For Moyly, Ian, Lorna and George….
Freak Electric Demo Sleeve
Freak Electric Folks
I have an old demo cassette of yours. Now I have remarkable computer power (8 cores at 4Ghz+), Reaper is becoming one hell of a tool. Here I’ve had a 1 hour session at cleaning up what is a really rubbish quality cassette recording, all hiss and sweeping mushiness…. I think it’s better than my earlier effort with different software. Even so, the source tape has no audio over 8kHz so it’ll be dull whatever I do.
Update 8/9/14: I’ve since found two better quality versions of my aged cassette tape. This is one below, starting with one of my favourite tracks. Arseholes to the ambiguously sounding WIND, west wall…? Either way. Crank it up, especially at 11:45. [If done now, I’d thin out the long intro sound and add maximum punch for the loud bit – that’s technical folks… ]
Bay of Skaill
I’ve been playing with a digital extraction of Skaill on Reaper. Have a listen. Guess what’s been done….
A video is to follow (slow encoding to get the quality I need) which is highly appropriate given my partly Orcadian roots and the track title. Skaill is the final track from “C” – “The Big C”, by Crawling Chaos. It is Jeff Crowe and myself jamming with some post recording tape twiddling. Skara Brae which we both fascinated by is nearby and is why we chose the track title after getting the Ordnance Survey map out! Thanks to Jeff Lynne on TV the other night for some inspiration to get this project started.
My old friend Jeff recently died.
The track now playing was one of the last pieces we did together. It’s Jeff’s creation and is one of my favourite Crawling Chaos tracks. This is a pre-Waqqaz version from a cassette that has travelled round France, been in various glove compartments and cupboard floors.
I’ve taken it straight from cassette and it’s encoded at the maximum bitrate for MP3 files in Reaper for your enjoyment. I’ve just used a noise gate set at -20dB and a bit of compression to follow in this extract. For me, the mix is better than the final vinyl one despite the 12kHz frequency cut-off.
It’s Jeff at his finest.
I remember him sitting cross-legged on the floor at Bebside for about a fortnight getting the various harmonies planned out. My input was minimal and I just did a few block keyboard chords as instructed, to bulk out the end as well as the mixing on the guitars and the drums set-up.
The real work was within the complex interlocking guitar parts, of which there are at least six, all played by Jeff. The only words I could think of came to me in a dream.
E.ver Y.oung, E.ver S.pecial
I ensured that they were on the penultimate bounce so that they couldn’t be removed. I didn’t know why, at the time, I thought of them (apart from the corniness) or why I strove to ensure their longevity. I instantly knew though, that this was Jeff’s finest work, for me, and I’ve listened many times to it since, mainly this cassette tape version.
But now, I know that one’s karma transcends space and time and that one can affect one’s karma in the distant past.
Currently, I am heavily affected by EYES, believe it or not. I have chanted to change my karma both now, in the future, and in the past, and the benefits are immense.
So now I know why I woke up with those words in my head 25 springs ago.
It was so that I could write this piece about my old friend Jeff, and remember him and all the joint experiences that we had together since we were 14.
To say that I’m seriously impressed is an understatement!
Having an MSDN subscription confers certain benefits, but for most Microsoft stuff that I have to use, it’s usually an exercise in teeth-gritting somewhere from the banal to the infuriating as I plod on through.
My personal experience of Vista comes into the latter which is why I’ve never used it and have stuck with XP… like most professionals in the Windows camp have done.
Windows Experience 2.0
Win7 1st install showing it working on minimal system specifications
Having only 2 x 256MB memory sticks in my old main-board, and because of it’s on-board graphics there’s only 383MB spare for the operating system, I installed the thing onto a bit of spare hard-drive (an old Samsung 160GB IDE) and was amazingly surprised by the ease of the install…
XP is still there and appears on the new boot menu.
Networking worked out of the box and I flipped between the configurations with absolute ease.
All the drivers were installed straight from the Microsoft website:
ATI Radeon system and graphics
Realtek sound and network
Once drivers were updated, the monitor was detected and set up automatically.
The networked HP All-in-One printer installed in seconds…
The new taskbar/start-menu right-click pinning works like a charm.
IE8 is installed by default and Firefox can be installed and defaulted without any bother
I even like the new way of classifying user files and the concept of “libraries” is intuitive and easy to use and understand.
Absolutely amazing – even the aero interface works!
Windows 7 system requirements
For a bit extra speed, the aero has been turned off in the “Themes” area. Also, I don’t actually like it that much, but that’s just me I guess. More importantly, my system is well below the Microsoft Minimum System Requirements – I only installed it for a laugh and to see what would happen!
You’ll see in the screen-dump above, (which contrasts markedly with the Microsoft Minimum recommendations), that windows rates the system as 2.0 – it recommends 3.0 for the Aero interface. What I plan to do is stick 1GB of memory in the spare slots from my other PC, and then put new giblets in that one’s box. I intend to make that one a 4-core 64-bit platform to play with this new Microsoft OS…. Reaper should work fantastically!
It’s truly an order of magnitude better than Vista and 5x better than XP!
In actual fact, it’s more like the jump from 3.1 to Win98. I have actually been smiling at how good it is! The effort Microsoft has put in seems to have been worth it – this same install that I’ve just done is supposed to work on netbooks with ARM processors! In fact, the claim that file-copying is faster on a Win7 Arm laptop than WinXP is probably true – I just copied several gigs of user files from the old partition which went extremely quickly.
All this copying was done after installing Office 2007 Ultimate and ESET’s NOD32 antivirus software (which works much better than on WinXP, by the way). Microsoft’s Defender is installed and runs by default – it’s a spyware catcher and doesn’t seem to slow stuff up.
However, to show how impressed I am, the copying was done while Windows/Microsoft Update downloaded ~300MB of updates!!! Before the copying was finished, the long process (about 20mins) of installing the updates had begun…
This is some serious disc and processor activity, I can tell you – and all done on a single 64-bit processor running in 32-bit mode in 383 of system memory! It never missed a beat or got confused once!
In fact, during the copying, it prompts for Videos/Pictures & Music, which were previously in the \My Documents\My Music\ etc path to go into their correct library!….. It’s the little touches like this, plus the sensible ease of installing programs (goodbye to Vista mad-clickitty-click HELL) that has put oodles of polish onto an already robust and comforting experience.
I’m typing this as Win7 is de-fragmenting the old partition.
I’m doing it from within Firefox (running the Web-Developer, Screengrab and British Dictionary plugins)….
……so you’ll guess that I’m impressed by this serious bit of software kit. With another Gig of Crucial Ballistix memory it should fly even more and be good for another three years!
Finally: Never in a million years could I have dreamed of praising Microsoft so much!!!
Over the last couple of days the strangest thought has plagued me. Two simple ugly words have kept emerging, only for me to lock them out and ridicule them as bizarre. Simon’s dead. Just to write it down feels like … Continue reading →
If you ever needed confirmation that the UK is not run by a shadowy cabal of sinister plotters but a bunch of chinless fucking idiots then the upcoming Digital Economy Bill is a good place to start. As well as … Continue reading →