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Friday, January 31, 2014

The Joy of Absynth

Not absinthe the drink, but Absynth the software synthesizer from Native Instruments.

This thing is AMAZING.  I had always been told it was a pad/ambient/experimental monster, but I wasn't willing to cough up $200 to find out.  Thanks to a friend (shout out to Vurt!), I got Absynth3 for the price of 2 six packs, then upgraded to Absynth5 - for a total of under $100.

Absynth is also no-joke complex.  It's going to take me  while to learn to program it, thankfully it comes with a bazillion patches right out of the box and can import Absynth2/3 banks as well.

It plays well with the QuNexus, which is a good thing.

Speaking of the QuNexus, I'm loving it! Small, sturdy, very programmable.  You need to know MIDI pretty well to set it up but the factory setups (it comes with 4) work fine out of the box if you don't want to bother customizing it.

My Akai EWI is at the front desk, but (sigh) they open at 9 and close at 6, so I have to wait until Saturday to pick it up.  Delayed gratification, for sure!

Next up: making a new, more reasonable profile pic for Soundcloud, and then actually putting up a website for Zombie Slugs Music!

Monday, January 27, 2014

A Hurricane Of Music

I hate sales.  I fell for one this morning, I had the opportunity to upgrade my Music Creator Touch to full-on SONAR X3 for $49, and well.. I went and did it!  Time to move on up in the world of music creation.

In the same spirit, I'm re-downloading all my Cakewalk products and will be re-installing all my synths and sample libraries.  I feel a hunger for raw materials to process to death!  Between my Dimension and Rapture libraries I have nearly 4GB of instruments.. should work out pretty well in my quest for mangle-able audio.

Amazingly I also found a source for Tibetan singing bowls and meditation bells!  They're in SF2 (Soundfont) format so I need to convert them, but I have the tools and I think it'll work out well.

And finally, I coughed up for Audio Damage Kombinant DVA - some seriously twisted distortion going on in this thing! Perfect for really trashing a sound up.

Next up - begin work on my first full-length ambient album!  Tally ho!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Stuff and Such Part, oh, who remembers?

Well, after yesterdays ice storm and missing taxis and random bus schedules, it's ice to sit down in front of the computer, sip hot coffee, and work on music!

I've been moving slowly but surely to focus on ambient/cinematic/soundscape again, that seems to be what I like to compose and perform, and I've gotten back into listening to my ambient roots music (Steve Roach, Robert Rich, Tangerine Dream).  I've purchased a QuNexus keyboard (super small and insanely programmable) and an EWI USB wind controller!  Yes, I've played trombone and recorder in the past so it's not as weird as it sounds (heh).

Not a lot of writing right now, I'm trying to decide if I'm ever going to be A Famous Author or if I should focus on lyrics and poetry like I have for most of my life (heh round 2).  I feel like I'm seriously swimming upstream when I sit down and try to crank out a novels worth of words, even short stories give me a lot of pushback.. but I can sit down in front of Acid Music Studio and have a complete track out in a coupe of days!

Maybe I'm not cut ut to be a writer of prose.  IT just doesn't come naturally, and my writing teacher says that past 5000 words I just lose interest.  She's right, of course, but it's nice to get validation from someone outside my head.

Much thinking to do.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Another year, another bunch of things to do.. and NOT do!

Well, here it is 2014, and it's another chance to actually do something with my life!

This years goals are pretty simple: complete an album of ambient music.  Finish a short story.  Simplify my life further.  Quit going to strip clubs (heh).  Walk more now that my foot and ankle are healed up (mostly). Clean up my finances.  Open a savings account and start saving!

Current short-term goals are to replace my Lenovo Tablet PC (which works OK) with a Windows 8 tablet, which I should have done by the end of next week.  My poor Asus with the battery that won't charge.. I'l likely replace the battery and sell it for $150, or sell it as-is for $75.  The Tablet PC becomes my backup, the Win8 tablet becomes my eReader/music streamer/email backup, an the big Lenovo stays the main machine.

As to simplifying, well.. I'm now only running 2 blogs, this one and my Red Room authors blog.  I might blog at AmbientOnline,org about my music production if I can figure out how (lol), but that's going to be it.  Trying to maintain more than 3 blogs is just plain insane for me.

The album? Well, I've beefed up my music production gear to the point where I can't really see needing anything else.  I might need a couple of patch libraries for my Alchemy synth, but that remains to be seen.  I've run out of effects to buy, as well (at least for now).

For writing, well, no novels this year.  I need to pen a few flash fiction stories and get a short story or two done, to make sure I have the fundamentals down.  I *might* pursue a novella at the end of the year, but only if I meet my short story goal.

This year, getting healthy and STAYING healthy are top priorities.  If I'm not healthy, nothing else is going to happen.  This means get out and walk more, start walking the downtown trails again, and cutting back on taking the taxi to work every morning.  Alas, the taxi bit (while it'll save me a ton of cash) will mean getting up at 5:20AM!  Ouch!  Fortunately, once I get used to it I don't think there will be an issue (and now that I have good, imported instant coffee, I can make my own cuppa in the morning before I go catch the bus).

Financially - pay off a raft of bills and start a savings account for emergencies.  I also have a prepaid credit card I want to load up for taking REAL vacations and not just "staycations".

So, that's the start to my year.  I hope your year has started well!

And GO NINERS!