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

Archives: 2007

December 31, 2007

Things I Want For The New Year...

by Chris Randall

#1: A Mac web browser that doesn't fucking suck - This doesn't seem to be terribly complicated. But apparently it is. And the first person that says "hey, use Opera" can consider themselves banned from ever making pithy comments on this site ever again. In the Suck Wars, Firefox sucked more than Safari for the last two months, but if my Force Quit habits are any measure, Safari is again getting the edge in that department, reclaiming its rightful crown as the suckiest of all web browsers.

EDIT: Since it obviously wasn't, errr, obvious, the above is irony. Please don't email me or post saying "hey, why don't you try Browser Assophonic 2000?" Despite all evidence to the contrary, I do not, in actual fact, give a fuck, flying or otherwise.

#2: Solid-state hard drives - We're so very close. It's like when you know the next Star Wars movie is coming out, but you just can't wait. That is, unless you're all growed up between when the good ones came out and the shit ones. Then you come to the startling realization that George Lucas makes movies for children, and you ain't one. That doesn't apply to solid-state hard drives, of course. But they're so close. Audio Professionals the world over will sing with great hosannas and stuff when the solid-state SATA drive becomes something that people without trust funds can afford.

#3: No more motherfucking Wii controller MIDI bullshit - Seriously. Stop. It's not cool. Use your time for something productive, like working on the OSX side of the Mozilla project.

#4: PACE out of business - If only wishing made it so. But they're like genital warts: the gift that keeps on giving, and the only way to get rid of 'em is to shoot a laser at your dick. Or something.

#5: No more Super Mario Bros. themes on YouTube - That shark done been jumped. Move along. Nothing to see here. ESPECIALLY if you play a bass with more than 4 strings. You need therapy. My idea of hell: accidentally coming across a video of Diamond Dave playing the Super Mario Bros. theme on a Roland JD800 with a Wii controller. Life will have ceased to have any hope whatsoever at that point.

EDIT: (I just thought of another one)

#6: AudioUnits to go away. Far away. And don't ever come back -
Okay, Apple, you had your fun. But they are, in fact, pointless. We know it. You know it. Get over that shit and put VST capability in Logic so we can spend our time developing instead of supporting four (yes, that's four) different builds for each OSX release. Of course, I'm aware that this is just pissing in the wind, but I had to get it out there.

December 30, 2007

Back In The Saddle...

by Chris Randall

Got home last night after the Hell Drive. (The I-5 Corridor has seen the last of me. Never again.) We'll return to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow, as I need a day of R&R. So today's post is an open thread. I came home to find my MachineDrum arrived safe and sound after its brain transplant in Sweden, and have nothing but nice things to say about Elektron service, as usual.

So our Open Thread topic is service horror stories and happy endings. What's your worst service experience? Your best?

December 27, 2007

It Came From The Depths Of The Chinese Music Industry...

by Chris Randall

The various and sundry offerings from China no-name companies for NAMM are starting to rear their ugly heads. Trudging down the pike from Bizarro Land this week is the tragically named Plugiator. This is essentially a little tabletop semi-NOAH, if you're familiar with that box. Or, in English, it runs a couple four Creamware SCOPE plugins, as the complete disintegration of that product line merrily continues. I think I'll take a pass on this one, thanks very much.

I am one of those people that couldn't ever understand the various Creamware platforms before they came unspun, never mind now. I mean, is it a sound card? Is it a DAW? Is it plugins? Can I use these plugins with a real sound card and my normal DAW? What the fuck is going on here?

In other news, we left Phoenix this morning, and now we're in L.A. Hanging with my sister tomorrow, then home on Saturday, and a return to our regular adventures.

December 24, 2007

Ugh... AudioUnits Give Me Headaches...

by Chris Randall

So, here I am in Phoenix, and we have a report of an issue with Replicant and Numerology 2. No big deal, really, but I have some down time, and I thought I'd take a quick gander and see what's what.

So, I download and install Numerology 2, whereupon I discover that the only AU synth I have on this laptop is Massive. Why I installed it I can't remember, but it is kind of a drag because, well, it is rather massive. (I don't normally use this or any laptop for anything approaching music, and since music is work for me, when I'm on vacation I don't make any; thus I don't need a whole passel of software on this machine.)

I thought to myself "hey, self, why don't we just go grab a freebie drum synth of some sort and we'll have a little fun with Numerology or whatever." This turns out to be essentially impossible. My choices are (a) nothing, (b) downloading and installing Kontakt 3 on this machine and then finding some samples, or (c) something tedious, I'm sure, like creating a drum synth in Bidule or something equally ridiculous.

So, AU users. WTF? Is there not a single free AU drum machine out there, worth a shit or otherwise? Being largely a Windows VST user, I can, of course, find stacks and stacks of free plugins for most any task. About 98.4% of them are utter crap, because you get what you pay for, usually, but they're there if I need them. Apparently the same is not true in the hippy, trippy land of AU.

Oh, Happy Holidays to the Americans now, too.

December 24, 2007

Date Line Merry Christmas...

by Chris Randall

Here's to all the Australian and Japanese (and Taiwanese and Korean, I guess) AI readers who are already in to Christmas. Or whatever the analog is in your country/culture/ethnic subset. Merry Whatever!

While we're on the subject (we weren't, of course) why don't you go have Pete Townsend paint your musical portrait. That should be good for hours of fun. Note: it is a fairly involved process, needs a significant amount of input from you, and it has a soul-searing EULA that you need to sign to access the meat. The license to your portraits belongs to them (this makes a certain amount of sense, because their software created it, I suppose) and if you play these portraits for anyone else, you essentially violate the license. (Section 2.3 of the EULA, if you're curious.)

Personally, I find that to be a bit silly, but there you go. It is an interesting application of generative music, but sounds pretty machine-made when you get down to it. So my question basically thus: why don't people that make generative music software ever put timing drift in to the output?

Oh, And... It's not my habit to advertise for other folks, but these guys are cool, and I have and use all their products. Soniccouture is having a sale that ends at midnight GMT tonight (so about 7.5 hours left). I recommend you get the Electronica Collection. Tons of useful stuff in there.


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