February 4th, 2013

dark flower

my tutor and mentor

Lately I find that when I need to know any answer to any 'how to' technical question, I go to youtube,
type in words pertinent to my question, and quickly learn the answer. In some ways, it's better than other forms of "real life",because the video is one topic, with few digressions of the sort that
happens in non-computer contexts. Sometimes, though, people manage to make 5 minutes of information into 15 minutes of video, which is just like in non-computer contexts.

This morning I watched videos about two music-making devices, Seq24 and LMMS. I was wholly unfamiliar with Seq24, which is a very basic sequencer that, with some effort, I could probably learn and use.
The other was LMMS, a bit more complicated, but still probably something I can learn with some effort.
The main issue with both devices is to make sure I have them hooked up to the right sound software like Jack and Alsa.

When I make music, I sometimes use synthesizers with preset sounds, but more often make my own samples (patches) to run as the basis for the sound in the synthesizer. This requires the synthesizer to read a .wav file and then use it as the basis for a melody sequence. My favorite music-making device, Windows software called Sawcutter 2.0, allows me to import files into four instruments and then easily create
melody patterns of them to make songs. So, too, does Tunafish allow me to sequence samples, as well as apply various fx or use plug-in synthesizers to make or alter the sounds.

If I can learn some device that will let me (directly or through a plug-in) sequence sound samples into melodies and arrange the resulting melody patterns, then I will be in business making music in Linux.
This should be an achievable goal, but we'll see if it takes a month or nine months to get the transition made. Of course, if I could install the Windows Emulator called WINE in my system and then install the devices I already use through WINE, I could be set up to make music more quickly. I'll work patiently at it and see.

A fellow on Youtube picked up one of my ccMixter songs and used it in his video. This has happened 1,000 times or so. When I like a video, as I did his, I make a comment. This time he replied saying "I've got some of your music saved. I hope you don't mind if I use more", to which I said "great". Then he commented to say "where can I find more music", to which I wrote a response. Then he wrote back to say that he listened to some of my music and it wasn't what he uses. That's fine, of course--people should use the music that fits their vision (my music seems to fit the vision of people making videos about playing Minecraft lately). Yet it had that disjointed "you said x, now you say y" feel that internet discussions so often have. The world is not a ghetto, but the information super-highway feels like a desolate open space, sometimes.

But I have miles to go before I sleep, as the poem goes--work to do today and then creating a new song for the ccMixter Secret Mixter thing.
dark flower

kestrel sightings and therapy dogs

Today I walked at lunch in Breckinridge Park. I saw a kestrel. This Winter I've seen two kestrels at the park. Lately I had not seen either of them, making me think they left to nest.
But I saw one today. I took its picture, as it sat in a bare tree.. Then I took its picture when it sat atop a huge sprinkler hose spindle. None of my pictures were very good due to the poor light. But I saw the kestrel clearly nonetheless. Our weather lately is warm but not too dry--often it is overcast, and sometimes it rains. Warm Winters sometimes foretell dreadful drought--but not this Winter.

My customization of this small laptop goes apace.I installed WINE tonight,the program which lets one run Windows programs in Linux. In the near future I will test to see if my favorite two music-making programs will work in WINE. Fedora 18 has proven extremely easy to use so far.

The chronological history of Christianity I'm reading is moving into the Reformation. The Reformation and the Counter-Reformation began some important processes. But the earliest days of the Reformation feature so much bloodshed. I am ready to read about religious liberty.

I was thinking about someone I knew in law school. I did not know her well, was not infatuated with her, or have any discord with her. She was just one of those people in a cameo role in my life, a person with barely a speaking part in my personal drama. I thought she was nice. I was able to google up that she now uses a therapy dog where she lives in Arizona to help promote education at her local library. People do such fascinating things.

I won an eBay auction for a proper computer monitor for my raspberry pi. Cost: 32 dollars.
Now I just need to load an operating system on an SD card, get a mouse and keyboard, and
sort out a USB wi-fi device. In a month or two I hope to be running the raspbian spin of Debian on it.