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

Archives: May 2006

May 6, 2006

Ahhh, spring...

by Chris Randall

When a young boy's fancy turns to thoughts of high-interest retail credit cards. Or not. I got the following in my mailbox from my good friend Fred Foster at Sweetwater this morning:

I wanted to pass along some pretty unique information. Our special Musician's All Access Card "No Interest, No Payments If Paid By January 2007" financing offer has been extended through May 14th, 2006. It's a great deal if you're looking for some new gear! Please give me a call if there's anything I can help you with! By the way, if you don't have a Musician's All Access Card, you can apply for one online at Whether or not you're interested in this specific offer, I'd love to speak with you about any gear questions you might have.

Well, that's really nice of you, Fred. Thanks for informing me of that special deal you basically always have. Nothing like taking advantage of the fact that musicians are always broke, is there? Well, needless to say, I had to respond to this. Thus:

Hey, Fred:

There are no degrees of uniqueness. Unique means "one of a kind" and thus is a binary state. Something is either unique or it isn't. It can't be "pretty unique" or "very unique" or "really unique." Something to think about while you're peddling your high-APR credit card.

Take it from someone who once had a credit card debt that was five figures: buying things on credit is a Really Bad Idea. If you can't afford it, you don't need it.

May 5, 2006

Hard-Core Gear Porn Friday...

by Chris Randall

I recall making a comment some months ago that I didn't trust nice clean studios, because it looks like nothing gets done there. By that yardstick, Dana Countryman is one of the busiest guys in the music industry. Take a brief jaunt through his studio, home of a fairly large (not Scot Solida large, but large) .Com synth and an Ondioline, as well as a lot of what Phillip K. Dick would call "kibble."

Also, we have a special bonus Gear Porn today. Adamjay finally sent me a picture of his rack. Adamjay runs a mobil recording service. Adam, you can mobile that 500 rack right to my studio. And the Phoenix mic pres. And...

Bonus round two: Suit & Tie Guy found a _really_ old Moog modular in a local college's recital room. Check this shit out. Fucking perfboard. Seriously.

May 4, 2006

Well, you know my name is Simon...

by Chris Randall

No, really. A British TV show from 1978. Roland 700. Space Echo. Prophet 5. Bonus Wasp. Rod Argent. Fucking awesome. Courtesy of Mike Trobridge.

May 4, 2006

Opinions are like assholes...

by Chris Randall

Okay, I need to be a Decider. With the release of the new API A2D, and the probable price reduction of the Neve 1073DPD, I can see the writing on the wall. It's time to get rid of my MOTU 896 and get an all-AES solution. (The 896 only has one AES I/O, which I'm using for the Rosetta 200. I'm going to shortly need more.)

The card I keep coming back to is the Lynx Studio AES16, which is $625 from Mercenary. Is there any reason I should not be looking at this card? Is there another solution with at least 8 AES I/O that is worth a shit? I like the fact that it has 16 I/O, and you can add a lightpipe daughter card if you're feeling sparky. I also like the fact that there are two separate headers, so I can use one header for 8 channels of XLR AES, and the other header for a DB25 cable if I get an Aurora 8 or Rosetta 800 or something.

I'm open to ideas, though. My budget for this operation is no more than $1.3K, as that's the current total of my cash on hand, plus the perceived value of the 896. (Note that if you're interested in purchasing the 896, I'm accepting offers. However, I can't actually let it go until I get my Germanium.)

UPDATE: In searching, it seems the only other PCI card with 16 AES I/O is the Hammerfall DSP AES-32. This costs $125 more than the Lynx, and doesn't come with breakout cables. (The Lynx card is $675 with one set of cables.) So total cost is at least $850, which makes it $175 more than the Lynx. Now, I had a Hammerfall 9652 for years, and thought it was an excellent card. So, my question is thus: is the fact that I know and am comfortable with the RME brand, plus the MIDI I/O built in, worth the extra $175?

May 3, 2006

The Big Sell Off (round four!)

by Chris Randall

Okay, here's the next go-round. Something for everyone! As with the others, Paypal only, buyer pays true shipping cost.

1. DigiDesign MBox - Is what it is, does what it does. I don't have the original box any more, but I have the disks. Although, a fat lot of good they'll do you. It's 8/10, cosmetically, but works fine. $150.

2. SoundArt Chameleon - I really like this box, but I just don't use it very often, so I might as well put something else in that rack-space. It is worth it for the Australis soundskin, never mind the other dozen-odd things it can be. All the information and current soundskins are avaliable here. Condition-wise, it shows normal use. I'm the original owner. Make me an offer on this one.

3. Emagic EMI 2|6 - These things suck, but if you need a spare USB interface for something, I have one. $25 takes it home. Note that this unit has been on tour, and is cosmetically a bit rough around the edges. (Thanks, Wade.) It works fine, though.

4. Alesis DMpro - Yeah, whatever. Only the left channel works, but it works like a motherfucker. I imagine this is just a loose connection inside, but I don't care enough to look. This amazing unit can be yours for the low, low price of $30!

5. Wayfar MIDInes - Peter Kirn is off the hook for now; I just don't have the time to be fooling around with rack-mounting this, which is why I got it. While it is fun to make my NES act like a synth, ultimately, I vastly prefer it to act like Super Mario Bros. $70, as this is basically brand-new.

That's it for now. Drop me a line if you want any of these.


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