User Profile: Yancey Grantham
WaveDNA chats with Yancey Grantham about his music and use of Liquid Rhythm in the first of our User Profile series
What piqued your interest in digital music production and how long have you been creating your own songs?
MIDI piqued my interest in digital music. I had analog synths in the 70’s and bought a DX-7 MIDI synth in the 80’s and a computer for the MIDI/DAW. This was great because I wrote my own music. Those were the days (he says wistfully). Computers became a living and creating music faded until just recently. I’m having a blast with Ableton Live, Push and Liquid Rhythm. It is now so much easier to get from inspiration to song.
How would you describe your music’s sound or genre?
I’m currently in discovery mode going where the sounds take me. My Soundcloud has examples of techno, pop, rock, jazz, orchestral and meditative music styles. The jazzyish song, Jazzy Feeling relied heavily on Liquid Rhythm.
I’m enjoying the variety but I’m moving toward more dance music like techno/house. My wife was dancing by herself when I was a DJ. “It’s time to dance w/ the DJ” and we have been dancing ever since. On the flipside I have a strong history of meditation/ambient and want to experiment there as well. Scoring a movie would be a dream come true but I am not to that level yet.
How did you first come across Liquid Rhythm?
Being new to modern digital music production I have been reading and watching tutorials. My weak point is drums so I kept an eye out for help there. After seeing the Liquid Rhythm training tutorials on YouTube I got excited about getting help with drums.
I really appreciate the time and energy WaveDNA takes to create YouTube videos, they make it easy to understand how to use Liquid Rhythm.
How do you think Liquid Rhythm has improved your process and the music you create?
Experimenting with beats and rhythms is so fun and easy with Liquid Rhythm that I can get lost just playing in the interface. The WaveDNA programmers have provided many ways to massage the beats giving me several different ways to play with the drum patterns.
Playing with the Molecule Tools does give you that fine control. I enjoy adjusting and dragging around inside Arranger too. The suggested BarForms made specifically for a drum sound are especially helpful.
I play a game where I challenge myself to write a short 2 minute song around new elements, a new sound or drum pattern. I did this with some of the drum patterns provided. The reason my song Techno in E Flat Minor has the word “Techno” in the title is to remind me I got the techno pattern from Liquid Rhythm.
Computerized music has a way of feeling repetitive. Recently I’ve been taking the second time a part is played and putting the music clip into Liquid Rhythm. I use the Randomizer with Velocity ONLY giving repetitive clips a slightly different feel and sound. Instead of doubling drum clips I copy/paste then randomize the velocity of some of the sounds.
I enjoy playing with the Randomizer and really appreciate the “Collaborate” function while playing with kicks and snares so the two sounds don’t compete. Whomever suggested/programmed this should get extra kudos. The BeatForm Tumbler is next on my list to maximize my experimentation. I recently got a device with twist knobs to map to the Tumbler Knobs.
When making music it is comfortable to start with drums then add bass or a rhythm sound next then have fun with hooks and melodies. Liquid Rhythm gets the creativity started by allowing me to come up with drum patterns that make me excited about adding bass and rhythm. Liquid Rhythm ignites creativity.
Besides experimenting in Liquid Rhythm, where do you look for inspiration for your music?
Well, besides dancing with my wife inspiration is welcome from anywhere. A synth sound, nature, a spoken phrase. I recorded trains going by and let the rhythms start/pace the drums, the metal sounds set off the bass and the train horn started and influenced the lead. Now when I hear trains my mind fills in orchestras.
When the creative mood is not right it’s the time to practice, organize files, sounds and templates, read manuals and take tutorials. Soon a sound, technique or the creative itch will pull and the creative mood is active again. As for experimenting with Liquid Rhythm, it’s my favorite place to musically doodle rhythmic patter.