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

Archives: September 2006

September 18, 2006

And in the blue corner...

by Chris Randall

Analog Industries Painful Virtuosity Day continues. Although, it's worth noting that the siren song of Mario trumps all other considerations. Blame Cody Gratner for the fact that you'll be humming this the rest of the day.

September 17, 2006

Hey, look at me...

by Chris Randall

Joey Trainwreck and the Meth Addicts live. Their contract reads "We will play tonight for the sum of $0.05 per note."

September 15, 2006

Is it just me...

by Chris Randall

...or do all the new Native Instruments plugs look like they were made in Reaktor? Obviously, it's wise for a company to have a common look/feel amongst its products, something we've been struggling at with the AD line since the beginning.

There are two schools of thought to plug-in UI design. I, of course, am of the firm opinion that if there's a real-world analog for a particular plug-in, the plug-in should look exactly like the real-world device. This solves two problems. First, a customer can tell what a product does just by looking at a screenshot. Even with a small screenshot of Reverence, it's pretty obvious as to what it's all about, and we don't have to spend much time explaining it. Second, the customer already knows how to use the product as soon as he installs it, and the only reason he'd have to consult the manual would be for a technical explanation of a feature, or to learn how to use any "secret" things we've added.

When something looks like FM7, you know what it is, what it does, what it sounds like, and how to use it from the git-go. When something looks like FM8, given the screenshot above, at the _very_ least you have to read a couple paragraphs of liturature to even figure out what it is in the first place, never mind whether it's something you need or not. The only thing you can really tell for certain is that it's a synth, and it probably uses FM.

These are just my opinions. Your mileage, as always, may vary. I already know that there is a fairly even split between people that prefer modern UIs versus those that prefer the hardware look. I wouldn't turn down some thoughts on the matter, if you feel like typing them out.

September 14, 2006


by Chris Randall

This is really skirting the perview of Analog Industries, but it's vaguely music-related. Last weekend, my wife and I got a 42" HD plasma TV. Obviously, there's no point in having an HD TV if you don't have HD content, so we upgraded our Dish Network system to the HD package, and that happened today.

"Please, oh, please let him have a point," you're saying. Well, yeah. There's this channel as part of the Voom HD lineup that's called "Rave." It's all concerts, all the time, in HD and Dubbly. I've only had it for like 10 hours now, so it's hard to get a handle on what they're all about, exactly. I'll say the following, though:

1. HD is not very kind to people that aren't, say, Halle Berry. The camera may add ten pounds, but in HD it also adds about 20 years and a nasty case of smallpox. I caught a bit of Cheap Trick, and Rick Neilsen, whom I've met several times, and looks fine in person, looks in HD like he's just walked off a George Romero set, in full zombie makeup. It's harsh.

2. The Pretenders still kind of rock. I liked them better back when they were too fucking Precious (fuck off!), rather than just Special, but that's just me. Unlike a lot of bands that still make a living off old songs, they are incredibly non-pompous. Something to be said for that.

3. Paul Rogers can sing. No one will deny that. But Paul Rogers singing for Queen in place of Freddie Mercury is just strange. I sat through that whole thing, because I kept thinking the next song would be pretty fly. I thought that all the way to the end. Those guys should probably stop.

Never mind all that bullshit classic rock, though. There's a two-hour Ryuichi Sakamoto concert on at 2am. I'm gonna PVR that shit, so if you're wondering what I'm doing tomorrow, well, you know how at least 2 hours of it will be spent.

September 12, 2006

Diamond Dave's Treatise On CD Marketing...

by Chris Randall

I know I said I was done with this fucktard, but it's just too fun. "Not a problem."


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