Week 56: Keys and Buttons and Knobs…oh my!!

First off, I think it’s important to mention that I am not a musician. I like to mess around on a few instruments and I know how to form chords on a couple of things but I have no musical training and I don’t really read music. The other thing I should mention is that I am TERRIBLE with gear. In the past I have had guitar pedals and recording software and never have I ever figured out how they really work. I tinker with things but I typically don’t have the patience to fully learn, and therefore utilize, any piece of gear. This week I wanted to force myself to focus on learning a new piece of gear.


Five Day Discipline: Spend at least 30 minutes each day learning how my new MIDI controller works.

A few weeks ago I bought a MIDI player for $99 retail (I know, retail is for suckers). I got it to make demoing my songs easier (while I don’t consider myself a musician I do like to write songs) and the more I learn about it the easier that process will be.

img_4161I’ll be honest (please assume everything else I have ever written is a lie), music software confuses the dickens out of me. Recording is nuanced and all the levels and buttons are never explained well enough for a layperson like me. I mean, the MIDI keyboard I have came with three different software programs plus it requires a fourth program to actually record music. And that’s just scratching the surface.

Anyway, my week of learning was fruitful. I figured out mapping the pads, switching programs, tap tempo and quickly switching between 1/4, 1/8, 1/16 and 1/32 notes. I would have never learned a lot of those things without this week of exploring and researching and watching YouTube videos. I still have a lot to learn but this week was a great kickstart.

If you’re interested in my cheeky product review of the Akai MPK Mini see below:

Bless you if you endured all three minutes of that video.

This Five Day Discipline wasn’t the most exciting thing I’ve ever done but now I’m better prepared to use my MIDI controller so it did it’s job. Now I can get to the fun part which is the making music part. If only the MIDI controller could magically turn me into a musician…



So many keys, buttons, knobs, wobbly things…
I took this picture on the back of a poster from my musical, Trust Fund Baby, and you would never know that if I didn’t tell you.



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