Archive for the ‘shows’ Category

a few pictures from qualicum beach

It’s very strange to start learning the violin (or, in folk terms, the fiddle), just because it’s an instrument that anyone around me actually plays. Honestly not entirely sure what to do with that. Everything else I’ve learned it’s been me and THAT’S ALL (for the most part) and so I’m all kinda “…huh” and not sure what I think about it.

The other people at the Qualicum Beach workshops were pretty much “…well you’re jumping straight into the deep end, aren’t you?” at me, and I’m all YES BUT IT’S OKAY I AM A SHARK. A SHARK WITH A FIDDLE. APPARENTLY.

I have a few photos, but not that many, because the weather on the way was pretty terrible and I like rain and stuff so you know I’m not fucking around. But right as we were docking in Nanaimo, it cleared up a bit, and I took a few pictures.

Of course, the best picture I got of Andre – who was leading the workshops – was on guitar. Go fig. Still, it’s the best shot I got that wasn’t video. (I took a little video for technique study later.)

I broke a bow string! MILESTONE ACHIEVED! Very, very small milestone. Still. Also, a vaguely album-covery picture from Saturday night, after dinner but before the ceilidh performances, of the workshop stage.

Oh, yeah, there was a stage because everyone at the workshop gets up and does a piece or two. Anna and I went up as a band and did the entirely-unrelated-to-the-event “King of Elfland’s Daughter” and “Elf Glade.” They were not expecting that, and Andre was all “now I get what you do.” It was pretty metal.

Bigger versions on Flickr, as usual.

off to conflikt

We’re off to Conflikt, a filk (geek folk/fan music) convention in the Seattle area. Last year I was Toastmuppet, this year, I’m just one of the crowd. See you there, I hope!

If not, or even if so, this works way better than it has any right to, but it is a bit slow at the start. Give it time.

i did forget one orycon thing

In soundcheck, setting up for my Sunday concert, we were setting up the octave mandolin, and really, there are “folkier” instruments than an octave mandolin? But not many.


Greensleeves, anyone?

So when I’m plugged up and the sound crew ask for some chords and it comes out roaring with that metal sound straight off the pickup, and they actually jump in shock because wow not expecting that… it’s really satisfying. 😀

orycon 38

Back from Orycon 38! They certainly kept me busy – panels on building microphones, on orphaned lyrics, on building a recording studio, a bunch of others. I was in fact so busy that I only managed to take one photograph. It’s from the green room balcony, and here it is:

But I’ve seen some other photographs around. Sadly, so far, they aren’t public – if you find any, link ’em in comments! Also, thanks to everybody who turned out for a Sunday afternoon show at checkout time, that takes some goddamn dedication. Cramming six songs into a half-hour set doesn’t sound that tricky, but I wasn’t simplifying anything for anybody, which is why I showed up like two hours early to set up before anyone else. (Setlist: Supervillain For I Love You, Thirteen, Coyote, Shout at the Desert, Kaiju Meat, We’re Not Friends/The Future Has a Place.)

I’m definitely going to keep performing Kaiju Meat as if it were actually a hiphop song, which it’s not really? But that performance approach really helps it work live, so I’m doin’ it. We also did USSR later, in the band scramble, and that nearly started a goddamn riot. EVERYBODY SING ALONG IF YOU KNOW WHAT’S GOOD FOR YOU!

I really only got to one panel I wasn’t running, the hilariously fun Overwatch meetup, wherein… okay, so, there’s a meme, Everyone In Overwatch Is Gay? Because EVERYONE IN OVERWATCH IS GAY. And at the meetup, literally everyone was queer, we actually checked.

It was hilarious.

So, yeah! Thanks again for having me, and special thanks to the createspace crew for the use of their sewing supplies – very much appreciated – and let’s do it again next year. ^_^

hark, a schedule!

Hey everybody! Heading down to Orycon this morning. I’m bringing the carbon and crystal microphones and we’re going to do what we did at Clallam Bay Comicon and let people record themselves all old-timey. It’ll be fun!

My schedule, as of the latest revision received:

FRIDAY:
5pm – Choosing & Learning a Musical Instrument – Mt. Hood (2)
6pm – Building Old-Technology Microphones Because You Can – Belmont (2)

SATURDAY:
2pm – Group Home for Abandoned Lyrics – Belmont (2)
6pm – Building a Home Studio on the Cheap – Belmont (2)

SUNDAY:
12:30pm – CONCERT! – Mt. Hood (2)
2pm – Band Scramble – Mt. Hood (2)
3pm – Jam In The Key of C – Mt. Hood (2)

See you there!

orycon this weekend, with show and tell

I’ll be at Orycon this weekend! I have panels and workshops and a concert on Sunday afternoon, so please come out for it!

They’ve actually given me a panel on building old-technology microphones, which is pretty cool, and I’ll let people record themselves on a 1920s-ish carbon mic and a 1940s-ish crystal mic, so hopefully that will be fun. People really seemed to enjoy it when I had the setup running at my dealer table at CBCC.

I need to find time – somehow – to wedge in building a new amp board for the microphone panel, because I don’t want to take apart the existing crystal microphone for show-and-tell, and I think it’ll be neat to show that off. Later today. Hopefully. Assuming nothing else explodes.

Like, Monday, right? Things Happened, and then I got to spend the afternoon pulling unimaginably gross material out of a fluid pump system while going, “oh gods, oh gods, I hope this is only cat litter, please let this just be cat litter,” and when that’s happening, you have officially reached what one might call a BAD SCENE.

Not “darkest timeline” bad scene, but: bad.

so disgusting

Anyway. Thank the gods that’s over. See you this weekend!

orycon concert

Hey, I got my Orycon schedule! I’m doing several panels and will write those up in a bit, but the concert is Sunday, November 20th, 12:30pm, in Mt. Hood.

I know that’s still a bit off, but that just means plenty of time to make plans, eh?

improving low-quality live recordings

Back at Clallam Bay Comicon, I did “USSR” for the first time, as a karaoke track. When I got back, I posted a video of the live USSR performance on Tumblr, taken off of audience camera.

And that was fun, but the sound quality was pretty bad, because it was just the on-camera microphone. Plus, the camera did things like make automatic-recording-level adjustments throughout, which means the backing track is pulsing all over the place.

I’m going to be cleaning up some other, similar live recordings for some other people this weekend, so I’ve had a go at this audio, just to warm up and see what I can do with it. That’s meant a lot of level-control automation, heavy use of a multiband compressor (and a high-pass filter to get rid of most of an occasional rumble from… somewhere…), a bit of reverb to smooth out some of the sample rate issues, and a lot of EQ work.

I’m going to massage it a bit more, I think? But I’m reasonably happy with what I’ve managed so far (mp3 link). The amount of surprise audio-level changes is down a lot, I’ve brought back the low end and some of the high end, there’s even a hint of kick to the bassline now – though I wonder if I’ve over-built that at the moment. It mostly sounds okay but I’m not sure it’s so great on anything that does a lot of bass boost, like some gaming headphones.

Anyway, what do you think? I’ll re-upload the live video with the improved/massaged audio if enough other people think it’s better enough.

oh right, so how’d VCON go?

Had fun at VCON, as always; Jamie Anderson (son of Gerry Anderson and Mary Robins, Gerry’s third wife) was great fun, and I think we hit it off pretty well on our panel, too. I didn’t get to as many room parties as I wanted – between agreeing to run Open Filk for the con, and just feeling kind of off on Saturday, I didn’t get to many. Other than the Dead Dog, of course, which was fun like always.

Talking of open filk, the braille poker chip accommodation for visually-impaired people that I posted about last week? It worked well. We had two blind people at VCON Open Filk, and they both reported that the lettering was very clear and easy to read, and the one who wanted to make occasional requests (and thereby participate in circle – neither perform) were able to participate exactly the same as everyone else.

We did have a couple of chips lose pips – interestingly, they were chips taken by sighted people who played with the dots a lot because “huh, this is new.” But even with that, we had more than we needed (I’d made five sets). My plan in future would be to continue having a decent supply, and just in case, take the glue gun along – it’s small, and takes less than a minute to make replacements, so why not?

I also rather enjoyed Eric Chu’s talk on designing for Battlestar Galactica, in no small part because given how well everything fit together, I would not have expected it to be quite so ad hoc. The time and budgetary constraints were far worse than I realised, as a viewer, so they did a fantastic job of making that not show up on screen.

Apparently, there are a lot of old VCRs in the background in Galactica’s C&C. lol, kitbashing. 😀

Oh, what else? Spider Robinson looked good and seemed happier than he’s been in a couple of years, which is great to see. Somehow, I managed not to make it to the art show, or even buy anything in the dealer room – I guess I was just too busy with panels and such. Concert went over well, the crowd grew while I was playing which is always a good sign. I went to a workshop on making cosplay armour, because I want to cosplay Pharah, even if it probably won’t happen. Rough idea of skill acquired.


VCON 41 GoHs

That’s a pretty good chunk of it, and all I have the brain for right now. Who else is going to GeekGirlCon this weekend?

VCON has me running filk

VCON has me running open filk on Friday and Saturday nights this weekend. I wanted to do a poker-chip queue system, which is basically a way of making sure everybody can get a turn without having to fight for it, without imposing full queue/bardic rules. You have a blue round, a white round, and a green round.

But that’s not so great for blind people, so I came up with something I hope works: poker chips with braille letters indicating their colour:


W is for White

It’s hot glue! I’m kind of pleased with the idea, but I’m a little bit nervous because, well, it’s hot glue. Here’s hoping the glue holds up. 😀

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