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.

@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.

Hit OK

Open up the tempo view and your tempo map should be present there as pasted.