tom moody

Archive for February, 2017

"Seven Parts"

"Seven Parts" [mp3 removed -- please listen on Bandcamp]

The Elektron Octatrack uses "parts" to store groups of samples that have been sliced or tweaked in various ways. Each part has a group of patterns that "trig" the samples.
Parts and patterns are stored in banks. The Arranger makes songs using patterns from various banks. This tune could be called "Seven Banks" but the main focus of the exercise was to seamlessly switch among various sample families stored in the parts.
The samples are mostly from live recordings of the SammichSID synth. That is, live in the sense of triggered by the Octatrack's MIDI channels and sampled in real time. Other sounds come from sample chains found on the internet and sliced, and some percussion from the samplv1 and a-fluidsynth synths, playing in Ardour (Linux version).
Playback from the Octatrack was then recorded in Ardour and then mastered (i.e., loudened).
The "tech-house" part at 1:12 is a fanfic nod to Antonelli Electr.

Update: Tweaks to the gain of one Part, and made the antiphonal section at 1:12 fully stereo (setting got lost on the first go); reposted.

- tom moody

February 28th, 2017 at 9:44 am

Posted in music - tm

dump.fm memorial, part 3

1299966993202-dumpfm-chrisduncan-UntitledS-vzsD

The creator of the shabby-chic meme above, Chris Duncan, quit dumping long before Dump.fm died but this makes a nice memorial. Duncan went on to an excellent career as a Vine troll, harassing random urbanites and uploading their reactions. E.g., "You ride your motorcycle like a real weenie!" Duncan's dump memes were noteworthy for being made in MSPaint and saved as degraded jpegs. This one is missing the characteristic artifacts. The football jersey font was typical.

- tom moody

February 27th, 2017 at 9:09 am

network plasticity

From a recent interview:

Angelo Romeo: What does the Internet mean to you today?

Geert Lovink: I got to know computers and computer networks in the late 1980s in my late 20s so I can’t say I grew up with them, even though their arrival was announced in films, magazines and science fiction was announced well before I was born. As an undergrad I was still using IBM punch cards. I would not describe my generation as pioneers. We grew up in the shadow of the Cold War, in the ruins of the industrial revolution. It was not a period of prosperity but one of crisis, decay and unemployment. Doom and gloom: no gentrification but squats. In that environment the internet offered an alternative future that first came to us through cyberpunk sci-fi literature. The 1968 generation had nothing to offer to us, and we became cynical because of their failed idealism and double standards. Armed struggle was bankrupt. It is with a certain ironic ambivalence that we entered the internet realm. Some of my friends did not enter the game, while others did. Younger people jumped on it. Internet indeed offered us an opportunity, to get out of the margins, claim a strategic terrain and move into the unknown, cyberspace. This is pretty much the same, 30 years later. The younger you are, the better. The internet never disappointed me. It is society that steers it architectures and applications. Turned into platform capitalism, filtered by authoritarian regimes, pushed by neo-liberal design of the precarious self, that’s what the internet means to us today. This doesn’t say anything about tomorrow. Luckily, we can still speculate about ‘network plasticity’. Platform is not our destiny.

Am a bit more pessimistic about the resilience of "the network," as in, a world wide web, in view of monopolist challenges to neutrality, on the one hand, and the sheeplike migration of citizens to "platforms," on the other. Even smaller networks that are parasitic to the global Internet will be affected by Balkanization. A small case in point, I've been learning to use a Linux system, and while some of the how-to is handled over IRC chat, much is still dependent on Googling. The Ardour forum moderators tell newbies, in so many words, "don't rely on our in-house search to find if your topic has been covered, use Google, it's much more thorough." If Google searching (or DuckDuckGo, or Bing) becomes deprecated because of post-neutrality slow lanes or "platform" dominance of search, Linux mavericks are screwed.

- tom moody

February 27th, 2017 at 8:57 am

Posted in linux diary, theory

a little late schadenfreude

Andrew Cockburn, Harper's:

Ask anyone who was present at Hillary Clinton’s presumptive victory celebration on November 8 and they will tell you of the stunned silence, broken only by sobs, that settled across the vast glass enclosure of the Javits Center in Manhattan. Upstairs, in the suite where the candidate was closeted with her family and associates, the trauma was even more intense. As one attendee later reported to me, it featured the “full range of human emotions: screams, shock, fainting. Bill moved immediately to blame.” The former president, I was told, singled out campaign manager Robby Mook: “ ‘We should have fired that asshole months ago!’ It was awful.”

All those million dollar speeches couldn't buy Bill a second shot at the presidency. Boo hoo.

Meanwhile, the blame express rolls on. These two headlines tell you who is a Clintonite and who isn't:

conason

intercept

- tom moody

February 26th, 2017 at 10:13 am

Posted in general

dump.fm memorial, cont'd

notopoulos_dump_tweet

Screenshot of tweet by Katie Notopoulos, a tech and internet writer for Buzzfeed, recommending Joe Milutis' Hyperallergic essay memorializing Dump.fm. It's fun to be an unsung hero -- presumably the other 15% of the current web aesthetic originates with Pepe.

- tom moody

February 25th, 2017 at 9:26 am

Posted in theory

dudes gone wild

If you want to understand the rise of President Trump, you must understand the rise of 4chan, and, leaving gender normativity matters aside (even though that's not possible), you must understand that the issue is, these guys don't have girlfriends, and it's not the left's problem or duty to reach across that particular aisle.

That's a brief summation of this post by Belle Waring, which responds to this article by Dale Beran.

- tom moody

February 25th, 2017 at 8:59 am

Posted in theory

"Esperklatsch Variation"

"Esperklatsch Variation" [mp3 removed -- please listen on Bandcamp]

Have been using the Elektron Octatrack wrong, which isn't entirely my fault, since the manual does a lousy job of explaining how Parts work. Merlin's guide [pdf] finally straightened me out. So this tune is all done with my new knowledge (as Tai Lopez suggests, it's about the knowledge). Not that anyone would know, since I've been using the PC to cover what I thought were the Elektron device's limitations.
Most of the banks (and Parts) here use sliced single-cycle waveforms, which provides the vintage sequencer sound. Other audio comes from the same grab-bag of recycled material used in "Esperklatsch."
Another development was getting comfortable doing a final mix on Linux, using compressor and limiter plugins from LSP. Had sort of been clinging to the PSP Vintage Warmer on Windows, but now I've cut it loose and am completely Gates-free.
And last, using Audacity to convert to .mp3.

Update: Minor tweaks, reposted.

- tom moody

February 23rd, 2017 at 10:25 am

Posted in music - tm

around the web

The Story of ORCH5 (via Cosmic) How an orchestral stab from The Firebird Suite became a hiphop staple. Thoughtful tracing of cultural currents even if you don't buy the thesis of a "fundamental epistemological crisis that besets Western music." Was intrigued to learn about the role of White Noise's David Vorhaus (he digitized the sample in the late '70s) and the happy accident of a pricy Fairlight synth (which contained ORCH5) being in the studio when Arthur Baker and Afrika Bambaataa went in to record "Planet Rock."

FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) notes that the Washington Post Ran 16 Negative Stories on Bernie Sanders in 16 Hours. That's the same Jeff Bezos-owned news entity that's currently peddling Russian conspiracy garbage. (hat tip Lambert)

"Love Me, I'm a Liberal" [YouTube] (hat tip Lambert again). Phil Ochs song from the '60s beguilingly anticipates Hillary Clinton partisans and their bizarre infatuation with spy agencies.

Once I was young and impulsive
I wore every conceivable pin
Even went to the socialist meetings
Learned all the old union hymns
But I've grown older and wiser
And that's why I'm turning you in
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

- tom moody

February 23rd, 2017 at 4:06 am

milutis dump.fm essay comments

stage-idgiupset

Comments to Joe Milutis' Hyperallergic article on Dump.fm slowly trickle in (hat tip stage for upset "I Don't Get It Guy"):

sara • 15 days ago

Rene sucks d*nkey d*ck [asterisks in the original --tm]

Ross L. Gould • 2 days ago

No mention of deal with it??? Did you ever even dump bro?

tom moody • 11 hours ago

Thanks to Joe Milutis for this eulogy. Dump is hard to write about, and anyone who attempts to nail the experience risks becoming the IDGI Guy (a grumpy stock photo actor who, in real life, was one of the first people not to get Dump -- he and the photographer complained loudly until Jeanette Hayes painted IDGI Guy's portrait in oils -- then they got it). In fact, every dumper thinks they "get it" and will greet another's theories with sllence or abuse, hence this comment section. I said to one dumper that "Rene sucks d*nkey d*ck" was kind of a lame response and the dumper said the comment was "probably about the aspects of dump Milutis forgot to mention or couldn't fit in." And I said, "You're reading a lot into 'Rene sucks d*nkey d*ck.'"

tom moody • 5 minutes ago

And as for not covering "deal with it," the answer is -- [slowly descending sunglasses] -- "deal with it."

- tom moody

February 22nd, 2017 at 6:23 am

idgi_fuzzy_crop

idgi_fuzzy_crop

IDGI Guy, posted by ryder on dump.fm

- tom moody

February 22nd, 2017 at 6:23 am