Music Machines

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Music Studio

This is my music studio. It’s where I forget all my troubles and just jam away. My favorite machine is the new Korg arranger. I can sound like a big band, a jazz quartet or a symphony. I also have a Yamaha SY77. This is a true FM synthesis machine and sounds can be edited with operators or “patches”. This is very similar to how we used to use patch cords between VCO’s, (Voltage Controlled Oscillator) VCA’s (Voltage Controlled Amplifier) and VCF’s (Voltage Controlled Filters) in the early days of experimentation. We also used ADSR generators to create the various parameters related to attack, Decay, Sustain and Release of the sound. Back then, we only had monotonic machines or single sounds. Today, we have hundreds of samples that can be played simultaneously (polyphony) to create an entire symphony from one keyboard. Also in the studio is a digital mixing console, a line amp, a Kawai drum machine and a fairly robust audio system. A PC is also located at the center of the studio. This provides access to multiple digital editing but also can be used to create an ACID 4 production. I also use Sonic Foundry software products to digitally edit my songs. Last but certainly not least, my son-in-law loaned me his Kurtzweil K2000. This is a great synth and has some terrific samples installed. By the way, the sounds used in newer syths are sampled. That is, they are true digital recordings of the actual instruments.

MIDI

All of the instruments in the studio (and the PC) are connected via Musical Instrument Digital Interface or MIDI for short. This was a great invention and is the glue that permits modern synths like the Korg arranger to play different sampled instruments simultaneously in a style format. This allows me to play a song “in the style of” any music genre such as rock, big band, jazz or symphonic. There are also drum and bass kits included so all the rhythm tracks follow the chord progression in the “style” of the music genre.

The term arranger when applied to the newer keyboards simply means all the sounds are automatically arranged into a style. This kind of machine is very popular with song writers today as they can get a true feeling for what the entire song will sound like with backup instrumentation.

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