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Simone Silvestroni
Producer, bassist andsound designer. Released the concept album ‘After 1989: A Trip To Freedom’ about a real-life story between two wars. Game audio enthusiast.

How REAPER improved my music workflow, part 2: customization, community, stock plug-ins.

In part 1 I discussed:

  1. Multi-platform
  2. A different workflow

Benefit 4: Customization

What can be customized: pretty much everything, down to the look & feel. Like its creator’s first successful software, Winamp, REAPER supports themes. Suffice to say, there are plenty of excellent (and awful) skins out there, though it’s not my main interest.

Scripts & macros

This is a huge one for me. REAPER has a scripting engine. It’s a DAW that can be manipulated through programming, whether it’s Python, Lua, or its own open source language (EEL).

Even without being a coder, a lot can still be achieved. Plenty can be done with…


In the past twelve months I’ve managed to revolutionize my music software workflow, twice. Here’s part 1 of a brief account of my switch.

TL;DR

In this series of 3 posts, I describe the 8 major benefits that REAPER brought to my music production workflow, and how they pushed me toward a full switch from Pro Tools.

Part 1

  • Cost
  • Multi-platform
  • A different workflow

Part 2

  • Customization
  • Community
  • Stock plug-ins

Part 3

  • Open architecture & development cycle
  • Efficiency

DISCLAIMER

This article reflects my own personal opinions, which are related to how I use a DAW. It’s not meant to judge any of these software. As a matter of fact, I still own and like both Logic and Pro Tools, for their own peculiarities. This is not a tutorial.

From Cubase to Logic to Pro Tools

After starting out…


A Project Analysis, By Minutes To Midnight

What This Post Is About

Working remotely has become an accessible and relatively easy way to collaborate for musicians. In this article, I expose my process for producing effective bass tracks for clients based in a different city or country.

The post is based on my work for Antiquity, and their recent single The Far Side Of The Sun. I’ve been collaborating with Gerald Duchene on his amazing music for more than a year now: a perfect example.

Stage 1: Assessment

Regardless if I have an established working relationship with the client, I start with a proper assessment of the material. I listen to the song and have…


A real-life story of imprisonment and liberty, between two wars and three generations.

The entrance gate to Sachsenhausen
The entrance gate to Sachsenhausen
Photo: Silvia Maggi

TL;DR — During World War II a fascist squad deported my grandfather to Sachsenhausen, where he spent four years. He managed to escape weeks before the Nazi evacuated the camp. I retraced his steps going back to Berlin, and in the process, I wrote a concept album.

Roots

I’ve always known about my maternal grandfather: he deserted the Army during World War II because of his refusal to support the fascist policies of the Italian totalitarian government. He ran with his wife and two toddlers (my mother and my uncle). For several years, they stayed in hiding in the countryside marsh. I couldn’t imagine how harsh a time that was, but these tales made me proud, even when, as a child, I couldn’t fully grasp the context.

What I didn’t know was the ordeal my paternal grandfather went through at the same time. He was never keen to…


Like plenty others, I’m finally about to leave social media, and by that I mean Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Reddit. This post is a personal point of view, it’s not intended as an exhaustive analysis on what is going on with social media, nor am I trying to convince anybody.

Image by pixabay.com

Why Leave Social Media?

Reason 1: Focus

I’m redirecting my attention and time to something more productive and fulfilling. I believe the term social media is an oxymoron. To me, its toxicity has got to a point of no return-not to mention the deliberate addictive mechanisms, their self-declared aim to hog our time as much as they can, and the massive problem with personal data. I don’t even want to go down that rabbit hole.

The thought process was all about: how do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible? …


‘How we’re supposed to make an historically-accurate game about WW2 horrors without Nazis? We don’t know.’

Brilliant article by Gamasutra about the release of the videogame Attentat 1942. Despite the developer’s effort, Google refused to publish the game on their Play Store in Germany, France, Austria and Russia.

I wholeheartedly agree with their quote:

“We firmly believe that videogames are art and can be an important part of public conversations. When we ban everything with any controversial keywords no matter the content, everybody loses.”

Check out the trailer for the game:

Read the full article: Despite gov’t approval, Google rejects Attentat 1942 from Google Play Store in Germany

Originally published at http://blog.minutestomidnight.co.uk on July 21, 2020.


TL;DR — Narration And Production Insights About The Lead Song From Minutes to Midnight’s Concept Album “After 1989”

Sachsenhausen concentration camp, Oranienburg (Berlin), 2019. Photo by Silvia Maggi
Sachsenhausen concentration camp, Oranienburg (Berlin), 2019. Photo by Silvia Maggi
Listen to the album on Spotify

How An Arrangement Became My Lead Song

Back in 2009, I was the bassist for a trio in the Milan area. The band was about to present, in the form of live concerts, a CD that we published a few months earlier. Several songs featured sketchy electric guitars on their own, with neither structure nor rhythm. I revamped one of those by adding bass, a reference drum track, a few keyboard parts. It became a full-fledged song.

The experiment was a success, so we decided to repeat the same process for some of the new compositions. The first one was a…


Three decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it’s time to tell the tale of how a young man managed to escape Germany in 1945, while his grandson made the other way round in 1991, looking for answers that he could only find in 2017.

After 1989: A Trip To Freedom
After 1989: A Trip To Freedom

After 1989: A Trip To Freedom is Minutes to Midnight’s debut solo album. A thoroughly crafted concept, it’s the result of a personal journey through a painful family legacy during World War II and the tumultuous decades that followed.


David Earl running a demo of Logic Pro X — Photo by Apple

One Thousand

The most publicised feature for this free update is the compatibility with the upcoming Mac Pro, along with the increased number of tracks and channels as shown at the recent WWDC:

  • 1000 software instrument channel strips
  • 1000 auxiliary channel strips
  • 1000 external MIDI tracks
  • 12 sends per channel strip

I might enjoy the 12 sends per channel strip; however, I’ve no intention of upgrading my current machine anytime soon (surely not to a Mac Pro).

Also, I’m not sure I’ve met anyone in need of those many tracks/channels. …


Paying Homage to Martin Luther King Jr and Robert Kennedy

Photo: Kennedy King Memorial Initiative

1968. A few hours after Martin Luther King was shot dead by a white man, Robert Kennedy gave a remarkable eulogy in Indianapolis. He acknowledged the pain, but also anger and disbelief, inviting everybody to overcome hatred and violence and seek love and compassion instead.

Although all major cities had riots that night, Indianapolis remained calm. Two months later, Bobby Kennedy was also assassinated.

When I walked in, Mrs King was sitting before the television set, weeping copiously—remembers Stanley Levison, a key adviser to Martin Luther King, who met Coretta King a few hours after Robert Kennedy had been shot.

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