New Toy and Composition

•January 16, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I got a portable record studio gadget (Tascam DP-006) for Christmas, so I recorded a short song using an old analog synth (Roland SH-101), then asked my son William to lay down some guitar. I didn’t want to write lyrics, so I taped Jennifer Saul, Megan Saul and Jen’s mother chatting away (totally random and unexpected) while she was visiting us during the Christmas vacation.

I call the song: 𝗝𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝗠𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗯𝗲 𝗮𝗻 𝗢𝘁𝘁𝗮𝘄𝗮 𝗧𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 for two reasons: First: Megan states it in the song, and Second: Jen’s mom is from Ottawa. I thought it was a “good fit”. For those that want to brave hearing it, just click on media link below…

Great little digital recorder (6 track) that runs on batteries and has two built-in microphones and 2 1/4 inch jack inputs for recording song concepts and then can be transferred to computer for post production. Easy to use and quite well designed…

Picture of the analog Roland synth. I was playing with dials and sliders. I had a lot of fun 🙂

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My FSOSS 2015 Presentation

•November 26, 2015 • Leave a Comment

This is my presentation for FSOSS (Free Software and Open Source Symposium) held at Seneca College in October 2015. It deals with explaining how to use Linux OS and open source applications to setup and use a Keyboard “rig” for live performances.

This “rig” is the actual one I use for my live performances. I estimate it the entire hardware and software solution cost me under $300.

Netflix Works in Ubuntu 14.10 in Google Chrome

•November 25, 2014 • Leave a Comment

movie

Netlfix now works easily in Ubuntu 14.10 using Google Chrome!

Just remember to manually install Google Chrome (eg. *deb file) since Chromium does not work with Netflix.

Here is proof that Netflix works from screen-shot above.

Like I say, Ubuntu (including Ubuntu variants like mine – Ubuntu Studio 14.10) just keeps on getting better and better!

🙂

Murray

Thresholds

•November 15, 2014 • Leave a Comment

One last indulgence of posting another composition of mine….

This one I created in 1987-1988.
I recall I used an Alesis Sequencer and a Yahama rackmount (TX81Z). I recorded it on Mike Kealey’s multitrack tape recorder. I may not have needed more then 1 track.
No drums, entirely keyboards.

It had no name, so as of today and forever, it will be known as “Thresholds”, no reason, just “Thresholds”

mp3 (only) link: http://matrix.senecac.on.ca/~murray.saul/thresholds.mp3

lol,
Murray Saul

Scarb-Isolation

•November 14, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Above is a link to a Youtube video a musical composition I did myself around 1989. I stumbled upon the tape tonight after a 25 year hybernation (totally forgot about it!). I digitized the song from tape and cleaned it up (removed tape hiss, used compression, etc).

I recall that I was alone and bored one friday night, so I sneaked into my room-mate’s bedroom (when he was down in Kingston) and used his TASCAM 644 4-track tape recorder, a Boss Drum machine (DR-550) his synth (Roland U20 which I still play to this very day), my synth (Yamaha DX27), and his effects box to compose this song. Composed of entirely keyboards and drum machine. You can hear the fluctuating notes building (like the enterprize’s warp engines) by me using a Yamaha breath controller. It is amazing that my head didn’t explode in the process…

Sounds like “house” music, but I really wasn’t into that so it was a fluke, although I do like “atmospheric” stuff. So after 25 years sitting in a box, let me introduce you to a tune I just called “Scarb-Isolation” (since I was living as a bachelor in Scarborough Ontario)…

Direct mp3 link (better sound than video):
http://matrix.senecac.on.ca/~murray.saul/scarb-isolation.mp3

Cheers,
Murray Saul

My Musical Journey

•October 31, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Here is a Youtube video of a presentation that I did for the Free Software and Open Source Symposium at Seneca College Thursday October 23, 2014. It basically traces my passion for music and use of free Linux applications for recording and performing live…

Shell Scripting Solves Jack Audio Complexity

•August 28, 2014 • Leave a Comment

One of my friends retired from teaching music a few years ago. He was not very computer savvy… period. When I mentioned to his spouse that I would setup a Linux system for him for recording, she stated, “Forget it, he will never use it…”

But he does (nearly every day!). The trick is taking a flexible but overwhelming system like Jack Audio in Linux and gluing it together using Shell scripting. Here is a screen capture of a simple dialog box to select the type of recording session with a running shell script using the zenity command:

Startup Menu for Type of Recording Session

Here is a link to my shell script in case anyone wants to “tinker”. It is specific for my SIAB (Studio in a box) hardware, but enough information for some to use as a rough guideline:

[ Shell Script Sample ]

When anyone “slams” Linux for lack of music recording capability, they are not entirely correct – I just takes some time and some scripting knowledge to tie it up into a “bow”. If people want to steer clear of Linux that is their choice. My choice is to use it, save tons of money and produce awesome music 🙂

Word…
Murray Saul