Thursday, March 01, 2007

Hog Heaven

I transcribed a piano accompaniment for one of the Princess' favourite songs from sheet music into electronic notation, with a vague notion that we could get the sucker playing and sounding half decently. She liked it and asked me to burn it onto a CD so she can use it as a backup plan if she ever has to sing in church on short notice.

These proprietary electronic files aren't terribly useful unless you have something to render them, and unless you can trust the sound man to know what he's doing... So I formulated a systems integration plan.
  1. Save the proprietary file as a MIDI.
  2. Save the MIDI to USB flash memory.
  3. Install custom flash memory drivers on our antique computer, which is the only one with a 3.5 inch floppy drive. By the way, this machine is powered by coal.
  4. Insert the now-supported USB flash into the never-used USB port on the antique and cross my fingers that it will work.
  5. Search out my old box of 3.5 inch floppies, and discover that the first four I try are so old that they are unusable. The labels on them indicate they were last used in 1995.
  6. Successfully reformat the fifth old diskette that I try.
  7. Copy the MIDI file from the USB flash to the 3.5 inch floppy
  8. Take the floppy upstairs to the little room of horrors (#1 Son's bedroom).
  9. Insert the diskette into the aging Yamaha PSR-740 Keyboard.
  10. Use the Yamaha to play the MIDI and render it with a full and wonderful concertish wall of sound. It was a thing of beauty.
  11. Plug an output cord from the Yamaha to my laptop.
  12. Play the MIDI again, but this time record the beautiful Yamaha output to an MP3 file.
  13. Save the MP3 on a CD.
  14. Mission accomplished.
But along the way, #1 and I discovered that we can manipulate the MIDI voices to our hearts' content. We were giggling and delighting in our newfound creative outlet. I rushed downstairs and repeated the file transfer process for several of my own sad compositions. We played them on the Yamaha, changed the voices around, and #1 got out his guitar and started improvising accompaniment riffs to my songs. We were jamming!

Hog heaven. It's been a very nice evening.

1 comment:

Patrick Chan said...

Hehe, I gotta admit, when I saw the title "Hog Heaven," I thought it was referring either to pigs or possibly motorcycles! A keyboard/piano was the last thing I expected! :-)