Shout out to Manchester

I’ve never been to Manchester; never been out of the States either – unless you count Tiajuana or Niagra Falls. Yeah, I didn’t think so. And from what I understand, Manchester, being a “dreary” industrial town, is not the sort of place you would expect so many bands to come out of; at least not when compared to places like London or Los Angeles or New York. But, Manchester has produced an impressive number of artists; certainly comparable to any of the more “glamorous” cities. This is aside from the well documented “Madchester” dance scene that emerged at the tail end of the 80s and into the early 90s; a scene which is well represented in the movie 24 Hour Party People (which also covers the tragic story of Joy Division and the rise of Factory Records and the Hacienda Club). The bands I mention are more in the alternative or electronic realm, however the town gave rise to classic acts such as Herman’s Hermits, the Hollies, Van der Graaf Generator, 10cc and even Simply Red. Here are my top ten favorite Manchester bands, but check out the whole list:

1. The Chameleons
2. The Smiths
3. Joy Division/New Order
4. Oasis
5. Future Sound of London
6. The Stone Roses
7. 808 State
8. Happy Mondays
9. Lamb
10. the BeeGees (yeah, I said it)

JSyn Java Synthesis API

When I initially started working on my project, I began with C#, because I had found a Wii remote library which would get my idea off the ground. And it did, and for that I am grateful. Unfortunately, C# does not have a whole lot to offer in the musical arena as far as synth or MIDI functions.

So, I had to look a bit further. I discovered WiiuseJ, which I wrote about previously, which does the whole Wii remote manipulation in Java. Not having worked in Java before I was a bit skeptical as to whether I should embark down this path. But then after further research, I found JSyn, written by Phil Burk. This API offers a very deep and robust set of synthesizer and digital sound processing functions and is relatively easy to pick up and understand, which was a blessing since I am a complete Java noob.

Check out the JSyn website for  more information.