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Comment Re:Automatons vs performers. (Score 1) 328

I have known a few drummers and most wouldn't even attempt it, the strict quantisation of most drum machines makes it impossible to replicate any real kind of feel.

Drum machines, maybe. Drum sequencing on a computer, no.

I do all my drum lines on an electronic trap set. These capture what I'm putting in, the variances in timing, the loudness and expression of the playing. The "recording" of all of these elements are recorded as MIDI events in the sequencing software. The MIDI sequences then trigger the sounds for whatever drum sound I want.

There are benefits to doing it this way. I could be playing perfectly on a track but glitch a section in the first chorus - maybe a single snare hit comes in late. With a regular acoustic recording, I could either try to punch in over this section or replay the entire track. If I re-record the entire track then I lose the really nice fill I did leading into the second chorus. Now I'm stuck trying to recapture something. With the MIDI recording, I just slide the single late snare hit to be in time. I can also mix and match sessions - cutting and pasting just the sections I want.

As for the drum sounds, the samples I use are of real drums and each tom and snare hit contain many different sample sounds of the drums being hit at various velocities and different sections of the head. So the sounds are good.

Let's say I'm working on a song. I've got the chorus section and the verse sections finished - then I get pulled away on another project. I revisit the song 6 months later. Do you know how hard it would be to match the micing and recording of a drum set 6 months later? The heads will sound different, the mic positions slightly different, room location and sounds slightly different. It would be easier to record the entire drum line again. But with the MIDI recording I can just load the same drum sound set and I'm off and running.

Having said that, it really depends on what you're recording. If I'm bashing away on something with sticks, I don't feel there is that much of a difference between my sampled drum sounds and a real drum set once the tracks are in the mix. Hand drums are different. Congas, bongos, tabla - something where the expression is based on the movement of the hand. If that type of track is required and it is front and forward in the mix, I'd rather it be acoustically recorded.

The same is true with other instruments. The new sampler software and multi-sampled instrument sets are amazing. You get squeals and slides and instrument sounds just like you get with an actual instrument. I have piano samples that even make a instrument sound when you lift the sustain petal.

Here is a test. This song has both acoustic and sampled instruments. See if you can tell which is which -
This song has a sampled sax in one section and a live sax. Which is which?

Comment Re:It's a doomed race against time (Score 1) 370

Still requires investment, but $15k could outfit a studio just fine these days.

In my humble studio I spent about $15k on JUST the room itself. Extra flooring to make it ridged, Roxul insulation all around, double 5/8 drywall on all walls and ceiling, electrical wiring, and acoustic treatments (main reflection points, floor to ceiling super chucks in four corners, and two ceiling clouds). This is just a one room setup without isolation rooms or vocal booths.

I think what people miss when they have these conversations is they focus solely on the costs of equipment and throw out the concept of room acoustics and monitors and how much that actually costs. I did everything myself so I was able to keep the costs fairly low.

Sure, for $15k you can get a computer, LCD monitor, interface, software, a summing mixer or little 8x4 digital thing, a few cables and a mic or two. Maybe scrounge some outboard gear off craigslist. Then you'll have just enough for a pair of Rokit 8s and a couple panels of Auralex foam. Then people set the Rokit monitor on both sides of their LCD and start recording - and that's why most home studio recordings sound like ass in a blender. I've tried to record/mix in an environment like that and it is damn hard to dial in the sound. No wonder everyone over compresses the final master. They're just smashing everything together hoping it will hide the fact the snare sounds like a wet fart in a toilet. (I'm only half joking here).

We used to call little home studios "demo studios". They were good enough to put the music down into an audible form, but the recordings were lacking in overall acoustic shine - for lack of a better term. I still think 80% of these home studios today are on that level. Yes, the gear being used is miles ahead of some of the stuff they were using in pro studios in the 80's, but the failure in the monitoring. I know one guy who uses those little white apple ear buds for mixing. The levels on the final mix are fine, but the acoustic quality of the recording sounds like he used little white apple ear buds. The frequencies are all over the map.

The plus side is we have a bunch of musicians making higher grade demos. I can overlook less than stellar recordings for some brilliant musical ideas.

Submission + - Rich People Actually Don't 'Create the Jobs'

mrspoonsi writes: One thing has been repeated so often that many people now regard it as fact "Rich people create the jobs." Specifically, by starting and directing America's companies, rich entrepreneurs and investors create the jobs that sustain everyone else. This statement is usually invoked to justify cutting taxes on entrepreneurs and investors. If only we reduce those taxes and regulations, this argument perpetuates a myth that some well-off Americans use to justify today's record inequality — the idea that rich people create the jobs.

The customers of most companies are ultimately American's gigantic middle class — the hundreds of millions of Americans who currently take home a much smaller share of the national income than they did 30 years ago. America's middle class has been pummeled, in part, by tax policies that reward "the 1%" at the expense of everyone else. America's richest entrepreneurs, investors, and companies now have so much money that they can't possibly spend it all. So instead of getting pumped back into the economy, thus creating revenue and wages, this cash just remains in investment accounts.

Entrepreneur Hanauer takes home more than $10 million a year of income. On this income, he says, he pays an 11% tax rate, with the more than $9 million a year Hanauer keeps, he buys lots of stuff, but, importantly, he doesn't buy as much stuff as would be bought if his $9 million were instead earned by 9,000 Americans each taking home an extra $1,000 a year. Most of the $9+ million just goes straight into the bank, Hanauer points out that his family owns 3 cars, not the 3,000 cars that might be bought if his $9+ million were taken home by a few thousand families. Hanauer estimates that, if most American families were taking home the same share of the national income that they were taking home 30 years ago, every family would have another $10,000 of disposable income to spend.

Submission + - ScareMail Tries to Disrupt NSA Email Surveillance (

Okian Warrior writes: "Are you on the NSA’s email watchlist? Do you want to be? The ScareMail project is designed to mess with the NSA’s email surveillance programs.

Benjamin Grosser has written a plugin for many popular web browsers that uses an algorithm to generate a clever but ultimately useless narrative in the signature of your email using as many probable NSA search terms as possible. The idea behind this is if enough people use it, it will overload the NSA’s search results, ultimately making their email keyword tracking useless.

Ben has a video describing the project."

Comment recent predictions (Score 2) 254

Of all the weapons the Pentagon relies on to defend the United States, one of the strangest and most secretive is Andrew Marshall, a 92-year-old man who's spent the last 40 years staring into the future trying to predict the next big threat to America. In his role as the Pentagon's visionary sage, Marshall is credited with predicting the fall of the Soviet Union, the rise of China's global prominence, the role of autonomous weapons and robots in warfare, and even helping end the Cold War.

His most recent predictions included "damn kids on the lawn", the loss of a his pants, and "there are 4 monkeys in the attic - I'm sure of it"!

Mr Marshall will be missed.

Comment Re:Stubborn? (Score 1) 153

Because the author is a moron. Cash and cards are NOT more convenient, they are less convenient. When I go out, I always take my phone so people can contact me. So if I can use my phone to buy stuff, then I don't need to carry cash or cards. Where I live (California) I don't even need a wallet to drive, because it is legal to show a cop a photo of my drivers license on my phone. As soon as I can start my car and open my front door with the NFC chip in my phone, then I will only need ONE THING in my pocket when I leave my house. What could possibly be more convenient?

The lack of phone-money in America has nothing whatsoever to do with customers being "stubborn". It is because of the fragmentation of the American cellular system, and the lack of cooperation among the vendors. Once they finally agree on a standard, phone-money will be adopted by consumers in America just as quickly as anywhere else.

And when you lose your phone, you're hooped.

Comment Everybody look at the moon! (Score 1) 255

He's so bright and milky white.
Shining down upon the ground.
He's so bright, milky white.
Shining down upon the ground.

Everybody look at the moon!
Everybody seein' the moon!
The moon is bright!
He's milky white!
Everybody look at the moon!

Heey! I did a song! Jupiter, I did a song! You ain't got one! Heey!

(I got nothing else)

Comment Re:How about this (Score 1) 279

Of course that only works if they recapture the vision and adventure of the original trilogy,....

...and I could go back to being 10 years old when I first saw the movie and thought it kicked ass.

Watching the original Star Wars now is boring. It really isn't that good of a movie. The RiffTrax version helps though.

Comment How it worked for me (Score 1) 472

On my CV I simply put all the things I know, past work experience, and relevant information. I cram it into two pages. I supply no education experience on the CV.

When I get calls, and they ask about education, I simply say (jokingly) "If I HAD gone to university for computer sciences after high school, none of what I learned then would be any use now. I've thought about going back to school to get a degree to prove I can work the job, but I've been too busy actually working the job to spare the time."

Most of the places I'd like to work understand this and I get passed on to the director of the department.

There was only one time where I felt the lack of formal education lost me the job, but in that particular case, I didn't care. After meeting the staff during the interview, I was hoping they wouldn't call me.

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