Writing a Song in Caustic for Android
Sometimes, (well, more often the not) the best way to learn something is to just do it. So let's jump into using the sequencer in Caustic to write a song.
Fire up Caustic and go to the Sequencer machine:
Press the Rack View button:
Select the Sequencer (lower right corner:
The Sequencer View:
I find that laying down a drum track first works best for developing a new song.
Touch the BEATBOX icon in the lower left portion of the Sequencer View to jump to the BEATBOX screen.
I usually start with a basic drum beat. You can use any drum kit you want, and create any pattern you want, but it will be easiest to follow this article if you copy what I show.
Select the dry house kit in the BEATBOX machine:
Create a basic 4 beat drum pattern:
Notice that the mode switch (center-bottomof window) is set to pattern. When you hit the green PLAY button, your pattern will loop endlessly. If the switch is set to SONG, then you won't hear anything unless you have placed the pattern in the Sequencer. So lets do that now.
Go back to the Sequencer:
Even though we created a pattern, the Sequencer is still empty. We need to add what we have created to the Sequencer. To do this, first make sure your screen looks just like the one above. That means the PENCIL and SELECT icons are highlighted in orange.
Now touch the 1st empty box to the right of the BEATBOX icon. You will be presented with a pattern selectionscreen:
The pattern selector will highlight the last user-selected pattern. Since this is a new song, and you haven't selected anything before for it, the default selection wil be PATTERN A-1. Go ahead and press 'OK':
Change your mode switch to SONG and hit PLAY. Depending on how your OPTIONS are set, your song will either play once and stop, or loop endlessly. To view your current settings, click the SETTINGS button:
Goto the OPTIONS tab:
And take a look at the current selection under the group "WHEN END OF SONG IS REACHED:" Set it to STOP PLAYING for now.
Back to the Sequencer, and a note on playback. When you press PLAY, the track will of course start to play. When you press STOP, playback stops. And when you press STOP twice, the current position bar will return to the begining of the track.
Now then, lets stretch that drum pattern to cover 4 measures.
Press the STRETCH pattern icon:
Press the pattern A1 to select it. Notice the right side of the pattern now shows a dark orange stripe. Touch the stripe and drag it to the right until you cover the first 4 measures, then let go.
Press PLAY to get the groove stuck in your head. :-)
Now lets add a bass sound to the mix. Press the Rack View Button, and select BASSLINE2:
Load the preset DRIVE IT, in the same manner we've loaded other items (press the preset name, select from the list, and press load).
Slide the screen up once to show the PIANO ROLL view for BASSLINE2. Remember, you slide the screen by dragging the spotted bar on the far left side of the screen.
Enter the pattern shown below (make sure you start it on key C3):
Hit play once and see how it sounds. Notice it sounds very mechanical. Lets give it a bit more 'human' feel.
Select the 2nd note in the pattern by touching it. Notice how it now shows a dark orange bar on its right side. Touch the bar and drag it to the right so that the note now covers 2 boxes (ends at the 1st measure)
Do this for the 2nd note in each measure.
Press play and see how it sounds a bit more authentic.
Lets change it a bit more. Select all the notes by touching the SEL button (select), and then pressing the ALL button on the right. With all the notes selected, press the NOTE button at the top of the screen, and add GLIDE, by pressing the GLIDE button on the right side of the screen.
Now press play again and listen to the difference.
Save your song by pressing the SETTINGS button, and under the SONG tab, press SAVE...
Give your song a name MYSONG and press DONE.
In the next article, we'll add more instruments, and develop the song further.