Archive for the ‘Technique’ Category

The Jacob Method (Werckmeister III)

Monday, October 19th, 2015


The Jacob Method refers to a method of playing the Linnstrument with Pianoteq that Jacob Barton discovered when we were together in Winston-Salem NC for the microfest. Essentially the method uses an extreme arpeggio setting on the Linnstrument with its pressure sensitive pads to create a piano voice that can swell. Take a listen…. 360 BPM 32nd note triplets.

Three by 19 edo

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015


I put a GK-3 hex pick up on my 19 edo guitar – what follows are three demonstration pieces that rely on the pitch interpretation of the GP-10 processor. My overall impression that this was successfully accomplished as you can clear hear places where I pushed a decidedly non-12 equal note(s) through the system.

Acoustic 12 string emulation

Distorted harmony in C major (intended to be 12 edo harmony which gets “bent”)

G open tuning

fanfare for a helium shrouded exoplanet

Thursday, June 11th, 2015


fanfare for a helium shrouded exoplanet (unconstrained pitch and percussion) for two ebows and two spring reverb units. Reverb unit MOD P-RMOD-8AB2A1B ($26 – 3 short springs) and Gibbs Manufacturing and Research unit salvaged from a Sears silver tone organ ($0 – 4 spring joined to make 2 long springs) – two tracks with each spring reverberation unit played by two ebows. In the midst of all of the noise incredible resonances with and without beating occur.

Cameron Bobro did something I thought impossible – used this piece as a ground to improvise clarinet over!

Two Inventions for Looped Analog Synthesizer

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015


These are demonstration pieces of a technique
– not intentional pieces of music…

The title should really be SIGNAL looped analog synthesizer.

The basic idea is to use the Korg mini MS-20 as a sound source and use a delay in the signal path to return the delayed signal to the Korg’s frequency to control voltage converter. This is then sent to another delay / reverb to attempt to smooth some of the sharp changes. Invention 2 is the more musical of the two inventions and relies on sound on sound to fill out the signal. Invention 1 is using a long delay time. The graphic, crude as it is, contains the actual signal path. The motive is to find some other way than a sequencer or LFO to generate a self-performing analog system.

Invention 1

Invention 2

Microtonal Tuning a 12 Equal Guitar with Jam Origin’s MIDI Guitar

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015



In this presentation I use Jam Origin’s MIDI Guitar to send a microtonally retuned MIDI stream to Kontakt 5’s string ensemble. The guitar was run through the cakewalk amp sim. In the top graphic I show where the microtonal midi machine is loaded (lower right) and in the next graphic I show the interface of the microtonal machine. A key is to enable the same amount of pitch bend in MIDI guitar as well as the VSTi you are using. In this case it was the standard 2 whole tones. In the sound demo you can hear the 12 equal guitar playing single notes to full chords in 12 equal and at the same time the Kontakt strings in 125 cents per step tuning driven by the Jam Origin included audio VSTi. In sonar be sure to enable MIDI guitar’s midi out in order to put it into the list of your VSTi.

Lee Street Beach (manipulated inharmonic series)

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

The sound is that of my aeolian harp modified with lead fishing weights and then manipulated in Sonar X3. Version 1 is in the video.

Version 1

Version 2

Stars and Stripes Forever in Gene Ward Smith’s Hemifamity27

Sunday, July 6th, 2014


Stars and Stripes Forever transtuned to 12 of 27 from hemifamity27 – marching band sans percussion.
The master tuning is here.

The midi file that I found is of medium quality and this is decidedly a demonstration piece – this tune was chosen because it is a favorite of Gene’s. To get around having to transpose each note individually or as a pitchclass I use the method of picking 12 notes out of the 27 note set and used that to retuned Garritan Concert and Marching Band samples. The actual tuning is listed below. I think it notable that the rather large deviations from 12 equal, where each step is exactly 100 cents, is not very evident if at all.

! 12of_hemifamity27.scl
12 of (3/2)^9 * (10/9)^3 hemifamity tempered

The Coming Storm – harmonic series / JI, electric aeolian harp

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014


The Coming Storm is a 25 minute recording of a thunderstorm that approaches and then releases a deluge of rain. The sounds are a combination of wind blown harmonics, the clicks of lightning, and then play of the strings of the harp by the rain as well as wind. There is some residual background noise that I can’t remove without removing the lightning strikes so it was left in. A surprising (to me) variety of sounds result from this onslaught of nature. Metallic clinks, almost light saber-esque stabs, and the sound of huge things being dragged violently across the harp. Starts out quiet and gets pretty loud.

What I Have Done

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

L'Angelus is an oil painting by French painter Jean-François Millet, completed in 1859.
L’Angelus is an oil painting by French painter Jean-François Millet, completed in 1859.

This is a 24 minute long piece, it will take a while to load and play.

What Have I Done is an ambient setting of a poem I wrote which was recited by Bethan Mathis. We are slowly working on an album together. The music are selected recordings of my Electric Aeolian Harp. Additionally there are field recordings that I made and from field recordings by martian, digifishmusic and looijenga.

Video Exploration of DIY Electric Aeolian Harp With Squirrel Cage Blower

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

My friend Phil loaned a “squirrel cage” furnace blower with a 6 amp motor to help me explore my DIY Electric Aeolian Harp. I’m doing these experiments to help with the design of an eventual hard wood, moisture harden version with gear tuners, or possibly an open cage omnidirectional version (or heck, why not both??). I’m also keen on seeing what I can do to change the harmonic series response interactively with the environment. Having a such a powerful fan imitates a strong gale (I felt a definite chill, my eyes teared, and my nose ran using this fan!). This is a long video and certainly not an exciting film but perhaps of interest of those who are making their own version of an aeolian harp. During the film I mute and pluck stings, try some tuning variation and use the zither pin key as a slide.

This post is a follow up to my original humbucker harp post