Monday, January 20, 2014

Fuga Electronica 2: v1.0 MIDI Files Complete

Another couple of weeks, and another milestone. This week I got the v1.0 MIDI files complete in Encore for all nine of the fugues. All I have done for these first versions is to get all of the staves in order so that the MIDI files will end up in the top tracks of the Synclavier's sequencer, and I put articulations in so that the durations of the notes is what I want. I will wait to do dynamics until I have the first Synclavier versions recorded and saved. Here are the first pages for each score/MIDI file.

Here is the opening Allegro. It was originally a Sonata-Fugue for two guitars, so to make the transcription process easier and less prone to errors - I spend a LOT of time fixing transcription errors - I used 8vb treble clefs. There are 5 because in the development area five voices are used briefly, and the new sound is used for the following canon as well.

The Lament was originally for string trio, so I just had SAB clefs before. I added a contrabass track to double the last statement in the bass an octave lower, and I used Alternate Bass and Contrabass tracks to fatten up the final cadence.

Track 3 is the Valse Macabre, which was originally a three-voice fugue, the subject of which is a twelve-tone row, for wind trio. So again, SAB is what I had before, and I just added a Contrabass track to fatten up the last bass statements by doubling them an octave lower.

The Andante was originally for string quartet, so I added the CB track to make it like a string choir, and I use one Alternate Alto track to bring out the only statement in diminution that is in the piece. I'm trying to make the Synclavier "orchestrations" as basic as possible to save voices for the sound effects I want to develop and employ. I'll do traditional orchestrations for this and a few others in Logic Pro X to add to the Synclavier's synthesized timbres, but that will be later this year, after I have the Synclavier versions perfected.

Track 5 was originally a very elaborate Ricercare for wind choir functioning as a wind quartet with very wide part ranges, using auxiliary instruments to accomplish the range shifts, and leaving out the contrabassoon. All I did was add the CB clef, and the setup for the Jubilate was fine.

My Scherzo Comico was originally for chamber orchestra, so this one needs all 8 tracks; SATB plus Contrabass, plus alternate alto, tenor and bass tracks for the hilarious final cadence.

This little Allegretto was originally a solo guitar piece, so it has the 8vb treble clefs, and I only needed an alternate bass part, and nothing in the contrabass octave at all.

The penultimate Adagio is the epic five-voice Ricercare for symphony orchestra I completed last year - which finished all of the music I needed for this album - and I was able to just delete the wind and brass parts that duplicated the string parts, and cut-and-paste those into the string section that weren't dups, to end up with the "virtual string choir" version here.

For the Finale, which was originally a Ricercare for one, two, or four guitars, I had to use seven of the eight available Synclavier tracks. This is mostly because the final thematic statement/cadence is a series of five and six-voice guitar chords. The seventh track, then, is just for the contrabass doubling of the late bass statements.


Okay, now I will spend some time in the Synclavier documentation to figure out the best workflow. The process is actually pretty straight forward: I set the Synclavier up to record the correct number of tracks on the right MIDI channels, activate MIDI Sync, press record, and simply play the Encore files into the Synclavier's sequencer from my Mac (Ive done this many times before, but it has been many years!). Once the raw MIDI tracks are in the Synclavier, then I will develop and assign sounds. Since I have bunches of disks - 5.5" floppies! - of timbres I've programmed since 1984, it shouldn't take too awfully long to get initial versions, actually.<.p>

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Fuga Electronica 1: Synclavier Transcriptions Complete

I have been highly motivated to get these done, so it took less than two weeks! Using the templates mentioned in the previous post, everything went as planned. With just a generic string section sound, I was able to work out the tempos and the number of staves for the final versions. Here's how it looks now:

I was figuring about 40 minutes total, and I'm 30 seconds short of of that, which is fine. The pieces range from 0:55 to 9:55, so there is nothing longer than ten minutes, which is also perfect. The next step will be to set up individual templates with the correct number of staves, so that all the tracks will begin with Track 1 in the Synclavier's sequencer. Then, I can sync the Synclavier directly with Encore and record the MIDI tracks into it in real time. After I assign timbres, I'll have the initial versions!

I figure another two weeks and I'll have the individual versions ready to record into the Synclavier.