The music files that this page links to are all performances by my old desktop and my new laptop computer (a Toshiba Satellite C655D).

I write down the notes in MakeMusic Finale, then save them as MIDI files. The older pieces I played on the current Voyetra sequencer (it had been MIDI Orchestrator and Digital Orchestrator before finally being Record Producer) while recording them with Acoustica. Now neither Voyetra nor Acoustica are still available, so I am now using SynthFont and Audacity. I started with the SoundFont set that came with my first Sound Blaster, the AWE64, and then modified some of the patches extensively with the sound font program that also came with it. My last sound card was a Sound Blaster X-fi Fatality (what was the reasoning behind that name?).

Now I have found that Creative Labs no longer provides adequate support for their SoundFont technology (it seems they are putting most of their energy into loud video game accompaniment) and they have made revisions to their Vienna SoundFont editor that have made it impossible for me to figure out how to use it – so I have stopped buying Sound Blasters.

SynthFont, however, enables me play MIDI files using all of my fonts with the sound card that came with the laptop, and it will also generate .wav files directly from the MIDI and SoundFont information, with no need for recording.

Most MIDI sequencer programs have "randomize" or "humanize" functions to vary the timings and pitches of the notes to approximate the irregularities of a human performer. I usually never use any of these things; I let the machine do what it does best: play rapid notes with mechanical precision.

Music by
  Butterfly Bill’s Computer  


Fugue in 5 – a fugue in 5/4 time

Jig Fugue – a fugue in 6/8 time

Fugue in 7 – a fugue in 7/4 time

Slip Jig Fugue – a fugue in 9/8 time

Fuga al Huapango – a fugue in hemiola time

The Sailor’s Fugue – a fugue on the fiddle tune Sailor's Hornpipe

The Bonnie Blue Fugue – a fugue on The Bonnie Blue Flag


Andy de Jarlis – a jig

Banish Misfortune – a jig

Irish Washerwoman – a jig

The Jig of Slurs – a jig

The Joyous Jig – a jig

The Road to Lisdoonvarna – a jig

The Stars and Stripes Jig – a 6/8 march

 Pieces in Other Time Signatures

Petronella – a reel

Liberty – a reel

Saxophobia – something jazzy

Polygalumphry – a 9/8 march

Fletscherwilligen – a piece in 5/4 time

Weggis Fair – a piece in 5/4 time

Fungers – a piece in 15/8 time

Thing – a contrapuntal piece in 4/4 time


I often use the basic trinity of electronic waveforms:

  the sine wave, which sounds sort of like a flute

  the square wave, which sounds sort of like a clarinet

  the sawtooth wave, which sounds sort of like a trumpet


Butterfly Bill’s homepage

This page was last updated on September 24, 2012