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Dr.waffles WIPs

dr.waffles waffles anamanaguchi dethklok foo fighters

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#21 AJFOne23

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Posted August 28, 2020 - 02:24 AM

Those who can author and those who cannot request without the knowledge of the time and effort required. Before declaring how easy something is give it the old college try yourself and come back to us

#22 Shroud

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Posted August 28, 2020 - 06:56 AM

If I send you a song to do pro keys for, can you author it and time yourself?


Haven't you already? "My Melancholy Blues" is still waiting in your inbox  ;) (although to be fair, this was not a full charting task, but rather a review & adjustment of an existing draft, so it shouldn't count)


But really, I am only trying to be encouraging here... I have only done 5 customs so far, so I am definitely NOT an expert charter, and yet I did Pro Keys for all of them. Of course it is possible that all my Pro Keys charts suck, and I certainly would like people to let me know that, but my point is... if I can do it, then everybody can!


So here's some more details to share from my little experience, in hope it can help against the common idea that charting Pro Keys is too difficult to even bother trying, although of course charting Pro Keys by ear is definitely VERY difficult, but here we're talking about a lucky song for which some reference material exists.


I charted Pro Keys for Jamiroquai "Cosmic Girl" using a music sheet I randomly find on the web. The keyboard have 4-notes chords in a challenging rhythm pattern, plus several fast fills. I didn't time myself, but if I definitely did the expert chart in no more than ~1.5 hours: all I had to do was reading notes from the sheet and "copy" them into the midi, because the sheet gave me all the pitches/timing/durations already. Probably it took me another couple of hours to make manual reductions. I did 5-lane keys and their reductions on different days so it's hard to tell but I think altogether it took me even more than Pro Keys because cramming everything into only 5 gems requires lots of decisions (making 5-lane keys is in fact at the moment what I hate most, and the fact it is probably the least-played instrument doesn't help motivation). I didn't have CAT at that time, which can speed up things a lot by partially automating reductions. It was also my first custom, so consider some time wasted in trivial mistakes.


Instead, for Annie Lennox "Walking on Broken Glass" I didn't use a music sheet, but there were 2 piano tutorial videos on youtube. The song has a piano riff that is essential to it but it's always the same, and this makes it very similar to Trampled Underfoot; in other sections, the keyboard (strings) plays a chords riff, but this was even simpler. The riffs needed some small adjustments for our limited keyboard range, so I spent maybe an hour watching and comparing the 2 videos, and testing options on the piano. Then copying the riffs into the midi was maybe a 20 minutes job, because fortunately they stay the same throughout the song so it was just copy-pasting after you get the first instance right. There were however some additional keyboard sections that I had to figure out by ears, these were mostly smaller chords and single notes but still took me at least another hour to try and get the notes by trial-and-error with Reaper synth. So altogether expert must have been ~2.5 hours, then again reductions and 5-lane.


For the other customs I made, I charted pro keys by ear, so they are beyond the point here.


I am not trying to claim that ANY keyboard chart is as easy as other instruments. A piano part (or Jon Lord's hammond organ!) will certainly be a true nightmare to chart by ear, no doubt!!! What I am trying to say, is that if there is a music sheet or at least a video tutorial for a custom you're making, that's a blessing! And it is worth being positive about at least trying to chart Pro Keys when those are available.


Edit: with specific regard to Trampled Underfoot, I think I have now watched all the available YT videos but they are NOT useful (only one of them is good but it's just real-time playing, not a tutorial, so it's very hard to follow which notes are being played esp. in the solo) 

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