Chris Randall: Musician, Writer, User Interface Designer, Inventor, Photographer, Complainer. Not necessarily in that order.

Archives: February 2007

February 15, 2007

Audio Damage update...

by Chris Randall

Here's a little teaser of Dr. Device, next in the Audio Damage pipeline. What does it do? How does it do it? Why do you want one? All these things will be explained in time. We're still a ways away on this one; Adam had to write some custom controls to take in to account some wacky ideas I had, but that is now done, and we're just moving in to normal development.

February 15, 2007

Open Thread...

by Chris Randall

Okay, today's open thread topic: which is the best band in the world ever: Agent Orange or Killing Joke? Seriously, though. I'm curious as to what makes a band someone's favorite. I have probably a dozen artists that could interchangeably be my favorite band ever, depending on mood and context. The one thing all of the artists have in common is the fact that they have deep catalogs; otherwise, they couldn't be more dissimilar. My list, for posterity, and in no particular order: Agent Orange, Killing Joke, Prince, Pink Floyd, Public Enemy, The Police, Tom Waits, Underworld, Otis Redding, Neubauten, and I think that's about it right now.

Quite frankly, I think I'm about over Pink Floyd. I've listened to them too much. That happened to the Beatles as well, and they're no longer my Favorite Band Ever either. And for the record, I CAN NOT STAND Synchronicity . I'm not one of those Johnny-Come-Lately Police fans that gets a hard-on from a Synclavier arpeggio.

February 13, 2007

Things To Buy Real Soon Now...

by Chris Randall

I've got a mental list of things I'm going to get in the not-too-distant future. These first two will finally complete my Analog Effect:

Moog MF107 Freq Box. I don't know why this thing appeals to me so much, but I literally can not wait until it comes out. It occurred to me that with this, the ring mod, the LPF, and the phaser, I'm actually dangerously close to having a modular synth again, something I swore off semi-permanently last year. Well, as long as I don't buy a MIDI-CV converter, I'm still safe, right?

Eventide TimeFactor. I already have an Eclipse so this is somewhat superfluous, as there is literally nothing in this box that the Eclipse can't/doesn't do. However, it's an Eventide delay in pedal form, and it will finish off my Analog Effect nicely, and I even have the perfect spot for it, and it's such a pretty blue...

Waldorf Blofeld. Essentially a Microwave Micro Q in a desktop form-factor, with some extra shit, right? In any case, I like desktop units because I can just keep 'em all on a shelf and pull the one I need out, and they all occupy the same footprint.

So, those are the next additions to my lil' studio that you'll be hearing about as they become available. What's on your List?

February 11, 2007

Vista Fiesta, Rnd. 2...

by Chris Randall

Went and got a squeaky clean hard drive from PC Club today, and installed Vista on it. The installation was actually a bit less painful than a normal Windows install. Of all the odd hardware in my PC, the only things it didn't recognize right off the bat were the Lynx AES/16 (which I knew would happen) and my SATA RAID. In the former case, I installed the WinXP driver, which appears at a cursory examination to be working, and in the later, I was able to get beta Vista drivers from the manufacturer's website, which work fine.

I installed my existing versions of Photoshop and Nuendo, and they appear to be fine. Then I spent an hour or so on the initial stages of tuning it. This is where I've made some nice discoveries. There are many features that can be controlled out of the box in Vista that required, say, TweakUI or something similar in XP. Almost everything I would normally tune has a control panel in Vista. It may be five or ten clicks deep, but it's there. The layout of things is also a bit more logical. I haven't had to hit Google yet to find something.

Once I turned all the Aero bullshit off, I'll make the initial note that Vista appears to run a bit more, uh, what? Firmly? Quickly? Dunno. But I do like the general lay of the land at this point. I'll continue tuning tonight, and take the initial foray in to getting the audio fine-tuned (I'm a bit nervous about that, as it doesn't feel right) but I'll run a qualified "it's all good" banner up the flagpole at this juncture.

Caveat emptor: I'm a very old hand with PCs, having used them since there was "PC." I've been building my own for 20 years. And I'm a software developer. So don't think because it's easy for me, it'll be easy for you. And I would strongly suggest you follow the old axiom that if it ain't broke, it don't need to be fixed. There is nothing in Vista that would make an audio PC better that I can see. The only reason I installed it is because I had to, and I would strongly caution any audio user that uses Windows against doing the same. But if you have to, it's doable, if your system is in good shape to begin with.

EDIT: Got all my plugins installed and everything tuned, and all seems right with the world. Dev environment next, but it seems to be swell. Things are a bit faster overall; I think they did some work on the snappiness of windows and such. Nuendo loaded cold in about 45 seconds in XP; it takes about 30 seconds in Vista on the same computer. Nothing doesn't work that I can tell.

February 10, 2007

Fucktard Of The Week...

by Chris Randall

I normally try to avoid the site, but sometimes I just can't drive by that car-wreck without slowing down to see if there's blood on the highway.

Now, before you read this, a word to the wise: if you've never worked in the actual music industry in London, NYC, or L.A., (and I don't mean a weekend laptop gig at the Dragonfly, but actual session work) this is going to be outside your realm of experience, and thus uninteresting. If you have, you'll know immediately that this Urban Myth Of The Music Industry is just a steaming pile of bullshit. But it'll be good for a belly laugh.


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