Sunday, November 29, 2009 has gone wonky on ol' Utenzil

So Last FM is a pretty nice music site for independent artists. You can stream whole tracks, picking and choosing from tracks from an artist's catalog. When you enter "Utenzil" into the search widget on the first page, before you even press enter it pops up all of the albums as suggested results.

But, if you do press enter, you get nothing. Then, if you go to the third album, "Dog's Dinner", you get some compilation of bands ?? They have made a mistake. Poor Utenzil has been misrepresented, as well as the groups on the compilation. Waaah. And they were doing so well.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

back to a more musical vein

There are so many things that you can do with Ableton Live. It is truly engrossing. Drum Racks, their virtual drumkit framework, for example, and slicing loops to midi.

If you have a beat that you like and you can tap it out on a table or a coffee can or congas or tupperware or what have you, record it to a clip in Live.

Then apply the 'slice to midi' function to the clip (look this up in the manual if you want details, just describing the process here).

It slices out the transients and plugs the samples into a drum rack, quantizing the transients to midi notes and plugging those into a midi clip.

Then, the bomp you did in the middle of the tupperware for the kick, you can replace with a real kick, wherever it appears in the rack. The 'slap' you did for the snare replace with a real snare, and the 'tap' for the hi hat with a real hi hat, etc.

To add a bassline, route the midi from the drum clip into an adjacent midi track and drop in a bass instrument plug. Transpose it down if you need with a pitch plug. Drop in a scale plug and turn off the notes you don't want to hear. If you want to vary the length of the notes, drop in a note length plug, and use an envelope in a dummy clip to mix up the note lengths.

For some rhythm/harmony type overlay, duplicate the bass track, replace the bass with a pad or keys type plug, transpose up an octave or two or three, adjust the note length clip to play longer notes, and then drop in a chords plug in there somewhere, maybe in front of the scale plug.

Finally, drop a rack that mixes up the rhythm of the drums a little, it might contain Live Cut or dblue Glitch or Beat Repeat or something similar.

Then sit back and listen to it play, adjust here and there.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pain, being in

I have some level of constant pain, and have had for about half of my life so far. It has been worse lately-- now, I am not complaining about so much as noting its effect, because I think most people are in the same situation.

Since I broke my leg, it hurts off and on throughout the day. My back is messed up because I have some extruded lumbar discs, and also am prone to lower back muscle tears and spasms, so it is rare that I don't have some sort of pain from my back.

The soles of my feet tend to hurt. This is because I was near a lightning strike, and it ran up through the ground and up my legs. It was a very unusual, highly unpleasant experience. It wasn't particularly scary, because it was impossible to know what was going on as it was going on, but it was very disturbing afterwards. I may have posted about here somewhere in this blog but i can't find it.

I broke my toe a while back, also, and it is stiff.

So these are the more prominent discomforts, they are a little more noticable in the colder weather. But I've had these for a long time now.

All these things cause one to make nearly unconscious accounting for them. You hesitate a little more before moving, plan your steps a little more, you think ahead when you are walking through a store because if a cart comes out from an aisle, it hurts if you have to turn to avoid it. I think about how this sort of discomfort has to affect professional athletes, because these mental allowances as well as the sensation of pain itself is draining.

And no way am I in as much pain as a lot of people are, so again I'm not complaining but I'm noting that if you think that most people are in pain, then it helps to cut them some consideration when they are not seeming to act or move they way you'd like.

because of the Pain drain.

Friday, November 13, 2009

wondering about things I know nothing about...

Neutrinos. They started out supposedly massless, but then it was decided they have mass. What if sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't? Also, if they didn't have mass, they would travel at the speed of light. What if sometimes they did, and sometimes they didn't?

It is important to wonder about things you know nothing about, because it allows you to believe you may be clever while you are finding out about them.