Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Creator

He Stayed In Thursday Night, And Created Me!
It is Sunday afternoon, December 17th. I am going to go over to Howard Westra's house to watch the Patriots/Steelers game, which should come on his TV, because it is a CBS broadcast.

28 Dollar Saturday

I played for almost 3 hours and made 28 bucks, last night, after having arrived at the Lilly Pad at 15 minutes past midnight.

My all day bus pass is stamped with 4:03 AM.

It was too warm to have used the temperature as an excuse to stay in, as it was probably about 60 degrees.
I must have gotten home, then, at about a quarter past four, and have fallen asleep sometime after having made a spelt flour cake and eaten it.

I was up at 9:43 AM when Lilly returned the text that I had sent her when I was on my way out to play. I had told her that I was running late and was sorry that I would probably miss her on her way in.

After I replied to her message, she wrote back asking "What are you doing up at this hour?" I thought that was kind of funny; asking someone what he is doing up at the ungodly hour of 10 AM; but, it shows that Lilly is aware of my schedule, making her one of the few people on earth who care enough about me to at least be sensitive of my "routine."

I was given a CD by one of the new buskers in town, a girl named Mercedes, who plays guitar and sings kind after the style of the pop singer "Jewel," and who has a boyfriend/musical partner, who sings, almost comically, like Johnny Cash (it sounds like he is intentionally trying to sing in as low and "manly" of a voice that he can muster) and who plays the fiddle.

"This is probably what 90% of busker's CDs sound like," I thought, as I put the thing on and it started out with a lone finger-picked acoustic guitar played by, I assume, Mercedes. It was decently enough, but not excellently, recorded -par for the course when it comes to busker's CDs, I guess.

It was very encouraging for me to know that I can achieve a better sound quality, even with the faint hiss of the water pipes of my heating unit in the background. I found their music to be very listenable, and was planning upon telling Mercedes that the next time I saw her. But, then, as the disc played, I found the Johnny Cash impersonation of the boyfriend to be kind of overkill, in the sense that, even their harmonies sounded too far apart, like a basso profondo and a soprano singing together with no middle voices to fill things out.

The fiddle playing turned out to be their Achilles heel, being just too out of pitch to be listenable past the first few songs. And then, the thing started skipping. I wondered if they had no idea that their discs skipped because nobody that bought them had actually listened until the point where they started to.

I don't know what I will say to Mercedes when I see her again, "I like your singing voice, but the fiddle has to go?"

This also made me concerned that my own CD might skip; should I use the cheapest dollar store blank discs to copy onto, or should I use my laptop to burn them, using whatever the CD drive is that got put in the 180 dollar "special" that my Thinkpad is.

I will certainly have to research this, and talk to a few people in the know. If I have to spend more on my blank discs, or make copies using a "better" computer in order to insure that they don't skip, then that's what I'll have to do.

Hopefully people will buy them after hearing me play live, and hopefully because of one particular song that I might have done, which will hopefully sound "even better" in the studio and will have the complete lyrics, including those that I might have forgotten to add in the version that they heard me play -lyrics that they will hopefully enjoy, hearing them for the first time. There is nothing that prepares a musician to go in a studio and record a song like playing that song live every night...
"Learn The GIMP In 30 Days," day 15 level material...


A Post Laying Around

The following was the original post for today that I started writing, before forgetting that I had done so and then writing a whole new post, above...yeah...

"Do what you can where you are with what you
have," said someone whom I'm too lazy to Google right now, but whom I am guessing wasn't far off from Teddy Roosevelt...

Someone else said the thing about making lemonade when you end up with a bunch of lemons, I think was the analogy.


Sure. If you buy a dozen cars and they all turn out to be lemons, make lemonade by having an awesome demolition derby with them all...

The biggest thrill in my life right now is that I have run the guitar playing a bass-like melody through the compressor, and now I am going to change the pitch and drop it down into the range where it will play the part of fake bass.

I have always compressed the signal after having dropped it down. I had figured that the pitch changing should happen before anything else, thinking that it would be easier for such a (complicated?) effect to work if it wasn't trying to change the pitch of the notes, plus any reverberation and echoes going on; that's a lot more pitch changing, I thought.

Then, I thought about the mighty compressor...the thing that can make you sound like you are on the radio, playing in the NPR studio if applied in sufficient amounts. Whether or not you sound like you are playing on NPR and sucking profusely is up to you. But, the compressor levels the volumes out, so that you can hear the guy taking in a dramatic breath along with the sound of his fingers squeaking across brand new strings, and all the other subtle sounds that are the icing on the cake, sonic-ally. These things have to be heard over the louder sounds like the bass and drums; and so the compressor basically sets a theoretical volume for every sound to be at, and then attenuates everything that exceeds it, while amplifying everything that is quieter.

As the level of compression increases, one comes closer to the the way music on a car's FM stereo would sound, and if it is increased too much, the result will sound the public address system at an airport.

But, I had just never thought about compressing the guitar playing a bass-like melody first, before sending it through the pitch changing program. Then it occurred to me that that program might actually handle it better, since the volume levels are less wildly fluctuating.

So, it is with excitement that I stop writing here for a while and switch over to the Audacity program upon which I have just created a fake bass on using the above compress-first method, but haven't heard yet.
Start with giving a bird a shadow, and then progress from there...
I'm hoping for an even better sounding fake bass than I have been getting.
You've just read: 466 (more) words.

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