AES50 stagebox for lines

Is it just me or would it be really useful (and cheaper) to have an AES50 stagebox dedicated to line inputs? When you keep collecting synths – which just continues to get easier and easier – you end up with an input requirement that’s hard to fulfil. Stageboxes like the SD16 are cool, but do I really need more mic preamps? Can you imagine how many more inputs you could fit on a box if it was all quarter inch?

Viber keyboard [grrr]

ಠ_ಠ why doesn’t Viber on macOS follow the OS rules on keyboard navigation? If you do an Alt-Right jump, it goes to the start of the following word, not the end of the current. It’s a small thing, but don’t mess with my muscle memory, dudes!

node / npm version mismatch

I recently kept running into issues with Node.js > 9 (Node.js 9.3.0 to be precise) and it not liking the latest version of npm (5.4, 5.5)

It turns out the simplest approach isn’t to downgrade Node.js or any of that stuff. With Node.js 9 there’s a patched version of npm. All I had to do was move the symlink npm that’s in /usr/local/bin and relink to /usr/bin/npm.

This is Debian Jessie; ymmv.

New-old music workflow

Here’s an idea to inject a bit of what’s missing from the recent tracks that I made in the 80s and early 90s tracks…

Some of this is specific to Ableton Live but it doesn’t have to be.

First, start the track as usual, which in this case means use Push in more or less the “standard” way: get a bassline going, duplicate scene, add hi-hats, duplicate scene, add kick + snare, duplicate scene, add strings… and so on.

Then mess around with it finding good combinations of scenes and clips so it starts to sound like a song. Get an idea of how it should play out. Add “performance” effects here – stuff that’s not really targeted at mixing: delays, sweeps, whatever.

Start recording the session to arrangement mode, and run through the performance that’s been developing. Make it longer deliberately so sections can be cut out easily (if you like – maybe there’s no need?)

Possibly add some mixing type effects to the tracks in arrangement mode.

Record each MIDI track in the arrangement to an adjacent audio track, not necessarily with the effects in place.

Now it gets weird: record each stereo wave track to cassette around the 0dB mark, then immediately record it back in from cassette to another stereo wave track. If you have a 4-track, do two tracks at a time; with an 8-track, do four.

Once these newly “degraded” tracks are in you’ll probably have to do some lining up, but that’s another of the naturalistic effects we’re after. You might (will) end up with some micro-phasing artefacts which may or may not be interesting.

Now you can mix down with a combination of pristine stereo and cassette stereo tracks, even giving us the possibility of sliding from one to the other. How about making a track fade continuously from cassette to pristine as the track goes (or the reverse?) How about widening the stereo of the cassette track and narrowing the stereo of the digital? And so on and so forth…

Subtitle or caption editing on OS X

This is one of those things that you just wouldn’t expect to be so damn difficult: create SubRip .srt files for videos. My main use for this isn’t to subtitle foreign speech, or create subtitles for the hard of hearing. Rather, I just need to caption screencasts and I’d rather make it more accessible than printing text onto the video in ScreenFlow. I have use cases where it’d be very helpful to be able to do both Spanish and English captions and the user to get the one they need automatically. A lot of these screencasts are shared via Google Drive, so the YouTube-style captioning works well – *if* you can create the SubRip files.

There are tons of pretty awful apps out there for this, but I couldn’t find a single one that I would actually *want* to use – and that worked crash-free, with the video format I’m using, etc and so on.

For some reason, I hadn’t noticed that ScreenFlow can handle all this *in situ*. (Yes, doh.) It isn’t the smoothest implementation ever, but it’s usable. I don’t know why they don’t just allow the start/end times to be dragged, but there is a keyboard shortcut for it. Also, the caption track doesn’t work if there’s no audio in the project, which is annoying. Anyway, at the end of it, the SRT can be exported and on the one small test I did, works perfectly.