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Trex Done

Today I finished editing the final Trex recording. It's from back in 2008. I haven't recorded any Trex songs since then.  I'm so glad the project is done!  Now I can focus on Tripecac again. :)


Tech Updates

I upgraded to Wordpress 3.2.0 today.  This was the first update in years.  Nice to know it still works!

While I'm at it, I might as well catch you up with how the "uber-project" is going.

In 2009 I decided to implement my own blog for sharing photos, videos, and information with my family.   There are daily posts going back to November 2009, when we moved to NZ.  I've also retroactively added pre-2009 vacations and projects.  Posts can have images, videos, and comments.  Image thumbnails automatically expand when you hover over them, which is a feature that I wish Flickr had.  It all works pretty smoothly, and I update it almost every day, but it's private, so is worthless in terms of portfolio.  Anyway, the existence of that blog distracted me from this one, which is why there haven't been updates here in years.

In terms of music projects, Tripecac is inching along slowly.  I gave up on expanding the Triton's sounds and instead switched to soft synths, which required the purchase of a new computer.  Fatherhood has restricted my time dramatically, so I'm not churning out 5+ albums a year like before, but if I can do at least 2, and have some decent songs in there, I'm relatively content.

Trex has recently dominated my time.  I've digitized all the tapes, and am currently working on editing and making CDs of the 2007 recordings.  Once I finish that, I will be almost done; there's only an hour or two of stuff from 2008 and later, plus the possibility of extracting songs from videos.  I look forward to finally finishing the Trex project; hopefully it will be by the end of the year.

I've also updated the CSS for all my web sites.  They are a lot more uniform now, and look more modern.  I still need to normalize their urls and add Web 2.0 features like commenting and RSS feeds, but first need to decide whether to convert them to Wordpress or a similar CMS.  So I'm looking at other sites and researching best practices.

I have an idea for a blog and a podcast, but will need to solidify a plan before moving forward.  And I'd like to finish the Trex project first.  Right now I don't have enough time to move forward on all fronts and still be able to smile at people!

Project Update

A quick update on my project status…

  • I finally finished working on Kim's tapes.  So now they're on CD and the Trex website.  Yay!
  • I also finished my sister's wedding video.  DVDs and online videos.  Yay!
  • Tripecac keeps puttering along.  I've finished Whatcom Home and 2 more albums, and am currently working on Composed Pile.  Still having fun with it, although I am definitely getting tired of the Triton's sounds, at least with my current effects template.  I haven't installed any new sounds yet, mostly because I haven't found a good librarian.
  • I've added a rating system to the Tripecac, Trex, IPECAC, and Anchovies sites.  So now you can rate songs and albums, and see the average ratings.  The songs page lets you sort by ratings, so you can hear the "best" songs first.
  • My next big project will be digitizing my 8mm videos.  For this I needed to buy an 8mm camera, since my old one doesn't play tapes anymore.  I haven't received the new camera yet; I hope it works well enough to let me proceed with this project!
  • The next project after that will be digitizing the remaining Trex tapes (from 2007 to present).  That will take a long time, since there are so many tapes.

Okay that's it for now!

Swamped with Projects

Recently I've been drowning in projects. None are what I would regard as either very low or very high priority. They are all kinda medium priority.

God, blogs are boring. I am bored already. By the way, I upgraded to Wordpress 2.3.1 today. No big whoop. No small whoop either. It was trivial, just like this blog.

Anyway, here are my current music projects:

  1. Trex – copy Kim's tapes to computer. I had sent 24 tapes to my cousin Kim back in 1988 and 1989. For almost all of the songs, she had the only copies. A couple years ago I asked her if I could copy them to my computer and then send them back to her. Finally, this month, at my sister's wedding, Kim handed me the box of tapes. Today I finished copying them to the computer. That's the easy part. The hard part is:
  2. Trex – create CDs from Kim's tapes. This involves editing and documenting each track on the Trex website. I'm having to spend a lot of time editing, since the original songs were so sloppy (I was in my early teens). The most time-consuming part is the documentation: writing down every word of the lyrics and chatter, adding descriptions, date information, etc. Very tedious. It's taken me 2 weeks to finish processing 6 of the tapes (resulting in 3 CDs). 18 tapes to go. Sigh.
  3. Trex – record new practices. These are mostly guitar. I have a rule that everyday I can record at most 2 new songs. This forces me to slow down. I was recording too much music, about a tape a week. It was crazy.
  4. Trex – copy practices to computer. I've finished copying everything through 2006, plus a couple tapes in 2007. There are about 20 tapes from 2007 that I still need to copy. 20 and counting (thanks to project #3).
  5. Trex – create CDs of practices. I'm caught up through 2006, but haven't finished any from 2007. This is on hold until I finish creating CDs of Kim's tapes.
  6. Tripecac – create new songs for Whatcom Home. This is my latest album. I'm hoping to finish it within the next couple days. As soon as I finish it, I will start the next album.
  7. Tripecac – add more sounds to my Triton. I need to figure out how to use my "E" bank, which is currently empty. I'd like to try out a bunch of acoustic sounds and then use them on my next album. However, I need to figure out 1) how to get sounds onto the Triton and 2) how to save/load sounds with each song, so that it doesn't matter if I overwrite the sounds later.

In addition to these music projects, I have a video editing project (for my sister's wedding), and my Travart project, which I discussed in a previous post. Video editing is awaiting raw video from my Dad. Travart is back-burnered once again.

These projects have been swarming through my head this month.

Today I decided to focus only on Tripecac. No Trex. And it was great! As soon as I was done with work, I hopped on my music computer, had 2 productive hours, managed to finish a song. Yay! It was a nice feeling.

However, tomorrow I will probably get back to processing Kim's tapes. 18 to go. The only way to get that number out of my head is to keep plunging my head into the vat of molten tedium.

Trex Launch

I went live with my Trex site today:

What does this mean?

It means that I am now treating my practice recordings with the same respect as my "official" Tripecac releases. It means if I go and chant "Trex launch, trex launch" twenty times into a dictaphone, I will eventually give that "song" its own XML file, mp3, m3u, and notes, just like I do for a carefully crafted Tripecac song.

Why waste time documenting drivel?

Well, some of that "drivel" is dear to me. Some of those spontaneous recordings resulted in a few seconds or minutes of music which my ears regard as "cool" or at least "interesting". Sometimes, a Trex recording will sound better to me than some of my Tripecac efforts.

So why not just keep the good bits and throw away the rest?

Good question. I guess I just hate throwing stuff away. I've learned over the years that although I don't value something highly on one day, I might become more enamored with it over time. Also, sometimes a bad creation with good documentation (e.g., dates) will help me more accurately and thoroughly place other creations in context.

For example, the fact that I recorded a piano song on a specific date means that I was then in a location with a piano. If I deleted the song for "quality control" reasons, then I would lose that piece of information. This would make it harder to nail down the dates and locations for photographs and journal entries from the same time period.

Okay, but why publish the junk? Why not just keep it buried in your own personal records?

Well, ummm… I think I just like to be consistent. It's easier to be consistent than to have to apply judgments… and the inevitable amendments.

If I were comfortable making judgments about the quality of my music, then I wouldn't bother uploading any of it, not even Tripecac. Heck, I'd probably cut my losses and never record another note in my life. My entire body of music is one big pile of dung compared to, say, Miles Davis or The Fall or any of those "real" bands. So, judgment schmudgment. I'll save that for you guys.

Happy judging!

Still Looking for the Point

Recently I discovered mp3 blogs. Basically, people post mp3s of whatever music tickles them at the time. Most of it is probably illegal-but-harmless. In other words: illegal… but also harmless.

Anyway, I never read their posts. It's boring. I just use FlashGot (a Firefox plugin) to grab all the mp3s on the page, and then cycle through each page of the archives until I've grabbed all the mp3s. Then I find another mp3 blog and "vampire" my way through it.

All those words people type… No one reads them. Just like this blabbering I am doing right now. No one reads it, no one cares. We just want the mp3s. Shut up and give us some mp3s.

So here ya go:

Tripecac – Gimme a Second (MP3, recorded 2006-08-03)

Happy now?