Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Hymns Update

I doubt this concerns many people, but I have now ripped and edited all the hymns from the four Sing Your Faith Unitarian choir CDs so I don't even have to go and get them. So now the list is up to date. All my hymns, no matter where from, are edited to peak at 100% sound somewhere, with a single second lead in and up to two seconds silent finish. They are listed according to book, number, tune name, and then characteristics like choir, piano or alternative instrumentation assuming an unaccompanied organ as normal.

At present I have 290 hymns or versions from Hymns for Living (1985), 129 hymns or versions from Sing Your Faith (2010), 12 Christmas carols, one from Hymns of Faith and Freedom and one from Singing the Living Tradition - but I wrote that out and found it unsingable (like what a waste of so much time).

Given the DJ based two CD playing system, that plays single or continuous tracks, they don't need those before and after silences but I still do them and also still add 2 seconds between on the CDs I make each week. I make two (one backs up the other), and have started to play one CD for the hymns and one CD for meditative and other music, each at different slider levels. Two CDs in and operating mean that any back up action is more or less instant. The sound quality is excellent and my joke is that we can get some of the best music played in the world. Like the Wizard of Oz I sit behind a curtain and the idea is that no one need know how the music comes about. If comes on cue and as directed by the service-taker.

It is important that service takers help me by giving the hymns, in order, and where other music comes, in order, and say what other music is wanted as specifically as possible and at least give a service theme if I have to choose the pieces - pieces that play in a run up to the service and during and after.

From time to time I spend time writing notes out from a hymn book to music writing software, and I've now got the hang of mixer positions in the software to produce better quality instrument sound with different instruments. I can also take .MID files, see the musical notation and turn these into hymns, with lead ins and the correct number of verses. I even have very old software that nicely changes .MID instruments. So if I can't find something, I can make it. I've also started to understand how to do more complicated musical notation now and even to understand some principles of music composition.

I still want people not only to be a back up to putting the CDs on through the service, and a chap does this, but also in making them; ah but everyone knows what volunteering is like these days. Plus making up a CD from sourcing or writing to editing to storing to actually laying a unique CD each week is quite complicated. The problem is I have to do it every week without fail, and if I don't there's a real serious problem, although we keep back one CD from each week with one of the printouts of the music order (the service taker can have the other one). And that printout is done with slider positions and timings in mind, though the player defaults to counting down and we only really need the collective time for the lead in music up to the start of the service.

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