Friday, June 27, 2008

I'm on MacVoices

If you're interested in Audio Units plugins for expanding Apple's GarageBand software, take a listen to the latest episode of MacVoices, where I talk with host Chuck Joiner about the vast realm of third-party plugin manufacturers, mentioning some of my favorite software instruments and effects.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Roll Your Own Web Pilot

I'm a contributing editor for Mac|Life magazine, and a recent feature article I wrote for them has been posted on their website. Make Your Own TV Show is a look at the basics of putting together a pilot for a web-based episodic program, and covers the whole affair from a guerilla-videographer angle, from low-end cameras through some of the essential theory and practice of editing, and my picks for some of the websites you'll want to consider for distributing your show. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A Fair & Balanced Universe

So there's this planet, and on this planet, there's a guy who made a lot of money beating people up.

What kind of money? Well, he has a home described as follows:

"The 54,000-square-foot home has 109 rooms, including 17 bathrooms, three kitchens and a bowling alley."

Yes, all that for punching people.

And he's apparently delinquent on paying his $3000 monthly child support.

If the asteroid hits tomorrow, it'll be a day too late.

Damage can be good

In my eternal quest for cool audio plugins, I've come across a bounty of wonderful, inexpensive goodies from the fine folks at Audio Damage. They make excellent-sounding effects, and I'm particularly taken with their DubStation, which is a fantastic simulation of an old bucket brigade-style analog delay - twist the delay time knob, and thrill at the recreation of the pitch-stretch artifacts that are just sooo much fun. It reminds of when I first laid my hands on an original Electro-Harmonix Memory Man delay, in 1975 - it arrived in an order I had placed from when I was a dealer for them in Caracas, Venezuela (and that's a whole 'other story from my youth), Mike Matthews had them send me a prototype (he was thrilled that he had a teenaged authorized dealer in South America). I plugged my guitar in, and was blown away by what came out of the box. The DubStation took me right back to that time, and it's only $39, the best delay deal on this planet. Their Reverence reverb is just perfect, sporting a slick sound and just about zero processor footprint, which boggles the mind. It's $39 as well, which is just ridiculous, given that the closest hardware counterpart will run you well into the hundreds of dollars. Vapor is a gorgeous, shimmering choris effect which works wonders on guitar tracks, and is subtle enough to be useful on all sorts of tracks - vocals, keyboards, drums - and it's $29. There's a bunch of other amazing plugs that these maniacs make - Dr. Device is likely to make your head explode - and they all represent a truly astounding value for the price. I can only imagine what would happen if these folks decide to make a softsynth.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Perfect Pitch

There's an excellent article about Antares Auto-Tune in the current New Yorker Magazine, with a detailed look at how this venerable pitch-correction tool gained an ancillary following based on what essentially boils down to a quirk in the software. Good reading.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Cool Online Art Toy

I just adore weird little graphics programs, and bomomo is a really nice example of what can be accomplished via a web browser. It's a ton of fun, just click on the tools and drag them around the canvas, and prepare to be delighted. I wish there was some control over colors, but hey, it's free. The closest thing I've seen are the particle brushes in Studio Artist, which are just too much fun.

Then there's Groboto, which has some similar types of fun procedural drawing abilities, all in glorious 3D. If you don't about this wonderfully creative, fun application, you should check it out, especially if you have kids who want to play with 3D and are daunted by the complexity of a typical 3D modeling program.

So why doesn't anyone build a standalone 2D painting application with this kind of functionality? Bomomo is a nice toy, but it makes me want something more substantial. Where is Mark Zimmer when you need him?

And I'll try to update this blog on a more regular basis. Sorry about the delay between the last entry and this one... life gets in the way of blogging.