Monthly Archives: February 2010

Testing What, Exactly?

Artificial intelligence is an area of research that fascinates a lot of people. I’m not entirely sure why. It seems to me that promoting human intelligence would be a far more useful activity. But I digress. In dissecting the article … Continue reading

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Coping Mechanisms

Can a computer program ever compose music that’s as good as what a first-rate human composer can devise? I claim that the answer is “no.” And I’m going to prove it. I started thinking about this question after reading a … Continue reading

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Always Insist on Live Music

Now that I’ve started composing and recording again in my computer, I’m wondering anew what to do with the music once it’s finished. I can put mp3’s up on my website, and I do, but of course nobody ever visits … Continue reading

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Tone Poem

Yesterday I downloaded the new presets and data for Camel Audio Alchemy. Then I spent some time checking out the sounds. What a shockingly great synthesizer! Also on my hard drive are u-he Zebra 2.5 and ACE, Spectrasonics Omnisphere, FXpansion … Continue reading

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Simple Pleasures

A couple of months ago, I told an editor at Electronic Musician that I’d write a Master Class feature on Steinberg Cubase 5. Since then, my world has changed slightly. For weeks I’ve been going back and forth (mostly forth, … Continue reading

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It’s Not Just

Here’s a puzzle. With a modest investment in a computer and software, it’s quite easy to make music in which our familiar 12-note equal-tempered scale is replaced with alternate tunings of one sort and another. Alternate tunings are a rich … Continue reading

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The Great Boomer Shortage

Sunday morning at 24 Hour Fitness, and 35 or 40 people are working out. It’s the usual assortment of types — guys with major tattoos, guys for whom weight-lifting is probably an intellectual achievement, couples in sweats who park their … Continue reading

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Immortality in Cyberspace

Every musician¬†knows the names Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. (Non-musicians may be a little hazy about Haydn.) But¬†Muzio Clementi is largely forgotten today. I’ve been reading Performance Practices in Classic Piano Music by Sandra Rosenblum. How I came by this book … Continue reading

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Chess Is Not What You Think

The coming of the computer has surely caused interest in chess to shrivel. First, computer games are faster-paced and more fun! Second, an ordinary Mac or PC plays better chess than you do, so what’s the point? But that’s the … Continue reading

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Do the Twist

Today I’m in pain, and it’s because yesterday I was having so much fun playing music. No, playing the piano doesn’t hurt. Neither does playing the cello (though I’ve been having a little problem with one finger, thanks for asking). … Continue reading

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