Friday, August 30, 2013

Logic Pro X Has USB Midi Problems

The latest version of Logic Pro X (10.0.2 / 10.0.3) has stuck midi note issues.

AVOID if you have any external midi gear and USB midi. Its a nightmare. The 10.0.2 update said it fixed some problems, but they are still there. Triggering notes in a completely different program solved my problem. It doesn't stick the note everytime, but once it does, you end up rebooting everything.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

20 of My Favorite Console Video Games of All Time

1. Streets of Rage 2

Favorite Moments: Using the lead pipe to smash enemies on the first level. Walking through the amusement park which had an amazing roto-scoping type foreground. I played the music in the menus over and over, including recording it to my cassette tape. This is the only game I've beaten twice in a row, back to back in the same day. This was the first stereo playback I've heard in a video game. The game sprites were so colorful and large for a home system, and the characters were instantly responsive on the genesis pad.

2. Sonic 2

Favorite Moments:  Rolling through Chemical Zone to see how fast my genesis processor was. Seeing "3d" rendered trees in Hill Top zone.

3. Sonic 1

Favorite moments: Beating the game in front of a bunch of kids with all the emeralds collected. Taking my Sega Genesis to church at night and playing it in the kids room, just so I didn't get bored. The realization that I could control the light on the TV screen warped my mind forever.

4. Road Rash 2

Favorite Moment: Jumping off the Hawaii track's biggest incline. The sound your guy makes when you run into a cow. Oh--eee--yaaaa. Playing it on a halloween night on a Friday while eating Snickers and drinking coke. I played the first level repeatedly in order to get the best motorcycle early in the game.

5. SSX 3

Favorite Moments: Being able to snowboard for 30 minutes downhill. Listening to the music and actually liking the load menus. Jumping so high I felt free from anything, just like real life snowboarding. "High Flyin' Supermodel!"

6. Resident Evil 4/5

Favorite moment: Defeating 2 chainsaw guys on the oil level. Having a teammate play my favorite game w/ me online. Beating the game multiple times and exploring all the content that was beautifully crafted. In RE4 I think I was being attacked by invisible enemies, but I had no idea what was going on, I just got out of there. These might be the best games of all time, but I don't attach as much sentimental value, beyond beating them both in a weekend and falling over.

7. Timesplitters 2/3

Favorite Moments: Creating levels and sharing them with people online. Making a Terminator 2 cyberdyne story level. I can never delete this off my memory card because there is no backup. The Cyberpunk levels were the best. Endless good times on this one. Another game I beat multiple times. Usually I never replay a game.

8. Goldeneye 64

Favorite moments: Using the moonraker laser gun on my siblings and cracking up.
9. Soul Calibur 2

Favorite moments: Playing this with my family. We were actually standing up it was so exciting. Playing the random dungeons.

10. Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition

Favorite Moments: Jumping on top of the worm boss and holding on as long as I could. This game may not have much sentimental value for me, BUT it really is one of the best games ever made. If you like God of War and realize it needed guns, hey they already made this series years earlier. Its basically as good as Castlevania.

11. Wip3out

Favorite Moments: I really did want to be Dade Murphy in hackers. When I found out it was a real game, and not just a dream, I was amazed. Getting gold on every board, including the ultra fast tracks. I had every control timed and memorized. At school I felt like my reaction time for everything I did had increased. I played this on a PSone small console that fit in my backpack front pocket. It made me feel really happy to have this.

12. Metal Gear solid 1

Favorite moments: Meeting Meryl. Psychomantis loading my memory card and commenting on how I played some soccer game I rented. Avoiding Sniper Wolf. Talking about this game with a new friend I had made. At the time  I really loved it and I needed them.

13. Silent Hill 2

Favorite moments: Being so scared I could hardly play the Hospital level. Realizing how bad Pyramid head was in his first scene. Yes that's his name if you actually played this game. This game is the reason we had ten years of gross looking, drab colored games.

14. 1080 Snowboarding

Favorite moments: Remembering my high scores for the half pipe and emailing my brother the score.

15. Ocarina of Time

Favorite moments: Playing my first adventure / rpg fantasy style game and collecting items. Sneaking by the weird zombie guys in the courtyard.

16. Silent Hill Shattered Memories

Favorite moments: Using the wii-mote as a cell phone camera so I don't have to remember things, just like real life. The level of immersion really went to back of my brain. My game created an amazing story for me the first time. This game knows what game is the most basic level, it knows what real life is, and it knows how my brain is affected by raw experience.

17. Burnout 3

Favorite moments: Driving the F1 car while I was home, sick with a fever. Hallucinating about Liv Tyler.

18. Mega Bomberman:

Favorite moment: The undersea levels, and coming back later beating it as an adult. You have to do some serious psych-out and memorization to beat the final boss.

19. Earthworm Jim 2

(no screen shot needed!)

20. Super Mario 3

Favorite moments: Everyone has the same story with this game. Sitting on the carpet indian style and playing it on a dial TV in the basement. I did that at everyone's house.

Special mentions...Turok, Mickey Castle of illusion (the first game I ever rented from Blockbuster), MK1, Battlefront 1/2, Goldenaxe...and more I couldn't list. I'm going to link my favorite music tracks for these games in a new article.

There were also lots of times in the summer where I was with my friends, and we rented N64 carts and loaded up on Pepsi (I don't even drink caffiene anymore). Endless MK1 tournaments at birthdays and the like. They were not the best games of all time, but good times none the least.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How to Search For Real World Audio Interface Tests

If you search the model of an audio interface like "konnekt 6" + "rightmark" in google,  data pages will be in the results. They usually are titled Right Mark Audio Analyzer or something and may be foreign like this. You may not be able to read the page, but with google translate you'll be able to decipher it. What is interesting is that tests generated from this program are published all over the web. Chances are you can use this data to compare different audio interfaces. Things that matter like THD % spec (lower is better) and crosstalk graph give a good idea of audio quality. Items like dynamic range have DB values where higher is better. If you see the frequency response fall off too early, maybe avoid that interface!

Search for some cheaper or older firewire models. It is pretty amazing. M-audio does make interfaces with very good spec. Motu's entire line also is very good.  TC Electronic is very good. You may not need to spend $1000 to get a good signal.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Most Audio Companies Are Crap (A List)

Most of the stuff you see in the catalogs is total crap.

1. Designing to consumer expectations and not pro needs (budget studio monitors)

2. They don't update drivers or test on new OSes

3. They don't test their products with experienced people

4. They care more about their reputation than manufacturing quality

5. They make products for right now, but not the future

6. The products just don't sound right

7. They don't sound good enough

8. Too much latency in digital products

9. Too much coloring or distortion

10. Artificial bass boosting

11. Flawed designs ("Audiophile" & esoteric materials), No technical specs listed.

12. Not made in the USA

13. Copied designs. Nothing original.

14. Overpriced, waste of money

15. Creating a control interface, then making the home computer do all the work.

16. No ergonomics

17. Not enough raw power for productions

18. Retro and backward thinking products.

19. Marketing hype

20. Fake sponsorships and fake reviews.

21. "Mini" versions of products that are missing important things.


The only companies I like and have kept around after tons of trades: Roland keyboards. My isoAcoustic stands are a keeper. Things I'd Rebuy: the Future Retro Revolution. Marshall pedals. All the monitors, audio interfaces, mics and low end midi controllers are just total garbage and I have sold them to unfortunate people. As far as software value goes: Reason. I also think Waves plugins are great. TAL Plugins are great. I even find free plugins that outperform commercial ones a lot! I'm really sick of the junk! I should not have to pay extra for something that will last me 5 years. What kind of goals are these companies aiming for? Its obviously not quality, professional specs, and ease of use. I'm not going to join their cult of retards that buy their junk, nor am I going to pay as much as a used car for something thats almost solid state. Most of it is a drag and barely tickles my creativity.

P.S. Almost anything "mastering quality" or "analog" is hype. Digital is better in most cases. $5,000 for an EQ or Limiter? I would never let a hardware mastering facility touch my digital music because it will only add distortion and noise and lower the dynamic range. The only exception, where analog is good, are sound sources, like the synthesizer, microphone, and hardware distortion. You don't need to record on tape though. When you get real monitors, not 6" pieces of junk, you will notice how bad most people's idea of "warm" analog sounds. It takes a certain type of recording experience to nail that sound artistically, and its rarely heard anymore.