Hot off the press, here’s the August 2014 issue of Computer Music, and nestling within its info-packed pages you’ll find 8 of them containing things I wrote! My ‘Pitch n Glide’ feature is a useful 5-pager extolling the virtues of performance-enhancing techniques such as portamento and pitch bend, with a dash of vibrato. You’ll find out how to program synth parts that exploit your synth’s portamento feature to the fullest, how to reinstate vibrato to your controller’s modulation wheel, how to draw and edit pitch bend curves and even how to program a Dolby THX-style polyphonic glide. You’ll find the piece on page 67.
Elsewhere, in the issue I have a single-page review of Mozaic Beats’ AutoTheory, an innovative plug-in that remaps the MIDI input from your controller to predetermined keys and scales, making it easier to program parts that conform musically to your project. You can find out what I thought of it on page 104.
Finally, as always, there’s my music theory Easy Guide on page 74, and this month we’re dealing with the scary-sounding contrapuntal motion. Actually not scary at all, my 12-step walkthrough with accompanying video breaks down contrapuntal motion into its four basic types, with examples to illustrate each type. I then go on to demonstrate how you can use contrary motion in your productions. Well worth a look, along with all the other great stuff in the mag, including a huge cover feature all about reverb, CM 206 is available now! On reflection, it could be the best issue yet!
When writing music, getting the right notes in the right places is obviously important. But have you ever considered how equally crucial it is to nail the placement of the spaces in between the notes? Often, what you don’t play can be as important as what you do play, so in this month’s music theory Easy Guide, featured on page 74 of the July 2014 issue of Computer Music magazine, I take a look at how to use rests to change up rhythmic parts in your productions. As usual, there’s a 12-step walkthrough packed with info and real-world examples, all accompanied by a video. So if you fancy a decent rest, don’t sit around, pick up CM205 today!
Like really tight jeans, key changes can be quite difficult things to pull off if you’re not sure what you’re doing. While it won’t do anything to help you get your trousers off, my 12-step Easy Guide with accompanying video, found on page 74 of the June 2014 issue of Computer Music, does explain the basic theory behind key changes. I then go on to show some real-world examples, breaking them down to illustrate how they’re constructed.
So if you’ve ever wondered how to achieve the leap from one key to another without making virtual question marks appear above your listeners’ heads, check out Computer Music 204. It’s also got a lot of other good stuff, written by other people, in it too.
Cadences? What might those be? I hear you ask. Well, I reply, if you really want to know, you need to check out my Easy Guide to Cadences found on page 74 of the May 2014 issue of Computer Music magazine, out this week! Find out the four different types of cadence, what they are, how they’re used and behold some practical examples of their usage in modern music production. Aside from the usual 12-step walkthrough, there is, of course, an accompanying video. Oh, and there’s also a lot of other great stuff in there from the CM team, that I didn’t write! Check it out!
Another month, another issue of Computer Music and another Easy Guide from me! This month, the music theory adventure continues with an introduction to augmented and diminished chords. What are they? Why are they here? What can you do with them? These and other equally baffling questions are all answered across the double page spread (with accompanying video of course) starting on page 74 of the April 2014 issue.
Get it while it’s hot (or even when it’s not!)
My self-imposed long Xmas break means that, while I’m now much more rested, I have fewer pieces around on the shelves at the moment. Most notably, my regular Easy Guide music theory column focusses on Arpeggios in the March 2014 issue of Computer Music. They may have had their ups and downs in the past (see what I did there?), but arpeggios are still a well-established and valid musical tool when it comes to modern productions. My 12-step guide with accompanying video takes you through the basic principles and showcases several examples of arpeggios in use. You can find it on page 74.
In an issue that marks an important milestone for the mag, Computer Music’s 200th issue hits the shelves this week. To mark the occasion, the guys at CM have put together a huge guide made up of 200 production tips in all kinds of categories, from Ableton programming to Mastering. As part of this enormous and incredibly useful feature, you’ll find my 10 vocal production tips on page 44.
Elsewhere in the issue, this month’s music theory Easy Guide is concerned with Extensions, and not the kind you put in your hair either. No, this double-page walkthrough with accompanying video takes you through the process of constructing and using extended chords, breaking out from the limits of triads and cutting loose with more complex and ‘grown-up’ chords, such as 7ths, 9ths, 11ths and 13ths. You’ll find it in its more-or-less normal spot on page 76.
Meanwhile, MeldaProductions’ MVintage Rotary Leslie speaker emulation plug-in gets a thorough workout on page 94. Why not get hold of a copy of this milestone mag to find out whether it got me in a spin or not?
The January 2014 issue of Computer Music, out this week, not only highlights a new year, but also a new music theory Easy Guide from me!
Found on page 74, this month’s Easy Guide is all about triplets. Restraining myself here from making any number of possible jokes about multiple births, my 12-step walkthrough and accompanying video explain exactly what triplets are and how they can be used in a modern musical production context. So if you fancy learning how to effectively squeeze three notes in where there used to be two, give CM199 a whirl!
In the December 2013 issue of Computer Music, which is hot off the press and available now, you’ll find two contributions from me. Starting on page 63, my 5-page CM Guide to Automation highlights some of the more interesting things you can do with parameter automation in your DAW. From programming basic linear ramps and parabolic curves to sending ‘spot’ FX and crafting evolving synth sounds, automation is the key to a dynamic mix, and this piece walks you through exactly how to use it in your productions.
Elsewhere, on page 76, you’ll find my regular music theory Easy Guide, and this month we’re all about how to construct and use the Melodic Minor scale. Of course, as well as the usual audio examples and MIDI files, you’ll find video walkthroughs for both pieces on the cover DVD or downloadable from the CM vault if you’ve gone for the digital edition of the mag.
This week marks the launch of issue 196 of Computer Music magazine, and I was on light duties for this one, owing to my having had a well-earned two-weeks’ holiday in August – right after Apple chose to launch Logic Pro X! So sadly I didn’t get to contribute to the massive Logic guide that dominates this issue, although I did get to play with the impressive Arturia MiniLab compact USB keyboard controller, my review of which starts on page 96.
Of course, these days, no issue of CM would be complete without my regular Easy Guide column, and this month I delve into the mysteries of the natural and harmonic minor scales. Twelve steps over two pages, complete with an accompanying video, explain how to construct and use these two forms of the minor scale, so if you’ve ever had a minor interest in the subject, why not have a look?
Big news today here at daveclews.com – I’m really happy to announce that I’m now officially a columnist! Yes, the July 2013 issue of Computer Music magazine is finally here, and it contains the first instalment of my regular monthly ‘Dave Clews’ Easy Guide’ music theory column. This first one is about the power of the pentatonic scale, and it spans two pages with two six-step walkthroughs that outline how to construct and use pentatonic scales within a practical production context, accompanied by a video that you can find on the covermount DVD (or download from the CM vault if you have the digital edition). I even get a photo byline, a small bio and a link to this page, so if you’ve come here via CM193, welcome!
Elsewhere in the mag, I’ve contributed quite a bit of other stuff to this issue too. Apart from my column on page 70, I’ve written the first five pages (33-38) of the cover feature, a massive guide to modulation. Looking in-depth at the way different kinds of modulation are used in synth sound design, and featuring lots of practical examples, with video, of how they can be applied in real world music-making scenarios, the feature covers:
LFO’s – what they are and how to use them
ADSR Envelopes and how they can be used to modulate a sound
Complex, multipoint envelopes – now these are very cool!
… and lots more besides.
I also have the DVD tutorial this month, found on page 6 and detailing the features of the rather marvellous Cableguys WaveShaper CM plug-in, a combination of a digital oscilloscope and waveshaper that you can’t get anywhere else – it’s only available from CM, either on the cover DVD or as a download with the digital edition!
As if that wasn’t enough, starting on page 16 I’ve also done the CM Plug-ins Quick Guide, which this month is a four-page guide to the ins an outs of the fantastic Dune CM soft synth that’s also given away free (along with about 30 other plug-ins) every month.
Quite a landmark issue for me this, and I’m proud to say that I take up a total of 14 pages in this one. And with the second instalment of my column already written and the video already shot and edited, I can confidently say that you’ll be seeing at least two pages of me in the mag every month from now on!