New Way To Scan Books

When I did my “going all digital” thing in the effort to make all my books and music digital, I had to make some decisions. The biggest one was books. To scan the books, I had to basically destroy them by cutting the binding and in some cases having to cut them to make them fit into the scanner.

Do I regret doing that? No, not really. I hate paper clutter. But now, there is a great way to actually scan books without destroying them.

SV600The Fujitsu ScanSnap SV600 looks pretty damn cool, and is affordable. Looks like a pretty sweet thing for maybe schools, or even bands with big libraries to use to keep an archive copy of stuff.

The Value Of Entering Online Contests

So, you have all seen these “Enter to win a free” whatever contests right? About 6 years ago, I won a contest. Pretty cool huh? So since then, I’ve been entering contests. I sadly haven’t won like the Sweetwater Mic contest, nor any of those contests where you get a Presonus Studio Live (totally want one of those, or a Mackie 1640 Onyx).

But I did win another contest.

This contest I got a bunch of software gear, most of which is useful to me. Here is the booty:

Big Fish Audio – Detroit Soul
Big Fish Audio – Electri6ity
Big Fish Audio – MOJO Horn Section
Big Fish Audio – Studio Kit Builder
Big Fish Audio – RiG Urban Workstation
Big Fish Audio – NFR: SWAGG
Big Fish Audio – Zen
Big Fish Audio – Hard Rock: Decade Of Distortion
Big Fish Audio – Guitar Soundscapes
Big Fish Audio – Off The Hook Legacy
Big Fish Audio – Rock Cinema
Big Fish Audio – Fury: Modern Indie and Pop Rock
Big Fish Audio – Epic Drums II
Big Fish Audio – Acoustic Indie Pop

The MOJO Horn section is actually pretty awesome. Already using it with Finale to do mockups of scores I’m working on. The Electri6ity thing is amazing as well. Sounds like a real guitar. Playing EWI through it is pretty sweet. I haven’t quite finished downloading all the other stuff (there is like 120 gigs of stuff to download…..though I thought I got a hard drive with the stuff….oh well). I haven’t really been too into the loop thing, but I was thinking about doing stuff sorta like a cross between Brecker Brothers and Big Gigantic, or doing stuff in that vein for students and myself to practice with. Should be interesting.

Moral of this story…….enter those contests (as long as its from a place you have heard of, like a big company, magazine, etc). You just might win something.

A Sharp Look At Spotify, Streaming Music and Musicians

The Hypebot had a link and analysis of an article David Byrne wrote for The Guardian. It is depressing, and really makes me apathetic to the whole “piracy” question. Spotify is obviously NOT paying artists, but rather the “middle man”.

“The amounts these services pay per stream is miniscule…The major record labels usually siphon off most of this income, and then they dribble about 15-20% of what’s left down to their artists. Indie labels are often a lot fairer – sometimes sharing the income 50/50.”

It’s laughable how much these streaming services pay artists. (They DON’T PAY…..One Million Pandora Plays = $16.89)

I think a better model is needed. I think Apple’s new iTunes Radio is a step in the right direction. If you hear something, you can buy it right there. Boom. And way more profit comes from the SALE of music rather than the streaming of it. I imagine that the labels are still raping artists on iTunes Radio, but for people who have put their own music on there, the chance of getting purchases off of people using iTunes Radio seems quite a bit more likely than off of Pandora or Spotify.

Do we really need these middle men anymore??

Is Music The Key To Success?

This is a great article from Joanne Lipman in the New York Times:

Multiple studies link music study to academic achievement. But what is it about serious music training that seems to correlate with outsize success in other fields?

The connection isn’t a coincidence. I know because I asked. I put the question to top-flight professionals in industries from tech to finance to media, all of whom had serious (if often little-known) past lives as musicians. Almost all made a connection between their music training and their professional achievements.

The phenomenon extends beyond the math-music association. Strikingly, many high achievers told me music opened up the pathways to creative thinking. And their experiences suggest that music training sharpens other qualities: Collaboration. The ability to listen. A way of thinking that weaves together disparate ideas. The power to focus on the present and the future simultaneously.

Personally, I think the WORST thing I see are these kids who spend 6 days a week, 4+ hours a day on SPORTS. Fucking SPORTS. All year round. I’m not against sports, I played Soccer for 8+ years as a kid, but I remember practices being 2 times a week, and a game on Saturday (or Sunday). No “conditioning” after practice. No DAILY practices.

I think it is the worst thing for kids, all this emphasis on sports.