Posts containing noise I’ve made and pulse-code-modulated into a series of ones and zeroes.

Getting Into Trackers

Posted April 12, 2012 @ 9:15 am | Filed under: Geekery,Soundblogs

I’ve been wanting to get back into writing music more regularly, and to that end I’m exploring a particular type of music composition tool called a tracker. It’s about as close as you can get to writing music by editing a text file. Actually come to think of it, you can do that… maybe I’ll try that someday.

Anyway, trackers got their start on 8-bit computers, and as a result they’re a great way to really extract all the capabilities of the classic sound chips. They accomplish this by letting you create your own collection of instrument patches which can each combine all the available waveforms, envelopes, and filters. On the C64, for example, this means you can create your own bass drum sound by combining a white noise sound with a low triangle wave, or perhaps a sawtooth note with an intense volume envelope. Then, you take those instruments and arrange them in a pattern editor, which to the untrained eye looks like a nonsensical grid of letters and numbers. There are several C64 trackers out there, but there’s one I like in particular which is both powerful and relatively easy to use, called Cybertracker.

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Some classical guitar tunes

Posted June 11, 2010 @ 8:21 pm | Filed under: Soundblogs

Here are some songs I recorded for Beth’s birthday a few years ago. (This is pretty much the only remaining evidence that I ever studied classical guitar…)

  • Bouree
    (J.S Bach)
    Audio MP3
  • Valse Venezolano No. 4
    (Antonio Lauro)
    Audio MP3
  • Legend Of Zelda Theme
    (Koji Kondo)
    Audio MP3
  • Prelude 1
    (Heitor Villa-Lobos)
    Audio MP3
  • Storybook Love
    (Willy DeVille)
    Audio MP3
  • Download all songs

Reverse, a one-night electronical diddy

Posted July 6, 2009 @ 10:05 pm | Filed under: Soundblogs

Here’s a little 1-minute tune that I wrote in an evening, originally for a friend who wanted something for a film soundtrack. He asked for it to be just over 3 minutes long, and focus on “reverse” elements so I threw in some reverse drums and backwards guitar tracks. The whole song is kind of an almost-palindrome as well: the melodies from the second half are reversed versions of those from the first half. I never did feel like it was finished, especially the louder section in the middle, but “Oh,” as they say, “well.”

  • Reverse
    Audio MP3

It was made using all free (FOSS) software tools: Ardour, Hydrogen, LADSPA plugins, as well as Cynthcart on a Commodore 64 (though I’m not sure if Cynthcart is “free” by the FSF definition, the author does make the source code available).

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