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(written in 2005... this page needs updated)|
Aside from the occasional part that I actually record, all of my music is synthesized. In my initial dabblings in composition (before anything I've posted publicly), I used a SB16 then a SB128. Arround 1998/1999 I got a Creative SoundBlaster Live!, which I still use to this day. I use the base 8MB soundfont (altered to fix a few annoying things in it), with my own soundfont layered on top, which is comprised of samples I've taken myself of actual instruments. These instrument samples include: guitar (nylon and steel), trumpet, trombone, french horn, clarinet, flute, recorder, pan flute, whistle, and breath noise. I also make heavy use of EAX on the SB Live for reverb.
I started out writing music, using a program called Noteworthy Composer in 1997. I used that for about two and a half years, and made around 20 abominations that are so terrible, it almost hurts my ears to listen to them now. It wasn't into 1999 that I considered anything I made to be at least not terrible enough to be worth showing to other people. In 2000 I got a new music program Master Tracks Pro which was a huge step up from my old program. I also got my first MIDI controller in 2000, a Yamaha CS1x keyboard, which I still occasionally use now for some parts. In 2002 I again got a new music program, Cakewalk Home Studio 9. This was again, a huge step up from what I used before, and I still use it to this day. For Christmas 2005 I got a wind MIDI controller, a Yamaha WX5, which I use almost exlusively now.
I do all of my work under Windows 98 still for two reasons:
First, there is a driver problem with the SB Live under Windows XP, where EAX is applied to MIDI differently. Using the exact same settings under XP yield very different results as under 98, and it's just not usable. After a 4 month technical support attempt via email with Creative, I finally gave up on trying to get anything useful from them.
Second, my version of Cakewalk has terrible timing problems in Windows XP. MIDI input begins to lag behind, and after about an hour of running it, the delay between playing a note and hearing the note is multiple seconds.