Friday, February 14, 2020

A review of Processing books

Processing is the free and open Java development environment that targets artists who are intrigued by generative code. In essence it is the Java language with a friendly development interface and built-in libraries to get you started.

There are plenty of ways to learn Processing, including the tutorials on the organisation's website, and the built-in examples that come with the distribution. But if you prefer a printed book, keep reading. This article will review nine available publications, so you can make an informed purchase decision.

For the sake of completeness I will also append information on two books I haven't had a chance to read.
Thursday, October 03, 2019

Now is the time to buy AKG cans



Public service announcement for all my European heads. AKG Studio Headphones are currently massively discounted at Thomann.
Saturday, August 31, 2019

Ultraportable laptops from Dell and Lenovo

Before continuing with this article, be sure you have read the first and second entries in this series.

To recap, I will be specifying ultraportable laptops (under 1.5kg) with small screens (under 14"), 16GB RAM, and a reasonable collection of ports. I will avoid units with speciality video cards and touch screens. Prices will be provided from eBay sellers of refurbished units. The goal is to find a bargain in an older computer, since these are just as powerful as anything released today.

I have personal history with laptops from Dell (2 models), Lenovo (2), HP (1), and ASUS (2). But I cannot be said to be an expert in this field, only someone adept at compiling information. From this experience I will only consider Dell and Lenovo units.
Saturday, August 31, 2019

Buying a Laptop for Audio Production - Part 2

In my last article I laid out the problems and constraints involved with buying a laptop for audio production. In this article I will continue by describing hardware constraints and my purchase methodology.
Saturday, August 31, 2019

Buying a Laptop for Audio Production - Part 1

I regularly get asked to recommend hardware, and so have recently been looking once again at the annoying world of laptop computers. This article will summarise the state of the art and make certain recommendations for those who want a portable audio workstation.

The assumption here is that such a laptop will supplement, not replace, a desktop computer. For this reason I am most interested in small and light computers, realising that they can be connected to external monitors and audio interfaces for increased usability.
Sunday, July 14, 2019

Audio Recorders July 2019

It's been some time since I have updated my digital recorder comparison. Though much has changed in the meantime, I have continued to recommend the Olympus LS-10 and LS-11 (basically the same unit), alongside the Sony PCM-M10. But none of these models have been on the market for years.

It's time to reconsider! So read on for my updated recorder comparison table.

Friday, May 03, 2019

Timeline of audio devices

As a by-product of my research, I have compiled the following timeline of audio devices from numerous sources. Accreditation here is not meant to deny previous contributions, including those obscured by the historical record. In fact, one of the reasons to put this together is to highlight the variety and proliferation of this idea that sound can be recorded and even played back. We take it for granted today.

1850 Claude Pouillet (1791–1868) publishes Notions générales de physique et de météorologie à l’usage de la jeunesse, a book which contains visual representations that have subsequently been reproduced as sound.

1857 The first sound recording device, the phonautograph, is invented by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville (1817–1879) in Paris.
Friday, May 03, 2019

Talk Talk cover versions

Here's another post in the wake of Mark Hollis' passing. Four cover versions I found that might intrigue you.

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Mark Hollis and Talk Talk rarities

This article compiles the extant rarities from the career of Hark Hollis (1955-2019).

First, if you are unaware of this music, you are in for a rare treat. I am not going to repeat here the story of how a synth-pop group with rare sensibilities morphed into one of the most incredible expressions of pure music imaginable. Instead, just obtain the following catalogue. I've even indicated my suggested purchase order, which defers the first rather slick albums until after you've heard the masterworks.

5. Talk Talk: The Party's Over (EMI, 1982)
6. Talk Talk: It's My Life (EMI, 1984)
1. Talk Talk: The Colour of Spring (EMI, 1986)
2. Talk Talk: Spirit of Eden (Parlophone, 1988)
3. Talk Talk: Laughing Stock (Verve, 1991)
4. Mark Hollis: Mark Hollis (Polydor, 1998)
Friday, April 26, 2019

Monarch versus Extinction Rebellion: iconography


Monarch is a secret government organisation that studies kaiju in the film series that incorporates "Godzilla" (2014), "Kong: Skull Island" (2017), and "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" (2019). These films are predicated on an ecological theme. Godzilla is a primordial creature who feeds on radiation, returning to the surface world to restore the so-called "balance". It is unclear what the symbol itself represents, but it could be the wings of a butterfly. Or, indeed, Mothra.