Some cool beat making software images:
This super useful music software was intended to help jazz students learn recorded solos, but it’s also ideal for pulling samples from digital audio.
The top part of the screen shows about eight bars of "Afro Blue" by John Coltrane. Two bars are highlighted. Once you highlight a section, you can play it back as a loop. You can also hear the loop slowed down to half or quarter speed with the pitches intact. This feature is invaluable for figuring out the twistier passages.
The measure and section markers I put in by hand. The ability to stick these markers in from the keyboard during playback takes some focus. It’s a lot like what I imagine conducting is like. Once you’ve got your bars and beats identified and looped, you can export them as samples with one mouse click. If you just want to use the loop at its original pitch and tempo, you’re in business. I usually drop my samples into Recycle for further slicing and dicing. You could do all this with Pro Tools but it would take ten times longer.
At the bottom of the screen, the software is guessing which pitches are included in the sample. The sharp peaks at the right show that the soprano sax plays A flat, B flat, C and E flat during the loop. The software has a harder time figuring out the pitches in the more crowded/muddily recorded lows and mids, but when you give it shorter samples to work with, it gets more accurate. If you give it a single cleanly-recorded piano chord, it can usually identify the individual notes accurately. Helpful!
Once you’re a sufficiently experienced musician, you can figure out pop songs in a few listens. But complex jazz and classical music can be impenetrable to the best of us when it’s rushing past in real time. Without a score to guide me, a lot of the inner logic of Coltrane or Monk would be beyond my grasp. In the absence of sheet music, this software opens all of it up for my participation.
See a blog post about visualizing music.
new (to me) book stack – photo of the day, Saturday, April 24th, 2010
Image by BreatheLovePlay (Dawn)
I did actually make a photo that was clear and steady enough to be able to read all the book titles in this stack, but I like the color quality in this one better and I kind of like the way this one blurred. so here it is, untouched by photo editing software. the titles in the stack from top to bottom are: yoga for wimps, poses for the flexibility impaired by miriam austin, the reader by bernhard schlink, the art of travel by alain de botton, there’s no such place as far away by richard bach, a guide to reading & writing japanese (tuttle), backcountry skiing, the sierra club guide to skiing off the beaten track by lito tejada-flores, why women should rule the world by dee dee myers, renascence and other poems by edna st. vincent millay, vamps & tramps by camille paglia, the lazy gardener’s book by william morwood, house made of dawn by n. scott momaday, national geographic traveler costa rica, discovery channel costa rica, hope, human and wild by bill mckibben, zen and the cross country skier by blackburn and jorgenson, and last but not least, the physiology coloring book. these are all from various used books stores, or hand me downs, in the past week or two. I want to read them all, right away. i don’t know which one to read first. and missing from the stack is, "don’t shoot the dog, the new art of teaching and training" by karen pryor which is the one I’m reading first, I guess. I’m on page 18 and I really wish I could read much faster. there is just so much to read that’s interesting in this world!