Monday, January 27, 2014

2013 Suite (Lee Hartsfeld, 2014)

Welcome to my newest composition, mostly made up of things I wrote 20 or so years ago.  Exceptions: Mars Rock (improvised) and Blog Gone (semi-ad-libbed).  You'll hear some of the built-in voices (strings, mainly) of my Magix Music Maker 2014, which I'd love more if it wasn't set up to "loop" everything.  Some of this suite was mixed on my Sonar X2 program, and all editing was done on my Magix Audio Cleaning Lab MX.  How did I find time to go to the bathroom?  Good question.

2013 Suite, of course, is my musical tribute to 2012.  I mean, 2013.  The big challenge was finding events that didn't involve war, guns, or natural disasters, but I somehow managed to: Bridgegate, the Nuclear Option, the new Pope, the stand-up comic intelligentsia (Hey, who wants to listen to actual smart people?), and... Rachel Maddow?  Yes, Rachel.  I had a nice string quartet and couldn't figure out what to title it, so I call it "Rachel Maddow."  Someone who made my 2013 so much less aggravating than it would have been, TV-wise.

And there's the self-explanatory Blog Gone.  No, my blog isn't gone, but it's not the same blog it was.  (I hate to keep reminding it.)  Mars Rock refers to a meteorite discovered (?) in 2013 (or maybe that's the year it hit our planet?) which tells scientists much about the early Martian surface.

The learning-curve contrast between my Magix composing software and the Sonar X-2 is surreal.  After two sessions on the Magix, I was mixing MIDI and audio tracks together and exporting them as WAVE files.  After two X-2 sessions, I was still struggling to figure out what, if anything, the on-line instructions had in common with the actual software, detail-wise.  Cleverly hidden menus, an Alice-in-Wonderland layout, and features that refuse to work with whatever PC you happen to own--these are the charms of X2.

The sounds you hear are the excellent tones of my Casio WK-3800, plus select, built-in patches on the Magix Music Maker 2014.  At last, I have violin sounds that sound reasonably like violins.  The Magix's packaged sounds run the gamut from awful to impressive.  Download 2013 Suite today--you'll (possibly) be glad you did!  I (can possibly) guarantee it.

Click here to hear: 2013 Suite (Lee Hartsfeld)

Another Year, Another Trip Around the Sun
Mars Rock
Busting the Filibuster
The Stand-up Comic Intelligentsia
Reshaping the Vatican
Rachel Maddow
Blog Gone

Composed and played by Lee Hartsfeld, using the Casio WK-3800, Magix Music Maker 2014, Sonar X2, and Magix Audio Cleaning Lab MX.



Aging Child said...

Oh boy, oh boy - this looks like it's going to be good!

Thanks not just for the compositions - and playing thereof - but also a look at the nuts-and-bolts of what's invloved.

Here's a question I may have asked before (apologies, if so!): do your keyboards have anything along the lines of "vox humana", something paralleling the sound of human (choral) voices, much like you're able to get parallels to string "voices"?

Thanks as always, and kind regards!

A. Gene Childe

Lee Hartsfeld said...

The Casio has several sampled-voice tones, including "VoicePno," and another called something like "ChoStrng," but I can't find them all at the moment. The Casio chassis only lists a sampling of voices, and I'm not having any luck right now punching them up. I'm sure Casio gave me a full listing somewhere (as part of their scant paperwork) but if so, I lost it!

I'm so organized, it's scary.

Every time I poke around on this thing, I find new sounds to exploit. There's a tympani tone that, if played in the octaves above Middle C, sounds beautifully wrong.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

I can't believe I typed "beautifully wrong." I could write movie dialogue.