Chris Randall: Musician, Writer, User Interface Designer, Inventor, Photographer, Complainer. Not necessarily in that order.
March 13, 2008

He-Man Fugly Guitar Club Charter Member...

by Chris Randall

Found this in my travels about PDX today, and I just couldn't pass it up. This has got to be the ugliest guitar I've ever owned, bar none. Between the organ switches and the chromed steel pickguards, it's definitely in the running for Least Consistent Tone Ever In A Stringed Instrument. I especially like how it can pick up the local Christian radio station if I aim it just right. Shit, this fucker can probably pick up the ISS if I point it at the sky at the right time.

Fucking awesome.

It has been logo-deleted, but being the Super Sleuth that I am, it's obvious that it is a '64 Tiesco VN-2. Aside from the fact that it could be part of JPL's radio telescope array, it actually sounds great, and plays like a fucking champ. Easy enough to shield the cavity, of course, and ground the strings (and the pickguard, natch). Now I have to go set my eBay preferences to troll for a bridge cover and a wang bar.

March 13, 2008

Open Thread...

by Chris Randall

I have to drive my wife to the airport in Portland today, and while I'm in PDX I'm gonna visit some music stores and what-not, so this'll be an open thread. The subject: what's your whacky desire for a plug-in? Anything goes. The weirder the better, IMO. What's not out there that you desperately need? What do you think could be done better? What's too fucking expensive? Bring it all.

March 11, 2008

I'm Willing To Admit (sorta) That I Was Wrong (sorta)...

by Chris Randall

Yes, it's true that I've said nasty things about NI's Kore product line in the past, but having labored through the tutorial videos (the which are hosted by the single most uninspiring person in the music industry) and played with the free Kore Player that came available this week, I now kind of understand what Kore 2 is all about, and I even might maybe kind of want one a little bit.

It is, I think, fair to say that this bad boy isn't for everyone. It wasn't for me not five hours ago. (Note the extravagant use of the double negative there. English is such a versatile language. You can say just about anything.) But I've seen the light, I think. Maybe. As far as I can tell, this would be useful if you (a) owned a lot of NI products (which I do), and (b) didn't much like programming them (which I don't.) It is true that I'm an unrepentant preset tweaker, and I'll not apologize for it. I'm not sure about making the jump, though. Any NI Kore 2 users want to talk me off the ledge before I throw good money after bad?

March 10, 2008

Open Letter to Digidesign:

by Chris Randall

Dear Digidesign:

Could you stop being so lame? I know that's a tall order, but I also know it's possible. I can think of lots of largish (to me) audio software companies that aren't lame. Ableton and Native Instruments come immediately to mind. I realize that you're only one cog in a much larger wheel, but even so, it has to be possible.

Why are you lame, Digidesign? It's hard to enumerate the specific reasons that have led to such a pervasive lameness, but in my general opinion, you haven't really done anything worth a shit since Turbosynth came out, frankly. It is true that your products are the de facto standard of the professional recording community, and kudos for that, but I think that's where the problem lies.

With the release of PT M-Powered, you have made available to a much larger userbase a product which is inherently unsuitable for people that aren't, well, smart. I know this because these people write me a lot. "Well, that's kind of odd," you say. You no doubt say this because we don't actually sell RTAS plugins. That would be a logical deduction on your part that while making a certain amount of sense, is demonstrably false. I will quote a sample letter, received not two days ago:

I'm installing the 2 plug ins that i have just bought
but when I go to find them on my hard drive they
aren't there. Im installing them onto a MacBook OSX.
Can you help? Could there be a problem with the plug
in files?

I'll give you one guess as to which host this customer was using. Now, one could say "this dude obviously has a larger issue, because everyone knows that PT doesn't host VST plugins without a wrapper." Well, as it turns out, not many PT M-Powered users know that. Because you never tell them. Nowhere on your site does it say "hey, the vast majority of plugins don't work with our shit." In actual fact, it says there is a "[h]uge selection of compatible third-party plug-ins and software options." In your defense, there is a list of which plugins do work with your shit, but that list doesn't include FXpansion's wrapper;. Any thoughts on that?

Don't even get me started on that wrapper, Digidesign. Seriously. Just don't.

So, here's one way you could be less lame: either start hosting AU/VST in your product, or make an effort to tell your customers that only RTAS products work with that shit.


Chris Randall

Audio Damage, Inc.

March 9, 2008


by Chris Randall

I cracked the god-damn neck on my J-Bass. That sucks. Well, not the neck so much; really the headstock. Right from where the nut is on the low side to the center of the hole for the E tuner. This doesn't really affect much, but it makes the low E buzz.

We hates the buzz, Precious.

The question is thus: is this actually fixable? I mean, I know damn well I could slap a replacement neck in there from Warmoth or Stew-Mac or whatever, but that really isn't the same thing, is it? And this one plays so well largely because it's been played for 30-odd years. A new one would be teh sux0r.


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