From the category archives: Music
In case you haven't heard, MCA of the Beastie Boys has cancer. I'm wishing him well.
The title says it all. No matter what you think about his (admittedly bizarre) personal life, he was an absolute entertainment phenomenon. There will never be another entertainer like him. Thriller will always be one of my most prized albums in my collection of vinyl.
With this and the death of Ed McMahon and Farrah Fawcett, this has turned out to be a hell of a depressing week. It can't end soon enough.
A woman steals something from someone. Actually, she stole 24 things. And they were from a company, not a person. Actually, they are illegal music downloads and she didn't really steal from the copyright holder as much as she obtained copyrighted material from a third party without the copyright holder's permission. It's still theft. And you won't hear me argue otherwise because I do believe copyright infringement is a serious crime.
So did she perform an illegal act? Yes, absolutely. Should she be forced to pay a civil penalty beyond simply the market value of the product she stole? Yes, sure. That's part of the punishment for committing a crime and its also a deterrent for others thinking about committing the same crime. Should she have to pay a penalty that is 80,000 times the market value of the product? pfffbbbtbttttttt! WTF?! HELL NO!
This is ridiculous. These types of excessive fines do nothing to add value to copyrighted material like music, books, and videos. If anything, it just makes copyright holders look like petty bullies, diminishing the value of the works that they are protecting. As a copyright holder of my own music, I am sympathetic to the concerns of copyright holders regarding illegal downloading of music. I was a big defender of shutting down Napster (the original highly illegal one). I also have no sympathy for The Pirate Bay. But this case… This case is just absolutely ridiculous. It is beyond excessive. IANAL, but to me this case seems to be an Eighth Amendment violation.
The punishment needs to fit the crime. Make her pay the court fees, the market value of the music, plus a $250 civil penalty and call it a day.
Quietly, and without much fanfare, nerds.de released an updated version of LoopBe30, a virtual MIDI patchcable driver, which now supports 64-bit operating systems, such as Vista 64 and XP 64.
Users of 64-bit operating systems have been getting the middle finger from many audio companies (such as these guys, although recently they have taken a slightly softer approach). It is/was really short-sighted, because 64-bit operating systems are, in general, higher performance and can address more RAM, which are both monumentally important to audio production. It doesn't matter that audio width greater than 32-bits provides little more (no perceptible) clarity than 32-bit. That is not the issue. If the OS has less overhead and greater bandwidth, more registers, and more RAM, the entire system will be faster, releasing resource pressure for the audio application, leading to overall higher performance. These guys understood and were the first to fully embrace 64-bit computing. Good for them.
Whoa, I went on a rant there. Sorry. The point of this post is to introduce you to the first (that I know of) 64-bit version of a virtual midi patchcable. What the heck does that do? It allows you to pipe midi-enabled software and hardware through multiple chains of midi within your computer. A good example is to pipe your sequencer's output through the mighty, mighty Midi-Ox, which will send the signal out your interface's midi-out to your hardware device.
Now 64-bitters can join the party! It's a niche market, for sure, but it's important when you rely on it!
It's worth noting that developing a 64-bit driver is not trivial because Microsoft requires that all 64-bit drivers be signed, which takes time and money, working with MS's quality labs, to make sure it won't crash the operating system and follows "best practices" set up by MS (a good thing). Thankfully, nerds.de took the time to do it.
I'll give a review of LoopBe30 in a later post. This is just to announce it's release! The big question for me? Will it work with the old school 32-bit Midi-Ox (another powerful program that refuses to make the jump to 64-bit at this point).
CD Baby has finished setting up my CD for sale. You can now buy it at the following link for the low, low price of $10.95: http://cdbaby.com/cd/avianwaves.
Unbelievably, I've already sold a copy, before any promotion. I think I like this CD Baby thing...
The SNOCAP store on the front page and the MySpace page is currently offline as new MP3s are validated by SNOCAP and come online. In support of the new album release, I've re-encoded ALL singles from the self-titled album using LAME. I used the original 96Khz/24bit masters as the input files and used LAME's "extreme" quality option, which uses variable bitrate compression for maximum quality. The files are a little bit bigger, but none exceed 16 MB (and that's two songs in one file: Out of Darkness + Toward the Light). Price is 99 cents per song (the usual cost).
Note for DJs: The SNOCAP singles are not cross-faded together (except for Out of Darkness + Toward the Light, which were recorded together and so are not easy to break apart), like on the retail CD. I have my artistic vision and all that for the album, but the SNOCAP singles can be arranged however you want. That makes these singles ideal for radio/club play.
Coming soon: Ring tones!
So with new technology regularly comes speculations of grand new utopic worlds and the death of old ways. iTunes has basically made the industry (or those at least who claim to be "in" the industry) to speculate on if selling albums is worth it anymore. Afterall, you can just jot on over to iTunes (or whatever), download only the songs you like from every artist you like and be done with it!
Of course there are people like that. But they could (and did) buy 45's, cassette singles, and CD singles back in the "old" days. Some people just like buying albums (like me) because they want the full experience. Yes, some bands just produce collections of songs with no real forethought on the "experience" an album will take you on, and that's fine. But longer multi-part experiences are an important part of music and have been for some time. I'm not sure that's going to change! Symphonies were written in movements. Each movement you could say was a "song" and the whole symphony was an "album." It was the same concept. Teevee analogy: singles are the "episodes" and albums are the "season" (or "series" if you are from across the pond).
So anyway, I'm tired of hearing that the album is dead. The CD may be on life support, but the album is not dead. It will just be bought as a chain of singles off the iTunes, to be listened to in a specific order. Is that such a stretch? You can even leave cross fading intact!
Okay so enough babbling. Back to Avian Waves. CD coming soon (I'm serious this time). I finally found a reasonable manufacturing price (via Discmakers) and will be distributing via CD Baby. Let's hope I can make it onto the iTunes and others from that. Cross fades will remain in those versions, so if you buy them there you can run them back to back and get the "album experience" minus the artwork. The SNOCAP order form on my web page is for the "singles" versions where songs will not crossfade.
Of course if you buy the CD, I make more money (support your local starving artist) and you get something tangible to hold onto. It's also better quality.
Now if you are a TRUE audiophile, like me, you will really be excited to hear that all my music will eventually be available via DVD-Audio someday. Not sure when exactly. Not sure anybody cares! But basically the benefit of DVD-A is that it will store the ORIGINAL MASTERS in its full brilliant 96Khz 24-bit clarity. That means no resampling, no dithering, and no loss of quality from the master recordings! I work exclusively in the 24-bit 96Khz domain when recording, processing, and mastering (never leaving that domain for any reason), so listening to those high quality masters is absolutely the best quality recording available for my music. Hit me on the contact page if you are interested in a DVD-A format. It will only play on DVD players, of course (includes your computer). However, unlike CDs, you can losslessly rip the audio and store it and then play it through your media player whenever you want. However, copyright laws prohibit you distributing it (please, I really am a starving artist - feed me).
Yes, if a new high def audio format standard replaces the rarely seen DVD-A. I will embrace it and long as it is not prohibitively expensive.
DVD-A orders will be custom short runs (I anticipate very little demand lol), but for those of us that appreciate the sonic clarity that only high quality analog tape and 96Khz 24-bit (and above) digital audio can bring, it will be a welcome treat.
I was surprised to wake up this morning and find an email from Garageband.com (which I haven't logged onto in years) has chosen "Out of Darkness" to be the Track of the Day for the second time! This time it will be featured on Saturday, August 18, 2007. The first time it was featured was February 25, 2001 (yes, it's an old song, and still not published)!
You may notice that the "band name" is TCX. That's what I went by back in the day and they don't seem to be too eager to update the band name to "Avian Waves." Rest assured, TCX is Avian Waves (only a more lame band name, that's all). I'm not hijacking somebody else's glory. :-)
Labels? Where are you? It's a 6 year old track that still hasn't aged a day! People love it! Sign me! (Yes, I'm begging -- but I'm a starving artist! We tend to beg...)
Due to an unexpected financial crunch (darn mortgage, bills, and day jobs getting in the way of music!), the Avian Waves CD is hanging around in limbo, where it's been for much of the past few years. But that's all the bad news...
Good news! Avian Waves will soon be for sale through MySpace Music. This serves several purposes. First, people visiting this website wondering why it's so dedicated to music when the tech section is 100x more active will finally be able to listen to what I create and be given a chance to purchase it (support your local starving artist) through a fairly decent quality medium (with good prices to match). Second, it serves as a make-shift "demo" for super high tech indie labels that don't evaluate unsigned artists the same way the majors do (in other words, just give me the music, jack, instead of boring press package with a boring bio of my nerdy life).
Believe it or not, I've had some interest from several different labels. I am getting good feedback from the contacts I have (and awaiting feedback from some others). The tricky part seems to be that last few inches where they go from "this sounds great" to "hey we'll distribute your stuff!" Keep your fingers crossed...
If nothing else, I hope to press the CDs myself later this year and try to sell a hundred during the next year. I'm aiming sort of low since "everybody is a musician" and it's hard to make a name for yourself when there is such a bad signal:noise ratio. ie, good music is hard to find. Well, I like to think I wrote good music. I need some momentum...
Friend me on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/avianwaves and send me messages, leave comments. Reply in the blog or forums! Listen to my music! I want to write more...
Have some fun. I know I have to have at least one friend out there reading this crap I keep posting...