October 04, 2005

Capturing Music

Posted by Scott at 07:00 AM

Music - I was pretty tired last night. I often am on the days I work out at the YMCA. In the few moments of quiet after the kids were all in bed, I looked over the tutorials on Apple's GarageBand. While it does some cool stuff, it's focus is different from what I was looking for. Today I may look into a cross-platform (meaning it works on Windows, Macs, and Linux) program called Audacity. I may end up just capturing our piano's sounds as I did before with Final Vinyl and LAME. Certainly that approach worked fine. It would be nice to see if GarageBand or Audacity could make it easier.

The thing that let me down a bit about GarageBand is that it wants to be the "center of the universe". Not only can it capture and mix sounds, it wants to be the synthesizer. It can't drive a synthesizer — at least as far as I can tell. Its MIDI interfacing is input only. You can't create and manipulate MIDI tracks and send them to a device like our piano. That's fine for 99% of the users who will try GarageBand, but if you own a synthesizer like ours (or TJ's) it leaves you a bit out in the cold. One application I'm going to look further into it Cubase. They have an entry level application for dabblers like me for playing with MIDI tracks and recording. As Photoshop Elements (~$80) is to the "real" Photoshop (~$600), I'm looking for something similar in the MIDI music domain.

Claire - Today Claire shifts her clarinet instruction. Last week it was held during her school day but the teacher offered to take some students before the school day started. I'm glad to go that route, even if it means Tuesdays I'll be driving her to school early instead of her taking the bus. I didn't want her extra music class to preempt other schoolwork.

CCD - Tonight Michelle has a meeting to attend at St. Patricks. She “volunteered” (with a little arm twisting) to teach 4th grade CCD this year. Tonight's meeting is a preparation meeting. Logistics with the boys will be a bit tricky on those nights. I'll have to get out of work promptly to pick up at least Timothy and perhaps the twins. They are going to try to have the twins attend the kindergarten CCD and see how they fare even though they are just 4 3/4. It's just a little shy of the 5 year olds that usually attend.