Big Dinner

Hi, just wanted to say thanks to those that sent me emails about the latest track I put in the player. "Big Dinner" is a little over a year old, a track I did for a final project of my ECE 402 (Music DSP) class. We had to use this really interesting program called Kyma to write an algorithm or song. I didn't really want to just do either, so I did both. The vinyl noise you hear at the beginning and end is a vinyl simulator algorithm I made that basically consisted of repeating (~33.333) pitch warbling, fuzzy distortion, compressor, noise, filtering, and a random pop/crackle thing. I think I did a bunch of other stuff but I can't remember. Then I wrote a little song featuring Brendan on cello and arranged it in the weird timeline thing they had in Kyma and used the vinyl simulator on the beginning and end to emphasize the middle, by having it "shine through".

Kyma is a weird program that has lots of little modular sound filter/generators. It is pretty good for doing lots of crazy things like taking a sound, breaking it down into it's discrete sinusoidal components, and then reconstructing the sound with 100+ sine wave generators which you can mercilessly control at will (this is by far the coolest thing to do). I once heard that Autechre used it. The software is local to the Champaign area, as is the hardware (a dedicated Capybara DSP designed in part by my 402 Prof). He also invented a continuous pitch midi keyboard with no keys, called The Continuum. At $5000 each, only fancy pants artists seem to afford them, like Radiohead (they ordered one).

A lot of people wonder why I chose to study Electrical Engineering, when clearly I don't have a career interest in it. The truth is, I wanted to know the guts and innards about what sound is and sound production, and I didn't want the wimpy watered down version. I distinctly recall flipping through the course catalog and thinking, "What classes do I want to take?" I saw this class - ECE 402 (music engineering), as well as an audio engineering, acoustics, and digital signal processing class, but they were all 400 level classes and required me to be on an engineering track for 3 years before I could take them. And for those 4 classes ALONE, I did what I had to take them, all the engineering coursework and unrelated classes. At times it was pretty hellish, and it was hard to stay motivated. But I had to take those classes, I had to understand. There may have been other routes to get there, but this was the most "in depth".

And I think it was well worth it. There is something distinctly satisfying in grasping knowledge that at one time you put on a pedestal, far, far out of your mind's reach. Your eyes dilate and mouth opens and you proclaim "I'VE SEEN THE LIIIGHT!" Kidding. But it is definitely pretty cool. The greatest thing I learned in college was that I could learn anything I wanted, which is incredibly liberating.

Everything I do is steered by my gut. It puts me through hard times but I trust in the end it will all make sense, to me and to you.

Eh....I'll explain later ;)

xbeethovenx (not verified) says:

song sounds great - i hope you are right. i hope that it will end up making sense

xbeethovenx (not verified) says:

Is there some "comment boycott" of which I am unaware? Does Zirafa skin giraffes, only to discard the bodies and use the fur for his live show?

*farsheed (not verified) says:

ha, sri lanka has the highest number of hit counts to this site after the U.S. Crazy!!

-Farsheed

xbeethovenx (not verified) says:

my parents are the heads of international marketing for Hemlock Records. Don't you know that Glasscutter (Sinhala mixx) is the hottest thing to hit the tropical dance floors?!?!?

xbeethovenx (not verified) says:

w00t splash page

spizzle (not verified) says:

donkey got up!

xbeethovenx (not verified) says:

hi spizzle

(the comment authorship just made me type "goxji." I am offended and insulted."