Instrumental+Music Percussion+Music Classical+Music

Friday, December 31, 2004

 

Scarlatti Keyboard works

For me the jangling sound of the Harpsicord gets in the way of appreciating the music so Scarlatti was an obvious port of call when coupled with the large volume of MID files available.

The steel drums handled the percusive aspects of the music in the right hand well and I took the opportunity to experiment with several different accompaniments - sometimes just in the left hand. The Marimba worked particulary well in the later case but others included Moog synthesized french horn, soft pad and an elf bass. The overall sound is quite different from the Harpsicord original - much cleaner and smoother with evocations of sunny caribbian shores.

There are many more sonatas to work on if these prove popular.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

 

Mozart Piano Quartets

Most of the Mozart MIDI files are subject to copyright claims by the sequencers - no doubt due to the complexity of the task they faced with so many symphonies and concertos. However two Piano Quartets offered me an opportunity to show what could be done with four parts.

I used the steel band in place of the piano, the Mega Moog to replace the violin and a pad for the other stringed instruments and it proved relatively straight forward to get a decent mix despite the complexity of the music. The end result is more Old World than some others - experiments with more exotic instrumentation, such as pancarina pipes for the strings, did not feel right. The contrast between the evocative steel band sound and the power of the Mega Moog is sufficient to make an interesting mix, with the other synthesizer very much in a supporting role.

This is one that I might revisit relatively soon because it feels like there is more potential here. I was operating close to my processor capacity limits and improved versions of two of my VST instruments promise useful perfomance enhance ments which should help me to address this.


Wednesday, December 29, 2004

 

Beethoven remixed

At first glance Beethoven's work did not look likely to provide much in the way of useful material for this site because much of the MIDI sequencing has focussed on heroic attempts at the Symphonies or piano sonatas.

But to my surprise the Bagatelles proved to be quite entertaining and it is becoming evident that keyboard works will be a particularly productive in providing adaptable pieces where new instrumentation can generate interest and exitement. Here it proved possible to incorporate the synthesised Marimba from the Moog and together with the steel drums to produce an all round Carabbian feel to the sound. (I am right up against my system's processing capacity here because this marimba sustains dying notes for a long time and the volume of calculations build up fast in complicated pieces.)

The real surprises however, were the marches. More percussion instruments were introduced including bells, glockenspeil, vibes and for the Turkish the Hammond organ with one of its more percussive settings. The overall effect is less new world but they are still evocative and fresh.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

 

Bach Fugues

The first step was to checkout that some decent music could be produced from the resources available. More of Bach's music has been sequenced anonymously than any other composer - that and the percussive contrapuntal character of much of his work made him an obvious composer to start with.

It turned out that fugues in particular benefit from the urgency of the steel drum sound and contrasted well with the wonderfully solid Mega Moog bass tones. The instrumentation was not too far away from the organ with its range of voices for different parts - something distinctive but not totally out of touch with Bach's original intentions. So we decided to feature them not only on the Bach page but also the home page. They also fitted the bill in terms of length and feasible download. The market for MP3 tracks has obviously developed around the 3 minute pop single which makes it tricky to position significantly longer pieces.

Monday, December 27, 2004

 

Getting Started

After twenty years or so of playing around with music on computers I have launched into the publication game with www.download2mp3.com .

Right from the start the Acorn BBC B computer had midi connectivity and very simple sequencer software began to appear. Keyboards and even a drum machien were added following the upgrade to an A2000 and an interface card that enabled multiple midi connections. A little while latter a trip to (Tin Pan Alley) Denmark Street saw me carry away a Roland SC-155 synthesizer and things began to get more serious.

A trip to New Orleans took me into a music shop on the same street where Jelly Roll Morton used to play - a book of Library of Congress transcriptions of his compositons came home with me. The labourious MIDI encoding which ensued was rewarded by some quite decent piano sounds and then jazz band arrangements. CDs of his original recordings started to appear and I was impressed by the similaries with my efforts.

Before embarking on the next piece I decided to check whether anyone else had already done it by searching the internet which I had recently aquired access to. Search facilites were relatively primitive then but I found enough to encourage me to continue searching for MIDI files - building a collection and then making it available to download from my website. There were obviously some copyright risks and I empasised the personal use limitations which some of the sequencers associated with their work. After an approach by a copyright agent I took all the pop music off the site and carried on until my ISP inexplicably took the site off the air.

Things were left like that until earlier this year I started to read about the VST emulations of famous synthesizers and the Hammond organ of my youth. After another trip to Tin Pan Alley I came away with a Moog Modular V5 emulation and started re-arranging all my Emerson Lake and Palmer files.

Download2MP3 was born from the observation that computers are best their best with percussive music, a chance discovery of a really impressive steel drum emulation and a desire not to infringe anyone's copyright.

This blog will track my progress and hopefully provide an opportunity to interact with other music producers and listeners.

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