slow going, but going

The current album project has been ticking along a bit more slowly than I often go. Much of the blame goes to illness; I “got over” my cold a couple of weeks ago but a lingering cough and chest congestion has put a damper on everything.

I’ve been occasionally reading up on bits of subject matter related to the theme, and writing a thing that I keep trimming back. A whole lot can be said about conformity, individualism, authenticity, their less healthy aspects in our society, how it relates to music and what the actual relevance is when you’re trying to use it as an album theme. But my goal here is to write an album, not a book.

I’ve been playing a fair bit of Guild Wars 2, instead. It’s been a couple of years or more, so I deleted all my old characters and started over, finally settling on a condition Mesmer. I also noticed I had 97% of the Steam achievements in Bejeweled 3, and maybe that’ll be the first (possibly only) game I ever hit 100% with. Heh. I don’t want to get too much in the habit of gaming instead of making music, though.

My spouse did the interlibrary loan thing and snagged me a copy of Curtis Roads’ The Computer Music Tutorial for a month or so. I knew there was a lot in it, but didn’t realize it was a five-pound, 1200+ page tome. While some of what it covers I’m already familiar with, there are a lot of methods I’d heard of but didn’t really understand, or things that have been tried but for various reasons never became popular methods. It doesn’t get into deep details of implementation, nor explosions of impenetrable calculus — it stays on a level to inspire patches, experimentation and insight. (Oh, that’s why exponential FM works that way…). I’m taking a few photos and notes as I go. It remains to be seen whether I decide I’ll need to own my own copy.

That new audio interface is working out just fine. I even found I can use the Mutable Instruments style Rogan knobs on it, so now the main volume stands out clearly from the row of smaller knobs.

I had to replace my headphones at work — cheap QY Bluetooth earbuds, which got all intermittent in the left channel. I made the mistake of going for closed-back headphones, and I’m not sure I like them. It’s a bit like holding seashells up to your ears, or perhaps buckets. The semi-open ones I have at home are fantastic, with clear highs and solid bass and just the right amount of isolation where I can still hear some of what’s going on outside them. I’ll keep using these to see if I get used to the differences, and because I don’t want to immediately buy another pair of headphones. They’re pretty comfortable, at least.

My current musing on gear is, I’ll probably stick to my 2.2 plan with the DPO. It strikes me as being an instrument, with a particular character that I like, and that feel of a classic complex oscillator. Also it conveniently needs a bit less current on the -12V rail than my other options. Generate 3 would be awesome I’m sure, but I really feel like I couldn’t go wrong with DPO.

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