music

Daniel Joannis – Underglow (Song)

And here it is, the new song!

Underglow by Dan Joannis

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Sunday, June 27th, 2010 music 1 Comment

What have I been doing?

Well, last week I began my new summer job at the school I attend, Heritage College. I am an Electronics Technician, in a manner, in charge of preparing the electronics labs for next semesters students. I am setting up a computer systems class’ components, as well as a networking lab, and various other organization and preparation tasks. Cool!

It also means I have less time to work on certain projects and music, but it also means that my off-time will be better spent doing these things I enjoy. Today I went to Allan’s house, a former band mate, and we jammed all day, and his father, someone I would consider a seasoned musician, gave me motivation to get much more involved in my music again. As a result, I’ve got several new song ideas and projects I’m excited to work on. Expect new posts on that soon!

I also ordered and received a battery desulfator, which is designed to revive batteries that no longer hold a charge as a result of sulfation on the plates. I have many batteries I suspect of having this problem, and tonight I have just begun revival attempts. From what I understand, it can take several weeks to fully revive a battery, so I won’t know if it worked for another while, but naturally updates will follow!

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Thursday, June 24th, 2010 electronics, life, music, projects, school No Comments

SoundCloud

Through a friend’s MSN name I discovered SoundCloud. Essentially what it is is a system allowing registered users to share their own songs on the Internet, in order to promote themselves. I figured, what the heck, and I posted a couple of songs there, with plans to put more up. Check it out, the songs load a bunch faster than from this server.

My profile can be found at http://soundcloud.com/danjoannis/.

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Friday, March 12th, 2010 music No Comments

Moved, new song!!!

The move is now complete. The server is back up and running, and hopefully there won’t be any issues for the next long while, thought if I move the server around in the room it may go down for a couple minutes. Good news: the internet here is faster than the last neighbourhood! Upload is around 540kbps, vs. the 280kbps I got at the last place. Upload is now 4.5mbps, vs. 1.8mbps. Nice!

I recently began a new song, and it has evolved into something of intricate instrumental interaction that is enjoyable to listen to. It is long, however I have always been a fan of long songs with many faces. My music, being instrumental, does not follow a pattern such as radio-bound music. A pattern of intro/verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus simply becomes too boring in an instrumental. Therefore, the music I write often does not have such defined sections, and instead takes advantage of multiple alterations of notes and instruments in order to keep it interesting and enjoyable.

Head on down to the music section to hear the new song!

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Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 computers, music No Comments

Hard at Work

“DJ Dan” is back: after getting myself a beautiful M-Audio Axiom 61 keyboard, I’ve returned to recording music.

Axiom 61

After the move, I will be organizing my room such that it is a studio before anything else, so that I can truly focus on making music, without clutter and distraction.

Keyboard Roll

These are the results of my hard labour: a full 19″ screen worth of tracks.

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Thursday, February 18th, 2010 music No Comments

Piano, transistors

I’ve posted, on the Music page, a new song I started a few nights ago. A sad but hopeful piano song, that seems to pull you up and down. This is definitely a pre-release version, of course, but it’s there for all to enjoy!

I haven’t played much with the pinball machine since, however, I believe I know what the cause of the problem with the middle GAR drop-targets: because no power is coming from the board itself, I know it’s not a problem with wires between the board and the solenoid. On the board where it connect to, there are a whole bunch of transistors and triacs: relays. I’m 75% sure that these relays control lights and solenoids, so chances are good that one of the transistors are blown that are in charge of sending current to the solenoid. It’s just a matter of finding which one is it, and finding a suitable replacement part.

I’ve gone through my first MP3-player-to-tape-deck-adapter, which I knew would happen eventually. Luckily I’ve got a second one, but it has given me renewed desire to hack into my car’s stereo console and wire-up an Aux input. If only it weren’t so damned cold outside.

😛

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Sunday, December 13th, 2009 music, pinball, projects No Comments

Mini Update: New Song

Just a small update, since getting the rock band drums working, I’ve rerecorded the whole drum track for one of my songs, and since I’m so happy about it, I’ve posted the whole song, in a higher bitrate, for all to enjoy! Go to the Music page!

Saturday, November 14th, 2009 music No Comments

Rockband Drums with Reason

The other day, I figured I should try to hook up my playstation 2 Rockband drums to my computer, to use with Reason, so that when I record my drum tracks, I can use something that actually looks similar to a drum set, instead of a keyboard. The keyboard is good for certain off-beat timed riffs, but the real drums are better for rhythm, and are more satisfying to play.

I spent plenty of time on the internet, and tried out one other method before finding this one that works the best so far. The first one I tried was something like this: Using Joy2Key, I converted the Drum Kit’s button presses to keyboard keys. Then, because Reason doesn’t support using a computer keyboard to play notes, I used another program, Live Midi Keyboard which then interpreted computer keyboard presses as not presses on an onscreen piano. Then, using MidiYokeNT, I created a virtual MIDI interface, allowing Live MIDI Keyboard to output to a virtual MIDI cable, and I set Reason to accept input from this virtual input. This worked, but with two major flaws:

  1. Major latency issues (too many conversion steps, keyboard repeat delay problems).
  2. Cannot hit two notes at the same time. Probably has to do with keyboard limitations.

Now, I have a solution that actually works, and though there still is a bit of lag, it is much better than the last setup. Unfortunately, real time playing is very difficult, requiring you to play the note before it is supposed to be heard. But, when I record music, just lowering the BPM does the trick.

The post that showed me this setup is here. It uses two pieces of software, one, MIDI Yoke NT, and another, called Rejoice. Rejoice converts the joystick signals to midi, allowing assignable notes, volumes, delays, and velocities (however, I don’t believe the program is velocity sensitive, as the controller doesn’t seem to be either).

I have it hooked up, and it makes recording music so much more fun and intuitive. Playing the music on an instrument that resembles the real thing makes coming up with a new riff a lot easier, and it requires pushing yourself to actually make it sound good. Does anyone else have a better setup, with no latency, for Windows? I found one for Mac OS X with no latency, but, that’s Mac, not PC.

Comments about Windows 7

I received a comment below from someone who installed Rejoice on his Windows 7 machine. I wrote this article while using Windows XP, but when I switched to 7 I noticed the same issue he is having – missing ocx files. You can fix this by locating the missing files, and copying them into your Program Files\Rejoice folder. I am hosting a zip with all the files here.

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Saturday, November 14th, 2009 computers, music, projects, software 4 Comments

Halloween =]

Well, this Halloween Matt suggested to me something I could do in the spirit of the occasion: setup a projector that would display creepy video: ghosts, zombies, graveyards, etc. I figured, why the heck not? The projector doesn’t get used nearly enough, so I might as well take it out for a few hours and see what happens. The video below is the result:

Pretty awesome, eh? Scary? Maybe not so much, though one kid was afraid to come up our drive way to get some candy! Not many people came by, we maybe had 8 or 10 groups of people, perhaps a total of 30 individuals. Still plenty of candy left over for me, mwuhuhuhahaha! Too much. It was neat though, how the white sheet made the perfect double sided projector screen. Sure beats paying $100+ for an actual projector screen! And of course, a white wall is still good enough (when immersed in a movie, you don’t notice things like holes and dents).

Oh, check out the Music page above, I added a new song. I’ve been working on it since June 10th, so it’s been a while I’ve been adding to it, but I listened to it again at school today and realized, damn, this is a really good song! So tonight, I added sections, created a nice piano interlude/bridge… I’m excited. In celebration, part of the song is up for you to enjoy! Again, leave me your comments!

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Wednesday, November 4th, 2009 electronics, music No Comments

Rhythmind

Hello all,

Over the last few days I have again begun working on my musical compositions. So far, I have a good half-dozen songs that are near ready for publication (this is around 2 years of work, mind you, not overnight). The idea and goal is to publish my first set of around a dozen songs in an album entitled “Rhythmind”. Naturally, it is a compound word meant to relate rhythm and mind, and to hopefully convey the connection and importance of both. Below is a low bit-rate version of a song I began only last Wednesday, but that is already coming along quite well!

Cityrise – MP3 (64kbit) – Embedded below

To record my music, I use Reason as the central program.

For those not familiar, Reason is essentially a virtual rack, with multiple virtual tools for recording music. As a physical recording studio would have a rack-mounted mixer (or even more commonly a desktop model), Reason has a virtual mixer, with virtual wires, allowing for control of audio parameters. Reason offers both sampled and synthetic instruments, which can be controlled by a MIDI keyboard controller. This is my setup, using either a Peavy DPM-C8 Performance Controller or my Roland D-20 Synthesizer keyboard. All the music itself is crafted by me.

My Workstation

My Workstation

My next post should be about the FM Radio Transmitter I assembled in my course. So far, I’ve tested the range to be about 2 to 2.5 houses down my street (when the transmitter is inside, at my front door). Not bad!

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Sunday, October 18th, 2009 electronics, music, software No Comments