Project Proposal

For my project, I am interested in creating a “quick composer” tool.  One of the downsides of software such as Max and Ableton is that while they offer fantastic depth and customization, they are time consuming and require a large amount of knowledge to use effectively.  Thus, I hope to use my project to take steps to bridge this gap, by creating a project that could allow a more casual composer to quickly make decent sounding music.

One step in this project will involve composing many small clips in Ableton, and setting them each aside in their own file.  When using the quick composer tool, the user can load these pre-programmed pieces into a timeline, and organize them as they like.  Another step will be to create some simplistic macro controls for the pre-programmed clips, to control some of their basic features such as volume and beat. Since I have already accomplished the more complicated work, the user can then create a quick composition by choosing a few of the pre-programmed clips, arranging them as they see fit, and adjusting the macro controls I have created.  This allows somebody who doesn’t yet have an in-depth understanding of Ableton to make a song by compiling and adjusting bits and pieces from clips I have created for them.  It provides the opportunity for user to efficiently create a decent sounding song, although with far more limits than an in-depth understanding of Ableton would allow.  This project is essentially the “real time control Ableton project” explained on the webpage, with the slight modification the project being intended for other people to be able to use it.

As for what types of music I would place in the project, I plan to make most of the clips use a similar style upbeat computer of music.  Since I intend for these clips to be combined with one another and arranged into various patterns, it makes since that they should have a similar style so that they sound good with one another.  The clips will, however, have variety in the instruments, so as to make the user’s composition interesting.  Most of the clips will focus on instruments, although a few will contain vocal elements.  I will also design some of the clips to deliberately sound like background noise, while other clips are designed to sound like the foreground of the music.  I will arrange these clips into different folders corresponding to their function, and create instructions explaining how everything is organized, further increasing the clarity and ease with which a user can compile the tools I create into a basic song.  The final step in the project’s development will be to test this project on people who lack experience making a digital song, and making adjustments based on their feedback.

Timeline:
Compete the following tasks by the corresponding day.
Dec. 1:  Write Proposal
Dec. 4:  Receive feedback and adjust project goals and proposal accordingly
Dec. 8:  Develop the organizational structure of the project.  Layout the folders to figure out how to organize the clips and other information the project contains.  Create a few sample clips to test how to make them easily imported to a composition, and easy to arrange and adjust of the user.
Dec. 11:  Complete the composition of the clips, their macro controls, the instructions, and any other tools the user can use their to create their mini-composition.
Dec. 13:  Test the project on individuals with little experience in digital composing.
Dec. 16:  Adjust project based on feedback to create final project.