Won Stuff From SOS and M-Audio

You know, you think you never will win these contests that you enter online. Well….NA NA NA NA! I seem to have won one.

I subscribe to the great SOS magazine which has all kinds of invaluable tips and insights on……tons of stuff like recording, using programs like Logic or Digital Performer or Protools, micing techniques, how to make your mixes sound better, etc. I decided to get a subscription last year when I came across their site while researching some audio products. I have saved many, MANY of the articles for future reference.

Anyhow, they have these contests you can enter. And I try to enter them, but you know you never expect to win. Ha! Woohoo. Not quite sure exactly what I’ve won yet, but I’ll keep you all posted…….(I think it is like $4K worth of stuff, like an M-Audio keyboard, monitors, etc…..maybe a Project Mix I/O? I hope???)

*Dances* Funny thing is that I was getting ready to purchase a new Firewire interface…..but now……not sure I’m going to need to 😉
Continue reading Won Stuff From SOS and M-Audio

Favorite Brecker EWI Video

Pretty much anything Michael Brecker did was awe inspiring. I remember back in the day seeing the Michael Brecker band when I was in High School. I had no clue who he was. I was a newbie, or noob at the whole saxophone thing. I basically went to the concert to see Spyro Gyra. Anyhow, Michael Brecker blew me away when he played saxophone, then he did something like this:

Years of the therapy has not helped so far…..and it still is amazing what he could do.

Oboe Mouthpiece?!?!?

I almost won this item on ebay. A Chedeville Oboe Mouthpiece.

Oboe Mouthpiece Picture 8

Wow. It got to pricey for me. Plus I just had to shell out a lot of money to the IRS. 🙁 Interesting discussion about it here. Seems it isn’t so great. Looks kind of cool though. Probably would help out some poor doubler out there than wanted to add oboe to his weaponry.

Here are some pictures taken off the auction

Finale Users Defecting To Sibelius

There has been a LOT of discussion on the Finale List (which is NOT managed by the company) about the disappointment with Finale 2008. I decided to pass on 2008. To stir things up, Sibelius is offering a 50% off trade-up program.

It is sad to see so many veterans of Finale, people who have contributed tips, insights, short cuts, and what nots, finally get fed up with MakeMusic’s total lack of attention to detail. Their main complaints are the bugs that are never fixed from previous versions, and the company’s failure to finish new features, namely the Parts feature from Finale 2007. Nothing got fixed, or changed.

Two things keep me from switching to Sibelius. One, is the ability to easily convert the thousands of Finale files into Sibelius. I want to be able to just open them in Sibelius, not MusicXML crap. Just open, and it’s in Sibelius. The second thing, is being able to use Bill Duncan’s elegant engraver articulations. Honestly, the Sibelius jazz font thing just looks silly. Real silly. I absolutely love the professional look that I get using Bill’s fonts.

I suppose the third thing is SmartMusic. I couldn’t make Smartmusic exercises. That would be a problem as well.

Ok, THREE things. If they can get TWO of those working, I’ll switch.

UPDATE: 10/13/07 After some thought, the $100 price was too tempting. I ordered a copy. We’ll see if I actually use it.

Managing The Paper Clutter

I don’t know about most people, but I have stacks of paper all over the place. Articles out of magazines I thought were interesting, old manuscript paper, etc, etc. For receipts, I have been in the practice of scanning those for a while, for taxes and stuff. But the paper stacks, I try to scan them, but it just takes too long (there are a LOT of stacks, and they are fairly thick). My Epson CX6600 is good, but scanning takes a lot of time. And then, there is the “what now” problem.

A sheet feed scanner sounds like a great solution. Fujitsu makes this ScanSnap product that can, supposedly, do up to 18 double sided pages a minute. It’s a good chunk of change though, nearly $500 (they have some rebates going at the moment). It does come bundled with Adobe Acrobat 8 though. Plus, it has some OCR stuff which will allow the scanned things to be searchable.

I had, years ago, a Visoneer Paperport that was great, but it died.

Getting rid of paper is a definite goal, but is it really worth the $$? Having all Continue reading Managing The Paper Clutter

Moving From Slash To WordPress (DONE)

Ok, after a LOT of work on my end, 98% of the stories and files have been moved to WordPress. They have all been put into 4 categories, and tagged. Though, the tagging might need to be revistited in the future.

Things not moved are the user ids from the old slash site. Journals have not been moved either. Polls and the comments in them are one of the things that still need to be moved, and will be done so by the end of the weekend. The other thing that has not been moved yet is the player setup database I had. Not sure how I’m going to do that one at the moment…….I might need to learn a little PHP to do that.

There might be some links in stories that do not work. If anyone see these, please shoot me an email and a story link. These are kind of hard to find and fix…….

UPDATED 10/6/07 11:50PM by E: Ok, it’s done. The Slash site is offically gone. Perl has been removed from the Apache webserver. Memories of Slashcode start to fade…..

Record Companies Finally Win One

After all the lawsuits they have started, they finally won one.

In a major win for record companies seeking to establish precedent for prosecuting those who trade copyrighted material on the Internet, a federal jury awarded six firms $222,000 in damages from a Minnesota woman who shared music online. Jammie Thomas, 30, was ordered to pay $9,250 for each of 24 songs that were part of the case. The complaint alleged that she had shared 1,702 copyright-violating songs online. The Associated Press quotes Richard Gabriel, lead attorney for the music companies: “This does send a message, I hope, that downloading and distributing our recordings is not OK.”

What does this mean? Good question…….

MP3 Compression Explained

Found a very interesting article about how MP3 compression came about. It is, at times, rather techie, but very interesting none the less.

But what is MP3? The usual explanations usually take one of two forms. The long version, available in technical papers, is written in jargon and filled with math. The short version, often used by newspapers and nontechnical periodicals, simply states that the process eliminates parts of sound not normally heard by the human ear. But this one-sentence description raises more questions than it answers for any reasonably tech-savvy reader: how does it find those unheard sounds, and how does it get rid of them? What’s the difference between the different bit rates and quality levels? If you’re anything like me, you’ve often wanted to know the mechanics of MP3, but not to the point of writing your own encoder.

Gibson Launches Self Tuning Guitars

Engadget is reporting that Gibson has launched a line of self tuning guitars.

Gibson’s Powertune system has been in the works for quite awhile, and although there are other axes out there that claim to tune themselves, only a Gibson will do for some. Reportedly, the firm is readying a “new line of instruments” that are equipped with the system, which includes “an additional set of pickups mounted underneath the strings that are used specifically for the tuning process.”

Whoa. That is pretty neat stuff. Wonder if Steinway will do something like that with pianos….