I went to start a club band doing NEW WAVE covers with some local guys and Joe as the bass player.  Mike (the drummer) at this point, went his own way with music and was enjoying some professional respect.  He landed a gig as the drummer for Patti Smith (“Because the night”) and did studio recording and, I think, touring with her.


The NEW WAVE club band thing lasted for quite a few years and one day, I woke up, realized I had 2 sons, a wife and a good job and here I was trying to be a rock star. Thirty two nights in a row, performing BILLIE JEAN (by Micheal Jackson) on guitar helped me to come to my senses. After a good 10 years of playing in working bands, making decent money, I decided to HANG IT ALL UP.  It wasn’t fun anymore, I was tired all the time, it had become a job.  My family needed me, I needed a career and I stopped playing all music for about 15 years. Sold all my equipment and focused on my family.


The INTERNET and MIDI


The years passed quickly and my oldest son began attending college at Rutgers University.  One day he asked if I had ever heard about MP3’s.  This had to be around 1995 or so and the Internet was just gaining traction.  He told me that he uses the Internet for school and said that there were FTP sites all over college campuses that offered MUSIC in MP3 format.  He said that every song ever recorded was somewhere out on the net. This I had to see so we got an internet connection (actually a cable modem that was super fast since there weren’t many cable modem users back in the day). He showed me about FTP and Web Pages and how to download the MP3s.  I had an MP3 player and I was flabbergasted.  Every song I ever enjoyed was on the Internet. I must have downloaded 10,000 songs and started to see what else you could do on the WEB.


With my interest in music, I stumbled upon MIDI.  There were songs that were in MIDI format that I could download and I quickly discovered that these were like the old player pianos wherein, the music played on different tracks with different instruments.  The first MIDI songs I heard was just BEEPS and BOOPS on my soundcard.  I wasn’t impressed but rather intrigued. What if the MIDI could trigger more realistic sounds than just what my soundcard could produce? I upgraded my soundcard to one that used WAVETABLES instead of electronic synthesis to trigger the Midi notes. This started to sound interesting. So, since I had learned all those GENESIS songs years ago, I decided to start creating MIDI files of classic GENESIS tunes.


These creations were done pretty quickly and I started to hone my skills in creating music with MIDI. Don’t remember how but I stumbled upon some web pages that offered GENESIS MIDI files but I uploaded some of my stuff to these guys and apparently, I was doing a pretty good job because I started seeing my MIDI files all over the web and started to get emails from folks all over the world that were either complimentary or requested additional GENESIS tunes in MIDI format.

One guy on the internet was also making good GENESIS MIDI files. And over time, Simon Goodwin and I became friends/competitors. WE also collaborated on a couple of larger MIDI files just for the fun of it.  One project was a bunch of us did “CINEMA SHOW” where each of us performed one of more of an entire instrument part of the song (that is, keyboards, drums, bass, guitars, etc.).  I was in charge of the guitars (except Steve’s lead parts) and the overall mix of the MIDI file. Another project we completed was “SUPPER’S READY” (my section on this project from IKNAHKON).  This project was organized a bit differently in that each of us performed all of the instruments for different “movements” of the piece.  As much fun as this was, I was already fixated with “The Lamb”.  The instrument sounds from the LAMB are not really recreated with General Midi and everything became a compromise or a MIDI trick to try and get the instruments to sound realistic. Simon Goodwin said something to me back then that it would be impossible to ever create realistic MIDI files because of the odd sounding instruments GENESIS used on the album.


Loving a challenge, I decided then and there that I would try to duplicate The LAMB in MIDI using realistic sounds. This is where David Kersner comes in.  I found his SAMPLE DISK on the INTERNET “Vintage Time Traveller” which included samples of an RMI, some ARP PRO Stuff and other miscellaneous vintage instruments.


I didn’t know much about samplers back then but contacted Dave and he was already familiar with the MIDI files I created for he was a big GENESIS fan and into MIDI a bit too and we made a deal.  The deal was that he gave me a SUPER PRICE on the sample CD and I agreed to provide him with any new GENESIS MIDI file.  It wasn’t that he couldn’t work out the parts rather that it saved him time to look at the keyboard performances in MIDI which helped him learn more keyboard parts.


So now, I was armed with the sample CD, I purchased an AKAI S2000 sampler and a mixer and started to try and recreate the sound of THE LAMB using more realistic sounds. This made a very BIG difference in that I now had the FUZZ GUITAR 1 from the ARP to play back the lead solos in songs like “In the Cage” and “Riding the Scree”.... but after the novelty of this wore off, I realized that just having the samples from the ARP didn’t sound like Tony’s ARP on the album. And the other instruments were still being triggered by GENERAL MIDI sounds... not very realistic. At this point, came from first natural break from this project.  Until I could come up with a plan to get more sounds and to mix the songs outside of simple MIDI mixes, the project couldn’t yet be completed. So, this had to be around 1997 or 1998 and I put the project down until I could conjure up a solution.


I probably spent a couple of years researching now and then the available technologies for MUSIC on a PC when I found something called PULSAR from CREAMWARE.  This was a mixing application built into a high quality sound card that had effects and synths that could be triggered by MIDI and it was a soundcard as well.

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