Tuesday 29th October

JackAndRob

Regular Member
Morning all,

Worcestershire is dry, bright, calm and cold today. The temperature at sun-up was just above the point where ice would have formed on Mrs JackAndRob's car. She'd give me the long face if that were the case, hoping I'd take pity and scrape her car, but no need today, so I could stay in the warmth.

All the birdies are fit and well today. Jessie's welcome was to put a few more holes in my t-shirt - I'll never wear that outside again. Frankie's plumage continues to fill out - lots of pristine new tail feathers are poking through, under the tattered old ones. The budgies dived in the ceramic bathing bowl I put in their cage, and squabbled about who was next to have a splash around.

I am having a little bit of keyboard confusion, having to switch between three of them. They are all QWERTYs and they are identical. I prefer the ones with long black and white keys - they make nicer sounds. I have two new instruments to play with, so I am expecting to lose interest in work early this afternoon!
 

DizzyBlue

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Afternoon all
Well the local city is a no go area with a major water main bursting last night that has shut down entry to the city centre.
Had frost this morning had to de-ice car first thing.
Time to completely seal the aviary in for the winter me thinks. Been hanging on to putting the last two panels on the front until we had a couple of nights in single figures been sat at 7 and 8 but now its hitting the bottom end of the singles time to put the last on.
Just sorted out the new add-on for the forum so we get notifications via email if somebody tags us hadn't realised this software needed it as an add on DOH! Hopefully this will be sorted tonight :) YAAAY
Need to head out the door for the next parental run .... never ending lol
 

Wendy Cooper-Wolfe

Regular Member
hello everyone, dull/bright/mist/cloud/sun all of that in one morning so far but not cold.
My language skills are OK but it helps when my brain is working in the right context - neighbour said something on Sunday that worried me (this is the neighbour whose dog and husband did a Brian Rix farce type run around the shrubs with my chickens last February) as I thought she said she was scared to take walks past our house anymore because of the chickens. I worried about it all night as I wouldnt want to upset her, so asked her to confirm what she meant - turns out she was saying she was scared to let her grandson (who is only two and a half) come down the road (150 yds) to our house on his own to see the chickens! Much laughter at my error, a cup of tea and a better nights sleep last night!

I have finished seeing to our friends animals now and I think Dora will miss her morning and lunchtime outings - she would go and wait on her carry case ready to go out.
 

DizzyBlue

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Oooo well there is an answer to the Dora outing and the chicken thing …. take a chicken for a walk the 150 yards to see the neighbours grandson have a cuppa and take Dora with you :)
Right back again and next parental duty is at 3.45 so I get an hour and a half all to myself …. sort of... Henni is wearing her hobnail boots and stomping up and down like a demon as MrP has her pink rattle and won't let me have it back to gie it back to her …. Will have to make sure I get another pink rattle just for MrP … before Henni decides to murder the pair of us!
 

Wendy Cooper-Wolfe

Regular Member
Yes @DizzyBlue, Dora has been up to visit them before now, but hasn't met the grandson. She has so far been very tolerant of young children (out of her carry case and under suprevision of course) and even gently accepted peas from a 4 yr old. I'll have to get a chicken harness too.
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
Good evening all, been so busy today, it started off a lot warmer than I expected as the temperature dropped quite low over night, it was dry at first but did have about 39 minutes of rain and then just thin cloud after. took a pair of budgies that was staying with me back, and then I had taken Terry back to the old lady. I hope you all have had a good day.
 

Ararajuba

Regular Member
Evening all! Quite hot and stuffy here today and I've been feeling quite unwell, so I think there may be a thunderstorm due tonight (I have apparently inherited the rather useless power of being able to predict thunderstorms with a high degree of accuracy, by feeling awful beforehand. Wish that was actually useful for something!)

The passion vines have been blooming in the garden lately, with big white purple-centred flowers, and when I went to take a closer inspection earlier I found there were several large fruit hiding in the foliage already, though none looked ready to pick yet as they were all still green. (This variety turns orange when properly ripe, and should be quite sweet unless I got the seeds mixed up and planted the more usual local variety with large sour yellow fruits instead.) A couple of smaller ones had dropped overnight (by smaller I mean about twice the size of those little purple ones you tend to see in the UK), but they were green too. I'm not sure whether they contained any actual food for them, but a large black hummingbird (the usual kind around here) briefly showed up earlier to inspect the flowers before zooming off, and there were quite a number of bees and various insects hanging round them, so they are obviously quite popular with the local wildlife already. Not sure how productive the vines are ultimately going to be, though - we might just have half a dozen fruit this season, or more than we know what to do with! This may largely depend on how many drop off before they properly ripen!

Tessa has just come on heat, so is being even more needy than usual, and keeps begging for attention and making sad creepy doggy faces at me every time I go anywhere near. She already refuses to eat (no matter how hungry she is) until I have patted her for the prescribed period of time (prescribed by doggy) just beforehand; otherwise she just stares at me and pretends not to be interested in food until the desired attention has been given. It would help if she were a little less stinky. Two days since her last bath and her enclosure and kennel were hosed down and disinfected, and she's already starting to pong! Nephew reckoned, after experiencing her pong for himself, that any intruders might start running from the approaching stink before they even heard her barking!
 

JackAndRob

Regular Member
@Ararajuba Not analogue I'm afraid - I know they are your thing and some of them sound incredible.

I recently got reFX's Nexus 2, to boost my EDM library. Paid full price (gulp!) for that, but some others were at silly cheap money so I snapped them up. AMT's Structure (with a massive sample library), Sonivox's Vocalizer Pro (a very interesting vocoder), Soundspot's Union (wavetable synth) and W.A Production's Babylon (very simple to use synth).

The classics - acoustic piano, electric piano and tonewheel organ - are still by far my favourite instruments. For synths, it has to be the minimoog (of course), ARP's 2600 (ridiculously complex) and Steinberg's Retrologue. The last one features heavily in a lot of my music as it is very powerful but easy to program.
 

Ararajuba

Regular Member
@JackAndRob - Ah, I see! The wife used to do a lot of electronic composition, so she knows more about the technicalities of such things than I can lay claim to, though I get the general idea.

She mostly uses, or used (given that she hasn't done much lately) FL Studio. I have no idea how she had the patience to 1) learn it in the first place, and 2) spend enough time footling around with the not very intuitive controls to squeeze any actual musical pieces out of it. I remember some of the default samples being distinctly unimpressive though, even for some of the common instruments, which was a bit of a handicap at times. I don't think she wanted to spend vast amounts trying to upgrade her instrument library either (you will know how expensive that kind of thing can get) as she didn't have the cash to spare and wasn't really trying to produce professional-grade material, though she did eventually get hold of a few nice add-ons, including a surprisingly good darbouka sample player (now defunct, I believe) which she used in quite a few pieces. I fear she may have lost most of her old sample/instrument library and work in progress when the old computer suddenly popped its clogs last year, unfortunately, though there are still a number of completed pieces knocking around.

What kind of stuff do you do, anyway? Anything online?
 

JackAndRob

Regular Member
@Ararajuba Steinberg Cubase Pro is the software that I use for recording and sequencing - basically a full studio running on PC, often called a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). This is what hosts the virtual instruments. The basics are quite straightforward, but obviously as you delve deeper it can get seriously complex. For example, mixing was a mysterious art to me before I did some online courses. Even learning how to use the "big four" main effects properly (EQ, reverb, compression and delay) had a big impact on the quality of my songs.

I believe that there is a free/open source DAW called Reaper and there are other open source ones around too. Reaper is capable of hosting VSTs (virtual instruments and effects). Plugin Boutique is the website that I get a lot of VSTs from and they have a huge section containing some very good quality free ones. There are several versions of Cubase too. "Elements" is the entry level version at about £85, through to "Pro", which costs several hundreds. They all have the same underlying "engine". An inexpensive keyboard (e.g. Akai Mini MkII) can be used as a controller. I have one of those, plus a Roland FA-08 (hardware synth with an 88 note piano weighted keyboard) and Novation Impulse (MIDI controller). I also have a Native Instruments Maschine Studio percussion controller.

I create music only for my own pleasure. It rarely gets out in the wild although I always have ringtones on my phones that I can guarantee are unique ;)
 
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