Coming soon!


Friday, October 12, 2012

Its called What?!?

O.k., so I was planning on using a different channel name. Turns out that the one I wanted is already taken (sort of). So this blog will remain, as will the Performance Emulation name. It is a decent name but I will be looking for something more general as I branch out and make non-music related videos. Something nonspecific like "Squashed Frog T. V." or "Square Circle" or something silly like that. I started a new channel on youtube. I found a website called that offers recordings in the public domain. I can't believe that it took me so long to find this site. The significance of this site can not be overstated and I expect it to grow quite a bit over the years. My new channel focuses on using music from Musopen. I have three main goals for creating these videos. First I want to finish projects fast. I have the tendency to agonize over details and get bogged down on projects. You might notice this if you check out the release dates on my videos. I want to force myself to be efficient and learn better time management and workflow skills. Along these lines my goal is to upload one video a day. I have met this goal with the exception of one weekend when I was out of town. A good deal of the videos are "under review" however. Second I want to have fun and see what results I can get with Plane9 and some other types of non-midi generated visualizations. Third I want to promote because it is pretty much the coolest thing ever (after Air conditioning). Many of the recordings are pretty low quality. I use some eq and other tools to clean them up as best as I can. However I am not an expert in audio restoration so the results are not exactly stunning all of the time. However there are some great performances available from Musopen as well as some nice amateur ones. So far it has been a fun and challenging project. Overall the videos are lower quality when compared to my main channel, but I am learning a lot about working fast.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bach BWV 846 series

This series of videos uses two different styles. One uses the traditional harpsichord while the other uses a synthesizer. There are a total of six videos: prelude x2, fugue x2, and prelude + fugue x2. This one brings back some memories: the Fugue is one of the first pieces I ever sequenced when learning MIDI. I used Digital Performer 3.

I first had the idea of making an alternate version with the Mozart piano sonata (I still need to finish the other two movements of that one). I like the traditional sounds of pianos and other instruments, but at the same time I am fascinated by the endless possibilities offered by digital synthesizers. So why not make two versions? I was planning a third version for the Mozart sonata, but I decided that the time would be better spent making versions of different pieces rather than focusing on a single work. This strategy of alternate versions has the advantage that one or two of them will get by the automatic detection system that youtube uses. So far only a single video has made it past.

While this system is frustrating, its not really youtube's fault. Blame your representative in congress (and throw in the lawyers as well!! LOL)

In any case, I will be winding down this blog and replacing it with another that covers all of the activities of my channel and not just the music visualizations. This will include migrating the posts here, but also updating them. I have come to the conclusion that they are too technical in nature. I think anyone reading this is more interesting in why I chose a piece than what the LKFS level is for a video (for example).

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mozart Sonata K V 545 1st Movement Alternate Version

The idea for this video was to get a performance that sounded as if it were played by a computer. I took out all tempo changes but left in the phrasing (I can't stand all these unphrased midi performances, they hurt my ears!)

One of my favorite film composers is Wendy Carlos. I was going for the feel rather than explicit recreation of her work. I am thinking more of Switched on Bach than Tron here.

The instrument I used was provided by Arturia. They gave away the Minimoog V Original free for a single day. This is an excellent synth to be giving away for free. It does have some bugs. Gift horse and all that. The one topic that is discussed constantly is how close to the original instrument does it sound? Is it a 100% accurate recreation? I am not so concerned with the percentage. Is it 70? 95%? Who cares? It sounds like a moog, and it sounds freaking awesome. And it was free. A win win really.

I want to do a third version of this piece. I was thinking of using a FM synth for the next one. Who knows?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mozart Sonata K V 545 1st Movement

I really enjoyed making this video. It was challenging in some ways. This has to do with the way the piece was composed. After spending some time with it, I am convinced that 'facile' refers more to compositional technique than to difficulty in playing. I don't mean that it is a simple piece; rather I mean that it is very simple in its construction. The whole thing is pretty much constructed from scales and arpeggios. This offers some difficulty in interpretation: how to phrase a bunch of scales and arpeggios and not make them sound boring? Well, I did my best!

I ran into a problem while making the visualization for this video. I could not get the audio to line up to the MAM player output. I eventually came to the conclusion that the MAM player does not like tempo ramps. I treats the ramp like a step, thus the misalignment problem. I think this is what my problem was a while back with the Für Elise video. In any case it was a great excuse to use the Zgame visualizer again. Can you tell which preset I like? Yeah, that one.

I have a confession to make. I am a hoarder. A hoarder of vsti's. I have bought a fair number of them, and I have found more freeware instruments than anyone should have. Synth1 (freeware) has over 8,000 presets for example. And that is just one of them.

So I need to use all of these for something. It also turns out that I am deeply interested in interpreting timeless masterpieces using new instruments. I can only imagine what Mozart would have done, had he had access to something like NI's Reaktor. Well, we can only guess. However we can hear his music using these instruments.

I will combine my psychotic urge to download every free vsti (even the bad ones) and my interest in using them on classic masterpieces. There will be another version or two of this movement using some as yet to be determined synthesizers. I can't wait!