Sunday, October 6, 2013

Retiring the Roller

    Well, the old faithful rubber keyboard, the Roller, has been retired. Not from my armchair, where resting on a small plank it has been my study device for years in the wee small hours, but from the recording studio. The Roller, insists Madame Director and Producer, has a few too many limitations by comparison with a Korg sequencer/sampler/synthesizer we spotted last week in Donny Stewart's music store. Once we had been instructed by Don on the remarkable virtues of this masterpiece of technology, I realized that it would make the perfect packaged chamber orchestra to back up the songs from the opera. Marianne had already moved into the studio the Edirol powered speakers we bought some years ago, when we thought we might be recording music on an Edirol Roland MP3 digital recorder. The MP3 did get some work with some historical sketches recorded for the museum, but no music was involved with the recorder, while the speakers only functioned on my behalf, so I could listen to the television on earphones.
    The Korg first caught my eye not because of its abilities with sound, but because of its size. It is made with narrower keys, and produces five octaves of music with about the same length as the Roller uses to render four. This gives more scope and a pretty complete two-handed picture under the webcam. This will provide the maximum opportunity to present the method in all its simplicity, order, and completeness.
    Talk about having all your ducks in a row!
    We would have zipped down to the music store and picked up the Korg right after this afternoon's session in the studio, but it happens to be Sunday, and that part of Baker Street is pretty quiet.
    I really did want to present the method on the dear old Roller, so kids and other beginners could see how much could be learned about essentials on an inexpensive and very portable device, but music is, after all, all about the sound, so we have to take the opportunity that shows itself. And I suspect that the Korg will offer much to confidence and inspiration. Just imagine Christopher Columbus setting off to discover India in the battleship Missouri.

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