The theme of Knobcon 11 — which has previously been such things as “Jack to the Future”, “Number Six” (The Prisoner), and “Knobtoberfest”, was utterly inevitable:
Tired from the drive and a little overwhelmed by the ridiculously noisy lobby (it has the worst acoustics ever, so it sounded like a World Cup match even though there was plenty of space and I maintained about 60 feet of social distancing until I actually checked in), I waited until about 4:30 to go down and do the con registration. There was quite a line. Maybe 1 in 5 people wearing a mask, which is more than average in the general public I think. I’m definitely going to stick with that in any crowded area given that Covid is on the rise again and the new booster won’t be available for another couple of weeks.
Gotta go back tomorrow to pick up my t-shirt, but I got my badge and bag o’ tchotchkes. This time there was no 9-pound dead tree Sweetwater catalog, thank goodness, and only a handful of cards and stickers and paper-thin fridge magnets I tossed out. Here’s the better and/or more bizarre stuff:
- An actual, quality wooden coaster from Oberheim. Nice!
- A decent, longish patch cable from SynthCube.
- A pin, sticker, and 15% discount card for online orders from SSF.
- I kept the EQD sticker because they have one of the best logos in the business. 🙂
- Perfect Circuit’s thingy includes a little screwdriver. I probably already have one, and I’ve probably lost another one somewhere. But hey.
- A squishy stress ball from Rogan. (It is not representative of the rubber they use for their soft-touch knobs.) I am amused that an actual knob company is sponsoring Knobcon now. But they do make my favorite knobs (as found on Make Noise, IME/The Harvestman, and Mutable Instruments by default, and I’ve put them on several other modules too).
- A PCB (circuit board / non-metallic panel) business card from Infinite Machinery, with what appears to be a surface-mount 0-ohm resistor on it. (If it actually is a zero ohm resistor, it’s time to alert the press that they’ve invented room temperature superconductors…) Maybe I can tape it over the very poorly located power switch on my computer that dogs have been known to turn off with their noses or butts.
- An aluminum circle from MetalPhoto. I don’t know what I’m going to do with an aluminum circle. Last time it was a ruler, which is a lot more practical.
In about an hour and a half, the festivities (live music) start up. Right now I’m just chilling in my hotel room and thinking about getting into my snack stash rather than bothering with real dinner.
Yesterday during my work hours, we had an internet outage. When it became apparent it was going to be down for a while, I signed into Teams on my phone’s slow and unreliable 4G connection just in case, and fired up the synths. I believe now I just have one, maybe two more tracks to record to round out the album.
Entonal Studio’s MIDI support works with Univer Inter, so I was able to play Strega in a subset of 18edo from the Seaboard. There was a little bit of wobbling at the attacks of some notes, but I lived with it for the purposes of that one track as it gave some additional character. This is masked when you’re using pressure control rather than an envelope with a relatively fast attack — but since my internet was down I was stuck with the settings I’d last uploaded to the Uni.
Pitch being slower than gates is a thing that happens with Eurorack sequencing at times, which can be solved with a very short gate delay. With MIDI normally you get the pitch and gate in a single combined message — but Entonal Studio is also sending pitch bend messages to adjust the tuning, so between it and the MIDI-to-CV conversion there’s an opportunity for things to get weird. But I can fix it easily enough with short gate delays using Stages or Teletype, no problemo.