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

Archives: September 2010

September 30, 2010

2 Forms Of Anger...

by Chris Randall

Brian Eno - 2 Forms Of Anger (taken from Small Craft On A Milk Sea) by Warp Records

This is the first teaser from the upcoming Eno/Hopkins/Abraham album Small Craft On A Milk Sea. I'm not sure entirely what I was expecting, but it was either this sort of thing (sonically related to the backing music of the Karl Hyde/Eno colab on Athens, which is the same group of musicians) or something like the epic Leo Abrahams track Spider, the remixed version which is on the Chillout Lounge comps. (As an aside, that is one of my favorite pieces of music of all time. Production, flow, programming, and playing chops are all in fantastic display.)

Turns out it is very obviously the former. It's nice to hear a well-made track in this vein that is outside the normal Genre Soup of electronic music. I tend to like the concept of Eno more than the execution, by and large, but this teaser bodes well for the upcoming album.

Only slightly related: the timeline comment track in Soundcloud embeds? Boycott that shit. It is intensely annoying to see what little Bobby Dokken from Weehauken thinks of any given transition. I mean, honestly, who gives a fuck?

September 26, 2010

Around The Intertubes...

by Chris Randall

Here's some interesting things I've come across in the last few days, in no particular order:

AKWF Generic Waveforms: This is a gigantic collection of single-cycle waveforms, handy for various purposes. I haven't used them to make anything yet, but they seem to be "the bomb"-ish.

anbb mimikry: If you're in to this sort of thing, you no doubt know about the anbb (Alta Novo & Blixa Bargeld) project, and the EP that came out in June. On Oct. 1st, they're dropping a full-length. Not for everyone, I know, but definitely makes me do the happy dance. A friend of mine, upon learning of this album, said "if someone told me I wouldn't end the day without hearing Blixa Bargeld covering Harry Nilsson, I'd have called them a bald-faced liar." This album will definitely scratch that particular itch, the which you probably didn't know you had. (As I mentioned, an EP with all the best tracks has been available since June, fwiw.)

Shruthi-1: The Shruthi-1 kit finally started shipping. And immediately stopped. I got the email that it would be available on Saturday, but it's some kind of weird-ass metric Saturday, as it was already over when I got there, and the kits are sold out. I assume there will be more at some point, and while I'm no longer very interested in spending an afternoon bent over a hot soldering iron, I'll take one for the team with this kit. All the important parts are still available individually, but frankly, I have too much to do already without having to try and order all the extra parts.

Anything interesting and obscure I missed in the last few days?

September 25, 2010

The Donation Economy Kind Of Blows...

by Chris Randall

I actually learned this years ago, but I thought, since times had changed, I'd give it another shot, and I can already tell it hasn't changed at all. I put that payload in the "Free Shit" category, with a donation button, in much the same way that I did in the first real iteration of Analog Industries, when it was basically a site entirely devoted to free drum loops. After a few months of putting up new loop sets most every week, I had received a grand total of about $30 in donations, which prompted me to put up this page.

What's different seven years later? The ratio. That 909 set has been downloaded so many times now that the transfer of that one file alone has eclipsed everything else residing on this computer, many times over. And the number of donations? Zero. Goose egg. Nil.

Now, I could really give a fuck about the money aspect. If I cared about that, I would have sold the set, and most likely done quite well with it. I was just curious as to whether things had changed in the public conscience since last time I did this, and the answer is "no."

Compare that to the Bandcamp Experiment. That has proved quite successful. The Bandcamp payments far outstripped any income from the 20-odd other services that EP is available in combined, and in about 20% of the payments, the buyer payed more than they would have if they had purchased from iTunes or Amazon.

It's too early to make a sweeping generalization (like that ever stopped me) but in my considered opinion, asking people to pay something in order to acquire the content is a wiser choice than relying on their conscience or largess alone.

I know that many of you have explored the same paths here, and it's time for a discussion of the relative merits of the tip jar versus even a simple required payment. What's your experience with these two methods?

September 23, 2010

Back To Business...

by Chris Randall

Okay, that was fun, but it's time to return to the matters at hand. In no particular order:

1. Are You Fucking Kidding Me? Apparently, the raging cuntfuck that owns the house we live in hasn't been paying his mortFUCKYOUSPAMMERgage. As a result, my (snail) mailbox is suddenly full to the brim with foreFUCKYOUSPAMMERclosure-related materials. As it happens, the President did us a solid, though, in the form of the Helping Families Save Their HoFUCKYOUSPAMMERmes Act Of 2009. There is now rather strict federal law dealing with this, so we don't have to worry about Sheriff Joe showing up on our doorstep to put us out or anything. Even so, a rather major annoyance that will no doubt turn in to the usual rolling clusterfuck before it is all over. Be prepared for me to bitch long and hard about that.

2. Replicant 1.5. This is pretty close to done. Just have to finish placing the UI elements while Adam works on the new MIDI features. It may be out next week. I'll show the UI here once it's completed, of course. But it'll look like a cross between the existing Replicant and the Axon/D3 style.

3. Next T-Shirt. I've started to ponder the next AI t-shirt, and am accepting ideas in that regard. Post away.

EDIT: I had to add some words to this post to keep it from showing in Google searches that content spammers use. You can probably figure out what I added.

September 21, 2010

The New Hotness...

by Chris Randall

After threatening to do this for more than a year, we've finally flipped this site. It's a fairly extensive redesign, going right down to the bones. All the .jsp pages are gone, replaced with .php innards. As a result of this switch, some of your links may not be working correctly; you'll need to update them accordingly.

The RSS feed, which we cloned to Feedburner, needs to be updated as well if you're rocking the old one. The new RSS feed is here.

As far as commenting goes, everything should work like it did. You might have to clear your cache or press the refresh button a couple times to get everything lined up. If you're about to post a comment that says "hey, Feature X looks all fucked up" then press refresh or clear your cache before you do; this new version of the site has been tested for a couple months, and should be fairly clean.

You'll note new links on the right. All the remaining T-shirts are in the AI Shop, and that's where new stuff will go when we make it. The Free Shit page is for exactly that; I've put a few odds and ends up for now, with more coming. We've also added a mailing list, and a much better archive and search mechanism.

On the left side of each post, you'll note the Twitter and Facebook auto-links. The Twitter one uses our custom link shortener (I was voting for but I didn't get far on that quest) and I don't know what the fuck the Facebook one does, as I don't use that soul-sapping mess of a service, but my wife assures me it's quite handy and attractive.

The final major new feature is a full mobile version. This has been tuned for the iPhone, but it should be equally happy with any smartphone. There is a browser check at log-in, and if a mobile browser is detected, it defaults to the mobile site. You can, however, view either one from your phone or mobile device.

So, big ups to the missus, @ellerandall, who has been working on her bespoke blogging back end for a couple years now, with this site as the crown jewel. Have a look around and see what's what with the new hotness.

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