Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Brain On Music

I've decided on a name for my style: serial obsession. It's been physics, computers, music, Japanese, flying, space, blogging, and a few other things (it was even "getting an MBA at UCLA" for a couple of years back in the 80's, but I didn't manage to finish it, too much business travel, see "Japanese"). Now it looks like music is making a big comeback. This is a great thing - it's creative and fun to write and record music. There are a lot of toys, many of them free, all of them with some sort of learning curve (or at least an exploration curve). So it's not quick. Hours go by and I don't realize it. Enjoyable hours.

One of the non-free toys of recent days is Sonik Synth 2 (it was $99 at, a great deal compared to suggested price of $399). This is a soft synth plugin that comes with 8 GB of sound samples and hundreds of presets. It works great in Sonar and with my cheesy Casio keyboard. You can blend and modify these samples in limitless combinations, with a very simple interface, and it sounds fantastic. Everything from realistic pianos, organs, and orchestras to emulations of dozens of vintage hardware synthesizers. I have to write songs to use these sounds!

So this is Your Brain On Music - or my brain in this case (that's also the title of a book I bought two years ago and am finally reading, about the neuropsychology of music). I won't give up space or blogging (or my job!), but I know how these things work. One thing leads to another and before you know it, it's 2:30 in the morning. Or it's October, and you've recorded a new CD. I hope that happens anyway. I listened to my 2003 CD the other day, and I still like it, but I think I can do better now.

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