Music Gallery

The Music Gallery is definitely a work in progress! Listen to demos and examples. Download MIDI tracks and songs. It’s all here.

Memphis Underground

This is one of my all time favorite groove and jam pieces (one chord: C7). It was first recorded by Herbie Mann who is backed by the famous American Sound Studios Band (AKA “The Memphis Boys”). This is one of the first tracks that I composed and recorded using the Yamaha Mobile Music Sequencer (MMS). The MP3 recording is the sound of the native MMS sound engine. Not bad for a 20 buck sequencer. The YMS1 file is the MMS project which you should be able to download and tweak on your own iPad — assuming that you have MMS. The MIDI file is SMF type 0 and is yours to mess with, too. It uses General MIDI, so it’s, errrr, general.

Memphis Underground MP3 YMS1 MIDI

Comin’ Home Baby

Herbie Mann also recorded a few different versions of the Ben Tucker tune titled “Comin’ Home Baby.” It’s a simple minor blues (Gm) and is a good tune to jam to.

I made three major changes to the MIDI file. First, when I replaced the solo instrument with a General MIDI muted trumpet, the instrument release time was too short and the notes in the solo line were all detached. I lengthened the notes to mix things up between detached and legato. Second, the General MIDI drum map does not have a finger snap sound. I set the finger snap notes to D1 (note value 26) which is compatible with my old Sound Canvas. You may need to remap these notes. The Yamaha XG finger snap is G-1 (note value 19), by the way. Such are the hazards of using extended, non-GM percussion sounds. Finally, the bass sounded one octave higher on the Roland Sound Canvas versus the Yamaha Mobile Music Sequencer. I transposed the bass line down one octave to put it where it belongs. This isn’t the first time that I’ve had this problem with bass instruments on Roland versus Yamaha. Aren’t standards wonderful?

Comin’ Home Baby MP3 YMS1 MIDI

Watermelon Man

The great Herbie Hancock tune (key: F) covered by so many artists including Herbie Man. I have two different versions here: V1 and V2. Both of them lean on soul more heavily than jazz.

V1 was my first attempt. It just didn’t see to have as much energy as I would have liked. The horn riffs are a little bit out of place for a good call and response between the solo line and the horns. The V1 files play through the main chorus twice without an introduction and ending — about one minute’s worth.

Watermelon Man V1 MP3 YMS1 MIDI

V2 has a little bit more energy with a simple live intro and ending. The call and response is much better. This version is longer and plays through several choruses with varied instrumentation on each chorus.

Watermelon Man V2 MP3 YMS1 MIDI

If you download the MMS project files and load them into MMS, you’ll notice some experimentation with song, section and phrase structure. Initially, I tried to break the 16-bar song chorus into two 8-bar sections and then 4-bar phrases. This structure led to the poor placement of the horn riffs in V1. V2 has a different structure. The sections are 16 bars in length and the phrases are 8 bars long. This structure places the fills and horn responses where they belong.

Jam loops

Here are some loops just for the sake of jamming. The phrase-level material was recorded on the Yamaha MOX using performance record. The MOX phrases were copied to the Yamaha Mobile Music Sequencer and were then scrambled — I mean “mixed” — into the jam loops. The MOX phrases were edited to remove or change Megavoice effects and notes. The end result sounds strikingly plain when compared to the original sound on the MOX. I may try converting the MOX loops into PSR/Tyros arranger styles in order to retain nuances like fret noise and slides.

BossaBeach MP3 YMS1 MIDI
FunkyJump MP3 YMS1 MIDI

The chord progression for Bossa Beach is FMaj7 Dmin7 Gmin7 C7(9). Any old latin cliché should work! The chord progression for Funky Jump is Dmin7(9) G7(13).

Tough Talk

Tough Talk (key: F) is a classic from The (Jazz) Crusaders. By the way, you can find the lead sheets for many of these classic tunes in the Jazz Real Book or the Hal Leonard Jazz Play-Along series. Tough Talk is driven by Joe Sample’s electric piano hook. It starts out by itself as the introduction and then forms the call and response during the ending.

This arrangement is a little longer than the rest of the demos. There are three 12-bar progressions as the intro and head, two choruses in the middle for solos, and then a repeat of the 12-bar head before the ending.

Tough Talk MP3 YMS1 MIDI

Yamaha MMS Phrases

Up to now, the Yamaha Mobile Music Sequencer has limited ability to import user-generated content such as phrases. Here are 250+ free phrases ready for download. The phrases include loops for drum, bass, electric piano, guitar and brass. The phrases are taken from jazzy funk styles on the Yamaha PSR-S950.

FunkPoppin ZIP
FunkPopRock ZIP
JazzFunk ZIP
JazzPop ZIP
KoolFunk ZIP

The phrases are stored in Apple binary plist files with the “YMS2” extension. Each YMS2 file has an embedded Standard MIDI File (SMF) within it. For more information, please see this tutorial.

Just copy these files to your iCloud Mobile Music Sequencer directory and you’re ready to go. After the files sync through iCloud, MMS will incorporate these phrases into its local, iPad-resident database. Under OS X, the iCloud MMS mobile documents directory is:

~/Library/Mobile Documents/XXXX~yamahamusic~mobilemusicseq/Documents

The easiest way to get there in the Finder is to hold down the Option key and select “Library” in the “Go” menu. This will take you directly to your application support library directory. The “XXXX” in the path name above is some crufty identifier generated by OS X and will vary from user to user. Navigate down through the “Mobile Documents” directory until you reach the MMS documents. This is where you should put the YMS2 phrase files. Loop away!