Music

I make music in my spare time and thought I could help others with a few hints and tips. I use Ableton Live, so some stuff will be more relevant to Live users. That said there won’t be much here that isn’t applicable to any DAW.

Specifics

– Windows PC running Windows 7 64-bit.

I have used OSX a lot too. Given the choice I would use an Apple, but at the moment you can get more power per pound with a PC.

– Ableton Live 8 (the one without all the library stuff)

I started with FL Studio… actually I started with Music on the PSX but that’s a long time ago. I find Live has a better work-flow structure: it lets you move things around projects very easily.

Synths

I’ve used …A LOT.. of Soft-synths. I’ve sort of settled onto the ones I like using.

-Massive

Great Synth, easy to use with excellent routing options.  All the kids are using this for it’s dubsteppy performer modulation and gritty wavetables.

-Absynth

Good for stuff that Massive isn’t so good for.

-FM8

Probably use this less than Massive and Absynth. FM synthesis is a bit mental.

My only real complaint with Native Instruments Synthesizers is that they aren’t very standardized. They’re all completely different. Which in of itself isn’t a bad things its just that Massive has a brilliant control routing system that as far as I tell is perfect and simple… but they don’t use this same system across the board.

Other toys

-Kontakt

This is where I get sample based sounds. Anything that’s from the real world.  I do however find the sounds, mostly, a bit to ‘what they are’. You don’t have the control you have when using a synth so getting them to sit right is a bit harder. So I don’t use these types of sound that much. This is why I didn’t get the Live Library. I build them from scratch with Synths. I do however like it’s orchestral stuff, nice brass. Good pianos too.

-Reaktor

Brilliant.

-EastWest Quantum Leap: Hollywood Strings

My orchestra.

-Focusright Liquid Mix

I got this second hand and cheap. These things may well be worth their weight in gold.

World Affairs

I wasn’t really sure what to call this category. It spans many disciplines and covers current and historical affairs. I have a pretty severe obsession with primary sources on topics of any subject. I don’t like having opinions formed on my behalf, nor do I like forming opinions without understanding the subject matter. This is a heavy intellectual burden as we are rarely presented with the facts unselected, so most affairs require some investigation before I can really have an opinion. Fortunately, right now, we’re never more than a few minutes from the facts, which is one of life’s current ironies.

Programming

I don’t consider myself a programmer, if we are being pedantic, which I know I am, I would call myself a software engineer. I work for a small software company called Orchid Software, located in Gateshead, UK. If we had departments mine would be ‘Platform’. If platform had divisions I would pretty much constitute it’s R & D division.  I consider my job to really be finding solutions to problems. My main areas of concern are our search engine, data mining, linguistics support and knowledge handling.

Science and Philosophy

My interest in science and philosophy go back quite a while. For a while these interests were separate but over time, mostly as the result of having to look at the scientific method itself, the borders between these topics has blurred. The topics in science that I am interested in (physics, neuroscience, some aspects of biology) necessarily verge into philosophy. I used to work at a university as a research fellow. It gave me the opportunity to read lots of papers on many subjects week in week out for years (and call it work). This is where I first became interested in neuroscience.

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