Friday, January 9, 2009

Introducing: Tyrannis

Last year, I decided that I would take another look at the latest in recording technology, to see if it would work better than it did the last time I was playing around with it in the early 90's.

I had little doubt that things had improved.

Back then, I had a Turtle Beach Monterey with Quad software, which allowed for 4 track mixing on a sound card. Assuming that you could record a series of single tracks and then simultaneously play them together to record without hiccups from drive lags, etc. Which would be assuming quite a bit.

I managed to record a few things back then, but there just wasn't enough data throughput to keep up with what I wanted to do, and even then, the sound quality wasn't so good. Without exception, the MIDI synth sounds were downright cheesy.

I'd pretty much always written music of some sort, and at any given time, am probably coming up with alternate lyrics to a song based on my environs, so it seems natural to capture it in some way.

But my music was often either kind of silly, odd, or depressing, and given that software engineering seemed a more job-rich field than music, I'd kept it on the backburner.

And even then, in college, I had a double major of Computer Science and Film Studies - my areas of interest are broad.

So fast forward to 2008, with my move to consulting underway, for the first time in my full-time career, I suddenly had a job where I punched out at night. And as an employee of my own company, while you're always working for the man, I was, more or less, my own boss.

It's a subtle distinction after all - probably none of my employers would have minded if I had a music project on the side, and in many cases, I had plenty of time outside of work - but I felt a freedom that I did not before.

And so, it began.

Last March, I picked up a Roland SonicCell off of eBay - it's a fantastic unit that has an XLR/stereo plug input for recording from microphones, guitars, or any line in, and a high-quality A>D that can run via USB to be recorded on a computer.

And the SonicCell MIDI sounds are amazing. The drums are incredibly realistic, and given a touch-sensitive controller, you can add all kinds of texture.

And computers are a little faster now than in 1993.

A perfect recording is no longer a question.

Well, given a perfect performance - ha!

And I do have issues there. I have the ability to hear what I need to do, but often times, it's a stretch to get there, from upper range vocals, to keeping my explosive P's and glass-cutting S's under control, to getting that complex keyboard or guitar part down correctly.

But I feel that even now, I improve with practice.

So, I recorded 19 songs - one hour and twelve minutes of music.

Then, what to call such a thing?

My last name sounds like tyranny, which is always a source of amusement when hearing about the latest international despot, but it is a fairly common English word.

In high school, I took 4 years of Latin, so a fun, and ambiguous take on that is Tyrannis.

Tyrannis is ambiguous, because in Latin, it could be dative or ablative case.

If it is dative, it means to the tyrants or for the tyrants.

If it is ablative, it means of the tyrants or by the tyrants.

If you hear my music, you know that in a way, that I see us all as involuntary tyrants, imposing our lack of equilibrium upon our environment, and in many ways, that is my inspiration, now and always.

And so, I am proud to present, Tyrannis.

A band of one, for the moment.