MP3's of Mediocre Music

A lot of people don't know this, but I have been writing music as a hobby for years. In college, I was even in a band; we had two gigs before one of the musicians moved, and we never quite got around to getting back together.

So, years later, it's finally possible for me to inflict my compositions on the outside world yet again, through the magic of MP3 files! Of course, the chances are you aren't here to read about my music; you're here looking to see if you can find proof that the MP3 format is useful only to pirate music. I'm afraid I can't help you there.

Actual Music

Only three pieces up so far. It's not named, it's probably not finished, but who cares? If you'll download it, hey, what am I losing?

NEWS! As of 7/14/2000, I've added an early draft of a new piece.

NEWS! As of 7/7/2000, I've uploaded a slightly newer rendition of Punchline Groove, with a few new samples and minor tweaks.

NEWS! As of 7/6/2000, I've re-encoded these with older (v1.2 or so) ID3 tags, and slightly lower quality. The songs are now 3-5 MB, instead of 6-9.

Primevibe. This piece was originally written for the 24-note arpeggiator on my roommate's Roland D5, where there was a patch which had only one sound; I was playing with using mathematical data to define notes. In particular, the strength of the beats was inversely proportional to the number of factors. Thus, the 31st beat is loud, but the 32nd is quiet. Actually, this got rotated around a little to start on a strong beat, but it's been the same idea ever since. This is a very early draft, as of 7/14/2000, and is probably not what the final piece will be like.

A Piece Of Music. This was first done on a lowly Korg 03R/W, some time around 1991 or 1992. Well, it didn't sound like this. The most recognizable parts remaining are the main kick/snare line, and the weird-sounding high hat line. (To this day, I have never found anything that sounds at all like that, except on the 03R/W). The ending frankly sucks, but I was sick of trying to decide where to go.

Jesse Calls Him Linus. No, not Linus Torvalds. Linus, the character in Peanuts. Originally, we (I? My spouse?) thought this was Linus, but of course, it's Schroeder. Still, the name stuck. This was done entirely on one synthesizer, using pretty much generic parts; I think I may have tweaked one drum sound, but I was mostly writing this to get to know the unit in question. (It's a Korg NS5R, and it's very nice.) I'm mostly content with this piece. (Oh, and if you're wondering, Jesse is my spouse, and she commented, about an early version of this, "that sounds like that kid from Peanuts". I still hadn't named the song, so...)

Punchline Groove. So, a long time ago, I wanted a sampler. So, I went to the local Guitar Center (ick), and when we discussed return policy (in case the sampler didn't work out), they said "you can return it for any reason within thirty days". Jesse joked "hey, I've had this for twenty-five minutes, and I don't sound like the Chemical Brothers yet." So, about a week later, I discovered the Yamaha A3000, and I ended up returning the sampler I got at Guitar Center, because it just wasn't that neat. My A3000 finally showed up (I bought it used), and I dragged Jesse into the computer room to listen to it. "Say something," I said. "Anything at all." Jesse started talking, and I hit the "record" button. She was saying "There's no punchline, it's not actually a joke, uhm, I'm just talking." So, I got this sample which started out around the "s" of "there's". And I noticed that, if you moved it down a couple octaves, it had this weird sort of groove to it. In fact, for a brief moment there, it sounded a little like the intro to something by the Chemical Brothers... Anyway, the song has migrated a lot since then, but I still like to think of it as "the punchline groove"

About the "Band"

It's just me. Not only is it just me, I'm not even playing any instruments. Back in college, I used to play guitar, but I was never very good at it. I've planned to learn to play various instruments, but when it comes down to it, the thing I most want to do is experiment with ideas that are more fun to describe than to play - so, I use a sequencer. None of the pieces posted so far contain a single bit of audio that was not generated by MIDI, and none of them contain a single MIDI event entered through any kind of musical instrument or similar interface. Point, click, and type only.

Gear? Well, if you call it "gear", either you're a sales rep from a high-pressure retail music store chain, or you're some kind of techie. In the former case, I've got all I need, go away. In the latter case, sure, I'd love to discuss my collection of toys.

The "studio" consists of a handful of synth modules, a couple of effects boxes, a small mixer, and my Mac. The Mac has some limited hard disk recording capabilities; so far, these are used mostly for "final mixdown" and generating MP3's. I also used it to do this page.

In general, I've tended towards a collection of specialized synth modules, rather than a few "workhorse" units. Most of my synths are "cheap" (as synthesizers go). I favor a variety of different sounds over a single awe-inspiring box I guess at some point I'll post a list.