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

Archives: 2005

October 28, 2005

A vow...

by Chris Randall

Okay, I give up. I'm not going to slag other sites any more. There are two reasons for this course of action:

(1) It's like shooting fish in a fucking barrel. That's only fun for like the first couple fish. After that, it's just sad. To illustrate this point, I'll note that Sonic State has just broke the amazing story that SSL has released a free plugin. I mean, they _just_ broke it. Only two weeks after it appeared on every single music blog and forum on the internet. I guess they were too busy leafing through Roland product liturature trying to decide what they're gonna buy with their employee discounts once Roland gives them all jobs.

(2) If I complain too much, and others complain, it could possibly have the (I'll grant incredibly unlikely) effect of these sites actually cleaning up their act. Then it would be a lot harder for the good sites to actually be Above The Herd. Of course, we don't have to worry about that, but like I said, I'm an optimist.

So, I hereby announce that I will no longer diss Sonic State or It's like making fun of the kids getting off the short bus. They can't help it. They were just born that way, and no amount of electro-shock therapy is going to change anything.

October 27, 2005

Pretty Cool Boards...

by Chris Randall

Got home today to find a package from Denmark in my mailbox. Turns out it was my PCBs for the GSSL and G1176 clones. These are really nice boards, well worth the money. (A total of 23 Eu. for both.) They come freeze-dry wrapped in this super-heavy-duty PCB condom, which is ribbed for her pleasure. Now to make a Mouser order. The resistors alone for the GSSL are over $50. I can't wait to see what the damage is on this bad boy when all is said and done.

However, I'm in the middle of about twenty projects, not the least of which is talking my wife out of a 50s space heater we have so I can turn it in to a guitar amp. (Has anyone here built the Ruby from If so, how does it sound?) This heater would make the flyest little amp, and I'm obsessing over it. My wife, for some reason I can't quite fathom, thinks it is better off being a heater because it's, like, winter and shit. Women.

October 26, 2005

Jesus H. Christ...

by Chris Randall

Just shoot me in the fucking head. Seriously. It's that bad. Don't believe me? Read this. On second though, don't. That'll be 30 seconds of your life that you'll never get back.

Now, it seems I've done nothing but spew vitriol the last few days, and believe me when I say I'm normally an optimistic, cheerful person. But I gotta call bullshit when I see it, and I've been seeing a lot lately. And this article takes the cake. To wit:

To succeed in mainstream, you have to know how to do it. You have to be able to analyze musical styles that are transitioning from cool to mainstream, and recreate those styles in a way the mass market will find appealing.

Don't waste energy aspiring to be an artist. Few mainstream artists come from the ranks of home recording studio owners. Find a niche that you can master - songwriting, production, management, musician - there are plenty.

Those have to be the most incredibly annoying pair of paragraphs I've ever seen commited to print. I had to read the article a couple times to make sure he wasn't being sarcastic. It is important to note that the segment in question is taken slightly out of context. He's saying that you shouldn't aspire to be a particular artist (e.g. 50 Cent); he's not saying that you shouldn't aspire to being an artist (i.e. one who makes art.)

At any rate, let me answer the two points raised, and in a succinct fashion. To point #1, no you fucking don't. To point #2, are you fucking high?

The key ingredients to "mainstream success" are (a) an intense desire to achieve same, and (b) absolutely blind luck. And "cool," whatever the fuck that is, is both transient and context-sensitive. For instance, you're at a gay rave. (Keep up with me here.) If you're, say, a heterosexual male in a suit, you're not cool. Now, take one of those gay ravers and put him in the bleachers at Wrigley Field. Now he's not the cool one.

I can't even believe I'm arguing this point. Let's just say that David Mellor doesn't have the faintest idea of what he's talking about and leave it at that. I've just formed an opinion that is the Behringer of music journalism (if we broaden the term to include those that can spell).

October 26, 2005

Breaking news: Behringer CA16

by Chris Randall

In a stunning development, Behringer, a world leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of professional audio and musical instrument products, today announced the imminent availability of the CA-16 High Precision Professional Tube-Driven Ass, an ultimate multi-function ass-modelling workstation. Each CA-16 is is equipped with a hand-selected 12AX7 vacuum tube with UTC technology for exceptional warmth, lowest noise and signal integrity.

In addition, the CA-16 features ultra-flexible ass modeling technology that allows the user to quickly optimize recordings and choose between 16 different open cans of analog ass. The CA-16 also features direct injection and cheek-size functionality, to allow the user to fully shape the ass to suit the project at hand. The CA-16 features BEHRINGER?s sophisticated output limiter that enhances signal distortion, while a dedicated low cut filter eliminates unwanted flatulance.

The CA-16 will be available Q1 of 2006, for an MSRP of $19.99. Like all Behringer cans of ass, this product will come pre-opened at the factory.

October 25, 2005

Chandler Germanium-covered goodness...

by Chris Randall

For some reason there wasn't any press release or much talk about these at AES, so they kind of slipped through the cracks, but Chandler Limited, The Boutique Audio Company That Can Do No Wrong (how do they fit that on a business card?) was showing prototypes for a pair of germanium-tranny boxes, pictured above. There's nothing yet on the Chandler product page, and not much talk in the usual circles around them, but this is a pair of fuzzboxes I wouldn't mind getting my hands on.

There's a slutty thread about them over yonder, which includes a much larger version of the above picture, so you don't get any drool on _my_ web page. (They have special DroolGuard over at GearSlutz; I can't afford it here.) The picture says it all: a mic pre and the sweetest little stereo compressor you're likely to find. I even like the color. And never you mind that EMI channel. Just never you mind.


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