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

Archives: 2006

November 30, 2006

Memo To Copy Writers Everywhere...

by Chris Randall

Okay, just so everyone, but specifically the editors of Keyboard magazine and the various companies that release loop CDs, knows, it's no longer cool to substitute "ph" for "f." It hasn't been for some time now. It really wasn't that cool when it was cool, which was a span of about two weeks in 1996. Surely there's another superlative you can come up with that actually has, like, meaning and stuff?

Example 1. Seriously, guys. Just stop now. If someone held a gun to my head, I'd have a hard time coming up with a statement less burdened by meaning than the following: Phat to Phreaky is the ultimate collection of urban beats, breakdowns and fills, and comes straight from the beatboxes, drum machines and samples that you hear on today?s hottest songs.

Example 2. I'm sorry, Peter, but Phat 101? Come on. I know you work for Keyboard, but does that have to inform the curriculum that I actually read?

Example 3. Okay, guys. I'm a big fan of you and your products, but this is an intervention. It's for your own good.

I could go on and on (and on) with this, but can't we just stop the madness? From now on, every time it gets used and I see it, I'm calling a motherfucker out.

November 29, 2006

Replicant Progress Update...

by Chris Randall

The last time I put up a Replicant progress report, there were several people in the comments section that had good ideas for additions to the plugin. So, I'm pleased to announce that we have added a few new features, and are now very close to putting the lid on the Windows version.

The above screenshot, which you can see in full size by clickage, is from today's build, and you can see the additional controls. I'll go through the new ones, so you know what's going on. First up, on the lower left, you'll see a two-position switch and a knob. These control the direction of the loop. In "CONSTANT" mode, the entire playback (but the first, of course) is reversed, and the DIR RAND knob controls how likely that is to occur. In "SCATTER" mode, the DIR RAND knob controls how likely any individual loop will be reversed. It makes more sense when you hear it, I'm sure.

Now, the other two additions are on the far right of the UI. You'll note a RANDOMIZE section, with two switches. The first is "RAND," which randomizes the entire UI. Personally, I don't care for this sort of thing, as I find it of limited usefulness. However, several people asked for it, so we added it, since it wasn't that much trouble. Under that, you'll see a "HOLD" switch. Someone (I forget who) postulated that it would be nice to be able to keep a random state if you liked what it was doing. This "HOLD" switch does exactly that. If you activate it, all the random events that occur in that measure will also occur, with the exact same values, for subsequent measures, for as long as the switch is on. As soon as it is released, the random number generators re-seed per measure, as before.

So, I hope these extra features were worth the bit more time it took. The only things we have left to do are get the displays running at the top, and "optimize" the code. (Whatever the fuck that means. Adam explains it as writing the math better, but the math looks the same to me either way, so I think he just fills it full of Magic Smoke or something.)

After that, we'll get working on the OSX versions, and presto-whammo. I still am not confident we'll have this done before Christmas, but it's now in the "sooner rather than later" file.

November 29, 2006

Pigs Fly, Hell Freezes Over, et al.

by Chris Randall

Persuant to our earlier conversation on the subject, it seems that Russia has agreed to shut down God only knows how long this will take to occur, or if it will actually occur. Maybe Putin will poison the owner or something, thus making an end-run around the courts. You never know...

In other news, it seems that the PC version of SSL's Duende dsp sidecar is now released. This makes me so happy I could just shit. Unfortunately, I can't buy it just now, as the holidays are upon us, and I have a large family who just can't seem to get hip to the whole "hey, if I don't buy you a gift you don't have to buy me one" idea. What I'm thinking is setting up a fundable donation page, so you can all buy me a Duende for Christmas, in return for entertaining you all year long, in $2.00 increments. Ho, ho, ho.

November 28, 2006


by Chris Randall

So we have a bit of a connundrum. I'll be attending NAMM this year, and I wanted to be wearing an Audio Damage badge instead of another company's, just as a point of pride. So, we go to join AD up with NAMM, and hit a brick wall of sorts.

See, it seems the National Association of Music Merchants is technically only open to retailers and the companies that sell to them. Since Audio Damage doesn't sell boxed copies to retail or a distributor (because, quite frankly, for a 1 meg plugin it's just a stupid waste of plastic and paper, sort of like a CD longbox, and it's, like, 2006 and stuff) we don't qualify for NAMM membership.

I spoke at length with the person nominally in charge of such things, and was told we could have a Provisional Membership, where we could join now, get the badges I want, and in six months they would check back in on us to see whether we were selling to retail or not. I assume this is to provide new companies with a way to hock their wares at the show.

Since I am, at heart, an honest person, I pointed out that (a) it was 2006, and there was no need for a company like ours to go to retail at all, and (b) it was unlikely that Bob's Country Banjo Shoppe was going to want or know what to do with our products, so we'd just be stuck with the mass-market retailers like Musician's Friend and Guitar Center, which we didn't have any interest in working with in the first place.

This was something of a surprise to the lady I was speaking with, I think. She just couldn't get her head around the idea that a company would be happy with selling less product if it meant not dealing with the Wal-Mart and Target of the music industry, respectively. Apparently, in this business, principle and making money are mutually exclusive.

In any case, fuck all that shit. I don't have the time or energy to try and get the board members of NAMM to understand that yes, we are Music Merchants, and no, we don't need a retail store to sell our shit. So I guess I have to go begging for a badge. Whee.

November 26, 2006

Man, I'm sick of this shit...

by Chris Randall

Sorry for the lapse in posting, but this was a four-day holiday weekend in the U.S., which mainly means an excuse to sit and play WoW for hours on end. However, it's back to the grindstone now.

Which brings me to the subject at hand. At least once a day, if not several times, I get something like this in my email (truthfully, it usually gets caught by my spam filter, so I have to look for it in Junk...):

Hi ,

We've visited your web site and felt wondered with you good contents. We'd be very appreciated if you'd consider to reciprocate a link with

Please let us know if you've already instated the link to our site so that we'll do the same. Or if you'd like to see your link from our site first, please send us your link details: Title, Url, Description. Such as: etc. etc. etc. blah, blah, blah...

While the engrish on is entertaining for a minute, and while they very well may be "Nunber One Of Music Zone" [sic], why the fuck do they exist? Obviously, it's one of the many front-ends for Google Ads, but are these sites still able to generate enough money to make their creation worthwhile? I would think that most anyone would know them for what they are almost immediately: an essentially content-free link factory that is ultimately a waste of time, for both advertisers and users.

Google, control your fucking brand already. In some ways, you're the best thing to happen to the internet. In other glaringly obvious ways, you're like that relative that always shows up at the holidays and embarasses the rest of your family.


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