Sunday, February 24, 2008

The arts as a business

I confess I'm a little cynical about this, but it might be to do with the total lack of support I had from any official sources to admit that talent and hard work in a "creative" field would get me anywhere - no, when I met with careers advisers, they were all obsessed with "good jobs". God help you if you fancied doing something creative.

so is an interesting development. Perhaps Gordon is gradually coming to the realisation that 1) we ain't competitive in making anything tanglible, 2) the square mile and legal crap working out of london is responsible for far too much of our GDP, and 3) we do actually have a reputation in the world as a country which makes some decent music.

God knows why though - perhaps the endless self-flagellation of shit jobs, crappy pay from gigs, and exhaustion trying to persuade fat gits in suits you're worth a punt makes the music better through hardship :)

I'll leave it there...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

When techie-diagnosis bites back

Recently I took a really long car ride with my wife, about 12 hours in total. We were heading for a winter hol and had covered about 70 miles on our way to the chunnel when we heard what sounded like static coming from the windscreen area.

I quickly flipped into techie-diagnosis mode and started examining the aircon, fan, proposed that it might be the roof box noise coming through automatic cold air vents on the front etc.

It perplexed us (and at one stage we caught some taxi talk too) for the next half hour, with nic saying it was coming from her left, and me saying it was on my right, and it sounded like the sort of "flat noise" you get which is often hard to place.

Nic then suggested it sounded like static on a radio, at which point I remembered I had a walkie-talkie in my pocket. It had switched itself on against the centre console!

A sobering revelation. The WT was in my pocket as it's the orphan of the one I lost: I'm hoping to find another pair to go with it, and had been looking earlier in the day.

Sometimes though, occam's razor really ought to be applied early. Consider my forehead slapped. :)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Studios and an old lesson re-learned

Funny how some old addages can help you out, eventually. In my case the last few days have been a righteous return to "RTFM, idiot"... if you're not sure what that means, I'm sure the web will provide.

I've got a fairly old (but plenty powerful) athlon machine with cubase SL on it, and a cool software-driven mixing desk with MIDI out. I've been trying on and off (most off, I got frustrated) to get the desk to control Cubase as a control surface. I'd tried using my Innate Sense Of Technology but this was tricky... the desk has various modes of control, including direct control of ADAT machines, etc - so you have to choose your mode of operation carefully. Hence reading the manual. Once I worked out that the desk could transmit everything as MIDI messages, and read the cubase manual about configuring the generic remote control, I soon had the whole lot talking nicely.

I do suspect I need a newer version of cubase though: the desk is fully motorised and it would be useful to have the desk controlled by cubase, restoring fader levels, etc...

On the live music front, it's still quiet at the moment... there's a lot of interesting stuff coming up on StarNow, but I don't know if I want to pay the buggers so I can respond to the want ads :) I suspect the first thing I should be concentrating on is making my website a better advertisement for my talents... so the studio it is then.

If you're out there, Jamie... give us a shout mate :)