Theo Verelst Diary Page

Latest: 17 january 2001

I've decided after good example to write some diary pages with toughts and events.

Oh, in case anybody fails to understand, I'd like to remind them that these pages are copyrighted, and that everything found here may not be redistributed in any other way then over this direct link without my prior consent. That includes familiy, christianity, and othercheats. The simple reason is that it may well by that some people have been ill informed because they've spread illegal 'copies' of mymaterials even with modifications. Apart from my moral judgement, that is illegal, and will be treated as such by me. Make as many references to these pages as you like, make hardcopies, but only of the whole page, including the html-references, and without changing a iota or tittel...

And if not? I won't hesitate to use legal means to correct wrong that may be done otherwise. And I am serious. I usually am. I'm not sure I could get 'attempt to grave emotional assault' out of it, but infrigement on copyright rules is serious enough. And Jesus called upon us to respect the authorities of state, so christians would of course never do such a thing. Lying, imagine that.
 

Previous Diary Entries
 

Jan 17, 2001

PDA's

I've looked at the palm OS development possibilities, and the type of device it works on, mainly I found its based on a 68000 variation, at 20 MHz tops, with nice enough colour screens, and infrared port. The development env is file based, and works with two major environments, one being the gnu compiler, even portrayed with the cygwin environment, as I've experience with. Tcp/Ip network connections are supported, they even seem to have a decent socket implementation working.

There are of course (strong) ARM based personal digital assistants as well, I guess 10x faster, and a version of windows on it, I'm not sure it is not windows CE, but its called a ROM version of some portable windows variation.

So basically the pda is not too fast, in case of the palm machines has no keyboard, has up to 8 meg of mem, nice enough screens, and sort of priced in between a simple organizer and a small portable.

I think I'd want to hook it up (unfra red?) with a wireless, not just to make it a portable workplace with internet, no bowsing just like that for the palms though, I understand you can't just use a netscape equivalent, but to use a fast DSP with the pda's screen. That may be up to very decent synthesizer results. With some of the TI dsp's I know they use in wirelesses (don't know which) it could be quite something even, except that batteries wouldn't last all day.

So the plan would be to use a pda for interfacing, waveforms and all that, and a wireless as computation device, which of course is not logical, so maybe just a little computation box with a fast and energy friendly DSP? And an internet connection over the new compined tdm slot bands? Then a keyboard would be handy.

In short: at least the limitations are mostly understandable, space for a keyboard, room, costs and decreased durability for a small hard disk (or flash equivalent?), cost of a good screen, and maybe the effort of designing a pda type of thing around a faster processor?

I'd like a vt100 emulator on my monochrome 80x25 chars pda with small keyboard (like a small, cheap casio with qwerty keyboard I used to have), with energy friendly connection to a little box with some battery power in my pocket running linux on a real fast lets say tms3206202 ? There are linuxes for standalone diskless devices with limited eprom/flash, but do they have bash and gcc, too?

There were days where I'd run a more than good enough macro assembler on a 2 MHz, even 16 kilobyte Z80, and the same with the incredible amount of 48 kilobytes of memory and preferably a 180k floppy would run a good enough pascal compiler to do my university Pascal practicum on.

Micro computer down

Then there are days when eventually I can live with 4 Kilo bytes of sound sample data, where that could easily be the amount of data used for parameters of a not too simple synthesizer, but then as sample values. Strange world.

Yesterday evening my synth Z80 system messed up completely. Wouldn't load a program, wouldn't respond to either keyboard, no display activity except direct response in to hardware based signals, oops. Stupid 10 (35) MHz Z80 system, 8 kilobytes (currently used) ram, 8 bit data bus (though with an infrastructure up to doing probably at least 3 high speed ethernet links at the same time at least), a DA converter worth probably about a dollar, and a random logic type of printer interface. Lots of wires, looks like hobby nitting, as someone in the past quite mistakingly called it.

But then it didn't work anymore. No display messages, no resonse to the control or piano keyboard, no sounds, not even faulty ones, nothing.

I had been working a bit on the interface the other day, for instance I've made the DMA (direct memory transfer) which loads data from a PC directly into the main memory faster in giving the bus free again, and resetting the dma counter. The result being that the micrcomputer is interupted only very shortly for filling its memory up with new data. And short is short, it hardly interupts a sound being played. Maybe a millisecond, it depends a bit, but it makes it nicer to play around with different sounds under control of the (old) PC. New sound, press 'send' on the screen, and immedeately after the sound is computed it can be played on the synthesizer keyboard, without audible glitches or delay.

I've also made 16 step sequencer for the synth, and while it is running, the sound can also be changed, almost instantaneously, and when the sounds are similar, even without glitches, that means the screen shows 16 sliders for each harmonic, two for filter characteristics (Cutoff and Resonance), and 3 for Attack Decay and Release, and the same again on the second screen, the corresponding sound is computed in seconds and downloaded at request to the running sequencer on the microcomputer. So a little change in the harmonics or filter (or a big change) can be made audible directly during sequencer playback.

I must have loosened some wires, caused a short circuit, or something in the process, because as I wrote, it didn't work anymore. And then the not-gigaherz system is suddenly valuable. No more sounds, no more pounding basslines (really, they are), no more nice two-oscilator lines, no more sound effect, no more dozens of hard to describe warm but additive sounds or noises, nothing. I didn't solve the problem straight away, but looked at what it might be.

Mind you, this is in the order of a thousand wires we are talking about, this is not funny. The breadboards have 64 lines of 10 contacts a piece, there are a few of those, and the computer system on board has in terms of chips at least: 1x40+ 1*24+ 9*20+ 6*16+ 3*14 pins, with normally at least one connection per average pin, making about 400 connections, add the connectors, and we arrive at an additional 64 and 3*20, making about 500, and thats for only the main computer board + control logic, not counting the IO stuff, and the display unit which has at least hundreds of connections as well. And then the breadboards, which have probably at least half of their connections used, and the external band cables, anyhow: a thousand easily.

And when one of them breaks or is short circuited, probably the machine as a whole ceases to function altogether, or malfunctions. And breadboards have connections which are just plugged in, they are not soldered in place, so ripping one flatcable out by an uncontrolled motion easily breaks 8 bus lines.

It was just one (address) bus line that was barely disconnected.. I found out by loading the system over dma, but slowly, one byte at the time, and finding which patterns actually reach the memory and can be read back (just before the new data is written they are visible on the databus, which during DMA is automatically visible on the display. So the PC screen doesn't just look hightech anymore, it actually makes noises appear again.

Synth programming UI

One of the measures for programming a synthesizer sound is how many knobs are needed, and how many noises they span, or put differently: what is the pallette of possible sounds that can be made by turning the knobs to every possible position. The 16 harmonic sliders actually hide samples, which are looped, and therefore when at startup a sample is loaded that is not harmonic, i.e. not a sine wave with a phase shift, or simply of higher frequency, then the sliders activate a whole sample, at different frequencies, because the harmonic generators are still tuned between 1st and 16th harmonic, except they can use a non-sinusodial sample. That makes for extra variation, and especially in combination with additional filtering, some sounds are getting where I wonder if I'd easily find equivalents in synths I know, in positive sense that is.

Anyhow, its interesting enough to see the sonic variation with 16 harmonics (even with fixed phase), a single linear time interpolation to drive them, one 4 pole filter with resonance, and a simple ADS envelope, and how much synthesizer is already present playing the result with 0th order sample replay interpolation at 25 kHz or so with only 4000 sample bytes. (looped at the last 256)

The sound pallette in synth sounds is better because of the adjustable harmonics, which I have experience with, but not with 16, and not in such a tight constellation. The sliders have a hundred (linear) positions, which would better be logarithmic, or quadric, but still, lets say at least 15 positions are relevant, which makes for 15 to the power of 32 variations, which is of course considerable. It is not directly clear wether this variation is distributed evenly in terms of the perception, but my ears at least pick up quite some of the variation possibilities as quite relevant, and it is needed to know about fourier transforms, standard waveforms, filter behaviour, and the buildup of certain sounds to make sense, otherwise the variation becomes sort of hard to manage, but not dull, fortunately.

The main considerations are the basic waveforms as used in analog synths: square waves, sawtooths, triangles, and pulses (assymetrical square waves), which can be made with the right combination of harmonics, for instance a square wave has all harmonica in a ratio of 1 1/2 1/3, etc. Because there is a wave window on the same screen, the result is clearly visible, and indeed a just a bit rounded sawtooth can be seen when these ratios are used. Pulses are generated by a smooth peak in harmonics (especially higher ones), and filters are approximated by taking into account that they filter for instance 24 db (factor of 1/16 th) per octave, is factor 2 in frequency.

The envelope of course doesn't change the harmonic content normally, but the filter does, and should be seen as dynamic element, especially during cutoff frequency changes (currently over the whole sample duration the cutoff and resonance are interpolated between two given values, indicated by their own bar slider on the screen). Especially when the filter is resonant, the sound character changes considerably, the filter acts as a variable frequency near-sine oscilator (resonance control works fine), picks out the harmonic components it passes (i.e. where the cutoff control lets it s operate it amplifies the harmonics present), and a quick frequency change is a form of FM synthesis, while the whoel filters' phase shifting characteristics add a signal change that makes it sound 'fat' or beefy in a certain way, recognisable in most (better) ananlog synths.

All the latter depends on the quality of the signal path, which allows one to get close to interesting sonic 'cliffs', being the filter resonance, the resulting amplitudes when harmonics are being amplified, the fm effect, and phase changes during filter sweeps, and their effect. In general, making sounds while taking these things into account is part of the art of programming analog synthesizer, very unlike turning a few filter (rarely more than 2d order) knobs on a mixer, or picking sounds from a sample library, though that is fun enough, I brought some samples ranging from pianos over synths to drum samples to the pc, and used them in the synth, which is definately fun enough.

But making one drum sound for anything between a little plick, over classic analog type sounds over heavy enough toms and even somewhat of a snare to a quite heavy enough scala of bass drums is quite worth it already in comparison. And, the parameters can be changed, even during playing, which makes for much more sonic interest. It's time for more horsepower, though having no window, perimeters, blitting, and graphics formats to mind, makes for pretty straightforward programming... And it works.

I'd probably want seperate samples with variable looping points and pitches, and a way to preset the sprectrum to for instance the well known waveforms. It would be nice to have spectrum editing tools to for instance scale a part of a spectrum, and cut and paste, prefereably even over the harmonics number. A fft on the result of a sample mix would be nice, I'm not sure how it would work out with the low bit resolutions I now use, and how many harmonics would be usefull, but I did try a Basic fft on some self generated samples, which gaveme quite accurately the harmonic components back which I put in the sample.

I aim now for making the envelope adds, that is a second decay rate, to add another filter (to have 8th order in total, this regularly has proven quite usefull) not with time interpolated control cutoff control, but with an ads generator. Also a pitch control and ads would be nice, and maybe a immedeately a way to add samples with non-harmonic frequency ratios, for instance for generating chords.

All in all, I do arrive at a package that is more powerfull, practical, and strong sounding than quite some PC software I've seen around lately, not including for instance wavelabs' type of effect processing, time stretching, etc. But quite some synth simulators are not up to all the things in the 286 program that already works, which is a good thought. A PC with cygnus and a wav player would definately be interesting to develop a windows version with, maybe as preparation for the physical modeling thing and DSP acceleration. I'm not sure about the sound generator on the printerport, most PC's should be able to do more than enough sound synthesis in real time themselves, though interupts and delays may make this not good enough (as by far mostly it realy isn't). My 'synth' module, apart from having its own display and keyboard, has no delay at all: as soon as a key is pressed, the sample starts or continues within fractions of a millisecond. A PC sys may give ou 50 millisec and that is if your not unlucky, than it can be up to fractions of a second, which is unplayable for serious stuff.

The fixed VGA screen with simple mouse routine library and no multitasking/windowing makes for easy enough programming in the UI sense, only my compiler is very limited in C sense. I'm not sure how it is exactly on windows, in the past I've done high quality UI programming under comparable 'Gem' on the ST, and I have looked some windows UI program examples when I compiled and used mesa (opengl clone), the main point being that I don't have a small library with window open, redraw, and line/block routines in colors that always work handy. With that, its fun enough: I've done several programs with .wav file interfaces already under cygnus, the gcc compiler is fine (even fast and capable), and I've even done working assembly language preparations, and after all the pentium (not just the 386) is now fully supported.

Anyhow, I don't have one now, but it's good comparing some programs reviewed here and there, I could write stuff like it and probably have quite a good angle on the signal path, making for good software synthesis. Never hurt to be know inthat area when doing the physical modeling stuff in addition, and even worse: doing the hardware synth thing.

I've been looking in TI datasheets again, they now also have the tms320C64xx, which is up to roughly 8 Giga operations per second, in one DSP chip (donno the price: 'call'), with the same programming environment as the one I've a sample from (about 1 Giga op per second, $35). These things are mean: they have these 8 ALU (computation units) and use them, though it must be said that the 64xx is still improving in this area. There are certain combinations of operations and ALUs and registers, that are not spanning the complete set of possibilities. But then again: even within an ALU, there are double and quadruple operations to act on two short integers or even 4 bytes simultaneously, with dataflow control, per alu that is. Also the 64xx offers full 32x32 bit multiply, I think even per cycle, which at a Gigaherz IS fast.

Its a pity there's this ball-grid type of enclosure with 256 wires on the area of a major stamp, thats hard to solder: it comes with a warning for moisture during vapor soldering, which probably is one of the ideas: a hot gas to make the tin melt. It just happens to be so that I don't have such equipment, I did check that I could even use 1/20 inch flatcable, a very thin soldering tip, and lots of patience. I go an email the other day about a baby version of the same type of DSP (its sort of fashionable to do product diversivication in the area of dsps and microcontrollers), running 'only' 50 mega instructions per second, which has a square house with 144 pins on the side, which fits in a normal enough holder that can be soldered. gmmph.

Luckily there exist evaluation boards running at 150 MHz, which should do just fine to synth stuff with to kill with or for, I'm sure since my latest experience. With sample time parameter updates even, and sampled at high enough rates, and than there should still be more than enough horsepower to do decent polyphony. I saw from AD flyers that they have libraries for mpeg (3) decoding which takes about 50 MIPS per channel, and that they run that possibly concurrently, that might mean that with some work it may be possible to do real time sample playback based on mpegs for some number of oscilators, worth a try, even in major memories (the dsp should drive many megs without much connecting effort even). Load mpeg sets from a PC, precompute variations (for instance physical modeling based), effectively use flash memories, and possibilities are considerable.

Tcl/tk and such

What's with that tcl stuff? In short, when it is available, and it is on any windows 95+, mac, linux and unix machine almost, it makes for quite a powerfull environment, and I've been able to complete quite some complicated and highly practical programming taks with it, without too much effort, and leaving me with a few libraries of usefull, manageable code.

There are various pages with examples and screendumps (pictures) to indicate the possibilities on my site, and in fact if I can use the language again it is worth using and extending my libs. In fact tcl/tk has evolved in the meanwhile to include even some of my desired, quite powerfull features, and it is worth basing products on for instance the block editor canvas I've made, the networking routines (for file transfer over various internet nodes), the webserver plus extensions, various database 'stuff' (It would be worth comparing with a sql server on the same machine) and in general it works well to put things together and make them work quite well in a short time.

It seems that the whole of tcl/tk, and currently even the pro version (with graphical realtime debugging aids) is available in source form (partly was that way always), but now also for the cygnus/gnu compiler, and that should be including all their libraries. If that is so, it would make this programmer quite, quite happy, and checking whats commercially possible with all this.

Both the idea of having sound and control signal paths under control of the block editor and a powerfull scripting language and library, and of using such and other programs together with the powerful tcl web server and a recent version of netscape, maybe even with some java applets is appealing, and is enough as forward, powerfull, very fast development cycle, extremely portable infrastructure for years to come in the area.

I'm not sure about opengl in this context, if a lib is available that is good and stable enough (NotaNumber / blender seems to do their thing based on it with maybe an open interface), that should cover quite some 3d stuff on top. Xcong seems to have tcl scripts, nowadays.

And there is b2b stuff, imo basically dataconversion at text (html maybe) block level waiting for interaction time links of general enough forms, where it seems tcl/tk is currently sponsored by. Looks serious.

The Evil Empire

One of (joe) Jacksons' latest cds' has a song with this title
Evil Empire

There's a country where no one knows
what's going on in the rest of the world
There's a country where minds are closed
with just a few asking questions

Like what do their leaders say
in sessions behind closed doors
and if this is the perfect way
why do we need these goddamn lies

This doesn't go down too well
"We give you everything and you throw it back
Don't like it here you can go to hell
You're either with or against us . . ."

There's a country that's great and wide
It's got the biggest of everything
Try to attack it and you can't hide
Don't say that you haven't been warned

You can't hide in a gunman's mask
or kill innocent folks and run
But if you're good at it they might ask -
come on over to the other side

There's a country that's tired of war
There's a country that's scared inside
But the bank is open and you can draw
for guns to fight in their backyard

I could go on but what's the use
You can't fight them with songs
But think of this as just
another tiny blow against the Empire

Another blow against the Evil Empire

Just another blow against the Evil Empire

With one of his early time favorites (I read) combinations of poppish with latin rythms that take years to grow on me (and I'm not untrained, though not in latin), its of an album I had, and played not too often but rediscovered some time ago. Like other quality music, it didn't bore, I just didn't play it enough, and as I said some time ago I had the chance to play it repeatedly again, and found it amusing that I like it even amoung some of my favorites. 'Discipline', and the others also acted as loud high quality testing for my PPA system (see pictures and other pages), mainly because I liked them and because they are mastered on 24 bit digital equipment, making them high quality enough, though I can't espace the notion that I can put on 'diamond life' or so and hear things that are 'ok' in this type of mix done smoother and nicer, mix-wise.

Let those certain-type-of typical-rythm patterns be used creatively and tastefully for at least once, too. And it sure moves those cones nicely.

When I starting band playing regularly, I was quite into jackson, evidently the look sharp type of stuff, in fact most of the life double CD, also in their studio version. It's not of the same dramatic kind as stairway to heaven (I may do a feature page on this type of song), but it speaks about more personal subjects quite well, worth looking at

Be My Number Two

Won't you be my number two
Me and number one are through
There won't be too much to do
Just smile when I feel blue 

And there's not much left of me
What you get is what you see
Is it worth the energy
I leave it up to you

And if you got something to say to me
Don't try to play your funny games on me
I know that it's really not fair of me
But my heart's seen too much action

And every time I look at you
You'll be who I want you to
And I'll do what I can do
To make a dream or two come true
If you'll be my
If you be my number two 

My first pop band (not first performance or pop performance) performance (it think it was) in a project had this one on my request on the list:
It's Different For Girls 

What the hell is wrong with you tonight? 
I can't seem to say or do the right thing 
Wanted to be sure you're feeling right 
Wanted to be sure we want the same thing

She said - I can't believe it 
You can't - possibly mean it 
Don't we - all want the same thing 
Don't we
Well who said anything about love
No not love she said 
Don't you know that it's different for girls
Don't give me love 
No not love she said 
Don't you know that it's different for girls
You're all the same

Mama always told me, save yourself 
Take a little time and find the right girl 
Then again don't end up on the shelf 
Logical advice gets you in a whirl

I know - a lot of things that 
You don't - you wanna hear some 
She said - just give me something 
Anything
Well give me all you got but not love
No not love she said 
Don't you know that it's different for girls
You're all the same

I'll not quote the often played 'can't get what you want ('till you know what you want)' here, but this one works, too:
One to One

Tried to call you yesterday
But you were at the Monday Club
Or a Communist demonstration
Who cares
You're going somewere everyday
Vegetarians against the Klan
Every Woman Against Every Man
Never

     One to One
     What's wrong
     What's wrong with one to one
     just once
     just me and you
     'cause one to one is real
     and you can't hide, just feel
     that three's a crowd

I agree with what you say
But I don't wanna wear a badge
I don't wanna wave a banner like you
Though I don't mind it if you do
You're beautiful when you get mad
Or is that a sexist observation
or

     One to One
     What's wrong
     What's wrong with one to one
     just once
     just me and you
     'cause one to one is real
     and you can't hide, just feel
     that three's a crowd

 
have a look (and listen) at beat crazy, too. Good song stuff.

The evil empire heading does need led zeppelin, I just decided. Though rivers of Babylon and Ma Baker would do, too.


        Stairway To Heaven
        (Page/Plant) 

        There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold 
        And she's buying a stairway to heaven. 
        When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed 
        With a word she can get what she came for. 
        Ooh, ooh, and she's buying a stairway to heaven. 

        There's a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure 
        'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings. 
        In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings, 
        Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven. 
        Ooh, it makes me wonder, 
        Ooh, it makes me wonder. 

        There's a feeling I get when I look to the west, 
        And my spirit is crying for leaving. 
        In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees, 
        And the voices of those who standing looking. 
        Ooh, it makes me wonder, 
        Ooh, it really makes me wonder. 

        And it's whispered that soon if we all call the tune 
        Then the piper will lead us to reason. 
        And a new day will dawn for those who stand long 
        And the forests will echo with laughter. 

        If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now, 
        It's just a spring clean for the May queen. 
        Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run 
        There's still time to change the road you're on. 
        And it makes me wonder. 

        Your head is humming and it won't go, in case you don't know, 
        The piper's calling you to join him, 
        Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow, and did you know 
        Your stairway lies on the whispering wind. 

        And as we wind on down the road 
        Our shadows taller than our soul. 
        There walks a lady we all know 
        Who shines white light and wants to show 
        How everything still turns to gold. 
        And if you listen very hard 
        The tune will come to you at last. 
        When all are one and one is all 
        To be a rock and not to roll. 

        And she's buying a stairway to heaven. 
Oepf. That's at least something to sing. I remember I learned a bit of this on guitars laying around during sailing camp long ago. Later I learned myself the whole chord progression, maybe I'll put my fingering in, though probably learn yourself guitar books abound with this beauty in it.

It seems to me I'm in a city that doesn't just by the crap portraied here, but lives by the early phasesof its implementation. The saidness in the song, almost too much when I was little to listen to without feeling uneasy, I don't feel now, but what a misery, what a stupidity, what a lack of understanding, and still, what a sadness, what a horrible views. The tune will come to you at last. When all are one and one is all , yeah, right.. To be a rock and not to roll. We'll all win if we become our own salvation and cling to it with our lives, ain't it. Sure, And she's buying a stairway to heaven. . Full stop. The catholics will help you.

And of course we'l all be rich in the end. Sure.

The stones?

                   Cocksucker Blues 

            Well, I'm a lonesome schoolboy 
               and I just came into town 
            Yeah, I'm a lonesome schoolboy 
               and I just came into town 
           Well, I heard so much about London 
                I decided to check it out 

             Well, I wait in Leicester Square 
            with a come-hither look in my eye 
          Yeah, I'm leaning on Nelsons Column 
              but all I do is talk to the lime 

          Oh where can I get my cock sucked? 
            Where can I get my ass fucked? 
                 I may have no money, 
           but I know where to put it every time 

            Well, I asked a young policeman 
           if he'd only lock me up for the night 
           Well, I've had pigs in the farmyard, 
        some of them, some of them, they're alright 
          Well, he fucked me with his truncheon 
            and his helmet was way too tight 

          Oh where can I get my cock sucked? 
            Where can I get my arse fucked? 
                 I ain't got no money, 
           but I know where to put it every time 

               I'm a lonesome schoolboy 
and
                                            Paint it black 

                             I see a red door and I want it painted black 
                             No colors anymore I want them to turn black 
                            I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer
                                             clothes 
                            I have to turn my head until my darkness goes 

                            I see a line of cars and they're all painted black 
                             With flowers and my love both never to come
                                             back 
                             I see people turn their heads and quickly look
                                             away 
                            Like a new born baby it just happens ev'ry day 

                            I look inside myself and see my heart is black 
                           I see my red door and it has been painted black 
                           Maybe then I'll fade away and not have to face the
                                              facts 
                            It's not easy facin' up when your whole world is
                                             black 

                           No more will my green sea go turn a deeper blue 
                            I could not foresee this thing happening to you 

                               If I look hard enough into the settin' sun 
                             My love will laugh with me before the mornin'
                                             comes 

                             I see a red door and I want it painted black 
                             No colors anymore I want them to turn black 
                            I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer
                                             clothes 
                            I have to turn my head until my darkness goes 

                                       Hmm, hmm, hmm,... 

                                I wanna see it painted, painted black 
                                   Black as night, black as coal 
                             I wanna see the sun blotted out from the sky 
                           I wanna see it painted, painted, painted, painted
                                             black 
                                             Yeah! 
Would we in the end understand this, too?
                      Sympathy for the devil 

    Please allow me to introduce myself / I'm a man of wealth and taste 
              I've been around for many a long, long year 
                I've stolen many a man's soul and faith 
   I was around when Jesus Christ had His moments of doubt and pain 
    I made damn sure that Pilate washed his hands and sealed his fate 

                             Chorus: 
            Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name 
            But what's puzzling you is the nature of my game 

                    I stuck around St Petersburg 
                 When I saw it was time for a change 
                  I killed the Tzar and his ministers 
                    Anastasia screamed in vain 
                  I rode a tank, held a general's rank 
            When the blitzkrieg raged and the bodies stank 
                             Chorus 
            I watched with glee while your kings and queens 
            Fought for ten decades for the gods they made 
              I shouted out, "Who killed the Kennedys?" 
                  When after all it was you and me 

     So let me please introduce myself / I'm a man of wealth and taste 
 And I lay traps for troubadours / Who get killed before they reach Bombay

    Chorus Just as every cop is a criminal / and all the sinners, Saints 
                 As heads is tails, just call me Lucifer 
                 'Cause I'm in need of some restraint 
               So if you meet me, have some courtesy 
                Have some sympathy and some taste 
                  Use all your well-learned politesse 
                     Or I'll lay your soul to waste 

                             Chorus 

Now THAT took a long time for me to remember. I knew the song, like I did many classics, from the radio, I gues my top 100 of all times tapes helped, though they are easy to remember, idea wise. But I didn't listen much to the lirics and guess I didn't take the threshold of beyond title reading in my let's say mainly christian time (quite some time ago in that sense), it's a favorite since I by chance saw a clip recently. Music for the elderly (like part of the concert audience)? Don't think so, the nature of that game seems more puzzling to many than maybe at the time.

Would be fun to do radio, or band maybe, but then again, would someone listen? I'm sure millions, but something is still wrong. First, these are old songs, second, it seems not too many seem to be into the basics of these things, at least not by simply daring/wanting ..? to not beat around the bush. My sample of environments that is, of course, but some circles and circuits should be up to more than they are. Students. at least some 'hip' and influential circuits and bands.

What about the blues?

In the evil empire, is the blues good enough? The nazis want to rule my life, Cybele is all over my social life, beelzebul has a devil put aside from me, that sort of stuff, and now I sing the blues. That should work. 'My girlfriend will be an assholes property and I'm singing rythm and soul to make clear it just didn't work right yet, oh and my dick is big enough' won't. Didn't get to the blues, but then again how many can live with 'red house', or equivalents?

Maybe a bit more doable stuff. What just came to my mind is a recording I had from 'champion' Jack Dupree, one of the not too many piano blues players I found when I wanted them, for instance 'one scotch, one bourbon, on beer', wonderful.

                     The Thrill Is Gone
      B. B. King

      Lead

      1. The thrill is gone, the thrill is gone away,
      The thrill is gone, the thrill is gone away,
      You know you done me wrong,
      And you're gonna be sorry some day,

      2. The thrill is gone, it's gone away from me,
      The thrill is gone, it's gone away from me,
      I know I'll still go on,
      Some way,

      Lead

      3. The thrill is gone, the thrill is gone for good,
      The thrill is gone, the thrill is gone for good,
      And someday I'll be over you,
      Just like a good man should,

      4. I'm free, free, free, I'm free from your spell,
      I'm free, free, free, I'm free from your spell,
      And now that it's all over, baby,
      All I can do is wish you well,
Guitar solos, and maybe even some (not much) background in listening are needed here for the full experience, of course, preferably loud.

In a blues chapter, we cannot afford not to mention at least one r Johnson song, that I first knew by a female (living) bleus artist (Rory Block), and later had in some patched up original Johnson version: cracky, squelchy, phonesound, but effective. No Hendrix, but this stuff does things. All these things are worth getting, maybe in mpeg (see altavista or so for album titles), or simply as CD or even record. Hell, why not use those turntables on many clips for real, might be fun. Even when you don't want to be human, a good record player, a loud enough amp and speakers, may make many music styles understandabel that may do good, why not. Maybe some would like to play them on a row and make it sound right. Bitter attitude? Nope, I don't think so, it is just saddening that there are probably songs around that say enough, but music experience is worth it, and there are allusions and some samples and qoutes, but seriously, American Pie by madonna is not going to give us satisfaction, music wise.

Walking Blues

   A traditional blues classic, that Robert Johnson recorded 
   during his session on November 27, 1936 in San Antonio.
                                        --

I woke up this mornin', feelin' round for my shoes
Know by that I got these old walkin' blues, well
Woke this mornin' feeliní round for my shoes
But you know by that, I got these old walkin' blues

Lord I feel like blowiní my old lonesome horn
Got up this morniní, my little Bernice was gone, Lord
I feel like blowiní my lonesome horn
Well I got up this morniní, whoa all I had was gone

Well, leave this mornin' if I have to, ride the blinds
I feel mistreated, and I don't mind dyin'
Leaviní this mornin', if I have to ride the blind
Babe, Iíve been mistreated, baby and I don't mind dyin'

Well, some people tell me that the worried blues ain't bad
Worst old feelin' I most ever had
Some people tell me that these old worried old blues ain't bad
It's the worst old feelin', I most ever had

Sheís got a elgin movement from her head down to her toes
Break in on a dollar most anywhere she goes
Ooh, from her head down to her toes
Lord, she break in on a dollar, most anywhere she goes

I wouldn'd normally the say that the bleus changed my life, but I'm very sure it regularly contributed considerably.

I can listen to for instance top of the pops (I seem to regularly prefer reruns, if that is the right terminology), and think what do I get? Well, what I described above: a bit of this and that, if lucky, and a few good things, and though I've been able to find mtv, sky, and some more clipchannels, it didn't all too often make me happier.

I'd use strong terminology, but will resist the temptation, I don't need another so and so to rap about whatever it is about in melodical and rythm idiom that not just covered, but chewed up and vomited out again too often, and think I still need to get some message or worth while idea to percieve. Role in fascism? Lets hope not.

Outside the blues scene, it seems our destiny is kept at least (nice song). Crezip (sorry if spelled wrong) actually perfoms for maybe 40k people or so and gets em going, and with real songs. Sade does her thing, which is nice. I saw her in concert, which musicwise is interesting in various ways, because it has semi improvisation, interesting enough chord changes, but of course it seems to have boring enough material, too, but I decided long ago already that it isn't. I like some materials regardless of the exact musical description, and at least some of the songs are strong imo, such as Jezebel.

Is 'everybody hurts' a blues? Is 'eternal flame'? In short, the idea I'm pointing at is that the bleus is a long-known music form where life's joys and sadnesses, main emotions not too known it seems in real enough forms as I would find lets say reasonable, are presented and referenced. Music in my opinion in general is about at least dealing with emotions and feelings in a preferably pleasurable and maybe effective way, and could on top of that also have something at least sensible to say, an idea to convey, or thoughts to carry that are worth communicating.

Music experiment

I thought it would be fun and informative (even before good video feeds and mpeg excerpts for me are available over web) to look at the 'charts' over some years, I start at about '75, at least then I recognize the major part of the songs, check it out from the beebs server for instance:

top of the pops charts, 1975, lets see: BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, QUEEN; You Sexy Thing, Hot Chocolate; Letís Twist Again, Chubby Checker; All Around My Hat, Steeleye Spa; Art For Artís Sake, 10cc; just examples.

Fun enough, completely serious content, mostly, nice. 60's still?

top of the pops charts, 1979, When Youíre In Love With A Beautiful Woman, Dr Hook; Every Day Hurts, Sad Cafť; Gimme Gimme Gimme, Abba; Video Killed The Radio Star, The Buggles; Donít Stop Til You Get Enough, Michael Jackson; Tusk, Fleetwood Mac (me like that one); Gonna Get Along Without You Now, Viola Wills; Message In A Bottle, The Police;

Hmm. Not sure, nice songs, diffrent nature. The essence of The Devil Went Down To Georgia, The Charlie Daniels Band forgotten?

top of the pops charts, 1982, I just changed the url's year number, that may not be right, but the songs seem to be of the year: COME ON EILEEN, DEXYíS MIDNIGHT RUNNERS; Fame, Irene Cara; Donít Go, Yazoo (THAT is synthypop); It Started With A Kiss, Hot Chocolate; Eye Of The Tiger, Survivor; Stool Pigeon, Kid Creole and the Coconuts; Da Da Da, Trio (thats got the world's smallest keyboard at the time on it, a casio VL-1); The Only Way Out, Cliff Richard;

I could be fooled, but I do see certain patterns here.

top of the pops charts, 1985 EASY LOVER, PHILIP BAILEY AND PHIL COLLINS; Welcome To The Pleasuredome, Frankie Goes To Hollywood; Everybody Wants To Rule The World, Tears For Fears; Pie Jesu, Sarah Brightman and Paul Miles Kingston; That Ole Devil Called Love, Alison Moyet; We Are The World, USA For Africa; Do What You Do, Jermaine Jackson; Material Girl, Madonna; Cover Me, Bruce Springsteen

Well, well, personal stuff. Not too nice, realy, do-able song wise, I'd dare to say shallowness is noticable.

All the qoutes are from top twenty, not random, but not particularly biased in another direction that the selected titles are probably still known, and say something. The years are random start with 3 increment, for no particular reason from 75+. Do notice that these are charts, i.e. not someone's personal choice of hits, I gues these are based on hard sales figures of records (and influentials pushing materials, of course, but then indirectly).

I'd like to continue with top of the pops, but I get more complete charts from 88 or so. Lets swap to billboard top 100/200 (usa), to see if that makes any sense.

Billboard 200, January 19, 1991:

Vanilla Ice: To The Extreme; M.C. Hammer: Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em; Madonna: The Immaculate Collection; The Simpsons: The Simpsons Sing The Blues (who sing the blues? the m*f* simpsons, aren't they cartoons?); AC/DC: The Razors Edge; Paul Simon: Rhythm Of The Saints; George Michael: Listen Without Prejudice (nice, in fact); Poison: Flesh And Blood; The Black Crowes: Shake Your Money Maker (didn't know that was the crows); ell Biv Devoe: Poison; New Kids On The Block: No More Games/Remix; Soundtrack: Pretty Woman; Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin (huh?!); Jon Bon Jovi: Blaze Of Glory/Young Guns II

Well well well, and again. American 'hot one hundred' sort of thing, but still. I also saw: Sinead O'Connor: 'I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got', not being sure about the whole of her, I remember the pope's image being torn up and some sensible songs, at least, background and 'niceness' level clear enough. We can skip to 5 years further:

Billboard 200, January 20, 1996: Soundtrack: Waiting To Exhale; Mariah Carey: Daydream; Alanis Morissette: Jagged Little Pill (will come back to this); Hootie & The Blowfish: Cracked Rear View; Garth Brooks: Fresh Horses; TLC: Crazysexycool; The Smashing Pumpkins: Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness (sounds like hardcore not blues, do I know this?); Madonna: Something To Remember; Vince Gill: Souvenirs; Janet Jackson: Design Of A Decade 1986/1996 (design? what was that again about the african rythms having to be crept into popular music, planned from the beginning of the century or so?); Oasis: (What's The Story) Morning Glory?; Natalie Merchant: Tigerlily; Enya: The Memory Of Trees Michael Bolton: Greatest Hits 1985-1995(sic); Ace Of Base: The Bridge; Collective Soul: Collective Soul;

Billboard 200, January 22, 2000: Santana: Supernatural (no soul sacrufice, lets hope); Jay-Z: Vol. 3... Life And Times Of S. Carter; DMX: ...And Then There Was X; 2Pac + Outlawz: Still I Rise; Backstreet Boys: Millennium; Kid Rock: Devil Without A Cause; Britney Spears: ...Baby One More Time; Limp Bizkit: Significant Other; Metallica: S & M; Sisqo: Unleash The Dragon; The Notorious B.I.G.: Born Again; Rage Against The Machine: The Battle Of Los Angeles; Red Hot Chili Peppers: Californication; Sting: Brand New Day (remember the wizzard of ozz thing? Not that I saw the movie in the cinema);

The age of the titles/band names? Nah, thats known stuff. Metallica, they can afford to fight for their own mpeg distribution rights, that's for sure.

AND NOW (major voice thing, think of a ship with an illegal radio station which is going to blow the establishment, and everything else against them away): the veronica top 100! We'll look at a popular current hitlist , the only real one, in fact, from week 3 (major gmmppf) 2001: Can't Fight The Moonlight, LEANN RIMES; Love Don't Cost A Thing, JENNIFER LOPEZ; Luna, ALESSANDRO SAFINA; Stan, EMINEM FT. DIDO (Huh?); Gravel Pit, WU-TANG; Silence (Remix Version), DELERIUM; Independent Women Part 1, DESTINY'S CHILD (music on top of title?); Ms. Jackson, OUTKAST; Angel, LIONEL RICHIE(in dutch: 'waar zijn de commodores'); Land Of The Living, MILK INCORPORATED; Heartbreak Hotel, WHITNEY HOUSTON; Struggle For Pleasure, MINIMALISTIX (the Asterix blues, I vote ye);

These titles were selected. Lets say from a sea of others that seem equally well fitted to say variations of the not too many themes, many ununderstood, I think. Getting old? Nahh. I don't think thats a prob. I watched clips, that's more the prob. Too much rings around the same unresolved ideas, unclear message, unreal (not all of course) utterances, and basically evasive symbolism to make it nice in my opinion. And music wise, lets see. There's a dutch artist that doesn't sum it up, and I can't compare in sold ouvre (though certainly in musicality, and I can play all the songs almost straight away, I'm sure), but that does exemplify the same principle. Its all there alledged drama, guitar licks, outside house hip track buildup, probably even some good musicians, and the result introduces itself clearly as quite a lot and meaningfull, and after listening and listening and listening, the depth wasn't there, isn't there, and most probably never will be there either. And that is because I don't like seeing people into this sort of stuff, having their musical experienves limited by God knows which reasons, instead of being exposed to music that isn't preparing them for eternal depression, but at least brings them something nice enough and/or worth while.

The clips I cannot like for similar reasons. Then again, maybe we're waiting for New Music, and meanwhile make sure we don't hurt eachother. Or the mistery of music is simply to much to hold for the local scene head, and the good music is of evil deamons, or something. Or the countries' principalities (in spirit?) guard their laymen (catholic term" means 'unknowledgeable one', as in not enrolled in the priests' babylonic circles and mysteries) from to much knowledge. Youth might actually in the end not want to end up as another brick in the wall...

Or do so without a certain type of sympathy. Or without the eternal knowledge known in your previous incarnations that love is all we need.

Synth museum alias historic synths I owned

Aren't all synths historic? Most of them are remembered. Some of them not very well. The ones I owned range from totally historic through somewhat short of hopeless (but usefull, sort of like a keyboard in the world of synths, but strappable: te Kawai spectra). Let's do some pictures of the stuff I've lets say been used too, that set a standard if I'd do my own is another way of looking at it.

First, the Korg POLY800

Second, there was the complete classic, the Yamaha DX7

Later replaced by the rack version of its successor, the DX7II, with extra that it has 8 seperate voices, the TX802:

The Crumar 'Bit One' is an (italian I think) analog polyphonic synth with touch sensitive keyboard:

It was later replaced by the more chique Korg DW8000, also analog, polyphonic, but with digital waveform generators, I had mine fitted with a unit to make keyboard split possible:

My main piano was a roland HP3000s, I can't find a picture of that model, I regularly played a RD300, which is basically the same piano in 'on the road' version, quite similar minus the teakwood"

The Kawai Spectra is a portable synth I used as second keyboard, on top of my piano, and for the modulation and pitch bend wheels:

My old drum machine, sort of beginning of second generation, semi-professional, the Yamaha RX-15:

The professional digital reverberation unit, Yamaha's REV7:

I'm leaving out the computer equipment, multitracking (teac 244, wasn't mine), microphones, tape and casette decks, more synths and effects (o.a. a ibanez dm 500, I had the circuit diagram, 23k of mem, 8 expanded ad/da), the mixers (my own design and built, and an 8 channel d&r subbrand), the amps and speakers.