After not using midi for over 4 years, I thought that it would be easy to switch over to a midi sequencer (I chose Cubase SX3) push the quantize button, snag a great sounding sample, and be done with it. Well, that is simply not the case for most styles of music that I will be doing.
It seams like anytime I'm producing a song in the midi sequencer domain, I'm striving to add realism and emotion that only a human performance can deliver. I keep trying to simulate human feel by manipulating the midi. Then again, if I record a real human the old fashion way, we struggle to get a great track there too. Choosing the path seams to be quite difficult.
Obviously, I'm just at the beginning of my midi sequencing holy grail quest, (actually I'm 12 days in) but I'm having a real delima as to which method is the way to go. I can program midi drum tracks all day long and the result will still be stiff, weird, or need tweaking. I don't know if any of the local drummers are “great” but I know we have some “good” drummers. I haven't figured it out if it would be quicker to have a real drummer come in and play electronic drums that trigger mega samples or if I should just keep on learning how to do it with a mouse.
Either way, it's clear that midi sequencing is just as much of a problem as it is a solution when it comes to creating tracks that move people. When I say “move people”, I mean transfer a sense of emotion. Don't get me wrong, I've listened to my fair share of dance music, but I don't the stiff dance music still works nearly as well for other styles. I think that is the most recognizable part of dance music....the very stiff beat. When you apply that to a country pop song, the stiffness seams wrong most of the time.
So the problem remains. Getting tracks that sound truly inspired are tough no matter if you are using a sequencer or a tape machine. I'll keep pushing and figure it out. Maybe I'll have it down by day 18.....lol.