I am super tired and need more sleep, which has eluded me. So I’m writing posts and playing with plugins for a bit.

Yesterday I celebrated (?) my 51st birthday by driving us back home from our long road trip. My mother-in-law made me a German chocolate cake and sent us home with a few pieces of it.

The day before that, we visited Shreveport Aquarium, which is not particularly impressive compared to Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, or Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg, or Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. It’s actually not impressive compared to the humbler St. Louis Aquarium. But their ray touch tank had the biggest pair of leopard rays we’ve seen anywhere, so that was neat even if we didn’t get to actually touch any of them. And our nephew, age 2 and a strong candidate for most adorable and funny human being on Earth, seemed to have a good time. (Maybe not as much fun as bouncing a big rubber ball off of his grandpa on Thanksgiving, or making us throw paper airplanes for his amusement afterward.)

The other thing that everyone except us seemed to want to make a big deal of was, of course, Black Friday — the “holiday” that has eclipsed Thanksgiving in its cultural influence and media presence. I didn’t buy anyone gifts yet, but Black Friday (which as I said, begins in the third week of October and doesn’t really end until January) is a big deal for the music gear industry and there are usually some healthy discounts to be found.

I wound up with:

  • Waldorf Streichfett Plugin. The hardware version is a proven favorite among some people but it’s not one I ever picked up. The introductory price was cheap enough I bought it without even demoing. It’s not particularly impressive or authentic IMHO — sort of uncanny valley impression of being a string machine without sounding exactly like one — but there are interesting sweet spots and it’s the sort of thing where its limits can be a strength and can reveal hidden depths. I’ll have some uses for it on occasion.
  • TC Electronic TC8210-DT… a not very catchy name for a reverb plugin that comes with a dedicated hardware controller. On deep discount to the point where I felt like I could try it out. Haven’t gotten it out of the box yet but that’ll likely be later today.
  • ValhallaDelay and Valhalla Supermassive both got free updates with new algorithms. The Supermassive ones are especially great. Continued, free expansion of products that were cheap or free in the first place is one of the reasons I love ValhallaDSP — the other being, the sound is just fantastic in the first place.
  • Moogerfooger plugins also got updated with a new device, MF-109 Saturator. Which also can add filtered noise and affect its own drive amount with an envelope follower, which can kind of be interesting if you put it after a delay or use it with percussive sounds.
  • Not audio, but Spiderheck and Rush Rally Origins were both on my Steam wishlist waiting for a sale, and it happened so I grabbed them. I tried the RRO demo before, and Spiderheck’s been getting great reviews.

Also, the order was a few weeks ago, but I got a few of the last remaining Mutable Instruments pink and jade knobs through Thonk. While Émilie had switched to all white knobs with newer modules because color-coding them just didn’t make that much sense, here I think it’s a nice touch:

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