AMac: NC and fadeout

In this article I’ll cover two useful techniques for the Autosequence Mode of the Accompaniment Machine: NC and fadeout. The acronym NC often appears in fakebooks. It stands for No chord and designates an interval where the accompaniment stops while the solo continues. In the Autosequence Mode, you can pause the accompaniment and restart it by pressing the Control key. The accompaniment restarts exactly where it left off, and the result may be a jarring or unsynchronized sound. A better approach is the use the StyleVolume command to suppress the accompaniment during the NC section. In this case, the accompaniment maintains a predictable timing.

AMac sequence displayed in ConText

Figure 1. AMac sequence displayed in ConText.

Figure 1 shows how an instance of NC appears in an AMac sequence for the song Love Me Do. The sequence is displayed in the ConText editor using the syntax highlighting definitions that we supply with AMac. The NC starts on the second beat of measure 9. The accompaniment restarts at measure 10. MIDI signals are processed sequentially, so you may need to experiment with the exact positions of the volume changes to avoid sound discontinuities. Here is an example of extreme applications of NC in the song Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.

Many songs of the 60s-80s don’t have an ending, but rather fade away (gradual reduction of the volume to zero). Here’s how to implement the effect in a sequence. Again, the example is Love Me Do with a two measure fading repetition:

Shift 65
1 0 Mark FadeOut Ending
1 0 C
2 0 G 7
2 3 C
Shift 67
1 0 FadeOut 15.0
1 0 C
2 0 G 7
2 3 C
Shift 69
1 0 C
2 0 G 7
2 3 C
Shift 71
1 0 C
2 0 G 7
2 3 C
Shift 73
1 0 C
2 0 G 7
2 3 C
Shift 75
1 0 C
2 0 G 7
2 3 C

The song runs 65 measures before the fade. The Shift command resets the measure number so that the repetition can be constructed in an editor with copy and paste operations. The Mark command is a comment line that documents what is happening. The first repetition is played at full volume, then a 15.0 second fade is triggered. You need to paste enough copies of the section to cover the fade time span. There is no need to worry about adding too many copies. AMac terminates the accompaniment (disregarding addition content) when the volume reaches zero. Here’s the Love Me Do example, which includes several NC sections and a fade at the end.

 

Comments are closed.