Monday, February 28, 2005

PodCasting, Comdex & the Scobleizer

- 10 O'clock report -

Getting PodCasts to download is easy. I'm using iPodder as I mentioned in earlier posts last week. Once I had figured out how easy it is to get PodCasts into iTunes and my iPod, I wanted to get my own PodCast happening. Well, even though conceptually I now understand about RSS 2.0 and enclosures, I ran into a problem here on the hosting site. They insert a header into my blog posting so even when I post just RSS with the right PodCast enclosures and such with a blank template, the RSS feed still doesn't work in iPodder. So I was over at and reading some more help files. I'm close. I'm sure sometime soon, Blogger will just handled the posting of audio links that I want to podcast. Or, I can switch to another blog host. I think I can probably handle figuring out such a thing. The podcast adventure continues.

Note: I've got ideas for my first PodCast maybe songthing like what they are doing over at MyVirtualBand radio

Another thing to mention today, Robert Scoble has become a blogging celeb. Seems like I knew he was doing a blog a few years ago. Don't remember who told me about it, but my brother was talking to me a few weeks ago about the Scobleizer blog and Robert's fame in print media like The Economist. I was just shaking my head agreeing with my brother. I told him that I didn't realize that he was up at Microsoft now. I've known Robert from CompuServ days when I was moderated the multimedia VB forum. Some of us moderators got together out at Comdex in the early 90's (I think it was '93) to talk Visual Basic (VB). Keith Pleas arranged for us to stay at the Golden Nugget. I think it was Robert that got some software vendors to serve us breakfast every morning before the conference started. Holy Cow! I just remembered, Robert and I gave a presentation about Visual Basic at Comdex. Ah yes, it was Robert, Dan Appleman and me. I had completely forgotten about this. We went to the Hard Rock the night before to "prepare" our presentation.

I had written a music program called "Nkey" using VB so the next day after Hard Rock, as people were coming into the Comdex presentation in one of those paneled off ballroom conference rooms, I was playing my program. You know, MIDI music coming out of the PA and me improving along in my "Nkey" program. It was pretty cool or least I thought it was. I can't remember anything more about the presentation other than Robert moderated, worked on his PowerPoint as people were arriving and that it was about the basics of Visual Basic and it was over at the old Sands Hotel Conference Center.

That night, Microsoft held their little "semi-secret" VB GeekFest with pizza and beer. Bill Gates stopped in alone. Robert, Bill and I stood there as Bill was eating some pizza and Robert quizzed him about da Vinci's Codex that Bill had just bought for some $30 something million. Did the GeekFest a few other years too.

Robert was with Fawcette at this time. I remember another time for a VBITS event in Chicago that a group of us were at the top of the Hancock building. I think it was Robert that got me out of some conversation to go get into a limo and head over to play Battle Mech at some game place downtown. I think Richard Hale Shaw, Jonathan Zuck and some other guys were along. I don't remember who's limo it was. Just know it wasn't mine.

Well, check out my old friend Robert. He's got a lot happening here online. You might learn a thing or two too! Good going Robert!

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Sunday Audio Update

this is an audio post - click to play

Get an update on what I have going on here on this site and what's coming up. Yep, me talking about it!

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Winter Lady

- Ten o'clock report -

In less that an hour after posting my Winter Song on MVP, Mike from N. CA already was contributing a start to the lyrics for the song. Check out this out:

Lyrics by Mike Mikerman

Winter lady
short lived
solstice hazey
bitter sweet
standing still sun

The trees have changed to amber
sarcasm reeks from your stair
rolling from your morning sty
reaching for your cup of morning lies

the ground is hard and empty
parallel daydreams call despair
rain from the early sky
change the cold to powder in your mind

she knows what she wants
and she knows just how to get it
reach out her hands
put them in your pocket

don't hesitate
the price you pay is forfeit

Winter lady
short lived
solstice hazey
bitter sweet
standing still sun

I love technology! The web is amazing and gets more amazing each year. Oh, I almost forgot...and we rock!

Nick Kepics dropped me at note about Wow, this is the sinister cabal of superior bloggers on music, film, books, pop culture, technology and politics and of course with RSS feed. Lots of critics about everything. Nick's a Taxi member that's in tune!

Since Nick tipped me off about Blogcritics, here's a review of his CD Piece Offering. See, you let me know about something neat related to songwriting and technology and poof you're here!

Black Belt Guitar Academy RSS

Before I forget, I'd like to pass along an interesting website call Black Belt Guitar Academy. They have a useful chord and scale java app that runs right on their home page. Besides that, they have a RSS feed from their website so they qualify for my liking. Lots of cool stuff here. - Songwriting for the Digital Age

I'm totally excited!

I was reading up about podcasts this afternoon which lead me to searching PodcastAlley for songwriting Podcasts. That lead me to download iPodder so that I could listen to the MyVirtualBand (MVB) Podcast. Ok, so that's how I found the site. Let me tell you more. is on a mission to bring together "virtual bands" of collaborating musicians from all over the world to write and record music. This is not a fee base kind of thing where you're hiring other musicians. This is true open source song and recording collaboration. That's what I'm talking about!

No fee, just sign up. Download some tracks and collaborate OR do like I did this evening, upload some tracks of a song for others to collaborate on.

I uploaded a song that I hadn't come up with lryics for yet. I've only flushed out the overall structure and a couple of guitar parts. You can take a listen to it in progress. I called it Winter (Rock) Song. If you want to check out more details about what a collabration posting looks like, mine is right here.

I can hardly wait to get some others working on this tune. This is going to be fun! I'll keep you post on the developments.


I'm sending this from my Treo 650

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Text America

Arthur Vance

I didn't work on any music stuff tonight, but I was searching online for more information on blogging. I found this site which also for cam phone pictures and video to be posted. Here's the link. I haven't sent any video yet.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

It's nice

It's nice to have my recording setup getting re-stablized. I was able to do some more listening to old tracks tonight.

After that music conference in LA back in November, I was excited but also a bit bummed that my lyrics didn't cut it. It wasn't that others said they didn't cut it. It was realizing as plan as day that good successful songwriters would obvious do better than I had. They also try a lot harder. I was in the wrong mindset. Not only were none of my songs hits, they weren't going to get past a reviewer to be submitted for anything.

I'm not planning to completely redo all the words to my 12 songs, but select songs gotta get some obvious rewrites. The adventure continues!

My song "Feels So Good" is one that is getting some lyric and melody additions in the Chorus. I wrote about this song right after the conference. The Chorus just repeats Feels So Good, Feels So Good. It was suggested that I say "something" more. Describe something. Say something descriptive about why I feel so good. I'm thinking it should be beach, sun, sand, fun kind of words. This song is good enough with the right words to make a TV listing.

I also was listening to "Swing" tonight. I already rewrote 75% of the lyrics. It tells a story now, but I can pull it off when I try to perform it. Sound like an idiot. It was suggested that this be a song of motivation. I think the concept is the right direction.

I got my preamp Voxbox hooked up tonight. Wow, it is nice. Now I can hear how bad my basement sounds. I'll work on that, but I will be able to get good vocals right here. It's going to be sweet learning how to do this. Still don't have a good headphone mix so that's got to be corrected. Where is that Big Knob?

I could sure go for some sushi right about now.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

yellow snow

Digital cameras are getting pretty good. This action shot is from the new Sony Cyber-shot® with 7.2 Megapixel. Using it in 1 MB mode.

Dreamed I was an eskimo
Frozen wind began to blow
Under my boots and around my toes
The frost that bit the ground below
It was a hundred degrees below zero...

And my mama cried
And my mama cried
Nanook, a-no-no
Nanook, a-no-no
Don’t be a naughty eskimo-wo-oh
Save your money, don’t go to the show

Well I turned around and I said oh, oh oh
Well I turned around and I said oh, oh oh
Well I turned around and I said ho, ho
And the northern lights commenced to glow
And she said, with a tear in her eye
Watch out where the huskies go, and don’t you eat that yellow snow
Watch out where the huskies go, and don’t you eat that yellow snow

-- words by Frank Zappa --

Ta-da List

To Do with Ta-da List: Simple sharable to-do lists.

Since I mentioned Basecamp project management last Saturday, my brother tipped me off to Ta-da. I created an account in 15 seconds and had a RSS of 8 things I need to-do this week feeding into a live bookmark in Firefox. Kind of cool.

That's what I'm talkin' about

I'm BACK with everything working in Sonar 4 and my RME ASIO drivers. Here's the story:

I took the RME card out and stuck it into another PCI slot thinking the PnP stuff would fix the issue of not finding any digital audio input/output drivers in Sonar for my RME Multiface. Didn't do the trick. I decided to load Project 5 and see if the drivers appeared there. Presto, there they were. So back to Sonar and I messed around in the Options/Audio dialog for 15 minutes trying to get work. Duh, got to select ASIO for the driver mode. Got that figured out finally, but then had my Sonar session skipping beats and dropping out. I struggled for an hour reading the the Sonar 4 manual. I finally found the RME newgroup forum. Ha, I didn't find the answer, but I read about all the great success everyone is having with RME stuff. Why was it not working for me? Um, how about 53 active real-time audio fx plugs (bunch of mic modelers, 8 auto tunes, Ozone, lexicon verbs, bbe, etc. AND 44 digital audio tracks 44k @ 24 bit. Well, I bumped the buffers on the card up to 8192 and now it ALL plays with cpu usage only around 80%!

That's what I'm talkin' about!

I plugged the RME outputs right into my Mackie HR824 speakers. Wow, this sounds cleaner than the US-122. It's looking all sad because it's unplugged. I used it SO much. Next thing I need is that Mackie Big Knob. I still haven't checked on that order. It was backordered. Now I need it.

I can also now start enjoying the Manley Voxbox and that C1 mic. I'm going enjoy working on the songs again. I want to get this all wrapped up before mid-year. I've got some new songs I want to get started on!

Sunday, February 20, 2005

RME Audio Interface

Here's the Sunday night 10 o'clock report:

I didn't take much time today to investigate my RME interface issue. I did check the back of my computer and found I had it plugged into a firewire port instead of the RME adapter. Same type connection, but that fixed the red led error on the front of the RME Hammerfall DSP multiface. I can now get digital audio when I'm in Sound Forge. I still don't have any wave sound from Sonar 4. I don't even see the RME drive in Sonar. I think I need to re-install something.

By the way, I read there is Sound Forge 8 coming out which will included a bundled CD Architect 5.2 which includes CD text reading and writing, and updated drive support. Since I alread own 5.0 the upgrade is free. I'm sure the Sound Forge upgrade will not be free.

Since I'm talking software right now, I recommend checking out the ever so cool yet simple Muvee program. Automatically creates video from digital pix and vid clips. Does load the demo or just buy the program!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Blogging By Email

I'm trying out yet another new feature that I just learned about. I
read that I can "email" a blog posting to my blog site without
actually going to my site. Just email to a secret email address and
magically is will appear. Let's see if this works. If it does, I could
email from my Treo! :)

Basecamp Project Management Software

Project Management Software ASP (simple, elegant, powerful, fast, and usable)

I stumbled across this project management ASP site. It got me to thinkin'.

C1 and VoxBox

Haven't been getting any songwriting done lately. Wasn't really in the mood. Been busy working instead of playing. I'll be regrouping my brain and motivation soon so that I can make this first work of art available to the world. I have 12 songs written and recorded.

I did get motivated to upgrade some of my equipment. I love recording equipment. Sometimes I like the equipment more than the music. Here's what's up:

I ordered a Studio Projects C1 mic off of ebay a month ago for using in my home studio (my computer, a chair and a desk). The Studio Projects C1 is a large diaphragm, fixed-cardioid condenser microphone employing a 1.06” (27mm) capsule, high quality, low noise amplifier and balanced, transformerless output circuitry. It features switchable -10dB pad and 6dB@150Hz high pass filter for added control in various recording applications and a clear, full response expected from a large capsule microphone design. I had used a C1 while singing some vocal parts at The Laboratory

So a new toy with a C1, but I also wanted to upgrade the things I plug the mic into. So after a bunch of reading up on mic pre amps, I decided I'd look on eBay for a Manley VoxBox. Not the most common type of things for eBay, but low and behold there was one and it was available with a Buy It Now. So after some waiting for USPS snail delivery, I'm now the proud owner of a VoxBox. Read the manual. It's cool! ...and full of real tubes.

I have this Hammerfall DSP Multiface as my a/d input into my computer, but it's not working right now. Getting a communication error and the red light is on. I did something to it some months ago when I hooked up the ADAT I bought on ebay. I got that to work through the SPDIF/ADAT input, but I know I change some setting to do that. I messed up something. So here I am with this nice new setup of a C1 and the VoxBox and I'm having to run that into my Tascam US-122 interface to get any sound into my computer. Not optimal, but it at least works.

Next up is a Mackie Big Knob. I need to check up on where the heck my order is.

Back to working on the interface issues.