Jeff's online journal, ramblings, whatever.

Archive for December, 2008

A little musical experiment for all y’all

alesis-multimix-2-mixer

There have been two main pieces I’ve been working on in my synth class this past semester. One I’ve posted a version of already: the Absoludicrous theme song. The other was a master edition of the Escape piece from Travels. I did quick versions of both of these before I had the instructor come in and look at it. He helped me tweak and fix a whole bunch of little issues with both pieces: EQ, compressors, limiters, and other audio buzzwords. The Escape piece we worked on for two whole months (of classtime, not realtime) trying to get it to sound better. Now, here’s the ticket. I want to know, to the average Internet listener, 1) which version you think came first (before the tweaking) and which came second, and 2) which one sounds better. They’re labeled “version 1” and “version 2,” but that doesn’t mean that version 1 necessarily came first.

Absoludicrous theme: version 1 | version 2

The Escape: version 1 | version 2

Leave your comments! Nate, I’m looking in your direction! Bonus points to whoever can tell me the biggest thing that still needs fixing in both versions of “The Escape” in terms of audio.


newspaper open – 3D Movie Maker Sound FX (and Colbert)

colbert-lockwood

I know I recently did a little rant about people just making blog posts to fill in cute little surveys, then tag their friends, and I especially apologize for having done a similar one before. However, in that previous one I kind of cheated, skipping until I found an actual song. This time I didn’t cheat; I let the playlist bring up what it would. If this really describes my life, I suppose it’s apt, considering my life doesn’t make any sense, either.

JUST FOR FUN….
Feel free to do this yourself.

Directions:
1. Put your iPod, iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the “next” button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY OR NON-SENSICAL IT SOUNDS

1. IF SOMEONE SAYS “IS THIS OKAY” YOU SAY?
Prelude, op. 28, no. 9 – Frederic Chopin

2. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF?
“Arabian Dance” – Tchaikovsky

3. WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A GUY/GIRL?
Maridia 2 – Super Metroid

4. HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
Silence – F-Zero

5. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE PURPOSE?
Eterna Canción – OBK

6. WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
Bad Reception Erase – Mario Paint

7. WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
Aria from the Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach – Anna Magdalena Bach

8. WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
Fingerprints, Thunder, & Theme – Ken Allen, The Colonel’s Bequest

9. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
“But the museum would like to make its own assessment.” – 3D Movie Maker Default Voices

10. WHAT IS 2 + 2?
Battle 1 – Super Metroid

11. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
Mushroom Kindom II – Tadashi Ikegami, Shogo Sakai, Takuto Kitsuta, Super Smash Bros. Melee

12. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
A MIDI file called “LOVESTAY” that I don’t recognize

13. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
“The Geddup Noise” – dj teh Cheat

14. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU GROW UP?
SoundStone – Earthbound

15. WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
“Courtroom Scene (dialogue)” – The Who, from Tommy

16. WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
Briefing – Starfox

17. WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
Bubble Bobble Title – Amiga

18. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR?
step grass left – 3D Movie Maker Sound FX

19. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
A MIDI file of “O Come All Ye Faithful”

20. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
“Goodnight Saigon” – Billy Joel

21. SONG THEY WILL PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
Sonic 3 Breaking the Ice – DigiE (ocremix.org)

22. WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS?
newspaper open – 3D Movie Maker Sound FX

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: democracy just doesn’t work. On a side note: DON’T WRITE IN CAPS UNLESS YOU ARE SHOUTING, ANONYMOUS TAG-WRITER! I’m too lazy to go back and retype the whole thing so it’s not in caps, but really people, the Web is reaching its upper teens; surely people have learned nettiquete by now, roflol.

In other news: I’ve always enjoyed the Colbert Report, mostly for its satirical edge, but after watching this interview (all five parts are available under the “More From:” link) I’ve learned to appreciate it a whole lot more, especially seeing Stephen, out of character, describe exactly how the whole thing works, and a bit about his true quest: to change the world for the better by pointedly embodying much of what is wrong with it on a comedy show. One day I’ll write about that whole thing, but it’s finals week; give me a break!


Water Harmony

The practice of improv comedy has many levels. Many performers believe that if you can make an audience laugh, you have accomplished your mission. But there comes a time when a performance transcends the simply comedic; when the different players and pieces of a game coalesce to form a true work of art: a game at which people don’t simply laugh, but they are compelled to stand up and applaud.

Last night, during an Absoludicrous improv practice, such a work was created. Out of a simple ABC story game came a tale worthy of Dostoyevsky, regarding a snowman that just couldn’t melt. As the seasons turned he mocked his creators, then creation itself for sustaining and prolonging his existence. Contemplating the babbling brooks that flowed him by, he yearned for a return to that blissful harmony of running water that was denied him. He tried to move to Arizona, but the xenophobic citizens there sent him away, back to his native Russian homeland. He pleaded with passers-by to end his life. He lamented each autumn he was forced to behold, noting that snowmen should never see autumn: they should be built in the winter and melt in the spring. Finally, in a last-ditch attempt to end his wretched sojourn upon this bleak earth, he jammed a firecracker into his torso and lit it.

His fate remains unknown.

Water Harmony


Mario Jones, Where Are You?

Mario Paint - Mr. Jones

Another in the feature “Jeff’s search for a cheap music-writing program for use after college;” we see here that Jeff is reduced to writing a song using both the most useless and most awesome songwriting program ever devised: Mario Paint!

If you recognize the song, it’s because it’s my (in)famous “Mr. Jones, Where Are You?” song I wrote a while back. If you haven’t heard it, you can find it on my Soundclick page, found in my links on the right side of this blog. Sadly,with the limitations of three sounds at a time, plus the ability to only do 24 measures (about three lines of the first verse), I couldn’t recreate the whole thing, but oh well.

What do you think? Should I scrap my plans to buy a program for hundreds of dollars, and turn songs in to my clients featuring cats, dogs, burpy-baby sounds, and Yoshi noises?


The changing face of life, and blogitude

Pop vs. Soda

I used to blog about important, personal things that were going on in my life. Lately, however, I haven’t done any of those, for fear that the wrong people may read it. I’ve got a lot of personal posts, still, but I haven’t made one in a very long time. Even posts about mission stories and Diplomacy just aren’t the same as some of the more thought-provoking (for me, anyway) posts of early days. I’d say that it’s been at least since last March that I posted something relevant to why this blog was made in the first place, and the best example before that is nearly a year old. Since now nearly everyone I know has his or her own blog and they’re all linked, it’s more likely that people will stumble across the stuff I post; people who aren’t either complete strangers and therefore don’t care or people that are good enough friends with me that they can handle anything I post.

For example, during the past semester I’ve had a girlfriend and almost had another one. I’ve learned a lot about and through the experiences. Have I posted about it? Nope. Because I know that both the girls in question know about this blog. And even if they didn’t know, I know they could find it easily, what with Facebook and Google and all. I know that at least one post from the past made both of those relationships a little more uncomfortable than they needed to be. So, within this past year, most of my posts have been about either current projects or just things online that I found that I wanted to share, like the map at the top of this post showing, county by county, where people say “pop,” “soda,” or “coke.” And if a post ends up being personal, it’s either much too short to be of use other than general ennui or frustration, or is about something rather inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. In other words, this blog is becoming much more generic than it used to be.

I’m not sure if I like that. While some privacy and uncomfortable situations may be avoided, writing in here is not nearly as cathartic as it used to be. I used to use this blog as a way to organize my thoughts, or voice frustrations or other problems I was having, to be better able to face life. In fact, most of the earlier posts on here (not counting the “old journal” posts) were quite angsty, but for good reason. Now that it’s all fluff, I feel like there’s a lot I’ve needed to express, but haven’t had an outlet to do so. Just typing a private online journal isn’t quite what I want either, though, since there are some things I love to share with the world that I think can add to the grand tapestry of life, even if they might be a bit embarrassing for people who might know me personally. In addition, some of these older posts I want to share with people so they can understand me better. I know that some of my siblings, while they are dear friends and I’m very close to them, don’t get me at all. That’s partly my fault, as I’ve never been one to forcefully express myself in my family; too many dominating personalities in one room at a time kind of leave the youngest out of things. But that’s they way it’s always been, even if they’ll never understand that. In any case, I had hoped that through this blog they, and others who cared, could get to understand what really made me tick.

Some of this frustration is why I ended up moving all of my Atari reviews, although for some reason search engines aren’t directing any traffic to that site, choosing instead to send people to defunct posts here that no longer exist. I moved them so this blog could get back to its roots: a sort of online journal, where I could express freely my thoughts and feelings openly. Can I still do that? Is this blog culture that has sprung up even since I started this three and a half years ago grown so inconsequential that posting personal things on a blog is not only taboo, but just a bad idea? Will anyone really care if this blog suddenly gets personal again? Does anybody but myself even care about this dilemma? I sure hope not; because that means I’m writing this post for myself, at least, and that’s helping me get back to my roots. Even just writing this post feels good; just to get something off my mind and be myself in one of the only places I feel I can, without people interrupting me to either tell me that I’m wrong and/or I’m too hard on myself. You know, where I can express opinions and feel they’re valid, even if they’re not.

¿Le Gusta Leer? Porque me gusta leer. Y eso es lo que importa. Screw you, internet denizens! This post has become increasingly nonsensical. My favorite! Man, this feels good! Cheese puffs can kill your dogs!

In any case, now my blog has been recently updated. So you Blogger people whose blog lists change based on how long ago they posted, maybe now you can take a break from “Check out my new photos” and “Proposition 8: My View” and “Here’s twenty questions about me! Now YOU answer them!” and read something different! At least until this post gets old, at which point the blog of your friend halfway across the country who is posting thirty pictures of her toddler every week with inane captions will top your list of recently updated blogs and you can go look at those, under which no less than fifty people will comment “Aww! So cute!”