Recently in Music Category

One more for Dusty

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La Grange - fun story behind the song

Thanks for the wonderful music!

Well crap - RIP Dusty Hill

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ZZ Top basist.  Really good musicians.  Their songs sound similar to me so getting through more than an album side is a bit of a chore but each song by itself is a polished gemstone. They were the first major band to use the pentatonic scale for blues.  Billy's guitar tone is incredible.

From their website:

Dusty Hill has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX
We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX. We, along with legions of ZZ Top fans around the world, will miss your steadfast presence, your good nature, and enduring commitment to providing that monumental bottom to the ‘Top'. We will forever be connected to that "Blues Shuffle in C."

You will be missed greatly, amigo.

Frank & Billy

Roling Stone has a nice obituary.

Great news that they got their pee-pees slapped. From Music Radar:

Electro-Harmonix wins copyright infringement case against Mooer
New York pedal co Electro-Harmonix has won a court case against Chinese effects company Mooer for infringement of EHX’s copyrighted software.

The case revolved around Mooer’s Mooergan and Tender Octaver pedals, which included exact copies of the software used in EHX’s C9 Organ Machine and Micro POG.

Good - No idea how large Mooer (or the corporation behind it) but the award was said to be in the six figures.  Enough to be noticed and maybe enough to deter future copycats.

Well crap - Mills College closing

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Mills College closing?
Say that to anyone interested in experimental music and watch the tears flow down their face.
From the New York Times:

Is the Music Over at Mills College?
Even the concert hall at Mills College is different.

Looming at the back of the stage is a huge, bright mural of a forest opening onto a deep blue lake. The ceiling is painted in geometric patterns and vivid colors. Frescos of Gregorian chant scores flank the stage.

We are not in sedate, monochromatic Carnegie Hall. No, Littlefield Concert Hall at Mills, in Oakland, Calif., is a vibrant, even eccentric place, where it is clear from the surroundings that music outside the mainstream is not simply tolerated, but celebrated.

“There was a real atmosphere of comfort and support for whatever it is that you wanted to do,” the composer David Rosenboom, who led the music program at Mills in the 1980s, said in an interview.

Now that program and the electronics-focused Center for Contemporary Music, together among the most distinguished havens for experimental work in America over the past century, are facing possible closure. On March 17 the college, founded in 1852, announced that ongoing financial problems, exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, would mean the end of its history as a degree-granting institution made up of an undergraduate women’s college and several coeducational graduate programs.

Pending approval by its board of trustees, the school’s final degrees are likely to be conferred in 2023. The statement announcing the proposed closure alluded to plans for a “Mills Institute” on the 135-acre campus, but the focus of such an institute — and whether it would include the arts — is unclear.

You might not recognize the names of the graduates but you certainly have heard their music:

It has been an astonishing run. The school’s faculty over the years has been practically an index of maverick artists, including Darius Milhaud, at Mills for three decades beginning during World War II; Luciano Berio, who came at Milhaud’s invitation; Lou Harrison, who built an American version of the Indonesian gamelan percussion orchestra; the “deep listening” pioneer Pauline Oliveros; Robert Ashley, an innovator in opera; Terry Riley, a progenitor of Minimalism; the influential composer and improviser Anthony Braxton; James Fei, a saxophonist and clarinetist who works with electronic sounds; and Maggi Payne, a longtime director of the Center for Contemporary Music, Mills’s laboratory for electronic work since the 1960s, when Oliveros was its first leader.

Among the alumni are Dave Brubeck, Steve Reich, John Bischoff, William Winant and Laetitia Sonami; several former students ended up returning to teach after graduating.

“What Mills College had was unique,” said Riley, who taught there from 1971 to 1981. “I have never in my travels encountered another institution like it.”

Crap - I hope that they are able to preserve their archives.  They have an incredible collection of musical instruments and recordings. They were the source. The fount. Mills had always been on my horizon. A place for a pilgrimage.  Never got there though.

Well crap. RIP Harold Budd

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One of my favorite ambient composers. Nice obituary at exclaim!

Harold Budd Has Died
While details remain scarce, reports have emerged that ambient legend Harold Budd has passed away. According to multiple social media posts from close friends and colleagues, including Cocteau Twins' Robin Guthrie, the composer died last night (December 7). Budd would have been 84.

As of press time, Budd's official channels have not confirmed his passing, so details surrounding his death remain unclear.

His work:

By 1976, Budd began to work with fellow ambient pioneer Brian Eno, with the pair joining forces to craft what would become Budd's proper debut album The Pavilion of Dreams. This led to his Eno collaboration Ambient 2 (The Plateaux of Mirror), which was released in 1980. The record was then followed by 1984's beloved album, The Pearl, which found Budd and Eno joining forces with frequent collaborator Daniel Lanois.

Throughout albums like these, Budd went on to develop a slow and sustained style of piano playing he called "soft pedal," though he frequently voiced his disdain with being categorized as "ambient" — a label Budd found limiting.

Budd went on to work with other notable collaborators throughout his career, such as with Cocteau Twins' Elizabeth Fraser, Robin Guthrie and Simon Raymonde on their joint effort The Moon and the Melodies, which was released via 4AD in 1986.

This led to Budd striking up a longstanding working relationship with Guthrie, with the pair going on to release multiple collaborative albums over the years. In fact, earlier this year the pair released the album Another Flower.

A real talent - I love ambient music.  He will be missed.

VST's - the gateway drug

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For musicians and other audio geeks - VST stands for Virtual Studio Technology - from InfoGalactic:

Virtual Studio Technology
Virtual Studio Technology (VST) is a software interface that integrates software audio synthesizer and effect plugins with audio editors and recording systems. VST and similar technologies use digital signal processing to simulate traditional recording studio hardware in software. Thousands of plugins exist, both commercial and freeware, and a large number of audio applications support VST under license from its creator, Steinberg.

VST plugins generally run within a digital audio workstation (DAW), to provide additional functionality, though a few standalone plugin hosts exist which support VST. Most VST plugins are either instruments (VSTi) or effects, although other categories exist—for example spectrum analyzers and various meters. VST plugins usually provide a custom graphical user interface that displays controls similar to physical switches and knobs on audio hardware. Some (often older) plugins rely on the host application for their user interface.

VST instruments include software simulation emulations of well-known hardware synthesizers and samplers. These typically emulate the look of the original equipment as well as its sonic characteristics. This lets musicians and recording engineers use virtual versions of devices that otherwise might be difficult and expensive to obtain.

VST instruments receive notes as digital information via MIDI, and output digital audio. Effect plugins receive digital audio and process it through to their outputs. (Some effect plugins also accept MIDI input—for example MIDI sync to modulate the effect in sync with the tempo). MIDI messages can control both instrument and effect plugin parameters. Most host applications can route the audio output from one VST to the audio input of another VST (chaining). For example, output of a VST synthesizer can be sent through a VST reverb effect.

Sorry for the long introduction but needed to get a thorough explanation so you can understand this meme:

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I am a big analog and modular person - concur 100%

From TMZ:

EDDIE VAN HALEN DEAD AT 65
Eddie Van Halen -- the legendary guitarist and co-founder of Van Halen -- has died after a long battle with cancer ... TMZ has learned.

Sources directly connected to the rock star tell us ... he died at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica Tuesday. His wife, Janie, was by his side, along with his son, Wolfgang, his ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli, and Alex, Eddie's brother and drummer.

We're told in the last 72 hours, Eddie's ongoing health battle went massively downhill -- doctors discovered his lung cancer had moved to his brain as well as other organs.

As you know, Eddie has been battling cancer for well over a decade. Our sources say he's been in and out of the hospital over the past year -- including last November for intestinal issues -- and recently underwent a round of chemo.

Last year we reported ... Eddie was flying between the US and Germany for 5 years to get radiation treatment. Though he was a heavy smoker for years, he believes he developed throat cancer from a metal guitar pick he used to frequently hold in his mouth more than 20 years ago.

Don't kid yourself - it was the cigarette smoke.  Crap - 65 is way too young.

6:44 of pure joy - crank the volume and rock out:

I present: Saxsquatch

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Lots of material on YouTube - here is "In the air tonight"

And the website: Saxsquatch

Willie Nelson

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Great collection of stories by two dozen people who have worked/played/partied with the legend. From Texas Monthly:

“That’s Just the Way Willie Rolls”
When Texas Monthly set out to create a special issue celebrating Willie Nelson, we knew it wouldn’t be enough just to assign new stories, comb our archives for favorite old profiles, or even rank and review all 143 of Willie’s albums. So we reached out to some two dozen of Willie’s longtime friends, fans, and collaborators and asked them to share one favorite Willie story. From “Whiskey River” writer Johnny Bush’s memory of a portentous moment on tour with Willie back in 1962 to current producer and songwriting partner Buddy Cannon’s description of what it’s like to work with Willie right now, this collection of anecdotes offers an inside look at what Willie’s like when the spotlight shuts off.

Fun stories - the guy has had an amazing life.

PaulStretch

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Ran into a reference to this yesterday and will be checking it out. PaulStretch is a tool for stretching out audio samples well beyond any "normal" quantity. It is not used for musical applications such as pitch correction - instead, it devolves the sound into an interesting rhythm or timbre.

Paul's Extreme Sound Stretch was first developed by Nasca Octavian Paul, a fork has been started by Xenakios and some development has been done adding new features and revising the UI.

Looks really interesting - will be checking out once I get the music room up and running.

First Ennio Morricone and now Charlie Daniels - from the Tennessean:

Country Music Hall of Fame member Charlie Daniels dies at 83
Charlie Daniels, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame best known for "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," died Monday morning after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke. He was 83.

Daniels' death was confirmed by his publicist, Don Murry Grubbs. He is survived by his wife, Hazel, and son Charlie Daniels Jr.

By the time the Charlie Daniels Band topped the charts with “Devil” in 1979, the instrumentalist, singer and songwriter had long established a remarkable, multifaceted career in Music City. As a session musician, he played on three of Bob Dylan’s albums — including the revolutionary “Nashville Skyline” — as well as recordings for Ringo Starr and Leonard Cohen.

In 1974, he launched the first “Volunteer Jam,” a regun all-star concert that has continued for nearly 50 years. Daniels joined the Grand Ole Opry in 2008, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016.

Crap - 2019 was a rough year for me and I was looking forward to 2020. Dammit. Six more months to go.

Well crap - RIP Ennio Morricone

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One of my absolute favorite contemporary composers. From the New York Times:

Ennio Morricone, Oscar-Winning Composer of Film Scores, Dies at 91
Ennio Morricone, the Italian composer whose atmospheric scores for spaghetti westerns and some 500 films by a Who’s Who of international directors made him one of the world’s most versatile and influential creators of music for the modern cinema, died on Monday in Rome. He was 91.

His death, at a hospital, was confirmed by his lawyer, Giorgio Assumma, who said that Mr. Morricone was admitted there last week after falling and fracturing a femur.

One example of his work:

91 is a good run but still. Damn.

Some metal from Japan

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Ran into these people - been playing for 30 years! Ningen Isu

Good stuff - English subtitles available. Click on the tool icon (the little gear) to turn them on. English website.

Well crap - RIP Richard Penniman

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Richard Penniman? Known as Little Richard - from the Rolling Stone:

Little Richard, Founding Father of Rock Who Broke Musical Barriers, Dead at 87
Little Richard, a founding father of rock and roll whose fervent shrieks, flamboyant garb, and joyful, gender-bending persona embodied the spirit and sound of that new art form, died Saturday. He was 87. The musician’s son, Danny Jones Penniman, confirmed the pioneer’s death to Rolling Stone, adding that the cause of death was cancer.

Starting with “Tutti Frutti” in 1956, Little Richard cut a series of unstoppable hits – “Long Tall Sally” and “Rip It Up” that same year, “Lucille” in 1957, and “Good Golly Miss Molly” in 1958 – driven by his simple, pumping piano, gospel-influenced vocal exclamations and sexually charged (often gibberish) lyrics. “I heard Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, and that was it,” Elton John told Rolling Stone in 1973. “I didn’t ever want to be anything else. I’m more of a Little Richard stylist than a Jerry Lee Lewis, I think. Jerry Lee is a very intricate piano player and very skillful, but Little Richard is more of a pounder.”

One of the founders of modern rock 'n roll. A legend.

Florian Schneider? Co-founder of Kraftwerk - from The Guardian:

Florian Schneider, Kraftwerk co-founder, dies aged 73
Florian Schneider, who as one of the founding members of German group Kraftwerk changed the sound of pop music forever, has died aged 73 of cancer.

Some history:

After three albums with Hütter in the mid-70s, Kraftwerk released Autobahn and expanded to a quartet. The album was composed primarily on synthesisers, and its highly original sound and witty lyrics made it a hit, reaching the Top 5 in the UK and US.

Adding ever-more sophisticated synthesisers and drum machines, and with Hütter’s distinctive vocals, the group went on to release a series of albums that became hugely influential on pop music, particularly the four-album run of Radio-Activity (1975), Trans-Europe Express (1977), The Man-Machine (1978) and Computer World (1981). They described their music as industrielle volksmusik: “folk music of the factories”, as translated by David Bowie.

As well as being forefathers of the synthpop that would dominate the 1980s and beyond, the title track of Trans-Europe Express was sampled in 1982 by Afrika Bambaataa & the Soul Sonic Force for one of the earliest hip-hop hits, Planet Rock, while Computer World was hugely influential on the house and techno music that emerged from Chicago and Detroit that decade.

Their work also brought them into the orbit of the Berlin-dwelling Bowie and Iggy Pop – in a TV documentary, Pop recalled that he and Schneider once went shopping for asparagus together. Bowie’s track V-2 Schneider is thought to be a tribute to him.

Really good music and very influential to other musicians. Listened to them a lot - still do. Their use of synthesizer was not the cliche beeps and boops that many other musicians do. They understood the nuances of the instrument.

Just wow - JS Bach

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Been a huge Bach fan all my life - his music is simply sublime. A genius.

Here is Sheila's YouTube channel
Tip of the hat to Maggie's

Two musical instrument companies have your back.

First Korg:

KORG will provide iKaossilator for iOS and Kaossilator for Android for free for a limited time
Schools, workplaces, and meetings worldwide have been requested to close by their respective governments and so many people are studying and working from home. To help you with a musical way to occupy your mind we have decided to make the Kaossilator app for iOS and Android free of charge for a limited time (iOS version : through March 31, 2020. Android version : From March 13 to March 20, 2020).

The Kaossilator apps are tools that let you create music by using, moving and swiping a single finger – and you don’t need any musical knowledge to get started. Many users worldwide have been enjoying their Kaossilator app for many years because it is fun, educational and satisfying!

And second, my favorite, Moog (iOS only ☹):

Minimoog Model D Synthesizer
The Minimoog Model D App is a mobile transmutation of the world’s first portable synthesizer, the Minimoog Model D®. Optimized for use on all 64-bit iOS devices, anyone can jump in and play with over 160 included presets or lay fingers to the controls and begin exploring vast magical realms of creative potential.

Nice of them to do this - lots of people self-quarantining.

Very cool - Sounds Like Van Spirit

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Looks like an amazing journey and a lot of fun:

From the website: Sounds Like Van Spirit

A Young Sound Engineer, a Rolling Recording Studio
2 Years, 25 Countries, 50+ Street Musicians
Hi my name is Marten, and I gave myself a mission. I wanted to bring the European Continent a little closer together just with an old rusty van and a bunch of microphones. The ideas was to find the best street musicians from all around Europe, record their music, and share their stories with the world. 2 years and 25 countries later it is finally done. A Collection of Europe’s Pavement Melodies. Released as vinyl, book, and full length documentary movie

Reminds me a little bit of the Playing for Change recordings - wonderful that people are doing this.
A modern-day Alan Lomax

Some great quotes - Philip Glass

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I really like his music - I do not play the same style but I like his work and it stands the test of time.

Very quotable person too - check out Philip Glass Quotes:

I don't know what I'm doing and it's the not knowing that makes it interesting.

The problem with listening, of course, is that we don't. There's too much noise going on in our heads, so we never hear anything. The inner conversation simply never stops. It can be our voice or whatever voices we want to supply, but it's a constant racket. In the same way we don't see, and in the same way we don't feel, we don't touch, we don't taste.

You practice and you get better. It's very simple.

22 more at the site - a lot of wisdom embedded in a few words.

Some fun stuff to play with - Spleeter

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From Waxy:

Fast and Free Music Separation with Deezer’s Machine Learning Library
Cleanly isolating vocals from drums, bass, piano, and other musical accompaniment is the dream of every mashup artist, karaoke fan, and producer. Commercial solutions exist, but can be expensive and unreliable. Techniques like phase cancellation have very mixed results.

The engineering team behind streaming music service Deezer just open-sourced Spleeter, their audio separation library built on Python and TensorFlow that uses machine learning to quickly and freely separate music into stems. (Read more in today’s announcement.)

You can train it yourself if you have the resources, but the three models they released already far surpass any available free tool that I know of, and rival commercial plugins and services. The library ships with three pre-trained models:

    • Two stems – Vocals and Other Accompaniment
    • Four stems – Vocals, Drums, Bass, Other
    • Five stems – Vocals, Drums, Bass, Piano, Other

It took a couple minutes to install the library, which includes installing Conda, and processing audio was much faster than expected.

On my five-year-old MacBook Pro using the CPU only, Spleeter processed audio at a rate of about 5.5x faster than real-time for the simplest two-stem separation, or about one minute of processing time for every 5.5 minutes of audio. Five-stem separation took around three minutes for 5.5 minutes of audio.

When running on a GPU, the Deezer team report speeds 100x faster than real-time for four stems, converting 3.5 hours of music in less than 90 seconds on a single GeForce GTX 1080.

They have some samples and the effect is really good - something to play with this winter.

Ray LaMontagne

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Someone turned me on to his work - there is a streaming channel of his music at YouTube. Good stuff - singer/songwriter.

He is on tour now but the Seattle show is sold out dammit. Here is his website: Ray LaMontagne

Well dang - The Eagles

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They reunited with Joe Walsh, Don Henley, Vince Gill and Glenn's son Deacon Fry and are touring. One of their sets will be the Hotel California album with a full choir.

The tour is only visiting these six cities: Atlanta, New York, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Thinking seriously about a trip to Texas... No word on ticket pricing - they go on sale in two days.

Fun Toy - The Apprehension Engine

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From the YouTube website:

What happens when a horror movie composer and a guitar maker join forces? They create the world’s most disturbing musical instrument. Affectionately known as "The Apprehension Engine," this one-of-a-kind instrument was commissioned by movie composer Mark Korven. Korven wanted to create spooky noises in a more acoustic and original way—but the right instrument didn't exist. So his friend, guitar maker Tony Duggan-Smith, went deep into his workshop and assembled what has to be the spookiest instrument on Earth.

Check it out:

Did a little DuckDuckGo'ing and it turns out that you can buy one of these: The Apprehension Engine

Mark's website is here: Mark Korven - lots more video of The Apprehension Engine there.

This looks like a lot of fun - Hypno

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$600 so I think I will pass but now that this unit is out, others will follow. Based on a RaspberryPi so should be cheap to clone. Want HDMI outputs anyway. Available at Sleepy Circuits. More on the design and programming here.

Well crap - RIP Robert Hunter

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From Rolling Stone:

Robert Hunter, Grateful Dead Collaborator and Lyricist, Dead at 78
Robert Hunter, the poet and writer who provided the Grateful Dead with many of their vivid and enduring lyrics, died Monday night. He was 78. No cause of death was provided.

“It is with great sadness we confirm our beloved Robert passed away yesterday night,” Hunter’s family announced in a statement. “He died peacefully at home in his bed, surrounded by love. His wife Maureen was by his side holding his hand. For his fans that have loved and supported him all these years, take comfort in knowing that his words are all around us, and in that way his is never truly gone. In this time of grief please celebrate him the way you all know how, by being together and listening to the music. Let there be songs to fill the air.”

You can read his lyrics at dead.net - a poet.

Fun music

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Going to have to track down more of this:

Big tip of the hat to Musings from the Chiefio who has two more videos at his site. The last one is really cute.

I also like that first instrument in the video above - the flat one. Looks like a stiff learning curve but nice sound and chromatic as hell...

Now this looks really good - music

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From The Open University and the BBC:

How technology changed music: Nick Mason presents BBC World Service series
A new landmark nine-part OU/BBC series on the BBC World Service, A History of Music in Technology continues on Saturday mornings, through to June 22nd.

Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason presents the series, charting the history of music and technology and exploring the world of legendary artists, producers, engineers and inventors. The series shines a light on game-changing innovations including the synthesizer, electric guitar, samplers, drum machines and the recording studio itself.

Check it out over the next couple of days.

Well crap - RIP Mac Rebennack

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Mac Rebennack? Otherwise known as Dr. John. From the New York Times:

Dr. John, of Voodoo Beads, Feathers and New Orleans Sound, Dies at 77
Mac Rebennack, the pianist, singer, songwriter and producer better known as Dr. John, who embodied the New Orleans sound for generations of music fans, died on Thursday. He was 77.

A family statement released by his publicist said the cause was a heart attack. The statement did not say where he died. He had been living in recent years on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, La.

Mr. Rebennack belonged to the pantheon of New Orleans keyboard wizards that includes Professor Longhair, James Booker, Huey (Piano) Smith and Fats Domino. What distinguished him from his peers was the showmanship of his public persona.

Onstage as Dr. John, he adorned himself with snakeskin, beads and colorful feathers, and his shows blended Mardi Gras bonhomie with voodoo mystery.

He recorded more than 30 albums, including jazz projects (“Bluesiana Triangle,” 1990, with the drummer Art Blakey and the saxophonist David Newman), solo piano records (“Dr. John Plays Mac Rebennack,” 1981) and his version of Afropop (“Locked Down,” 2012). His 1989 album of standards, “In a Sentimental Mood,” earned him the first of six Grammy Awards, for his duet with Rickie Lee Jones on “Makin’ Whoopee!”

Saw him a bunch of times in Boston and Seattle. Always put on a great show - got a bunch of his music digitised and listen to it every so often.

Two excellent lists of Music and Media software with emphasis on open source and Linux. Jack is the best package for doing audio under Linux and many people have written enhancements to it or written applications for other things (video, etc...) that 'talk' to it.

Here is Jack Audio Connection Kit - Applications

And here is a general collection (8,000+) of music and media software applications: Software Music Machine Archive

These are taken with a grain of salt as some of them are no longer in production, they sometimes list older versions, and a good share of 404's. Still, a great jumping-off point.

Heh - a country song

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20190513-song.jpg

Who can forget Steve Goodman's Perfect Country and Western Song

Just beautiful

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Who knew that Sir Anthony Hopkins composes music when he is not acting:

And after the concert he murdered and ate one of the clarinet players.
With Fava beans and a nice Chianti...

Tip of the hat to Kim DuToit - his website is a daily read for me.

Back to work

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Raining lightly but I have rain gear so will be working outside.

Heading over to Whidbey Island later today for a Craigslist deal. Someone is selling a pair of Event Audio 20/20 BAS speakers for a decent price. I already have a pair for my music computer. Having another pair for my video/media computer will be perfect. Same speakers deliver the same frequency response so I can move files from one to the other and they will sound the same. Perfect for editing.

The new hotness - reel to reel tape

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Looks like reel to reel tape recording is coming back into vogue. I started out in music with a Sony R2R because it was the only game in town. Wound up owning an Ampex 4-track and then a TEAC 8-track but then, decent quality audio converters became available for computers and it was all over. Never looked back.

Now this from Thorens:

High End 2019: Thorens TM 1600 – High-End-Tape Machine
Thorens as the oldest brand in audio opens a new chapter in history of high quality analogue reproduction with the presentation of the new tape machine TM 1600

This time not only records, which are called “vinyls” today, are experiencing a strong revival, also the for a long time seen dead magnetic tape technology with quarter inch tapes is rising like a phoenix from the ashes.

In connection with Duesseldorf based tape machine manufactory Ballfinger Thorens meets the rising demand for master tape copies with it’s brand new tape machine TM 1600. A lot of pre-recorded tapes are distributed e.g. by STS-Analog, Analogy Records, Zavalinka Records or Analogify from Berlin.

Prices start at around $13,000USD so very much a status thing. The Saudis will buy a ton of them. I'll stick with my converter and Cubase. Been using this combo for over five years and love it.

He had a heart valve replaced today - from Twitter:

6,096,158,566 plus one

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This is the most viewed video on YouTube - currently at 6,096,158,566 views.
The world's population is just under 7.7 billion.

They are from Puerto Rico.
Just checked - the video is now up to 6,096,194,553 views - 36K viewings in about ten minutes.

I'll be Bach

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Happy 334th Birthday. Love his music. Studied piano as a kid and switched to organ when my feet could reach the pedals. Bach was always one of my favorites to play. A favorite piece is BWV 564 - his Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major especially the middle Adagio section - simply sublime. One of my absolute favorite pieces of music. The Adagio begins at 5:05 if you do not want to listen to the whole piece, at least do yourself a favor and scroll to it.

The Toccata is nice and thunderous especially with the doubled bass notes and the Fugue is a wild romp of a thing -  a lot of fun to play.

NAMM Oddities

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NAMM is the National Association of Music Merchants and they hold a huge national conference every January (huge = 115K attendants). This is where people who invent new musical equipment go to showcase their project and try to find a marketer. 

A couple months afterwords, Barry Wood compiles the oddest of these and posts them to his website:  NAMM Oddities

Here are four photos - a lot more at the site:

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Distortion box featuring a 3,000 volt plasma arc.

20190318-namm-bigbass.jpg

Ampeg is well known for bass amplifiers. This cabinet is 11 feet tall!

20190318-namm-uke.jpg

A couple cute Ukuleles

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Clever idea from Remo - these drum heads snap on the top of your standard five gallon plastic pail.

Well crap - RIP Dick Dale

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King of the Surf Rock - from Rolling Stone:

Dick Dale, King of the Surf Guitar, Dead at 81
Dick Dale, “the King of the Surf Guitar,” has died at the age of 81.

California Rocker first reported that Dale died Sunday. His bassist Sam Bolle confirmed Dale’s death to the Guardian. No cause of death was revealed, but the guitarist suffered from health issues in recent years. In 2010, Dale said he was battling rectal cancer, and in an interview that went viral, Dale said in 2015 that “I can’t stop touring because I will die” due to medical expenses stemming from cancer treatment, diabetes and renal failure. “I have to raise $3,000 every month to pay for the medical supplies I need to stay alive, and that’s on top of the insurance that I pay for,” Dale said at the time.

As the progenitor of the surf rock genre and an innovator who helped stretch the possibilities of the electric guitar, Dale inspired musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, Ry Cooder and the Beach Boys. Dale’s “Miserlou” also notably featured in the opening credits sequence of Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction.

One of a kind - kept doing what he loved right up to the end. The local library has none of his CDs - checking a torrent site later this afternoon.

Alan Parsons is playing two dates here next April and the shows are already completely sold out. Had hoped to get a couple tickets but no go. Been listening to a lot of his stuff yesterday and today:

Here is one of his lesser known songs - no video, just the song but it gives you an idea of his compositional and arrangement skills. Closer to Heaven from Gaudi - gorgeous stuff.

Lyrics here: Closer to Heaven.

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Ars Technica
Boing Boing
Don Lancaster's Guru's Lair
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories
FAIL Blog
Hack a Day
Kevin Kelly - Cool Tools
Neatorama
Slashdot: News for nerds
The Register
The Daily WTF


Comics
Achewood
The Argyle Sweater
Chip Bok
Broadside Cartoons
Day by Day
Dilbert
Medium Large
Michael Ramirez
Prickly City
Tundra
User Friendly
Vexarr
What The Duck
Wondermark
xkcd


NO WAI! WTF?¿?¿
Awkward Family Photos
Cake Wrecks
Not Always Right
Sober in a Nightclub
You Drive What?


Business and Economics
The Austrian Economists
Carpe Diem
Coyote Blog


Photography and Art
Digital Photography Review
DIYPhotography
James Gurney
Joe McNally's Blog
PetaPixel
photo.net
Shorpy
Strobist
The Online Photographer


Blogrolling
A Western Heart
AMCGLTD.COM
American Digest
The AnarchAngel
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
Babalu Blog
Belmont Club
Bayou Renaissance Man
Classical Values
Cobb
Cold Fury
David Limbaugh
Defense Technology
Doug Ross @ Journal
Grouchy Old Cripple
Instapundit
iowahawk
Irons in the Fire
James Lileks
Lowering the Bar
Maggie's Farm
Marginal Revolution
Michael J. Totten
Mostly Cajun
Neanderpundit
neo-neocon
Power Line
ProfessorBainbridge.com
Questions and Observations
Rachel Lucas
Roger L. Simon
Samizdata.net
Sense of Events
Sound Politics
The Strata-Sphere
The Smallest Minority
The Volokh Conspiracy
Tim Blair
Velociworld
Weasel Zippers
WILLisms.com
Wizbang


Gone but not Forgotten...
A Coyote at the Dog Show
Bad Eagle
Steven DenBeste
democrats give conservatives indigestion
Allah
BigPictureSmallOffice
Cox and Forkum
The Diplomad
Priorities & Frivolities
Gut Rumbles
Mean Mr. Mustard 2.0
MegaPundit
Masamune
Neptunus Lex
Other Side of Kim
Publicola
Ramblings' Journal
Sgt. Stryker
shining full plate and a good broadsword
A Physicist's Perspective
The Daily Demarche
Wayne's Online Newsletter

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