The Latest from Audio Damage: Dr. Device

I’m pleased to announce that we just released Audio Damage’s latest product, Dr. Device. Dr. Device features a new multi-mode filter with a gorgeous-sounding (if I may say so myself) four-pole low-pass mode, a stereo delay based on our highly successful delay algorithm used in Ronin and DubStation, and an exotic multi-node XYZ pad controller with built-in automation and momentum. It’s available here now.

Killer Plant from Brazil

I’m not making this up. There’s a plant native to Brazil that is destroying other plants and animals in Texas and other southern states, and is starting to make its way up the Colorado river. There’s an article here at nytimes.com about it.

Pee-Chee Memes

For some forgotten reason Tracie and I started talking about Pee-Chees the other day. If you don’t know what a Pee-Chee is, either you’re not old enough or you grew up in the eastern half of the US. (While I was googling about Pee-Chees I learned that they seem to be largely a western phenomenon.) A Pee-Chee is a cheap cardboard portfolio for carrying around papers, and was standard issue equipment for everyone in my junior-high and high schools. They look like this:

peechee3

They really weren’t the best way to keep track of papers, but we all used them anyway. I used one for each class; current assignments, notes, other works-in-progress and blank paper went in the right-hand pocket; everything else (mostly returned assignments) went in the left. They got really beat-up by the end of the term and usually had to be reinforced with tape before then. read more

Rice Paddy Art

Yes, you read that correctly. There are photos here of rice paddies bearing huge designs made with different kinds of rice plants.

Site Maintenance in Progress

My site has been hacked. I’m fixing things up, so if stuff moves around unexpectedly while you’re here, I apologize. Try back in a few hours if necessary.

UPDATE: Everything should be fixed now, although the photo gallery is still offline.

Photo Gallery Offline Until Further Notice

Some scumbag hacker screwed around with the software I use to run the photo gallery on this site. As a result the entire gallery is offline until further notice. It might never be back; I don’t know. Incidents like this make me wonder whether it’s worth having a website at all.

TrackMania United

I’m currently hooked–badly hooked–on a new auto-racing PC game called TrackMania United. It’s the third (I think) in the TrackMania series but the first that I’ve played for any length of time. The TrackMania games, unlike other contemporary racing games like the Grand Turismo series, focus more on a sense of fun rather than a sense of realism. Visually they’re fairly realistic; the tracks have elaborate backgrounds (not that you have much of a chance to see them as they go whipping by) and the cars have articulated suspensions and stuff. The physics, however, definitely stretch the bounds of realism. Gravity seems to be much lower than normal for Earth. Most tracks involve jumps of tens or hundreds of meters, many have loops, and some have turns with vertical banks. The cars are indestructable and your opponents on the track can pass freely through your car and each other without incident. read more

Apple Again Makes Life Difficult for Musicians

I’m feeling peevish about Apple this week because I’m spending all of my working hours on the AudioUnit version of Audio Damage’s latest product, which is to say I’m spending all of my working hours on something that I wouldn’t have to do if Apple hadn’t decided to Think Different and invent a whole new audio plug-in format which has no advantages to the end-user over formats which were already well established. Hence I will point out this article on the Create Digital Music blog. It seems that Apple has put a little special something in a point update to OS X which causes a number of FireWire audio interfaces to cease working. There’s also a link in the article to another article on MacFixit which describes how to fix the problem, should you be affected. read more

Nifty Music Video Filmed in Tokyo

Besides being a pretty neat video, the thing that caught my eye is the convenience store. I’m pretty sure that I visited a store from the same chain while in Takayama, looking for beverages and stuff. Yes, convenience stores in Japan look pretty much like convenience stores in the U.S., but the ready-to-go food is different. Instead of having hot dogs and nachos with that orange-yellow plastic cheese substitute, they have marinated tofu, pickled vegetables, and other interesting-looking food that I couldn’t identify. read more

Was Gone, Now Back

If you happened to visit this site between sometime in the afternoon on Saturday the 7th and Sunday the 8th, you may have encountered a server error. Things should be back to normal now. My hosting service, Lunar Pages, moved this site from the server it has lived on for several years to a new server. Something broke in the transition but it’s fixed now.

If you do happen to have trouble reaching this site in the future, though, do let me know.