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But What Does It Sound Like? You've read about Dr. Jam. Now listen!
We've put together a couple of quick examples of what Dr. Jam sounds like. We will be adding more examples over the next few weeks, so add a bookmark for this page if you're curious.
If you have JAM, DRM, PAT, or MIDI files you've created with Dr. Jam that you would like to share with others, just e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org along with any comments you have about the file. We'll put up some of the best and most unusual on this page.
Both of this week's picks are one-take, live performances made with some of the JAM files which ship with Dr. Jam. Remember, these are live jams, mistakes and all.
kanon1.midThis MIDI file is an improvisation on the chord structure used in Pachelbel's long-lived Canon In D. Only two of Dr. Jam's four performers, picker and strummer are used. First picker plays the chord progression twice through, using a different pattern each time. Then strummer joins in, and the performance continues until our maestro gets tired. What is involved in playing this live? One hand changes chords every few seconds by pressing pre-programmed keys on the QWERTY and/or 12345 rows of the computer keyboard, and now and then changes picker patterns with the ZXCVB row of keys. The other hand moves the mouse in circles, figure eights, or just back and forth to control which notes strummer plays.
slinky1.midThis MIDI file shows how all four performers can play together--though sometimes less is more. It starts with two measures of drummer playing the percussion pattern which will continue throughout. Then picker comes in with a bass riff which it will play throughout. Although the pattern stays the same in this example, it automatically follows whatever chord changes we make. After picker goes through the opening chord progression, strummer comes in, controlled by left and right movements of the mouse. After a bit of this, jammer is activated, playing a chord at each change and sometimes in between. Jammer is the only one of the four players capable of really poor rhythm--as clearly demonstrated here! (The other players are constrained to play on a beat or sub-beat.) After a few experiments with some auxilliary chords, our keyboard guru fades out by clicking the mouse on the Master slider on Dr. Jam's mixer.