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atari2600land's Blog - Break song


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So I've decided to take a break from Billy the Ball to focus more on some other stuff. I have all these projects I do to keep myself busy. It's quite possibly the only reason I don't watch all that much TV. This time, I've decided to try and make a MIDI of the Incredible String Band song's "Ithkos" off the 1974 album "Hard Rope and Silken Twine," which I bought for the sole purpose that it has a 19 minute long song on it back when I was collecting long songs. "Ithkos" is the 19-minute long song. It has a sticker saying "Made in England" but the back cover says "Manufactured in Germany." So who knows. But no matter.

I have this really old (almost as old as I am!) keyboard which I use to find notes. Which is extremely useful because it fits on my lap. Well, just before I decided to quit the session, it died on me. It's horrible because it needs 6 C batteries! Well, anyway, I quit at the 4.09 mark. I will resume once I find or buy some more C batteries. I don't play by ear per se, but once I figure out the key the song is in, it becomes a little easier to find out the notes. Like at the part I'm in, (I think) it's E major. It started in E minor. The composer really must like E.

I have 7 tracks so far. I listened to the whole song and there's a few more instruments I need to add. Despite the band's title, there are some non-string instruments, like a drum set, but yes, it is mostly strings. Violins, electric guitars (for when it turns into a rock song), piano, stuff like that. This is the type of stuff I do: Discover bands I listen to because I was/am introduced to them because they've made long songs.

Regarding MIDI making, I try to be as accurate as I can. But sometimes, it's downright impossible to figure out notes, especially when there's a bunch of instruments playing all at once, so I figure out something that sounds good. I use Anvil Studio, which has a built-in keyboard, so I guess I could use that to find notes, but then the notes would actually be in the MIDI and I'd have to erase them. The keyboard is more for note inputting.

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