On the album front: I have 41 minutes of material recorded so far, and I’ve been sticking with the minimal voices theme. One of the tracks does have three voices rather than a max of two, but since one of those is just a sub drone than blends with the chords of another voice, I’m letting myself get away with that. I figure I will probably release before Thanksgiving.

Speaking of which, we plan to visit my spouse’s parents at their new house for Thanksgiving, if we can arrange for dog sitting. We’re both a bit worried about traveling during the pandemic, and plan to avoid public spaces as much as we possibly can on the way. It’ll be nice to go do something though, spend some time with family and see my nephew and the new place.

Recent reads:

  • Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Birds in the Sky was mostly great fun, with a few grim bits. A witch and a mad scientist whose lives are entangled wind up on opposite sides of a conflict over two horrible plans to save the world.
  • I gave up partway through The Book of Strange New Things. A Christian missionary is recruited by a megacorporation to minister to aliens on a dreary remote planet, after the previous pastor went missing. I found most of the characters tedious and/or unlikeable, and the mysteries not very compelling either to the reader or the characters experiencing them. Despite the title, it feels like a book that had its sense of wonder surgically removed.
  • I’m currently enjoying The City in the Middle of the Night (also by Charlie Jane Anders). Misfits living on a tidally locked planet on the border between the always-day side and the always-night side, with various culture clashes paralleling that same opposition. And most importantly, compelling characters.

I’ve also started watching Neon Genesis Evangelion and I am finally, 25 years after its original release, going to watch it all the way through. It’s on Netflix, so there are some unfortunate changes including the loss of “Fly Me to the Moon.” Now that I know that the original English subtitles weren’t quite so awkward, I can deal. If they had replaced “Cruel Angel’s Thesis” too, then I’d be annoyed.


Right now I’m listening to my previous album on a new pair of headphones: German Maestro GMP 8.35 D. I picked them up because they were very highly rated by those who’ve used them, and they’re closed-back style with fairly good isolation. That’ll be helpful when I need to concentrate on work or music making and need to block out other noise. While I can still hear, for instance, the sound of my own typing on a clicky mechanical keyboard, the ticking of the desk fan behind me, and cartoons that my spouse is watching, it does block quite a bit more than the semi-open HD 668Bs I have used for years.

In general I don’t like closed-back headphones as much — they feel more “boxy” and when there’s no music (especially when you first put them on), you can hear the rush of your own blood. But I found it really didn’t take long before music started sounding right in them. Comparing between the two pairs of headphones, I think the GMPs are either revealing more detail, or it’s just not getting lost in the low hum of fans. The frequency response is a bit different, but I will probably not wind up using corrective EQ, opting instead to listen to a lot of music for reference in both sets of headphones so I have a proper feel for them.

I write music with the assumption that my listeners will use headphones, but it’s probably a good idea to check with two kinds of headphones anyway (as well as the wireless earbuds I usually check with on my phone during the mastering stage).


I did go ahead and preorder a CVilization, after the matrix mixer video dropped and a couple of beta testers commented about how friendly and flexible it is to work with. And it shipped this morning, so there wasn’t a lot of “pre” in that order. I’m not going to sell off my AI008 until I know for sure I like CVil, but… I probably will.

I’ve put the Doepfer 256-stage BBD on my birthday/Christmas wish list. The new Mutable Instruments modules are planned for a 2020 release but may or may not make it due to production schedules, so I’m holding out for that. If it’s not a must-have, I have a few options to consider.

I’m still waiting for that DAFM Genesis synth to arrive. The last update from Correos (Spanish parcel post) was “Leaving the Exchange Office” on October 2, but from a quick check online these sorts of delays and/or a failure for USPS to show any tracking data isn’t unusual. If another week goes by I will write to the seller.

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