Category Archives: Music

What’s Going On?

I haven’t posted much here in a long time. It’s challenging when nothing seems to be happening, when writing isn’t going well, to talk as if things are okay. It’s been a challenging year (yes, another one), and I just find that I don’t want to speak publicly about it. It’s hard to feel, sometimes, like anyone cares. I know people do, I know you’re out there, but knowing doesn’t really alter my perceptions.

But it’s time to climb out of the hole, take a peek outside, and see what the lay of the land looks like, now that spring seems like it might finally arrive (the rain this year has been relentless).

So, here’s what’s going on.

I’ll be running a Kickstarter for the Mac version of TrackerBox in the near near future. If you have been waiting for a Mac version of TrackerBox, this is the only way it’s going to happen. I’ll post more when it goes live.

I have been writing, but I’ve been writing songs. You can hear demos of some of them on SoundCloud. They’re all kind of rough, but you should get the idea of what I’m aiming for. And when I say they’re rough, each of them were written and recorded in a single day. The plan is to write a few more, then do some work on the demos, and record an album.

I’m still working on the multiplayer part of the game Paperback, which you can find on iOS and Android. It’s a great word/card game. That should be done soon (I’m timing the TrackerBox Kickstarter around when I think that will be done).

Do not worry, more books will be coming. I can’t leave Robert and company, Grim, or the other the crew from Minders alone for too much longer.

If you’re still listening, thanks for hanging around in my absence. I’m going to try to be better about posting regularly.

The Music Is Back

That didn’t take too long, did it? If you were visiting while I was playing around, you might have seen a couple different players, one which ran in a bar across the bottom that I liked, except for the fact I couldn’t change it’s appearance to match the theme.

Real Life Example Of “You Don’t Have To Spend Lots Of Money”

I was browsing the website of Brad Sucks when I discovered his recording gear list on his About page. Of the actual recording equipment (not including his guitar effects processor or any of his instruments), the only parts of his setup that cost more than two hundred dollars are his monitors (which appear to have run about $800 for the pair) and his computer and software. Everything else, from the interface, to his preamp, to his microphones, are all fairly inexpensive. In fact, if you don’t count the computer, I wouldn’t hesitate to guess that his entire setup cost him less than $2000.

Moral of the story?

It’s not your equipment that’s holding you back.

Got My Echo

I got finally got tired of the idiosyncrasies of the Firestudio, and ordered a new interface. After searching high and low, I settled on an Echo Layla 3G, and ordered it a little over a week ago. And now, it’s in my rack!

I didn’t really need all of the preamps that were on the Firestudio, which is something I didn’t understand until after I’d already purchased it. The Layla 3G has two preamps, and six straight line inputs, and this suits my needs just perfectly. It also supports ASIO Direct Monitoring, which the Firestudio never did (to be fair, I don’t think I checked it on the last driver update), and the really low latency of the PCI card makes the whole Control Room functionality of Cubase 4 work really well. It means I don’t have to buy a separate device to handle talkback for those few occasions I need it – I can just plug a mic into the first mic input on the Layla and use the talkback functionality in Cubase for it.

The only thing I miss, and it can be worked around with ease, is the lack of routing in the DSP mixer that the newer interfaces have. It’s a minor quibble, and like I said, I worked around it. How? The Cubase Control Room. The only thing I wanted to route was the main mix to all of the stereo pair outputs.

As far as sound quality, it’s at least as good as the Firestudio, if not better. Hard to really A/B it in my current setup, but it sure seemed I was hearing a bit more detail. Not that converters are going to make or break my music, but at least I don’t feel like I’m going backwards.

One other quibble, and this is purely (well, mostly) cosmetic. The rack ears. They could have rounded them a bit so they matched the profile of the box. Couldn’t they? The ears also don’t screw onto the box. There are two tabs on each ear that slide into slots on the bottom of the box. Nice and easy, but there’s a bit of movement when plugging things in. It’s in a rack. It isn’t supposed to move.

Anyway, I’m pretty ecstatic. $500 for great quality hardware and software (that last part, the software, is key). I plugged it in, installed the drivers, rebooted, and it worked. And there’s no funky shit going on.

Here it is in the rack: