music - compositions & recordings

My writing -- Some of these are very "rough", more like thumbnails than fleshed-out pieces; I often just want to get the musical idea down ASAP before I lose it.)

The following are various recordings I've made and the year in which I did so:

I also do some arranging, transcribing, and otherwise playing others' songs.


Unless otherwise noted, that's me playing/singing all the parts (though I won't claim to sing well).

I've primarily used Audacity (for several years now) to make and mix recordings. However, recently I've been giving the free version of Presonus' Studio One a whirl (and am really enjoying "realtime" effects processing - much easier to hear just how much effect one needs).

That all needs to be re-written. I primarily use Studio One Producer these days (Spring, '15). But you really should try the free version, or even Audacity.


New territory - electronic music! I tried out Qtractor, a free/open-source MIDI sequencer/editor/player. That one is nice because it also works w/audio. Is it a replacement for a DAW? Maybe...time will tell. But I did have some troubles getting sound to come out of my Ubuntu box. This discussion thread led me to the eventual solution - getting the config correct* for jackd. (* = it works on my machine...). Test 3 is the first piece I created with an "electronic" setup (Qtractor + ZynAddSubFX synth + Hydrogen Drum Machine).

So, instead of this configuration:

$ cat ~/.jackdrc 
/usr/bin/jackd -p 128 -R -P 60 -T -d dummy -r 48000 -p 1024

I changed the driver (-d) to "alsa", and things magically started working:

$ cat ~/.jackdrc 
/usr/bin/jackd -p 128 -R -P 60 -T -d alsa -r 48000 -p 1024

The newer and better pieces were recorded either through a Blue Microphones Snowflake, an SM-57 through a Tascam US-122 interface, or line-in/direct into the PC microphone jack from the guitar/bass. (I also made a piezo pickup for the string bass/acoustic guitar and use it on occasion.) I've also recently begun using the Hydrogen software drum machine in recordings.

The full gear list is here.

When I notate music, I usually use the ABC format in a text editor, render it with abcm2ps, and then convert the output to PDF via Ghostscript. (Or, run this handy shell script (on Linux) to do it for you.)

Recently (Spring '16), however, I've been using MuseScore, and quite liking it; see recent leadsheets above.

All the pieces above Copyright © 2004, 2007, 2010-2021, Dan Parks. All Rights Reserved.