Category Archives: Music

Music that I create and my opinions about music. Computer/Electronic music is the main interest.

Meditative Music

You know that I like making modular synthesizer music and you know that I like meditation.

What better than a meditative piece of electronica? This is a generative piece which means the notes are all generative randomly.  As the notes are generated, I push them through a quantizer to get them to a musical scale (in this case F# Locrian scale). Then they go to VCOs (voltage controlled oscillators) which actually generate audible sound and then through an envelope generator which shapes the sounds.  Finally all goes to a mixer and though a delay and a reverb to make the final product.

Experiment 4
Watch this video on YouTube.
“Experiment 4” by Cy Ball

I hope you like it.

Namaste,

Cy

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New Music Tutorial

How to create risers in VCV Rack

I just completed a tutorial for music producers who like to put devices called risers in their music.  A riser is a musical noise that starts at a low volume and a low pitch and rises gradually to a quite high volume and pitch. 

Risers are very common in EDM, Pop and Electronica. Risers are used as background or to separate parts of a musical piece or to accentuate tempo or key changes and add excitement.

Sample Riser

As you can hear, risers are not necessarily simple sounds. 

A modular synthesis is an ideal way to create unique sounds including risers. This tutorial uses VCV Rack software modular synthesizer which I have been spending a lot of time with.

Creating a Riser in VCV Rack
Watch this video on YouTube.

I have made three other tutorials about VCV Rack.  This is a YouTube play list including them. 

I also have playlists with much of my production in modular synthesis.

This one is more meditative pieces: 

This one is more experimental and up tempo.

Playlist: VCV Rack Modular Synthesis
Watch this playlist on YouTube

Thanks for your attention to my efforts…

Namaste,

Cy

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Generative Music- a YouTube Playlist

I have organized the modular synthesis videos that I have created and uploaded to YouTube.  These video show the VCV Rack synthesizer screen as it models a hardware synthesizer to play what I have built.  VCV Rack is a software model of hardware called Eurorack Synthesizer.  If I had all of the hardware that you see in those videos, it would cost thousands of dollars.

With a modular synthesizer, the musician puts together discrete modules that might all be built into a more normal synthesizer that you see on stage with musicians.

Having this software model, I have spent months learning it.  Interestingly, most of these pieces just took a few hours or days to build once I knew the modules and had the idea.

Here is the playlist. Each piece is very different from the next.

Playlist: In the Zone
Watch this playlist on YouTube

 

Blessings,

Cy

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Pluck – more generative music

Today  I uploaded a new generative music piece for both YouTube.com and Soundcloud.com.

That VCV Rack modular synthesis software is quite addictive.

This time, I started with the simple intent to just create a sound called the ‘Deadmau5 Pluck’ which I learned to do last year when I took the Deadmau5 EDM masterclass at masterclass.com.  It was pretty easy and I added a random tune generator.  Of course then it needed a bass, so I added that doing something new to me.  Drums were a must at that point so I added a kick drum and made a snare drum up by modifying the noise output of the Turing Machine that was creating the original tune.  That was a fun exercise.  Then of course the piece needed needed some more movement and voices so I created those using  different generative technique.   A simple project turned complex.

I call it ‘Pluck’ because of my original purpose.

Soundcloud:

YouTube:

Pluck

Watch this video on YouTube.

May we all have the best possible outcomes!

Cy

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2018 Cyril Ball

Fascination

Last week I uploaded a new generative music piece for both YouTube.com and Soundcloud.com.

That VCV Rack modular synthesis software is quite addictive.

This is another piece of generative music which I call ‘Fascination’  because I cannot stop listening to it.

Soundcloud:

YouTube

Fascination

Watch this video on YouTube.

May we all have the best outcomes!

Cy

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2018 Cyril Ball

Two New Music Videos

This week, I finally got around to putting music videos of my last two songs from last summer.  I like the music that I did a lot.  The videos are only pictures of the covers but it helps to put things on YouTube.

The first, Space Hop, was a remembrance of the Sputnik satellite.  I was in seventh grade at the time and a big science geek already.  I actually wrote a poem about Sputnik.  The music also contains the sounds of all the space travel movies I have seen since.

Space Hop

Watch this video on YouTube.

This second one was celebrating the first birthday of our granddaughter Margot.  I tried to capture a little of the joy of a young girl.

Margot

Watch this video on YouTube.

May we all have the best possible outcomes,

Cy

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Generative Music

Yesterday, I uploaded a new piece of  generative music called “The Blues I” to YouTube and Soundcloud.  they can be viewed/listed to below.

Sooo… what on earth is generative music? You can think of it as music that is generated by a process.  In this case, it is generated by software called VCV Rack. This free software models hardware called a Euro Rack synthesizer which is a modular synthesizer.  Modular Synthesizer?  Well that is an electronics rack and all the electronics that you might find in a more normal commercial synthesizer which most bands use these days. The difference is that the user puts the electronics parts (modules) into the rack and uses movable jumper cables to connect them in any way the user wants.  Thus the user can make a very large array of sounds.  The modules start with oscillators for the sound wave creation (sine waves, square waves, triangle waves, saw waves, etc), filters, envelopes, low frequency oscillators, voltage controlled amplifiers to modify the sounds.  After you have those, you can add many more sophisticated modules.

VCV Rack is still in devlopment (version 0.5) but it already has a large following and a goodly number of developers making new modules for it, some free, some for sale, some for a donation.  It is completely addictive!  You will see the model I built for the music in the YouTube below.

I built in the basic beat and the bass with a small amount of randomness to happen over time.  The lead voices (I designed  what they sound like) use randomly generated notes for their parts constrained only by the beat and the musical scale that I chose.  Hence it is generated music.  I was surprised at how musical it sounds.

YouTube version:

The Blues I

Watch this video on YouTube.

Soundcloud:

Hope you find it interesting.

Namaste,

Cy

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Space Hop!

I released a new song called Space Hop yesterday.  In celebration, I created a new album called Space Hop and made it available for purchase on a new venue for me, Bandcamp.

The album will soon be released in all the music store on the web.

The album has all of my most recent songs on it.  Many of these resulted from my taking the EDM Masterclass with DeadMau5.

I hope you like this new song:

 

Namaste,

Cy

 

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Margot – EDM Contest Entry

As I have said before, I have taken the deadmau5’s Masterclass in EDM Production.

For students in that class, deadmau5 has started a New Artist contest.  Each of us can submit one song.  Joel Zimmerman (deadmau5) will judge the entries and the winner will become a track on his newest album from his record label mau5trap and receive $10,000 and valuable music production software. Three finalists in the contest will receive $2,500 and more valuable music production software.  Ten semi-finalists will receive $1,000 and more valuable music productions software.

Obviously this is an exciting opportunity.  Here is my entry, named after my 1 year old grand-daughter:

 

May we all have the best possible outcomes,

Cy

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Rally Round EDM

I have finished another EDM piece.  “Rally Round” is the name of it and I really am not sure how I came up with that name but try it on and see if it fits.

If you use Spotify, this is my first link to it, you can play it here:

Soundcloud link here:

As you may have noticed, that EDM Masterclass has really inspired me to work more and publish more.  It’s enjoyable to do this!

Namaste,

Cy

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017 Cyril Ball