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Non Technical Discussion about MIDI

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In response to: A "Must Have" For Solo Performers

Comment from: HarleyBob [Visitor]

5 stars

Wow just what I have been looking for. I play guitar and Have a vocalist live pro and use MIDI on a lap top in my solo act . But have two Large song books with chords and lyrics. When I get a request I have to fumble through hundreds of songs to find it! Would I have to type the chords and lyrics or can I copy/ paste them from my notepad file? Also is there a video that shows a live performer or someone using the Showplay set up?

09/09/15 @ 19:44

In response to: Whose Song Is It Anyway?

Comment from: Bryan [Visitor]


Oh yes, and is it just me or does the instrumental part in the middle of Alanis Morissette’s “You Learn” sound suspiciously like “Yub Nub” - that Ewok Song?!?

04/02/15 @ 23:57

In response to: You Don't Have To Be A Solo Act To Use MIDI Files

Comment from: Rodney 'B' [Visitor]

Rodney 'B'
5 stars

Hey man your take on using midi files this way is right on point I use them as an electronic flake book some time for the jazz files & R&B. Our band use it for reheasal and as live backing tracks for live performance muting instrument parts and leaving strings or horns sections parts for a full sound effect with an metronome line out to the drummer. Some sequencers take liberties to the original recordings but more than often they are arrange such as a live band would play it with a new take on it and they can give you a good live feel to the midi file. Great article on” You don’t have to be a solo act to use midi files".

02/10/15 @ 16:13

In response to: An Amazing List of Beatle "Firsts"

Comment from: Michael K [Visitor]

Michael K

Well done to David on debunking some of these over-hyped firsts.
The Beatles had enough ACTUAL firsts without zealots inventing them.

A couple more debunks.
The first sitar on record IS by The Yardbirds on ‘Heart Full of Soul’

The Beatles NEVER used a full orchestra because George Martin was all too aware of the expense (and knew EMI would grill him on it) and there were no records they made which warranted a full 100 players.
In fact, George was adept at hiring sections and then double-recording them.

The biggest orchestral presence is the 40 players on ‘A Day In The Life’.

David is also right about the first purpose-made ‘video’ having been made for The Animals in 1965 and it was this which inspired Brian Epstein to commission what are known as the Intertel promos in the same year.

12/25/14 @ 01:41

In response to: A "Must Have" For Solo Performers

Comment from: BillB [Visitor]


What you’re describing is the Karaoke feature of ShowPlay. You can have the lyrics displayed that way or you can have them simply scroll along as the accompanying audio file plays in the background, OR - and this is my chosen option - You can embed timing marks so that the lyrics sync exactly to that spot in the audio file. Either way, it’s an invaluable program and worth every cent.

09/07/14 @ 23:11

In response to: A "Must Have" For Solo Performers

Comment from: Ken [Visitor]

5 stars

Hi, just ordered the $15 demo…. was wondering if the words are highlighted as they are sung ? Cheers Ken

07/21/14 @ 04:44

In response to: The Four Most Famous Guitars In The World

Comment from: Bill Bernico [Visitor]

Bill Bernico

Lennon and Harrison also each bought Stratocasters and Harrison even played a Telecaster in the rooftop concert for Let It Be. Those guitars aren’t nearly as famous as the ones they debuted with in America. They are probably better guitars, sound and quality wise, but just not as famous. That was my point. You probably won’t see the Strats or Tele in any museum.

10/09/13 @ 20:32

In response to: The Four Most Famous Guitars In The World

Comment from: eric rivers [Visitor]

eric rivers
1 stars

Are u kidding me…no way…not even close 1) Fender Stratocaster 2) Gibson Les Paul 3) Fender Telecaster 4) I dont even know…..the first three im absolutely sure of…..

10/09/13 @ 19:59

In response to: Whose Song Is It Anyway?

Comment from: Sharif [Visitor]

3 stars

I found this post after looking up “Theme From Mahogany” with my noticing how blatantly similar it is to “Here There and Everywhere” and thought maybe they had paid for it in advance; or if they were trying to get back at The Beatles for the George Harrison incident and got away with it.
I’m a songwriter myself and a bit of a musician. I can say that a lot of it tends to be unintentional if some parts sound copied… I always like to check, but it can be hard since there are so many songs out there. You can’t really copyright a chord progression or even an accompaniment on its own. That’s why you’ll hear the same bass lines and rhythm sections on a million and one rock ‘n roll tunes.
There is just a fine line between using some parts for arrangement, accompaniment or transition and straight up plagiarizing. Personally I think if it is unintentionally similar AND the artist has made sure to remove any doubt if had, then they should in most cases be fine but if it still sounds too similar, it has to be settled in court if the suspicious party thinks so.
Nowadays it’s quite different though; most signed artists on big labels can ripoff whatever they want; intentionally or not; because their label pays to be able to use anything from any song (among other signed artists, publishers and labels). It’s one regular fee they pay to ASCAP, and the others.
As for your opinion of hip hop… you obviously haven’t listened to enough of it… one could say similar things about any genre without having listened to a broad enough range of it. I respect all forms of music and can see all of their good points. Even a lot of 50s rock and roll culture resembles hip hop… one of the famous DJs of that time used to do improvised rhyming in between playing the rock ‘n roll records; it is considered one of the first examples of rap.

04/11/13 @ 18:14

In response to: A "Must Have" For Solo Performers

Comment from: Kevin [Visitor]

5 stars

I like most started with a milk crate full of books but since ShowPlay the books are in file 13, what I do now is work on putting the chords with the lyrics its time consuming but in the end it will be worth it. If other ShowPlay users have already chorded lyrics it would be nice to be able to share each others work. Thanks again ShowPlay

04/12/12 @ 20:17

In response to: Whose Song Is It Anyway?

Comment from: Bryan [Visitor]

5 stars

I found this page after I heard “Even The Nights Are Lonely” and thought, “Boy, that sounds familiar!”

Some other ones I’ve run into:
Arthur’s Theme and How Am I Supposed To Live Without You
Breaking Us In Two -Joe Jackson and Day After Day -Badfinger
Briefly: Greatest Love Of All -Whitney Houston and We’re All Along -Boz Scaggs (near “All Forgotten Now” and “Throw It To The Wind")

And although significantly different, I used to get “Save Your Kisses” by Brotherhood of Man confused with “If” by Bread. And the my wife started singing “Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” - similar chord sequences in there - ahh the 70s…

03/23/12 @ 11:34

In response to: An Amazing List of Beatle "Firsts"

Comment from: tom keefet [Visitor]

tom keefet
5 stars

Great Job Bill, I too Loved them. That’s when I knew I wanted to learn to play guitar,still do all these years later. I actually got to meet them and shake their hands except for Ringo, thanks to my father who had a suite down the hall from them in the Rockerfeller Plaza. they just got back from a meeting with JFK in Washington. Great memory.

01/26/12 @ 22:50

In response to: A "Must Have" For Solo Performers

Comment from: tom keefe [Visitor]

tom keefe
5 stars

I just learned about showplay and Think it is just what I need,I want to get rid of play songbook and music stand, is there a big learning curve to this? thanks for posting

01/26/12 @ 16:39

In response to: You Don't Have To Be A Solo Act To Use MIDI Files

Comment from: Tyra Shortino [Visitor]

Tyra Shortino
3 stars

Practicing a piece using a MIDI file is inexpensive, and the finished product may be made to sound as good as one recorded in a studio. Even though new formats are becoming more popular, it’s amazing that the old MIDI format is still used today.

12/13/11 @ 09:50

In response to: An Amazing List of Beatle "Firsts"

Comment from: Tim [Visitor]

5 stars

Doubting David…my son, why do you have no faith in Beatles firsts? Just a few thoughts:

1. Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock” video was taken from the movie and used as a trailer in movie theatres to promote the film. The Beatles were first to shoot music videos to promote songs.

2. The significance of “Hey Jude” making it’s debut in the Top 10?
Before a single record went on sale to the public, orders by record dealers made it a Top-10 seller before the records even went on sale! Additionally, “Can’t Buy Me Love” sold a million copies to record dealers before a single record was sold to the public.

3. Subliminal messages: Dog whistles inaudible to humans (McCartney) and slowed down messages done on purpose (Lennon). Yes, subliminal.

Additionally, the Beatles were:

* The first group to use Automatic Double Tracking Sound recording;

* The first pop song to begin with a fade-in ws “Eight Days a Week";

* The first artist to release an album with all lyrics of all songs printed on the album sleeve (Sgt. Peppers);

* The first rock-n-roll performers to be immortalized in London’s Madame Tussaud’s waxwork museum;

* First pop band to use classical touch of strings and keyboard instruments.

Last but not least, to use the term “obscure Beatles songs” is like saying “semi-boneless ham". There is no such thing.

Every song on every album, every single and many of their outtakes fromthe studio used in “Anthology” including Lennon inventing “Strawberry Fields” on his couch at home on an acoustic guitar, have been played millions of times. If you know the Beatles, you know “Dr. Robert". If it’s obscure to you, “you weren’t there".

07/23/11 @ 15:25

In response to: An Amazing List of Beatle "Firsts"

Comment from: Charles [Visitor]

1 stars

How about Hugh Le Caine sampling a drop of of of water and creating Dripsody (1955).

Jim Fasset - Symphony of the Birds and
Strange to your Ears have more effects
than the complete Beatles catalog.

06/24/11 @ 13:30

In response to: Solo Or Duo, MIDI Is Still The Best Choice

Comment from: Jeremy Ellis [Visitor]

Jeremy Ellis
4 stars

Hi Bill:
Good article, not sure if you are the person to ask, but I am doing some data manipulation and visualization with midi files and am having a terrible time finding simple midi files that just have the melody and not several extra tracks. It should be easy just to find simple songs but most midi files have multiple tracks or complex tracks on one channel. In your experience have you ever found a midi site or search term that finds midi files with just the melody?

05/30/11 @ 00:46

In response to: An Amazing List of Beatle "Firsts"

Comment from: Joe [Visitor]


I have to comment on David response.

As for the use of samples in recording, ever heard of “Leader Of The Pack” by the Shangri-Las. Is that a motorcycle I hear? =

That is called a sound effect not a music sample.

“The Beatles were the first to release a pop record with sitar, however they were not the first to use one. The Yardbirds recorded unreleased tracks with sitar before them. It was on “Norwegian Wood” not “It’s Only Love".For that I’ll give you half = .5

Well since the Yardbirds didn’t release the song with the sitar and the Beatles did counts. Plus George is the rock gutiarist to play one a rock record.

The Beatles did not invent the music video. One example would be Elvis Presley’s promo for “Jailhouse Rock". Also, the Animals did a colour studio promo for “House Of The Rising Sun” in 1964 =

Elvis was not a promo but a scene from a movie. The Beatles made full promo films seperate from a musical or live performances.

I actually don’t care to correct Bill on the other things but some of the points on the article is wrong but really not that many.

02/04/11 @ 11:01