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I’m sure everyone is tired of hearing about Google Circles, but it’s nice. You can find me on it here. Are invites still a thing? If so, just send me your email address.

It’s still early on and I have my complaints and suggestions but so far I’m finding it easier to manage than Facebook, where friend lists & groups are annoying. And it’s so far been a lot more social than Twitter, I feel like I’m discovering interesting people on it and conversations are happening more. Some of that could be the novelty of the new platform but I feel like it promotes casual socializing in a way I haven’t really felt since BBS’s. Also the Google Hangout multi-video chat is fun.

The other point in Google’s favor is that I don’t trust Facebook and never have. Google has a good record of openness and being pro-web, whereas Facebook has been intent on creating a locked-in walled garden from early on. I believe my interests align more with Google than Facebook, but time will tell.

Posted on - July 15, 2011 [at] 1:03 pm by Brad
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I’m trying to up my live show’s lighting game. Since it’s me, I’m heading towards the compact, DIY and cheap. Here’s what I’m trying out:

TheĀ Chauvet 4BAR – you can get these guys for like $320 USD off eBay, which seems like a great deal since it comes with the tripod, foot pedal and carrying case. Unlike the cheaper Mini 4BAR, this one’s DMX-controllable, so I should be able to sync a couple of these trees to the laptop that drives my live show and plan my lighting out nicely ahead of time.

Enttec USB Pro – to get DMX sent to the lights I need an adapter for the laptop and after a lot of research this seems to be the good one. The cheap guy in me wanted to get the Open DMX Usb which is less than half the price, but most software specifically mentioned the Enttec USB Pro and I didn’t want to risk buying something that wouldn’t do the job.

DMaX – I’m waiting until the lights and adapter arrive but it looks like the DMaX devices for Ableton Live with Max For Live (along with the dmxusbpro external) should let me control the lights from Ableton all easily (I hope this works).

Sound Activated EL Wire – I ordered some sound activated EL Wire to test out. It’s not DMX controllable so it won’t be in sync digitally, but it’s only like $15 and I’m gonna try putting some on the guitar amps and drums and see if we can get it blinking in response to our playing which should be on the beat assuming we’re playing OK. I’m not sure how well it’ll handle the noise level at a show but we’ll see. Worst case scenario I can just leave them on all the time and it should look neat.

I’ll try to post about it once I figure out if any of it works. If you know anything about lighting or visualization stuff I’d mega-love to hear from you.

Posted on - July 3, 2011 [at] 8:11 pm by Brad
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