Alpha seems to be the hardest world

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Alpha seems to be the hardest world

When I started thinking about this project I figured out I needed a catchy title and this one is the catchiest I could find! It alludes, of course, to that of a famous song but I changed two words and, besides the title, it does not have anything to do with it. The title is also the lyrics of this piece.

The idea was to try a different approach to the use of
Melodyne than that tried with my previous projects: Alpha Choir and Alpha El Din.
This time I have recorded a single phrase adapting it throughout the song for all the vocal parts, modifying pitch and duration.

The project went through many stages:

composing it, playing a dodecatonic mode of
Carlos Alpha (the same one of Alpha Choir) with an Halberstadt keyboard, then creating a tempo list and a music score.
You can see a rendition of the piece at this stage played with a Camel Audio
Alchemy’s choir sound.

At this point I started using Melodyne Editor 2 adapting syllables of the original phrase you hear at the beginning of the piece to create the four voices of the piece. I created a new music score with four lines, one for each voice. I had both Melodyne and score pages open to make sure I was placing Melodyne’s “blobs” where notes appear on the score.


Melodyne’s master tuning column (where note names appear) was extremely helpful. On the above picture you can see the first bars of the soprano track.
compressed octave is divided into 15 equal steps of which three are grayed out because are not part of the dodecatonic mode (as explained here). Melodyne names notes a little differently than how I do but it did not take me long to adapt to them, so, for example, going up the second D I call it D#, the grayed out D# is the note I call Eb and so on.

I have used, modified, mangled those few syllables so many times, creating this piece, that I could identify them by simply watching to their “blob shapes”!
Another interesting thing I tried was to synchronize the Melodyne tracks with the tempo variations of the host sequencer. I had to synchronize each one of the four Melodyne instances I had open, it is not a global setting.

After the four vocal tracks were done I added some reverb and a few Spectrasonics
Omnisphere’s sounds to increase the oddness of the piece (and to mask some audio artifact due to sound manipulation).

P. R. commented:
Lovely piece. You're really on to something with the vocals. Great harmonies.