Chris Randall: Musician, Writer, User Interface Designer, Inventor, Photographer, Complainer. Not necessarily in that order.
January 6, 2008

Happy Monday(s)...

by Chris Randall

In honor of this Monday, which thankfully starts the first week without a holiday in it in what seems like months, I thought we'd start off with an instructional video from Nigel... errrr... Michael Angelo Batio. He is quite skillful, and in the video there are many handy tips to improve your playing. I highly recommend this particular video, especially if E Aeolian is your mode of choice. (Lord knows it is mine.)

It's really too bad that there aren't more videos like this on YouTube, because I find that once you've mastered speed, all else falls in to place. Please, Michael, where are you now? Help us in our time of need, because music is just too god-damn slow these days.

(Upon reflection, it occurs to me that a first-time visitor to AI that saw this post before any others might think "what the fuck is wrong with this dude?" Well, he'd think that no matter what post he started with, I guess, but I want him to think it for the right reasons.)

January 6, 2008

DIY Mixer Tasties...

by Chris Randall

It seems like the entire music industry is asleep this week. It may have to do with the Nielson numbers coming out, showing a 15% drop in retail music sales in 2007. (Note to Interscope: everyone interested had already downloaded Soulja Boy's track before you signed him. Just sayin'...) So it falls to me to go trolling for fun things. In that light...

Papareil Synth Labs is the source of much goodness in the DIY world, albeit en fracais. I stop by his site every month or so to see what new utterly amazing DIY project he has pulled off. To the best of my knowledge, none top his scratch-built discreet 8 channel mixer. I won't go on about all the features, because you should just go read his site, but fully tranny balanced input with API312 cloned mic pres, an SSL 4K 2-buss comp, aux send, and full MIDI automation, all in a 3U box. This is an incredibly nice project, and one of the finer DIY projects you're gonna find anywhere. It doesn't get mentioned much because synth-heads are generally stupid about mixers, as I've mentioned many times.

If you're not familiar with his site, there are a bunch of other really nice projects, and he sells PCBs for some of them. Have a browse around.

January 4, 2008

The Sound Of Inevitability...

by Chris Randall

Or is that "The Inevitability of Sound?" Hard to say. Some of you may have already guessed this from various posts and comments I've made on this site, but we're going to take our label straight digital only now. CDs are basically ridiculous wastes of oil that could be better used in the gas tank of my SUV, so we're just gonna not make them any more.

Of course, it is far more complex than that, and we spent the better part of a year coming to grips with the fact that music no longer strictly requires a media platform to be a commercial product. Audio Damage has always worked that way, and it works quite well. We see no reason whatsoever that Positron can't work the same way.

The store (I would say "the digital half of the store" before today) will give the customer an uncompressed download of their purchase in addition to the alt-preset-standard LAME encoding that we already offer. I'm still trying to settle on a format, but BLEEP does FLAC, and I admire BLEEP, so I'll probably do FLAC too. What a silly format.

In any event, the first order of business is to get all these CDs out of our storage room so we have room for uncompressed audio files. Anything that still remains in hard media is on sale at shopPOSI and will remain so until stock is zero. We're working on the mechanics of the store change (essentially removing the ability to sell CDs at all, and adding a second format to the purchase) and that will take a bit of time.

This marks my complete change to a hard media hater of the first order. I'll now complain incessantly about people who missed the Clue Fairy, and it should be all sorts of hilarity.

January 4, 2008


by Chris Randall

Sorry for the lack of posting yesterday. I went to Mt. Bachelor to get my snowboard on, and when I got back I was too sore to care about matters audio. And Pablo thought I might be tasty. But I'm bigger than him so that wasn't too big a deal.

In any event, NAMM is upon us. I will not, of course, be attending, because it has become a point of pride now. Plus this blog isn't really about NEW SHIT!!! but more editorial in nature, and I can just as easily do that in the comfort of my own home as with driving to Anaheim and spending 3 days in the World's Largest Guitar Center Shred Fest. Can you even imagine me in the same state as the World's Fastest Drummer competition, let alone the same room?

Luckily, Audio Damage's business model means I don't have to give a flying fuck (and/or a rolling donut) about Sweatwater and Musician's Enemy, and I don't have to try and talk their buyers in to taking X units. If it did, I would probably quit. Or kill myself. Not necessarily in that order. If there's one thing I hate about this business, it's the behind-the-scenes name-dropping motherfuckers. Like buyers for major retailers, for instance. Or booking agents. Or record label legal departments. That sort of thing.

All that aside, a quick AD update. We're approaching DSP freeze land for Ricochet. The multi-tap delay code is working like a charm; we're tuning filters and such now, which will define the sound of the plug-in, and making some decisions viz. usability. (This is harder than it sounds, because I'm fairly brutal about simplicity, while Adam likes a lot of options. We meet in the middle.) We're just about to the point where I can put up some audio samples; that being the case, I will probably make a product page in the not-too-distant future. I still can't say with any sort of accuracy as to when it will be done and for sale, but the vast majority of the Hard Part is done.

January 2, 2008


by Chris Randall

It's all about tone, baby. That one on the left is Full Of Techno, too.


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