This is Zach's personal blog. If you're looking for his movies, please click here. Otherwise, have fun!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Back to Basics.

Well, our family has gone back to that rarefied group of people who don't get cable news channels. Which is not to say we've abandoned cable entirely, oh no. Unfortunately, we're too addicted to the Comcast internet speed to go back to DSL or--horrors!--dial-up. (In truth, my line of work makes it essential to have broadband--how can one do Internet video without it?) But the simple fact is that we just don't watch enough television to merit having the billions and billions of channels we had under a limited-time discount which wasn't a discount anymore. So, down to basic cable--local channels and C-SPAN. We did elect to keep the high-definition converter box for an additional five bucks a month, so we can see every pore on Ty Pennington's face when we watch Extreme Makeover: Ikea Edition.*

K was in Florida all week, leaving me to be a bachelor with kids. Surprisingly there were (as of this writing) no major crises, although E did come down with a slight fever. I kept my temper, the kids didn't misbehave; all was good. Last night I ran my first memebership meeting as the Board President of E's nursery school. Oh, did I mention that I was tapped to be President? Let this be a lesson to you all: DON'T VOLUNTEER. (I kid, I kid. It should be a good year, and to be honest, the Presidency is more in line with my temperament than being Treasurer, which I was this past year. After all, now I can lower tuition and raise spending, not to mention order the invasion of other nursery schools to destroy their Play-Doh of mass destruction liberate the oppressed children.)

Finally, here's my latest version of the Brandenburg Concerto, now with all three movements and cheesy reverb! I gotta get me a proper impulse response plug-in someday. The third movement is just straight from the MIDI, no work done on phrasing, volume, etc., so it's not what it should sound like, yet. This will be the last update until it's done, I think. Enjoy.

*We don't actually watch this show. At least, not anymore. It was better when they weren't famous enough to invite B-list celebrities to slum with 'em.


Medley said...

now I can lower tuition and raise spending, not to mention order the invasion of other nursery schools to destroy their Play-Doh of mass destruction liberate the oppressed children.)

Hahaha. :)

Down here in Virginny, our most "basic" version of cable still gets us a few of the news channels as well as Comedy Central. About $45/month. They keep trying to upgrade us to digital cable. In fact, when we first had it turned on they brought in a box and tried to turn on digital cable (at that point about $75/month) and I said "No - turn it off, take your box away." Periodically we get calls to try to entice us, but I can't possibly justify it.

In fact, I've now and then made the argument that we should dump cable/television all together, but only half-heartedly, and I'm over-ruled on that point in any event. And during the summer I do like to get the ball games... Never thought I'd say that, but there 'tis.. Hee.

Mike said...

We're still cable-free in Brooklyn--sometimes I think we're the only ones without a TV.

Godfrey said...

Listening to Brandenburg "fifth try" now. Not bad! It seems a little dull in the high end, but that may very well be my speakers. Oh, hey -- it just cut off abruptly at 08:51. The file size is 10.5 MB; is that what it's supposed to be?

I'm guessing from the comment about the third movement that you're modifying existing MIDI files -- how easy does ProTools make it to convert velocity to CC1, draw CC curves, etc.? (I find it onerous enough to do such conversions in SONAR that I generally use the MIDI file as a template and replace each part in realtime, one after another.)

Not having a Mac, I can't tell you how well this works, but there's a free IR for ProTools at

I've read that you have to print MIDI tracks to audio before it can be applied to them, but if GPO works the same way in ProTools as it does in SONAR, you should be able to just apply it to the GPO outputs "as is".

Awesome Presidential plans...

Zach Brewster-Geisz said...

The cut-off is accause of a foul-up with the reverb--if you don't explicity tell it to take it into account, it stops recording right when the sound actually ends--so if you have any latency whatsoever, you lose the last note or so.

I'm only using MIDI files from Mutopia (since they're almost always in the public domain), and all their velocities are set at 255 (127? whatever it is), so it's not really an issue. And actually, velocity controls the "attack" of the bow strokes, so it's well worth fooling with it manually. Drawing curves is pretty easy, but when I figure out how to make my keyboard work again, I'm going to try to do the mod wheel in real time for each part.

The toughest part will be the harpsichord realization... and making it sound like someone who knows what he's doing is playing it!

Thanks for the ProTools IR! Oy, how many times did I google "free mac impulse response" and NOT find that?!?

In theory, if this is a Real-Time Audio Suite thing, I could apply it directly to the GPO--but in practice, my PowerBook is barely powerful enough for the orchestra as-is (I have to bounce the violins/violas & cellos/bass separately, and then mix in another project).

Medley, our version of that cable system--channels 0-99--is still over $100/month. I was kinda sad to let go of Comedy Central and Discovery HD... but not that sad. Are you sure Virginny doesn't have a "local channels only" option? It was very important to use the right code words... Comcast REALLY didn't want to give it to me. :)