Saturday, September 09, 2006

Patch 2: Trumpet & French Horn

Here it is, in all of it's trumpety glory:

02: Trumpet & French Horn (mp3, 2MB)

Here's the patch:

(Click for a full-size PDF.)

I decided that this sound called for a more studied approach than my last one. An actual composition, written in Finale, sent to the ARP via MIDI. I would kill several birds with one stone:
- learn how to get MIDI signals out of my computer;
- avoid the latency problem on the mbox (because I can record each line separately);
- take on a compositional challenge I've not done recently (4 part harmony)

The composition took me longer than I expected. It'd been a while since I did any four-part composition or arranging, and even with the radness of having Finale play the parts together for me as I composed, it still took a long time. I'm happy with the results, though; it's got a steady rhythmic feel that makes it come off as alomst baroque, but the harmonic structure is more dense & modern (perhaps a little jazz influenced). The modal center of the piece keeps shifting, so it's not really in any one key. If you're interested, here's the score: PDF | Finale

The tones don't exactly sound like trumpets or french horns, but you can (kind of) see the resemblance (sort of). I opted for a sound somewhere in the middle of the two instruments.

Getting the composition to play on the ARP required a USB-Midi interface; I went to Shred Center and picked up a Midisport Uno. Another $40 dropped, but for a good cause.

Recording the parts back into my computer was a bit of a trick, as Finale wouldn't play back midi while Protools was running (probably jealous). So I extracted the parts in Finale and exported them individually to MIDI, then imported those into Protools, which can play back MIDI and record audio simultaneously.

The first pass sounded a little bit too synth like, so I dampened the envelope to sound a bit duller and re-recorded the parts at a slower tempo (which was easy after having imported those MIDI files into Protools). I had originally planned to manually add expressions to the tracks as I recorded them, but I didn't; I may do that for a future composition, but this time I decided to just let the parts stand.

A little stereo separation and d-verb on the results to make it nicer to listen to, and it's a wrap. I may post some more compositions along this line, or I may just move on to my next challenge: Patch 3, "Trucker Bass". Seriously.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello. Prompt how to get acquainted with the girl it to me to like. But does not know about it
I have read through one history
Each of you has your personal story; it is your history. Keeping a diary or writing your feelings in a special notebook is a wonderful way to learn how to think and write about who you are -- to develop your own identity and voice.

People of all ages are able to do this. Your own history is special because of your circumstances: your cultural, racial, religious or ethnic background. Your story is also part of human history, a part of the story of the dignity and worth of all human beings. By putting opinions and thoughts into words, you, too, can give voice to your inner self and strivings.

A long entry by Anne Frank on April 5, 1944, written after more than a year and a half of hiding from the Nazis, describes the range of emotions 14-year-old Anne is experiencing:

". . . but the moment I was alone I knew I was going to cry my eyes out. I slid to the floor in my nightgown and began by saying my prayers, very fervently. Then I drew my knees to my chest, lay my head on my arms and cried, all huddled up on the bare floor. A loud sob brought me back down to earth, and I choked back my tears, since I didn't want anyone next door to hear me . . .

"And now it's really over. I finally realized that I must do my school work to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that's what I want! I know I can write. A few of my stories are good, my descriptions of the Secret Annex are humorous, much of my diary is vivid and alive, but . . . it remains to be seen whether I really have talent . . .

"When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that's a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer? I hope so, oh, I hope so very much, because writing allows me to record everything, all my thoughts, ideals and fantasies.

"I haven't worked on Cady's Life for ages. In my mind I've worked out exactly what happens next, but the story doesn't seem to be coming along very well. I might never finish it, and it'll wind up in the wastepaper basket or the stove. That's a horrible thought, but then I say to myself, "At the age of 14 and with so little experience, you can't write about philosophy.' So onward and upward, with renewed spirits. It'll all work out, because I'm determined to write! Yours, Anne M. Frank

For those of you interested in reading some of Anne Frank's first stories and essays, including a version of Cady's Life, see Tales From the Secret Annex (Doubleday, 1996). Next: Reviewing and revising your writing

8:38 AM  

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