The Digital Rock'n'Roll
Orchestra and Chorus

           

THE FIRST YEAR - A BAKERS DOZEN

The tracks on this webpage are the results of Chaz's musical explorations and experiments over the very first year after having created

The Digital Rock'n'Roll Orchestra and Chorus

During that year, Chaz explored what sounds would become his "signature sounds" as well as how to arrange those sounds into the musical format Chaz employs.

Each track also has Liner Notes to explain some of the design parameters and experiments taking place in the tracks.


Listening to the audio tracks on this webpage is very easy.
Simply roll over the PLAY and STOP text links on either side of the track title.

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LINER NOTES FOR
" ROCK'N'ROLL FANFARE "

Track Date - 12-27-2016              Track Length - 3:12
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This track is one of the Digital Rock'n'Roll Orchestra and Chorus's rock'n'roll fanfares. The first characteristic of one of these “rock’n’roll fanfares” is that it is based on a three chord blues progression.

The purpose of these “fanfares” is to announce the arrival of DR ROC as well as provide examples of what the music of DR ROC sounds like.

The brass and the organ trade turns playing the lead fanfare over the rock rhythms and the bass gets a turn in the spotlight as well.

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" WAH-WAH BLUES "

Track Date - 12-27-2016              Track Length - 5:52
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This fanfare features the multiple uses of the wah effect and, like all fanfares, is based on three chords.

This track starts with a wow synth bass Chaz created using a virtual synthesizer and a wah guitar over the first percussion track.

Then the Hammond organ enters along with a second wah guitar.

Then the wah melody begins with a different set of percussion rhythms. Followed by a synchronized harmony to that melody.

This track demonstrates Chaz using the “Rhythm Recipes” described in the document entitled “Percussion Philosophy” to create and mix the different percussion elements into a single unified rhythm.

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" MIXED ONIONS "

Track Date - 12-25-2016              Track Length - 5:48
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This track is what happens when you combine the bass part and the idea of the organ solo from "Green Onions" by Booker T & the MGs with influences from "Watermelon Man" by Herbie Hancock and "Baby Elephant Walk" by Henry Mancini and add a dash of Latin percussion. So I call this track "Mixed Onions".

Other instruments include brass and orchestral parts, two guitars (wah and blues), flutes and a digitally sampled female soprano voice.

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" "OMG I'M A GMO" DUET (ROUND) "

Track Date - 12-25-2016              Track Length - 5:52
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This track features a duet that is actually the same melody being delayed and played against itself an octave lower.

After performing and recording the melody, Chaz heard some harmony and counterpoint to that melody and printed out the score for the melody and began to construct some harmonies while reading the score. As the melody progressed in the score, Chaz noticed a lot of the harmonies he was seeing associated with the melody earlier were actually being played later in the melody as he improvised on the melody while performing.

So Chaz copied the entire melody and pasted it into a new track in the DAW, transposed the pasted version down one octave and moved the pasted melody to the right on the timeline until the original melody sounded like it fit with the progressed melody. And this duet/round was born!

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" ISLAND BOUNCE "

Track Date - 02-15-2017              Track Length - 4:34
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This track takes a strong rock drum beat and a stronger rock bass line and then features and combines several different complementary ways to express the same basic melody line using the strings, the brass and the Hammond organ over those rhythms.

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" VIOLA AND VOICE DUET "

Track Date - 04-25-2017              Track Length - 4:18
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This track is an experiment to see how the digital sounds of a viola and a soprano voice would sound and interact.

Both the vocal and viola parts are performed by Chaz on his USB MIDI piano keyboard controller.

No human vocal cords were vibrated in the production of this track.

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" STREETS OF HEAVEN "

Track Date - 04-07-2017              Track Length - 5:00
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This track is entitled "Streets of Heaven" and mixes rock and reggae rhythms with some choral chanting. This composition features a descending walking bass line, an acoustic guitar, some horns and several different hand percussion parts.

Everything else is digital voices.

The men's chorus starts by singing a Gregorian chant and a women's choir provides the reggae offbeat syncopation. The acoustic guitar and bass guitar provide the rock foundation with accents provided by the horns, more digital voices and hand percussion.

The “singing” voice is a software application called “Vocaloid Free Edition 4”. You set the temp, input the notes of the melody and the phonetic wording for the lyrics and Vocaloid produces an audio file that you then input into your digital audio workstation and tweak as desired.

All the non-singing vocal parts are performed by Chaz on his piano keyboard controller.

No human vocal cords were vibrated in the production of this track.

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" GOSPEL FANFARE "

Track Date - 12-27-2016              Track Length - 5:52
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This idea behind this track is that this is the first song of a live set. And as with all “rock’n’roll fanfares”, this is also over a three chord blues progression.

Chaz starts out playing a walking blues bass guitar solo that intensifies as more percussion is added until two rock rhythm guitars join in.

For the rest of the track the computer plays back a previously digitally recorded performance of Chaz playing the bass guitar on his “keytar” and Chaz plays a Gospel-tinged Hammond organ solo over the complete rhythm section – multiple drums, bass, two guitars and brass horn section – all of which are also being performed by the computer.

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" MARCH OF THE MAD DWARVES "

Track Date - 12-28-2016              Track Length - 4:31
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This track is based on the four chord progression from the Ray Charles song "Hit the Road Jack". But the chord progression itself is the ONLY thing "borrowed" from Brother Ray.

This track takes that basic four chord progression and adds successive orchestral parts bouncing the brass parts against the viola lines over the rock rhythms to build to a vocal chorus climax and create "The March of the Mad Dwarves".

The orchestration includes several drum rhythms, a bass guitar, two different electric guitar parts, a baritone sax, a slap bass, several different horn parts, a womens chorus, a synthesizer, a flute, violas and a full choir singing the final melody.

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" THREE BLIND MICE FANFARE "

Track Date - 12-29-2016              Track Length - 3:48
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This track is another one of DR ROC's rock'n'roll fanfares. Again over a three chord blues progression.

This fanfare uses digital voices (generated by Vocaloid again) and the Hammond organ to replace some of the fanfare parts and the melody is a variation on the children's song "Three Blind Mice".

Spoiler - I invert the melody and then reinvert it and play around with that combined motif.

The different solo voices are to be representations of the mice and the farmer’s cat as the cat chases the three blind mice.

Tweaked lyrics that go with my tweaked melody –

    “Three blind mice, blind mice thrice.
    Three blind mice, thrice as nice.
    Farmer’s cat has some very sharp eyes,
    Likes to watch the mice run for their lives.
    Three blind mice, thrice is nice.
    See how the three blind mice run.”
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" TAKE FIVE REVISITED "

Track Date - 12-25-2016              Track Length - 4:20
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This track is an arrangement of the classic jazz tune "Take Five" by Paul Desmond and performed by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. But this version is NOT your father's version of "Take Five". In fact, this arrangement is called "Take Five Revisited".

This track is the very first track that Chaz created after he installed Cubase Pro 5 in 2012. The reason for that is because Chaz wanted to include as many experiments as possible in this first exploration of the interface between his musical skills and digital technology.

Chaz first learned to perform “Take Five” while taking piano lessons during junior high school in the mid-1960s. Chaz performed this song nearly every night as part of his live performances. And Chaz wanted his first track to be the only “cover tune” he would ever create and that it would be vastly different from the original arrangement but still clearly recognizable.

It was easy enough for Chaz to program a set of complementary drum beats in 5/4 time with different rhythmic elements (cymbals, toms, etc) because he had done it to perform “Take Five” in the past while using electronic drummers in the early 1980s.

The first real experiment was to create a rock guitar rhythm in 5/4 time using only software virtual instruments. And that was so easy it was never an issue so Chaz created two complementary rhythm guitar tracks in 5/4.

The bass line is exactly what is on the original recording by Dave Brubeck (albeit with a synthesizer flavor) and the saxophone melody AND SAX SOLO are note for note from the original recording. Chaz just replaces the alto sax with a tenor sax to match the more rock oriented rhythms.

The rest of the background rhythm tracks are synthesized sounds to finish updating this jazz classic to a twenty-first century sound palette.

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" FUNKY INTERMEZZO "

Track Date - 12-28-2016              Track Length - 3:45
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This track is a little slower than most of the track on this webpage and has a somewhat funkier beat to it. The first guitar part is the original source and then the drums and bass were added. A second wah guitar was also added and the brass horn parts complete the introduction.

The string melody starts after the introduction and then fades back to the original rhythms and bass guitar.

But then the brass part takes a different slant on the same pulse and the boy’s choir take the melody. And finally the string melody returns to merge with the brass and vocals for the climax.

Again, this track demonstrates the “Rhythm Recipes” Chaz describes in the document “Percussion Philosophy”. Taking the different elements of a drum rhythm from different genres of percussion and melding them into a single unified rhythm.

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" DIGITAL DIVA AUDITION-Version 1 "

Track Date - 01-13-2017              Track Length - 4:56
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This track also has a slower tempo and has a funkier feel than the other tracks on this webpage. This track is also based on a variation on the percussion rhythms in the above track, using the “Rhythm Recipes” to create the hybrid percussion tracks.

It is the bass line ("bass you can feel in your bones") that provides the never-ending flow of this groove. The guitars, drums, brass and organ push the beat even more.

The soprano voice is an example of digital sampling technology and is the sound of an actual female voice being played and manipulated on the "keytar".

This track also has two different takes you can listen to. The first one (above) was the very first melody line Chaz performed while creating this track. The second one (below) was a later melody line after Chaz did some "musical doodling" over the rhythm track.

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" DIGITAL DIVA AUDITION-Version 2 "
Track Date - 04-22-2018              Track Length - 4:56
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