Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The One With a Friend

And when I say Friend, I mean The Friend, as in The Friend magazine. This start-up called Sun Swing Media Company is producing what they hope will be a series of animated videos from The Friend magazine. They need to sell at least 5,000 in order to be able to produce the next video in the series. Please help them out and go buy one! It is going to set you back... $1.00 Yes, just a dollar. Watch their cute little trailer here, and then go here to purchase. It took me about one minute using Paypal. Good luck, Sun Swing!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The One With the Workarounds

I am not stupid. Usually.

And I am pretty good at techie, computer kind of stuff. Usually.

I love anything Apple Computer does. If they said sweat tasted good, I would probably buy a bottle. Okay, maybe not sweat. But Apple Computer is the bomb. Usually.

So Saturday I woke up, yawned, stretched, and thought to myself, “What could I do in the next three hours that would totally mess up my entire digital music recording setup so that I can’t meet my recording deadlines which are all in the upcoming week?” And then I answered myself: “Install that new Lion OSX operating system on all my computers today!” And that is what I did.

Three hours later I was running a shiny new operating system on my iMac. I love shiny new. And then I went to open Logic Studio, the main software I use to record. And I saw this:

I figured it must be a joke. I googled it. And guess what? It is a thing. Logic 8.  Doesn’t. Work. On. Lion. My Duet by Apogee $600 interface? Also doesn’t work with Lion. What about my Melodyne software? It works, but not until I buy the $500 upgrade for the other things that don’t work with Lion.

But no big deal, right? Just deinstall, and put the old system back. Easy peasy. NO. NOT EASY PEASY. Turns out that I should have protected myself by making a clone of my previous operating system and backing everything up. THEN it would have been easy peasy. Just remove Lion and open the clone, no harm done. But I didn’t know that a clone could be my best friend. I didn’t even know I liked clones. And now that I know, I have no clone.

I was left with some choices, none of them pleasant.

1. Go backwards. Buy a hard disk at least a terrabyte in size and back up every single file on my hard disk. Wipe the hard disk, install a new system with the disks that came with my computer (which I believe was the Panther OSX, which is TWO steps back). Then find the installation disks for all of the programs I had on my computer and reinstall each, one by one. Restore all the data to the hard disk and pray that it all still works.

2. Go forward. Buy Logic Studio 9. $500. I purchased the Academic version of Logic Studio 8, which is not eligible for upgrade. Buy a new Duet by Apogee 2, which is compatible with the new system. $700. Reinstall Melodyne.

3. Go sideways. After a lot of research, I find that computer geeks all over the country have come up with workarounds for the worst of my problems. I can open Logic Studio 8, using a weird little script. If I quit the program, I can’t just double-click to reopen it... I have to once again go through the weird little script. Another workaround lets me use my Duet by Apogee interface blind. It works, but I have no on-screen volume or input controls... I have to just feel around to try to get the right volume levels on the microphone, the speakers and the headphones. This is the option I chose. I have a really hard time with going backwards, and I can’t afford to just leap forward. But I think the workarounds will work until I can a) afford to upgrade Logic, and b) Apogee is working on an upgrade to the interface driver which should be finished by the end of the month.

So, net cost of going sideways:

Apple Lion OSX: $29
Logic Studio 9 (purchased used on eBay): $200
Cheap interface purchased at Apple to get me through the first couple of days: $249
Lesson learned: Priceless.

Once again, it was a lesson I did not want to learn. But maybe there ARE no lessons I really want to learn?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Long Overdue One

I admit, I have been a terrible blogger. Terrible at writing, terrible at reading. Just trying to fit too many things into too little time, I guess. I am carving out a little time for it, so I should get better from here on out. I’ll start things off with a video of an original song we wrote over at Archangel Records. We were faced one day with a decision... get frustrated because the people who were supposed to record didn’t show up, or make the most of our day and write a song. Garry sat down and wrote the first verse and chorus in about an hour, and we finished it within a couple more hours.

The challenging part about this was the video. We decided we didn’t want a photo slideshow... and we have never really done a real video before. So you must be forgiving of our first try. Shelley Johnson played cello (and allowed herself to be recorded for the video) on very short notice, Stephanie Anthony was kind enough to sing, and Lexi and Stephen were such good sports as to let us follow them around with some very amateur video attempts. Fun fact: Lexi and Stephen are INDEED in love, and are actually getting married on Saturday! So... enjoy. PLEASE feel free to repost on your own blog or Facebook page (let me know if you do... we love to hear about that!) and if you haven't “liked” our Facebook page, please please do! Oh, and by the way, this is in 1080 HD, so click to watch it BIG! :) Thank you thank you.