How to make a MUSIC VIDEO?

Here’s our attempt at making a simple music video. There’s an intro to the whole concept in the beginning, followed by the actual music-video that got created in the process. This is followed by a sequence of shots captured during the making of this video, and finally a few glimpses of the editing project. We used a very simple setup to create the same and just wanted to share with everyone the process of how we went about it. Hope it helps some creative buddies across this globe 🙂 Thanks and best wishes!

Nirvana – a farewell to self

Sharing some recent meditation-music created at my studio:

Given below are a few ideas that I’ve heard about the word “Nirvan” ..details given in a previous blog “Angulimal’s Nirvana” :

Nirvan literally means the extinguishing..the dissolution..going off of a flame.  This can be understood with the following example…

A person sitting in the corner of a dark room…unable to see anything around..it’s totally dark…but he has a dim lamp with him…the only support that he has…he holds onto it tightly…. With this lamp he can merely see things that are just a step away…nothing else is visible. And suddenly this lamp goes off…and as his eyes acclimatize to the dark surroundings..he notices that there actually is a window nearby from which faint moon-light is coming in from a slit. It was always coming in…but he didn’t have the courage enough to explore beyond the light of that small little dim lamp…and thus kept focusing on his lamp itself… in a way..the dim light of the lamp was stopping the moon-light from coming in…at least this was so for this man. But now..with the extinguishing of the small lamp…this man has experienced light coming in from the window…it won’t take him long now to reach the window and open it..and let more light come in…or rather…find his way out…so that he can be totally drenched in the moon-light!

Hence..the word Nirvan (or Nirvana) is used in philosophical and spiritual terms to represent Buddhahood!…to represent someone whose limited being has extinguished and hence given way for the total ..the supreme to surface out from within him

 

lotus

Angulimal’s Nirvana

I had heard a story in my childhood ..rather I had read it in one of my Hindi text-books in the early years of my school. It was the story of a ferocious beast who had killed thousands of people ..and what happens when he comes face-to-face with the enlightened one, the Buddha. This chance meeting was a transforming experience for the demon..and the chapter in my book stopped there. The story had always intrigued my mind. Later, as I grew..as I experienced life a little more..I came across the same story and also more anecdotes and things associated to this. It must have been a rather unique moment that day when the demon met the Buddha…and that was just the tip of the ice-berg…there were so many more anecdotes and transforming experiences to follow after that day.

I’ve tried to express this story…rather in the form of a mind-dump..or a random blog below. The 1 minute video included here is a kind of a trailer to this story…in 60 seconds the video should give you a good glimpse of what happened that day twenty-five centuries ago..and what happened after that as well. The full story/blog is given below the video. Hope you’ll like the experience of going through  the blog.

Blessings !

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Thus have I heard ..

 villagers n buddha

Twenty five centuries ago …Buddha is walking towards the forest area near the city of Kosala. It’s not a safe place to be at..as a few villagers from the nearby village warn him about Angulimal .. the ferocious demonic murderer who stays in these forests.

(The word Angulimal in English means – a garland of fingers).

The villagers inform Buddha that Angulimal mercilessly kills the passers by, chops their fingers and adds these fingers to his ever-growing garland of fingers around his neck. He does so because of his vow to kill a thousand humans and chops their fingers to keep a count!

Anguli intro 3

(As Jesus said..every saint has a past..and every sinner has a future..same applies to Angulimal as well. There’s another Buddhist story about how a bright and young student called Ahimsaka became the ferocious Angulimal!)

The villagers tell the Buddha that Angulimal is close to completing the count of thousand murders soon and won’t even spare his mother if she ever passed by the forest. Since years people who are aware of this avoid the forest route.

Surprisingly, the Buddha expresses eagerness to meet Angulimal – despite the warnings. He enters the forest…but the bhikkhus who were with the Buddha were afraid and kept away from the forest.

(The word Bhikkhu of the Pali language is the same as the word Bhikshu of the Sanskrit language and means – a male Buddhist monastic. Buddha called his disciples bhikkhus, who lived by alms.. but in essence this word is much different than the English word beggar. Whereas a beggar is one who doesn’t have enough money and worldly possessions and seeks the same from patrons. A beggar is still interested in worldly matter. Buddha’s bhikkhu is one who has experienced a kind of uselessness in matter and has lost interest in the same..and hence has done away with it…fulfilling his/her minimal survival needs (not desires) with alms from people around. Often Buddha’s bhikkhus were men and women (feminine – bhikkhuni) from well-off families ..and hence their renunciation and dis-interest in matter surfaced only after deep experience of money, matter and all usual worldly consumables. It wasn’t a renunciation forced onto them ..and perhaps it wasn’t even a spineless decision of a dejected and depressed underachiever who couldn’t do well in life.)

So..back to the forests of Kosala now..

Buddha walks into the forest. It isn’t too late when Angulimal senses this passerby around. Hidden camouflaged behind the trees far off…he sees Buddha coming towards himself walking down the lonely and the only walk-able stretch of the forest. It’s been a long time since anyone passed by here..and Angulimal is a little amazed as well. He couldn’t believe that the villagers didn’t warn this passer by from entering the forest. It was natural for him to be suspicious. But then his eagerness to fulfill his vow.. he shrugged these thoughts away and hastily started rubbing his axe on a big stone kept nearby… to sharpen the blade…. it hadn’t been used since a while ..and Angulimal didn’t want any show-stoppers!

He again looked at his prey arriving. From Buddha’s appearance he could make out that it’s a sanyasi (a monk) who he has to kill.

“Oh! poor sanyasi.. he will be killed today… didn’t the villagers warn him!”..Angulimal thought. But all of a sudden he was worried… and was surprised..shocked rather..as he noted that since long he had never felt such compassion for anyone. He could even kill his mother.. then why a soft-corner for a stranger! He started sharpening the axe even more vigorously on the stone ..to divert his mind.

Buddha is a few more steps closer now.. Angulimal looks at him again.. with each step that the Buddha takes.. Angulimal is feeling calm.. soothed..and feels a strange gush of regard..and more surprisingly love..for this sanyasi! But this state of mind is unknown to Angulimal since long now…and he becomes afraid that he might lose his prey due to such thoughts.

But this feeling is slowly overpowering him….to avoid that awkward moment of losing to a sanyasi he jumps out of his hiding…with the axe in his hand…and shouts at Buddha, who is now about fifty steps away .. “Stop right there sanyasi .. or I’ll behead you. Don’t you see this garland of fingers around my neck…not a single person has crossed this path alive…I axed each one of them and chopped their fingers off for this garland…and the same shall be your fate! I am Angulimal.. aren’t you afraid… didn’t those coward villagers warn you!

stop sanyasi

This didn’t help much..and he was feeling a strange love and calmness within…and he yelled to save his reputation – “I say stop sanyasi.. I don’t know how and why but it is a weak moment for me..and I say to you what I’ve never said to anyone.. Run Away for your life..Stop!”

Buddha calmly responded – “I have already stopped long ago! It is you who is walking. It is you who has to stop.”

The response surprised Angulimal.

(On various occasions, as also mentioned is various Buddhist scriptures, Buddha has spoken in a similar manner. In his various teachings Buddha draws an analogy where he calls various traits of worldly beings like attachment, jealousy, desire, lust, ego etc to be the “legs” which make an individual’s mind walk and wander. In the same context, on some occasions, Buddha has also mentions things like “I have lost my legs. How can I walk.”…where he is conveying that he has got rid of these traits (the legs) and now his mind doesn’t wander…also since mind exists only when wandering…he is essentially beyond mind.)

..let’s go back to the forest of Kosala.. and see what happens next..

Angulimal is surprised with this answer. He ridicules Buddha and says “It seems you have gone mad. It is you who is walking and not me. You talk senseless sanyasi. And you shall die now!”

Buddha is now standing right in front of Angulimal and submits to him saying “I am now here..you can fulfill your vow now”.

“Enough” shouts Angulimal and stares st Buddha. “Seems you are that Gautam Buddha. Some of those cowards mentioned this name before I killed them. They said only Gautam Buddha can show me the correct path…but today you will be killed! If you are Gautam Buddha..I am Angulimal…the ferocious Angulimal! You will be killed!”

Angulimal is confused and is still sharpening the blade on the stone. While doing so he occasionally turns to look at Buddha who is calmly standing and waiting for Angulimal. Angulimal is feeling a strange calmness within.. as if the mere presence of Buddha was intoxicating…something is stopping him…he has lost his urge somehow.. and perhaps he seems to be liking the company of this sanyasi! Angulimal realized that he has suddenly lost all his interest in sharpening the blade ..and this shows in his delay in doing so…he is spending a much longer time than usual. Buddha inquires about this delay ..and Angulimal feels more and more confused about what is happening to him..and asks Buddha..”Are you not afraid of being killed..you are mad man”.

Calm and composed..established totally within himself..Buddha says..”Angulimal..one must not be influenced by someone else so easily…you focus on your work and I’ll focus on mine. Moreover, I am not whom you will kill. I am just a seer. I see you. I see this Gautam. I will see you hit this body and I’ll see this body fall. That what I am ..no one can kill me…no weapon can pierce through me…”

Angulimal feels that its not possible to kill this man. He rather stood shocked, surprised and stunned.. as if he just died and is born again like a vulnerable baby just unaware of what to do. But old habits die hard…for Angulimal…egos were at stake..and he must kill. He picked the blade and came nearer to Buddha and said “I will kill you…but you tell me..why do I feel so weak today..why my heart my whole being is as if melting at this moment..what is stopping me from killing you”.

And Buddha says ..”There’s a reason for this. To kill..is no big deal. It is utterly non-creative and has no art to it. Even a child can do that. You see that branch of that tree…bring it to me.”..and Angulimal cuts it with his blade and takes it to Buddha.

Buddha now says “now go and place it back where it was”….to which Angulimal says “but that’s not possible”.

Buddha now says “See it for yourself now. To kill is not a great thing to do…if you can give life..if you can join that what you cut….it is then that the world remembers you and your greatness. I’ve said what I had to say Angulimal. Now you can behead me…but remember…you have no right to destroy that what you can not create back again. Yes if you can join something back…the world will remember you”.

At this moment Angulimal had stopped…it was a moment of a strange relief that he had never felt since years.. and in this moment..he threw the blade…burst into tears..and fell into Buddha’s feet…seeking refuge.

The legend says that Buddha accepted him as a bhikkhu and Angulimal joined Buddha’s sangha.

(The word sangha in English means “a commune” with an awakened being..a master present at its core. Each member of the sangha is associated directly to the master ..and there is no books or scriptures in between..a direct association that is..just like the different rays of the sun..emerging from the central core. The rays associate with each other when they trace their ways back to the central core…and in this situation..they no more remain mere rays..they are themselves the core now..the sun!)

The news of Angulimal’s transformation spread fast. Even the king, who was himself afraid of Angulimal, heard the news of Angulimal becoming Buddha’s bhikkhu …but he couldn’t believe this..and decided to verify the news himself. The king went to the place Buddha’s sangha was staying at that time (a wandering commune that was) and requested Buddha to tell him if this was true…if the ferocious demon has now actually become a bhikkhu! Buddha confirmed the news to the king and pointed him to a bhikkhu sitting on the floor nearby..performing some of the sangha’s duties. Buddha said “See for yourself..here’s Angulimal”.

The mere name terrorised the king so much that he instantly pulled his sword out in defense. He had never even imagined being so close to Angulimal ever! Buddha asked him to be calm and also told him about Angulimal being a transformed being now.

Angulimal was now living a life just like any other bhikkhu…wandering for alms..and meditating with the sangha. But it wasn’t as easy for him outside the sangha. Wherever he went asking for alms..the villagers ran away ..they were still afraid of him. Angulimal would often have to return empty-handed. He accepted this without complaints.

It happened so one day that Angulimal went to a nearby village for alms. People starting running away.. into hiding..some climbed to their rooftops. Suddenly one of them shouted from his hiding “It’s him..Angulimaal..the murderer who killed so many of our loved ones..let’s kill him..” and soon the whole village was pelting stones at Angulimal.

angulimal stoned

Its an unusual moment..the once furious and ferocious Angulimal…stood calmly…accepting the attack…neither resisting nor welcoming..he just simply was…standing like a Buddha! Soon the body of this bhikkhu was lying in a pool of blood…about to breath it’s last. Some of the bhikkhus who had come for alms in this village along with Angulimal had, by this time, gone back and informed Buddha about the happenings.

Buddha reaches the place…holds Angulimal in his arms as the rest of the bhikkhu’s watch from a distance.

angulimal dying

The last few moments these are..Angulimal is breathing his last..and Buddha asks him

Buddha: “What’s your bhaav at this moment Angulimal?”

(Close English meanings of this Sanskrit word bhaav can be “emotion, feeling, state of being, state of mind”)

Angulimal:Bhante..you ask me this question! What can be the bhaav of the one who has stopped.”

(Buddha’s bhikkhu’s used to address him as bhante often.. it is a word found in Pali, Nepalese and some other languages from that part of the subcontinent..and is used to address someone with respect…like “Venerable Sir”..where the respect for the person is coming for his wisdom, high level of sanctity, age etc.)

Buddha: “Did your mind get affected Angulimal?”

Angulimal: “No bhante. I was just standing and observing things happen. And how can suffering happen to me…I am just an observer…that’s what you have taught bhante.”

Buddha: “You are dying as a Bramhan Angulimal. You are dying wise..with the true wisdom of this existence. You are dying as an Arihant.”

(The close English meaning of Bramhan and Arihant (in the context used by Buddha) can be understood as follows : the word Bramh in the Hindu school of thought is used to refer to the source of the whole existence…the celestial womb..the essence of all existence. And the word anu refers to the smallest particle of existence…like an atom..or any subatomic particle. It is believed that all forms of existence have this particle of the Bramh in them..and the one who realizes this..who sees this and realizes that he/she comes from the celestial womb ..is a Bramhan. Essentially, after such a realization..the state of being of this individual is beyond the worldly plains of success, failures, suffering and pleasures…and all this is just left behind ..like dried leaves fall off from the trees. This word has also been used in various different contexts in the Hindu school of thought in the later years.
The Sanskrit word ari means enemy …and hat or hant refer to kill…and hence Arihant is a word formed by the fusion of these two expressions..and essentially means one who has killed his enemies and won his fort. The word Arihant finds great usage in Buddhist and Jain scriptures.
Other similar word are purush, teerthankar etc. ..pur being the Sanskrit word for a fort.. purush means one who has won his/her fort and is strongly established within himself/herself. …teerth literally means the bank of a river.. and teerthankar means one who has found the bank and is now left the river behind. These words also found frequent usage in the various scriptures from the Indian subcontinent.)

..and Angulimal breathed his last.

Seeing this Buddha’s bhikkhus ask him “bhante..where would the respectable Angulimal be born now”.

Their curiosity was but natural…since Angulimal was a killer in his past…he had killed  thousands of men and women and thus was a sinner…a murder is considered to be one of the greatest sins in all the belief systems across the world…and hence the curiosity of these bhikkhus.

Buddha says to them “This son of mine is now pari-nivrit. He will not be born again. He is available to Nirvan now.”

(The expressions pari-nivritt and Nirvan essentially point towards a similar state of being. 

Pari-nivrit would literally mean “to be done with…to be relieved of” etc. It also represents completion of something ..retiral etc.

Nirvan literally means the extinguishing..the dissolution..going off of a flame. This can be understood with the following example…

a person sitting in the corner of a dark room…unable to see anything around..it’s totally dark…but he has a dim lamp with him…the only support that he has…he holds onto it tightly…. With this lamp he can merely see things that are just a step away…nothing else is visible. And suddenly this lamp goes off…and as his eyes acclimatize to the dark surroundings..he notices that there actually is a window nearby from which faint moon-light is coming in from a slit. It was always coming in…but he didn’t have the courage enough to explore beyond the light of that small little dim lamp…and thus kept focussing on his lamp itself… in a way..the dim light of the lamp was stopping the moon-light from coming in…at least this was so for this man. But now..with the extinguishing of the small lamp…this man has experienced light coming in from the window…it won’t take him long now to reach the window and open it..and let more light come in…or rather…find his way out…so that he can be totally drenched in the moon-light!

Hence..the word Nirvan (or Nirvana) is used in philosophical and spiritual terms to represent Buddhahood!…to represent someone whose limited being has extinguished and hence given way for the total ..the supreme to surface out from within him.)

Bhikkhus now asked Buddha “how can someone who has committed so many sins attain such a state of being”

…to which Buddha said “Yes, in his slumber (a state of being unaware and not being conscious) Angulimal committed sins…but his awakening washed away the effect of all those sins”.

Bhikkhus were still surprised and asked Buddha “but bhante..it hadn’t been very long since Angulimal became a bhikkhu..how is this possible.”

Buddha said to them ..”Yes..even one single act done with one’s total being and awareness can wash away all the sins. It is true that Angulimal had not been a bhikkhu for long..and had not done many virtuous deeds..but when people were pelting stones at him..he remained like an observer..he accepted the moment the way it came…he didn’t do anything..not even thinking. Seeing yourself as a “doer” is the seed of sins…and such a state where one does not feels to be a “doer”..when one is just an observer….is itself the most subtle virtuous act.”

(Another Sanskrit word worth mentioning here is Prayashchit. It is used in various stories, scriptures etc to represent a similar state of being. The word forms with the fusion of two words Prayah and Chitt. Prayah literally means “again..or recurrence..” and Chitt means “the conscience”. This can be understood further from the following ….. On realizing a past act of sin the “doer” feels a sense of guilt in his conscience and thus feels uncomfortable. An effort which helps him/her remove this guilt from the conscience so that the conscience again comes back to its original state that existed before committing the sin…such an effort is termed as Prayashchit. Buddha often emphasized that any act done with totality and as an observer (not feeling like a doer) leads one to a pure state of mind (and thus can also be a Prayashchitt ).

After saying these never-said-before words of wisdom Buddha now says these golden words to the bhikkhus (the verses is also a part of Buddhist scriptures like the Dhammpad):

(The verses are originally in Pali.. a language not known to me.. just tried to write them how I heard them.)

Verse:
yasya paapam katam kammam kushlen titheeyati
somam lokam pabhaseti abbha mutto va chandima

Meaning:
One whose acts of sins are overshadowed by his/her later acts of virtue ..he illuminates this whole world just like the moon which has come out of the shadows of the clouds.

Verse:
andh bhooto ayam loko tanu ketr vippasyati
shakunto jaal mukto va appo saggai gachhti

Meaning:
This whole world has become blind. The one who sees is hard to find. And this hard-to-find seer is the one who experiences the freedom and bliss just like a bird who is now free from the net it was stuck in.

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PS: The stories, anecdotes and the various words and phrases explained in the blog above come from how I heard, received and perceived them from various people, blogs, books etc. In case you find them to be differing from the dictionaries and the authentic scriptures etc..please consider this blog-post to be a work of fiction.

Home Studio Discussions

keys1

Over past few months some of my friends out here in India have asked me about my home-studio, music making gadgets, some random discussions about MIDI etc and also suggestions about how they should go about building a home-studio for themselves. Though there’s no fixed correct ways to do so..but I shared my experiences with them..and they found it helpful. I am providing the text (our interactions) below..as I felt this may help someone who is looking for a similar info. Thanks and best wishes for your musical explorations!

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Discussion 2 (January 2013)

Question

Hello Aditya
I’ve taken a decision to buy a soundcard for composing stuff.
Could you guide me in helping me choose a decent one, not too expensive at present?
Very soon I’m going to buy Macbook Pro too.

Thanks.

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Answer

Hi,

The choice of your soundcard also depends on what you intend to record ? Typically for home studios people buy a soundcard that enables them to record  atleast 1 Mic and 1 instrument (Guitar etc.).  There on..depending upon the budget and requirement you can choose a soundcard with more channels…e.g. 2 Mics and 2 Guitars…and so on.

I use Apogee Duet for my music works. This provides me 2 channels in which I can plug both Guitar and Mic. (Apogee products are designed for Apple computers though).

There’s an Apogee product with one channel as well..called Apogee “ONE”

You can explore the following for yourself :

Apogee “ONE” or “DUET2” :  http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/

I checked with my friend who also has a good home-studio.  He uses RME Fireface 400. (This product line is for both Macs n Windows.)

RME Audio : http://www.rme-audio.de/en_index.php 

Both Apogee and RME are successful products of professional quality.
I’ve also heard good things about Line 6 products. You can choose from UX1 or UX2 ..

UX1-  http://line6.com/podstudioux1/

UX2- http://line6.com/podstudioux2/

Apart from all these… most home-studios typically need a small MIDI Controller. (Soundcard enables you to do the Audio work…recording  Mics…electric guitar etc AND MIDI enables you to play any digital synths or sampled pianos, pads, drumkits etc.) Often people straightaway buy a combo product which provides them a small MIDI controller with 2 Audio channels (Mic and Guitar both).  M-Audio (www.m-audio.com/) used to offer these  Combo Controllers (called Keystation)…but I don’t see these on the site now. You can chk with some music-shops if they have these in stock.

One catch with the Midi Cotroller+Audio channel product is that its obviously bigger in size than just a soundcard..and hence less portable. If you only have a soundcard (like Apogee ONE suppose)..you can easily pick your Mic, your soundcard, your Macbook Pro…and you are ready to record..anywhere! This will be little cumbersome with the Midi Cotroller …though u’ll save money !

Hope this helped. Feel free to ask further.

Best wishes!
Aditya

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Thank you Aditya for such a detailed and thorough answer.
This will really help me. Now I shall get into action mode.

Regards.

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Discussion 1 (September 2012)

Question

Dear Aditya,

I heard about you from a friend of mine..he’s the drummer in our band.

These days I am looking to record acoustic/electric guitar + vocals + background score at my home. However, I do not have much at my place. I have a normal HP laptop with a good enough RAM. I use a small analogue-USB converter pin. And I have Korg AX5G guitar effects processor.

With the electric guitar, I can record well on my laptop. I have attached a one minute sound clip for your review. So, I don’t have much problem with the electric guitars. I use Fruity loops and Audacity.

It is the acoustic guitar recording which I am struggling with. I do not have a microphone. And I don’t want to use those low quality acoustic guitar pick-ups. Now, I found out certain things from the online search about microphones for acoustic guitar.

1) I need to have a condenser Mic. I have checked out Behringer C-1U at a local shop here. It needs Phantom power so they could not get it running. And they didn;t have much information about microphones anyways. I also thought , may be, the microphone of a good digital camera could be used. But there’s no information on the net about what kind of microphones are there in digital cameras. I have Canon Ixus 115 HS. Decent and sensitive microphone. But there’s humming.

2) Dynamic mics are best suited for live performances. They are sturdy. Condenser mics are suited for vocals and instrument recording in studio or home. And they can also be used for performances.

I am sorry for this longish mail. But I thought I need to tell you the background before asking your opinion.

Starting from a budget of 5k to 10k, how would you set up a home recording set-up, considering there is a decent laptop, acoustic and electric guitars, good effects processor and fruity loops. My aim is to record the songs I compose at home. So I will be looking at vocals recording as well.

I will be thrilled to get a response from you. I have heard your recordings from the site and the blog. And those are amazing. I would like to try something of that quality. Would love to hear your feedback on the attachment.

Thanks a lot.

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Answer

Hi,

I am glad you heard my music and liked it as well. Thanks.

Regarding your queries :

Ya, I remember your drummer texting me about your questions.
For plugging a Mic or an Electric Guitar into a computer you need an interface device that takes care of the signal before it enters the computer. Directly plugging the Mic/Guitar into the computer sound-card doesn’t give good enough levels and also may have a slight latency in some caes. Such interfaces essentially consist of electronic stuff like Pre-Amps ..A/D converters..and external sound-card in some cases. Some interfaces also have the capability of providing Phantom power in case a condenser Mic is attached to it.

Have a look at this..may be what you are looking for :  http://line6.com/podstudioux1/specifications.html

I heard your recording. The guitar playing is good but I felt the sound to be weak which, I felt, is because of the missing interface in your setup.

The link mentioned above shows a product that supports 2 inputs. You’ll also get cheaper versions with single input..but I would suggest that you go for atleast 2 simultaneous inputs because as you progress with acoustic guitar recordings, soon you will feel the need to record your guitar in stereo..and that needs 2 channels at once.

I haven’t used any such product for my needs..so can’t give you a review in that. But I’ve heard from some of my friends about this Line 6 product mentioned above..and they liked it.

You’ve mentioned that you also want to do background-scoring. For that you would need a MIDI keyboard. These come separately and you can explore this link for the same : http://www.m-audio.com/index.php?do=products.family&ID=USBkeyboardcontrollers

Now..from my experience of a typical life-cycle of a new music producer who is developing a home-studio for himself, I would suggest a third kind of device for you…that, I believe, will help in a very long run! I think you should rather wait (if that’s possible)..gather some more money and buy a device from this range (the link is no longer available on their site) : http://www.m-audio.com/index.php?do=products.family&ID=audiointerfacekb

These are combo devices that give you a good enough MIDI keyboard + a 2 channel audio interface that supports Mic and Guitars both..and has all typical features like Phantom Power…external sound-card thats suited for music. With this, you shouldn’t need any other device for a basic setup.

Now, for the Mics. You are right in a way in your explanation of the 2 kinds of microphones. However, I have experienced that investing in Condenser Mics is worth enough only if you have a very quiet (if not sound-proof) recording room. These are very sensitive mics and they catch even the minutest sounds. Dynamic mics are not just for Live performances. There are some very good quality (and affordable) dynamic mics available in the market that are used globally. I do have a decent collection of condenser mics ..still I use my dynamic mics often for many projects..and the results are quite good.
I would suggest that you buy a dynamic mic for starters..you can go for a Shure SM58 which would serve good for both Vocals as well as Guitars/other instruments. And that is not a very costly mic..despite being the favorite across the globe. In case you want to save some money here..you can go for Shure SM57 (more suited to instruments..can manage vocals as well).

Digicam Mics : The mics on Canon IXUS are good and sensitive…but the major problems that I anticipate is.. the sample-rate of these recordings sometimes differ. And this affects the processing that you may need to do on these sounds..like FX, EQ etc. Have you tried importing these audio-files into your FLStudio projects ? I anticipate that they’ll either run faster or slower in there (and accordingly pitch may also shift). You can fix this by converting the sample rates either within FL or using some freeware available online. Another drawback is that since the opening of the mic is very small..just a small dot on the face of the camera..due to this theres a lot of wind-noise in the recordings. Even if your ears may find the air around to be quiet..the camera will catch lots of disturbances.

You’ll also soon need a mic-stand.

Within the budget that you have mentioned..may be you’ll get a 1 or 2 channel audio interface and a decent dynamic mic..but from what I have observed..you may very soon feel the limitations of these..and then typically folks start looking for options to sell these stuff off to be able to buy the next in the line devices. So if there’s no urgency at your end right now..I would suggest that keep making new melodies and recording them using your present setup…gather money side-by-sie..and then go for a Shure SM58 Dynamic Mic + MAudio Audio-Interface Keyboard and a decent Mic-Stand. That should be it for you to explore your music further! Do read there tech-specs first to match with your existing setup. Some devices may connect to the computer via a FireWire400 or 800 port. Though most modern upgrades now come with a USB option. But..before buying a firewire device..do chk if you have a free firewire 400 or 800 port on your laptop.

I hope could answer your questions.

Best wishes for all your efforts.

Cheers,
Aditya

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Question

Hi.

I can’t express how much your reply is helping me. I am still exploring in the direction you gave. It seems I should indeed wait and save money instead of buying random stuff in a hurry. Makes sense.

Thanks a lot.

I was wondering if I know the use of a MIDI controller keystudio well. I used to think “since I play the guitar, I will not be using a keyboard to play chords or backing melodies etc.” But now I think slightly differently. Now the meaning of a MIDI keyboard for me is that I can create backing instrument tracks without the complexities of making it on the software. And then I can also use the keyboard as the audio interface for my acoustic and vocal recordings. And having that keystudio 491 will add value to my songs in the form of – saving time, more freedom to use different instruments, more intuitive playing and recording tracks.

Am I thinking correctly here?

Thanks again. Sorry for the added questions. I hope to meet you soon sometime.

Regards.
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Answer

Hi,

Well, here’s a bit of theory on controllers and MIDI..may help you in re-orienting your thinking:

See..a controller keyboard is a kind if gesture-recognition interface between a human and a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). Different keyboards have different capabilities to recognize more and more human gestures…depending upon the prices ofcourse. Whenever you press a note..typically a controller senses which key you pressed.. how hard you hit it.. for how long it remained pressed..any finger movement while the key was pressed (vibrato – after touch etc.) ..how and when did you move to the next key.. and a million other parameters. Accordingly it enables you to even play slides, bends, tremolos etc on string instruments..even with fingernoise (sliding) sound. Unlike simple “keyboards or home synthesizers”, Keystudio49 (and also other MIDI controllers of any brand) are capable of identifying all these human gestures.

MIDI is a way of recording all this information in the form of very simple text files onto your computer. These files are editable at any moment.. you can even correct a wrong note that you played…or lengthen/shorten its duration in case you played wrongly… and even suppose you play a part on a piano..and want the same tune on a flute as well..you can simply invoke a flute onto a new channel in FL studio and copy the piano MIDI part here..and you won’t need to play it again !

So these are just a few use-cases that get enabled with a MIDI Controller in picture.

Sound/Sampler libraries inside any DAW are designed to be used with a MIDI controller … e.g. your FL Studio Acoustic Guitar instrument must be having the sounds of finger-slides and capabilities to support bend..tremolos..hammering etc..but those you can use only if you have an apt controller. Otherwise even to play a simple bend note…you’ll have to do tedious editing with your mouse!…which breaks the flow of music.

In simple words..with my experience I would say that ..you MUST have a MIDI controller. It’s a necessity..and not a luxury.

Hope that helps.

Cheers,
Aditya

Gham Mujhe

Was exploring some new sounds when I remembered this beautiful ghazal. Sharing the candid crooning that followed 🙂

This is a cover version sung and produced by me.

The credits for the original song are as follows:
Lyrics: Seemab Akbarabadi
Music & Vocals: Jagjit Singh

Merry Christmas

May we all have the courage to just un-stop our LOVE within.. forget about expressing-accepting-rejecting…and just pour it out to one and all like an overflowing fountain 🙂 It does come back.. and you’ll overflow again. Let’s try doing so..and as Jesus said – “Knock ..and the doors shall be opened” 🙂 Amen.

MERRY CHRISTMAS 🙂

Sufi Rang

One of my favorite Sufi (fusion) compositions that I created in early 2011. Recently mastered  the track again.

The lyrics are as follows:

Lyrics by Hazrat Shah Niaz

Hori hoye rahi hai .. Ahmad jiyo ke dwar
Hazrat Ali ka raang bano hai ..Hasan Husain khilar
Aiyso hori ki dhum machi hai .. chahun or pari hai pukaar
Aiyso anokho chatur khiladi .. raang dinyon sansar
Niaz pyara bhar bhar chhidke .. ek hi raang sahas pichkar

होरी होए रही है अहमद जियो / जिया के द्वार
हज़रत अली का रंग बना है  – हसन हुसैन खिलार
ऐसो होरी की धूम मची है चहुँ ओर  पड़ी है पुकार
ऐसो अनोखो चतुर खिलाडी रंग दीन्हो संसार
नियाज़ पियारा भर भर छिडके एक ही रंग सहस पिचकार

Delhi Winters

A composition specially dedicated to the winters of Delhi 🙂

This track offers a fusion of Indian and Western folk sounds and rhythms.  The composition attempts to depict a typical winter-day in Delhi,  the National Capital of India.  From ambient pads and percussion to the beautiful sounds of Santoor and Sitar and the Punjabi Dholak beats, the track offers a wholesome experience of a New Age fusion of traditional and urban Indian music.

Delhi Winters” is internationally available for visual-media usage and can be procured from Transition Music Corporation, USA.

I am in City !

People in the city: Aditya Pathak

by Aakriti Sawhney, Hindustan Times

New Delhi, September 06, 2011

(Also, included as text below)

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I am in City 🙂

Hometown: Delhi

College: Amity School of Engineering & Technology (ASET)

Number of Facebook friends: 649 plus the 440 friends who Like my page

Best website: google.com

Favourite book: Not much into books. Though I often like reading, listening to audio books about various anecdotal experiences shared by Osho and Ramana Maharishi

Favourite quote: Creativity is an attitude. Anything can be creative. – Osho

Favourite film : The ones which come bundled with full length director’s commentary and well-designed behind the scenes sequences

Sexual preference: Straight

Long hair or short hair:  Short

Beer or wine: None

Sandals or sneakers: Sandals

You can never have too many:  Apps in my phone

Favourite dive bar: None

Janpath or Sarojini Nagar:  Both – but not for shopping. I just like being there

Korean cuisine or Konkan cuisine: Never experienced any of these

Who does your hair: Kishan or any one else at a local saloon in Saket. It costs Rs. 50.

Who inspires you:  My mom

Your last regret purchase: A video DVD pack of some Aura/Ambient music stuff worth Rs. 1,500. Unlike the attractive packing, they were actually badly knit wallpapers with some mediocre music scores

Best thing you’ve ever bought: There are two such things – my iMac for around Rs. 70,000 and my Walden Concorda guitar for Rs. 20,000

Favourite market in Delhi: Musicland, Saket and various shops scattered across Saket and Malviya Nagar

Delhi summer or Delhi winter: Delhi Winters, as I’ve made a musical composition by that name too

Money in your wallet (at the moment): Rs. 2,700

Would love to have dinner with: my family

Know him better
An advisory data engineer (GIS domain), music composer and a filmmaker, Pathak also conducts a variety of workshops including music and filmmaking.

* My Music: Conducted on Sundays, the 90 minute long workshop explores the various aspects of music composition
* My Music: The almost 100 minutes long workshop is conducted on Sundays and is based on the various aspects of filmmaking

For more information, log on to www.adityapathak.net

An Eid gift on this Dussehra :) A Power Qawwali !!

Hello fellow Musicophiles 🙂

Here’s a belated Eid gift..presenting to you on Dussehra !!
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It was Eid last month. I felt like crooning a favorite Qawwali of mine, and so I did 🙂
As I sang, I just put my voice-recorder on. And today I just tweaked the recordings a bit, garnished it with a few more sounds & beats, and here it is.. an all new Lounge/PowerPop kind of rendition of this beautiful Qawwali.
I’ve tried and kept the sound a little unpolished and raw, to give a LIVE traditional Qawwali feel 🙂 Hope you’ll like it.


Mujhmein Har Rang Ab Tumhara Hai – A PowerPop rendition of a traditional QAWWALI
Music Production & VOCALS by:  ADITYA

http://www.adityapathak.net

email: adityapathak.music@gmail.com
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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Here’s the LYRICS text. I’ve also tried a scribbled the close English meanings that I could decipher.

منزل ملی، مراد ملی، مدعا ملا
سب کھچہ مجھے ملا جو تیرا نقش پا ملا
मंज़िल मिली,  मुराद मिली, मुद्दा मिला
सब कुछ मुझे मिला जो तेरा नक्श-ए-पा मिला
English meaning :
I got my destination, my wish, my purpose – I got everything when I got the trail of your foot prints (the way you went).
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جب دور تک نہ کوئی فقیر آشنا ملا
تیرا نیازمند تیرے دار سے جا ملا
जब दूर तक न कोई फकीर-आशना मिला
तेरा नियाज़मंद तेरे दर से जा मिला
English meaning :
When this mystic coulldn’t find any shelter, this lover of yours has come to your doorstep.
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مجھ میں ہر رنگ اب تمھارا ہے
اب تے کہ دو کے تو ہمارا ہے
मुझमें हर रंग अब तुम्हारा है ,
अब तो कह दो के तू हमारा है
English Meaning:
I am totally drenched in your colours now (I am just like your reflection now, there’s not even a sinlge trait of me in me now). Please now say that you are mine.
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आलम-ए-शौक में न जाने क्यों ,
मैंने हर दम तुम्हें पुकारा है
English meaning:
In the moment of ecstasy, the ultimate bliss, I have always longed for you.
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अब बताओ के क्या इशारा है

हम तो तेरे हैं तू हमारा है
English meaning:
Please now tell me what’s your command my master. (I now surrender). I am now yours and you are mine.
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तू तो सब ही के पास है है मौजूद ,
कौन कहता है तू हमारा है
English meaning:
You exist everywhere, for everyone. Who says “you are mine!” ? (You are not just limited to just one individual or one community. It’s only you that EXISTs. Not mine, not his, not her’s…it’s just you and you everywhere.).
————————————–
तेरे सदके में ये तमाम जहां
अपनी ठोकर पे मैंने मारा है
English Meaning:
In your love and devotion this whole world seems useless to me.
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राज़ को राज़ क्यों समझते हो
राज़ दुनिया पे आशिकारा है
English Meaning:
It’s not a secret, not a mystical thing to know (true spirituality is not a mystical secret knowledge). It is the obvious, the unhidden and the only knowledge that is revealed and manifests in every sinlge thing of this cosmos. It is the whole..the total, right in front of us, inside us, outside us and beyond. We just need to have the vision and it is the most unhidden fact that exists.