Experiment in Atmospherice

Week Three
Well, I was disappointed that I didn’t have more time for my third (weekly) submission to WeeklyBeats — but it’s my own fault that I let my time get away from me this week.

In the time I had, I managed to stitch together a few tracks and make a salvageable attempt at an atmospheric bit. Perhaps something that would work as a background track to movie credits or a video game mood setter.

Anyway, give it a listen and I’d appreciate your feedback.

And you can review all my tracks here — at my WeeklyBeats page.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/130372766″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

WeeklyBeats – a year long project

Over the last few years I’ve been trying to learn more about music production. This has been an on/off interest of mine with real motivation driving me toward any learning structure. Last week that changed.

I found WeeklyBeats.com — a website that encourages you to produce — any type of music — one cut per week, and upload it. That’s it. No competition, just the knowledge that you’ve managed to turn out one piece of music for that week. Which in my case, is more than I’ve done in the past 6 months :D. Also there’s the potential for some encouraging feedback.

Yes it’s an artificial deadline, but it’s a deadline, and a commitment. Somehow those two manage to drive me to results. And with that segue, here’s my first composition of the year; In the Garage.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/127810475″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

The goal of this one is to start a foundation for a production workflow. I used GarageBand on the MacBook Pro to record/edit and sounds came from my iPad — Propellerhead’s Thor synth, and Novation’s LaunchPad app.

This one’s pretty simple, but yes, your thoughts and feedback are welcome.

Godspeed Commander Hadfield

Canadian astronaut, space enthusiast, educator, social media sensation, and now entertainer? Yep, those are just a sampling of the roles that Commander Chris Hadifeld fulfilled during his 146 day posting to the ISS as Station Commander.

His Soyuz capsule returns to Earth tomorrow evening, but as a last surprise, the Commander released this video reworking of David Bowie’s Space Oddity. Enjoy, and thank you Commander Hadfield! Have a safe journey home!

Colour me impressed — using iTunes to stream music to multiple devices simultaneously

Back in 2006 as part of a post on a new iPod Nano, I vented on how broken iTunes was for my workflow. Well, time has passed and iTunes has improved, but it’s still not as intuitive or simple for me and my centralized music setup:

  • File server storing my music
  • Remote playback systems in various rooms (Mac mini, Apple TVs, Airport Express, etc)
  • Remote control of said music stream

My big beef then was organization. iTunes was a pain and wanted to sync/manage my music on my behalf in a way that didn’t make sense to me. Well, that’s since been fixed.

My next beef was with the lack of sound synchronization across multiple devices as you play back. For example, if I wanted to play a song back on my Mac Mini, and have it stream *as well* to my kitchen Apple TV, and my desktop computer simultaneously.

Previously, to achieve this I had to run a 3rd party application set on all my devices — a cool little app called Airfoil. Basically you had the Airfoil ‘broadcast’ app running on whatever computer was actually doing the playing. Airfoil grabbed the audio stream and sent it out to all the devices that it recognized either via the Airfoil Speakers app, or an Airplay device, or an iPhone / iPad. A minor pain, but it worked.

Back to iTunes

So, this morning I discovered something new in iTunes, you can now stream music to multiple devices simultaneously. Yes, this may have appeared in a previous iTunes update but I hadn’t noticed it — so it’s new to me 😉

One of the neat things is that the Apple Remote app — a free iOS app to control Apple TV or iTunes over a network — also passes through the multiple device playback feature. This means you can sit on your couch and control the sound on any of your playback devices through out your home.

Second neat thing

iTunes Airplay connects to the Airfoil Speakers app running on my Windows PC, letting me add my home office desktop into the sound mix.

Yes, it’s pretty cool to have music streaming through the entire house, in sync, as you walk from room to room.

 

 

Love Skyrim? Love creative music videos? Then this video’s for you!

So, I’ve been watching the amazing work of Peter Hollens for a while now, both through Empire Avenue and his YouTube channel. And this Skyrim theme cover is some of his best. And yes, I’m writing about it because it hits a few areas for me, multi-voice tracks, video gaming, soundtracks. Oh, and it also has the amazing violin work of Lindsey Stirling. Nuff said. Watch and enjoy!