Recently, CyberMidi featured an article by Dave Gash about his MIDI-driven one-man band, The Quimbys. I already knew how Dave accomplished all his magic but actually seeing his article on CyberMidi got me to re-think my own one-man band show. Up until now I had been using MIDI files played though my Yamaha PSR-1500 keyboard, to which I played along and sang. Now this is fine if the song doesn’t feature backup vocalists who sing counter to the lead vocalist. Maybe I should expand on that a bit.
You might wonder how some of those famous bands came to be known by the names they chose. Well, I’m here to enlighten you with just a few. For example, the Swedish band, ABBA is nothing more than an acronym using the first letters of the first names of its members. Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny & Anni-Frid. Nothing more, nothing less.
My grandpa died at the ripe old age of 64 and when I look back at photos of him, he looked the part with the baggy pants, suspenders, thinning white hair and spectacles. I thought he was ancient. Yesterday, June 18, 2007, Paul McCartney turned 65 years old and it really made me think about how many rock stars from my teen years are still going strong in their twilight years. It also made me curious about whatever became of other rock icons of my youth. After a little web surfing and minimal research I came to the following conclusion: There’s nothing we can do about the passing of time and all of us, like our rock idols, will soon end up with baggy pants, suspenders, thinning white hair and spectacles whether we like it or not.
Let’s take a little break from all this midi talk for just this one column while I tell you a little story about how music changed my life. Had I not taken up the guitar, who knows what might have happened to me? Maybe you have a similar story you’d like to share with the CyberMidi audience.
A lot has been written about the music of The Beatles. Critics and fans alike have analyzed and interpreted and picked apart every note they ever recorded until there’s nothing left to say, nothing new to learn about the music that changed the rock world beginning in the early 60s. However, in order to make that incredible music, The Beatles relied on four instruments that became the voice of the their music. Let’s take a little look into the background of the four most famous guitars in the world, shall we?
Last year I submitted this column to Vin (some of you know him as Flash) for his input and he reminded me that the Cybermidi site has a forum for this sort of thing. Is this a case of Cybermidi’s forum not being utilized to its full advantage or could there be a better format for us MIDI file users to interact with each other? At any rate, what follows is the original column as written. Let’s hear some opinions from the rest of you out there in MIDI land.
Having been in the music business since the Stone Age (or was it the Rolling Stone Age) I’ve seen a lot of technology creep into the music scene. I started as a guitarist in my first band and back then a $175.00 guitar was reason enough to take out a 24-month loan and hope you played enough jobs to make it eventually pay for itself. Such was my case back in the mid-60s.
Over the years I’ve been involved with several recording projects that resulted in commercial CDs that were eventually offered to the public for sale. I know what steps the project had to take before it was all over. With those experiences in my resume’ I believe I can tell you how I’d personally tackle this same task today—MIDI.