Thursday, December 24, 2009

Namm 2010

Well it's been forever since my last post. School and work have been keeping me pretty busy. However, with Namm 2010 approaching; I feel reinvigorated. I'm assuming there might be an update to Reason. Native Instruments usually unveils something, hopefully they'll announce Reaktor 6 (I can dream right?). They will probably continue their hardware/software combo's. I am curious to see if Teenage Engineering will have a working version of the OP-1. The new Kurzweil keyboard sounds pretty sweet, but at $4,000, it's out of my grasp right now. More to come :P

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

RSS friend or foe of productivity?

I was given pause as I was perusing my RSS feeds. Has what was once a tool to streamline my web surfing, become a time hole in itself. You see, I used to check tons of websites every day for the latest news. As RSS became more and more ubiquitous I became a subscriber to all my favorite sites feeds. I thought this was a godsend until I realized that the process of checking, and reading my RSS feeds has become a huge time drain in itself, and has begun to cut into my productivity. Can a balance be struck? Or does the web always waste our valuable time? More to come on this topic!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Independence day was lot's of fun!

I hope everyone else had a good Independence day. No aliens attacked, that's always a good thing. I'd hate to have to disturb Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum on a holiday.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Another reformat?

I don't really like the way I set my PC up after the last reformat. Maybe I'll do another? Actually I'd really like to get a new (bigger)hard drive before I do. Actually, actually! I'd like to build a whole new PC, but I don't have the money for it right now. Maybe I should get a sheevaplug? That would be a fun toy...

Slackin' off

It's June, my birthday was the 2nd! I turned the big 3-0, but since 30 is the new 20; I'm not too worried. So far it's been a slow month. I've been searching to see if there are groups based on the things I'm interested in, in my area. There doesn't seem to be. There are some cool groups in Philly, but driving to Philly is a pain, not to mention gas prices, and the fact I drive a jeep which isn't the most fuel efficient vehicle. I suppose I'll have to think outside the box to meet people where I live. My friend Ben went to Spain, I'm so jealous. Had I gone, I might not come back! I can't think of anything more exciting to write so I'm signing off!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Propellerheads...New Product...Epic Fail!

Well, the announcement came, and I am so underwhelmed. Record is the new product, mainly aimed at those already in the Propellerhead fold. My basis for that claim is that Record only records. There is no VST/VSTi support, no midi out, midi-in but only in rewire mode as far as I can tell. The effects included are based on the effects in reason, good if you like Reasons' effects, not so good if you don't. There is one instrument included, sort of an all purpose sound module. If you own Reason and Record, your Reason devices will show up as instruments in Record. Once again, that's great if you like Reasons' instruments, not so great if you don't. Essentially Record is the "answer" to the oft requested "audio-in" that Reason users have been making since version 1, albeit in a totally separate program. However, at a price of $299 it makes more sense to just buy a full-fledged DAW. A DAW will support Rewire, if you need it, as well as the widely supported VST/VSTi, and AU standards (AU not applicable on PC).

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Propellerheads...New Product...FTW?

Okay, I know it's bad to pass along gossip, but this time I can't resist. Seems the future music blog has a source that claims that Propellerhead Software is announcing a new product, and that it is a D.A.W.! This is quite shocking news, and I certainly didn't see it coming. I was expecting news on Reason 5, but not this. Well, the producer conference isn't until May 9th, so until then; keep watching the stars...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Who you gonna call?

GHOSTBUSTERS! So apperantly there is a collectors edition of the Ghostbuster's game called the "Slimer Edition". This reminds me, when I first got FioS I immediately searched to see what movies I could watch for free. Ghostbusters was one of the freebies, so I watched it...After watching it, I totally do not understand what people see, or ever saw in it. I thought it was the most idiotic movie ever (slight exaggeration) It ranks up there with E.T., as one of the most over-hyped movies. Maybe it's because I somehow missed seeing these movies as a kid, so there is no nostalgia involved for me. I just don't get the big deal...

May Day!

Is today May day? Does that even exist? Either way happy May day!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

4/20

Today is the day of the year when potheads can smoke up all day! Not that they don't anyway, but since it is 4/20 all day, no need to wait on the clock.
Back in my younger days I don't recall us ever waiting for it to turn 4:20, we smoked whenever, and if anything "4:20" was some quaint practice from the days of yore. Now as a responsible (ahem) adult, 4:20 doesn't mean jack. However! At least this year 4/21 means something; it means the release of free DLC for Left 4 Dead! So, at least I know what I will be doing tomorrow night...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Reformat

I finally did it. I had been threatening to for awhile. Aside from an odd hiccup, where windows froze during installation, blaming it on a device failure. Everything went very smooth, and I was pretty much back to optimum status in about 2 hours. It was actually more because I was preoccupied in the living room, but that's not really the computers fault, now is it? I'm still holding onto XP, I figure at this point there is no reason for me to pay for a copy of Vista with Windows 7 on the horizon. I decided to try a new anti-virus; not because I had problems with my old one, but I just wanted to see what else is out there. So I installed Avast anti-virus. It puts more little jibbers in the taskbar, but doesn't seem to actually affect available memory any more than AVG (my old AV software). One strange thing I have noticed is that my network speed seems slower, I'll have to do some further testing before I start flinging accusations.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sean Hannity and Bernie Goldberg...

I watched Hannity tonight, and was really bothered by his behavior. I am conservative, I want to get that out of the way. I agree with Hannity more than I disagree with him, at least when I watch, I try not to O.D. on political news. Tonight he was talking about the Somali pirate crisis, and his view on Obama taking credit. I really felt that his argument was petty, and fortunately Bernie Goldberg called him on it. Obviously, Bernie wasn't rude about it, but he pointed out what I was thinking to myself. For eight years the media attacked former president Bush constantly, and maliciously. They never gave him credit, it became obvious to any clear thinking individual that he could not do anything right in the media's eyes. However, I don't believe in tit for tat ( I am aware of how silly of a saying that is ). Maybe a better way of saying it is, bad behavior isn't an excuse for more bad behavior. Therefore, if we engage in the same tactics that the liberals engage in, then we are no better. I for one, am better. I applaud the way the crisis was handled and am thankful that the captain was rescued alive. I don't care who "claims" the credit, because no matter who is president, ultimately the credit goes to our troops who selflessly fight for our freedom.

Stuff I've been doing.

It has been very quiet around here. However, I am up to stuff :P I've been reading about cartooning, I'd like to start drawing some cartoons, and blog on a more mainstream host. I've also been studying Flash & Flex. I am at the very beginning of this journey, but it is already interesting. I am unsure of whether I should focus on the platform of Flash, with it's stage and timeline, and seemingly less code focused development. Or, should I focus on Flex? Flex has been referred to as "flash for programmers", I'm not some code guru, but I am used to writing code/markup, plus the main reason I want to engage in using flash/flex, is to code web games. I haven't determined which is better suited to this end. So, I guess I will do more research, bug more people in chatrooms, and join some local flash groups.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Musikmesse is over.

I thought the whole thing was a bit bland. I didn't go in person, Musikmesse takes place in Germany; I'd love to go ( to Germany ), but could not afford it right now. I was looking forward to hearing from two companies, the first being Propellerheads Software, I was hoping for new on Reason 5! The other company I was curious to hear from was Waldorf, to see what they had to say about their Largo synth. So far, I haven't heard jack from, or about either company. Oh well, I now return you to your regularly scheduled doldrums.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Careless Whispers...

There is a cover of this song, it's done by a band called Seether, and I think it is excellent. Wham originally wrote the song back in the 80's and I can still recall it being on the radio as I'd be driving with my mom. That said, amongst other things it makes me think of my mother. It's funny how as a kid, your parents are almost perceived as non-human, as super beings who transcend emotions, and other daily trappings of life. When you get older though, you realize that your parents are as human as any other human, and I realize that my mom liked that song for the same reason I did, the emotional connection. It was an eye-opening day when I saw my mom, as not just a mother, but a person. I wonder how my kids will see me? Is this just a condition of humanity that endlessly repeats? Anyways if you haven't heard the song, you definitely need to!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Kids rule!

I babysat for my aunts friend tonight. Let me tell you, I must have burnt more calories playing, than I do when I exercise! Kids have unreal amounts of energy, I miss that. Plus I was in a bad mood all day ( long story, well boring story actually ), but now I feel great! Kinda makes me wish I had kids. On the other hand, sometimes I can barely afford to feed myself (thanks Obama!) so I guess kids will have to wait. I guess I'd need a woman too, I think they figure into the making kids equation somehow...

Free VST's

This post was inspired by a post I read at KVR-Audio.com. It went to the effect of someone posting asking what the best freeware synth is. This prompted a discussion that went at least 8 pages deep, full of tedious responses, and some flaming. So I checked out some of the recommendations, others I had tried before. To me, there is a reason that some software is worth paying for; I guess the answer lies in GUI, sound, and reliability. It seems to me that no free synth can boast having all three components. Ultimately as a musician, you have to ask: does this inspire me? I have yet to find a freeware synth where the answer is "yes". Free things can be good, but sometimes they're just a diversion, and ultimately worth what you "paid" for them.

Friday, March 13, 2009

My thoughts on 27 Dresses.

Okay, so "27 Dresses" has been on HBO relentlessly lately. I suppose a more macho man would have ignored it and turned on something else, but I didn't. I'm not sure why, I'm pretty sure Katherine Heigls' beauty plays a big part in it, I can't seem to look away whenever she's on screen.
Okay I guess this next part is going to make me sound burnt out on love, but I don't fully get the premise of this movie. I mean, I understand she's in love with a guy and it didn't work out, but we've all been in love with someone and it didn't work out. However, how bad can her situation be? Her infatuation with one gorgeous guy didn't work out, but there is another gorgeous guy waiting for her, and let's get real; A girl like her has a million gorgeous guys paying attention to her on a regular basis. So my point is, someone like her, or the character she plays anyway, is only single by choice. It is a totally unrealistic portrayal of how it really is being single.

Friday, February 20, 2009

zzz,,,

If it gets any crazier around here, a funeral is going to break out.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I haven't posted in awhile!

So far February has been a slow month, news-wise anyway. I have been working a lot and started two new classes at school. I have been making music in Renoise, but nothing too serious, maybe I should post some anyway? I like Renoise because it has an all together different workflow than anything else I've ever used. That said, I don't see myself using it for any serious work. Maybe my next post will be about Trackers and some of the problems I have with them...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What are those crazy propellerheads up to?

In an earlier post I speculated on the announcements I was anticipating at winter Namm. More specifically I said I expected we would hear from Ableton and Propellerhead software. As it turned out I was half right. We heard from Ableton, but we didn't hear anything from Propellerheads! Now the reason I thought we'd hear from the propellerheads is because they have been posting to their .plan file so much. Specifically Dan has been posting a lot about some tech design he has been working on. I thought this was significant as the level of posting seemed unusually high. However mum was the word from these guys, so they definitely have my curiosity up, but in typical propellerhead fashion, they are being quite secretive...

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Dark Knight.

I am seeing The Dark Knight tonight on Imax. The new Batman movies are totally awesome, and I didn't get to see Dark Knight in the theater the first time around, so I am glad my friend Kevin noticed that they are doing a limited re-showing. I hope the theater isn't too crowded, because I hate crowds.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A question to Waldorf that will probably not be answered.

Okay, you guys make fantastic synths. I've never owned a hardware synth, but I've been fortunate enough to play them, including yours. The main reason I haven't owned a hardware synth is because of the cost. Now you've made the Blofeld, and it's actually affordable, but there is one problem. You've omitted one thing that makes hardware so cool, an audio input! Now i can't honestly understand why you wouldn't include this basic feature. I can't see how it could be a cost issue, a quarter inch jack is like 10 cents! So please tell me what the deal is? I've noticed that the newly announced Largo doesn't have an option for audio in under its feature set. Have you guys become anti external audio processing? It just doesn't seem to be in lock step with your previous synths. Oh well, this is just something I've thought about ever since Blofeld was released ( actually since it's specs were posted ), and makes me hesitant about buying.

See waldorfs site for the products mentioned in this post.

File under: Just for fun!

Roland announced the return of the AX line midi controller. Their new offering has a synth engine built in, but of course it can control any synth via midi. So for all you keyboardists who want to take the limelight and kick the guitarists out, here is you chance!

Namm 2k9 wrap up

Well I was wrong and right. Ableton Live did indeed announce version 8, however Propellerheads made no announcement. I personally was very impressed with the developments from Ableton. Their partnership with cycling 74 has born fruit, that has ramifications for musicians that are into a more hands on approach to sound design. Max for Live looks promising. I'm mildly disappointed that MFL is an add-on product, but given the amount of R&D that must have went into it, if the price is fair, it is forgivable. Also the Akai APC40 looks fantastic! Tailor made for Live, this tactile interface integrates with Live and furthermore can be programmed for in MFL. There is already a cool video of a step sequencer running in Live with the patterns being changed via the APC40. Some have put forth that Live had been losing its focus for awhile. I think these new developments show that Live is back on track, with a plan firmly in place for what it wants to be and do.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

It's all about the synths.

Ultimately, for me, that's what it's all about. So I'll share some of the synths that have caught my eye at Namm 2009 so far.
First up we have Waldorf's first made for vst synth, Largo. Waldorf's hardware is pretty famous. I've never owned a synth made by them, not because I didn't want one, but because hardware is more expensive. Now I can, I will definitely pick this synth up when it is released.
Second synth that has caught my eye is actually a group of synths. FXpansion's Synth Squad is a group of three synths that seem to share interface style. While the literature leaves you with the impression they are ultimately emulations, they seem to have been programmed to have more originality than the average emulation. A nice paradox to be sure, however, when you look at FXpansion's track record ( or listen to audio samples ) This is a company that seems to always deliver quality.
Okay, next up is Alchemy. Now if you are going to name your synth after the fabled art of turning stone to gold, it better be good. Camel Audio does not disappoint! There are three demo videos on their page ( a demo version is in the pipleline ), and they will leave you drooling. This is a hybrid synth, it does V.A., and does it well, but it also does spectral, granular, and sample manipulation in very novel ways. It ships with 2GBs of samples to get you rolling. I definitely want to add this synth to my arsenal.
ImpOscar 2 was announced by Gforce media. This is one emulation synth I do really like. I demoed it awhile back and liked the sound, but felt the interface was fidgety. Perhaps with this update these issues have been ironed out.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Namm DAW news

Looks like Cubase has been updated to version 5. That is not a true representation of Cubase's life, but I don't feel like doing the research to plot out it's chronology. Next, I discover that Ableton Live 8 has been announced. Also, information has been released about the fruits of their relationship with Cycling 74, the creators of MAX/MSP. Turns out that Cycling 74 has created an add-on for Live in the form of Max for Live. I feel that Max for Live warrants a separate post, so I will begin working on that soon.

While not announced at Namm, Renoise has been upgraded to version 2.

90 Namm related RSS feeds!

I woke up to see that there were no less than 90 new items about Namm. Sent to me via RSS, I was blown away, now on top of doing some school work I have to sift through all those posts for some of them gems. However, in true procrastinator fashion, I am going to go to the music store and book store to waste time.
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Just an update; I guess one of the obnoxious things about suscribing to multiple RSS feeds, is all the repeats. Everyone posts the same thing worded just slightly differently. I know it's because everyone is so wrapped up in the Namm excitement, but it still makes for a ton of reading!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Namm from Analog Industries perspective...

I got a chuckle out of this post by the author of Analog Industries blog. His focus is on the darker side of Namm. I even remember the device he refers to that never made it to production, which was a shame. It is true that products are announced, that for whatever reason, never make it to production. I wonder what will catch my eye this year that will never actually be made. Not that I can afford most the stuff that catches my eye anyway. I've always had expensive tastes.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

NAMM is almost here!

I think I get more excited about Namm than I do about Christmas. I love gear. I love looking at it, reading about it, and every so often when I can afford to, buying it. I hope it's a good show this year, with interesting announcements. That's the funny thing about Namm, things are announced. So in reality, you are simply getting riled up. How long you have to wait for the "toy" you can't afford? I expect to hear something interesting from Ableton, and Propellerheads software, simply because it's been awhile since we've heard from them. I know it's not because they're in trouble, so they must be working diligently! It'd be nice to hear about some forward thinking midi controllers. It is always fun to hear about synthesizers!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Twitter

I signed up for Twitter. You can follow my incredibly exciting life @ this link

Saturday, January 3, 2009

PS3 tinkering advice.

First off, The PS3 will only recognize USB mice and keyboards. I tried a PS2 to USB converter and it did not work! Also, don't bother trying to install another OS if your television cannot display at 720p or better. You won't be able to see enough of the screen to complete the setup. I speak from experience, so I thought I should share how I was able to revert to the PS3 OS since I couldn't not type anything. Simply turn off the
PS3 using the switch on the back, then turn it back on, hold your finger on the power button for three seconds and you will hear a beep. The beep indicates that your PS3 will boot into its default OS. I am disappointed that my first attempt at installing linux on my PS3 was unsuccessful, but I remain undeterred. I will buy a USB keyboard, and an HDTV and try again! However,since I am not a millionaire it will probably be a couple months 'till I get the T.V.