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I have been busy and tired and annoyed. My modem, which half blew up a month ago, blew up the rest of the way this morning. It seems like every time I leave here and come back, something is a little bit more broken. I’m beginning to suspect people are breaking in here and using my stuff just a little bit too hard.

I’ve been trying to put my little album compilation together, which has been about 50/50 good experience and neurotic waste of time experience.

I had a three day addiction to Grand Theft Auto: Vice City which is now thankfully over.

I’ve been reworking the forums on Stripcreator to deal with community issues. The forums really get only a fraction of the traffic compared to the rest of Stripcreator and yet they are a million times more annoying to maintain.

I keep almost posting things here, but they’re all links stolen from Scott Andrew.

Posted on - June 30, 2003 [at] 12:12 pm by Brad
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Here’s a post I made on the Home Recording BBS:

I’ve been looking around for information on writing vocal harmonies but haven’t been able to find anything decent. Anyone I ask seems to say “you just do them” but that seems scary and wrong to me. Can anyone share any tips or guidelines or anything?

Do you just work them out methodically based on the key or do you feel your way towards them and practice eventually makes it intuitive? It seems to be hit and miss with me. Sometimes I can come up with a harmony line and other times I’m just lost.

Some interesting replies.

Posted on - June 26, 2003 [at] 5:20 pm by Brad
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I’ve been working on tidying up some of my older songs for an album compilation thing and I think it’s driving me a bit batty. Generally I try to work real fast so I don’t have time to get all neurotic and indecisive about things. I have an almost unlimited propensity for just screwing around and worrying about tiny pointless details.

Posted on - June 24, 2003 [at] 11:39 am by Brad
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Here’s a link to some free one-shot drum samples for Muzys, Reason and/or DR-008.

Posted on - June 20, 2003 [at] 2:03 pm by Brad
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There’s a great description of Scott Andrew’s drum sequencing technique over on his weblog here. It’s really interesting, some great insights into drum sequencing.

Posted on - June 17, 2003 [at] 8:54 pm by Brad
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Well, I can’t remember what entries I lost on this here weblog during the hard drive crash, so here are a few points of interest:

1. I bought a Shure SM57 microphone. So far I’m pretty happy with it. I was told it would be louder than my SM48 but I haven’t noticed a significant difference. Anyhow, I like owning the industry standard all-purpose dynamic microphone. I’m now giving some thought to maybe buying a nice-ish pre-amp.

2. My Cubase SX Complete book arrived in the mail. Despite some nervousness about buying a book from the author and rather than from a faceless online store like Amazon, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Shipping was real quick, billing was easy (through Paypal) and the book is excellent so far. I’m about two thirds through it and am hoping to finish it off this weekend. So far it’s vastly superior to Cubase SX Power, the other Cubase book I bought a while back. I almost don’t want it to end because I feel like I’m learning so many awesome things.

3. Work slowly progresses on my little album thingy. Trying to spiff up my old tracks may eventually drive me frigging crazy.

4. Sumday, the new Grandaddy album, is fantastic.

Posted on - June 13, 2003 [at] 4:44 pm by Brad
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So the hard drive in the server that I run all my sites off of fried itself the night before last. It cost a hundred dollars to replace and lost a bunch of data both of users and my own personal stuff. I had pretty recent backups so it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been, but it still was zero fun for all.

Things are slowly getting reinstalled. I’m still assessing the damage on this here weblog. Images and some MP3s may be lost. It will take a little while to get all things back in their places, if it can be done at all. But we’re back on the air.

Posted on - June 12, 2003 [at] 2:35 pm by Brad
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Derek of CD Baby reports on a meeting with Apple regarding indie music and their iTunes service here.

The article has a lot of interesting and exciting information. Particularly this bit:

* Apple has hired an editorial staff with backgrounds in music to decide what gets featured.
* Editorial team makes decisions every day as to what goes where.
* Big labels don’t get preferential treatment.
* “We pick music we like, and we think everyone else is going to like.”
* “We’ve had a lot of people offer money”, but Apple refuses money, and has no plan to ever accept money for placement.
* Even what looks like a banner ad at the top of the screen is put there by Apple.
* When an audience member doubted they’d stay with this policy, they pointed to their 20 years of selling Apple computers, and never selling icons on the desktop or any of the other things that companies have offered to pay them a lot of money to do.
* (Plus Steve Jobs reminded us they have $41 billion in the bank and are not in debt. They’re not desparate for cash.)

I’m not morally against ads or product placement, but I do think that in this particular case the iTunes service has the potential to become so much more than another bloated, useless mp3.com type bullshit music portal thing. Developing and maintaing the trust that they’re actually trying to sell you music that you’ll enjoy rather than forcing label interests on you will be so much more valuable in the long term to them. Imagine Rolling Stone magazine with a “click here to purchase this song or album” button after each review and they make money every time even one person follows their recommendation.

If you ran a system like that, why would you ever want to pollute up your reputation with trying to to foist a bunch of garbage on people?

I hope it all goes well for them.

Posted on - June 8, 2003 [at] 7:32 pm by Brad
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The other day I received a reply from Neeru at the Creative Commons to the scenario which I posted here. Some folk were interested, so here’s the reply:

The intention of the license is to give person
X and Y a clear understanding of what terms they are agreeing to, hence
the license, and the contract. The Creative Commons license carves out
an exception to a full copyright, and is a contract that is agreed to
by two people, and therefore, if used correctly, should stand up in
court.

I’m not really sure what I think of this. On one hand, it sounds good and nice and fair and sensible. On the other, it seems awfully optimistic that everything will just work out for everybody. Perhaps it’s just my complete lack of understanding about the law that makes it seem that way.

But I still wonder if the people (rightfully) taking advantage of the exceptions in copyright law specified by the licenses are going to wind up getting their asses handed to them at some point for taking it seriously.

Posted on - June 8, 2003 [at] 6:32 pm by Brad
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I spent some time this morning looking for some good Freeware VST distortion plugins. I’ve been interested in making my mixes sound messier and a little wilder and I find the distortion plugins that come with Cubase a little weak. They either don’t mangle sound the way I’d like or they sound like a cheap metal distortion pedal, which always sounds lame to me.

Anyhow, after trying out a whole bunch of them, the best distortion plugin I’ve found so far is Cyanide 2.0. It’s really a vast improvement over the effects that came with Cubase, so I’m pretty happy.

Posted on - June 8, 2003 [at] 12:18 pm by Brad
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