MUSIC 220C Project Page

Week 10

06/05: Deliverable Day!

Final Demo with Saxophone:

Final Demo w/ Sax:

Final Demo w/o Sax:

Download Completed Score


I spent the weekend practicing the saxophone part in preparation to record my part, as well as finishing up the score. I also coordinated with Michael Hayes, a drummer friend of mine to help get some MIDI drums loaded into the demo, which are displayed here:

Logic Pro demo:

Download Completed Score

Week 9


Mostly completed demo backing track using VSTs in Logic. I have a synth playing the saxophone part currently, which may end up doubling the part whenever I record the actual saxophone.

Logic Pro demo:

Also worked on updating website from the past 7 weeks haha.

Week 8


Finished preliminary score with first two sections in MuseScore, played MIDI playback in class

Musescore MIDI demo:

Download Preliminary Score


Had to miss class for sister's graduation. Over the weekend I was traveling, and so I did two things that worked well remotely.

  1. I checked out some of Caroline's suggestions and made some notes on them:
  2. I worked on starting to write out some of my ideas into MuseScore. I am also starting to really lean into the hyper-rhythmic approach that Caroline was talking about during our lunch. This is very evident in the first section of the piece.

Week 7


Right before class, I attended a lunch with Caroline Davis, an incredible alto saxophonist who was visiting Stanford to give a concert at CCRMA. During the lunch, I got to hear some of her musings on composition (particularly her affinity for hyper-rhythmic patterns), as well as some specific insights in the world of microtonality in the context of the saxophone and also jazz composition. Caroline shared that she has done some experimenting with non-12tet tonality in improvistion, but not so much in composition. She was, however, able to give me some recommendations of some contemporaries who were digging into the composition angle from more jazz-adjacent backgrounds:


I did not have any luck finding the implementation of `copyFromWithRamp()`, and neither could I figure out how to do this manually. As such, I feel like this will demand some more intimate working with JUCE. Unfortunately, I'm starting to get anxious about the state of my composition (which is very lacking right now), so I made a judgement call and shifted my focus to my composition for now and potentially return to JUCE if/when I have time before our final deliverables. In spirit of this, I spent a lot of time in the practice room this weekend messing around with some new (old) ideas. I wasn't quite sold by the sketches I had produced previously, so I returned to an idea that I had recorded a while ago (originally not intended to have microtones) and messed around on the saxophone with is.

Piano vamp sketches:

Saxophone sketches:

B section sketches:

Week 6


Preliminary delay plug-in is working(ish?). I was able to get it working in Logic, except for when I initialize the plug-in after having already started playing audio, it kind of blows up. When I have it initalized before playing audio it works just fine. I hope to troubleshoot this issue more, which should be easier thanks to Logan showing me how to use the Juce AudioPlugInHost environment (thanks Logan!). In terms of thinking about the reverse delay effect, I no longer think that it will so trivial...I thought that I would be implementing the data copying into the buffer for the delay effect, but the tutorial I referenced just used a JUCE method called `copyFromWithRamp()` which copies data from a source buffer to a new destination. For the reverse pedal, I would need to essentially reverse this process (instead of iterate through each sample in the source buffer and replacing that same index in the destination buffer, I would iterate from the back of the source buffer and copy to the front of the destination buffer). I am trying to find how the `copyFromWithRamp()` method is implemented, but I've not been able to find anything in the GitHub code base. Figuring out this will be a goal for next week.


I missed class today because of an appointment, but I've been mostly working on JUCE since last week. I have finished the gain plug-in and got it working in Logic. I made two versions, the first of which just used a linear ramp, but the second one actually adjusted logarithmically. Both of these were heavily inspired by the wonderful tutorials from TheAudioProgrammer on YouTube. This specific video is the gain tutorial that I referenced. I am also starting on a delay plug-in, with the hope that it should be a trivial addition to make a reverse delay. The tutorials I am referencing for the delay are here and here.

Week 5


Plan on making gain plug-in for monday (as a 'hello world' for JUCE)


As I have begun to look more towards my composition, I found myself feeling a bit rusty in my quartertone fingerings. As such, this past weekend I returned to some of the work I had done initially to get more comfortable with quartertones on saxophone, namely writing out jazz etudes using these fingerings. I had written most of these last summer, but I returned back to them this weekend to help get those sounds under my fingers again. As such, I thought it would be good to present these etudes that I made in class. Each etude was written to a chord progression of a specific jazz standard and employs quartertonality in as many ways as I could find that sounded compelling. You can hear the midi play back for one of the etudes (over the song Cherokee, by Ray Noble) and download the score here:

Cherokee Quartertone Etude:

Download Etude

Week 4


downloaded and started messing around with juce


Continuing to sketch

Combined sketches together:

Week 3


More sketches:

Continuing sketches on saxophone:


First sketches on piano:

Week 2


I compiled a YouTube playlist of microtonal music to present in class and identify the musical uses that I find compelling and the ones that I find not so compelling.

My main takeaways are as folows:


After considering my choices, I felt that I was most excited to explore the world of microtonal composition, so my finalized project plan is to create a composition that uses quartertones on the saxophone. That said, I also want to have a more software-technical component to the project, so I will effort to also make a reverse-delay pedal in JUCE and incorporate this into my composition somehow.

Week 1


More workshopping ideas: I have narrowed my choice to a microtonal composition, a reverse delay plug-in, and working on a particle system in ChuGL.