When I first went to a music store near my town to see if I could get a job, I naturally went to a store I shopped in a bunch of times.   I was one of the first customers to purchase a new keyboard that was starting to break all the sales records at the time.  It used FM (Frequency Modulation) to essentially create or ‘synthesize’ new sounds not possible before, ……… and …… you could play up to 16 notes AT ONE TIME!!!  You take that for granted now but that was a thrill for electronic keyboards (other than organs and all that).

So I went over and talked to the owner.  He walked us over to the keyboard I had purchased and said, “can you program this thing?”.  I told him absolutely and I can show him now how to create cool new sounds.  He said, that was OK and I was hired.  That started the sales portion of my journey.  This song got the name and the main groove from the keyboard sound in that Yamaha DX7 synthesizer.

If you played individual notes in the right tempo, the thumping sound would build just right and you got this effect like a helicopter at a distance.  I did write lyrics for this song, but I always hear it as an instrumental. For the early instrumentals, I was recording on the first computer for consumer electronics that had a built in MIDI port, the Atari and I had the 1040 ST.  Again, that means nothing today, but this was space-age technology and had a lot of musical applications.  I still have it (two, actually and two monitors) and it still works to this day.  I can fire up the Atari and still play all these MIDI pieces as I did when they were written.

The drums are all programmed.  In fact, everything is.  All the sounds are triggered from the Yamaha DX7 and recorded via MIDI.  Each time you hit play’, you are regenerating all the sounds to make this song. See the MIDI series for MIDIMike’s intro to MIDI by clicking here.

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michaelskennedy2

Comments
  1. Sam says:

    Well, you inspired me to try out the old SY85 again and to mess around with it some more, but I never was one for programming keyboards.
    Sounds great!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sam McLean says:

    That is so cool! It is awesome that you have held on to your equipment and it still all fires up and plays! Love the DX7 and the fact you still have two Ataris has made me drool. Hats off midimike 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sheketechad says:

    I still enjoy this form of music and remember when it came along (and wa-wa pedals and such…!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      You nailed it! Back in the days when there were no easy edits, no data dumps or drag and drop options! I just enjoy playing with the sounds themselves and seeing what textures and curious themes I can come up with. I tried to let the sounds direct the mood, and then play with structures. for a lot of people, smells take them back to a specific time and place. For me it is the sounds! Thanks for listening to tunes and especially for taking time to reach out.

      Like

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