Category Archives: News

News

One Of Coltrane’s Saxophone Donated

Seems Ravi had three of them. This one was the one used on A Love Supreme.

Today, the museum kicked off its 13th annual Jazz Appreciation Month by celebrating A Love Supreme’s 50th anniversary. And in honor of the occasion, Ravi Coltrane, himself an accomplished contemporary jazz musician, donated one of his father’s three principal saxophones—a Mark VI tenor crafted by Henri Selmer Paris, a manufacturer of high-quality brass and woodwind instruments. The saxophone was made in 1965, the same year in which the recording of A Love Supreme was issued. “Every time I open the case to look at the saxophone,” said John Edward Hasse, curator of American music, who presided over its donation ceremony, “I get goosebumps. John…Coltrane’s….saxophone.”

Crash…..

Sorry, site has issues. The little server that was running it developed fatal memory errors…..so…….

Anyhow, we are up on an old MacBook from 2007 running Ubuntu 14.04 I believe. Seems to be running pretty well now.

Would still like to see if someone wants to donate like an old Core 2 Duo or faster machine that can support over 2 gigs of memory for running the site.

EWI 5000

EWI5000_angle_1200x750For the Winter 2014 NAMM show, Akai has announced a new EWI.

EWI 5000 comes loaded with more than 3GB of top-quality sounds, including traditional horn, brass, woodwind, and string sounds, plus progressive synths, leads, and other non-traditional sounds. EWI 5000 includes 12 touch-sensitive metal keys on its top and an eight-wheel thumb- controlled octave roller on the bottom. An EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument) Mode is included for brass players, and EWI 5000 also includes eight control knobs for tweaking Filter, Reverb, Chorus, LFO, Breath Amount, Bite Amount, Semitone Tuning, and Fine Tuning. Both USB MIDI and 5-pin MIDI are onboard for controlling software synths or traditional MIDI modules. A 1/4- inch output to connect to an amplifier or PA and an 1/8-inch headphone output for silent practice are included. EWI 5000 charges via USB or wall power and also includes a USB cable, wall adapter, wireless receiver, and a neck strap.

So, basically, an Akai 4000s with USB, a built in rechargeable battery, and some sounds.

Downtime

We had some downtime yesterday, due to me upgrading the Ubuntu server software to the latest version. Of course the latest version also included the latest Apache Webserver, which of course, changed some of the server configuration commands. It took me a while to get it working.

Someday I’d love to move everything to a hosted setup, but……

Also updated the WordPress software and changed the theme. Whoohoo!

‘Saxophone Lung’

From an article in the Huffington Post:

A case study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology shows that it’s possible to develop allergic pulmonary disease, known as “Saxophone Lung,” in response to the mold that collects over time in woodwind instruments. Saxophone Lung is really a type of hypersensitivity pneumonitis, which is the inflammation of the lung tissue, according to the Mayo Clinic.

So, clean your horns out every now and then guys!

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.

Clamping Site Down

Recently, this site has become unstable. It is due to a TON of spammers trying to login in as admin, or flooding user registrations with fake ids in the hopes to be able to post spam ads as comments or activity stream items. As a result, the MySQL database keeps crashing due to too many Apache2 processes.
So, I’m instituting a very draconian new security thing. IP Blocking. If you screw up the login too many times, or continue to try to log in as admin or some other account in which you don’t have the password, your IP address is going to be block. Forever. Period. Unless you send an email to me explaining that you are some sort of Noob, drunk off your ass and couldn’t remember your password, or something plausible in your defense.
Unless someone wants to donate or fund a beefier server, that is the way it is. Hopefully the site won’t crash and things will be faster. (for example, I installed the new security plugin and it’s already blocked one person from China. It’s been like 4 minutes since installing it…..amazing).
UPDATE: I also removed the BuddyPress and BBForums stuff. No one was really using either, and they were sucking resources away from the site. I’ve always wanted a lively discussion forum happening here, but that seems not to be. Oh well.
It’s also interesting that most of the flood of IP addresses is out of pretty much ONE area of China…..go figure….

Frank Sumares Dies

I received an email today saying that the great Frank Sumares, or as most people called him “Uncle Frank” or “Uncafunk” died of Cancer today.

He was suddenly diagnosed with stage 4 cancer a very short time ago, like less than two weeks. The doctors were saying that he had 6-8 months, then revised it to 2-3 months, and now…..he’s gone.

I remember Frank when I would play in the Chabot Jazz band. He would have his signature dark glasses on and just come in and kick some musical ass. One of the best directors I’ve ever had. Great guy. Rest in Peace man.

Concord Music Group Sold To Investor Group

From eJazzNews:

Concord Music Group is very pleased to announce that a definitive agreement has been reached with Wood Creek Capital Management LLC to purchase Concord from Village Roadshow Entertainment Group. The acquisition is being made on behalf of funds which Wood Creek advises, and an individual investor group that includes members of Concord’s senior management and industry veterans Steve Smith and Scott Pascucci. The transaction is expected to close within a few days.

Didn’t even know there was a deal in the works. I guess it is good news?

Google Shutting Down Reader

One of the things I use A LOT on the internet is Google Reader. It is a way easy way to get feeds from a ton of sites in one place where you can view them all, and if you are interested click on them and go to the site and read more. I spend at least 30 minutes each morning going through my feeds and reading things I find interesting. Google Reader fetches all these and keeps them insync for me, so if I happen to use Reeder iOS app to read some of the NYT Arts articles, later when I am on the computer, it won’t show me those again. It has been a huge thing for me for a while now. Now Google is killing it off.

The internet was in an uproar about it. I was too. Damn Google.

Alternatives? So far I think NewsBlur is the top for me. I already paid for a year ($24). I also bought Fever, but for some reason it won’t import my exported Google Reader data. Fever sounds really great, and it would be my own private store of feeds, and I could use my favorite Apps (Reeder) to view the feeds. Hopefully my email to the creator of Fever gets a response.

San Francisco Symphony: On Strike, Concert Canceled | KQED News Fix

San Francisco Symphony: On Strike, Concert Canceled | KQED News Fix:

Musicians for the San Francisco Symphony went on strike today after eight months of fruitless talks with management centered on wage and benefit issues. The immediate impact: The symphony announced a concert scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday has been canceled.

(Via blogs.kqed.org)

I’m sorry, but when the AVERAGE salary is $165K a year, I have NO SYMPATHY for these guys. The rest of us musicians maybe make $60K a year before taxes, and since Obama and the recession, I think a $40K is more realistic.

Launch Equity Acquires MakeMusic

Launch Equity Acquires MakeMusic:

Today, MakeMusic announced that Launch Equity will purchase the company.  You can read MakeMusic’s press release here.   Launch Equity proposed the buyout last July (July 15, 2012), with the intent of taking the company private and then investing money into the company for a new CEO as well as updating software (particularly Finale’s base code).

(Via Technology in Music Education)

This is great news considering Avid is falling off a cliff and the development team of Sibelius was sacked and have started a new project with Steinberg.

However, this did crop up. Seems everyone isn’t happy about this

What Is Up With Avid?

Protoolerblog posted this yesterday:

“If you’re a Avid stockholder you might just freak out a bit right now: the company has postponed earnings from last quarter of 2012 and is now under investigation by at least two law firms.”

Avid makes ProTools….and they used to own M-Audio until they sold it this past summer. They also own Sibelius….after they fired the core developer group. Sorta a BIG deal when this company has two big industry leading (ProTools) or at least industry tying (Sibelius) pieces of software.
The Boston Herald has more:

“The digital audio and video technology maker said the company needs additional time “to evaluate its current and historical accounting treatment related to bug fixes, upgrades and enhancements to certain products which the company has provided to certain customers.”

Now, is this bad news? Probably……www.investopedia.com answer on why companies delay earnings doesn’t sound good:

“However, most often, the delay will be a result of the company not completing the report on time due to audits taking longer than expected, inexperienced officers completing their first report and the firm losing some or all of its financial data due to a technical error, fire or theft.”

Ok, no fire, or theft. Inexperienced Officers? Perhaps. Losing it’s financial data? Probably not. So…..it is probably them trying to polish a turd. Meaning Avid’s sales sucked last year, that users are still baulking at the price of ProTools 10 and it’s upgrade price from previous versions. That selling M-Audio didn’t do much for the company, and in fact might have hurt them more.

I guess we will know in 45 days or so the exact financials, but I don’t expect it to be good at all. May I suggest all you who use ProTools consider learning other programs just in case (like Logic!)