Random Musings of defconx

Catching Up...
What a week... a lot going on.  We are supposed to have our third child in mid-August... number 3!  This past weekend my wife started having a lot of contractions to we went off to the hospital.  Everything is fine but they told her that she will have to take it easy for a little while.  Since this is the third, we haven't been running around frantically preparing as we did with the first.  But I think that reality set in after going to the hospital.&nsbp; So this past weekend, I spent time, organizing rooms, painting rooms, moving furniture, etc... all of that fun stuff you do prior to the child arriving.

Outside of that, last week, I picked up on my music again.  I play around a lot with electronic music.  I try to write some stuff, but end up just getting a lot of 1 - 2 minute snippets of stuff I really like.  I am starting to flesh out some actual projects that I would like to work on.  There are some very specific ideas that I have, so I am trying to get those rolling.

If you are at all curious about just how I do this music stuff, I use a couple programs on my computer that act as virtual synthesisers, samplers, drum machines, and effect units.  I also have some midi hardware that I use as well, to include midi keyboards, Roland Groovebox, Akai S3000XL sampler, Digi002 Rack.  I also use a Mackie HUI control surface for ProTools.&nsbp; The DAW software that I use is Propellerheads Reason, Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase SL3.  Some plugins I use are Propellerheads ReBirth, Novation V-Station, Native Instruments Absynth.

All of this gets pumped through a Mackie Big Knob and a pair of Event Tuned Reference 6 monitors.  I also use various mics and play an Ovation guitar (but that doesn't appear much in my digital music ;-) )  For mic and guitar, I use an Aphex 207 Tube Preamp which I have to say I really enjoy.  It seems like the guys at Aphex are incredibly geeky, which is ok in my book.  The printed manual is an engineers dream of specs and diagrams, and their engineers tell you why they made certain decisions.  It is pretty cool.

I really make the music to unwind.  It is kind of one of those things that is for me...  A lot of friends ask me to put some of my music out so they can hear it.  I think when I get something finished that I am happy with, I will.  Until then, like I said, the music is very much for me to unwind and relax.  I think if I were to play it for people, they would feel obligated to provide feedback... well since it is for me, I don't want any feedback.  It is not about how they think I could do it differently or improve it.  It is about, what did I feel when I was putting that track down.  Maybe I know that I am a control freak and wouldn't be able to handle criticism.  When you think about it though... how in the hell do you criticize art?  It is someone elses creative thinking process.  I think and artist really only has to answer to one person.  That would be them...

On that note, Cheers all!

Inspiring Lyrics

I think over again
my small adventures,
my fears,
These small ones that seemed so big.
For all the vital things I had to get
and to reach.
And yet there is only one great thing,
The only thing.
To live to see the great day that dawns
And the light that fills the world.

Inuit Song

Sweatbox, Laserbeam, Flashing Lights...
Looks like Diet Coke is using the Oakenfold song, Starry Eyed Surprise which doesn't really bother me.  I really like that song a lot...  I know it got over played and pretty much everyone on the planet hates it now...  but I just kind of think the feeling of the song so captures that hours leading up to a night of clubbing... just kind of a mellow... we are going to go out tonight and leave all of our cares behind. 

In other news... I ordered Ableton's Live product and it shipped today.  I got a really amazing deal on it so I was kinda afraid I was going to some how get screwed but according to UPS, we are all set.  Since I am ordering it so close to the release of the new version 5, I get a certificate to be one of the first to receive that, so that is pretty exciting.  I think that Live will really kind of help to solidify some projects that I have that don't seem to be going anywhere.&nsbp; It will give me the opportunity to play around with some of my stuf that feels stale and overworked from a studio standpoint and have the pieces find their sould again.

Tiesto - In Search of Sunrise 4
I have been listening to DJ Tiesto's In Search of Sunrise 2 disc set tonight.  It is really amazing.  I will have this going in the ol headphones at work for a few weeks I am sure.

The blossoming of an idea...
Something interesting happened today in my writing. I really didn't have anything to write about but I really want to keep this going, so I just decided to sit down in front of my trusty Vaio laptop, hammer on the keyboard, and see what came of it. I started with this stream of consciousness that took off in some wild directions. Each one of these sort of took on a life of its own. There is a central theme underlying it all and holding it all together, however it is a lot more than just a journal entry now. So now, I am trying to give a little structure to it so that I can perhaps have it evolve into a couple of essays. But in adding structure to it, I don't want to force it into a direction that it wasn't meant to go.

It is weird, I am actually a little bit nervous and protective of it because the ideas that it talks about are really important to me. I spent several hours just pondering the things I have put to paper so far. I am pretty excited to have this forum too, and hope people start showing up for a read ;-) I feel then when I am at a point to publish them out that I would love to hear about the experiences of others pertaining to the topics.

The original musings were
entitled, "TechnoLust, TechNoir, and FutureNoir", but the piece has evolved into a kind of, "Technology, where are we now?" This is more of a philosophical pondering and not a, how fast are processors running sort of thing. What is the role of the geek? Why are we fighting each other? Why does the industry suck? It is kind of taking on the form of a call to arms. I am excited to get it out and share it... but don't want to rush it. It covers a lot of things that hit close to home for me.

Until the next post...

Haven't been sleeping too well the past few nights... or for a while really.

I was having this conversation with a friend at work which kind of goes like this. My brain is *always* doing a million things at a time. I am always thinking of something. Trying to solve problems, trying to come up with solutions to problems we have at work, etc. It just never stops.

I remember one time, my wife and I were sitting on the couch together soon after we had first been married. I had been obsessing over a technical problem that I had been trying to solve at work for several months. I looked over at her and asked, "what are you thinking about?" She gave the answer I guess you would expect from anyone at first question, "Nothing." I pushed a little harder, "no really, what do you think about?" After a conversation, she assured me, she hadn't been thinking about "anything". So I became fascinated, I assumed that everyone always had thoughts running through their heads. But based on having this conversation with several people, it seems like some people can literally just turn the brain off and "veg".

The conversation with my coworker continued... I had a migraine a few weeks ago. We had a prescription for Percocet in the house that my wife had received. I took one and had an amazing experience, which had very little to do with any kind of euphoric feeling that the drug may have given me. What was most amazing about the experience was that my mind turned off. I layed awake for hours in bed just not thinking about anything. It was an amazing feeling. It was just relaxing. I can't remember ever laying in bed and not thinking about something for hours and hours until I fall asleep. It is not uncommon for me to go to bed at 10pm and still be up at 2 or 3am thinking about things and trying to find the solutions to problems. This really doesn't bother me. I love solving problems. I love finding the answers. It would just be nice to turn it off every once in a while.

One of the most interesting problems I have ever solved took me over a year of sleepless nights. On the final night, I was tossing and turning so much that I became frustrated and got out of bed to take a shower to try to calm my muscles. It was 3:30 in the morning. I stood in the shower, my back to the shower head. Warm water hit the bony part of my neck and slid down my back. I would rock back slightly and the warm water would sneak over my shoulders and warm the front of my body. My mind was listening to the rhythmic slapping of the water as it abandoned my body and met shower floor below. Bam! The answer came to me. I couldn't believe it. I got dressed, rode in to work (at 4am) and implemented the solution by 9am. People had quit the project because they felt this technical problem couldn't be solved. One and a half years after first being introduced to it and a nocturnal shower and it was solved... on the the next problem. to bed...

day one... still have no idea where we are...
Well, this kicks off defconx's grepthis journal.  Not yet sure what is going to go on here... but certainly am going to have a good time doing it.  If you feel so inclined, drop me a note.  I love to chat with others bout the geeky musings of life and other things.

for now, Cheers!


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