Forum jam / collaboration, anyone?

Hey folks,

due to pandemic restrictions, my band hasn’t been able to come together to rehearse, which has dampened spirits quite a bit. Over the past couple of months, we have started a new rehearsal regime, with me pre-producing sketches of our songs down in my man-cave, preparing “minus-one” versions for everyone in the band and sharing them in a private cloud, so everyone can practice at home and we all keep our repertoire fresh and work on some new songs.

In recent weeks, some of the group have started sending me takes of their parts back via upload, so I can put things together in my DAW - good to get a feeling which songs work nicely and which still need a bit of effort.

So I thought, why not do something similar here in the forum - we could play “together” on some tracks and have a joint virtual jam - you could send me your parts as stems or MIDI tracks, and I put everything together and share it here as a Youtube vid (solves the copyright issues). With Cantabile, this should be pretty easy to do - put the backing tracks in a media player and record your playing (you might have to create a separate audio output to record without the backing track). Or just use the DAW of your choice.

Some of the tracks I currently have in my inventory, ready to rehearse:

  • Heroes (David Bowie)
  • The Rising (Bruce Springsteen)
  • The Road To Hell (Chris Rea)

There’s some other stuff, but these tracks seem quite fitting for a forum collaboration :wink:

Typical instrumentation: drums, bass, guitars, keys, vocals - sax could also come in handy on some songs. I think we have pretty much every instrument covered here in the forum.

Anyone interested?



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Possibly. I am rehearsing again, and all the venues have reopened. That, and other things I’ve managed to put on my plate recently…but I might have a go at it.

Are you wanting to send a basic track, then I would provide my track, and you would mix it in?

Hey @corky, I’m definitely counting on you as our resident multi-instrumentalist :wink:

I’m sharing a private cloud folder (you’ll get access data via PM so I don’t get into licensing trouble for public sharing) that looks like this:

There’s a chords / lyrics / structure sheet in there as PDF, a mixed version of the track sketch, plus multiple “minus one” versions. Simply download one or more of the backings and play along.

Please be forgiving on the quality - especially of the guitar playing :wink:

There is also a separate write-enabled “upload” folder I’m sharing where you can then put your contributions (single wav or MIDI tracks). I will collect contributions and build them into the song on my DAW. Once contributions are in, I’ll mix and share the result.

I’d suggest this file naming convention for contributions:

SongName - ContributorName - Instrument - DateYY-MM-DD - Comments.wav (or .mid), e.g.

The Rising - Corky - Hammond - 21-04-19 - 888 000 345 no vib.mid
The Road To Hell - Corky - Clean Guitar - 21-04-20 - Tele thru Fender Deluxe.wav

All contributions should begin at the start of the backing track (with the count-in) so I can easily align them for mixing. MIDI tracks should be recorded at constant tempo (I’ll tempo-align them if there is tempo variation), alternatively, I can provide a Cubase tempo track.

MIDI base tempos are 112 for The Rising, 113 for Heroes, 134 for Road To Hell (slow-down during ending).

This has worked pretty well for collab in my band so far - looking forward to jamming with you!



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Ok, will send you a PM with a few questions.


Note - the arrangements aren’t necessarily fully compliant with the original. I have “cränked” them a bit (Cränk! is the name of my band :wink: ) so they are compatible with our style and playable in our setup… We’re not very dogmatic when it comes to interpreting songs :rofl:

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This is a great idea, let me know when we can put requests in :slight_smile:

Go ahead - let’s hear your ideas! No guarantees, though - I need to be able to actually play the stuff to produce the basic sketch, and it needs to be somehow compatible with my band’s style. That way, I can justify investing the time to produce the base track :wink:

Don’t Let Him Go by REO Speedwagon.

Surely that’s compatible with your band’s style :slight_smile:

Interesting - but the guitar playing is definitely outside my capability bracket :wink: . I’ll see if there is a “cränked” version I can build - but that’s definitely going to take some time…

My guitarist knows it, if you’d like I could get him involved. Same if ya need drums, bass, or vocals. We’re all set to record, but we don’t have a keyboard player.

Sounds like a plan - I’ll see what I can do :wink:

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Unrelated- well sort of related, this made me think of it- I did an album back around 2007 with some pretty intricate drum parts. I’ve always wanted to give someone just the drum tracks and see what resulted. I think that would be really interesting- maybe even just one section of it. I’d love to hear an entire project with, say, 10 different ideas built over the same drums. :smiley: We did that with Sonic Reality’s Neil Peart drum library- Dave Kerzner had us and a few other bands write new song’s over Neil’s drums tracks for other songs. It was interesting- don’t think it ever actually got released. We new what those drums went with though- in my version you wouldn’t!!

(Edit- it did get released!)

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I watch some of Adam Neely’s YouTube videos. I’m mentioning this one because it shows how they use Twitch to collaborate. Adam sends tracks to the drummer and guitarist and they get on Twitch to watch/hear them put together the parts. In this one the goal is to “Toto-ize” a “hypothetical song”.

If people just start grabbing from a cloud drive and adding things it’ll be nuts. It should go from person to person in order, I think. :wink: I might be in for mixing the final result! Maybe adding a bit of keys or something if it’s a cool song.

Cool, count me in, I would like to give it a try. I’ll be happy to bring a sax or harmonica in play, if nobody else goes for these.

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I’d be worried if everyone and their uncle was suddenly wanting to play - I’d have to assign parts then so it doesn’t get too crowded. Currently, it’s all very quiet here, so there’s enough room for anyone who wants to contribute.

Anyway, the process isn’t that everyone can add, but the idea is to submit individual instrument tracks via upload - I’m putting everything together for the final mix, since I already have everything set up in my DAW for the sketch…

Currently, the songs on offer are the three from my initial post - happy to send you the access data to the material if one of them is “cool enough” :wink:



Great - you have a PM :slight_smile:

Sorry, I didn’t mean it to sound like those songs weren’t cool- Heroes especially is super cool. I wish I still had an Ebow!

All right - first contributions are in - The Rising is now selected as “active song”.

@Corky has uploaded nice strings, trem and slide guitars :clap:t2::clap:t2::clap:t2: - and I’m reserving the organ track for our resident Hammond guru as well…

Piano I’m keeping for myself :wink:

Now it’s time for:

  • drums
  • percussion ?
  • bass
  • crunch guitar
  • acoustic guitar
  • lead guitar (just a quick 8-bar solo, sorry… But I’ll also take some nice licks and noodling to underly the chorus and choir part :wink: )
  • pads / atmospheric layers
  • nice garnishings and ear candy
  • @TorstenH on harmonica / sax?

Vocals: since The Rising has 7 verses plus a bridge, there’s enough space for a number of singers to contribute here. Also, the chorus and the “La la…” part could use a large number of voices, so don’t be shy, singers!

Let me know what you’d like to contribute, and I’ll send you the access data for the material



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