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

Archives: 2018


October 17, 2018

Old 'n' Busted...

by Chris Randall
 

Become a Patron!

Well, perhaps that title is a little out-of-line. But it has become apparent to me in the last couple years that blogs just aren't a Thing any more, at least not as this one exists.

Analog Industries has been around in some iteration since roughly 2001. By 2005 it was, along with Create Digital Music and MusicThing, one of the three music tech blogs that Mattered. My wife built its current incarnation in 2005, and one must say she built it robustly, given that it still works fine despite her having not touched the code in any meaningful fashion for half a decade. This is the 1,970th post on this iteration, and taken as a whole it comprises a fairly healthy cataloging of the music technology industry for the last 14 years. Every once in a while, I'll go to a page at random and read the comments; 2008-10 is particularly fruitful as that was the high water mark for the site. (At least as far as interaction. I was fairly mean-spirited back then, and I'm mildly ashamed that the most popular posts were the ones where I made fun of something or someone.)

Around 2010 Audio Damage began to really take off, and my time became more dear. The last couple years, I've been averaging a post every two months, but that's not because of Audio Damage. Being in this industry, rather than of it (as I was when I started the site), it has become impolitic for me to publicly say many of the opinions I hold. In addition, there are literally hundreds of gear news sites (not to mention Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and the gods-forsaken blighted land of Facebook groups), so a large portion of AI's purview had been rendered superfluous. Furthermore, while I've occasionally done runs of t-shirts and what-not to offset the cost, I've never run a single advertisement, and this piglet moves a lot of bytes. In short, it has become a bit of a boat anchor.

So I'm going to try something new. Well, new to me. I've created a Patreon account, and I will move my blogging to there, as well as the majority of my creative output in general. If you head to the Patreon page, you'll get the gist of it. This will have two main benefits:

1. It will put my blog posts in a walled garden, thus giving me more freedom to express my thoughts.

2. It will create a more incentive-oriented funnel for my creative output, of which you'll be the direct beneficiary.

So, will you come with me and at least give it a try? If it doesn't work, it doesn't work, but my feeling is that this is the way to get forward momentum, and allow me to be more open about my work and the music industry, and create a more cozy environment for those that have been with this site since its inception.

Chris Randall on Patreon

 
October 6, 2018

Tech_Time 011: Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick

by Chris Randall
 



I'm trying like hell to get back to a weekly AI, but circumstances dictated otherwise for #11. I would have only been a day late, because I didn't have the correct flavor of Arduino to do MIDI-over-USB and I didn't discover this until I tried to code it; easily solved by Amazon Prime, but then we inexplicably had a hurricane here in Phoenix (I know, right?) and as a result, my same-day delivery of a new Arduino Leonardo took 4 days to arrive.

All's well that ends well, though. Above is the fruits of hurricane-induced tardiness, the Magic Robotic Contact-Mic Hitter Thingie. Essentially, there are four cantilevered hammers I made on my Shapeoko that are struck by solenoids; the solenoids are driven via MIDI. In the video, I have the Arduino rigged as a class-compliant MIDI interface, and it is being driven by Bram Bos' Euclidian sequencer plugin, which is part of his Rozetta suite of MIDI plugins for iOS.

After building it, I see where it could be improved somewhat, but on the whole it does what I intended, and today or tomorrow I'll make some Musicâ„¢ with it and see how it sits. Watch for that video shortly. Do any of you use electro-kinetic instrumentation like this in your music? If so, what are your thoughts on use cases and such?
 

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