Waiting on a mic

I got my old Fostex MR16 multi-track recorder out the other day. There were a bunch of recordings on there from my music playing days. Some were ok, most were rubbish. All of them brought back amazing memories of creative times. It’s strange to hear yourself ten years ago singing songs and talking into the microphone.

The encounter with my previous self inspired me to order a microphone online and do some more recording.

Waiting on a mic.

Microsoft

I just downloaded edge browser for my phone.

I am also moving all my mail and calendar stuff to outlook.

Excel Word and PowerPoint are all work mainstays on my computer.

I am going to Microsoft because I pay for it. The idea is that I will be the customer rather than the product.

Hardware is probably next. Liking the look of windows surface and laptops.

AV Receiver as a pre-amplifier

Overkill is a common phrase.

At the moment I have a 150 Watt Onkyo receiver linked up as a preamp to another class A stereo amp just to drive a couple of small bookshelf speakers in the living room.

I am aware of my addiction and am working through the issues at hand! I need to sell the Onkyo ASAP.

Sure was fun to set up though.

The tech urge within

For some reason the world of audiophile technology and tech hardware has become extremely refined in its marketing of products. The premium that must be paid to own a new high grade audiophile amplifier is insane. And yet….

And yet I want one as if it is going to cure my human condition. I don’t understand this urge. Why do I feel so intensely that I have to be part of this tiny group of people that spend their children’s school fees on audio equipment? Do I honestly believe the music will sound THAT much better? No. Sigh…..

I think the truth is that there are many industries that have tapped into this tribal urge to belong – Apple being the most obvious. An iPhone essentially does the same thing as a phone one tenth its price – and yet the company’s revenues go up and up. People want to spend money on things which make them feel part of a group.

The trick is to decide what will make a tangible difference to life, and what is merely hype.

The latest iPhone will not out-perform my Motorola to the point that my life improves. And neither will a new amplifier improve the performance of my headphones.

The pull is strong indeed though. It’s like these companies are using the Jedi force to extract my wallet from my pocket, and it is all I can do to push it back in.

That’s my consumer culture rant for the day. Back to work ūüôā

Digital Art

Computers are everywhere. The net is everywhere. Software is eating the world.

This has forced us as a species to ask important questions about how we best exist in a digital/analogue hybrid world. No facet of humanity has been more disrupted or scrutinised by the web than our art. Some questions:

How do we control rights and rewards for the art we make online? Metallica has something to say about this, so does Stephen King

How high does the digital resolution of a picture, a film or a song have to be to accurately reflect the intentions of the artist?

Interestingly, writing as an art form is relatively unaffected by issues of resolution. Words can be¬†understood¬†just as well on low resolution screens, and the quality of the writing is largely subjective.¬†It’s hard to measure objectively the purity of a piece of writing, whereas a picture on a screen, or a sound wave in your ears has a bunch of physics and metrics behind it which is now fed into the marketing of art (see here and here) and of equipment to consume the art (see here¬†and here).

I don’t think these questions over digital art will be answered anytime soon, but I think they need to be at the front of your head if you are publishing online.

Convenience vs. Quality

I just received in the mail 2 x new stylus needles for my old LP player. The old stylus broke, so I had to order them online from the UK and then wait for a couple of weeks for delivery. When they finally arrived, i found the mechanism on my LP player broken and in need of service. Still no high quality vinyl sounds for my discerning chimp ears.

All the while, I have been streaming Google Play Music through my phone and computer and Ipad to get music whenever and wherever i want it.

The convenient solutions will spread like wildfire and then iteratively be improved until they are both convenient and of a high quality.

Meanwhile vinyl is the same as it ever was. Fantastic when it works, but a lot more involved and higher maintenance than the digital age.

Convenience vs. Quality – Convenience is kicking ass at the moment in my household.