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Brad Sucks: Guess Who's a Mess album cover

Guess Who's a Mess, my third album. 10 tracks, instant downloads.

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I’ve mentioned here before that I’m working on a poppy concept album called Guess Who’s a Mess. I’m releasing the demos as I go along like I did on my first record, but I’m going a step further and releasing the instrumentals and vocals as well. They’re all on the album page now.

You’re welcome to mess around with them however you want. Please send me a link to anything you do – when I’m done the demos I’ll be looking to see if there’s anything I want to include on the finished record and then I’ll be in touch (so including a working email address would be a bonus.)

Posted on - September 29, 2009 [at] 4:56 pm by Brad
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September demo: Feel Free! Plastic Surgery! [5 MB]

It’ll be track #4 on Guess Who’s a Mess.

Tomorrow I’m going to be putting all the demo instrumentals and vocals online on that page so anyone can mess with them before I’m done. Stay tuned, etc.

Posted on - September 28, 2009 [at] 3:25 pm by Brad
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imageI’m not much of a keyboard player. I started writing music on the computer tapping notes into trackers with the computer keyboard. I also have a shitty right arm that wigs out when I play keyboards. So I’ve wound up trying a variety of different MIDI keyboards and for the most part they sit beside me and I put papers and junk on top of them and then avoid using them because I’m too lazy to clean them off. So I wind up playing basic sequences in with the computer keyboard.

Enter the inexpensive, tiny Korg Nano Series.

I snapped these up when I read about them, thinking they’d come in handy for live performances (I’m not optimistic enough to think I’ll write music away from my office) but when I got them home I realized they solve at least part of my MIDI keyboard problem. Now I keep them on a shelf under my desk and pull them out whenever I need them.

The Kontrol and Pad are great – simple and effective and relatively sturdy. I’ve tried many different drum pads over the years and the nanoPad is actually my favorite, which is surprising for such an inexpensive device. The nanoKey is the most dodgy, but also the one I’ve used the most, so it can’t be that bad. The keys feel exactly like (kind of cheap) laptop keys. It has the same weak/wobbly spring feeling. I’m not looking for sweet action, but it would be awesome if they felt slightly more crisp – something comparable to a child’s plastic keyboard would be fine.

My only other complaint isn’t Korg’s fault (I think) – the nature of these devices is that I want to plug them in as I need them, swapping them out at will. But all the audio software I’ve tried with needs to restart (or at least reset the audio device) each time I plug in or unplug a device. Minor thing I know.

All in all, they’re very useful tools and I’m happy to have ’em.

Update (3/4/11): My Nanopad randomly died and in researching fixes that seems to be an epidemic. So I wouldn’t bother. The Akai LP line seems to be more durable and that’s likely what I’ll switch to.

Posted on - September 23, 2009 [at] 3:41 pm by Brad
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Been hacking around trying to get some nifty synced visualization stuff going. Best (and cheapest) visualization seems to be Milkdrop in Winamp, so I got it responding to MIDI signals sent from Ableton Live on another machine. Here’s a quick demo:

I’d like to be able to trigger video clips next, then I’m not sure about combining them all onto one display and swapping between them.

Posted on - September 16, 2009 [at] 12:17 pm by Brad
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Anyone out there know much about syncing visualizations & lights to Ableton Live? I have a totally top secret project I’m working on and it requires some eye candy. I’m up to my eyeballs in reading about DMX controllers and video DJ software and there has to be a simpler way…

Posted on - September 14, 2009 [at] 11:22 am by Brad
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image Over the weekend I developed something described as a blister on my left eyeball and wound up in the hospital for a little bit. It seems to be clearing up but I hope you all had a better time this weekend than I did.

Posted on - September 8, 2009 [at] 12:30 pm by Brad
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