I made this sometime in 1989 using several synthesizers. I can’t remember for sure, but I think there is an Oberheim OB-X (four voice), Casio CZ – 101 Digital, a Roland System 100 Model 101, and at least one audio signal generator, probably an Eico 377 with vacuum tubes.¬† At least one outboard effects processor was used, most like my DeltaLab Super Time Line Model 2048. For some reason I chose to record only on cassette tape even though I owned a DAT recorder. Luckily the cassette machine was a fairly decent Denon three head unit and the tape is Maxell UDS-II and Dolby “B” was used. I played the tape on my Sony TC-D5M with Dolby “B” switched on, and the line level signal ran through a Mackie 1402-VLZ mixer. The lows and highs were boosted in the mixer about 3db. The output of the mixer runs to the computer sound card (unfortunately unbalanced line level) though my new high end Mogami cable with Neutrik connectors. I recently upgraded my sound card to the Asus Xonar Essence STX which has quarter inch tip and ring line input and RCA jacks for line out. The sound was captured using VSTHost with one plugin only, LoudMax set to hard limit at -.4 db. The audio during capturing never reached -.4db, so any dynamics in the sound were unaffected and a 16 bit 48 Khz .wav file was made. I then put the .wav file into Adobe Audition and adjusted the amplification (calculated normalization and left/right not locked) to -.34db. I put fades at the beginning and ending (before and after any audible sound) and no other processing. After saving this new file, an MP3 at 320 kilobits per second was made using the LAME encoder with RazorLame. In spite of all this technical jargon, the quality is only fair, with the noise floor being around-45db (more technical jargon) which is considered poor.

As with anything I’ve created that may be more, dare I say, more musical, I’ve become more protective and shy due to my lack of music theory. I will say I created this “piece” originally entitled “Synthesizerdrone Dec. 1989,” (according to the label on the cassette tape) when my mother was suffering from complications¬† of breast cancer and the strongest earthquake(Loma Prieta) that I had ever witnessed happened earlier in October. It is possible those events played a role in the creation of this recording. In addition, there was no thought as to what key or scale in musical terms this should be, and I never actually thought about it until yesterday. There seems to be a lot of G sharp major going on throughout this piece. To prove it, I have provided this link which should open a separate player which has the G Sharp Major Tone at 415.305 Hertz. The tone will not be exactly in tune due to inaccuracies in tape speed and tuning.

obx(small)Oberheim OB-X

CZ101(small)Casio CZ – 101

system100model101(small)Roland System 100 Model 101

eico377(small)Eico Model 377 Audio Generator

deltalabsupertimeline(small)DeltaLab Super Time Line Model ADM 2048