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post hurricane music update

hurricane ike wrecked my mojo for a bit.  10 days without power really doesn’t do much for a laptop based studio.  or any studio for that matter.  i did manage to do some writing so that the latest project will have at least two hurricane blues tunes.  that seem appropriate, right?

in any case, i managed to get some rough mixing done on my latest track “moments before.”  it’s a very rough mix with me on dobro, guitar and bass.  i really like this tune.  i can listen to it on a loop for a long time before i get tired of it.  like my other mixes, this is temporary and i’m sure that there will be a pile of tweaks.  but we’ll just run with this for now.

what does the future hold?  a lot of time in the studio recording.  i have two more tracks to rework and then the two hurricane sketches to get down.  there is no way i will ever make my self-imposed, completely arbitrary deadline of october 3rd that i set way back in june or something silly like that.  though it was nothing that i was holding myself to i can’t say that i’m not a touch disapointed.  right now i want to see the whole thing wrapped up before the end of the year, but music is funny.  it’s done when it’s done and not one minute before.  i’m happy to be along for the ride.

i’m working on some thought pieces about various aspects of composing in the early 21st century.  there are some simple critiques of tools and a lot of what i’m thinking about is how the tools we use shape the music that we create.  it only makes sense that if you have a hammer and chisel you’ll make one kind of art and if you have a paintbrush you’ll make another.  my argument is more along the line of a clarinet vs. a marimba but you get my drift.  you can watch this space for musings along those lines.

also of note is the fact that i am in a blog update challenge with my buddy kevlar to have an update by thursday of every week.  i’m hoping that it’s yet another way of keeping myself honest and on track.  and speaking of tracks…

here is my latest mix from “my reasons”:  moments before

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moments before by j.c. wilson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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ardour 2 released!

ardour 2 ( is out now. this is exciting news. it’s the only DAW I would consider running as it has everything that I need and more. aside from non-destructive this and that, it has the most intuitive midi controller assignments I can imagine. point, click, move a knob or slider and you’re in business. the best part is that I can do a session on my debian box (with the good sound hardware) and then drop it onto my laptop for editing/mastering elsewhere (the coffee shoppe or living room). that’s a feature that is not to be underestimated.

the best new feature is undo/redo across program sessions. that is to say, I can make a bunch of changes, close ardour, open it again and still undo what I did last time. why don’t more programs do this? like tabbed browsing, that feels like a no-brainer.

aside from the updated look that comes with moving to the latest gtk stuff and a couple of new bells and/or whistles I don’t know that there is much to report to folks who have used ardour in the past. I do like that it launches jack if it isn’t already running. that’s a pretty slick feature for someone like me who forgets things from time to time. apparently it also has better VST support and all that jazz. I don’t do VST…i’m all about the AUs, so that doesn’t do much for me but I know a lot of people live and die by them.

if you aren’t running ardour (and you aren’t limited to windows) you should at least take it for a test drive. it’s free and Free. I can’t believe that anyone who is serious about recording on any scale wouldn’t give it a go. the learning curve isn’t any worse than any other product out there and there’s a lot to be gained with nothing to lose (aside from a little time).

I guess they’re hooked up with the google summer of code and will be supporting MIDI editing, etc as well. that looks promising. if they could jam a sequencer in there, i’d be much obliged! we’ll have to wait and see.