The Old Double Melman

Three years in the making, the official release of The Old Double Melman went on sale at But without warning, they left the CD business. So now, it's just available online, at

This is in the tradition of music boxes and Raymond Scott. Gryltose is my answer to Scott's Powerhouse.

Many of the tracks are also available in lower-fidelity versions, here, free.

Among other software used in the making of this album are RedMoon's maxWerk, Motu's Digital Performer and Audacity. Graphics by Bryce, mostly.

History of General MIDI and QMI

The General MIDI spec was formalized in 1991. General MIDI (GM) implementations consisted of simulations of standard instruments like pianos, guitars, drums, fiddles and oboes, as well as sound effects like helicopters and birds. This gave the computer musician a built-in orchestra that was heir to those "consumer electronics" keyboards that Casio and others were selling. Once you had GM installed on your computer, you could create hours and hours of MIDI files and still be able to fit those files on the 2.8 meg diskettes of the day. If you fed the MIDI data from your computer to a different device, such as a Roland keyboard, the resulting music would sound similar.

QuickTime Musical Instruments was Apple's version of GM, first introduced in version 2 of QuickTime, their multimedia playing and editing software suite.

What we're talking about here is something meant to be the living room piano, a parlour orchestra to accompany the odd video game or slide show. The individual instruments often sounded like bits from 1970s vintage television show themes.

And so this became a folk instrument of the 1990s.

The Old Double Melman is the name I give to my technique of taking two identical (or NEARLY identical) tracks of music, processing them separately and then recombining them in a process I also call Brute Force Additive Synthesis.

Most of these tracks were created using Redmoon's maxWerk software (I think of it as being similar to a fabric loom.) Motu's Digital Performer was used for some arpeggiations and other tweakage. Apple's QuickTime Musical Instruments created the actual sounds, often two or more versions that were then individually tweaked and then recombined using Audacity.

(available online, at