mic's blog

Release of Scales version 1.0.0

Submitted by mic on Tue, 03/27/2018 - 21:03

Scales is a piece of software for your mobile designed to show you various scales on various instruments and the chords that belong to those scales. I built Scales, because every time I get together to play with different people they pick different songs (I am pretty easy going) and then start wondering about what scales those songs are in, how to play various chords, and so on.


Guitar practice – some licks

Submitted by mic on Tue, 03/27/2018 - 21:00

My last post was about practicing guitar. This one has some of the simpler licks that I practice regularly. I have always wanted to start a collection of nice guitar licks and here is a start. I like the ones below as they do not use complex guitar techniques: no arpeggios or shredding, not too much movement up and down the neck, simple fingering and barring. Plus, these licks sound good and are very common. I enjoy blues improvisation and so these licks are bluesy, but we will have time for rock licks later.


Guitar practice

Submitted by mic on Tue, 03/27/2018 - 20:58

A lot of my recent posts have been technical in nature: MIDI specifications, multitap delay designs, etc. It is time to write some more interesting posts starting with some info on my practicing of the guitar. I am, for the most part, a "sloppy" guitar player. Even though I took some guitar classes some fifteen years ago, I always played for fun and rarely actually practiced my guitar technique. About twenty years of playing now and I can pull together some relatively complex solos by famous guitarists and even compose and improvise, but I can rarely do so cleanly.


Orinj multitap delay – user controls

Submitted by mic on Tue, 03/27/2018 - 20:56

A couple of posts ago I described the idea behind designing the inner workings of the Orinj multitap delay. I ended up with the graph below, but that design is a bit too much in practice. There are a couple of things that can be done to simplify the effect. First, the gains on the input signal of each of the delay units are unnecessary (the two top triangles in the first picture below). Given that the delay unit simply repeats the signal and that there are decays (gains) for each of the output signals, the input gain is redundant. I removed it from the design. Second, I scrapped the separate feedback and tap gains of each of the delay units. I added one gain to each delay units that controls both the feedback and the tap signals. Third, to achieve some similarity across Orinj effects I included a single “wet mix” gain common to all delay units.


Plans for Orinj version 3 again

Submitted by mic on Mon, 03/26/2018 - 21:31

It has been a month since my last post, but that is for a good reason. We spent significant time on a couple of important tasks. RecordingBlogs.com finally has a good sitemap submitted to various major search engines such as Google, LiveSearch, Yahoo, and Ask.com. Also, I have now done enough work on version 3 of Orinj to know where the application is heading. This post is about the improvements to Orinj that will show up in version 3.


Balanced audio and XLR

Submitted by mic on Mon, 03/26/2018 - 21:28

I am not an expert on this, but the topic keeps coming up every now and then. Some time ago I talked to a movie producer friend about his sound setup. He mentioned many interesting things. The one specific thing that caught my attention was: "unbalanced XLRs". I looked around for info on balanced signals and XLRs. This is what I learned.


Alternative music notations

Submitted by mic on Mon, 03/26/2018 - 21:26

I started transcribing some songs for a friend of mine who is learning piano. I do simple songs for the most part, but sometimes also more complex pieces. I use Guitar Pro 5 and I find it impressive as it can easily deal with the complex contemporary music notation: the staff, clefs, key signatures, accidentals, note durations, articulations, codas, ties, tuplets, etc. Contemporary music notation is all one needs to transcribe songs. Most contemporary songs are simple anyway: they stick to a key signature and have repetitive note duration patterns. I just finished the main theme (one repetition of the progression only) of Grant Green’s "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho". It has four underlying chords and I am guessing that it uses the harmonic minor scale (I put it in D harmonic minor). Who cares really? It was pretty easy to transcribe.


Designing the Orinj multitap delay

Submitted by mic on Mon, 03/26/2018 - 14:25

Orinj has several types of delay effects: regular delay, echo, chorus, bass chorus, bouncing echo, and reverb.

Regular delay

The Orinj regular delay takes the incoming signal and repeats it once with a certain delay in time and with a change in amplitude. The output of this effect is the combined original signal and the new repeated signal. The original signal is called the "dry" signal. The repeated signal is called the "wet" signal. The amount of time delay between the two is the "delay". The change in amplitude between the two signals is called the "decay" as the repeated signal usually has lower amplitude than the original one. The decay is also the difference between the dry and wet signal and can also be called the "dry / wet mix" of the delay effect.


Guitar necks

Submitted by mic on Mon, 03/26/2018 - 13:34

I play relatively cheap acoustic guitars when practicing at home. The sound is not so important, the comfort is. Up to a year ago I was playing a Jasmine by Takamine, model no. ES33C, acoustic-electric made in Korea. It goes for about $200.



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