life, the universe, and a bit more

I’ve got a bit over 42 minutes of music recorded for the next project, and some parts ready for the next session. So that’s moving right along.

I’ve started thinking about next year’s list of goals. I have a “lol @ 2022” comment next to this year’s. I still think it’s a worthwhile exercise, even if inability to predict the future and a distorted idea of how I’m going to experience that time make them a little off. For instance, I said “no new basses until at least July” and then bought the Ibanez in January and ordered the Miezo in April because I was better aware of my needs and wants.

I have some thoughts to work out about how the bass integration is going. The Miezo solved my problems with playing at the desk, but that doesn’t mean it’s always smooth sailing. My main hindrance now is a general lack of adroitness — I’m still a beginner! The solution is (A) more practice and (B) work out how best to record multiple tracks live and in sync, so if I’m recording and let out an awful clanky twang, I can rescue the take. On the creative side, I also continue to work out what kind of role/sounds I want from it and how it fits in.

One of the other items on my goal list, perpetually, has to do with online interactions. I don’t want to get involved in heated online arguments. I think my new way to specify this is “let people be wrong.” I think I tend to step in because I feel like people need correction, and… that’s only going to lead to frustration and animosity (and the Dark Side).

Moog recently released plugin versions of its Moogerfooger line of pedals. The original hardware was heavy-duty analog stuff with CV jacks on the back, and prices that started high when new, and went stratospheric after they were discontinued a few years ago. The set of 7 plugins is reasonably priced, and vary in usefulness from a gorgeous delay up to a ring modulator, PLL oscillator, and weird resonant EQ preset sequencer. I frankly don’t care whether they sound 100% authentic, they are full of character and a couple of them have been immediately useful.

Despite what some of those wrong people on forums have been saying, I feel like it’s been a great couple of years for music software. VCV Rack as a plugin, CLAP, Bitwig Spectral Suite, the Moog stuff. Strymon Big Sky, one of the most popular pedals for ambient and shoegaze reverbs, also was released in plugin form (though the price could be argued to be a bit high, at least to those of us with plenty of great reverbs already; you really have to specifically want the Strymon ones to go for it). Noise Engineering continues to release its Eurorack modules as plugins, and Arturia’s new Minifreak comes with a VST plugin version directly controllable by the hardware so you can have multiple instances of it. (Hopefully someday they’ll decide to sell the plugin separately). Overall, I don’t think the hardware synth renaissance has hurt software plugins at all — the main things that have hurt have been venture capitalists mucking up perfectly good companies, and the trend toward subscriptions rather than selling licenses.

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