Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Eight More Voices for the Synclavier

That makes 24 voices, so only eight more before I've finished the satellite system. No more to report this month.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

One Last Time through The Schillinger System

While I'm awaiting the additional voice cards I need for my Synclavier, I have been keeping occupied by going through my music theory library. I've been through The System three or four times since 1987, and so I decided to do it one last time. The System is ultimately a failure, of course, because no system is revealed, and many of the speculative notions Schillinger proposes are ridiculous. One reason this is so is because he dismisses the idea that the harmonic series has any influence on how we perceive music. He does this by pointing out that in natural sounds, all the harmonics present add up to a unison. I find this brief rejection of the harmonic series' potential to influence our musical perception to be humorous, because in every other thing he presents exhaustive lists of reasons. But he had to do it, otherwise most of his futurism falls apart. All you need to do is strike the nodes on a guitar's low E string up to the seventh, and you can hear how the series desires to resolve up to the A string (Or a major or minor chord on A). So this is the most fatal flaw in The System.

Another factor was Schillinger's untimely death, which makes his System a hodgepodge put together by some of his students and his widow.

But some of Schillinger's ideas are fantastic, such as the axes of melody and the circular and crosswise voice leading transformations in harmony. Both of those things have helped me greatly and have also lead to many compositions. I composed eighteen Axial Studied for solo guitar alone, and the second set of six comprised my final project for my MM degree. So it was far from a waste of time, but I've debunked all of the nonsense, while keeping the mechanics to explain how the harmonic series creates the very essence of musical context. I have written about it here, and about all of the secondary dominants here.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Side Project: Replacing Voices in Second Synclavier

Now that I have the 64 voice Synclavier up and running, I am replacing the voice cards in my second system. I had to cannibalize it for the 64 voice system, and it ended up with just 8 voices out of a possible 32. Now I have another 8 voices, so it is at 16 currently. The idea is to have the 32 voice system slaved to the 64 voice system, so the big system will be the orchestra, and the small system will be dedicated to sound effects. This will make mixing much easier as well, because the orchestra and sound effects will each have their own stereo pair of outputs.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Downloaded and Installed New Synclavier^3 Version

I finally got around to downloading and installing the new Sync^3 version with the MIDI synchronization fixed. I'll try it out when my schedule permits.

Very glad to get to this point.

Monday, December 31, 2018

MIDI Sync Had a Software Bug!

So I wasn't going crazy, there was a bug in the MIDI driver of Synclavier^3! I did a telephone conference with Cameron Jones, who has always been the programmer of the Synclavier, and he discovered it while we were talking. So now I have a new build with that fixed, which is just the end of a lot of frustration - over five months worth! Looking forward to 2019 now.

Friday, November 30, 2018

I've Given Up on MIDI Sync

Try as I might, I can't get it to work. I've wasted months on this, so it's time to give up and just record the sequences into the Synclavier without the sync feature. Since the tracks will be in sync with each other once in the Synclavier, it really doesn't matter, it just makes the process a bit busier because I have to get the Synclavier recording, then press start in Encore. It would just be tidier if when I pressed play in Encore, the Synclavier would follow along. I've tried this with both MIDI Time Code and MIDI Clock, and still no joy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018


I can now record sequences from Encore into the Synclavier with Synclavier^3 in one pass. I discovered all of the manuals at Synclavier.com and have been going through them to find the changes between Release M - which I was using thirty years ago - to the new Release 5.3. Many things have changed, of course, and it turns out that, in order to prepare multiple tracks for recording, you press and hold the MIDI button, and then press the tracks you want to record.

I still have not gotten synchronization between Encore and the Synclavier to work, but that is not strictly necessary, so I'm going to give up on that for the time being. Once the sequences are in the Synclavier, everything will be synchronized to itself anyway.