Making Midi Music

A couple years ago, we bought an electronic keyboard. The hope was that Duncan might get interested in it. I also thought that I would like to learn how to play simple pieces on it too. Every now and then, one or both of us gets back to it.

Last week, I saw an eWeek article that was about Allchin's 'Buy a Mac" email. All the details are now coming out in a court case. It references an old Apple promo that's no longer on their website, but can still be found on the web.

Over lunch one day last week, I sat and watched it. I can see how it made Allchin rant to Ballmer and Gates that they'd lost direction with 'Longhorn'. The video really is inspiring. I also love the response from "Jimmy", the first commenter on the eWeek piece:

Apple's corporate ethos evolved from the work of men like Steve Wozniac, Alan Kay, and Bill Atkinson. Microsoft got its corporate roots from Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. It's like comparing Albert Einstein to a carnival barker. One will fundamentally change the world, while the other sells lots of tickets to the freak show tent.

Anyway, it inspired me to want to get a cable to connect the electronic keyboard up to my Powerbook and experiment. I also used this opportunity to try Fry's online (I don't like their salespeople but I do like some of the products that they sell). I ordered a Midi to USB cable. It arrived last night.

It was a simple case of just plugging in the cable and starting Garageband. It found the Midi device and using the online tutorial available via the Help menu, I quickly put together a new two track song of piano and drums (tracks provided by Duncan thumping away on the keyboard). It could loosely be called music.

Now it's time to really get serious and learn how to use it properly. I've requested the MacAddicts Garageband book from my local library. I also noticed that they have another Garageband book available in eBook format. I'll also connect to that and see what it's like.

I've found a fun way to learn. I've downloaded the Nine Inch Nails 'The Hand That Feeds' song that's available in Garageband format, and I'm going to play around with remixing that. Yes I know. it was originally released nearly two years ago, but you've got to start somewhere sometime.

Now all I need is talent. Maybe I can download some of that off the web as well.

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