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Production Notes for J. S. Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor

Here's what I did to produce the iPod-playable Music Animation Machine video of this piece:

1  Instrument

None of the electronic instruments I could lay my hands on in 1996 was good enough to make a halfway convincing organ sound on its own, so I combined three of them:

2  Note Entry

Because of the complexity of the piece, I recorded the parts individually into the Music Animation Machine software.  Trills and other ornaments were not included.

3  Performance

The performance was done using the conductor program features of the M.A.M. software.  (Before doing the final take, I practiced with the conductor program, too.)

4  Editing

The main thing done in this step was to add the trills and other ornaments that were not included (I did it this way because the implementation of the conductor program wasn't able to handle ornaments which didn't have a fixed number of notes).  I also changed timings and dynamics a little.

5  Color Selection

Colors were used to delineate these lines: soprano, soprano/alto, alto, alto/tenor, tenor, tenor/bass, bass, pedal

6  Analog Recording

The output of the Music Animation Machine (with the three synthesizers attached) was recorded in the spring of 1996 at Final Cut Media Group in Walnut Creek, California.

7  Frame Rendering

In the fall of 2005, I used my RenderMAM software to render 30 fps frames (from the original M.A.M. data) in PNG format.

8  Assembly

The PNG frames and the original soundtrack were combined with titles using Adobe Premiere; the output was a high-resolution AVI file.

9  Conversion to MP4

The AVI file was converted to MP4 (.m4v) using the export function of QuickTime Pro.

10  Upload

I used Ipswitch WS_FT to upload the movie (in .m4v format where possible and .mov version otherwise) to

  • YouTube
  • Vimeo (this is where you can download the iPod-playable version)
  • Google
  • Revver

    11  Documentation

    I wrote this description and added it to the Production Notes Table of Contents.