Mark's Blog

The Origins of John Lennon's "Because"

This is an essay I wrote in 2005 when I realized nobody else had noticed the striking similarity of the Beatle’s song Because and Chopin’s Fantaisie Impromptu.  Here is my theory, displayed for all the world.

Vocal Ranges in Hymns

This is an in-depth analysis of vocal ranges in the LDS Hymnal, including highest and lowest notes, widest and narrowest ranges and average ranges, as well as other technical trivia of interest to singers and especially composers. I have also made the master table available for you to play with.

Inside Professor Vinnicombe's Citizen Band

This essay is a personal labour of love. My great grandfather, Albert Mitchell, played cornet in a well polished community orchestra in Charlottetown, PEI, led by one of the few professional musicians in the city at the time, Henry Vinnicombe. 
 
I have in my studio a portrait of the orchestra that has always intrigued me, and so I have researched the activities of the orchestra and found background on each of the sixteen members, including many pictures, references and links.

The Grand "Amen" from Handel's Messiah - an analysis

The closing movement of Handel’s great oratorio has always moved me deeply. Preparing for another performance of Messiah, I wanted to understand the Amen fugue better.  This is the result of my efforts.

Cubase Librarian for Korg TR-Rack

I have a Korg TR-Rack synth module, an old piece of MIDI gear with some great sounds, but for years it has sat unused. I recently hooked it up to my Cubase setup, but was still unable to search the banks (1024 patches…) by category, making it almost unusable. I searched the internets in vain for an insturment file (xml). So I made one myself, previewing all 1024 patches and annotating the patch names, so now you can type in a category like “motion pad” and scroll through only those patches using the arrow keys. Fantastic!
 
For anyone who uses Cubase and has a TR-Rack, this will save you a good 20 hours of work. The button above will take you to my Dropbox site where you can download the file. There is also a text file with instructions, and a pdf of the TR-Rack User Manual.

Pump Organ sample instrument for Kontakt

I was lucky enough to come by this 1905 Estey pump organ (also known as a melodeon or harmonium) in excellent working condition. I have sampled all the stops (24 bit/48 Kbps) and included two sets of Kontakt instruments: one the organ in it’s natural state, the other tuned to A440 with a few other touchups.
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