Sunday, April 25, 2010

The original version of "Passage"

I have blogged quite a lot about this composition in the past, which you can read here, and also referenced here and most recently here.

I decided it would be good to record the "original version" as it was composed for that Freshman Composition class at the Belmont College School of Music in 1979. This is pretty much exactly what I heard in my head at the time, and the music is exactly what I played for the class (if my 30 year old memory can be trusted). As I mentioned previously, I eventually want to showcase the entire "Suite" of "Serious Compositions" which I wrote between 1979 and sometime in the early 80's in a single blog post, and I only have a few more pieces to record before I can do that. But this is the piece of music that started it all, and this was my very first attempt at actually "composing" (not to be confused with the art of "songwriting" which I gave up on years ago!).

Recently, my amazing wife insisted I buy myself a really top-end laptop computer on which I can do my music "anywhere, anytime". After looking around at commercial laptops such as Dell, HP, Toshiba, etc, and reading music blogs (including many horror stories) and otherwise researching this, I decided to stick with ADK Pro Audio, where I purchased my main studio computer over two years ago. I have nothing but great things to say about Scott and his whole crew based on my past experiences...they are fabulous people with a passion for great, continuing customer support long after the sale. They sell computer systems specifically for the Digital Audio market, and they are extremely well respected in their field. Scott fixed me up with a killer laptop based on an Intel Core i7 M620 processor, with 8GB RAM and all the fixings, as we say here in the south (the "K" in ADK does stand for "Kentucky" after all!).

I was thinking that this new addition to "Studio B" would give me the ability to "start things", but that I would probably still transfer the projects down to "Studio A" to finish them. Well, I had no idea how much processor speeds have improved in the two years since I bought my quad-core machine from ADK! This laptop will do everything my big machine will do, and without breaking a sweat. It actually runs Pro Tools better than the other machine (still not completely sure why that is).

I recorded this version of "Passage" in Pro Tools 8 M-Powered using Kontakt 4 for the Rhodes and CP-80 piano sample that makes up the main "piano" part. The synths you hear are all from the CPU-hungry folks at Arturia, specifically the Moog Modular V (Taurus bass sound), the Jupiter V (String machine sound), and the Arp 2600 V (lead sound). I laid on the mastering and EQ plugins pretty heavy while mixing this down, and saw my CPU meter holding steady at less than 20%. Amazing.

In the few weeks since Studio B got this upgrade, I've only spent a couple of hours in studio A! I actually did start and finish this piece completely on my new laptop. Amazing technology. What a great time it is for musicians to be alive.

A HUGE "THANK YOU" to my lovely and amazing wife LoriLea for upgrading "Studio B"!

Hope you enjoy this "Original Version" of "Passage", composed in the 20th century...recorded well into the 21st!

here is a direct link to the mp3 for non-shockwave environments

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