so it’s been a long time since i posted here. i could say that i’ve been busy, but really, that’s a lie; i haven’t been any busier than usual. the trip to seattle and post-christmas stuff was stressful and, yes, it did take a while for the gavinator to get back on track, especially since he came back with a cold (or at least got one shortly thereafter) and either got another one a week later or never quite got over it. he’s done with it now, though…i think. just in time for a trip to SF in a couple weeks.

so, the subject of this post is rpmchallenge. wtf is that? you say. it’s very similar to national novel writing month (NaNoWriMo) which is a challenge to write 50,000 words in one month (November). writers all over the ‘net/blogosphere cram their diddy little hearts out in an attempt to pound out 50k words. i wanted to try to do that this year with Feedback but november is hard with thanksgiving, my birthday, etc, so it never went any further.

rpmchallenge is the same thing for music. cut an album — complete with art — in one month (they conveniently chose the shortest month of the year, february). 10 songs or 35 minutes. i can poop this out. my added challenge that i’m imposing on this project is to do everything entirely in linux. (the side effect of this is my good sound card is in the other computer.) so i’m gonna do it. if i have to, i’ll scavenge from old projects and remix them, but only if i need to make time/tracks at the last minute.

so this is the first post. i’m gonna do this thing.

so far, i’ve gone thru all the linux apps available thru the ubuntu package list and downloaded just about everything i could, then i went through and pared down mostly by which ones crashed on startup, and which were actually useful. the current list of applications looks like this:

Audacity – Record and edit audio files
BEAST – MIDI Tracker, Music Composition and Modular Synthesis Application
Creox – Real-time guitar effects (live pedal effects)
Freebirth – Bass synthesizer/sample player/sequencer
GNUsound – Sound editor
Hydrogen – Advanced drum machine
Jokosher – Multi-track non-linear audio editing
SpiralSynthModular – Create and edit audio tracks for live use
Sweep – Sweep Sound Editor
ZynAddSubFX Software Synthesizer – another analog synthesizer tool thingie

i’ve peeked in each, used zynaddsubfx and hydrogen and expect jokosher to get a lot of work. there are several sound editors (gnusound, sweep, audacity) and that will mostly come down to what effects they have, processing resources used, and what interface i like, eventually that will come down to one. the track i’m working on now was twiddling with the knobs in zynaddsubfx and then getting some crazy effect going and then recording it. i’m gonna use one of the sound editors to clean it up a bit and then lay a drum track and bass track on it and see what comes up. the project’s title, by the way (if you didn’t click the rpmchallenge link above) is c.s.reynolds experimental music project. long enough? i’m considering naming each song the date that it is finished (for extra experimental randomness). not sure if i will do that or not. my other thought was that the title of the track would be (or include) all of the tools used to create it. not sure if i’m actually going to do that either, but i will put all that stuff in the liner notes (which will likely be done in GIMP).

in other news: everyone needs to see an inconvenient truth — al gore’s environmental manifesto. he’s not just a dopey potatoe head, and this is done really well. the underlying theme is that it’s never been a secret that we’re screwing up the environment, but in case you thought it was, here’s a movie to un-secret it more. it’s done really well and he shows some very revealing graphs of just how much we’re screwing our planet.




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