Category Archives: Production

The Joy of SmartMusic

Smart MusicOne of my favorite programs for use in the studio and for my own practice is MakeMusic’s SmartMusic. During the fall semester I use it in my brass methods course to motivate my student’s to practice their “non-major” instrument. I will have to write another post on that integration process in the future. As for the private studio, it’s Bordogni time, providing students an aural structure for those etudes to realize they are not just “another exercise” but actual musical works.

But for this month it has been Grøndahl time for me. It has really aided in memorizing the work and for practicing at various tempos in preparation for my upcoming concert with the American Chamber Orchestra. SmartMusic is also a patient rehearsal assistant, allowing my to run sections eight, ten, or even twenty times in a row!

I’ll have the pleasure of showing this software at the Mid-South Low Brass Festival later this month. I’m looking forward to hopefully introducing it to band director in the Memphis area.

Silent Brass Experiment

Modded Silent BrassFor some time now I have been wanting to use one of my Silent Brass mutes in conjunction with some guitar effects pedals, and then later as an input for use in either pd (PureData) or Audiomulch. The built-in mic will not work with a regular audio mixer. Looking at the design and tracing what I could with a multimeter I built a power supply for it thinking it worked along the lines of the older piezo mics used with PC several years ago. This didn’t work either, so instead of scratching my head, I just got out a hacksaw and decided to take a look inside of the mute.

I didn’t think to document the process with photos, but it turns out there is quite enough room in the mute that I was able to add a second instrument pickup mic that I had purchased by just drilling a second hole and epoxying the mic and connector in place. Some PVC glue, a little work with some sandpaper, and a coat of paint any my “new” Silent Brass mute now works with both the mixer system that came with the mute and with any other board or effects pedal I would like to use.

Next stop, IK Amplitude on the iPad!