Thursday, December 30, 2010

Today's Most Excellent...

...device trial. I spent some time last night digging around for a new (and cheap) convolution reverb; I've got a set of the most-tasty Spirit Canyon Audio impulses but needed a unit for using them. Most convolution reverbs have a bunch of crap to intermediate between the raw impulse file and the playback. Searching around KVR, I ran across something I'd never seen before - a plug-in called Reverberate by LiquidSonics. A quick eyeball showed that its rather pedestrian user interface included a click-to-use file browser, and just the right number of controls to make it usable. Also, the "high-end" plug-in allows you to have two convolutions running simultaneously, with a mix between the two. This is perfect for working with the, um, extremely creative impulses that come from Canyon's series.

Dropped it on my system last night, played some more today, and am happy as a clam. Rather than wait out the 30-day trial, I ponied up the money (US$90 for both the high-end as well as the "core" single-convolution engines) and have been running drums through metal tubes, boiler rooms and muscle tissue all afternoon. Best software buy in some time.

Thanks LiquidSonics for a great day!


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bloons TD 4 for iPad - some hints

A few hints as I've made my way through a bunch of the levels of Bloons TD 4 on the iPad:

- Boomerang monkeys simply don't aim correctly; at least not like on the Flash version. Don't use them until later rounds, where you can immediately update them to lightsaber mode for cracking ceramic bloons.

- As with previous versions, almost all levels benefit from having a lot of banana farms. Get 'em early, and build them up steadily.

- On some of the levels that have really short tracks, get glue monkeys in place early. However, don't do anything else until you are able to upgrade them to Soak mode; they are almost useless without it.

- Whenever a level allows it (meaning, any level with water), use as many monkey buccaneers as possible. When upgraded, they smear out a lot of the bloons, and their crow's nest upgrade really helps when camouflage bloons appear.

OK, now back to your regular programming...


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Gettin' the Nod

Last night I was doing my self-Googling (required by law every 3 months or so...) and ran across a really nice review of the F/i Question for the Somnambulist album that I played on. Nice to be given credit for "driving drum work"; for what it is worth, my hands were numb after some of those live MPC sessions; with song run-throughs often going 45 minutes or more, my pad-wackers were beaten.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Posts of the Minneapolis/Spark gig

Vimeo user "himeropa" (maybe this is henrickson...?) has posted some videos (along with audio) of the gig I was involved in at Spark. Giving them some time to air out has improved my already high feelings about the performance; give a listen and see what you think.

Video 1:

Gregory Taylor, Darwin Grosse, Tom Hamer, Mark Henrickson - May 2010 pt 1 from himeropa on Vimeo.

Video 2:

Gregory Taylor, Darwin Grosse, Tom Hamer, Mark Henrickson - May 2010 pt 2 from himeropa on Vimeo.

Video 3:

Gregory Taylor, Darwin Grosse, Tom Hamer, Mark Henrickson - May 2010 pt 3 from himeropa on Vimeo.

Video 4:

Gregory Taylor, Darwin Grosse, Tom Hamer, Mark Henrickson - May 2010 pt 4 from himeropa on Vimeo.

All excerpts of the show - sounds like it was taken off a board mix. Cool to have these available. For those of you that don't care for abstract sound art, I'll try to have something a little tamer in a few days.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Everything you ever wanted to know about programming

... synths!

In a discussion on Muff's Modulars & More, a discussion broke out about books to use for synth programming. All the usual suspects were trotted out (Strange, Roland 100m manuals), but someone pointed out that all of the Sound On Sound synth tutorials were now freely available.

One of the best written series ever on synth programming, this one is a must-read if you wanna go beyond presets (or figure out what that shiny new modular synth is good for...).


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cool night networking (in more ways than one)

Got a note from John Gunther (CU mastermind of interesting concerts), letting me know that there was going to be a crazy new net-performance (in combination with NYU and Purdue) on Sunday. Luckily, I'd gotten home from visiting my parents and headed down for the show.

It just happened that several of my favorite people were there, including Janet Feder and John:

John Drumheller:

and EJ Posselius:

I also got to re-introduce myself to Synthia Payne:

And watch some dancers improv to a pretty wide variety of sound and music:

This was a pretty heady undertaking, trying to do collaborative improv from all three locations simultaneously. I'm proud to say that (IMHO) the best work came out of the Colorado crowd, with a haunting drone piece by JD's BLork ensemble, and a fabulous "round" led by John Gunther. It's amazing to see what telematics has become; I'm going to have to try this myself sometime...