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When I Feel the Touch


When I Feel the Touch

Another day, another song video. This one features my inner male-voice choir and is also the first piece I’ve done with solo piano as an accompaniment.

At the top of the morning, I started on acoustic guitar but then I thought it would be an ideal piece for some gentle piano. I fired up my keyboard and a copy of Ableton Live and got going. I worked out how I wanted to translate the chords onto the piano but my skills aren’t good enough to do that cleanly so I recorded a few bars of the basic pattern and then went into editing mode to work through the harmonic progression. With an intro and outro added, that was my underlying song done.

This is the point where I ran into some issues. I’ve only recently installed Ableton on my Windows box, although I had a phase of using a previous version several years ago on my Mac. I couldn’t figure out how to export the piece as a sound file. I was probably making some basic oversight but I didn’t have time to resolve it and at least I could export the three sections as MIDI files. Next, I tried recording with the loopback interface on my audio interface into Audacity. That didn’t work – perhaps Ableton hogged access to it? Then it was onto the copy of Reaper, which I’m still evaluating. I could load the MIDI files and play them with the sound I wanted but something didn’t look right about the main section and that looked like it was also going to slow me down.

What are we onto now? Plan D? I ended up going back to Logic Pro on my MacBook, which is the DAW I know best. There I was able to load the MIDI files and I found a reasonable sound to use (I haven’t got all the Arturia ones that came with my keyboard installed on the Mac, which was why I didn’t start there). Then I could lay down the vocal tracks and that is how this piece came to be, sounding very mellow and not hinting at some of the frustrations of getting it together.

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