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making sound considerate

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update

Updates on audio-related things in progress…

  1. The long-running archiving project has hit a significant milestone – I’ve now digitised as much of the physical media as I can. Limits are set now by condition of the incoming media, and whether or not it’s really worth digitising 4 or more decaying copies of the same thing when we already have better copies of the same thing elsewhere.  The only reel (!) exception is a set of reels for a particular project whose magnetic layer fell off as soon as the reels were unpacked.  No way is that worth spending money to preserve further given the age, obscurity and potential value of the content, not least the hardware value to retrieve it once the media itself has been restored.  Shame, but commercial sense has to come into it somewhere along the line.
  2. Now have a DIY automated process for holding an in-DAW mix (working in REAPER) at -23dBLUFS or thereabouts, which greatly simplifies things for radio and podcast production.  Even if I only use it for monitoring or other less critical work, it’s an amazing time-saving tool.
    • Obviously this means it can be adapted for -16dBLUFS or any other value as needed.
    • It’s *really* not pretty  for a number of reasons – most bothersome to me is that it presently works in stepped values, somewhere around 10 updates per second – rather than more smoothly applying gain or attenuation.
    • For high-end stuff, I’m still happy to do final levelling by hand as it does tend to sound better, but that does add time to any given project.

A personal note…

An unashamedly personal post, this. I’ve been feeling a lot of burden this week for my city, for my church, and for my friends.

I’m not going to pass comment or judgement on either the G8 protestors or the police trying to keep them and the rest of us safe while the former apparently seek an audience and outlet for their frustrations.

With all that to one side, it has to be said that the near-constant drone of helicopter blades and sirens over London’s W1 area, whatever their purpose, has been a very visceral reminder and signpost to a deep feeling of being utterly besieged, both at work and perhaps to life in general, when I sit back and think about it.

As a Christian I know that times of trial come and go, with the apparent aim of God refining and purifying us through them, and that during those times we ought to seek comfort from the Bible, and from our friends and family – however trite such words and wisdom can feel at the time of struggle.

And yet, as I sit back at home with the brief and comforting respite of Al Stewart’s “Time Pieces” spinning atop our inherited turntable rig, these words from “Life in Dark Water” jump out as a stark reflection on how this week so far feels to me, a mere mortal trying to make sense of the tensions I’m seeing and feeling from around me:

..:Why am I alone here with no rest…
…They’ll never know, never no never,
How strange life in dark water can be.”

From a biblical perspective, this song seems to present a very “Job”-like set of woes and words. The song itself seems to be written from the perspective of the Marie Celeste and her crew, with an imaginary crew-member apparently left behind and trying to make sense of the 500 or so years that have passed since. “What happened? Why me? Why now?”

Some comfort comes I guess in knowing deep-down that this time will pass, and lessons will hopefully be learned. While I process that deep-down thought however, I’m somewhat encouraged that even ‘secular’ music can touch a nerve and bring out understandings and reflections about myself and how I feel about the situations I find happening around me, and at the same time can still point me to memories of comforting truths long-lost in the battlefield.

So I can thank God for helping me connect some dots, and also I can indirectly thank Al Stewart for writing words and music which connect at such a deep level. I’m very grateful for both comforts this of all days.

WordPress for iPhone improvements?

So here I am wondering whether the latest WordPress app is any quicker to use on the iPhone than previous versions.

It is a little quicker for sure, but even as I type this it feels like it’s getting slower to respond to each key – and slows down even more when the autocorrect shows up, or when having to backspace to correct something manually.

That said, the text scrolling issue seems to be solved, and I can now tilt the phone sideways and have it switch smoothly to the horizontal mode and back again.

It’s slowly getting better, folks. Bring on CoreData!

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