SHIT ON A STICK
March 29, 2010 • 12:13 PM 0
Hey guys, just a quick one during lunch. I’m doing some writing at work at the moment so am feeling in a wordy mood.
I was flicking through my Reader items on the weekend, as I’ve been falling a bit behind of late. You might have noticed that I’m not posting as often either; I think it’s a result of being busy as hell at work but also struggling a little for motivation, which is a weird spot to be in. Also, my usual studio/writing/workstation space had to be totally dismantled so that the carpet can dry (fucking storm, fuck rain, etc), and it’s not going to be back online for at least another week. Lame.
Anyway I came across a post from the Division East website, about a new EP from Tame One, called “Hell Or High Water”. I had heard Tame One on a random other track, maybe from the Shape mixtape? Not sure. Anyway, really dig his flow, go check it out. This usually isn’t the sort of shit that I’m listening out for, but the really lo fi curveball kinda beats really fit Tame One’s flow. It’s A Good Thing.
The site is a bit slow but I can’t not recommend it; legal, original, free music. Go forth and download. I think my favourite track is “Can You Dig It” which features The Man From Somewhere Else, another slangcorper – he has an album up on that Division East site, so go check that out too, if you’re feeling in the mood for some underground kind of alternative hip hop business. Actually there is a fucking shitload of good alterna-east stuff on that site so get downloadening, if you’re tired of The Chronic.
Ok I’ve listened to the TMFSE album. It rocks. Go download it.
In other news, the man like Tomas Ford is launching a new cassingle this weekend. He asked me to play the show but alas I had to turn him down, family stuff. It’ll be a kickin’ show and I am a bit bummed about missing it, so make sure you check it out. It’s this Saturday at Mojos iirc. Do it.
Back to it.
March 24, 2010 • 1:45 PM 2
Fucking storm. Our house got ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffucked. Check it out. The pics are hosted offsite and I can’t be fucked putting them somewhere else, so they don’t link anywhere – but you get the idea.
One bedroom window smashed in. Two bathroom windows smashed, and one atrium window.
Outside view of smashed bedroom window. Here’s one of the awning out the back…
Fucking owned. The upstairs walkway was soaked…
…due to water coming in through the roof and the shared walls. Some serious damage was caused, mostly to an otherwise innocent LCD tv and xbox, and also these…
..which contained my fucking Amiga and all my discs, amongst other things – arcade sticks, books, other electronics. Cock. However…
..this is an image of the water missing almost all my audio gear and computers. So fucking lucky. Still, it stinks like Aquaman fucking died upstairs, so I’m going to be way behind on my remixes and beats that I’ve promised to people in the last few weeks. Be patient, they will come. Also they will be FILLED WITH RAGE.
So the storm fucked with us a lot. Broken things, wet things, smelly things – but I can still watch The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes on the couch, with a glass of cheap wine, so NICE FUCKING TRY NATURE – MAN TRIUMPHS AGAIN.
March 22, 2010 • 12:38 AM 2
So, my new setup! I figured I would write about this, because people ask me what I use and how it all fits together a fair bit, so I figure it must be interesting to someone out there. Get ready for some serious nerd business, complete with bad cameraphone pictures.
First, the boring stuff. I’ve just upgraded my PC, which is obviously the heart of the whole setup. It’s got an i7 CPU, all kinds of rams and hard drives and what not. I’m up and running with Win7 Ultimate x64, which has been giving me a bit of hassle over the last week, but I think I’ve ironed out most of my problems now. Most of my initial problems were with …
… this, a MOTU 896HD. It’s from the studio that a band that I played for a million years ago built. They are touchy things, and have given a few of us a lot of headaches over the last few years – but when it works, it’s a fantastic audio interface. Eight ins and outs make it possible for me to permanently patch in a couple of the samplers I use a lot, which saves the time and hassle of cable-swapping. The unit underneath it is a Kawai K4r, which I picked up on the cheap a few years back. It’s an interesting little synth, but I only really use it for pad type sounds – the sort of thing that I don’t have much need for. Good to have options though. It’s on the Moderate Rock album a fair bit.
My children 😀 On the bottom we have one of the first Access Virus desktop modules. The synth on top is my beloved Roland System 100, which at the moment is a two oscillator beast, as I’ve only got one of the 102 expander modules. You can read more tech specs and such over here on vintagesynth. It’s an absolute monster of a synth, and I’ve used it on damn near every single DOS4GW track. The filters are pretty good, but the main reason that I love it is the rawness of the square waves that it generates, and the way the VCA just cranks. PWM POWER ACTIVATE!
Here we have a Casio CZ3000, an 80s-tastic FM thingy. I don’t use it heaps, but it has come in very handy on occasion. Underneath is an Ensoniq Mirage, which I also fucking love. It was the first consumer-grade keyboard sampler, and I love some of the factory sounds – the pipe organ disc that I’ve got is amazing. I’ve made some pretty destructive basses with it too, mostly by sampling the System100 or Virus into it.
Samplers! On top, an Akai S3000XL, which is a pretty standard classic. It’s got eight outs, so in theory it would be awesome for running heaps of shit at once, but I only ever do things one sound at a time, so a lot of the features are somewhat wasted on me. It’s quite a clean sounding sampler, so I don’t use it heaps, but it’s still worthy of a spot in the rack – unlike the U220 piece of crap underneath it that I can’t even remember why I’ve got. Should take that out really.
At the bottom of the rack is a much more interesting little beast, my Akai S612. I think this is my all time favourite sampler. Ignore what vintagesynth says about it being unusable these days – they are usually reliable but it’s a fucking interesting machine to say the least. It’s only “limited” by your imagination. Front mounted inputs, which is handy; fuck all sample time, but it sounds disgusting. The real killer is the way you set sample start/end points; there’s a slider for each! How awesome is that? It makes for some fucking amazing synth tweaking and modulation possibilities, because the sliders change the start/end points in real time. Hook an arpeggiator up to it, sample in a disgusting sound from somewhere, and just go to town on those bad boys. It really is fucking amazing – a real case of a technical ‘limitation’ having heaps of creative potential.
I’m not just using those rack units as a monitor stand (although they are helpful in that regard). The silver unit is a dbx 376 (not a review, sadly, nothing interesting really turned up) – tube preamp eq, compressor/de-esser, and it’s awesome. Every synth I record goes through this before it hits the hard drive. It’s also brilliant for giving a bit of life to vocals. The preamp sounds great when you give it a bit of rizz. DANGER, EQ CLIP. Underneath the dbx is another sampler, a Roland S-220. It’s a quirky little thing, which has an alpha-dial like an Alpha Juno to edit parameters, which is a bit annoying, but I think it’s my most used sampler – the sound is a good combination of lo fi dust, dirt and years past, but not as barnacle-laden as the Mirage or S612. The “limiter” switch comes in very handy too.
Lastly we have one of the newest additions to my setup. Having a window to the outside world is something that I’ve never had in a studio space before, and I love it now. I’m easily distracted at the best of times, so that’s occasionally a problem, but having natural light in what is traditionally my nerd cave makes a huge difference to my mood. I strongly recommend it.
It’s not much, but it’s home. So this begs the question: What does your nerd cave look like? It doesn’t have to be music related. Every nerd has his or her cave. Share it with me!
You too, Bunj.
March 16, 2010 • 10:10 AM 0
Go here, and watch the video. This dude is living the motherfucking dream.
Also CONRAD IS BACK, thank fuck. Only 9,851 videos to go to get back to the 10k mark. It’s going to be a long journey, but together we will prevail.
Hung out with Glenn last night, was good to catch up with him. Hopefully we can get The Sheeps underway this month. Son of a bitch, the name is taken… some “americana” band. Maybe we can just roll with it anyway. Or maybe change the name to just “Sheeps” ? hmm. Musically, try to think of saaay…. this ..
…crossed with saaaay this.
Bad ass. Hopefully I can find a magenta suit.
Also, check this out.
Oh yeah. Awesome.
In other news, it’s St Patrick’s Day tomorrow, something that we take very seriously at work. The venue has traditionally been Fenians in the city, but it’s in the new Subi office this year. Not sure how well that’s going to go, but it’s free, so who am I to argue? Interestingly, HR have scheduled staff photos to be taken the next day, which is going to be… well, amusing to say the least. Mine is at 9:15AM. I am looking forward to looking like a hungover bastard for the next year or two in our HR management system.
March 13, 2010 • 11:08 PM 0
All quiet on the Shenton front.
I’ve had this awful fucking gastro for a couple of days now and I’m not enjoying it. I’ve been lying on the couch, watching TV, playing games and wishing for a quick death.
I just watched Sam Neill dance with a monkey of some kind in a red meat advert, which pleases me. I’m usually super critical of advertising on television, because I watch most of the programs that interest me from downloads, on demand, or from something like ABC’s iView. Sport is the one thing that I still press the ‘TV’ button on the remote for. Tonight is cricket (IPL) and F1 (Bahrain qualifying). This means that I’ve seen about three ads this evening, over and over again. It makes me hate the ads, which makes me hate the products.
You’d think that some brightspark in Product Management or something would have cottoned on to this. No, I won’t drink VB, mostly because the ads shit me and are played back to fucking back during the cricketing season. Instead, if I’m of a mind, I’ll drink Export instead – which a lot of people would rate as a much worse beer than VB. One can grow to love any beer though.
God damn it, IPL trumpet man, you’re playing your one fucking theme too much. Spice it up man!
Anyway, this is still puzzling me. I’m in VB’s target demographic. I drink beer. I can afford to buy a carton or two a week, if I have reason to. I won’t though, I’d rather drink something that I don’t associate with morons putting together a pop up drinking stand and hugging each other weirdly.
Also, ANOTHER thing that pisses me off is the number of things that oneHD proclaims proudly are LIVE!!!11 but are only LIVE!!!11 to the east coast. Just put a little fucking asterisk there, or something, so that I can avoid Twitter for a few hours to prevent something being spoiled.
Relax. Breathe. Cool, calm water. A gentle breeze on an autumn day. Sam Neill dancing with a monkey to sell steak. ahhhh.
March 8, 2010 • 12:14 PM 0
Went to this gig on Friday. It was.. fucking amazing. Does anyone know what the tune at 1:30 is? woah, like, massive. I’m not a good trainspotter with dubstep… wob, I’m looking at you.
It’s revitalised me somewhat, combined with the Melbourne experience.
Very hung over today, can’t concentrate on writing. Photoshop, you are soothing. Later, Anno.
March 5, 2010 • 10:13 AM 0
Ok, the show that I did on 3RRR in Melbourne is available for download! Just hit the To And Fro website – the download link is at the bottom of the playlist post. Thanks again to Dave for having me on. The man has even more eclectic taste than I, so I heartily suggest:
Anyway, I have to be quick cos I’ve got a big day on today – download the podcast and take a listen. I was deliriously hungover when we recorded it, so it should be a laugh.
March 5, 2010 • 12:18 AM 0
Hooray! Got a project off to testing today. Celebrating tonight with a rousing round of Anno on the new box. It used to run like a dog on my old machine, which I suspect was caused by it being such a CPU intensive game. However with the new processor and ram, it kicks serious ass. Lots of little dudes running around, carrying hemp, trading dates with the Venetians.. amazing.
Massive weekend coming up; catching up with some mates, and then Gaslamp Killer tomorrow night, then Community gig on Saturday I think, followed by lunch at the ‘rents and then the Guerrilla Picnic on Sunday arvo. It starts around 3pm in Hyde Park in North Perth, so if you’re bored and feel like some gentle drinking to covert beats then come down. Also, ‘Sundae’ at the Rosemount this weekend is Paper Chain / Community, IIRC. Big weekend for the local boys.
I’m also looking forward to hooking all my shit back up now that this box is up and running, and getting down to the serious beat production. I’m not worrying so much about ‘oh I have to do this or that release’ after my trip; it seems that I’d probably be better served at the moment by doing a few remixes and working on a more steady stream of material. Also, going over east for shows isn’t the big deal that it is for a band, as it’s just me and a laptop, so I can drop everything at pretty much a moment’s notice if I have to.
Ok, that’s enough rope trading for one evening. Good night world.
March 4, 2010 • 9:44 AM 0
Well, I must say it’s been a weird week so far. Came back from a killer huge weekend, new people, new places, gettin’ my drank on, then BAM straight back to sensible shirts (napisan worked brilliantly for getting the bepanthen stains, cheers for that ppl) and sitting down in the office for most of the day. Culture shock, or something. I’m already planning when I’m going back next. I think I will include Sydney next time, if I can find a decent night to play at.
I got a new computer; that’s been exciting – I picked up all the parts on Tuesday and put them together that night. It’d been maybe.. five or so years since I had built a PC from scratch, but as my brother said, it’s like riding a bike, you never forget that shit. Everything has different numbers now – Core i7, P55, DDR3, SATA3 – but they all seem to fit together in the case in roughly the same fashion. It’s comforting to know that I can jam screws through motherboards and into tray risers with gay abandon and not scrape off even one surface mount component. I guess it’s also a bit bizarre, considering how fast hardware development is these days.
Things that have changed dramatically with computer assembly in the last ten years:
Anyway, so I got Windows installed, and played me some TF2 last night to see how my old video card is holding up (I replaced my old system entirely except for the vid card, have to wait til next paycheque for that), and it turns out that it holds up admirably. Like an admiral. Full texture qual, shadows, reflections, highest AA on the list. I suppose I was putting too much trust in my old CPU – probably because it cost me so much back in the day. Post purchase rationalisation, perhaps? If anyone who’s reading owns an iPhone, can you tell me if this rings any bells? Cheers.
Can’t wait to get home tonight and play some motherfucking Anno.