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Everything posted by Beck

  1. Unless there is a huge shift in the direction music is headed, by 2066 there may not be enough demand for real guitar strings at your local shop... if there is a local shop. No guitars or real pianos either. Pretty much since I started reading music magazines and journals there's been this underlying message... predictions of gloom and doom if we don't buy the latest thing. That's just marketing. It's never ending. That is, there is no resting point where we can say we're done acquiring stuff for a while. Maintaining stuff I already have is lot less labor intensive then that crazy train of constant patches, updates and fixes. Now and then something new may come along that I'm interested in, but there may also be something vintage that comes along that I've never used before that I'm interested in. There isn't necessarily any such animal as yesterday, today and tomorrow when it comes to the tools we use. There is only what works for us and what doesn't work for us.
  2. Yes and no. I have a lot of vintage gear, including tape machines and consoles, and other analog gear. As far as so-called "vintage software" and digital hardware, that's a difficult thing for me to get my head around. For me I don't see much if any difference between products and software from 20 years ago and today. Many good tools arrived a long time ago and are as usable today as when they first came on the scene. Funny, but I was just talking about software with one of my gal pals who is a photographer. We were talking about having the latest thing vs things we are familiar with. I tend to be on the side of things I'm familiar with... things I have mastered. I'm a composer/musician first so there are advantages to sticking with the same tools. There is plenty of experimenter and "Electronic Musician" in me as well, but I feel that has always been at odds with the pure musician. Most of all I want to create. I have old hardware and software. I was born with a soldering iron in my hand. My mother was not pleased... well you know, as if giving birth is not difficult enough already, right? Well anyway, I have old computers that I can repair at the board level if anything goes wrong, which it rarely ever does. And I have older software that was around before the creators had the power to reach in and destroy it, so it can live as long as I do. What I don't like about today's model when it comes to our control over it is that we have less control over it. More and more things are designed to self-destruct. Planned obsolescence is nothing new, but the power to carry it out is Orwellian nightmare. I don't have time for that Sh-t! I can use old gear and older software with two great advantages: 1) I know it well and 2) it's from the days that it can't be remotely vaporized. It's mine. It belongs to me.
  3. It's even worse than I thought when I really tried to dig for some things... image search for class rings and jackets from my old high school, old rifle scopes, various music equipment. No results at all. It's like half the Internet went missing. I could always find this kind of stuff in like 10 seconds. I'll give yahoo another try, but it was google that did so well at first and wooed me away from everything else.
  4. It wasn't all that long ago that I could simply type a product number, even for the most obscure, ancient piece of gear and would get plenty of results. Now many of the same searches bring up zero... nada... zip... nothing at all. When did this purge start and what are some better search engines?
  5. Muskrat Love - Captain & Tennille version Other than that, just about any pop song ever written for some cause, including "We Are the World" or songs that preach and talk down to the audience.
  6. Yep, the ones made for RS by Crown are the ones I have, and I did the balanced XLR mod just as you described. I'll get a photo on here sometime. It's easier to show than tell, but I used one of the newer (at the time) RS project boxes for the batteries. It's the shinny black plastic box that slides open rather than the ones with the aluminum covers that screw on, so it's a cinch to change batteries. I put two 9V batteries in each for 18 volts. I also replaced all the cabling of the original with Canare brand cable, which was leaps better than what the mics originally came with. Those were fun times. It can be as rewarding to make and mod your own stuff as it is to write your own songs. Looking back, that was half the fun for me then. As for miking that piano or similar one, I would be more inclined to use the direct outs for best results.
  7. He's around... one of my facebook friends, but not active lately. I'm sure he's doing as well as any of us other artsy, writer, composer disassociated artist freaky people sorts. There's no living with us.
  8. I've used a 414 ULS for many years, as well as a couple Beta 87As. I like the 87s a lot. I also have an AKG D330BT that may be one of the most versatile mics I've ever owned and best on-a-whim purchases I've ever made. Great for vocals. But honestly, at the risk of giving the pat answer, there's almost nothing I can't do armed with a couple SM57s and SM58s, live and in the studio. But I wouldn't be the first person to be able to do everything with those old standbys and do it well. More like the millionth person to manage everything with those two mics. That being said, for piano I prefer a pair of old Radio Shack PZM's (boundary mics) that I hacked up and modded to use 9-volt batteries. That's a lot of work though, and while well worth the time and trouble, you can't just go buy them off the shelf anymore. I've had those since the 1980's. I got them on the cheap on sale at my local Shack and made them into something better than they were. Now days I have the funds to go buy whatever I need, but that's not nearly as much fun as guerilla recording IMO. If you don't have any boundary mics just grab a couple AKG PZM6 D's and yer done! You'll find a use for them that no other mic can manage quite as well. I've used my Realistic PZM's for about everything, from vocals, to micing amps, to micing a Steinway & Sons full grand with absolutely stunning results. The AKG PZM6 D is probably closest in performance to my Realistic PZM's, but there are many others to choose from.
  9. I think the full-stop is becoming a lost art. Perhaps artists are subconsciously starting to follow the lack of full-stop on the operating systems and software they use. The practice of little upgrades and fixes is now ingrained in society. We can do it, but I think "Revisionism" is a danger, historically speaking. There is higher value to something when it becomes holy... sacrosanct. We stop messing with it or we risk messing it up.
  10. I think it has lost its soul a time or two, or three since that prediction by Mercury. We have so much music coming at us these days we can filter out all but which resonates with our soul. When popular music was more limited, as in different genres took turns dominating the airwaves there were times I gave up on contemporary music and clung to God, guns and oldies. When I think of the times I've felt popular music has lost its soul it has usually been in periods of early experimentation with new technology. When I think of the times it has recovered I think those were times of mastering the technology. On the other hand early experimentation can succeed simply because it is novel at the time, but when looking back many years latter it sounds petty bad. At this time I think country music has lost its soul due to pitch correction, and it's been in that state for a very long time. I'm not much of a country music fan, but when I do hear it I think, "What the H? How can people listen to this?" Good article, by the way.
  11. I still have a Sony Super Beta Hi-Fi machine I used to master audio on in the late 80's. It still works fine and I have a bunch of Sony Pro-X Beta tapes still in wrapper. I keep stuff until it dies... and then I fix it, so I can keep it even longer. Same with open-reel, audio cassette, CD, DVD, whatever. My studio looks like a museum, but I use stuff that works and don't really think about how old it is or what I'm "supposed" to be using. I guess you could say I have a long thrill period. That is, the thrill is never really gone.
  12. Great stuff! Don't Worry Baby has always been one of my favs. I grew up listening to The Beach Boys and others in the Surf Rock genre where head voice was dominant. My older sisters listened to this stuff a lot. When I got into high school I rediscovered it and it was about all you would hear playing from my '72 Mustang Mach I, which I used to race a lot. I had Jensen 3-way speakers in the back seat and a couple auxiliary mid/high range speaker in the front. I also had a pair of Jensen 3-ways in the front grill of the car with a switch I wired in to turn them on and off. I never lost a race in that car. People asked me what I had under the hood. I said, "speakers" and added how important it is to have the right music. Here's another I'll never forget... Beach Boys - "Spirit of America" [video=youtube;Gc0cvsSwvs0] And another fav from those days.... Beach Boys - "Hushabye" [video=youtube;0kugBjlnnaA]
  13. I used to try and turn the spam into a legit thread... being creative... a little ad lib, you know. It's been a few years, but a couple that started as spam were so funny after a few posts that Craig said to leave them up and let it run. I've tried since then, but all my super creative genius is wasted when they get deleted. EDIT: Of course I would misspell genius and have to correct it.
  14. Most people don't understand any form of ism to any great degree, even the isms which they identify with. Most people who are part of a group understand little about their own group, much less opposing groups. Politics and religion can be hard to tell apart and that's becauause they often overlap. Different members of your church will define your religious afiliation differently than you do. Other members of the political party you identify with will define it in terms differently than you do. But most of all these terms are simple and shallow for most "Believers."
  15. IMO part of what we're witnessing is a redefinition of what is legal and what is not. We're in transition... a reevaluating what something is worth as well as what belongs to whom, what is right and wrong. Every generation does this reevaluation of the status quo to some degree. As a society in general the last ten years has seen a great deal of redefining... more than any other decade in my lifetime anyway. Whether these changes have been for the better or worse is still a matter for debate. I think this is just another thing. Anyway, on this particular topic some of what we're discussing is new and some of what we're discussing is as old as the first integrated stereo system with a switch on it that provided for recording from radio, vinyl, or from cassette to cassette. Did TDK and Maxell know that their high fidelity cassette tapes were being used primarily to copy copyrighted work? Of course they did and they made money hand over fist. And later came the debate over digital tape and recordable CD. Now faced with ever changing methods of delivery each side is trying to level the playing field, but in the business world a level playing field is not level at all, but will favor one side or the other. So what to do about youtube? Let's assume for a moment that it is evil. Who else is culpable? Who are accessories to the crime? In legal terms, “Aiding and Abetting.” Forums like this that allow us to embed youtube videos? Firefox? Microsft? adobe? How about even your internet service provider? It can get pretty complicated when sorting out all those benefiting from the “free stuff.” How do we not throw the baby out with the bathwater? How do we protect speech and encourage the free exchange of ideas and yet keep music or any other art form as a commodity at the same time? Is it even possible anymore? Concepts of what is fair and lawful change with technology and societal values. The web has become an extension of our physical environments. In time past we had to invite friends over to listen to music we wanted to share or somehow be in the same physical location such as a car. Now we communicate with friends around the world on social media. For example, quite often since I've been on facebook I have conversations break out on my wall that involve participation of large numbers of people. What happens when we want to share a music recording as though we're all in the same room or car? So there is youtube. At that moment are we using youtube for unlawful storage or lawful transmission? We communicate with music, both our own and the works of other artists. We also communicate with visuals... pictures and clips, both our own and the works of other artists. I do a lot more with my own written words than most of my friends, but so much of what we have to say is beyond words. IMO my facebook wall is an extension of my living room. We're living in times where definitions are changing with new methods of social interaction. Should I see the web as pirate radio or is it more like having people over to my house to talk and listen to music? Does my facebook wall fall under the private home exemption? It's a matter for debate. I could go on with many other examples, but my central point is there are a many legitimate things to consider as technology allows us to gather together in ways not anticipated when the old laws were drafted. There are many questions yet to be addressed as technology moves faster than people can keep up.
  16. Yep sorta, but more like we are both the costumer and the product. See discussion in the youtube thread here: http://www.harmonycentral.com/forum/...hers-of-piracy I think websites assume we know that is the nature of the web and we should already know that's how things run, but it is creepy sometimes. I make it a point never to log into more than one site at a time. For instance I won't be logged into facebook and this site or any other site at the same time, and I'm constantly clearing history. The one time I got lazy and didn't clear my history after being on eBay, an advert popped up on the side of my facebook home page. It featured an item I had been looking at on eBay, with the message, "Only 20 hours left. Don't let it get away." That's too creepy for me, and yet I know we have to allow some level of tracking for the web to work at all for us. It's how it's knit together in this Web of "Free stuff." I don't mind it to a reasonable degree.
  17. Yes, and it is hard to pass up a free stuff... whatever it is. Yep, I can't disagree with that, but today the line that separates professional and hobbyist is pretty blurry. People can and do create create fully professional sounding music and other arts just for the satisfaction of being recognized. That is, they don't ask for or expect payment. The old system of the record companies being in charge is gone. So the question is and has been for a while, how do we make a living as artists? Are those days gone never to be seen again? I don't know, I'm just thinking out loud when it comes to that. Public libraries where we’ve always been able to go to read or checkout free books, and later free music and movies. So there are some things in the balance such as copyright vs preservation, fair use and educational use, etc. Preservation without public access is pointless. Thus the library has always been an important institution in American society. Does youtube function like a cyber public library in some capacity? I think one could make a case for that.
  18. Yes, but perhaps the availability of free streaming audio is a legitimate backup system along with the traditional forms we've always recognized. There is a downside for the listener however, or at least listeners like me. We still prefer analog and/or hi resolution digital, so a lot of what is available for free is inferior. But it will do in a pinch like FM radio did, or even AM radio did. One thing I did not clarify is that this bartering system was not my idea. I feel I'm just observing something that society has created together. It's a silent agreement with no contracts. The agreement is manifest by the silently agreed upon behavior. For example, Common Law Marriage. Nobody ever said, "I do" but after a period of time the state says, "You are." I'm actually very conservative, so I have to decide how much if any I want to p[participate in this system that has evolved. Then there is one more element that doesn't make it free anyway in most cases, the same way television is not free even with an antena for "Free" broadcast and radio was not/is not free. Commercials. We sit through commercials from 15 seconds to sometimes a minute long before we can listen to a song. These sponsors are paying youtube, so someone is getting paid.
  19. I have mixed feelings about the availability of music and other copyrighted material on youtube. On one hand, like most people I like listening to and sharing songs. On the other hand I'm sad to see how much less opportunity there is today to "Make it in music" as we defined it before the Internet came along. On the other-other hand... isn't this Socialism... what so many people are clamoring for? I can't tell you how much free information I've given away since the Internet arrived, information that at one time people would pay consulting fees for. The natural state of the Internet gravitates toward a bartering system. Some of us provide info that we're still paying off college loans to have expertise in a given field. Like this forum and many others on many other topics... you google it and you find free consulting. So on that other-other hand there's a part of me that feels I'm doing my part in this Interweb of free stuff, so why shouldn't I be able to listen to free music. And then there's another concept I've mentioned in past discussions about youtube and other free streaming media. I mostly listen to music I've already paid for at some time in the past. At some point in my life I bought Boston's debut album on vinyl, cassette, and CD. I wasn't paying for the physical medium, but rather the right to listen to the material on that medium. IMO when the medium wears out that doesn't take away my right to listen to the songs on that album, which I already paid for. So "More Than a Feeling" is mine, only my CD copy of it didn't last forever as Sony promised. My audio cassette of the album still plays... sorta...
  20. Pretty cool. Nice jam too... good for waxing surfboards and whatnot. Nicely done.
  21. Yeah me too... got here because of Anderton and started with the old Music Player SSS forums. I found those forms by searching for a Part II of an article I had in an old issue of Electronic Musician magazine. I couldn't find the next issue with the Part II, even though I'm sure I still have it somewhere. So I got on the web and searched for Craig Anderton and the title of the article. I never did find a cyber copy of the article and don't even remember what it was now, but I found SSS... and the rest my friends is Internet music history, myth and legend. By the way, good piece in the link about HC, Dendy.
  22. Whatever works best for ya. For me I still prefer a mixer. I'm happily using a vintage Tascam M-320B. I use the direct line ins to bypass the mic pre. You'll get a cleaner signal going direct, but you lose the convenience of sliders and knobs for levels, EQ and panning, etc, which I still find more intuitive. And if you have as many keyboards and synth modules as I do there just aren't enough inputs on the digital interface. I still have quite a few assorted mixers. One of my favs as a front end to a digital interface is the old Tascam M-106. It has a certain character to the sound. So that's another thing... clean isn't always better. An analog mixer can add a certain something that you may prefer to the direct sound.
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