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This is a song I’ve had around for a very long time but I could never get the recording the way I wanted. I resolved to do the best I could with it for this month’s demo and quit agonizing over it.

I’m still not very happy with the recording – getting the huge wall of sound I want without everything becoming muddy mush is rough. But the month is almost over and I’m out of time, so here it is for now:

Simplifyin (demo) [7mb MP3]

Posted on - February 26, 2009 [at] 3:17 pm by Brad
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I just uploaded v0.20 of the Brad Sucks Digital Download Store. Some small changes and one big one. It now supports Amazon’s Flexible Payments Service:

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Of course I can’t actually offer it on my website as Amazon doesn’t offer the service in Canada. So that’s pretty weak. But for all you Americans: go nuts.

Update: I’ve pushed out v0.22 of the BSDDS, fixing a batch of bugs.

Posted on - February 23, 2009 [at] 1:36 pm by Brad
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I loved this TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert about creative genius:

Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person "being" a genius, all of us "have" a genius.

It’s very inspiring and I really admire how she’s reconciled her creative expectations.

A point I think is also missing from most discussions about creative genius is context. The time and culture a work is released in have a lot more to do with being considered genius than the work itself.

If I had a time machine I would travel to the past and play some electronica on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Posted on - February 10, 2009 [at] 8:55 pm by Brad
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imageMinor update to Gimme Some Money, the object donation script. Just a formatting issue with the Javascript widget that should make installation less annoying.

Posted on - February 10, 2009 [at] 2:11 pm by Brad
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For the past year I’ve been thinking a lot about solo guitar interfaces. One of the challenges with being a guitarist and playing solo is that both hands are almost constantly busy with the guitar and your feet are usually busy with pedals. Doesn’t leave a lot of other options.

I’ve thought up a lot of ways the guitar as an interface could be improved or augmented and the simplest idea seems like it would be to put a bunch of easily accessible buttons in the guitar and have those buttons simulate keystrokes on my laptop. How hard could that be? Let’s see.

Step one:

I ordered some Seimitsu PS-14 arcade buttons. A lot of the buttons I found were wayyyy too deep (such as these) but these ones looked like they might not go all the way through my guitar and halfway into my torso while playing.

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I also impulse bought an Arduino. The Arduino is awesome but turning button presses into keyboard strokes isn’t really its main deal. So I ordered an I-PAC VE which is dedicated entirely to simulating keyboard controls.

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Step two:

Months later when the I-PAC finally arrived, I wired up the buttons and the board and it all worked on the first try. I made a little cardboard stand for testing:

IMG_6072

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But it doesn’t look like there’s much testing to do, it’s pretty brain dead easy. I had it entering keystrokes on the computer and triggering clips in Ableton Live within minutes. Windows XP even recognized the I-PAC without any additional drivers, very nice.

Step three:

Where should the buttons go on the guitar? I put some cut-out circles on it to see where they’d fit and be most useful:

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This is the layout I’m thinking of right now. There’s a lot to take into consideration, such as:

  1. Ease of access while playing (the upper right ones seem close enough I’d be able to hit them with only a brief pause in playing)
  2. Staying away from locations where accidental hits are likely (the right side is where my arm is while playing)
  3. Making sure I don’t interfere with any of the guitar’s guts
  4. Keeping them far enough away from the edge that I don’t weaken and collapse it

Right now I’m wondering if I should try to house the circuit board inside the guitar and run a USB cable from the guitar to my laptop or should I run the wires from the buttons to the external I-PAC which would be by the laptop? I do not know.

Posted on - February 8, 2009 [at] 11:19 pm by Brad
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Had to do this to get it out of my head. Now I can move on.

Posted on - February 2, 2009 [at] 9:20 pm by Brad
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