Friday, August 31, 2018

Finally! After Six Years of Experiments, My 64 Voice Dream Machine Arrives

The largest frustration factor in my life has been resolved! I finally have 64 voices of glorious Synclavier Additive/FM synthesis in a single system. I've also figured out how to record sequences from Encore into the Synclavier's Digital Memory Recorder, albeit using a workaround. Next month I'll have the first piece to share, which will be the opening Toccata from my first Sonata for Classic Guitar, which is a ripping tap technique piece. Now I can do ALL my albums.

With 64 voices I can do a synthesized symphony orchestra.

The original system I bought had a big enough case, we just had to move MIDI and Sample-to-Disk to the enclosure behind.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Setting Up Synclavier^3 for Recording from an External Sequencer

Another month, more progress. I had to ask the programmer how to do this, as the documentation is still in an early state of evolution.

The first step is to set Synclavier^3 up to sync to MIDI time code. In Preferences, go to the Real Time Settings tab and check the box called Use MIDI Time Code for SMPTE Input. This will make the Synclavier wait for MIDI Time Code before it starts, making it effectively a slave to the external sequencer (The Encore notation program, in my case).

Here is the RTS tab with the box checked.

Second, you set the Synclavier up to Record. In the MIDI ROUTING DISPLAY page in the Terminal window, set Sync In to OMS (OMS stands for Opcode MIDI System, which is an old format that the Synclavier is stuck with). Sync Out and Echo should be OFF. Inputs should be set to ALL, Clock Type to MTC (MIDI Time Code), and OMS Input to ON.

To hear what is being recorded, you will have to put timbres on each track. Since I'm doing six track virtual guitar scores right now, I put a sine wave on each track and named them TR1 through TR6.

The Synclavier terminal page set up to record.

Finally, on either the physical button panel or the virtual one, light the SMPTE MODE button and select OMS MIDI Sync. Your sequencer should now be ready to be the master, and the Synclavier the slave.

The Synclavier set to receive external sync from the external sequencer.

Next month I should have it working. ;^)

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Synclavier 3 Allows MIDI Routing to Virtual Ports From the Mac

With just the physical Synclavier, there are eight MIDI outputs with sixteen channels each. That was astonishing in 1985, but this is 2018. Those physical outputs are still available, but now there are virtual outputs as well. In the screenshot below, I have highlighted six tracks to record, one for each string of the guitar. In the box above the virtual control knob - so much better than the physical one! - you see MIDI: V[1 ] C[6 ]. That means the track most recently selected, track 6, routes to VIRTUAL output 1, and CHANEL number 6. Tracks 1 through 5 are V[1] C[1-5 ]. This is just as I have them set up in Encore. What I haven't been able to figure out yet - sure is nice to know the guy who wrote the program! - is how to get the External Sync set to MIDI, so I'll have to ask him about that. Slow but sure progress.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Synclavier 3 and Core MIDI Allow Encore to Be the Sequencer

Core MIDI now allows me to record MIDI sequences directly from the Encore music processor into the Synclavier's Digital Memory Recorder in real time. This allows me to capture all of the tempos, tempo changes, dynamics and dynamic changes I program into the sequences within Encore. Those elements are lost if I just export a Type 1 MIDI file from Encore and drop that into the Synclavier. This is a great advance!

I do however wish I had been able to get Encore's VST player to work with Arturia's Synclavier V virtual instrument, but sadly, I have not been able to get that to function. Huge disappointment, as Synclavier V would allow me to eliminate the Synclavier hardware entirely and never be outside of the Encore environment. IOW, the ultimate dream come true for me. Oh well.

I would note that I really only need thirty-two tracks, though. Two-hundred-eight is overkill. ;^)

Monday, April 30, 2018

Synclavier Studio 1 Complete

Took a little sorting out - doesn't it always? - but I now have my first Synclavier 3 Studio set up.

I decided on an older 24" monitor for the larger size at any given resolution, and the fact that it gives me more space on the keyboard for a music/document stand. I will be transcribing a lot of music into the Synclavier!

I use both a Magic Trackpad 2 and an old optical trackball because the trackball is better for entering music notation.

I have a 63" Panasonic plasma TV for monitor two. Having the button panel very large is a huge help.

The virtual control knob is far superior to the physical one with the +/- 1, 10, 100 buttons

It also doubles as my home theater now. The Turbosound live sound monitors and Bryston amp sound killer.

The GEO is George Clinton of Parliament/Funkadelic. It's a Synclavier monitor case.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Synclavier 3: A Thirty Year Dream Comes True!

You may have noticed I haven't been posting much about music the past year or so. Problem was, I was stuck trying to interface 80's technology into my twenty-first century workflow, and it just was't happening. Too many things go wrong with the old hardware, and I can't get into a groove with recording if I'm constantly interrupted by gear failures. Well, all of that has been addressed by the Synclavier 3 interface and hardware. It completely eliminates all the original Synclavier computer, memory, drive, and monitor hardware, and allows for the original voices - very reliable and I have spares - to be directly controlled by a Thunderbolt Mac! This means no more floppy drives, no more Winchester hard drives, and no more VT-640 or Pericom dumb monitors! Even the Synclavier keyboard and Digital Guitar Interface are optional now!

Not only that, but all of my Encore scores can be transferred into the Synclavier sequencer directly within Mac OS! At long last my workflow will be completely integrated within my Macs! This changes everything, and I'm seriously psyched.

My old friend Mitch set me up. We hadn't seen each other for thirty years!

So, I have one album in the can which I'll release within a few weeks, and that's nine tracks from the 80's I did, and then I have an album of synth guitar music all scored up in Encore that I'll begin working on. That's classical guitar music I'm going to realize with the Virtual Synclavier Guitar I developed with Encore. The Synclavier version of Fuga Electronica and the second album of guitar music will have to wait, as the first Synclavier 3 system is 32 stereo voices, and I'll need the 64 voice system to do those - Sonata Two is for two guitars - but I'm off and running finally. Very wound up!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Remodern Review Interview

Remodernism is a back-to-basics movement among libertarian and conservative artists in the fine arts realm. I've been following it for quite a while, and have voiced my support to Richard Bledsoe, even though I'm not in fine arts and even though I'm not a conservative (Small-l libertarian, maybe). So, he did an email interview with me.

MUSIC: Remodernism Resonates with Composer George Pepper

EDIT: Linked at Instapundit! I'm infamous! lol