Technology Based Approach
- How can a songwriter use a Digital Audio Workstation to develop lyrics?
- Ultimately, does technology limit or increase a songwriter’s potential?
- Students will use pre-made loops to create instrumental tracks. These tracks will then serve as musical accompaniment to practice performing lyrics.
- Students will record their voice using a DAW on a laptop, PC, iPad or phone.
- Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
- Step-by-step DAW instructional worksheets:
- Loop Worksheet iOS
- Loop Worksheet Mac OS X
- Loop Worksheet PC
- Vocals Worksheet iOS
- Vocals Worksheet Mac OS X
- Vocals Worksheet PC
- Computers, laptops, iPads or phones capable of running a DAW
- Headphones (optional but helpful)
- USB Microphones (Optional but will produce higher quality recordings)
- One significant advantage modern songwriters have over their predecessors is access to a variety of technological resources. User-friendly and affordable, many of these resources help songwriters of all levels to create, record and share their music. This lesson will showcase several resources across multiple platforms spanning Mac OS X, PC (Wintel), iOS and Android (see bottom of page).
- Loop: A pre-recorded section of music that repeats and is usually only a few bars long.
- DAW (Digital Audio Workstation): An electronic device, or computer software application for recording, editing and producing audio files (ex. Garageband, Soundation, FL Studios).
- Wintel: Portmanteau of Windows and Intel
- Distribute Loop Worksheets or project on a classroom screen.
- Read read through step-by-step instructions for using loops to create instrumental music in Garageband(Mac OS X and iOS) and Soundation(PC).
- Students break out in small groups to create their projects.
- Students will use a DAW to create a loop-based recording in one of the aforementioned platforms.
- Students will use a DAW to record their voice over the instrumental tracks they created in the previous steps.
- Students will discuss budget/allowance with their parents to see if they can upgrade Garageband and Soundation (upgraded accounts provide more options in both programs) or purchase other songwriting tools (see tables below).
- Alicia Keys once said, “The most important thing for me when I write is that I properly express the emotion that struck me so deeply.” Throughout the songwriting process, inspiration is just as important as the execution of the recordings. The following tables provide some affordable technology options across different platforms that will help aspiring songwriters to create, organize, practice and record their musical ideas.