Gary E. Peek's MIDI sequenced music

Archive of emails/notes to list of musicians and reviewers

10/22/09   "Saturn's Path"

Sound familiar? I took Autumn Path, and as soon as I substituted a
particular synthesizer patch to the acoustic guitar part, I knew I
had something. Exactly what I had, you can be the judge of.

I tried to use a looped drum patch but it just didn't work, so this
song still sounds jazz-like in some respects.

I modified the lead synthesizer parts only enough to accomodate the
patches used.

Does it work?

9/11/09   "Autumn Path", and "Autumn
Path/with Lead Guitar"

I had to actually pick up my guitar to get some inspiration and
ideas for this one. It use some chords I have been playing around
with for many years.

I started with the file for the song "Always", which has similar
instrumentation, then added electric rhythm guitar to give it a
very full sound. Please comment on the mix of these many instruments.

I made 2 versions, with and without lead guitar. Tell me which you
like best. The one without lead guitar should stand by itself if
you want a really simple and mellow song.

Update 9/18/09 - I made some slight modifications and now the only
version that exists is one with lead guitar.

2/18/09   "The Bomb Shuffle"

Just like the last one I did, titled "RFJ", I experimented with
an over-the-top guitar solo part, this time with a "shuffle" for
a background.

You know, the more notes you try to squeeze into a song, the
harder it is to get them all to work together.

I got tired of the details so I stopped at this point to let you
all hear it, but I may do more to it later.

8/20/08   "RFJ (Rock Funk Jam)"

This one is certainly a departure from my usual style. It sounds
a bit like the jams that we did when we were younger.

I was was reading a discussion on about how most
dropzones are illegally using copyrighted music to dub to their
skydiving videos that they sell, and the alternatives. (Creating
your own music, which much of what you hear now is.)

Well Sony created an audio file format for audio sample that
matches the key and tempo of whatever it is used with (ACIDized
wave files), and a program to create (songs) using any sample
you can find. There are many of them for sale and for free.
I downloaded a few drum files and imported them into Cakewalk
Music Creator, and that is how I got the idea for this song.
(I actually made the equivalent MIDI notes.)

For the technically inclined, the lead guitar part has an effect
like a wah-wah pedal, but I did this by manually manipulating
a band-pass filter (which is what a wah-wah pedal is). Just think
of how absurd this is. The computer is playing the guitar notes
and the human is just being a pedal flunky.

The usual caveats apply, be warned about the bombastic guitar
and piano solos.

7/29/08   "a la mode (In The Style)"

As promised, the second of a pair, started long before the first.
This is one I personally like because it is much like "smooth jazz".
Well, except for the somewhat bombastic guitar parts...

7/23/08   "Time"

This is the second of a pair of similar songs I have been working on
at the same time, and I am stuck on the first one. This one may change
in the near future because I am not quite satisfied with it. It is
somewhat of an "ambient", but you tell me.

1/10/08   "Clean Sweep"

Happy New Year. Some of you heard the beginnings of this one, started
back in November I think. It's a style slightly removed from the songs
that I have done that I call "ambient", having a simple drum part plus
some orchestral percussion. I experimented a lot with this one, and for
a long time did not know where to go with it or what to use for the
"lead" synthesizer parts, so it just wound up being fairly simple.

11/21/07   "Standoff (rock instrumentation)"

Here is another version of "Standoff" that might appeal to those who
prefer traditional rock instrumentation. It uses a nice organ sound
and another lead guitar patch rather than the electric violin sound.
The "bridge" is now three part, which I had been playing around with
on the original Standoff.

Happy Thanksgiving.

10/30/07   "Co-op"

You all may have noticed that I sometimes write songs in pairs.
I did that with Funky Winds and Twice as Nice, which is why
some of the instrumentation sounds the same for the pair.

I did that again with Standoff and Co-op.

Is the drum lead-in OK or should I just start the song?
Is the ride cymbal too overbearing?
Did I use the correct amount of strings?

Am I tired of the guitar sounds yet?
Is it time for another wailing synthesizer based song?

Maybe, but we will see.....

10/18/07   "Standoff"

My thanks to Stuart who pre-reviewed this one, and suggested
some changes that I made.

OK, so I'm a lead guitarist now. Yeah, right! Well, I had to
try it sooner or later, so I wrote basically a "rock" song,
complete with distorted guitar sounds, but as you know, I have
a way of making things sound like jazz and such. As always
I'm looking for what style to call it.

Let me know how it works.

9/19/07   "Funky Winds"

This one uses Dimension Pro "grooves" for the drums loop and
the repetitive piano-like part. That, along with the fairly
repetitive bass line makes for a repetitive song in some
respects. It would seem to be a jazz-funk kind of style, but
you tell me.

I used the beginning of it for the background music of a
skydiving video because I didn't have anything else around.

The woodwind sounds are some experiments with loading an
instrument patch that has a simple waveform just to get its
effects, and then loading some woodwind waveforms to make
electronic-like woodwinds, oboe and clarinet in this case.

8/31/07   "Twice as Nice"

I have been all over the map on this one. I expect it to change
depending on the feedback I get, or I just feel like it.

The lead synthesizer is actually two of them in unison.
Does it work? Do you like the melody?

The bass is a "synth bass", the first I have used.
Does it work? Is the volume OK?

The Dimension Pro software synthesizer can do custom drum
sets, so of course I had to give it a try. I found a ride
cymbal that has more mid-frequency sounds, thinking it will
help my high-frequency deprived ears hear it better without
having to turn the overall drum volume up.
Does it work?

Bonus question: What guitarist's melodic progressions does
this remind you of?

Hint: This song is based heavily on minor sevenths.


Added Ambient 5.

Happy Independance Day.


Added Ambient 3 and 4.

By the way, any of you that are at work can safely play
any of the "ambient" songs, at least at a low volume,
because their style is subdued enough to not cause
much attention.


I have added a few of you to this email list that know about the
music I have been composing, but have not been updated on new songs
via email.

If anyone on this list does not want to be on it please let me know.
(You are an eclectic group I must say.)

Those who have not been on it may want to take a look around the web
site and catch up on some of the background text I wrote.   (music links)

For the experienced reviewers, the newest stuff is at:

Added Ambient 1 and 2, Techno 1. Ambient 1-1 removed.


So I finished up that acoustic guitar based song a bit quicker
than I thought. This piece is a major variation from most of
the stuff I have done in the past. I have become so used to the
preciseness of a computer playing perfectly synthesized sounds
that it has taken me a long time to get used to its imperfections.

It was also a lot of work. I realize that it is a lot easier
using synthesizer sounds because no one really knows what they
should sound like, because the idea is to make up a bunch of new
interesting sounds.


OK, I told everyone that I was going to use my new computer's
processing power to use multiple instances of a free software
synthesizer called Triangle, but instead I bought Dimension Pro,
a really nice software synthesizer with a lot of real instrument
sounds including some pretty good guitar sounds, and more synthesizer
styles than you can shake a stick at. I'll be still learning what
this software can do a year from now.

But I found out that when using real instrument sounds you get
real instrument disadvantages too. You need to pay much attention
to the range of the instrument and how it sounds different with
different notes.

With the simpler software synthesizers like the EDI Roland they
give you with Cakewalk Music Creator the sounds are adjusted to
be uniform at almost all frequencies.

I have a song I have started using acoustic guitar, but it is going
to take a while to finish that up, so I did a short "ambient" piece
which is on the web site.

At least I think the style is "ambient". If you think it would be
better classified as something else please let me know.

There is actually 2 versions of it, using different synthesizer
sounds, and I could probably do 2 more with all the synthesizer
sounds available.

Which do you like better?


Folks, I finally got that new computer I was threatening to get.

What pushed me over the edge was the possibility of having to
accept a computer with that piece of filth Microsoft Vista
operating system, so I got a computer while it was still easy
to find one with XP. (It turns out people are rejecting Vista
as the piece of shit that it is, but it got me off my ass on
the new computer.)

So, now I can have multiple software synthesizers running instead
of just one, so I imagine I am going to write a few songs like
this new one, "Triathlon", which uses the Triangle II software
synthesizer which has a number of slowly evolving sounds.

I left the drums and cymbols at the volume range I prefer, so
tell me if you really hate the mix. Once again I tried to write
a monotonous industrial sounding song, but there are too many
interesting classical and jazz riffs floating around in my head,
and I like the piano too much.


Folks, I don't know why I have been so prolific this last month.

Some of you may notice that this email list is getting a bit
bigger as I realize how many musicians I know.

Some technical info follows for those of you I have not discussed
this with, (and assuming you actually care.)

I'm using CakeWalk Music Creator Pro in case you didn't know.
The computer is playing everything. I have not recorded any
instruments played by me.

The first 7 songs used the EDI/Roland software synthesizer
included with Music Creator for all instruments.

I downloaded a copy of another software synthesizer called Triangle
and found that I like it quite a bit, and it is not too much of
a CPU hog. It simulates a good analog synthesizer and can create
a lot of sounds that evolve over time.

The next 2 songs I used Triangle for one sound and the sound card's
built in sounds for the rest, because my computer is not fast enough
to use both software synthesizers at the same time. You may notice
that the sound card drums don't sound as good as on the EDI/Roland.

On the most recent song I used only the sound card instruments,
and here is why-

I finally figured out that my computer is slow enough to cause a
latency, not just with the software synthesizers, but also when
the MIDI instruments are converted to audio files. By the time
the song is done, things are out of synch.

I made some adjustments on songs 8 and 9, but failed on 10.
Oh, well, time for a new computer once Vista gets stable.
(Yeh, right!)

110106 has been renamed to Odyssey, Circle of Flight is the
newest. I am looking for a name for 110906, the one with the
latin percussion. Any ideas?

I still feel like I have barely scratched the surface of computer
generated music, and I'm still doing a lot of experimentation.

The sounds are now driving the composition of the song, rather
than having a song idea and recording it like in the "old days".


Would you believe.... More new music?  It's been slow at work., 110906.mp3

Rick, I am not usually this prolific. I just happened to
contact you before these 2 songs.

If this doesn't sound like The Rippingtons nothing does.
But it is somewhat of an accident since I never know what
a song will turn out like.

Some may notice a short segment that sounds just like early
Santana. Maybe.

Those of you with more youthful ears than mine can comment
on the voume of the very "tight" hi-hat sound that starts at
1:14. I can use another patch that is louder.

This song was done with the same techniques as 110106, with
a software synthesizer than emulates an analog sythesizer.

So far Will is the only one that commented on the last one.
You'll don't hate 'em that much do you?

log file