KangaSound 80's Music Project



The KangaSound 80's Music Project aims to create an 80's style pop music record, where all the instruments, both melodic and percussion, are synthesized from scratch using Kangas Sound Editor (QI). In addition, tracks will be mixed for stereo and a master track will be created using Kangas Sound Editor (QI). The only part of the record that will not be synthesized are the voices of the singers.

To give you a bit of an idea of what Kangas Sound Editor is capable of, here is a part-reconstruction of the 80's song "Town Called Malice" by the British Band "The Jam":

The project is looking for volunteers to work on various aspects of the record – see the section Project Roles below. No volunteers will be paid up front, but will receive an equal share of the record proceeds once all costs (e.g. of recording studio) have been paid. Because of the large number of individuals potentially involved in this project, for a decent payback to be received by all, the record will need to be good enough to reach the charts. This, therefore, is a project aim.

Project roles

Role Description
Software Advisor This role involves advising others who will be using Kangas Sound Editor in various other roles on how to overcome problems they might encounter, perhaps due to lack of familiarity with the software.
Instrument Designer This role involves designing instruments, both melodic and percussion, using Kangas Sound Editor. The instruments, once designed, are to be exported to XML and uploaded to the XML listing page. Some instruments may be accidentally "discovered" by the instrument designers, while others may be purposefully designed to try and satisfy a request from someone in another role, such as a Producer.
Chord Designer This role involves designing chords using Kangas Sound Editor. The chords will be constructed using a MIDI base pitch for the first note (or maybe a silent tonic note) and frequency ratios for the remainder. A little music theory would be helpful for this task, in order to figure out what frequency ratios to try (google "equal temperament pure harmonic series"). This link may be useful. In some cases which frequency ratio to use is clear (e.g. 2/1 or 1/2 for going up or down an octave), but in other cases it is less clear. Example chords are on the XML listing page. Constructed chords can be uploaded to this page by exporting to XML first.
Track Assembler This role involves assembling sequences within tracks of Kangas Sound Editor. For constructing bars with a MIDI-pitch first note and the remainder relative to the first using frequency ratios, the same comment about music theory (see Chord designer) applies. Track Assemblers will also need to assemble percussion sequences as well as musical bars, and should consult with the Percussionists when doing this.
Track Mixer This role involves mixing tracks and creating a stereo mix and master track within Kangas Sound Editor. They will also be responsible for deciding whether to clip tracks, and if so, by how much. They will need a good musical ear to get the balance between all the various tracks and the stereo mix to an optimum value. They may also create a master track – e.g. to add fade in/out – if requested by a producer. One possibility is that the three Track Mixers work independently given the same set of raw tracks, so that the Producers can listen to three alternative mixes and select the best – nothing like a bit of competition!
Percussionist This role requires a knowledge of different types, combinations and rhythms of percussion, but doesn't require any knowledge of Kangas Sound Editor software. They should listen to the percussion instruments created by the Instrument Designers and uploaded to the XML listing page to see if there are existing ones that can be used or adapted, or whether new ones are needed from the Instrument Designers. They then need to provide details to the Track Assemblers (i.e. what percussion instrument is played, when and with what emphasis) and listen to the result, possibly recommending changes. They will also need to listen to the percussion after it has been mixed for stereo by the Track Mixers, to check all is still ok. They need to consult and coordinate with the other two Percussionists, so that contradictory instructions are not being issued.
Producer This role requires a good musical knowledge and ear, but does not need any Kangas Sound Editor knowledge. They need to help with the selection of melodic instruments, possibly requesting new instruments from the Instrument Designers. They need to listen to the overall sound of the record, and guide it in the direction of an 80's style record by requesting changes of others. They need to consult and coordinate with the other two producers, so that contradictory instructions are not being issued. They are also responsible for arranging the recording sessions. Finally, they may need to instigate a change of Lyricist, Song-writer, Singer or someone in another role if that person is not up to standard in that role.
Lyricist This role involves writing lyrics that "resonate" with people in some sense. This role involves working closely with the other lyricists and song-writers. It is possible that the Lyricist and Song-writer are the same person, due to the close connection between these roles.
Song-writer This role involves writing the melody, and accompanying harmonies for the song. A memorable "hook" will probably be needed. A good knowledge of song structures used in 80's music would be helpful, but the aim is not simply to produce a carbon-copy of an existing 80's song.
Singer(s) There are up to five singers needed for this role; the main requirement being that they can all sing well and in tune with each other (for this reason, they will almost certainly know each other and have practised singing together on many occasions). It is possible that someone in this role may also be the Song-writer.
Sponsor A sponsor can help the project by providing funds that will be used to meet up-front costs of the project, such as paying for the recording studio sessions. In return, the sponsor can have an icon and link to their website from this page. They also can have one share in the project revenue stream for each USD 100 that they contribute, up to a maximum of five shares.

Role numbers

Role Target for role Number in role On standby
Software Advisor 1 1 0
Instrument Designer 20 0 0
Chord Designer 10 0 0
Track Assembler 10 0 0
Track Mixer 3 2 0
Percussionist 3 1 0
Producer 3 1 0
Lyricist 3 1 0
Song-writer 3 0 0
Singer 5 0 0
Sponsor 5 0 0


Note that most, if not all, volunteers on this project will be doing this in their spare time – hence the fairly large target numbers. If at any stage you feel it is too much, you can simply ask to have some or all of your workload redistributed without anyone getting annoyed – it would be better that someone else gets to work on it rather than the project grinding to a halt due to a necessary task not getting done. Similarly, you can pull out of the project entirely at any time (although you'll lose your share of the music record proceeds if you do).

If the target numbers have already been met for your chosen role, you will be placed on standby, and may be contacted later if someone who is currently assigned to that role drops out for some reason, or becomes temporarily unavailable.


Event log

Date Event
11 Jan 2011 KangaSound music project starts! Enrollment phase begins. One Software Advisor enrolled. Software Advisor target met.
14 Jan 2011 One Percussionist enrolled.
21 Jan 2011 We now have a Lyricist!
26 Jan 2012 One Producer enrolled. Hopefully this will help accelerate the enrollment phase!
09 Jul 2012 One Track Mixer enrolled.
02 Nov 2012 Second Track Mixer enrolled!
14 Nov 2014 This project has just awoken from its two year sleep, and is again seeking volunteers!