Saturday, May 27, 2017

And I call myself a...creator

It is a truism that there are many more consumers of content than creators of content. And now that I am not only a blogger, but also a publicized electronic music performer, I guess I can claim to be one of the few creators of content.

I took a break from creating for a few days after Ontario Emperor's "Relusion" was released, but I decided to plunge back in this afternoon. There are a number of songs that I'm working on right now, and I'm still tweaking a few of them before I convert them from MIDI form to a form for your enjoyment.

So I started working on the first song, "Older Rag," and tweaked a few things here and there. Sadly, I realized that the song is in no final shape. Things aren't sounding quite right.

I moved on to the next song, "Saint," and did some more tweaking. But that one isn't ready either.

On to the third song, "Curb." Same story. Before I took my break of a few days, I was under the impression that these songs were just about ready, but none of them sounded right.

So I moved on to the fourth song, "Initialism." I had been working on this one for a while - it's a mood piece, slightly similar to "Suburban Encyclopedia" from "Relusion," only with more (obvious) form. But as I started to listen to "Initialism," I realized that there was definitely a problem.

And it only took me a minute to figure out what the problem was.

I was playing the Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth sounds, not the improved Timbres of Heaven soundfont that I had loaded back in March.

No wonder the songs sounded so bad (or, if you don't like my music at all, why the songs sounded even worse than normal).

What had changed on my computer over the last few days? Well, for one, I had installed the Windows 10 Creators Update. I don't know if that was what caused the glitch, but it would be ironic if the Creators update interfered with my creating.

So first I went back to the Coolsoft Virtual MIDI Synth site, discovered that I had an outdated version of the software, uninstalled my old version, and reinstalled the new one.

Then I went back to the Timbres of Heaven site and re-read the instructions.

Next, create a new folder named "SoundFonts" in a logical place that you will not forget, e.g. "C:\SoundFonts".

I had forgotten, but luckily I followed Don Allen's suggestion and created a directory called "Soundfonts" on my C drive. The Timbres of Heaven files were still there. So I just had to follow the steps to add Timbres of Heaven to my new version of Virtual MIDI Synth, and I was back in business.

Back when I wrote my March post, the main reason that I wrote it was not for you, but for me. I figured that at some point I'd get access to a different computer and have to reload everything on that computer, so I wanted to remember how to do it. And what better place to stash the instructions than on my music blog?

I didn't realize that I would have to re-examine that post in less than three months.

In closing, I figured that I'd share the aforementioned "Suburban Encyclopedia" again. And by the way, while my songs usually sell for $1 each (with some discounts if you purchase the entire album), the song "Suburban Encyclopedia" has an official price of "name your price."

Which means that you could name a price of $0.00 and download it for free. I wouldn't complain.

Or you could name a price of $1,000.00. I DEFINITELY wouldn't complain.

Reminds me of a story from a fake Rolling Stone parody. In the story, which was set at about the time that everyone except Tom Petty was starting to charge an astronomical $9.98 for a 40 minute album, the Eagles were reportedly setting the price for their next album at $5 million. When asked who would buy an album at that price, the Eagles (according to the fake article) responded, "We only need one."

On to "Suburban Encyclopedia," which doesn't sound like the Eagles. Or Tom Petty.

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