Bulldog Balls Up

HAHA! Oh man … this was too funny I almost died laughing, just called Bulldog (my ISP) about a fault. They tell me that they know they are having issues with broadband and phone services and that their engineers are beavering away to locate and fix the problem, blah, blah … “please refer to the web site for more details …” … !! … Erm, anyone spot a fatal flaw in that plan? Just an itsi-bitsy one …

Fuckwits …

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FoxPro

Blimey its been a whole week since i posted anything here! Been away from everything for a week on an Visual FoxPro intensive developers course in Bath. Learnt a stack of new stuff that i’m going to be building into my SampleSort software project over the next few weeks.

Onwards and Upwards folks!

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Fish Used to Fight Terrorism

HAHA! Oh man this one takes the biscuit, no matter how ingenious an idea it may be, its still very funny in a sad sort of way, poor fishes!

Somewhere in New York State (we can’t say where), a computer is monitoring every move of eight bluegill fish in a tank. The moment a few start to cough (yes, fish cough) the computer sends an alert and takes water samples.

Called the Intelligent Aquatic BioMonitoring System (IABS), the contraption is the latest high-tech defense against potential terrorism attacks on the nation’s water supply”

Anti Terrorist Fish

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Why doesn’t MSN work with Opera

Well this makes for some interesting reading I can tell you! Seems like the MSN site run by M$ is intentionally breaking its web site in order to make users feel that Opera is a less than desirable web browser when in fact that couldn’t be further from the truth! Whilst not claiming to be any definitive authority on the subject I think Opera is probably the best solution to the less technical people who do actually want to use something other that IE or safari (the two ‘bundled’ browsers for Windows and Mac respectively).

Have a read of this Opera and MSN article, obviously I can’t vouch for the contents but its on the Opera site and M$ wouldn’t like it if they thought they could win some action. Its also referring to Opera 7 so it must be pre April 2005 as well but it makes for interesting reading either way. Or at least it does for the geekishly inclined among us! heh heh … 🙂

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Bushies Land Grab

Well the Bush family are roumoured to have just bought nearly 100,000 acres of Chaco, Paraguay. It’s also home to one of the largest underground fresh water reserves in the world. Seeing that they are a big player in the oil world and remembering the water issues currently facing world farmers it should come as no surprise that they also want to be in the lead on what many are calling the real war … the war for water.

“The southern US states are already struggling with water shortages,” – Adolfo Perez Esquivel (1980 Nobel Peace Prizewinner)

Source – Article

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Lester Brown

This is a seriously interesting chap, he’s referred to as one of the most influential thinkers in terms of world populations and resources. Makes for some really sombre thinking about our future, but by knowing these things about our position we’re much better equipped to realise the solutions – “Lester Brown has written the sort of book that once you’ve put it down you can’t pick it up again.”

Lester Brown Bio
Earth Policy Institute
Watch Lester Brown

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Radiodread

Well Well … Easy Star All Stars do it again …

Dub Side of the Moon was a great remake of a classic album … bong water a-plenty and a good dose of humour injected into the record in the right places, all very tasteful … but this … this is something else altogether. Its a stunning rendition of OK Computer by Radiohead, probably the biggest rock band of recent times.

get it …

Easy Star All Stars

essential listening!

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Oceans – Hypoxia – Dead Zones?

Something I’ve been hearing an alarming amount about lately are things called ‘Dead Zones’ … these are areas in the worlds oceans that are literally dead. Oxygen free areas in the sea that every living creature flee’s for fear of suffocation. In these areas the toxic biological bacterial organisms thrive and take over excreating more and more toxins into their environments. No animal life can survive in these dead zones … the fact is the more oxygen free the environment the better it is for the nasty polluting bacteria.

This is scary stuff, the seas are throught of as the source of all life … is this going to be cyclical and be the source of death for all life as well?

Basically these dead zones have always occured, there was a recorded figure of about 150 or them worldwide in 2004 but they are found all over the world. In the gulf of Mexico there is a dead zone that has been growing since 1993 … in 2005 the zone covered 4,564 square miles … however in some years it has covered upwards of 7,000 square miles.

Thats 7,000 square miles absent of *ANY* animal life … no crabs, no clams, no fish … absolutely nothing that requires oxygen to live can survive in these areas …

You can read more here on the NASA web site.

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Hawaii Earthquake

Apparently this is a very, very unusual earthquake in that its a large one right in the middle of a very large plate. Its been reported as a ‘vertical’ earthquake meaning that the majority of the energy was traveling up and down rather than side to side. Its reported that the island land mass is breaking up due to the weight of the island on the land beneath the sea line. Basically the structure that made the island out of the volcano is loosing its abaility to support its own weight! … mental …

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PMC – More Impressions.

The more I listen to the music I really know intimately the more I’m impressed with the feel of these monitors. As I keep saying they are really unforgiving and will provide a hell of a window into the mixes we do in the studio. Last night I gave Pink Floyd – The Wall a listen on them, the sound was huge, open and really well defined. To be honest it sounded a lot better than some of the more recent things we have been listening too on these monitors.

I’m sure hardly anyone reading this will have ever done anything like this but if you rip the audio from a CD copy of The Wall and have a look at it in a stereo editor, its actually *extremely* quiet. They have retained the dynamics on the version I have, well it looks as though they haven’t done that ‘remastered’ thing for the version I have.

We also had a listen to some Ian Brown tracks from his album ‘Music of the Spheres’ this also sounded very, very good on these monitors and in fact I’d go as far as to say that it was one of the better sounding a lbums over the entire listening session last night. Really well frequency balanced and all round great mixes. A lot of the records we’re listening too are appearing a little harsh so its good to know that there are albums out there that i’ve always considered to be well
produced to translate well on these monitors.

There is so much to take into consideration!!

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PMC TB2A – First Impressions.

Well I can honestly say that i’ve never been more impressed with the first listen to a set of studio monitors before. They are everything I thought they would be and much more. The detail in the stereo image is truly impressive … I’m genuinely scared about listening to my own production work through them!

Wish me luck!

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BitstreamX3 – Ableton Live?

Well this thing looks amazing! The BitstreamX3 MIDI controller from CME Professional. Features 74 input controllers including 8 faders, a ribbon controller and an X-Y joystick controller and a cross-fader. Absolutely perfect for use with Ableton Live. It arrives out of the box with no less than 13,000 templates for audio software including the major sequencers and softsynths. I think I may have found the solution I need to get some really decent hands on controller over live. The Faderfox controller I have now is ok and comes in a really neat and small package but it leaves me feeling a little ‘out of the loop’. Whereas this beasty is totally feature rich, the screen promises some really nice extra feedback as to what is actually going on inside the box. This is an area that controllers really usually fail on. The worst culprit I have used for that was the old Peavey thing that they made for Cakewalk – The Studiomix. Can you imagine getting your hands on a mixdown project involving 60+ tracks with only 8 hardware faders and no way to directly link which faders are controlling which tracks in the software? No, it quickly becomes a hindrance in the workflow and at worst you end up altering parts of you mix unintentionally. I’m especially intrigued by the expansion port and the fact that the system is easily user flashable with a new OS.

Hardware – 35 knobs, 8 sliders, Ribbon controller, Analogue joystick, Cross-fader, 28 push buttons, 21 Groups, 100 scene memories, Fully programmable, Direct access to MIDI channels, MIDI I/O, USB, Footswitch, SYNC24, 2 RISC processors inside, Expansion port, MIDI merger and filter, Self-powered by USB, Backlight graphic LCD, Rock solid 4U metal case. Software – Advanced arpeggiator, Programmable LFO, 8 tracks motion sampler, Dedicated MIDI processor, no latency, MIDI over USB compatible, Plug and Play, no extra driver required, Dedicated configuration software, Firmware upgrader software, All software are available on Mac & Windows.

This is a seriously nice bit of hardware, the two RISC processors also suggest that this thing is going to have plenty of grunt to deal with lots of controller traffic on the MIDI side of things. The motion sampler also sounds very interesting, shame that it doesn’t appear to have motorised faders but to be fair that would push the price up significantly and at £230 this is definitely a good buy. For comparison the studiomix i mentioned above did have motorised faders and clocked in at release at £800 nearly three times the price and ended up being no-where near usable enough.

You can get more info here at the Wave Ideas web site.

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PMC Monitors

whhhhhaaaaaa!Our new PMC TB2SA active monitors have arrived in the Product23 Studiotoday. Simon and I are going to have a stack of fun installing these and then spending hours admiring their sound. These are some seriously nice monitors that are digitally active using Flying Mole electronics.
Really can’t wait to get them going.

PMC TB2SA

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