My kind of creativity: geeking it up with my garageband.

2am; everyone’s asleep; headphones on; music blaring. I’m in my element: tweaking the bass EQ, fixing the reverb levels; quantising the drum pattern;  adding yet another layer of sound. This is my way of tuning out the day-job, being creative, building songs and sounds and generally enjoying myself, answering to no-one but me.

Here is last night’s effort.


The garageband screen shows the repeated elements and multiple tracks.  This one started off with a sequence I’d played with on the school piano. It has the inevitable verse-chorus-verse-chorus format.  Someone could make a decent song out of this…. any offers?

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It’s fun to see the music in score format, even if this isn’t how it originates. The graphic EQ offers huge variation for each sound; creating space within the over-layed tracks to hear all the parts is often down to selecting well-separated frequencies.

The piano roll – huge flexibility to move each note around to make everything tight and in tune.  Real time piano playing can be neatly trimmed without necessarily losing the original organic rhythm and feel from the touch-sensitive keyboard.

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It’s even possible to make whole songs with the musical typing option.  I’m getting quite good at this. It’s especially helpful when I can’t hook up the computer to my electric piano for any reason.

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New Year Today

This song was written and recorded on 1st Jan 2014.  A one-day song challenge.  The singing is always dodgy – but I try. I have to mask it quite heavily.  The idea is to indicate what the singing might be like if someone else sung it – but that doesn’t ever happen so I make do!

New Year Today tracks featured live guitars: simply an acoustic guitar played into the extraordinary iMac microphone and into the various garageband amps.

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In The Grove

Another tune-in-a-day effort from 2015.  More dodgy singing!

Fortiter Ex Animo

This was written for the KEGS Wind Band to play.  There was just one problem: it’s too hard to actually play! Nevermind… it was fun trying to make something that sounds like it could be played.

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There’s a lot more of this in a previous post:  Ghosts and Empty Air.   And I devoted a post to my favourite piece – my Song of Venus: Sola Vida.

PS: I write these music posts knowing full well they will hardly ever be read – just as the songs will hardly ever be played by anyone but me.  It’s tumbleweed time.  But, if you are reading this or have played any of the songs, you are magnificently kind!  I’m happy making it for my own ears and, actually, the process of making the music is the best escape I know.


  1. I think it’s great to read these posts and to know you DO have strategies for unwinding and reconnecting with your inner geek, Tom! Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

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