Tag: music-making

October 18, 2020
At the end of last year, I signed up for a Kickstarter for a hand held instrument called Orba. It is a hand held synth and MIDI controller, but importantly, it was sold as much on its internal capabilities than as a control for external sources.

August 14, 2020
July 6, 2020
In 1994, I recorded an album. It was a home recording job, but wasn’t completely a solo effort. The vocals were all me, and – I think – all of the instrumentation, except what was sequenced. I also did a lot of the engineering, but it was recorded in the midst of a party weekend in Brighton & Home, with lots of friends helping with button-pushing, tweaks and advice.

June 12, 2020
May 7, 2019
I have an old Parrot piano accordion, which was given to me by an aunt many years ago. It was the larger (37 keys, 80 buttons) of two accordions she had and played, and was then too heavy for her to manage.

Knowing I was musical, she asked me if I wanted it. Somewhat startled, I answered yes.

October 9, 2017
Since buying my Tenor guitar, in 2015, I haven’t done much more than play around with it – certainly nothing serious.

This is mainly because I found myself spoilt for choice in terms of tunings. “Standard” tuning is in fifths, CGDA, but they are also commonly tuned to “Irish”, GDAE (also in fifths, or Chicago, DGBE (like the top 4 strings on a 6-string guitar).

March 30, 2017
December 14, 2016
My guitar playing friends sometimes play a game. They work out just how many guitars they own, laugh and shake their heads sadly, and admit that yes, that is quite enough, isn’t it. Then they go out and buy another one.

I consider myself more of a singer than a guitarist, so for a long time considered myself immune to the game. Then one day I actually counted the 6-strings, 12-strings, strumsticks and ukuleles, not to mention the tenor guitar and guitar banjo, and nearly had a fit.

December 1, 2016
October 19, 2016
October 17, 2016
The Zoom H6 is a great handy 6-track recorder. It can be used stand-alone, or as an audio interface to a Windows PC, Mac, iPad and (undocumented) Android. Recordings made on it are easily digitally transferred to a PC or Mac, to be imported into the DAW or editor of your choice – it is just a matter of hooking it up with USB and copying the tracks.

However, it is not so simple to digitally copy audio tracks into the Zoom – there is no process for this.

October 26, 2015
Over the weekend, I’ve been playing with scoring some of my songs. It’s been on my to-do list for a very long time; although most of my songs exist as lyric or chord-sheets (more recently in chordpro format), very few of my songs have notes on paper. This is not a problem for me, as I remember my tunes better than I recall my lyrics, but it makes it difficult to share original songs.

I’ve been encouraged to look at a few large packages, including Notion and the more affordable Progression. I do intend to examine those, but for the moment, I have been using the free and open source MuseScore. This has been a revelation; although I expect it has less functionality than the more commercial packages, I’ve managed to hit the road running and produce a decent bit of sheet music.