This was originally posted as my debut post at Higher Ed Music Critics. There’s a wide variety of tastes over there, and it’s totally worth checking out!
Generally speaking, I dislike superlatives because I find that “favorites” come and go, so for this post, I thought I would put a little spin on it: what follows is a favorite artist from each continent, excluding Antarctica (the Amundsen-Scott Jug Band is still working on their debut album), and South America which I have yet to find a favorite on, and don’t want to be all “Oh yeah, I’ve been following Pasa el Paseo forEVER, and by forever I mean 5 minutes ago”, because I’m not a jerk. And I like cookies. and pizza.
So, in alphabetical order by continent…
Last year, a friend of mine showed me this cool program he found called “Synaesthesia.” It is, as the title reads, “Piano Hero.” Notes fall from the top to the bottom of the screen and when they collide with the bottom, you must hit the appropriate key on your piano / keyboard / MIDI controller. It is a VERY cool tool for training, practicing, and learning new songs. As someone that is not particularly skilled at sight-reading music (I do better learning aurally), any way to get new songs loaded into my brain is welcome.
We inherited a Yamaha Clavinova 350 last year as well, which has been really terrific for practicing; I was previously using a 2/3 size electric piano that was showing its age. I picked up an M-Audio Fast Track Pro interface off of eBay for about $50, and so I can now use the Clavinova as a MIDI controller!
My big Win last week, though, which happens to be what this post is about, is getting it to not only work in Linux (not so hard) but getting the Clavinova to function as the MIDI controller for it (somewhat challenging). Continue reading
A while back, I had posted a project I did for my Electronic Music course. With the close of Fall semester, I have my final project completed. (FINALLY.)
This particular song is a full-length track, mixed, mastered (as best as I know how) that involves actual vocals recorded.
It’s worth knowing a few details first:
The song was composed and written by Melissa. I took her original chord progression and elaborated from it. The reason it’s called the “Epic Fail Mix” is because every time I would play her what I had made so far, she would just shake her head. Not that it’s bad, per se, just that it’s very different from her original folksy acoustic version.
Give it a listen — it’s about 5 minutes long; get ready for a bit of music whiplash about 3 minutes in. Details about the production are below the jump. Continue reading
For my MUS-K 361 course (Intro to MIDI / Electronic Music), my instructor gives us assignments for each unit where we have to create a short 30 sec – 2 min song and demo it in class.
One thing I really like about these assignments, and this may seem counter-intuitive, is that we are restricted to only using the instrument covered in that unit. In this specific assignment, where we discussed synthesis (using the Subtractor in Reason), the assignment restricted us to using 3 – 6 Subtractors only — no effects processors, no drum machines, not even equalizers.
A game designer, Mark Rosewater, that works for Wizards of the Coast once wrote an article about game development (specifically for Magic: the Gathering) where he debunked various myths about design. One point he made that has always stuck with me is “Restriction breeds creativity.” Continue reading
“Indianapolis, how about you suck on THIS,” growled the cape-wearing guitarist from the bad Killswitch Engage, before they promptly kicked into their opening song. They were among the dozens of bands playing at the Verizon Wireless Ampitheater in Noblesville, IN.
My friend Chris and I have been attending concerts together for a few years now. The only time I really see him is when we go to concerts, and it’s generally one concert every 12-18 months, but it’s been pretty consistent so far. We’ve seen Combichrist & KMFDM, Marilyn Manson, and this year the Mayhem Festival (a bunch of Metal bands). He and I knew each other from back in the party-days, since we were both DJs (he’s much more well-known than I am though, he’s played in many states across the country).
We had decent seats — in between orchestra and general admission (if you’re familiar with the venue, it was section F, row M, aisle seat). The festival started at 1pm, but we didn’t get there until a little after 6. We were really only interested in seeing the headliners, and I was somewhat limited on available time so we compromised by going late. Continue reading
I have used Propellerheads products in the past (Rebirth, Recycle, etc.) so I was loosely familiar with some of the technology already.
But Reason is a beast. A complicated, intimidating, but amazingly powerful beast. The interface looks so complex if you have no prior experience with hardware synth programming, it can be nigh impossible to find an entry point without feeling completely overwhelmed. Continue reading