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

Archives: June 2007

June 29, 2007


by Chris Randall

My lovely and talented wife finished and put up the new Audio Damage site yesterday, so we were sitting around on pins and needles all day waiting for disaster. It appears that all is well, and the rock can go on without interruption.

I'll mail the AD mailing list tonight, but we're still in an idle mode and we want to ramp up the traffic slowly, rather than having every single AD customer hit the site at the same time. Which would explain this post. If you're an AD customer, go check out the new site and let us know what you think. Note that the first time you log in, the store will ask you to update your personal information; this is just to compensate for any errors we might have made porting the customer data from the old site to the new one, and to make sure everything is current.

There are several new features, most of which you'll find in your customer account. The license control is far more sophisticated; you can transfer licenses without any intervention from us, and you can get both the OS X and Windows versions without having to ask. There is also a FAQ now (which will no doubt prove to be funny reading to any long-time AD customer or AI reader), and in general the site is just better looking and more appropriate to selling software than our last turnkey one.

Note that we're taking a suggestion from the "happy, happy, group hug" thread of a couple days ago and making an RSS feed for updates; Elle is working on that now, and it should be added to the store in the not-too-distant future.

So big thanks to Elle for writing this beast, and let me know if you have any issues, comments, or suggestions.

June 27, 2007

Electro-Mechanical DIY...

by Chris Randall

I've been pondering making a few instruments for my next CR album, and in doing so have been perusing Iner Souster's pages as a source of inspiration and ideas, along with my normal and perfectly healthy obsession with All Things Neubauten. After successfully making the Bogdon Box Bass, I've realized that there really isn't a lot to these sorts of things. What's your favorite electro-mechanical (as opposed to synthie type stuff we normally cover here) DIY instrumentation? Have you built something odd? Discuss.

June 26, 2007

An Informal Poll...

by Chris Randall

I was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal the other day; the interview won't actually be published, it seems, because I didn't Say The Correct Things to be worthy of that esteemed organ. The reporter I spoke to was basically asking me to back up her premise, which was more or less as follows:

A person has a small business. They start a blog to drive traffic to that business. The resulting traffic doesn't make the business do any better.

I think the entire point of the article was to say "see, blogs are worthless from a business perspective." What she wanted me to do was either agree with her, or refute her Fact with other Facts. I couldn't do either; I know for a fact that _some_ of our sales at Audio Damage are as a direct result of this blog, but the only reason I know that is because people have posted it here or emailed and mentioned it as an aside.

But the whole event got my curiosity piqued. I mean, the entire point of this blog isn't to drive traffic to Audio Damage; I'm not entirely sure _what_ the point is, but it isn't that. It is, if anything, a side effect. But here's our topic for the day: in your buying habits, SPECIFICALLY as it relates to music products, do you find the information from the four main gear blogs (AI, MatrixSynth, CDM, and MusicThing) informs your buying decisions in general? And specifically with AI, do you find that you're more (or less) likely to buy an Audio Damage product as a result of my not-infrequent mentions of same here?

June 24, 2007

Here's what I don't understand...

by Chris Randall

Now, I'm no whiz with Linux. I _can_ navigate my way around a typical Linux system, using my OS X chops (ironic, that) but quite frankly I find it to be rather tedious.

But that's neither here nor there. Here's what I'm curious about: Ardour, much beloved in the Linux audio circle and the recipient (from my lofty vantage point at least) of a more-or-less unending stream of kudos, is roughly equivalent in both operation and appearance to ProTools 2. Even with the MIDI, natch. Whereas EnergyXT is a far more advanced creature, both better looking and much more feature-laden, and assuming the Linux version and the Windows version are more or less the same, eminently usable. Why is it that I didn't know EnergyXT was available for Linux until I went to download the damned thing last week?

This is what I don't get about the Linux community. I mean, I'm not trying to be an asshole here, but if a DAW came out in 2007 for PC or Mac with Ardour's capabilities (or rather, the utter lack thereof) it wouldn't even make it out of the starting gate. I don't mean to offend, but what the fuck is it with you people? Is the fact that something is _FREE_ so important? I hate to say it, but I believe that to be the case. Ardour is free (as in b33r) while EnergyXT costs a whopping $75.

June 22, 2007

A Team Project...

by Chris Randall

Okay, I've decided that this would be both interesting and useful, from the discussion in the Pet Sounds thread. I'd like to make a publicly available library of loops of useful background noise. I have a fairly lively library of this sort of thing myself, but I'd like to add to it.

So here's what I'd like to do: if you have an odd piece of gear that produces a nice hum, hiss, crackle, or whatever that is handy as sub-conscious spectrum filler, and want to add it to the collective, drop me a line via the contact link above. I would like 44.1 16-bit source, either WAV or AIFF, at least 4 seconds of it (at least enough to find zero crossings and make a loop that doesn't sound loopish; you'll have to be the judge as it will be source-dependent.) If you can just send me a link to a file via YouSendIt or something so I can download at my leisure, that would make me happy. Otherwise, go ahead and just email me the file itself.

Also, please provide me with information about what the source material is, and how you'd like to be credited. I'll cull out the crap, make nice loopables of the remainder, and put it all together in a ZIP and host it here.


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