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nat whilk II

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Everything posted by nat whilk II

  1. Philboking wrote: Germans have intrinsically different ways of thinking and perceiving, as far as I can tell; possibly due to their language syntax. I experience some of that elusive difference reading manuals from the German software synth company Native Instruments. It's hard to define, but it's as if the Germans think more deductively than native English speakers. More general principles, less specific information. It's very U.S. American to just want to know "how it works" in mechanical terms, and not bother overmuch with "generalities". I'm speculating that, in the German mind, the "generalities" have more reality than the "specifics" do in at least a mind such as mine. I study the specs and let the generalities occur to me on days off, if ever. nat
  2. I tell everyone, just assume your personal info has been stolen by somebody. Take the steps - change all the relevant passwords, check all bank and credit accounts, check with the IRS to see if a fake return has been filed under your name/SSN, keep the computers clear of viruses, spyware, all that. And....don't do personal banking business over a public wifi network. Really, that's just asking for trouble but people, especially kids, do it all the time. nat
  3. Did y'all look closely at the example GUIs? - the one on the right is "flat", the left "not flat". At least as far as the example goes, it has nothing to do with 3D shading. The difference between the two pages is simply in the links to "Shop Gold" and "Shop Garnet" that appear under the sections for each type of product. The "flat" links are indistinguishable from the (really tiny) text - not highlighted, not underlined. So the concept is not really 3D versus flat so much as "made visually different" versus "just like all the rest of the text." So, huh, it took a This Just In! "study" to figure out that people would find those links more slowly?? I use Win10 and I have no idea what they are talking about - I think this is GUI-design minutiae for those in the trade - I'm not seeing any such problems in my heavily computer-centric world.... nat
  4. Well, if HC is not a cult, and Ernest not one of the saints of said cult, I don't know what I'm doing here nat
  5. You might get more takers for vinyl than CDs. I'm planning to "release" a CD by Christmas this year - it's a way to send copies to friends/family. I'll put the website URL right on the CD - maybe somebody will send me $10 or maybe not. Nothing to do about it but float the little musical boat, see where the winds and tides take it. nat
  6. I followed your links, read the article - yes, important stuff. We've all had the experience probably of diving into the correction/editing tools only to come up for air two hours later with high blood pressure, saying "it would have just taken 15 minutes to re-track the @#$@ thing!" But the editing and correction tools suck you in, don't they? Just here, me and my mouse, we can fix almost anything, right? On the other hand, some of the correction tools have just become part of my standard practice. For example, I went a long time without the use of a good weighted MIDI keyboard and instead just had a little 37-key unweighted Novation keyboard that had such uneven and touchy response that there's no way to play any kind of subtle parts without the MIDI response being all over the place. Both timing and velocity just not consistent - what would be easy on a real piano is practically impossible on a such a keyboard. So I just got into the habit of laying down a keys part, then immediately quantizing and velocity-editing the part right off. I'd just compress the velocity between, say, 45 and 80 to get rid of all the velocity outliers and smooth it out. I'd nudge the entire recording to get rid of the 35-45 millisecond latency that I can't tweak out of my setup. I'd quantize section by section judiciously, avoiding the little runs and such that can't be quantized without ruining the feel. All this just to get around the limitations of an inexpensive keyboard - but it also effected my composing and playing style. I now immediately split my tracking between stuff I can just correct-edit into shape in a jiffy, and then the other stuff that has to be "as played, no editing" to work. I build a quantized and corrected skeleton first of all - simple chords and such. I like this way of working - I can slap down rhythm tracks really quick, sketch out a tune in no time, then go back through it all, replacing the parts one at a time with keepers. The other thing I do routinely that brings mass-editing/correction into my composition method, is, to create a click track of a tweaked groove with just the swing and feel that I want throughout the song. To make the overall track totally swing the way I want, I have no problem applying groove-quantization to midi parts to get it all together in fast order. On the other hand, I avoid the correction tools as much as possible on all the audio recording - vox, electric/acoustic guitars, etc. Melodyne's most valuable feature has been teaching me how to just sing really in tune - when it comes to these parts, I want the correction tools to work themselves out of a job. nat
  7. That's a good idea - reminds me of how controls work on lots of Native Instruments stuff to some extent. There's lots of experimentation with interfaces going on at good ol' NI - has been for a long time. To deal with DAW complexity, I periodically analyze my workflow, which includes studying the manual to find faster ways to do the stuff I do all the time. For example, I'll start with a blank project in Sonar, get out a notepad, and throw together some sort of typical song. Bass, drums, some keys or other, couple of guitars, vox. As I work, I'll make notes as to the procedures I do over and over, through the various stages of creating the ensemble of tracks and instruments, actual recording, mixing down, and my amateur version of mastering. At some point, after I have a bunch of notes, I'll sit down with the manual and some coffee, and I'll scan through the manual until I find some new way (or an old way I've forgotten) to do the more repetitive tasks - and I'll make a cheat sheet of techniques to use next time on a real project. Stupidly, I'll usually lose the cheat sheet at some point in my cluttered studio that's always being rearranged - I should work them up in Word and have them available permanently. But nothing helps my efficiency more than going through a self-analytical procedure. When I'm really working efficiently, that's when the DAW goes rather invisible and the actual musical work is what I'm aware of. Fussing over the look and feel of the uncustomized DAW interface becomes a rather academic, unimportant thing at that point. nat
  8. It's an old design problem - handsome individual elements, when all crammed together, make a bad overall impression. The problem, seems to me (always ready with an opinion regardless of qualifications ) is that a good interface needs to follow basic good UI design concepts. Take car dashboards/control panel as an example, here's a breakdown: 1 - a new dashboard can't be too different than what we're all used to coming in. So we can intuit our way around a new model with new bells and whistles. If it's too cluttered, it's not simply a problem of being ugly and confusing, but it's downright dangerous. Some pretty serious constraints exist for cars that don't exactly exist for DAWs of course. But the principle still holds. Capitalize on intuition, but push the envelope just so with each new model. 2 - new cars have new capabilities and those need to be reasonably accessible or else people just won't use them. I still don't know how to set the auto-pilot speed control on our 6-year-old Prius. Not that I particularly care, but I can tell you, just looking closely at all the physical controls won't reveal the secret to turning it on and adjusting it. So I don't bother. 3- a sexy dashboard is a huge part of the appeal of the new models, no question. I'm totally into the aesthetics of cars, not so much into the horsepower or RPMs (I'll just get into trouble if you give me a powerful engine.) So I do want the beauty of high-tech knobs and lights and dials and readouts and all that jazz. But there's a saturation point where confusion and an overwhelmed feeling take over - not good, I'll pass on that model. The designers have to juggle familiarity and eye-appeal. Not an easy job, but hey, I'm paying. If you read around about car models and car design critics, there's a lot of buzz about overly-complicated dashboards. The digital capabilities are multiplying so fast and are ostensibly wanted by the public, but the dashboard has been crammed and made far too complex, so that a lot of the capabilities are just going unused. Sound familiar, DAW users? In typical fashion, the cutting edge seems to be heading toward having the car "decide" what info and controls you need in context. Hmmm....something in that I really don't like. It's a puzzle for designers and a challenge for users, this interface-design issue. It's good to keep perspective 'tho - it's the problems of the wealthy, no question. Can't get too upset about it. nat
  9. Jeez, the article guy says, among all the rest of the useless complaining, that A circular control is extremely difficult to operate precisely with a mouse. Ok, class, can anyone tell the expert article-writer how to make fine adjustments, using a mouse, when dealing with a virtual knob? Anyone? Yes, Billy? Um, yeah, um you like move the mouse like down and keep going like? That's correct, Billy. Have you been using DAWs for a long time? Um, yes ma'am, my dad set me up with one about a month ago, so I got good at getting around it since then. I ain't no stoopid noob like the guy with the article. nat
  10. When you drill down by clicking on an image, you get, among a lot of other stuff, a bunch of wallpaper download choices sorted by filesize. I'm always looking for inspirational desktop backgrounds.... nat
  11. Gotcha - actually, the movie (1959) is currently available to stream on Amazon Prime... But the parents did take us to the drive-in to see it when I was 5. Had a big impact on me:) Previously colonized, eh? Who would "they" be, we wonders. nat
  12. What point can you possibly be trying to make??? Using archaic language no less. Explain, please. nat
  13. Hey science-crazed guys n gals....feast yer hornrims on these incredible images..... https://www.uahirise.org/catalog/
  14. Yeah, I know, I can be too serious. It's just that I'm around millenials quite a bit, and man, I can tell you, they would totally freeze at the idea of having a round of jokes at the expense of some side of the gender debate. So since they are the future and I'm not...it's my go-to response to think of how they feel about things as opposed to how my generation feels about things. I'll be funny later nat
  15. If gender stereotypes hinder or hurt someone, I'll all for avoiding the stereotypes. But the notion that the very idea of gender IS a stereotype at all times....not even the bulk of gender scholars and sociologists take that route to my knowledge. It's a quandry, 'tho, because gender is fundamentally a social construct, but some factions of the leading edge seem to think you should invent or mix and match or simply choose your own gender as another form of self-expression. And there's the paradox that, to be gender-neutral, you have to position yourself right in that tiny ambiguous space between the socially-accepted standard genders. So your gender-neutral position is totally defined by the gender lines. It's a neat trick, but it's no way to find yourself, as you're really defining yourself in reaction to practically everyone else. I don't think there's any other issue going where the conversation is more confusing, contradictory, uninformed, conflated, and touchy. Maybe a lot more science and a few more generations and massively better education will be needed to really sort this one out. I suspect this current fascination with the topic will burn itself out before long, as all the conversations lead to quagmires and hopelessly confused politics. I have no solution, that's for sure. nat
  16. I myself would hesitate to predict the future of the electric guitar or any other instrument for that matter. By definition, it's the unexpected innovators that catch the public's attention, so creativity buck trends or it wouldn't be "creative". And predicting what the public might latch onto? Wouldn't we all love to be able to do that! 1983 - 1986 was not an auspicious time for electric guitar players. By that time even Van Halen was showing some signs of starting to roll down the has-been side of the big rock candy mountain - the superstar electric guitar player was just not the hot commodity any longer. The 80s hair bands, well, did not help matters to say the least. And some of those guys were players, no question, if only the music wasn't so...what it was. But SRV came along, harkening back to a dead and gone genre by that date - gut bucket Texas electric blues, channeling Hendrix and Albert King like it was still 1968 or something. Before he hit the big time, we all knew him here in Austin from the late 70s, playing with LouAnn Barton, Paul Ray and the Cobras, - oh, yeah, I'd say - that guy who really tears it up like Hendrix, I thought. He's mighty good I thought back then, but he won't break into anything big unless he moves on to something less been-there-done-that. So I gave up predicting musical futures after that. nat
  17. Nice one. We live in an incredibly hyperbolic era. Headlines and article titles especially. If guitar sales are down on some trendline, then the electric guitar is "dying". If someone criticizes anything, then it's an "attack". Any proposed legislation that slows someone's agenda for everyone is an "assault". Some occurrence typifies a trend and it's the most [insert adjective] EVER. A spike in any measurable quantity is described as "exploding". Most any activity that can become a habit is an "addiction". Any taking issue in certain touchy contexts is "hate". Bang! Biff!! Pow!!! The metaphors are all from violence, war, the extremes. Even NPR, my go-to source of relative news-sanity, proclaims that we are experiencing "Eclipse Madness"! And where the articles are borderline objective, such as the medical research blurbs where some vague statistical correlation in a single study proves a "link" between X and Y...the public can be counted on to do the rest of the extrapolating into "X causes Y" and voila, confusion and error is EVERYWHERE!! nat
  18. I particularly like the "Liverpool" accent on "now you can make some real money" bit... [YOUTUBE]hlJ25pfzLTo[/YOUTUBE]
  19. Very few? Very few blues players get much attention, yes, but there is still quite a sizable community of blues lovers and players out there. Here in Austin I can think of four clubs devoted to the blues off the top of my head - Antone's being the premier "Home of the Blues" since '75 and still going.... I hear tell that Memphis, Chicago, New Orleans, St. Louis, L.A., all have strong blues scenes - but I don't know from personal experience. How can the blues ever really die, anyway? It's got a perennial appeal that will always find fervent aficianados, and an occasional big public name. Interesting that the Stone's latest is a full-on return to their blues roots.... You can't have a great artform, great artists, without an accompanying horde of middling-to-awful practitioners of the form. Sure there is a seemingly endless supply of boring blues players, and the white middle-class blues wannabe is a standing target for ridicule all day every day - but they help keep the candle in the window for the rare genius to drift towards... nat
  20. I played guitars for decades before I ever tried to play a bass. I quickly discovered how sensitive the tone and the vibe were to the most subtle changes in right hand touch, hand position, finger motion. With an acoustic or electric guitar, you can strum or pick them easy enough in a generic fashion early on, but with a bass, you have to develop a real feel right off to just get to square one. Square two is muting. Square three is rhythm, which if you can't nail on a bass, pick a different instrument where precision in rhythm is not as crucial. Like an autoharp or something..... nat
  21. The barrier of the body as an absolute domain of privacy.....will likely erode, friends, neighbors and countrymen. We can already be cavity-searched, right? And if your body carries socially dangerous and destructive elements (diseases, hidden bombs, coded information, who knows what they'll come up with...) then society's right to invade the body will prevail. We all recoil from these things - I do, too. But I see it coming...I see generations who will look back at us as luddites and primitives, afraid of the very advances that secure their future lives..... Or we'll be right and the apocalypse will boom them all into prehensile goo.....let's see, how many apocalyptic predictions have come true so far? nat
  22. Seems to me there's a good argument for such devices if all they do is relocate an ID-confirming object from the wallet/pocket/purse/etc. to an implant that you can't lose or forget to bring. You already have to have certain ID items on your person while driving, to enter secured areas, etc. And it would be a heck of a lot harder to buy a fake implant than a fake driver's license, no? BUT - this assumes that the implant does exactly and only what they say it does. And that quality control is high enough to prevent infections or other bodily reactions. I would think that body implants by employers and such should absolutely be a highly regulated procedure legally performable only by licensed outfits subject to inspection and a bunch of rules/regs. Which would drive up the cost, sure - fine with me. If the employer thinks it's so great, let them pay for it and bear the regulatory burden. nat
  23. I'm still confused, sorry....so you are a gamer running Win7 on a big old tower, and you want to upgrade to the latest Intel CPU. Assume it's just a "pop the old one out, pop in the new one" sort of procedure (with maybe some driver updates.) I don't see how MS can somehow put a barrier on that procedure. You have your old Win7 OS disc presumably...it knows nothing of this "new policy". The new chip may or not be compatible with Win7 - but as you say, you can put it together and see if it flies. Now if the chip makers are in a sort of collusion here, and the chip itself could refuse to run anything but Win10, that would do it - but that would be so counter to their interests....to sell hardware that can't run anything except Win10's latest iteration. Now I can see MS not updating Win7 to keep up with changes to newer chips. Ok - they do that sort of thing already. This new policy perhaps just accelerates the date at which all older versions of Windows won't be updated any longer - which is perhaps what they mean by "supported" - that is, every time there's a new generation of silicon, only Win10 (the "last" Windows version till eternity apparently) will be updated and supported to work with whatever the new silicon can require/do/enable, etc. But I don't think this means that somehow the old hardware automatically will be actively blocked from use via the OS. So what I'm reading is that this is a continuation of what we've already knows for a good while now - MS is trying to pry everyone off any version of Windows except the always-updating Win10. Get rid of legacy version support, etc. Any hardware you have, regarding which the manufacturer stops keeping up with Win10 updates, won't be "supported" in subsequent Win10 updates. They will win this battle just as they have won all previous battles of this sort. All we are trying to do is delay the date our hands are forced to our wallets to buy stuff we really don't need. This is an old game. Again, "won't be supported" is ambiguous here. If it means "won't work, period" that's pretty bad. If it means "might work, but some features may not work", ok, that's not that different than still trying to use that 1999 scanner with Win7 or whatever. If it means "you can't call MS and get any support for your configuration" then who cares? If it means "all hardware now has to have the latest Win10 drivers or you computer won't allow the use of the hardware" that would be some kind of evil New MS World. But I don't think even MS is that all-powerful quite yet. We all know that eventually all the old hardware will become obsolete under the latest Windows regime. This just seems the latest idea to speed obsolescence - am I wrong? nat
  24. Wonderful images, Phil. I'm jealoussmiley-happy We have an old Orion StarQuest Dobsonian. It's still a blast to use, but it's way behind the kit you're working with... We're going to vacation at Ft. Davis and spend a couple of days at the McDonald Observatory in August. Star Party!! nat
  25. I'm a bit confused, reading through the PCWorld article. The stated worry, in it's most alarming verbiage, is that Windows will stop updating if you have certain hardware that's too old. But three things: 1 - the quote from MS refers to "Windows Features" updates, not the OS overall. 2 - sometimes an OS update can render a hardware device unusable or make certain features of the hardware inoperable. So if Windows stops updating a Windows Feature that uses an unsupported hardware device, that could have the beneficial effect of leaving the hardware device working as it has been and avoiding conflicts with OS updates. In other words, it's a favor to users in such a case. 3 - this is yet another "opens the door to" hand-wringing article, extrapolating the situation into a future scenario that may or may not happen. I admit I'm terribly jaded about articles that send up alarms about possible futures. The sky is totally filled with alarms sent up all over the place... Note I'm no fan of Microsoft, and I think there are plenty of real issues about Microsoft policies to worry about. But sending up a squawk about "opening the door to" speculations about non-existent problems, just clutters and confuses the discussion. nat
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