The idea with this one is that there’s a monster that wants someone or something to get off its biscuit. A combination of various drones, with the monster saying “Get off my biscuit” (backwards of course!). This is quite a scary track, and if I were whatever is being told to get off the biscuit, I would definitely get off the biscuit. As usual, EA-1 and Kaoss pad.
Archive for July, 2007
If you’re looking for a web host then I can heartily recommend Supanames. They’re based in the UK. I’ve got four domains hosted with them, including an e-commerce site, on various different packages. Their support is great. I’ve always had a response within an few hours, and usually sooner. The support crew are both helpful and knowledgeable, which is always a bonus.
The cheapest package is the Linux Value, which is currently £13.99 a year, including a UK domain (you can either buy one or transfer one in). You get 150MB of webspace and unlimited data transfer, so you won’t be stuck with any unwanted bandwidth charges. This is a pretty rare feature. Downside is you can’t host music and video files, but you can host flash, so you could always put your songs and videos into flash files. You also don’t get any stats on this package, but you can always use Google analytics instead. You get one free email account for your domain. You also get one free MySQL database, great for installing Wordpress to build and manage the site, or a forum for example. This is a great option for a personal site, and I run crowcity and another site on this.
Next up is the Value Pro, which has the same file restrictions but does give you 500MB of space and visitor statistics. You still get unrestricted bandwidth and a free MySQL database. You also get 100 email accounts for your domain, so this is well suited for a small business. I run an e-commerce site on this. Currently £23.99 a year.
Then there’s the Mid, which has a stack more webspace - 1.5GB. You can host music and videos on this, but there is a maximum bandwidth (data transfer) of 10GB a month. If you use this up (I never have, despite having plenty of music and video files) they don’t sting you with extra charges. You can either buy more bandwidth or just leave your site down until the next month. You get 500 email accounts and 5 MySQL databases. I run machinima.org.uk on this. Currently £39.99 a year.
There are other packages as well, but I’ve only recommended the ones I have personal experience of.
Here’s a paragraph from the new chapter:
In a little world like this I like to see how the spiders determine their social order. In the best fly catching places you get the best spiders as they just plain eat any other spiders in that area as well as any flies. So you can look at a place in the way a spider might, checking where the best places for a web might be, and sure enough there you’ve got you your best spider. You needn’t even bother looking anywhere else as the best spider isn’t going to be somewhere rubbish. You don’t need to go to school to find it out. Then you just reach down and pick it out. It’s the best spider in all that land but it don’t have nothing on you. So I picked it out and regarded it for a while waving its legs then popped it in my mouth. They’re right chewy those things and chewing them can help pass the time some.
Read Flatland Cannibal (permanent link under My Novels on the right)
I’ve been running Wordpress (web content management system) on crowcity for about a week now, and I’m extremely impressed with it. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to any level of user looking to build and/or manage a website. It’s incredibly easy to install, configure and use.
Configuring the look of the site is a breeze, either by:
- choosing a theme, downloading it, uploading it to your webspace and selecting it (easy), or
- creating your own using css (some knowledge required), or
- a combination of the two.
Adding pages and posts is also very simple and works perfectly. You can either:
- use the word processor (no need to know the coding) to type or copy and paste from elsewhere, or
- do it all with code in the code editor if you prefer. The code editor will also validate your code automatically.
It makes a lot more sense to add posts rather than pages most of the time. The most recent post goes to the top of the home page, which has the added benefit of your home page being updated constantly. They are also accessible through the site search, or by browsing the different category archives. You can set up any categories you wish to. And there’s built-in RSS support, so anyone can subscribe and track what you’ve added. Search engines (if you choose to be submitted to them) pick up the new posts and pages incredibly quickly (a few days), helping to drive traffic to your site.
Adding Graphics, MP3 and Video
- You can just add images to your post or page as you go, and Wordpress will upload and display them for you.
- I use the Audio Player plug-in to stream MP3s.
- And for video streaming, you can just embed something from Youtube, although you will need to change the code slightly and maybe get rid of the white border. Sorted.
Plug-ins are extras that people have built and made available for anyone to use. I’ve added a few plug-ins:
- Audio Player - streams MP3s through a little flash interface
- Counterize - analyses your traffic
- Search Pages - includes pages as well as posts in the site search
- Google Analytics plug-in - analyses your traffic. You also have to set up an account at Google Analytics website
If you’re looking for an easy way to create and/or manage your website then give it a go. If I can be of any help, please feel free to contact me. Truly anyone can have a decent site they can keep updated themselves now.
The idea with this one was to have a throbbing industrial drone in the background, and then see how much some softer drones would lighten it. I overdid it with the softer drones though, and had to cut back on the industrial drone. One of the softer drones ended up backwards. As usual, this was created using the EA-1 and Kaoss pad.
I recorded this (in layers) with my new toy, the M-Audio pre USB, a USB soundcard that connects and powers itself via USB. Trouble is, it starts to put in crackles once you’ve got a few tracks laid down. Not a problem with this piece, as there are only four drones (well, three drones and a “tune”), but I really need to figure out how to stop it.
Edit: it turned out the pre USB was faulty so I got it replaced and now it records infinite numbers of tracks with no crackle. Sweeeeeet! And totally recommended for PCs or laptops.
I’ve made a pdf you can print out to record the settings of an EA-1 sound you like. I can never remember where the sound was that I found, so I’m hoping this will help. Just draw in the settings for the different knobs and buttons. You can also make a note of which knobs etc to play with during that sound. Anyway, here it is: EA-1 Settings PDF.
I spent yesterday at Alton Towers. It rained pretty heavily for most of the day, as had been forecast, so there weren’t many people there at all, and there were no queues for the rides! I went on Rita twice, Air three times, Nemesis twice and Oblivion four times, as well as riding the less high octane thrills quite a bit as well (River Rapids three times, Runaway Mine Train three times, Enterprise twice, Duel twice, Hex once). Here’s my breakdown of the rides:
Rita Queen of Speed - an electromagnetic start catapults you from 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds - faster than the space shuttle. The first time you ride this, you think your body is going to break apart under the G force. It’s supremely extreme. One of the funniest things I ever saw was my friend Kathleen’s face turn from laughter to horror in a nanosecond and then she was gone (I was watching from the queue). Once the speed’s up there’s tons more to the ride - loads of curves and air time, all incredibly fast and exhilarating.
My thrill rating: 9/10
Air - on Air you fly along like Superman, with your feet dangling. I can recommend riding with bare feet for extra sensation. This is a gentle ride, which really makes you feel you’re flying. In the rain yesterday there were warnings that riders “may find the ride uncomfortable!” At one part of the ride you’re held upside-down for a few seconds and beaten with torrents of rain. It’s more pleasant when it’s not raining!
My thrill rating: 7/10
Nemesis - the idea with Nemesis is that you’re being tossed around by a giant monster, and it really feels like this. You’re sat with dangling feet, and again, it’s worth riding this barefoot for extra vulnerability. This is a classic ride, and you go round loads of loops and bends and get swung out and thrown around to the extreme. It doesn’t make you feel sick though and is just incredibly exhilarating.
My thrill rating: 8/10
Oblivion - Oblivion is a short ride, but very intense. The carriage is wide with just two rows, so it’s the easiest ride to get front rider for. This one cranks you up for quite a while at a steep angle, then you get hung over a vertical drop for a few seconds. When it drops you, gravity sucks you in at a ton of pounds per second per second or whatever, through a stack of dry ice, down to pitch darkness. The first time I rode this I got memory loss it’s so extreme. You then roll back into daylight and round a nice curve. This is pretty much it, but it packs a lot of thrill into a short ride.
My thrill rating: 9/10
If you haven’t been to Alton Towers lately then you need to go! Think of it as fat camp for your adrenal glands.
Well here’s the first (and last) song from Daleks: the Opera. The opening scene has a Hamlet type dalek, undergoing an existential crisis, philosophising on what it means to be a dalek. His conclusions are somewhat bleak. Creating it did make me realise why no-one has written an opera for daleks before. It’s pretty much impossible for them to sing a tune with their ring modulation. Poor daleks - no wonder they’re so nihilistic. I’d got this pretty little tune all worked out and had to replace it with a monotone. I also found out that I sound like a dalek Julian Clary when I’ve pitch-shifted my dalek voice. A strange day. Track was created with the ER-1 for the beats then various drones on the EA-1 (with fairly liberal ring modulation and stereo tape echo courtesy of the Kaoss pad).
Just finished a new track so here it is. It’s a combination of drones created with the EA-1 and Kaoss pad, with a stack of tape echo. It features the quote from Oppenheimer (inventor of the atomic bomb during WW2) talking about Vishnu in his multi-armed form.
I’ve been watching some of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop stuff on Youtube. It’s totally blown me away - well worth checking out. There’s Alchemists of Sound and Electric Music Machine. It’s given me a whole new dimension when watching tv and listening to the background/incidental music and has fired me up with my own stuff. Fascinating. Peter Howell should be made an official National Treasure.
Also came across a Delia Derbyshire song called ziwzih ziwzih 00-00-00 that was made in the mid 60s out of bits of tape and stuff (pre synthesiser) that sounds more modern that anything else I’ve ever heard! Just click the play button below to hear it. I don’t know whether it’s part of a larger track or even whether it’s still subject to copyright. I’m willing to risk a brush with the law though if it means that people hear this.
I’ve just found this on delia-derbyshire.org talking about how the piece was created …
This was for a television science fiction film. I did the music for the whole programme. It was probably in the mid ’60s and this bit of the drama was when they had this big boss robot who starts a new religion, and he’s like the high priest, and all the other robots sing this hymn to him.
The actors, I got them to chant. The words they were singing were, “Praise to the master, his wisdom and his…” something… “his wisdom and his glory.” I turned it backwards first, then chose the best bits that sounded good backwards and would fit into a rhythm, and then speed-changed the voices. Then I used just this one bar repeated which had [previously] been rejected from a science and health program for being too lascivious for the schoolchildren. It was like a science program… it was supposed to be about sex, but under another name. And then the producer had the nerve to turn down my music, saying it was too lascivious. It was just twangy things with electronic pick-ups, and I just used a single note and then did little glissandos on it and pitched it and treated it. But the ‘Ooh-ooh-ooh’ isn’t me… that’s wobbulator, pure wobbulator. That’s a piece of test equipment that does wave sweeps.