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Cat Walk


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Copr. © 2014 – enjoy, for non-commercial use only.

This is what happens when percussion instruments – vibes, marimba, steel drums, and a couple of crazy bongo-beaters – go a little bit nuts, with an island beat.

It is also what happens when their author decides to take an impromptu “let’s get the heck away from Winter for a week!” cruise to the West Indies … and plays with Logic Pro in his stateroom on an at-sea day.

This is the first released version, of my first song, since Santa App-Store dropped a copy of “Logic Pro X” into my happy Christmas stocking.   It is specifically (but not expertly) mixed for MP3, and for the cheapest set of earbuds that I could find.   (I also thought about how it would sound if played directly through the tiny speaker of my phone, which apparently cannot reproduce bass tones at all.   Hence, rhythm alone is able to carry the arrangement, even if the bass is entirely subtracted.   On “good” gear, the bass in particular might sound over-emphasized, but it ought to sound okay if strapped to your jogging arm.)

Like my previous posts, this is a pure-percussion piece.   However, unlike my previous, this track uses the instruments and synths from Logic Pro X:   there are no SoundFonts here.   There are also no loops or mechanical drummers.   (Nor were there, previously.)

This is also departure from my previous, “musical-score based” approach, taken in part from what I have observed in other projects.   I built it entirely from short regions that are usually two, sometimes one, and in one case six bars long, each one contrived to be preceded or followed by copies of itself and each one designed to sit well, musically, with what would be placed above or below it regardless of sequence.   I then made several variations of each, and fiddled with parameters including velocity and sometimes dynamics.   Then, I started stringing these things together, in what seemed to be, really, a very impromptu fashion, with very little advance notion of what the result might sound like until I played it.   And yet, to my ears at least, the result actually sounds like “a complete song,” even though it is at this point relatively short.   Somehow, even though the song is heavily based upon repeating phrases, I do not think that it in any way sounds “repetitious.”   (And I find this observation to be quite interesting.   The song seems to sound better for being a creative construction of smaller, fairly repetitive motifs.   It seems to me that there ought to be some sort of “great songwriting insight” contained in that, somewhere.   Or, not.)

And … well … even given that I wrote the thing(!) … I like it.   I have the curious experience of both “encountering it,” and of knowing as the creator everything that there is to know about it.   All of which I hope is a good sign.

Anyway, enough of my rambling!   Let’s take a trip to the islands!
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Hits: 2299
Comments: 28
Fans: 25
Plays: 154
Downloads: 50
Votes: 0
Uploaded: Feb 20, 2014 - 02:01:44 PM
Last Updated: Feb 21, 2014 - 10:42:56 AM Last Played: May 11, 2017 - 02:44:36 PM
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Comments
Charday said 1308 days ago (February 20th, 2014)
Yo Mike!
Pretty cool I'm collecting percussion instruments now tho I have no rhythm, hopefully someone can play them, Katy has great rhythm, hopefully she can! Jd.
Check out my latest song called Payin' The Piper w/Awigze
rok41 said 1307 days ago (February 21st, 2014)
Cat Walk
Mike, this has a nice flow from the start. I think you did well with the arrangement and mix. Bass sounds nice and full to me, and I'm a stickler for that. Nicely done.
Check out my latest song called Long Day 2015 (w/awigze)
MikeRobinson said 1307 days ago (February 21st, 2014)
Thanks for the good words ...
And, as I have posted on the Logic forum, I am definitely looking for critiques and collabs so that I can learn as much as possible regarding how to go about making the sound better ... especially, in this case, “on earbuds attached to a jogger’s arm.”   What I ultimately have in mind is a series of tunes that are meant to be used in that way.   And “the bass,” in particular, seems to be the bugaboo.
Check out my latest song called Young Men, White Gloves
867-5309 said 1307 days ago (February 21st, 2014)
yes
nice trade~offs in magical riffing ,
i SO dig it all !
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PeterB7858 said 1306 days ago (February 22nd, 2014)
Cat Walk
Nice percussion groove backed by the dancing e-piano, Mike. I'm no mixing guru at all but what I have found is that well mixed/mastered music sounds great on most platforms, except computer speakers or cheap as desktop sets. Some of my favourite songs sound just great through my quality hi fi, through headphones and through my high quality earbuds. Makes no difference to the level of enjoyment even if certain frequencies are subtly enhanced/muted in each setting. I suppose that's what good mixers and masterers get paid for. Have fun. Thanks, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Ships In The Night (w Sam D)
TommyBlueBoy said 1304 days ago (February 24th, 2014)
Fabulous
This sounds very good to me. Very nicely done.
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lengold said 1304 days ago (February 24th, 2014)
Very
impressive to create this the way you did.
Cheers
Len

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Daugrin said 1303 days ago (February 25th, 2014)
Cool Kat
All the island elements one could want... and it grooves!

Daug
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groovehounds said 1302 days ago (February 26th, 2014)
Cat Walk
Man I love the sound of vibes ... what are you using to get the vibe sound.
I'm a fan of a present bass and I could hear it more prominent in the mix especially for this style of music when it drives the piece. Overall very nicely mixed and a very enjoyable performance.
Hounds
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MikeRobinson said 1302 days ago (February 26th, 2014)
re: The Vibes
Actually, this piece uses only regular Logic Pro X patches: Vibraphone, Island Mallets, Thumb Bass, Latin Kit, and Realistic Marimba.

Admittedly, some of those “regular patches” do seem to have quite a bit of Magic in them.   Island Mallets, which is that very-cool steel drum sound, has an entire mixer-stack including whatever-it-is that throws the sound between the left and the right channels.   Also, as I look at the Mixer page, I see that LPX seems to have automagically set up quite a bit of “room” voodoo ... a bunch of busses and effects-sends that I do not (yet) claim to understand but that I am of course quite willing to take advantage of.
Check out my latest song called Young Men, White Gloves
grah3am said 1302 days ago (February 26th, 2014)
I'm ON an island
... and I had to come to MacJams to hear this delightful piece of music. It's all rap and more rap, but of late I've heard some Janelle, and the AM station still plays Joseph Spence, so there is hope for the Bahamas. This is lovely, Mike.
Check out my latest song called Ghost in the Machine
grah3am said 1302 days ago (February 26th, 2014)
Like you said
" The song seems to sound better for being a creative construction of smaller, fairly repetitive motifs." Most of my songs are constructed from such snippets. Sooner or later they meld into a thing. GB, and no doubt other DAWs, enable songwriters to construct such, er, constructs, which is very constructive of them. (It's been a long day.)
Check out my latest song called Ghost in the Machine
MikeRobinson said 1301 days ago (February 27th, 2014)
No hope for Nashville ...
I recently saw a billboard for “Hip-Hop Radio,” so there is obviously no hope for here . . .
Check out my latest song called Young Men, White Gloves
Char said 1301 days ago (February 27th, 2014)
Mike..
very impressive! It is so upbeat that I feel ten years younger. Thanks.

Check out my latest song called Bound, v2. w Music by Dirigent
Philip18 said 1293 days ago (March 7th, 2014)
Cat walk
Bounces along well - full of life and fun. Much enjoyed!
Check out my latest song called First Night Alone
scaustrita said 1231 days ago (May 7th, 2014)
Cat
cool island vibe, with a bit of an abstract sound.
this genre is not heard often at macjams
i did two of these style songs and they were meet good response
Luv the dark sound marimba, the the instruments weave together flawlessly

:: Unique ::
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woofer3 said 1205 days ago (June 3rd, 2014)
love cats
my can is nineteen years old this month. very nice.

Check out my latest song called Drunken bakers [08-01]
J_Gretch said 1195 days ago (June 13th, 2014)
Cat Walk
Very cool concept...Love the way the bass sort of chases the back beat...Much enjoyed.
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Franciscus_Henri said 1189 days ago (June 19th, 2014)
Clever Cat
How good is this !. The mix is masterful.
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paul f. page said 1183 days ago (June 25th, 2014)
What's not to like...
This is so full of life and lots of interesting individual rhythms all mixed into such a pleasing whole. Yep. "Catwalk" is also the perfect title. I am only sorry that this wasn't twice as long. Really cool percussion track here. (I can hear a jazz flute rising from all of this...how cool would THAT be?)
Check out my latest song called 124
mana_junkie said 1146 days ago (August 1st, 2014)
Vacation
You know, this sounds like it could be a track in one of those hidden treasures game. The kind of music that is playing while you search the picture looking for items. A very pleasant sound and I diggs it.
Check out my latest song called Termites (with Rob Walker, Poet)
davisamerica2 said 1146 days ago (August 1st, 2014)
Cool jam here, Mike
I really need to study up on this art. It could broaden my music possibilities significantly. You definitely have it mastered. This is great!
Check out my latest song called Road to Yourself/with Abandon Style
Doug Somers said 1146 days ago (August 1st, 2014)
Really interesting (and enjoyable)
I'm so glad you elaborated on the method you used to put this together since the result is very cool, listenable, and yet has a rich complexity that would seem hard to replicate if one were to just plow through each line on its own thinking of the whole. I love the results that come from adding bits together not knowing expressly how the magic will work out. And it does here for sure. Your comment about encountering the music is true as the process yields something richer than the deterministic mind of the creator envisioned. As some say, the music comes through you.

Anyway, enough philosophy. This is a really interesting and fresh take and I'm glad you like it because I really do too. And so I've downloaded it (with thanks!)
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
jimmyrus said 1121 days ago (August 26th, 2014)
Thanks!
Really cool song, and thanks for sharing how you did it. Completely foreign concept to this newbie, but sounds really interesting. And the result is a really cool laid back song!
Check out my latest song called Dirty water 2
egobandit said 1097 days ago (September 19th, 2014)
surrounding
like lost in a steel envelope but in a happy beach bum kind of way wich is very cool in my book!
Check out my latest song called You Can Try
Ultrabeast said 972 days ago (January 21st, 2015)
A very interesting blend of percussion and atonal melody.
Definitely reminds me of how a cat behaves! Not according to what our logic dictates. I am a dog person but you definitely got me with this one :) -Chris
Check out my latest song called Victory (Sieg für die gefallenen)
bronco said 835 days ago (June 8th, 2015)
Witney can dance to it
" The song seems to sound better for being a creative construction of smaller, fairly repetitive motifs. It seems to me that there ought to be some sort of “great songwriting insight” contained in that, somewhere. Or, not.)"

I think what you are talking about there is called a "hook". Something the folks can hum along with which this is almost good at but it is a little too fast. Be a good dance tune though.
Check out my latest song called Playing With the Rain
scrappyjon said 769 days ago (August 13th, 2015)
Ensemble
I used to play in percussion ensembles in college. They are always looking for original pieces written specifically for percussion, which by the way often have electric bass as part of the piece. You should get this stuff down on paper if you haven't already done it and try to market it to some of these ensembles. Keep it up. Nice work!
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Name: Mike Robinson
Location: Chattanooga TN United States
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I'm a computer consultant by trade and maybe more than a little bit a "music geek." I'm very interested in what makes music "tick." I've read through Jimmy Webb's "TuneSmith" at least four times including the hard theoretical parts. (I don't say t... [see more]

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