Monday 25 October 2010

Art and Music

I've a very limited budget for anything, and now the 'Nasty Party' is in power, propped up by a Liberal Democrat wooden leg, prospects don't look good (I apply for jobs generally in the public or public supported sector). So I try to do what I do for the least amount of money.

I bought a cheap graphic tablet. I already have one attached to my now Windows 98 computer, old style and with wired pen, and generally I have had a photo downloaded to the Windows XP screen and drawn on the other computer, to then memory stick the image across and adjust colours in the Windows XP computer. This has generally been enough, but there are now art programs that are free and for Windows XP and similar only. So I spent £20 on this tiny graphics tablet and pen - what's remarkable is how I can look at the screen and draw easily even within a tiny area.

For good enough cartooning I'll still prefer to have a visible picture to go on - so the difference will be when the image is brought across I can keep editing in the new place and with more art effects if wanted. Actually the simpler the art program the better.

The drawing here was done entirely on the new tablet and not from a photo, but is similar to a statuette nearby. The picture is mainly from what is 'in the bank' in terms of knowing and not knowing how to draw a figure - and the give-away is the hands being difficult to get right.

I am also the music provider at the Unitarians, and the service provider picked two hymns from the new Sing Your Faith book. The church doesn't have it (I have my own) so these were printed out. One was covered by a Unitarian choir CD so I used that, but for the other I found a sample and chose to use this.

The formal .MID is very old now, and in terms of playing windows XP by default turns the synth player for them off. They are tiny files and consist of computer generated sounds, like instruments. I have a very old piece of software, obtained on a magazine, works across Windows, and it allows the instruments to be converted. So I took the midi sample, that consisted of two instrument lines within, and chose different instruments in combination four times, saving each. A not easy to find free piece of software converts (by high speed 'listening') the .MID to .WAV, which allows for editing and putting to audio CD. So with different instruments each verse I indeed converted to .WAVs for editing and used half a verse as a lead in and three verses joined together to produce then one file for the three versed hymn. There were silent gaps placed between verses, but disguised as such via extra echo across the verses and the gaps too. I further slowed down (without altering pitch) the second to last and especially last lines of the last verse, just as an organist would. It was all amplified to peak at maximum. And this morning the folks sang to that artificially made tune.

I'm now to organise the means to improve the sound delivery within the church. I want the music to have a full stereo effect across two high speakers and to produce a good ambience to the sound. I've done as much as I can by being hidden and producing all music on cue, but organ music especially would benefit from the high up spread across speakers. Using low and hidden speakers has an illusory effect but there is a loss of quality and 'stereo spread'. So far attempts to use the system have resulted in nothing but distorted sound so I'm going to solve this once and for all.

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