Chris Randall: Musician, Writer, User Interface Designer, Inventor, Photographer, Complainer. Not necessarily in that order.
 
January 2, 2008

Euphonix control surface...

by Chris Randall
 



The MC Control (and its lil' halfling brother the MC Mix) are in the Sweatwater store now for preorder. $1499 gets you four faders, a jog and transport, and a very nice touch-screen display. More faders in banks of eight for $999. Nuendo and Cubase 4 come with EuCon, but I can't speak for other DAWs, so it's debatable whether you can actually work this if you're a Pro Tool or whatever.


Complaints? Sure. I'm left handed. Euphonix hates me, and always has. Mac only until some time Real Soon Now, which in Euphonix-speak could easily mean "never." But if you're in the market for a control surface, and you can fit this in to your workflow, get it instead of some dumb-ass Mackie bullshit. It's only $500 more, but easily $5000 better. And then, when you sell shit on eBay, you can put "from Euphonix studio..." in the description.


 
January 1, 2008

Radioheads...

by Chris Randall
 

I have to be honest and say that I've not been a huge fan of Radiohead, and there was a period (well, all right, let's go ahead and say from OK Computer to Hail To The Thief) where I actively disliked them. But their recent album, both the release model and the album itself, have changed my opinion.


Plenty has been said about the release model, so I won't bother to equivocate on it here, except to say that you really have to be already famous for something like that to matter. I read the David Byrne "interview" with Thom Yorke in December's Wired, and Mr. Yorke essentially said the same thing. Lots of people give their album away, but the vast majority of those albums couldn't realistically be monetized in any meaningful fashion anyways, whereas the Radiohead album, because it's them, has significant intrinsic value.


In any case, we watched their studiocast last night on Current, and I was fairly impressed that they can get all of the feel and maybe 90% of the production quality in a live context. I have seen them live twice before, but I was in my hater phase, and was essentially bored to tears at the time. But with an objective eye, I have to say that what they're doing now puts them in the same meta-artist category as Underworld in my book. That is to say, the live show, their visual representation, the albums, and their web presence all are part and parcel of the package and essentially inseparable from each other. My wife pointed out that they've moved beyond the major label "Pre-made Pop Package" in to some other realm.


(I find it interesting to note at this juncture that both Radiohead and Underworld are on the same imprint here in the US.)


In any event, it does give one hope, although it takes a lot more ingenuity to pull off something like this than to just write a not-bad song and get signed. Thoughts?


 
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.

 

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