Distortion in music compresses the peaks of the audio signal. In the analog world this can happen when the signal begins to overload internal circuits. Digital distortion is similar.
I just watched the 2009 documentary "The Musical Brain" – various neuroscientists studying the responses of the brain to the listening, composing, and dancing with music. Most interestingly, one professor (Daniel J. Levitin) studied what happens in Sting's brain when he listens to or composes music. Also interesting, Wyclef Jean was talking, using the sleepiest voice and expressions that I have ever seen, about how his eyes lighten up and how excited he gets when he hears or plays music.
The catholic church has done many interesting things during the centuries, some bizarre, some just plain stupid, and some that are both. One of those is the excommunication of the tritone – the topic of this article.
Everyone knows some scales and can talk a bit about modes. A scale is a collection of notes in some ascending or descending order. The A minor scale for example is A, B, C, D, E, F, G. This scale has modes: Aeolian or natural minor (A, B, C, D, E, F, G), Locrian (B, C, D, E, F, G, A) and so on. There are seven modes of the natural minor scale in fact, one of which is the major scale itself. All modes contain the same notes though, so why do we care about modes?
It has only been a week since version 1.0.0 of Scales, but extensions to this application were simple and very useful. Thus, version 2.0.0 is out.
Scales is a piece of software for your mobile designed to show you various scales on various instruments and the chords that belong to those scales. I built Scales, because every time I get together to play with different people they pick different songs (I am pretty easy going) and then start wondering about what scales those songs are in, how to play various chords, and so on.
My last post was about practicing guitar. This one has some of the simpler licks that I practice regularly. I have always wanted to start a collection of nice guitar licks and here is a start. I like the ones below as they do not use complex guitar techniques: no arpeggios or shredding, not too much movement up and down the neck, simple fingering and barring. Plus, these licks sound good and are very common. I enjoy blues improvisation and so these licks are bluesy, but we will have time for rock licks later.
A lot of my recent posts have been technical in nature: MIDI specifications, multitap delay designs, etc. It is time to write some more interesting posts starting with some info on my practicing of the guitar. I am, for the most part, a "sloppy" guitar player. Even though I took some guitar classes some fifteen years ago, I always played for fun and rarely actually practiced my guitar technique. About twenty years of playing now and I can pull together some relatively complex solos by famous guitarists and even compose and improvise, but I can rarely do so cleanly.
A couple of posts ago I described the idea behind designing the inner workings of the Orinj multitap delay. I ended up with the graph below, but that design is a bit too much in practice. There are a couple of things that can be done to simplify the effect. First, the gains on the input signal of each of the delay units are unnecessary (the two top triangles in the first picture below). Given that the delay unit simply repeats the signal and that there are decays (gains) for each of the output signals, the input gain is redundant. I removed it from the design. Second, I scrapped the separate feedback and tap gains of each of the delay units. I added one gain to each delay units that controls both the feedback and the tap signals. Third, to achieve some similarity across Orinj effects I included a single “wet mix” gain common to all delay units.
I wrote before about the newly designed Orinj multitap delay, but that post was just a general description of what delay effects look like, what parameters they have, and what purpose they serve. As promised, here is the actual design of the Orinj multitap delay.