Convoluted Reverbs

Joelle is right… I am turning into a grumpy old fart. Well, I am because I can’t believe how much time I waste trying to find the perfect sounds and settings and all the things that are messing with making music. I already grumped out about playing guitar. However, despite all of my grumpiness, I feel that I have become a better person for it. I’m starting to hear music.

However, there’s another thing that got in my way of music: Convolution Reverbs. Or, should I say convoluted?

Heck, why does wanting to have some ambience in my sound have to be so complicated? What happened to just dialing in a space like we used to be able to do with old hardware reverbs like my Ibanez SD1000? Heck, I could dial in a type, decay and density, along with a few other parameters, and get instant results. I find myself spending way too much time looking for the right space, time and other garbage that I lose time on the music itself. Sure, if I’m looking for medium sized wood room and know that it is there, I may dial it up and move on. However, for most ambiences, I can get away with a simple algorithmic reverb that I can make sound thick or thin to my liking. What do I care if it sounded like a plate or a hall if the track sounds like music? Or even more so, would you know or care if I stuck in a delay before the reverb and made it sound like an airplane hangar or bat cave? Do you know the difference between the various concert hall impulse responses? Do you know what an impulse response it? Do you care? I really don’t anymore.

Give me a simple reverb. If I can dial a great sound out of it without having to think of whether it sounds like a room or a hall or a plate, then what else do I really need? Like I said already, I want to make music. I don’t feel like being a programmer for certain rooms. I just want to plug in and play, and if it doesn’t sound like music, I’ll tweak it.

Okay, I’ve been a grumpy ol’ fart long enough… I need to make some music (yes, I programmed this to go up while I am sleeping – grumpy ol’ farts need their sleep too).

Ruined by Technology

These days, I’m starting to thing that the more plug-ins I get for Logic, the worse off I am when it comes down to actually trying to make music. I find that I wind up playing more with the plug-ins, trying to find the “perfect” sound out of it, only to find that there is no perfect sound. There’s nothing magical that is going to become my inspiration for a song. I wind up with these plug-ins with interfaces that seems to resemble the console of a Boeing 747, and I find that I can’t do anything with them. Perhaps, you can call me old fashioned, having come from a hardware background, but I like a synthesizer plug-in to look like a synthesizer. Perhaps, that’s why I can use Propellerhead’s Reason very well. Everything looks familiar, right down to the hooking up cables in the back. I don’t need to think… I just make music with it.

Then there’s guitar… I can’t believe how I let myself get ruined by technology when it came to playing my guitar. All of these software amplifier plug-ins with hundreds of amps, cabinets, microphones, and stomp boxes. Heck, at first I thought i was in wonderland. I was playing for days with all of that virtual equipment. Was I making music with it? No! Heck, I was too busy trying to find the perfect amplifier setup. Well, I never found that perfect setup, because I was looking for that imperfect sound. The software amps sounded too perfect. What it was missing was the feeling that went with the sound. Sure, no one can tell the difference when your listening to it in a recording (and I made a couple of them). However, the challenge for me was getting it down into that recording stage. There was just something missing when I was playing my guitar through it. In fact, there were many things missing. There were things like tonality changes as you play, as well as feedback from the speakers.

Nonetheless, I gave up on software amplifiers and have gone back to hardware when recording guitar. Sure, it’s through a POD HD, and a tube-pre. You can argue with me that it is not an amplifier. However, it gives me both the tonality changes with my playing and it gives me feedback. To me, that’s what an amp does and when I record with it, I can now feel it. I know that recording it through my POD HD is final when it hits the computer, but who cares. I can never think of a time when I recorded my guitar through software that I needed to change my amplifier. If anything, it helps me to commit to a sound, as well as a song. The past few songs have been done this way, and I haven’t regretted it. I have less types of amplifier tones, but I find that I use very few tones as it is.

If anything, I want to play music, rather than feel like I have to be a programmer to make music. Freeing myself from this techno-yoke has allowed me to do just that, and I feel much better for it. I find that I am writing music these days. I’m willing to go as far as to believe that half of my stagnation was because i was ruined by technology.  That’s a place I don’t want to go back to. Playing music makes me feel good. Having my computer play most of it doesn’t make me feel good.

What Christmas Means to Me

Sometimes, I think we don’t realize just how good we have Christmas. We stuff our bellies with turkey and all the stuffing and then we rush around the tree and open the presents that are stuffed under it. We then sit around drinking Egg Nog and Hot Chocolate. There’s one thing in common with all of this. It’s the “WE”. It’s about the people we gather with. For me, the best part about Christmas was about the people we celebrated it with. Having friends and family over was the best part about Christmas. It isn’t about the stuff. It isn’t about the food. It is about friends, and it is about family. It’s about worshipping a Saviour that came down from Heaven to save us from the things of this world. The things that have lead us into sin.

Heck, we live in a world of consumerism on demand. We can shop 24/7 and buy anything from anywhere. Heck, if that’s what Christmas was really all about, then we should be happy 365 days a year. Well, we’re not happy, and this unhappiness get exemplified at Christmas. Despite all we have, we always notice that one thing that’s missing. We then deny it by burying it in more stuff. If anything, I was happy just having a couple of kids and
my grandson with me, along with a few friends. We didn’t talk about the latest sales at Wal-Mart, or stuff like that. We talked about Christmas. It was such a great time, we lost track of when church would start their Christmas service would start as we just kept talking about Christmas.

Joelle hosted a Christmas trivia game dealt with all of the Biblical aspects around Christmas. The questions were fun and entertaining, and I also learned a few things about Christmas that couldn’t be found in a store. We all had a great time. Sure, the food was fantastic, but listening to my grandson start to recite the blessings was far more
priceless. You can’t buy moments like these.

That, to me, is what Christmas is all aboutŠ celebrating Christ with those you love. I hope your Christmas is filled with love, peace, and joy with the friends and family. Most of all, I hope your Christmas is filled with Christ.

One Thumb Blogger

Yes, I decided to waste a bit more space on my blog by testing out blogging right from my BlackBerry. If anything, I’m not using anything more than my email application. Nothing special.

I’m trying to make the process as seamless as possible. I don’t like to think about these types of things and being able to use what I am using now is a huge help for us aspies. I had a couple of minor issues to start, but I figured if I stick to plain text, it should work smoothly.

Remote Blogging

Okay, I have gotten really geeky with my new blogging site. If this actually works, then the need for the WordPress application on my PlayBook will be unnecessary. Not that I have anything against the application. However, the way I set this up will allow me to blog from anything without the need for any special application or setting.

If anything I will keep this short.  Must go to bed as I want to be in top coding condition tomorrow.

Declaration of Independence from “those” blogging sites

Every personal blogging site needs its first declaration of independence!

Admittedly, I got tired of places like Blogger. I felt bound by some other person’s rules and was having to use their look and feel. Considering that I have been a web applications developer for almost 20 years, there’s no reason why I was using someone else’s space. I am more than capable of setting stuff like this up for myself, having set this stuff up for others.

So, here I am.

Yes, it still has that new car smell and I am still kicking the tires. Give me some time to make it mine. I have many interests in life.

But I do promise you that once you crawl inside this Aspie brain, you will need a seat belt and a vomit bag because it is indeed a wild ride.