Featured Link: SFT Synth Project (code name 'Piranha') - a microcontroller-based monophonic MIDI synthesizer

Welcome to
Bob Frazier's Music Page
Sponsored by S.F.T. Inc.

For the music, please visit my Soundclick page, and check out Hikikomori and Rumble Synth.

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bass/treble clef with empty score

If you can do it, it ain't bragging (Babe Ruth?)

Background sound removed since it's no longer a novelty - MIDI file is HERE.


A number of years ago I did a radio show, for a semi-professional organization known as "ATS Radio", and for a small fee I was able to buy 30 minutes of radio time each week. Each show started with the following phrase:
"This is Bob Frazier on the music page of the radio magazine..."

So, what you see here is the MUSIC PAGE of our Internet HTML magazine.

I have been playing guitar since I was 6 years old, or even earlier (when my dad would allow me to use his, which was rarely). Though I have never been given ANY lessons, I have become, in my opinion, a competent musician. When I was 6 years old, I got a rather small electric guitar for Christmas, with a 'Greg' label on the head stock. It was BARELY playable (strings were too heavy, and too far from the neck) but I at least tried to use it, though not with much success. I even got one of those air-driven Magnus chord organs when I was 10 years old, but only 'toyed around' with music until I was about 12, when I started getting more serious about it. At that time I discovered just how "un-playable" my guitar really was, so I started modifying the bridge and the nut (using a pocket knife to shave things down as needed) and lowered the strings enough so I could play it. Then, on my 15th birthday, I got a REAL guitar - a Goya acoustic/electric, which had the worst feedback problem I've ever seen in any guitar (some players might want this, however). Still, I pursued. Since my family never really had a lot of money, I typically bought old amplifier or hi-fi chassis and speakers at the San Jose Flea Market, and combined the results to build amplifiers of steadily increasing power. I also spent a LOT of my time tinkering with various electronic circuits of the day (some of which were a bit unstable), usually stuff that I designed from scratch, and occasionally I ruined speakers by pumping too much power through them. Still, amidst the obstacles, I pursued (I don't easily give up on ANYTHING when I put my mind to it).

Over time, I have collected a much better set of instruments, though I've sold several of them due to lack of space to play. Also, my mother once owned a music store in Seaside, near Monterey (Williams Music) until she retired, so some of my equipment I was able to purchase from her - there's no way I could have gotten a better price anywhere, and not just because she's my mother!

A while back I found a rather nice shareware application called "The NoteWorthy Composer", produced by Eric Heile of NoteWorthy ArtWare, which allows you to enter a song as 'sheet music', and generates MIDI files from it. If you have any questions about the product, you can check out Eric's NoteWorthy ArtWare HOME PAGE (Yes, I did register it). It works very well under Windows 7, last I tried it. I haven't tried it under 'Win-10-nic' (Wimdows 10) because I really don't like Win-10-nic, but it probably works fine. YMMV with sound cards, but using something that has 'sound fonts' makes it better, I think, especially if you want to customize the sound.

Regarding sound cards, in the past I'd used quite a number of them to get a decent MIDI sound, but continued to have problems with everything (including drivers) until SoundBlaster (now Creative Labs) purchased Ensoniq's wavetable technology (sound fonts), with the Sound Blaster PCI 32. And I still use it for my current music production, even though it's a nearly 10 year old design. I admit, I did have to fix the wavetables, but I was able to download a wave table editor from the Creative Labs web site some time ago (I do not know if they still have it available, try a search engine if you want to get it) and this let me fix the 2 or 3 patches that were just, plain, wrong in their 8Mb wavetable set. And, of course, THAT is the one I have been using. It's not perfect, still sounds a little 'robotic', but does the job well enough for now.

Additionally, there is an open source program called Fluidsynth that does a really good job of rendering MIDI files as sound fonts. I've got a 'procrastination' project (sort of 'in progress') to make it possible to use MIDI over Ethernet to play MIDI files via fluidsynth, so that a Windows computer running something like 'Cakewalk' can talk to a Linux or FreeBSD computer that's running 'Fluidsynth' to get good quality MIDI rendering with no 'timing slop', using sound fonts for consistent MIDI sounds.

BobF (at) mrp3 (dot) com.

MIDI FILES - in standard MIDI (RIFF) Format
(Use sound fonts / wave tables for best MIDI results, every soft-synth I've tried lacks realism)

NOTE: These MIDI files are old; I left them here in case anyone's interested.

The formula for a 'One Hit Wonder'

I was thinking about this today and thought I'd write down a few of my ideas about what makes a music group become a 'one hit wonder'. It's based on some recent observations even, about one particular artist (nameless).

  • Subsequent songs (or 'the flip side' of a single) sound 'too much like' the hit song. This reflects a lack of creativity, and when I hear this I say 'do something a little different, ok?'. Music isn't a formula where you can mass produce songs based upon a particular 'hit'.
  • The 'hit' song has a different style than most of the other things the group/artist does. Remember 'Take On Me' by Ah Ha? What else have they done? I heard one or two of their other songs and didn't like their 'normal' style. And they didn't like the fact that 'Take On Me' was their 'one hit', because it wasn't in their normal style.
  • The artist is a little "too diverse" in musical composition and style. It's ok to produce a FEW things that are 'different', but too many 'different things' may alienate the audience that likes your 'hit'.
  • The audience doesn't like most of the songs the artist/group plays and keeps asking the group/artist to play the hit. Time to hire a professional songwriter to help you polish up the songs you're working on.
  • Far worse than the previous, CHANGING your style to reflect the latest 'fad' music style. Doing a 'rap' when you're not a rapper. Playing 'dance music' when you're known as a metal band. It's not called 'crossover' when you do a complete style change in an attempt to sell more albums. You'll just alienate your existing fans, and then everyone else just laughs at you trying to be something you're not.
  • Like in the movie "The Wonders" the group gets 'too rich too quick' and starts playing the 'bad boy rock band' game instead of getting hot and working hard to STAY on top. Think of groups like Aerosmith and The Rolling Stones, who've been around almost as long as God, and have ridden the success/slump wave rather well ('cause they're still here).
  • focusing too much on 'the hit' instead of trying to create more. This may be the opposite of one of the previous points, where the audience didn't like most of the songs and always wants to hear 'the hit'. The opposite problem would be to over-expose 'the hit' and then to fail to come up with something new.
  • Getting sloppy and/or overconfident. Van Halen did this with their 2nd album, and it stank on ice (my opinion). Even they admit that they recorded it too quickly, and after the huge success of their first album they 'got sloppy' on their second. Oops.
  • 'It only sells because of the video'. I think that's self-explanatory. The VH1 compilation CD's are filled with 'one hit wonder' songs. Each of them had a video, and the video made the song popular. But the artist/group couldn't hold his/their own outside of that one song. Music video should make a good song better, not turn an ok song into 'a hit'

I may add others later when I think of them

Music Links

    MIDI over Ethernet - extremely useful for using a remote computer for MIDI playback
    A Free MIDI Loopback driver (also has an inexpensive licensed version)
    (You'll need something like this for 'MIDI over Ethernet')
    Guitar Resources - 'guitarists.net'
    The Synth Zone
    Indiana University School of Music
    Fluidsynth official web site
    Printable music flash cards - Print your own flash cards to learn how to read music!!! Totally free, and totally cool!

NOTE: many of the old links were broken. these have been removed.

Last updated: 04/08/2022

E-Mail: BobF (at) mrp3 (dot) com
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Big Bad Bombastic Bob Frazier and his bright red axe, ca 2000

©1997-2018 by R. E. Frazier and S.F.T., Inc.