Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Weird chain of coincidences

Posted: November 6, 2011 in Music

Here’s a weird coincidence: earlier roday I recalled a magician act from the 1980s. Some guy dressed in futuristic gear basically waving a false leg behind a sheet to the Peter Gunn tune. This passed as entertainment for an eight year old in the 80s. I thoght I would look him up online later but forgot.

Instead I started looking through an audio library and found a jazz violin piece in a 1930s dance hall style. It reminded me of the Jeeves and Wooster music. I remembered that the theme was written by Ann Dudley of Art of Noise fame, so I looked her up on Wikipedia. Then I saw that Art of Noise did a cover of Peter Gunn.

Searched to find that their cover of Peter Gunn was performed to by a magician called Rudy Coby. Ooooh…spooky.

The Jeeves and Wooster theme is pure awesome:

As is Anne Dudley and Art of Noise:

However, Rudy Coby was best left to memory:


The funk of forty thousand years

Posted: July 15, 2011 in Music

Is this my time? It’s warm inside
Is that my soul? Nowhere to hide
She isn’t here, but the rhythm draws her near
The music of my mind sings of stars and moons aligned
Backbeat’s gonna get ya
Take your time, see how long it takes ya

I’m in too deep. It’s hot inside
Who needs to sleep? Downward slide
The lengths I would go to to find her again
Tells of a rare groove that was deeper for us then
Turn up the bass
Throw in a nineth, feel the crowd’s embrace

Where’s the heat? It’s nineteen seventy nine
Spread the feeling all around. Feeling fine
The funk of forty thousand years makes the head seem bolder
Distance makes the heart grow older
Disco strings
The rhythm never leaves you, gets under your skin

Memory fades, joy remains
Distance grows, love sustains
Music builds a brighter way
Sing today what you cannot say

It’s cold outside. Was that my time?

I won’t attempt to claim that this is useful in any way. I had a headache from looking at Ethical Approval forms and Gantt charts all day, so I blew off some steam with this.


(Also I’m testing to see if WordPress publishes correctly to Facebook and Twitter. What do you reckon?)

I grabbed some screenshots and videos for my Modules this semester, so I thought I’d share them with you too. I like them because I think they show Kinect’s dept-sensing capabilities rather well. Please excuse the playing, though. I haven’t picked up the bass for a long time…

The first video just shows depth as different colour yellows.

The second video is a bit psychedelic. It has a repeated range of  colour bands which are allocated to every (range of) pixel(s) at the same depth from the camera, much like isobars on a weather map.

So what do you reckon? If my career as a computer scientist fails do I have a shot at being a pub musician? (Tips in the pint glass at the bar, thanks.)

I’m still laid up, recovering from an unexpected operation a few weeks ago. No uni work for me just now :(

But to keep you amused in the mean time, have some generic funk I wrote a while ago :)

ReBirth on the iPad

Posted: November 16, 2010 in Music

I remember it well…

It was around 1997. The old mod and demo scenes were coming to an end. Screamtracker had had its day, and the internet was abuzz with new and fantastic ways of making music on your computer. Unfortunately I didn’t have the gear or enough money for software like Reason, so my youthful passion for making computers make cool sounds had stalled.

Then I happened upon a cover CD from an computer magazine and on it was this thing called ‘ReBirth RB-338’. It was a PC program which emulated the classic 80s synths and drum machines: 303, 808 and 909. It couldn’t possibly be any good, could it?

It was amazing. The noises you could get out of this thing were just awesome. Its two 303s sounded exactly like real 303s but without the massive price tag. Thumping, penetrating bass lines which you simply couldn’t reproduce any other way. The 808 and 909 emulators were good too, included more for convenience than anything, but they totally added to the experience.

Then I forgot about ReBirth RB-338.

Then I remembered about it again! A few months ago I grabbed a fresh copy of it and was…disappointed. The sound was still as great as ever, but the tiddly interface and awkward usage made me wish I’d left it to memory. “How great would this be on the iPad?” I thought. Multi-touch is what ReBirth needed, a lick of paint and the ability to export songs and patterns for external use.

Propellerhead software had released a cynical iPhone port of ReBirth but it suffered with the same problems that the desktop version was plagued with. But then…

Lo and behold! Yesterday I checked the App Store and I saw that they had released an iPad version of ReBirth. Grabbed it. Love it. It’s awesome. I did this in an hour, and it’s freakin’ amazing. The software, that it, not the song. The song needs a lot of work – it’s just a collection of cheesy ideas. But you can see just what ReBirth is capable of:

You can still download the PC and Mac versions of ReBirth for free from here: But they’re starting to show their age. The interface isn’t that good by today’s standards and it can be tricky to export the output for use in other packages.

The iPad version of ReBirth gives it a new lease of life, building on a still thriving community. Simply, it’s the best app on my iPad, and it will burn many, many hours of my time. Like now, for instance, when I should be working but instead I’m eulogising about an ancient piece of software which a multi-national company has dusted off a little and is selling for a cynical mark-up. But I don’t care. It’s awesome, and well worth the £8.99 it costs.

And do you know what’s even better than that? Korg has just released an iPad emulator of their ubiquitous analogue synth sound – the iMS-20. Must…resist…too…many…distractions…

I’m surely gonna get it, but I will wait until my assignment is finished :)

A couple of bass tabs

Posted: October 31, 2010 in Music

I took 10 minutes out from vulnerability testing to transcribe a couple of old bass tabs. I found these two lines scribbled on a piece of paper I found in my desk drawer at work. I couldn’t quite sound them out in my head, and I don’t play these lines, so I reckon I must have had a moment of inspiration at work some years ago then forgot all about it.

Sorry about the audio quality. I don’t know what’s up with my computer.

This first one is sort of funky. Possibly recorded a little too fast. Big range, some tricky ornamentation and some very odd intervals which I guess you’d just have to learn rather than hear. I’ll try this for real a bit later.

Funky line.mp3

This one’s a bit jazz/funk-fusion-y. Definitely best slapped. Not as difficult to play as it might look and sound.

Slap mayhem.mp3