Saturday, September 23, 2017

Linux for Serious Photography

This post comes from Scribbles and Snaps blog, so be sure to check out the original post here! 

Linux Tools For Serious Photographers

While most mainstream Linux distros come with photo management software, these applications are more suited for shutterbugs than serious amateurs and professional photographers. Fortunately, there are quite a few high-quality powerful Linux-based photographic tools that can rival proprietary commercial applications like Adobe Photoshop Elements and Lightroom. And using applications like Entangle, Rapid Photo Downloader, and digiKam, you can turn your Linux machine into a powerful darkroom for processing and organizing photos.

Common Photographic Tasks

Let’s start with a brief overview of common photographic tasks:

  • While you’d normally use your camera to take photos, there are a couple of Linux-based tools that can be used to remotely control and trigger your camera. These tools can come in handy for exposure bracketing, focus stacking, macro photography, and so on.
  • Before you can do anything with your photos, you need to transfer them from your camera to a computer, and then import them into the photo management application.
  • Next, you have to sort and organize the imported photos.
  • Once the photos have been neatly organized, you have to process the RAW files.
  • Most of us share our photographic masterpieces with others. And in most cases, we publish photos using either one of many third-party photo sharing services, or upload photos to self-hosted galleries.

So what are the tools that can help you to handle these photographic tasks on Linux?

digiKam to Rule Them All

A solid photographic workflow is unthinkable without an application that can help you to import, process, and organize photos. While there are several such applications available on Linux (RawstudioDarktableRawTherapee, etc.), digiKam makes a sensible choice for a number of reasons.

  • Thanks to the LibRaw decoding and processing library, digiKam can handle a wide range of RAW formats. digiKam currently supports more than 400 cameras that shoot in RAW, and new models are added almost as soon as they hit the market.
  • digiKam offers several ways to view your photos. You can use a conventional album view, browse photos by tags or by date, or display your photos as a timeline. digiKam also allows you to view your photos on the map, provided they have been properly geotagged.
  • Speaking of geotagging, the application sports a separate interface for working with geographical data. You can use it not only to geotag photos, but also geocorrelate them. digiKam offers another useful feature called reverse geocoding. Using it, you can retrieve human-readable locations such as city, street, country, etc. for photos based on their geographical coordinates.
  • The photo management application offers a wide array of tools that can help you to keep tabs on your photos. For example, digiKam offers tagging and rating features. In addition to that, the application sports the Color labels and Picks tools. The former lets you apply color codes to photos, while the latter can come in handy for quickly sorting photos.
  • digiKam sports powerful filtering and search capabilities. The dedicated Filters sidebar in digiKam offers a simple yet flexible way to filter photos by specific criteria. For example, you can easily set up a filter that displays photos containing certain tags and have a specific color label.
  • The application supports non-destructive editing and versioning. This allows you to tweak photos without affecting their originals. In addition to that, you can save multiple modified versions of the same original and use digiKam to neatly organize them as well as keep track of changes made to each version.
  • When it comes to editing, digiKam offers a wide selection of useful tools. Besides the usual suspects like Curve and Level adjustment tools, digiKam offers exposure blending, lens correction, perspective adjustment, black-and-white conversion, and many other nifty features. Better yet, the application sports powerful batch processing capabilities which allow you to apply multiple editing and conversion operations on a set of photos.
  • Finally, thanks to a comprehensive collection of bundled plugins, you can publish your photos on many popular photo sharing services like Flickr, Picasa, Facebook, SmugMug, and others.

Read More here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Learn more about RAW photography with this book!



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Friday, September 22, 2017

Create a VHS Movie Effect with Vegas Movie Studio

This is a tutorial I made a while back about creating a VHS effect using Vegas. Vegas is a great affordable movie editor for Windows.

It used to be owned by Sony, but recently was purchased by Magix. It’s still the same great editor and this technique will still work. With the popularity of Synthwave, and the never ending 80s nostalgia, a lot of people have been living this tutorial. I’m glad it was able to help som e people.

If you don’t have Vegas, you can use the link above to get a copy for yourself.



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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Synchronizing External Audio With Video in Kdenlive

A lot of people think you need a camera with an external microphone input, but this really is not the case. Using this lapel microphone for smart phone, you can have high quality, clear audio on any video no matter how far away you are from the camera. There’s no need to have a camera with an external mic input, you can get just as good results, or better by synchronizing audio recorded on your smart phone to your video recorded on any camera. All of this is done in post production. In this video I demonstrate the technique, as well as walk you through the process of doing it yourself.
If you’re interested in the exact camera I’m using, you can get them for much less than a DSLR here.



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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sonicake Cloud Chorus – The Best Chorus Pedal for Under $60?

In this video I unbox, test, and review the Cloud Chorus by Sonicake. It’s a small footprint, true bypass, chorus pedal that sounds pretty great! Pick up one of these for yourself here. For about $50, Sonicake makes an extremely high quality guitar fx pedal. It’s built in a high quality metal box, features a metal toggle switch for intensity, level and depth controls, as well as a big knob for speed.

Overall I think the pedal is very nice. It has a nice vintage type tone and can go from subtle to crazily intense chorus. Watch the video above for a sound test. I look forward to more good stuff from this Sonicake!



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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Vintage Digital Sound Of The Zoom PS04

The Zoom PS04 is not a new recorder by any means, it came out about 10 years ago. However, this little handheld digital 4 track is still one of my favorite pieces of recording equipment I’ve ever owned. I like it so much, I actually bought a second one in case the main one I use ever breaks I’ll have a back up.

There’s some weird quirks to them, like recording on Smart Media Cards, which are getting harder and harder to find, and had a maximum size of 128mb. However, a 128mb card is enough space to be productive and record several songs with virtual takes.

However, there is a certain sound quality they possess that seems to be unlike any other multitrack recorder I’ve heard. They have that gritty, early digital recording sound. Almost like 12 bit samplers like the Akai s900. Even though they are 16 bit, the sample rate isn’t quite CD quality, at it’s highest setting it is 31250hz. I believe this has something to do with the sound quality, but even if I convert sounds on a computer to 31250hz, they don’t quite have the same sound as the ones recorded on the PS04.

I thought I would put together a playlist of the songs I recorded on these little units so you could hear what I mean. If you want to get one for yourself, they are still available on Amazon through 3rd party sellers. 



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Monday, September 18, 2017

Installing 64 Bit Linux on 32 Bit EFI Macbooks AKA Black Macbook

The 2007 and 2008 ‘Macbooks’ have 64 bit core2 duo processors in them, but still had a 32 bit EFI which is sorta like bios and is what is needed for the OS to boot for installation. However if you ever just tried to download the standard Ubuntu 64 bit ISO from their website, it won’t work.

This was a bit of an annoyance for me a while back and I ended up just going with 32 bit. However, as time went on, 32 bit was not going to cut the mustard anymore, mostly because of certain programs no longer offering 32 bit versions like Skype and Google Chrome. Chromium Browser however does still offer a 32 bit, but since I need skype, I had to upgrade.

I knew there had to be a way to do it, so after some sleuthing I found an old bug report that included little bit of c source code that when compiled and ran in the same directory as the 64 bit linux iso, it will ‘remaster’ the iso into one with 32 bit EFI booting capabilities.

I first re-installed my personal Macbook and it worked like a charm! Then I decided to pick up another of the same exact model macbook and do a video on it. Check it out above if you’re interested. If you’re interested in creating your own iso to install, see this post for details . This is a bit of an advanced method and you will need to compile from source.

or if you’d rather just download an Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS 64 that’ll boot on 32 bit EFI. I’ve created one you can get here.



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Aquarian X-10 Most Affordable and Best Synthetic Drum Sticks

A few years ago, wooden drum sticks really started to dry out my hands. I was not about to use drum gloves, so I thought maybe by using a synthetic stick I could avoid the drying of my hands. After trying others in the past, I stumbled across the Aquarian X-10 graphite/nylon drum stick.

It was a little strange at first, but once you adjust to them, wood actually feels strange to me now. The drying out of my hands problem has stopped and I have still yet to actually break one of these sticks and still have the very first pair I ever bought 2 years ago!

I love these sticks and highly recommend them if you’re looking for a wood alternative. They’re also much more inexpensive than other synthetic sticks on the market. Get a pair here!



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Friday, September 15, 2017

Every Single Audacity Preference Explained!

Audacity is a powerful free program that can be used for just about any audio need. The user community is gigantic, and has a wealth of information online, in print, and in video form. However I couldn’t find a video that walked through every single setting in the preferences menus and explained them, so I thought I’d make my own.

In this Audacity lesson I painstakingly go through every single option in the preferences menu within audacity and give in-depth explanations and examples for each one. This is a great way to learn some of Audacity’s hidden features, as well as have a deeper understanding of the software. Time-stamps below for each section of preferences. If you really want to learn nearly all there is to know about Audacity, I recommend the very highly rated book, The book of Audacity.  



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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Using cheap automotive covering as drum wrap

One of the oldschool ways to cheaply re-wrap drums was with contact paper for shelving, but this always looked pretty poor and styles were pretty non-drum looking and very limited. Recently I was putting together a drum set from random drums I’ve collected from the trash and Craigslist, and was trying to think of ways I could re-finish it without spending a lot of money. After searching through Amazon, I found a very cheap way to rewrap drums that looks very nice!

This stuff is apparently for covering automobiles as an alternative to painting them or for adding details. It is definitely not as durable as real drum wrap, but this particular one I purchased was only $5 per roll! One roll is quite large and I was able to cover two toms with a single roll. It’s also wide enough to use on the kick drum. It is pretty thin however, so I don’t expect it to be very strong or resistant to tearing. You could possibly put a clear coat on top of it to strengthen if needed though.

The drum set you see above was re-wrapped with this exact wrap, except for the two 14″ and 15″ slingerland toms on the left above the floor tom. They match incredibly well and the chrome finish is surprisingly good! The cool thing about this stuff is there’s also some pretty exotic styles out there that would make very interesting looking drums, like Carbon Fiber.

If you want to see the full process of rebuilding this drum set and wrapping it with the $5 auto wrap, check out the YouTube playlist below.



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Monday, September 11, 2017

8 bit performance on a Korg nanoPAD 2 and nanoKONTROL

This is something I put together a while ago, but still really happy with it. I wanted to make an 8 bit trap song in real-time using Ableton Live and my Korg nanoPAD2 and nanoKONTROL. I first found and created all of the samples I needed and loaded them into Ableton’s drum rack, then I spent some time working out some beats and setting up arpeggiators to create the hi hat roll sounds. Once I had it all together I just had to practice for a few days then I made the video.

Korg’s nano series is a great way to get inexpensive and versatile controllers for Ableton. The fact that they are so small and come in different categories too makes them really great for creating modular setups for your needs.

You can pick up your own nanoPAD2 here

Or if you want a nanoKONTROL, get that one here



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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Getting started with Ubuntu Linux

You’ve thought about it and you’ve heard other people talk about it. It runs servers and is has one of the largest growing user communities of any other operating system. It’s the only other OS sold on Dell’s high end “Developer Edition” Laptops. But how do you get started? And why choose Ubuntu and not some other flavor of Linux like Mint or Suse? Well the simple reason to use Ubuntu as opposed to any of those others is just because it is so popular. Popularity means more users, more forums, more software, and more help if you need it.

So how do you get started? A lot of people recommend using a virtual environment to try it out, but as a Linux user for over 15 years, I do not recommend this method. If you install it on a virtual PC, you won’t really dive in with both feet, and the performance will suffer. The best way to learn Linux, or more specifically Ubuntu Linux, is to use it. And I mean REALLY use it. If you don’t want to get rid of your Mac OS, or Windows Operating system just yet. I recommend getting an older Dell E6410 or a similar system that is known to work well with Linux. Install it, and make this your primary PC for a few weeks or longer.

Once you have your computer selected, you may want to watch some tutorials on YouTube, or pick up a copy of The Official Ubuntu Book, which is a comprehensive beginner’s guide to not only using Ubuntu, but also the history and philosophy behind the wonderful Operating system. I think you’ll be surprised to find that a lot of things won’t be that different than what you are used to. If you’re coming from a PC environment, you be pleased to be no longer bombarded with adware or the likes. There are some learning curves, but you’ll catch on fast. You’ll also become acquainted with the joy of computing that gets lost in the dummy-proof and restricted Mac OS, or the junk-filled ad-laden Microsoft Windows.

One of the biggest problems people have with Ubuntu or Linux in general is the question “Can I run ______ software to do my_______?” This is not the right question to ask. Can it run MS Word? No, well not without serious nerd power anyway. Do you need to run MS Word? Absolutely not. Right out of the box, Ubuntu has web browsers, mail clients, music players, full office suites, photo management, and much more is available it a simple click or command away.

Remember the best way to transition from a beginner to an expert is to begin!

 



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The Ibanez GiO GRX20ZBKN is the best and most versatile electric guitar for under $200

I’ve been playing guitar since I was 10 years old, and I’ve played and owned many guitars in my life. I currently play guitar in a surf rock band where I am playing a lot of leads and using a tremolo on a regular basis. I am also a home recording artist and commercial music producer who records a lot of different styles and sounds. So it may come as a surprise to you that I am using a $149 Ibanez GRX20ZJB as my main, or really ONLY guitar.

I picked one of these up because the price was right and I wanted something with two pickups and a tremolo. After receiving it, it quickly became my go-to axe for everything. The dual humbucker pickup and 3 way switch / tone volume controls make it very versatile. Giving you options for hard rock crunch, mellow jazzy warm tones, screaming metal lead, and even 60s reverb saturated surf sounds!

The feel is excellent and has a very nice build quality far above it’s price range. I absolutely love the neck and I honestly believe this guitar has made me a better guitarist because it seems to fit my playing style so well. I’ve wailed on the tremolo for hours at a time, barely having to retune and the look of it is downright sexy. I’m considering picking up a second one just because I love it so much.

If you’re on the market for a great guitar and you don’t want to break the bank, I highly recommend the Ibanez GRX20ZJB!



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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Rupaul’s Dragcon NYC 2017!

Dragcon 2017, NYC

We went to Dragcon today in NYC, it was a blast and I saw some amazing people. Check out my Flickr page for the complete photoset!



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Archeer Podcast Microphone Review and Sound Test

I saw this pretty cool Archeer Podcast Microphone mic on amazon http://amzn.to/2wP0XD8 for only $23 and thought I’d check it out and do a little review for you. Overall I think it is a good deal, but didn’t really like the mic stand



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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Stewart Copeland’s percussive performance of Wrapped Around Your Finger

Here’s another great youtube stumble! I wonder what size that gong is? It looks HUGE! Anyway, Stewart’s performance here is sensational and still completely musical and tasteful! I was pretty mesmerized by the whole thing.



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Monday, August 14, 2017

Sun Drums Web Series – Free Drum Set Restoration

I recently picked up a free drum set that was about to be trashed and decided to restore it, customize, and document the whole process on a new web series called “Sun Drums”

Check it out!



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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Bonzoleum is doing a drum clinic in Lancaster, PA

If you’re a fan of Paiste cymbals and been on youtube, chances are you’ve seen Bonzoleum’s Channel. He’s a John Bonham nut and a charismatic weirdo who I never get tired of watching. I mean that in the nicest possible way too, since in a world this mad, only the weirdos are the good people.

Anyway, if you’re in the Lancaster area, go check him out.  If not, check out his youtube channel, it’s very entertaining.



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Sunday, August 6, 2017

New Linux Answer to Superior Drummer! AVL Drumkits Plugin!

Check out this great new plugin for linux that is a full virtual drum set that can rival Superior Drummer that’s free and only 40mb!

avldrums.lv2 is a drum sample player plugin dedicated to Glen MacArthur’s AVLdrums. This self-contained plugin provides a convenient way to rapidly sequence and mix midi-drums.

The AVLdrums comes as two separate drumkits: Black Pearl and Red Zeppelin. There are 5 velocity layers for each of the 28 kits pieces or drum-zones for both kits.

This is a very cool plugin and makes programming realistic sounding drums for free a breeze! Get it here http://ift.tt/2fiJRqG



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Monday, July 31, 2017

Desktop Google Music Player For Linux!

I have a ton of music in Google’s music service, my own uploads, plus I’m a subscriber. But I always hated having to open a web browser to access my collection, which is not only slow, but eats up tons of CPU on my system.

Thankfully a crafty 20 year old developer from Australia made a sweet desktop player for linux. I’m running the Debian version on my Ubuntu 16.04 system and it’s working great!

Check it out here!



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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Twin Peaks Unraveled: Dream of Time & Space

This is absolutely excellent. I totally agree PJG’s observations. Much of what he’s talking about was also theorized in a very solid book by John Keel called The 8th Tower, Ultraterestrials and the Superspectrum, which was published in the 1970s.

I keep telling people to read it to have a more solid understanding of TP. A lot of the stuff PJG is saying is right on par with what Keel was saying about entities changing vibrational frequencies to move,or suddenly seem to “appear” in our reality. I really love these concepts. Great vid!



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Saturday, July 29, 2017

A Very Young Stewart Copeland Talks Drums

I just ran across this vid and thought I’d share. I always love Stewart’s drumming, but also his amazing energy and enthusiasm makes me particularly fond of him. On this vid he talks a bit about his drum kit and some of the cool delays and fx he was using at the time. He’s a true talent and very interesting guy.



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Sunday, July 23, 2017

DrumFu – A hilariously cheesy but awesome drum solo by Bill Bruford

I just stumbled across this on YouTube and couldn’t stop laughing at how silly this actually was. At the same time, I loved it and really want a vintage Simmons kit now, haha!



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Friday, July 21, 2017

Making Beats in Audacity with a Label Grid and Loops

This is a video made by request of José on Facebook. He asked “Hey. I use audacity but I don’t play drums or have anything to record drums. I wanted to record songs on audacity with midi drums but I don’t know how. Can you make a video on that, please? Stay cool!” Since Audacity doesn’t work with MIDI very well, I showed a work around by using a tempo track, label grid, and loops. Hopefully this will help Jose and others looking to make their own beats without drums in Audacity.



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Monday, July 17, 2017

Please watch this [Cult of Materialism]

We all feel it. Humans need to change. Show this video to everyone.



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Saturday, July 8, 2017

The new Simmons SD2000 is the first electronic drum kit I’ve ever actually wanted!

Despite not even being out yet, the YouTube video being overrun by angry trolls, this drum kit is the first electronic set I’ve actually wanted. Simmons came back into the e-drum market a decade or so ago and has mostly been focused on lower end kits until now.

A few things immediately caught my eye about this kit, the classic hexagon shaped pads, the mesh hitting surface, the classic Simmons sound banks, and lastly but most importantly, the ability to sample and import your own sounds into the kit!

I really want one of these things!



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Thursday, July 6, 2017

New Fornax Void video is live retro-tech juicy eleganza!

Fornax Void always releases good stuff, and his latest video is a true example of elegance in electronic/ambient music and the YouTube live stage. Definitely check this out and give it a like or 10. Also download his latest which is amazing at http://ift.tt/2uu85RX



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Friday, June 23, 2017

Psych is returning to USA Network for a feature length film!

Psych Movie

Today I was so happy to hear that one of my favorite shows to ever be on USA network, Psych, is coming back for a feature length movie this winter!

If somehow you don’t know, Psych is a goofy sidekick show with a fake psychic and his best friend that solve crimes along with his angry dad and local cops. I always liked Psych because of it’s lightness, humor, and just a fun show. They would often do parodies or tributes to other shows, like their legendary hat tip to Twin Peaks episode called “Dual Spires”, which reunited the TP cast before season 3.

dual spires

“On Monday, USA announced plans with Universal Cable Productions (UCP) for Psych: The Movie, featuring fake psychic detective Shawn Spencer (James Roday) and his best friend, Burton “Gus” Guster (Dulé Hill). The team will reunite once again, returning to USA for the holidays, when the two-hour special premieres this December. Psych creator Steve Franks, who co-wrote the movie with Roday, is directing.

Lassiter (Timothy Omundson), Juliet (Maggie Lawson), Henry (Corbin Bernsen), and Chief Vick (Kirsten Nelson) will also return for the movie, which picks up three years after the series finale. The ambitious friends — along with some returning fan-favorite characters — come together during the holidays after a mystery assailant targets one of their own. A comedic thrill-ride follows, as the wild and unpredictable Psych team pursues the bad guys, justice … and, of course, food!”

Read more at http://ift.tt/2qUkf40



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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

chip tunes music


An adventurous romp though new age enlightenment and extra-terrestrial soundscapes.



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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pulsewave, this Saturday June 17th NYC!

I’m super stoked to be playing this show with Orange Drink and Swamptalk this weekend in Manhattan at Babycastles. If you’re in the area, come check this out. Pulsewave knows how to put on events. There’s going to be a chiptune open mic before the bands, and rad visuals by Claire Kwong!

Pulsewave June 17th



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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

New forum is up!

I’ve never tried to hide my hatred of Facebook, and lately I’ve had more and more friends tell much how much facebook just stresses them out and they just don’t find it fun or useful anymore. This is one of the reasons I wanted to create this forum. The goal of this forum is to make a place to discuss all of the weird and fun crap nerds like us are into. Whether it be making music, Linux, Home recording, Python, Youtubing, UFOs or whatever, I hope to make a fun place outside of the stranglehold of social networks and provide something to do online that doesn’t involve timelines or angry rants!

New Forum Up!



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Monday, May 29, 2017

Raspberry Pi Sampler Seqencer Looper Synth by Otem!!!

This is by far one of the coolest Raspberry Pi builds I’ve ever seen. Make sure you watch the performance at the end. This is completely amazing work. I love it! Otem used pure data for the programming and is available on his Github page. http://ift.tt/2rdOvb7



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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Charles Demar, The Mod

Named after the Better Off Dead Character, Charles Demar, I spent quite a bit of time programming this one. It’s a really experimental track, but still melodic. I made all my own samples with Kawai K1, MicroKorg, and a Tama Imperialstar drum set.

Thanks for listening and subscribe.



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Friday, April 21, 2017

10 Reasons why Facebook is RUINING YOUR LIFE

1. Full of negativity – The news feed on Facebook has become a cesspit of all the horrors and injustices of the world. Horrible things have existed since as long as there has been reality. Being instantly updated every time there’s another shooting or attack somewhere in the world not only is useless, it is incredibly bad for the human psyche. Energy feeds energy and whatever you fill your mind with is what will manifest around you in life.

2. Rampant narcissism – I’ve been as guilty as this as anyone, but the platform just lends itself to it. I’m not trying to make you feel bad about doing it. We can’t help it, it’s part of human nature. But like most bad habits, the more you feed them, the hungrier they get. Then the more that habit takes over who you are. Try this experiment. For one whole week only take photos for yourself. Do not take any photo for any reason other than you want the photo. You’re not taking it to share, you’re taking it for you. What do you take pictures of doing it like that? I bet they’ll be pretty different than the ones you post on Facebook.

3. Constant complaints – this ties to #1, but some people just seem to only post rants and complaints about things. So on an average facebook feed, you are not only bombarded with every horrific piece of breaking news in the world, you’re also bombarded with every terrible thing that happened to everyone on your feed. I know it sucks when bad things happen. But who does it really help to complain about them all day in a blue and white box with thumbs under it? Facebook has basically become a modern day “swear jar” that people yell into to vent their angers and frustrations.

4. Rampant with intrusive ads – Facebook’s only actual purpose is targeted advertisement. Period. This is the sole reason why it exists, this is why they want you on it. This is why they’ll send you an email saying “so and so commented on your post” but not actually show you what the comment is in the email. Because they want you to log into facebook to absorb some of that sweet sweet marketing.

5. It’s useless – Since the 1990s you could chat online, post to forums, send pictures to each other, and even watch videos on computers (albeit lower resolution). But my point being is facebook does nothing new. They’ve basically tricked an entire population into thinking there’s some valid reason to use their service. There really is not. Before Facebook, there was Myspace, before Myspace there was Friendster. Nobody goes to either of those sites anymore, and nobody has lost anything in their lives with their absence. You can leave Facebook and will still be able to do everything you can do online without it.

6. Too much information –  It is 100% possible to survive in the world without knowing about 100% of everything that is happening on every corner of it every second of the day. I don’t watch news. I hate news. So why would I want a never ending constant stream of it in facebook form? I don’t. This is why I use a facebook feed blocker. (just google that and you’ll find one). It is quite possible to be TOO INFORMED. If you don’t want to delete your account, you can have a “passive account” as I call it. Get a feed blocker, as well as a timer extension for your browser so you know exactly how much time you’re giving to Zuckerberg. Don’t give him more than 5 minutes a day. He really doesn’t need any more attention, he’s had enough.

7. There’s way more creative things you could be doing with that phone or computer – You hold more power in the palm of your hand than all of NASA had when they were conducting the Apollo Moon Missions! There’s sooooo much more you could be doing with that power other than tapping little thumbs, hearts, or TYPING IN ALL CAPS ABOUT TRUMP. In the 1980s kids would learn how to program their Commodore 64 to display their creative graphics, art and music. People would write their own databases to store friends birthdays, recipes, family trees etc.. etc… Every version of Windows since 3.1 comes with a free paint program called MS Paint, and some people have created amazing work with this program over the years. Computers can do wonders if you actually learn a thing or two about them. Don’t think you can do that stuff? Not if all you’re doing is tapping thumbs and buying crap you don’t need thanks to targeted advertising you can’t. But if you actually took the time to do it, you absolutely can.

8. Time waster – Human life is a tiny spec of time in the grand scheme of things. I’m 41 years old already and I remember 21 like it was 10 fucking milliseconds ago!!! Do you really want to look back at your life when you’re 85 and think about all the thumbs you tapped, useless crap you bought, and pointless ranting arguments you got into about politics on a tiny 5” screen? Really? this is what we want to do with our time on earth? There’s a whole world of experiences out there that exist outside of screens. There’s bicycling, hiking, scuba diving, hang gliding, running, walking, going to the beach, fishing, learning new languages, dancing, yoga, weight lifting, etc.. etc…  Go do them and don’t post it on facebook! Then the next time somebody asks you “what have you been up to?” you’ll have all this stuff to tell them and they’ll have no idea you’ve done all that.

9. It’s boring – Do you keep scrolling through Facebook looking for something more and never finding it? Guess what, you never will. You’ve seen it all already. It was all there on day one. You’ve been tricked, you’ve been had, you’ve been hypnotized into a reality that isn’t real, isn’t yours, and just isn’t important. Life is passing you by. Break free right now.

10. It’s just a fad – Just like Friendster and Myspace, Facebook will die. It may have lasted a tad longer than the aforementioned sites, but it’s days are numbered. It has shown a drastic decline in usage in the past few months. And when it ends and everyone jumps ship and goes to the next pointless time wasting internet purgatory, will you go with them? Or will you be too busy writing the program that makes time travel possible, biking across Canada, teaching kids how to paint, and going for a walk with your Grandma?

The choice is yours.



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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Audio Sampling Directly in Amibian Raspberry Pi for Amiga Mods

I recently got a Raspberry Pi 3 so I could setup an “Amiga” using the amazing Amibian. If you are not familiar with this, and you’re a vintage computer enthusiast, you definitely need to check this out. It is a Pi Linux distro that boots DIRECTLY into an Amiga emulator, so it is basically like having a real Amiga. You can get one set up for a fraction of the cost of an actual Amiga, and it runs incredibly well!

Anyway, most people using this stuff seem to do it mostly for games. That’s cool, but my love of Amiga was always about music. I learned how to make electronic music using them many years ago, and have often wanted one again to go back to using Octamed and Protracker to create music. When I saw Amibian, I had to give it a shot.

I got it all set up and working great, but wanted to find a way to sample my own samples directly into the Pi and Amibian without having to do it on another computer and go through complex conversions and stuff to get the samples to work in Amibian. So I wrote a script to do it! To get audio input on the Pi, I used one of these cheap usb mic inputs from amazon, and can plug a mic, or line into the input and sample it using my script.

The way that it works is by using arecord, the built-in sound recorder for Linux, and a program called Sox, which is available in the Raspbian repositories, (apt-get update, then apt-get install sox). Then all you need to do is create a folder on your Amibian Pi called recordings, copy the script to there. Before you run it though, edit the script to include your sample directory on the Amiga side (nano asampler.sh) you’ll see instructions inside the script. Once you update that single line, then exit nano and type chmod +x asampler.sh to make the script executable on your system. Then to run the script, be in the recordings directory and type ./asampler.sh and follow the instructions on the screen.

Download asampler script here, unzip, then copy it to your pi

And here’s the usb audio interface I’m using. Any Pi supported USB device should work. 



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Sunday, April 16, 2017

18,000 Amiga .mods on 4 free ISOs! [AMIGA MOD ANTHOLOGY DOWNLOAD]

If you’re a fan of oldschool Amiga music, which I know you are. I’ve recently come across this amazing anthology of Amiga mod files in 4 downloadable ISOs that is over 18k songs strong! I’ve been listening to this non-stop for weeks now on my Amibian desktop (which I’ll also be writing about soon).

Here’s the links

CD 1 http://ift.tt/2ok0HEq

CD 2 http://ift.tt/2oNbHxW

CD 3 http://ift.tt/2ok1KEn

CD 4 http://ift.tt/2oN58vB

ENJOY!!!!!



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Robocop, It’s deeper than you thought

I always liked the film Robocop, even though it is a bit too violent in my opinion. However hearing the director’s reasoning for the violence actually did make me have a new perspective on it. Here’s a pretty fascinating short film about the film that’s very worth the watch.



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Friday, March 31, 2017

Multitrack Recording on an Amazon Fire Tablet

I’ve been experimenting with recording with J4T on my cheap amazon android tablet. There’s potential here. Stay tuned for an update on this!



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Thursday, March 16, 2017

DS Mix #1 – A Life History Lesson

I finally got around to doing something with my Mixcloud page. Here’s my first mix. There’s no specific genre, just songs I love.

Yello – Night Flanger
Ultravox – I Want To Be A Machine
Eugene – Change of Heart
Miharu Koshi – Image
Simon Phillips – Red Rocks
Folk9 – Chinatown
The Cabs – There Is No Tomorrow For Us
The Always People – Dragon Grip
Armisticio – Tus Ojos
Pat Metheny – Midwestern Night’s dream



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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Demonic Sweaters – MIDIPLUS [Drum Playthrough]

The song MIDIPLUS was created using Rosegarden and Qsynth with my custom made Kawai K1 soundfont and the Hexter DX7 emulator for Linux. I sequenced the track music all in Rosegarden, then used the Jack sync feature to sync to Mixbus and recorded the drums. I then outputted the audio from Qsynth into Mixbus and mixed it all there. Unfortunately I only had 4 channels for drums to work with this time and since all 5 toms were bussed to a single channel they came out sounding a bit thin. Oh well, still had fun and think it came out decent. The song is in 7/4 and I wanted to do an odd time song with double kick, so this is the result!

Thanks for watching and subscribe
Drum setup:
2015 Tama Imperialstar custom Bop Kit Hairline Blue finish w/ 20″ kick
Mendini roto toms
Tama Iron Cobra hi hat stand (main hats)
Vintage Olympic hi hat stand (trash hats)
Ludwig flat base straight stands (crashes and ride)
Vintage Nuvader Nickel Silver 15″ Hi Hats
Meinl HCS 8″ Bell
Kasza 17″ Dirty Bell crash cymbal
Vintage NuVader 22″ ride cymbal (Nickel Silver)
Meinl HCS 16″ Trash Crash / Generic 16″ brass crash bottom (trash hats)
Vintage Camber 18″ Crash Cymbal (Brass)
Attack single ply medium coated on tom batters
Attack 2 ply medium thin skin coated on roto toms
Tama single ply clear tom resonants
Attack no overtone 1 ply coated on snare batter
Tama thin clear snare resonant
Attack No Overtone 1 ply Coated kick batter
Attack Medium Coated w/felt strip on kick resonant
PDP double kick pedal
Yamaha snare stand
Pork Pie throne

Mics:
Cad KBM412 Kick
Nady RSM5 Ribbon Overhead
Cheap CAD dynamic mic on roto toms
SHS OM-450 x 2 toms (sm57 copy)
Pyle Pro PDMIC78 snare (sm57 copy)



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Friday, March 3, 2017

One of the most insane Billy Cobham solos I've ever seen


I absolutely love Cobham, not only as a drummer, but as a musician and composer all around. However, I stumbled across this vid today on youtube and this has got to be one of his most mind blowing solos I've ever seen. There's two solo sections, the second one especially is completely off the hook. He's so in the zone, possessed, whatever you want to call it, he's feeling it big time, and it's a complete joy to watch!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Echoscape releases new music video, Half Moon (with me on drums)

I’m really honored to have taken part of this amazing EP by Echoscape and am featured in his new music video which was half produced here as well as in Japan. Echoscape is Satoshi Inoue who writes all the music and plays most of the instruments. On “Half Moon” I played the drums as well as helped record and produce the EP.

Check out the video above!



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Monday, February 27, 2017

Anika Nilles – Mister [first single from new LP, Pikalar]

Anika Nilles just posted her first single off the new album, Pikalar and it is pretty damn good. Don’t worry drummers, she didn’t tame down the playing at all. There’s some completely insane fills in there as well as some very interesting time changes. Her snare sound keeps getting deeper, and though this isn’t my favorite type of sound, she makes it work. Great video and her facial experssions are pretty great. Check it out and get the new album, I just got it on google play, getting ready to listen as I write this!



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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Anika Nilles Debut LP, PIKALAR, Announced!!!

I have not been this excited for the announcement of an LP in a REALLY LONG TIME. Maybe not ever! Anika Nilles is probably my biggest drummer inspiration in the past several years, and up until now we’ve only had her hand full of youtube singles to satisfy our need for more Nilles. Now there’s a full LP coming out that’s been in the works for the past year and a half.

Nilles mentions in the video that she wanted the album to be more for people who love music and not just for drummers. Though some may be nervous with this statement, to me this is great news. Her newer tracks have been moving into a more Synthwave direction (But with sick live drums) and I’d love to hear more of that type of work on PIKALAR!

So excited about this! Official release date is February 27th!



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Monday, February 20, 2017

An Interview With Hiromi Uehara

I was lucky to see Hiromi with Simon Phillips and Anthony Jackson at Blue Note back in 2013 or so and it is a real pleasure to learn her history and thoughts on playing live and recording in this really cool interview from Yamaha.

Her Trio Project is probably some of the most passionately played Jazz/Fusion happening these days and watching this group play is incredibly moving. You should definitely check it out if you haven’t yet after you watch this interview.



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Billionaires trying to break humankind out of the simulation we live in

One of my favorite YouTubers uploaded this great video about the fake world we live in. Check it out.



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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Lincoln Discography [via YouTube / Emotive Hardcore]

I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve gotten for this over the years. The band I played drums in in the 1990s, Lincoln still gets fan mail to this day, and yesterday I got an email from Tomas in the Czech Republic who runs a YouTube channel called emotivehardcore.com asking if he could do a video of all the available Lincoln material out there.

Since we’ve basically been sitting on our hands as far as doing an official release (still may be coming one day) I thought it’d be cool for the fans to have this in the mean time, and agreed to let Tomas post it on his channel.

He does a great job with these videos and makes them sorta interactive where you can click inside the vids to hear the different material. Check it out.

You should also check out Tomas’ band they have a double LP out on vinyl.



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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Amiga Video Guide Surfaces on YouTube [Amiga Computer]

If you’re like me you love watching these old computer demonstration videos. Let’s make computers magical again, shall we?

 



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Monday, February 6, 2017

External Guitar FX with Raspberry Pi and Pure Data

I love the amazingly creative stuff people are doing these days with all the fun toys out there! Hats off to doitnowlabs for this cool project!



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Saturday, February 4, 2017

RPG Style MIDI Music [Rosegarden FluidSynth Linux]

Here’s a pretty 90s sounding ambient song that I could see in an old top down RPG in some exotic land. I composed the track in Rosegarden and used the Qsynth/Fluidsynth soundfont player for sounds. The soundfont is of a Kawai K1 Synthesizer. Dedicated to Fornax Void.



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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Thursday, January 26, 2017

My Percussion Track “Batucada Florida” used in Novo Fogo Ad

Pretty cool when my music gets licensed and I am actually able to track down where it went. This song was a part of a series of Batucada tracks I recorded using all authentic Brazilian percussion instruments.



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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Facebook Addiction and Tools To Quit

Are you wasting your life on Facebook? This is a real problem and a real addiction. I share my tips on how to control it and eventually quit.

I’m still a bit new to making these kinds of videos so the flow is a bit wacky, but hopefully you get what I’m saying and it’s helpful.



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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Some Pretty Clouds In Florida

This would look nice on your desktop



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Free Casio CT-370 Soundfont by Demonic Sweaters

This is something I worked on for quite a while. I have a Casio CT-370 keyboard from 1987 that I use on a lot of my recordings, it was used extensively on the albums Atlantis Falls and Polybius. I took the synth and sampled every single sound inside on all 5 octaves the keyboard has and painstakingly made them into an sf2 file using Swami on Linux.

I went through and recreated every single preset on the synth, as well as all of the percussion sounds. In addition to that, I created 16 of my own presets using samples from the synth. All of the music in the above vid are from the soundfont.

Now this synth can be used freely in the world of MIDI and is completely cross platform. Sf2 files, or Soundfonts, are an old way of collecting multiple samples into one file and can be played in any Soundfont player on Windows, Mac or Linux. LMMS features a great sf2 player, and Linux has Fluidsynth, others exist for both Mac and Windows that are free of charge. You can now add a full Casio CT-370 to your arsenal of sounds!

Dowload it here!



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Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Mana World Soundtrack

Lately I’ve been playing the game Mana World, and I really love it. I’m not that high a level though because I just don’t have enough time for gaming. One of the things I love about the game is the music. I couldn’t find an official download anywhere, but there’s a youtube playlist that includes nearly everything.

I love The Forest song.

If you don’t know Mana World is a great pixel art looking RPGMMO that has a client for nearly every type of system in existence, even Linux and Chrome OS! It’s fun to play and there’s some very cool people in there. If you want to find me in Mana World, I’m D. Sweaters.



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Thursday, January 19, 2017

CDs arrived from Japan – Half Moon by Echoscape

Got a cool package from Japan today from my good friend Satoshi Inoue. His project, Echoscape features me on drums on the EP, Half Moon. The CD came out great and has very high quality eco-packaging with a full color insert.

We recorded it half here and he finished it up in Japan. You can order it at Echoscape’s bandcamp page on CD or digital download. Definitely check it out. I’m super proud to have played drums on this amazing release!



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Monday, January 16, 2017

Facebook addiction and a tool to stop it

Facebook is basically half of the internet for a lot of us. I spend FAR TOO MUCH TIME ON THIS WEBSITE. It’s a double-edge sword, because on one hand it’s a great too for marketing and sharing my ideas and work. On the other hand it’s filled with negativity, gossip, and MASSIVE MINDLESS TIME WASTING.

I finally decided to do something about it and started looking for ways to make me spend less time there. I found this great chrome extension that can time you, and alert you when you’ve spent a certain amount of time on facebook. Get it here! http://ift.tt/2jrp5VY



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1968 Slingerland Drums Sound Font | sf2 free soundfont! Download

Here’s a little soundfont I made of my sister’s 68 slingerland drum set. You can download it at here The video is just some simple patterns I put together in seq24 just to demo the samples. Pretty cool vintage sounding drums. This soundfont is cross-platform, but you will need a soundfont player.



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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Twin Peaks 2017 FINALLY HAS RELEASE DATE

The legendary Twin Peaks TV show by David Lynch and Mark Frost has been in the works for what seems like an eternity and part of me was honestly wondering if it was ever going to really happen or not. Looks like now an official date has been released by Showtime (MAY 21st) , so my excitement is really peaked (pun intended) now!

The show will start off with a bang and a special TWO HOUR PREMIERE! Holy cow! Check out the details at Welcome To Twin Peaks. 



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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Meet The Real Boss Nass from Star Wars Episode One

Was JarJar really that bad? Maybe, but this is a great video where Brian Blessed tells some great stories of the 1999 film.

After seeing Rogue One I’ve gone back to rewatch all of the films and have been giving them a fresh take with an open mind. Chad and I are also doing a big Star Wars themed podcast coming up soon on The Wrong Way The Stripe Goes. I must confess to really loving Episode One this time. I’m excited to watch 2 and 3 tonight and tomorrow!



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Monday, January 9, 2017

JoJo Mayer Drum Lesson – Meditating On Patterns

this is a great lesson where JoJo Mayer shows how you can take a simple phrase and make it special.



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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Korg Electribe (the old one) performance of hyperactive insane oldschool techno sampling

There was a lot of buzz about the Korg Electribe 2, but lets not forget the older Korg Electribes were some serious music makers, especially when at the hands of a skilled user! I stumbled across this performance by christolikid les oreilles libres that is quite banging. His insane hyperactive beats are mesmerizing and he uses the sampling features of the Electribe incredibly well!

The Electribe SX EX-1 was a somewhat strange unit in that it had two vacuum tubes visible through the front panel that were attached to the amplifier section. This was a pretty strange marketing tact since “tube snynths” were a thing like…. never. But still, there definitely does seem to be a rather warm tone to the EX-1.

Korg esx1performance



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Steve Roach – Spiral Revelation ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆

Steve Roach has always been a huge inspiration to me. His music is timeless, spiritual, hypnotic, and engrossing. This album especially is one of his best I’ve heard in a while. Though all are good, there’s a certain magic to this release that really resonates with me. I got it on CD and it sounds amazing. The CD came packed with such care, and inside there were several postcards with info and a very cool one of Steve in 2016 and on the reverse in 1983. There’s such clarity and depth when listening on headphones. I greatly admire this man’s dedication to his art and consistency over so many years. This is essential Steve Roach.

Highly recommended!



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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Exclusive Pre-Release Stream of Polybius by Demonic Sweaters

My new album will be officially released on 1/11/17 at anthillrecordings.bandcamp.com, but you can check it out right now at long time DS supporter, Ronan Conroy’s blog! http://ift.tt/2inAtir

Ronan has always been a huge supporter of what I do, possibly the biggest supporter. I thank him once again for hosting this exclusive stream. You can stream the whole album for free now, as well as pre-order it for only $5!

Thanks Fornax Void for the Polybius gif

The legend of Polybius goes that In 1981 a strange video game showed up in a select few arcades in Portland Oregon. Kids who played the game seemed to experience amnesia, forget who they were, where they lived etc, and suffer from extreme night terrors.

The game was reportedly serviced by men wearing black coats who instead of collecting the quarters from the games, took only data from “records” inside the machine. Rumors were starting to grow that it was developed by some military intelligence agency such as the CIA.

The game was not around long and was pulled from the arcades nearly as quickly as it arrived. There is no known machine in existence today, but ROMs have surfaced over time, though the authenticity of them has not been verified.

The story of Polybius was first documented on the site coinop.org in 1998 http://ift.tt/1UjBoQb

I first learned about the game on the Astonishing Legends Podcast, and thought the story was so amazing and also felt it was the perfect inspiration for my new album.

So here it is

Recording details:
Three main recording devices were used in the making of this album and will be listed as Systems 1, 2, and 3 in the rest of the liner notes.

System 1 – 2007 Black Apple Macbook running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and Mixbus 3 with Jack as it’s primary DAW.

System 2 – Zoom PS-04 handheld digital 4 track

System 3 – 2012 Samsung Chromebook running Ubuntu 12.04 w/ IceWM desktop environment and Ardour 2 with Jack as it’s primary DAW.

Individual track notes:

1. The Wrong Way The Stripe Goes – Recorded on System 3. Casio CT-370 for drums and synth sounds, as well as AMsynth (LADSPA software synth for Linux)

2. Helicopter Cop – Recorded on System 1. Music sequence created in LMMS using all software synths/samples contained within LMMS software. Stems exported and mixed in Mixbus3, live drums recorded using Alesis IO4 audio interface in conjunction with built-in audio for 6 channel input. Mixed in Mixbus3.

3. Ghost Image (same as #2)

4. Cerulean Blue – Recorded on System 2. Synth sounds were played on my Mothman 1000 and 2000 software synths for windows running on wine on System 1 physically routed to system 2. Exported to and mixed on System 3 in Ardour 2.

5. AM Ultra – Recorded on system 3, sequences created in seq24 using Hydrogen, Amsynth, Zynaddsubfx, and Hexter softsynths for Linux. Mixed in Ardour 2.

6. Polybius – Recorded on System 2 (long recording mode 15.62khz sample rate) Synths all played live on Casio CT-370. Drums recorded with two mics, kick and overhead mixed to a single track with a behringer micromixer. Mixed on system 1 in Mixbus3.

7. Tunnel of Dark – Recorded on System 2 (hi fi mode 31.25khz) Bass and drums recorded (1 mic) and exported from System 2 to System 3 and guitar was recorded directly into Ardour 2. Mixed on Ardour 2.

8. Flowers – Recorded on System 2. Main sequences created in LMMS, drums recorded in (2 mics) Aurdour 2, mixed in Ardour 2.

9. Autumn Sun – Recorded on System 1 except with Mac OS 10.6 and Cubase LE 5. Guitars and basses are all sampled and played via midi within Cubase. Drums recorded in (6 mics) and mixed in Cubase.

10. dev/null – Recorded on System 1 except on Mac OS 10.6 using Ableton Live as DAW. Synth sounds played on Casio CT-370 and sequenced in Ableton. Drums recorded in (4 mics) Mixbus 3, mixed in Mixbus 3.

11. Overlapping Spirals – Recorded on System 3 with seq24 used to sequence midi, Amsynth, Zynaddsubfx, Hexter softsynths, Drums (2 mics) recorded in and mixed in Ardour 2.

All songs mastered on System 3 in Audacity

credits

releases January 11, 2017

Justin Wierbonski – drums, bass, guitar, synths, sequencing, programming, recording, mixing, mastering, artwork



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Thursday, January 5, 2017

All the changes made to Star Wars 1977 (Comparison Video)

I stumbled across these videos while researching a new podcast episode we’ve got planned coming up and thought I’d share. I’m sure Chad and I will be talking about them on the next Wrong Way The Stripe goes.



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learning things while you sleep!

One of my favorite YouTubers just uploaded this cool video about learning things while you sleep. Turns out it is scientifically proven! Check it out!



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