Monday, January 31, 2005

ASCII Generator

ASCII Generator

_ _ ___ _
| | | ___ _ _ _ _ | _> ___ ___ | |
| ' |/ ._>| '_>| | | | <__/ . \/ . \| |
|__/ \___.|_| `_. | `___/\___/\___/|_|

Thursday, January 27, 2005

sequencer -

sequencer - - a cool flash sequencer. A simple but elegant little compositional device. Not it won't replace SONAR, but if you're in the mood for a fun little scratch pad to lay down a groove, try this out.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

VSTi Sampling Made Easy with the SFZ format and engine

rgc:audio software :: The sfz format - this is something I've been reading up on and have spent some time dabbling with. The concept is very simple and it really seems to work well. Here's how I'm using it in my "lab":

* Author your various .WAV audio samples (Trumpet, Flugelhorn, weird sounds, etc.) - anything you want!
* Create a simple "sfz" file using your editor to specify the note, key assignments, and lots of other parameter data.
* The sfz format has LOTS of stuff in it, but it can be simple too.
* Download the free sfz player
* Access your or other sfz audio samples via MIDI using any VSTi enabled software tool (SONAR, Cuebase, et al.)
* Enjoy!

On the commercial front, (me) is looking into ways of providing our customers, students, producers, composers, arrangers,, with empowering tools. Many have been asking for a way to combine the best of Real Trumpet with Virtual Trumpet. Guess what folks - this is it! Obviously, Real Trumpet and Virtual Trumpet are their own things and can't be "replaced" of course! But an easy-to-use audio sample format that enables flexible MIDI access - we'll, that's very cool. And the audio quality and flexibility of the sfx format is extremely powerful.

There are still some nagging questions about sample intellectual property (namely, how do content authors distribute their audio sample libraries to customers while still being able to reasonably protect their intellectual property from being duplicated, replicated, stollen, etc.) - and maybe that's not the point or even an issue for some, but it's certainly a consideration many, including myself, are probably mulling over.

Anyway, I did some preliminary tests with my own Flugelhorn sfz enabled/empowered audio library and used it as a VSTi from within SONAR and the results were fabulous! It will take some work to get it ready for primetime (like I've already done with Real Trumpet), but I've heard the future - and it sounds great!

NPR : Computer Music Program Matches Human's Riffs

NPR : Computer Music Program Matches Human's Riffs - fascinating audio interview about research and a brief history of integrating computers into the compositional and/or performance process.

This is, of course, not exactly news to those who regularly compose and dabble in technology (and what musician today doesn't?). Still, it's still comforting to know that some of the funky far out dreams we have (interactively jamming and collaborating with other musicians, tools that intuitively help us realize our musical musings) are shared by lots and lots of other folks doing research and implementing wild and crazy stuff...neat!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

On Our Way

This composition was written especially for the Early Bird Jazz Band students at Linus Pauling Middle School - these guys get up extra early just for the fun of making music. They are truly on their way! They sound great too!

Here's an MP3 recording of On Our Way (by Rob Birdwell) ~5 minutes long. I did a quick overdub of the Trumpet parts but the rest is all MIDI it sounds, er...well, sort of how it should sound...but everyone knows you REAL players will sound MUCH better! With a bit of luck and hard work we'll be ready to perform this as a combined group with the Corvallis High School Jazz Band(s) at our concert, Wednesday, January 26 2005 at 7 PM, at CHS.

Note to players: Get to know the form of the chart (where sections repeat, where to break, where the D.S. goes back to, where the coda is, etc.). There's a LOT of harmony and accidentals in this arrangement! (Welcome to the world of Jazz!) Trust the part - most of the notes are actually right! Practice those challenging parts slowly - you might not be able to play with the recording right away, but DO listen to the recording and do work through it so you can play along. Once you've worked through your part of few times and begin to feel confident, crank up that stereo and play along. Remember, every practice session should be like a performance.

Have fun!

Attention Middle School and High School Jazz Ensemble/Band directors: the full score and parts to On Our Way are available from - contact me for the details.

On Our Way - MP3 rendition of the Full Score ~5 minutes
On Our Way - PDF Director Score

Difficulty: 2.5 - 3

  • Saxs (Alto 1, Alto 2, Tenor 1, Tenor 2, Baritone Sax)
  • Trumpets 1, 2, & 3
  • Trombones 1 & 2
  • Bass
  • Drums
  • Percussion 1 & 2
  • Guitar 1 (Jazz)
  • Guitar 2 (Overdrive)
  • Piano
  • Organ
  • Synth