Bob Dylan’s a Bloody Hypocrite

Bob Dylan wrote some amazing songs back in his day (which was around the time I was in diapers), but looks like he’s now at the point at which he’ll criticize the music biz with one side of his mouth while sucking up cash for endorsements with the other.

Quoting from this article : “Bob Dylan says the quality of modern recordings is ‘atrocious,’ and even the songs on his new album sounded much better in the studio than on disc. … Dylan said he does his best to fight technology, but it’s a losing battle. ‘Even these songs probably sounded ten times better in the studio when we recorded ’em. CDs are small. There’s no stature to it.'” read more

Apple Not Particularly Green notes that Apple doesn’t score particularly well in environmental awareness. Quoting from their site:

Late last week, environmental watchdog Greenpeace released their Guide to Greener Electronics (pdf) which rates how eco-friendly different tech companies are based on publicly available information. Apple scored 4th lowest, beating only Leveno, Motorola, and Acer. Among the top-scorers were Nokia and Dell.

[quoting from the report] For a company that claims to lead on product design, Apple scores badly on almost all criteria. The company fails to embrace the precautionary principle, withholds its full list of regulated substances and provides no timelines for eliminating toxic polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and no commitment to phasing out all uses of brominated flame retardants (BFRs). Apple performs poorly on product take back and recycling, with the exception of reporting on the amounts of its electronic waste recycled. read more

DIY PC Boards

I’ve made a couple of PC boards in recent months, and thought I’d mention here the resources I’m using. For schematic capture and PCB layout and artwork generation, I’m using a newish program called DipTrace. After looking at as many PCB design programs as I could find on the web, I arrived at two conclusion: 1) most of them are really expensive, as in $1000 or more; 2) most of them have really arcane user interfaces that might seem appropriate to some CAD/CAM expert working in 1993 but are completely opaque by today’s standards. I don’t have very sophisticated PCB-design needs, so spending a bunch of money on a huge package and spending a bunch of time learning how to use it really doesn’t make sense. Fortunately, DipTrace is a happy exception. It’s fairly easy to learn and use and it’s reasonably priced (particularly if you can get away with the “lite” version, which should be adequate for most synthesizer modules). Its supporting programs are also easy to come to terms with. I’ve created new part diagrams without trouble, including a somewhat tricky pad and hole layout for a rotary encoder. There are some minor clunky points in the user interface, and I’ve found that the parts libraries tend to have very small annular rings, but overall I’m quite happy with it. (The rings can be manually adjusted, of course; the trick is to remember to make the adjustment before you fabricate the PCB.) I’ve used it to produce two PCBs and both have come out very nicely. read more

More Audio Damage Coverage in Computer Music Magazine

Yes, it’s been a busy week for AD. Response to Reverence has been amazing, for which we are extremely grateful. Yesterday the new issue of Computer Music arrived in my mailbox, and besides sporting Chris’s lovely half-page ad for Reverence, we were surprised and very pleased to discover it contained a nice review of Discord 2. They gave it a score of 9 out of 10, little badges for Performance and Value For Money, and said this in summary: “Another useful, addictive and downright inspiring effect from The Damage. Sack off a night down the pub and use the money to buy it.” Thanks, folks! read more

Reverence: It’s a Hit

Our new reverb plug-in Reverence is enjoying a very warm welcome in the marketplace. It’s selling like crazy–it’s broken all of our first-days-of-sales records by a factor of two or more–and the buyers love it. There’s a nice review here at the Create Digital Music website.

Audio Damage Releases Reverence Reverb

I’m pleased to announce a new Audio Damage product, available today. It’s called Reverence; it’s a reverberation plug-in which recreates the effects typical of 1980s-vintage digital emulations of plate reverbs. (Yes, that makes it a software version of an electronic imitation of an electro-mechanical simulation of acoustic reverberation.) It has both their lush sound and fast & easy user interface. You can read more about it, listen to samples, and buy it at the Audio Damge website. read more


This article in today’s New York Times about the new self-created suspect in JonBenet Ramsey’s killing describes Boulder as a “rustic college town.” Okay, there’s a big university here, and yes, the city is about 125,000 people which makes it a town in the eyes of a big city, but rustic? I don’t get that, particularly with all of the commercial development that’s happened in the years since she was killed. Clearly that reporter has never seen Ward, for instance. read more

Audio Damage in Electronic Musician Magazine

Audio Damage products are the topic of this month’s “Download of the Month” column in the September issue of Electronic Musician. The author mostly talks about Discord but mentions several of our other products also. I kind of wish he hadn’t described DubStation as “a very basic feedback-delay [sic] line” since that’s sort of like describing a contemporary Volkswagen Beetle as a very basic automobile. On the other hand I’m listed as “DSP wizard”. Maybe I should put that on my business cards. read more

The Future of Air Travel Security

Just in case you’re curious about what’s going to happen down the road with airline security, in the wake of the recently foiled liquid-bomb plot, there’s an article by a Time correspondent here that pretty much paints the picture. It’s about airport security in Israel, a country that has forgotten far more about conflict and terrorism than we know, that has never had an outbound airplane hijacked.

The gist of it is this: you can’t win this game by looking for the weapon. You have to look for the people whielding the weapons. It’s like any other arms race: as soon as one side invents a new weapon, the other side invents a way to disarm it, a means to protect against it, or a bigger weapon. Ultimately nobody wins. Just like copy-protection for software, DVDs, and CDs: a few bright people inventing ways to prevent something from being copied are no match for an endless number of fanatics figuring out ways to circumvent that protection. read more

Pug Party

Our neighbor Lisa has two pugs. I’m not much of a dog person but I have to admit that pugs are kind of charming. They’re compact, good-natured, and so goofy-looking that it’s hard not to like them.

A couple of days ago, in a moment of weakness and insanity, Lisa agreed to board two other pugs–pugs belonging to friends of hers who were about to leave town on vacation and found out at the 11th hour that their kennel couldn’t take their pugs. So we now have four pugs of varying ages and dimensions next door. read more