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The Petcast

Occasionally I use FretPet to make music, usually in conjunction with GarageBand and Absynth. And sometimes people send me their compositions to show off what they've been able to create. This page provides a showcase for those compositions, and you can even subscribe to this page as a podcast!

Rhymes of an Hour

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This is the first rough mix of a song by Mazzy Star that I like. It's a straightforward cover recorded and mixed with GarageBand. FretPet supplied a stand-in for the guitar part that was replaced with an acoustic guitar for the final mix. Synth parts were played through GarageBand with the trusty Oxygen 8. Vocal parts were layered and effected in GarageBand.

Underwater Romance

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And now for something completely peaceful... Imagine a patch of blue ocean bejeweled by acres of pulsating jellyfish. As they are carried along by the current they seem to dance. It's a kind of romance... if you can see it askance. If you listen to enough of my music you'll begin to see I have a special fondness for the number 3. It applies to the underlying melody (played on my trusty Oxygen 8 into GB) as much as it applies to the main theme, generated by the FP guitar sequencer.

Pyrat Phunk

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Tonight's petcast composition comes from Tucker Stilley, whose website The Permanent Record features creative works in various forms of media. As a working artist and composer, Tucker is distinctive in that he's paralyzed by Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the neurodegenerative disease made famous by Lou Gehrig and Stephen Hawking. Since all his work in FretPet has to be done using a head mouse and remapped buttons, he's had to improvise to produce a more conducive workflow. Using multiple document windows as scratchpads, he develops his compositions in chunks before recombining them to produce a finished piece. Tucker has loads of feature suggestions for FretPet which I surely hope to incorporate as time allows. The artwork featured here is a detail from Tucker's painting "Hardest Thing."

Trance Dance

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This piece is a simple combination of ethereal trills and a club-friendly beat that doesn't say very much, kind of like the shy girl you met at that rave last weekend.

5ive By 3hree

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This piece was created in FretPet as an experiment to see what kind of syncopation happens if you combine sets of 3 with sets of 5 in a 15 beat measure. I then recorded it in Garageband and added a 4/4 beat. So now if you listen carefully you'll notice that each measure ends a little bit ahead of the beat. There are sets of three tones that fall on every fifth beat and sets of five tones that fall on every third beat, which together create a really interesting syncopated sound.

The changes are very simple, mostly relying on the drums changing. There are no breaks in this piece, so it zooms right along. With some alternate voicing a couple of short breaks might be very welcome within this sequence.

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