Welcome to the My Music Website
(Hosted on the Raspberry Pi - a webserver for £25.00 and consuming only 4 watt!)
PLEASE NOTE: in 2021 the web address of this site changes to: my-music.kaspencer.com (NB.: no "www")
The old site-address (www.my-music.mywire.org) will cease to exist during 2021!
This music information website first came into being in the curent form in 2010, when I had the idea of sharing information about my rather small guitar collection.
At that time it was an offshoot of my business website project.
From 1995, most of the website on my business and community domains had been hosted on my ISPs servers, but in my office at home I was running Microsoft Small Buiness Server, and later Windows Server 2003 R2 as a supplementary host for the provision of information and business databases for some of my business and information clients. I just added subdomains to provide access to the musical sub-site.
In February 2012, here in the UK, the Raspberry Pi foundation released the first Raspberry Pi computer, and I was fortunate enough to get two of the very first releases. I immediately realised that I could make a major saving in hardware and power costs by transferring much of the Windows Server content to the Raspberry Pi.
Not only did the Raspberry Pi hold the Music Site, but it also hosted my Dungeons & Dragons site and the site of an annual photographic competition which I had been involved in for some time.
So, below, you will find access to the sections of the site which you may peruse at your leisure.
I have written three books on some of my interests:
1. All about your Computer
will tell you things you didn't know about PCs.
2. All about Hauptwerk
Hauptwerk is the software behind the "Virtual Pipe Organs" seen on this site!
3. The Polychronicon about a group of D&D players over 35 years!
My new book:
The thing about Hauptwerk organs is that they can be as complex or as simple as you like. There is plenty of scope for developing your Hauptwerk instrument over time as you gain understanding and skills. You can give your instrument features that add usability and elegance and that will give you enormous satisfaction in building them.
And so, I present here, a most useful and rewarding project for the Hauptwerk organ enthusiast: providing automatic electronic stop labelling so that as soon as an organ sample set is loaded the stops are labelled.
This project is supported by a Kit of Core Components, available from KAS@KASpencer.com. There is also a detailed Construction Manual which explains exactly how to build the project, and test it. It is liberally illustrated with photographs and diagrams, in order that you should feel confident creating the project. Clear instructions are included regarding the configuration of your Hauptwerk software and of each organ, to ensure that your stops are labelled clearly and accurately.
As well as the core component kit, some of the other components can be bought from the author - email in the first instance.
For more deatils, click on the PROJECT link at the top of the panel on the immediate right.
PROJECT: Electronic Stop
(with Kit of Key Components)
Electronic Display of Stop Text
WATCH THE VIDEOS
BUILD THE PROJECT!
I have prepared FIVE videos telling you all about the project.
FIRST: All about the Core Kit
Assembling and testing the PCBs.
THIRD: Assembling the Stop
FOURTH: Connect the PCBs to
Connecting the Stop Switches & their LEDs.
Having been interested in pipe organs since I was 12 years old, I was delighted to discover an amazing piece of software that gave me something I had wanted!
Having a "Virtual Pipe Organ" is the very next best thing to a real pipe organ, at home!
And so I have designed and built two such organs for my own use and part-built two more for other people!
OPUS I has a five part series of videos on YouTube.
OPUS II has two videos which show every part of the instrument, as well how it was built and designed.
OPUS II features lots of quite advanced features such as automatic electronic stop labels, and colour displays which help the organist control many aspects of the instrument. The two YouTube videos show these features.
My Latest Virtual Pipe Organ
OPUS II (click on the link)
is my most elaborate. Although I say it myself, it is a truly wonderful,
My first fully fledged Virtual Pipe Organ
OPUS I (click on the link)
was such a pleasure to build and play.
But, soon I knew that I could build one Bigger & Better!
May I tell you about Real Pipe Organs.
Mozart described the pipe organ as the King of Instruments. As well as being the largest of musical instruments, they can have the widest range of pitch and greatest range of tonal characteristics of almost all the instruments of the orchestra and other unique timbres.
Until the invention of the telephone exchange, they were the most complex machines, even than the Jacquard loom.
As well as playing the organ at home I also play the organ for church services two or three times a month. There are some videos of the playing of a couple of hymns for the congregation on the Real Organs linked page. (I also have a nice baby grand piano - there is one piano video on my YouTube channel.)
REAL PIPE ORGANS (click on the
Real pipe organs produce their sound by two main methods:
- Either: air (known as "wind") is blown over a lip in a pipe made of wood or lead+tin alloy. This type of pipe, known as "flue pipes" produce a tone, as in a recorder, whose pitch depends on the length of the pipe, and timbre depends upon the material, shape and girth of the pipe;
- Or: wind is passed along a brass "tongue" or reed, which vibrates. The vibrations pass up to a resonator tube which adds character and volume to the note. This mechanism is similar to a clarinet or oboe.
As only one note is produced per pipe, each of the 61 keys on the keyboards must have their own associated pipe in the rank (sometimes more than one).
On the right is shown several "ranks" of pipes. A rank is "switched on" by drawing a "stop" which then allows air to any pipe in the rank when its corresponding key of its controlling keyboard is played by the organist. Each rank has a characteristic pitch range and timbre, and the organist chooses ("registers") his desired ranks in combination to produce the tone colour s/he wants for the piece.
On the far right I am playing a large cathedral organ with many stops and four keyboard manuals, and a pedalboard for the feet.
I wanted a real pipe organ. But I couldn't afford one! And my house was too small to accommodate one.
To the rescue: The Virtual Pipe Organ. The next best thing to a real organ.
Better than an old fashioned electronic organ!
Better than even a modern digital organ costing tens of thousands of pounds!
Here is a brief introduction.
THE VIRTUAL PIPE ORGAN
(click on the link)
Send a skilled recording engineer with a quality sound recorder to go into a large cathedral which has a fine example of a pipe organ.
Get someone to play each pipe - several times - press "record", and for each pipe:
Hold that key for a several seconds. Fill the space with the pipe speech. Record the pipe and keep recording the smooth reverberation as the sound returns in a smooth blend from all parts of the building.
Tap the key for a moment only. Record the pipe - the sound of the pipe ceases, but the building sends back distinct echoes which arrive back at different times from the diffent extremes of the building. You hear each echo separately.
Tap the for several intermediate durations. Record the pipe and its reverberations.
Repeat for every pipe - often for many thousands of pipes if the organ is large. Process the sound for noise reductions, and carefully spot the points where recordings could be joined seamlessly in case a longer note might be required than that actually recorded.
Package the recordings together.
Get some MIDI keyboards and a computer. Use software which will play each pipe recording when you press its key, and will use a reverberation pattern which matches the length of your note.
And so: you have a Virtual Pipe Organ.
I have played the guitar since aged twelve. Over the years I have accululated a small collection, and am pleased to show them all to you.
In fact this website actually started with the original title of "my-guitars" in 2004 and, as mentioned above, was extended to cover my other musical interests a few years later.
MY LITTLE GUITAR COLLECTION
(click on the link)
I have ten guitars. The oldest is my orginal Dobro Resonator, made in the United States in 1928-1930. I inherited this guitar from my father,
and it was the first guitar I played. I had it restored in 2000-2001 by luthier Johnny Cincaid in Bristol.
When I joined a band in the 1961 I bought a Hohner Apache. This guitar is currently unplayable but will be restored in the future.
I also have two Fender Stratocasters. One is a Jim Squier, bought at the time when they were almost as good as a real Fender!
The other is a Fender 60th Anniversary Issue because the Fender Company and myself share a birthday!
I have a Gibson Les Paul in black lacquer and gold metallics, and a Paul Reed Smith (PRS) in black. I have a Fender acoustic and a Martin electro-acoustic.
As mentioned above, I played lead guitar in a band from about 1961 to 1966. We started as the Fenlanders (also spelled "Fenlanderz" from time to time). Just four of us.
We were a pop orientated band with some rock & roll thrown in.
We played all around the Midlands and East Anglia. We made one or two changes of name along the way - left as, at 20, I was about to qualify in my chosen career and then to move down to London for my first job.
When I left we were called The Brotherhood Combo and we had increased our number to include female and male singers, and a keyboard player. They carried on for some time after I left but then disbanded.
I have carried on my guitar playing, giving fairly rare solo electric guitar performances and concerts.
THE FENLANDERS - THE BROTHERHOOD
COMBO (click on the link)
The Acer DX1150 Projector
Do you have an Acer DX1150 Projector?
Have you fallen foul of the OpenScreen utility which causes the projector to become inoperable because it overwrites the firmware code?
Have you contacted Acer about this problem? You will be lucky to get help from Acer!
If you need help with the DS1150 Projector Firmware, click here.
English: the language of the world given
freely to the world by the English nation!
Do you spell the words of the English language correctly? Are you able to distinguish verbs and nouns by their spelling?
Advice (noun)/advise (verb), aesthetic, archaeology, ardour, boulder, cancel/cancelled, centre/centred, colour, defence, device (noun)/devise (verb), disc, favour, flavour, fibre, glamour, goitre, jewellery, label/labelled, licence (noun)/license (verb), manoeuvre, marvellous, marvelled, mould, neighbour, organise, paediatrics, practice (noun)/practise(verb), recognise, rumour, sabre, sceptic, stabilise, theatre, travel/travelled, valour.
Is one of your hobbies Adventure Gaming - do you play rôle-based
adventure games such as Dungeons & Dragons (D&D)? If so, you might be
interested in looking at this site:
It features some of the adventures of a group of gamers (The Friday 'Venturers) who played for 40 years, during which they travelled all over their self-consistent created world.
The site also gives details of a large book (hard back, and in full colour) which details the first 35 of those adventuring years.
NB.: the D&D site recently moved from its old home (where is was based for almost 10 years) at
http://fridayventurers.mine.nu - its no good looking there, because it's gone!
|Copyrignt (c) KASpencer 2004-2021|