Editing Your Song in Caustic

In the last article, "Caustic for Android - Working with the Sequencer: Part II", we created a 4 measure composition, using drums, bass, and lead sounds.  We also looked at how to move notes around in the piano roll view, reset dials to their default values, and add patterns to Caustic's sequencer.

In this article, we'll take what we have created so far, and add some variety to it.  The goal is to make it sound less mechanical, and encourage the listener to continue listening.

So, lets get to work!

Start Caustic, and load your song "Mysong".  Lets start by bringing up the sequencer screen:


At a glance, we can easily see that we have created 3 patterns, each using a different instrument, and we have repeated it over 4 measures.  The most direct way to add variety to a song, is to simply change the notes.

To start, stretch the 'A1' patterns for PCMSYNTH1 and BASSLINE2 to run for just 3 measures, not 4:


The vacancy in the 4th measure is where we will create a new pattern for both PCMSYNTH1 and BASSLINE2.  Lets start with PCMSYNTH1, so bring up its piano roll screen:


You see it is showing us pattern A1.  We want to create a new pattern, so press the '2' button, and add the following notes:


Return to Sequencer:


Press the white box at the end of the A1 pattern for PCMSYNTH1.  Add pattern 'A2'.  Make sure your PENCIL icon is selected or you wont be able to add any patterns:


Press play and listen to how its starting to sound better already.  Whahoo!  Lets keep it going!

Open the piano roll screen for BASSLINE2, and enter the following pattern:


Again, return to the Sequencer screen and add this new 'A2' pattern in the 4th box for BASSLINE2:


Hit play and check out the difference.  Sounds good, but now the drum track is sounding a bit lacking.  Let's modify that track so that the drums change a bit on that 4th measure along with the other sounds.

Bring up the piano roll view for BEATBOX, and enter the following pattern:


Wait a minute (you say).  Why are the last 8 snare drum hits different shades of grey?

I changed the velocity of those notes.  The lighter shades are lower velocity, and the darker shades are higher velocity, so now it sounds like the drummer is building up with the snare across those last 2 measures.  To change the velocity, select a note, and change the velocity using the slider on the right:


Return to the Sequencer and use pattern 'A2' in the 4th measure of the BEATBOX track:


Hit play, and enjoy what you have created.

In the next article, we'll take a look at further modifying the sound using the effects & mixing board.