Monthly Archives: February 2004

Ghosting in ACID

Last November, Joe Chellman wrote this great article on drum programming techniques.

The section on ghosting stayed with me. I used to add lots of little ghost hits but for some reason I let it go. Well Joe shook me loose again and now I rarely let a drum beat go by without it.

I mainly use FL Studio for building drum beats, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done with ACID.
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Are You the Jewelry Lady?

doggyhair.jpgOnce the exclusive domain of vinyl turntablists, ACID and Live have made mashing a commodity venture. With the advent of CDecks and digital enhancements to vinyl turntables, DJs have overcome their biggest obstacle by having the pitch of a record or CD to change without affecting the tempo. But it may be too late. Even without the tactile experience of physically spinning vinyl, the feeling that anything is possible with computers is likely to inspire more and more mashers to flip open a laptop.

The hardware that is irreplaceable are the two knobby things hanging on the sides of your head. ACID, Live and digital decks will only tune to the pitch you tell it is right. You still have to blow in tune. The fact that technology lulls you into thinking it’s been taken care of only makes it worse. And your friends aren’t going to be any help.

Take two analogous scenarios:
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Knockout (Vocals) VST

UPDATE (9/19/04) St3pan0va tells me there is a new version of this plugin with bugfixes and other goodies. Pick the latest version at the URL below…

St3pan0va has release a beta VST that helps in isolating vocals. He is very open to iterating on feedback so make sure to give him a shout and let him know how it works for you.

Grey Album “The Cause”

Got the following letter from the downhill battle organizers of this thing:

Hey Grey Tuesday sites,

First of all, thanks for getting involved with this protest. We’ve been totally blown away by the number of sites participating; there’s 150 of us right now and people are taking notice. There’s never been anything like this before and it’s going to spark some real thought about what’s gone wrong in the music industry. Spencer has been working hard to stay on top of all the sites and keep the list accurate, but please double check to make sure that your site and link are correctly listed on the greytuesday.org page (it’s very important that all the links are working right on tuesday).

It would be great to be able to tell reporters tomorrow that hundreds of sites are participating, and we’re really close. So we want to encourage you to encourage friends that have websites to participate — the bigger the better.

If you’re making your site grey on tuesday, and we hope most of you will, be sure to check out this javascript that Eric sent in, which will display your site in greyscale in Internet Explorer: http://www.sleeplessnight.net/grey/ You can also change the css / html for other browsers.

Finally, if there’s a college or independent radio station in your city or town, you could call them sometime tomorrow to get them on board. It would be really exciting if people could read about the protest somewhere and the literally tune in and hear it happening.

We’ll be in touch again soon,

Nicholas
downhillbattle.org

Yes, I’m feeling a little like a joiner, yes these folks are giddy, yes this is all a lot of free publicity for what is, quite honestly, only half a record I actually enjoy, yes there are much more worthy causes in the world we should be paying this much attention to — but if I squint real hard and hold one nostril shut it turns out it doesn’t cost me a lot (that is, zero) to host these files and screw with my css headers for a day or so.

Big $$$ Plugins

There seems to be three tiers of plug-ins: freebie/cheap ($0-$100), mid-range ($200-$500) and expense account (not-my-money). You can get by with freebie/cheap incredibly well but you’ll be hard pressed sell your music until you move up to the mid-range. And the difference in quality is a jump far greater than the jump in price.

I have a short list of mid-range plug-ins that are worth more than even their price. They just work. Once you see, use and hear these it’s impossible to turn back.
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WTF Right Back

(I looked for a picture of Madonna but couldn’t find one anywhere on the web. If you know of one, let me know. Thanks!

The WTF Madonna mixes were recently uploaded to the Internet Archive. There are really creative mixes with some wonderful sounds.

This album was triggered by a small sound byte of speech left by Madonna as a decoy to frustrate users sharing her songs via Peer-to-peer (P2P) networks on the internet. Any holes a goal in this riotous wondrous fairy tale journey through 14.5 tracks of deep anal hilarity.

Whatever, they sound good and if you didn’t pick them up last year, you can download them here one track at a time.

The Doctorow Doctrine

You probably don’t need me to link to this but the last few paragraphs of Cory Doctorow’s speech at Emerging Technologies Conference is actually very, very good. Fire up the coffee maker, sit back and read the whole thing.

I have a lot reactions to this piece. Mainly I wonder if all the audience hears is “Oh, I get it, it’s like ‘free’ but more articulate.” Eh, I should have a lot more faith. Or at least pretend to better.
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