late night recording

Up late last night in the Lair’s main studio, recording Kathryn Tewson on backing vocals for “We’re Not Friends.” She’s been singing since she was 14, and you may have heard her on things like Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls, or the live performance of Lord of the Rings this year, she’s done some work for television, and she’s a member of both the Seattle Symphony Chorale and Opus 7. So while it’s rare for a supervillain to admit it, I am feeling seriously outclassed here. XD

She’s put a post up about the session on Facebook. I was really surprised that with all the work she’s done, she’s never worked with a close microphone before! But as someone from an overwhelmingly classical background (and enthusiastically of that school), it’s just not something they do. Her “bloom point” is something like 12 feet away? Which sounds like a beam origination point for some sort of superweapon but is actually where has various harmonics come together in a classical environment.


bloom point

I don’t see the difference, really.

By the way, close-mic being a new thing for her? You can’t tell from the recordings. I mean damn. And, for the record, she’s a joy to work with, so if you need somebody, go hire her.

Two more people left to record, both this week. SCHEDULE, MINIONS, SCHEDULE!

credit where credit is due

Well played, Facebook algorithms. Well played.

I’M NOT WRONG.

Stranger Things title-style generator here.

this is not turning into a gaming blog i swear

Really, it’s not, but I just won a game in Overwatch (Hanamura, Attacking) literally solo by going to the second objective and SITTING DOWN ‘TIL VICTORY because NOBODY NOTICED I WAS THERE.

It was hilarious. I was looking at their advance guard from behind and going, “don’t turn around, don’t turn around, don’t turn around” and they didn’t until suddenly the VICTORY! banner appears and everybody is going WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED?!


VICTORY!

This is even better than yesterday’s game as Pharah (the rocketeer) where – in a round we lost, actually, but I don’t care – a Roadhog grabbed me with his chain and yanked me down to him, except my ultimate was ready so I was all JUSTICE RAINS ON YOUR FACE


it would’ve looked a lot like this, only MUCH CLOSER

pretty sure piggy wasn’t expecting that XD

In actually band-relevant news, I think I have singers for the chorus of “We’re Not Friends” now. Neither are 100% definite but both are very likely. Hopefully we can record next week!

Still thinking on another title tho’. I mean, I actually like the title as it stands? I’d really prefer to keep the title sometime from the lyrics and that’s the best title line in it. But negative titles don’t get the “play” button hit, so there you are.

hee hee hee sitting my way to victory XD XD XD

anybody else seeing these ultimate issues with overwatch?

The last few days have been really terrible for Tracer bombs – and quicily-timed ults in general – on Overwatch. It’s to the point where I don’t consider Tracer to have an ult – the last couple of days, it’s 50/50 whether it’ll even deploy and go off.

I’ve seen lots of failure to deploy with Tracer bombs. Particularly, jink-jink-deploy is almost guaranteed to fail now – if you don’t have time for jink-jink-pause-deploy, it mostly doesn’t, and adding that pause is pretty much a death sentence for Tracer.

I’ve seen explosions with zero damage even with confirmed STUCK notices (and similarly not showing up in stats, which means the server never saw it? despite the STUCK notice?), and in one case, the bomb just outright vanished. I stuck it to a D.va, it showed as STUCK, I teleported back, and it just… disappeared. I didn’t get it back in my inventory, it was just gone, and no damage.

I’m seeing it a lot playing D.va too – in a bad situation, I’ll go in with a nerf ready into a big pile of players, stay alive as long as I can doing as much damage as I can, hit nerf as my damage metre falls close to two digits, and historically, that’s a nerf – often not a very useful one, as it’s basically a Mech Reset – and I get a new mech. Now, generally, nothing. I get an eject, yes – but without the nerf, and without a new mech. And without the nerf to clear the crowd, that’s also an instant death.

Back on Tracer, the jink-unwind problem is getting worse, too. That killed me today in a screamingly infuriating way. We were defending stage 1 at Hanamura, and I do this thing when I’m coming back in after an elmination, where I jink over the short way from stage 2’s cliffside balcony to the cliffside rockery behind stage 1. It saves time and it’s neat, and it’s a triple-jink jump.

Today I did that, was over the stonework, then was suddenly unwound two jinks and falling to my death. It actually backed me up over the cliffs to drop me.

So, yeah.

Also, WILL SOMEBODY ELSE BESIDES ME GET ON THE FUCKING PAYLOAD? THANKS.

eta: jfc tonight, tonight, defence in Hanamura, I nerfed to clear the point in overtime on the second point, it rattled off eight(!) kills and destroyed mecha/objects, it was massive and last-second, and it brought up the VICTORY banner…

…and then declared in audio “DEFEAT” (with the VICTORY banner still up!) and unwound all my kills (none of them appeared in my end of game stats), and gave the win to the other team.

What. The. Fuck.

this is a difficult mix

Several weeks ago – probably two months, now – I saw a post by SJ Tucker where she was urging everybody to get their most positive song out there, just because the mood is so very, very terrible.

I don’t know if anybody else really took that up, but I’ve been working on one I wrote earlier this year and that I’ve only performed a few times, called “We’re Not Friends.” It’ll probably end up with some alternative title for release because negation titles don’t twig people and all that. It’s about the kind of fan reaction that you saw to Korrasami, or, as has been in the news the last few days, how Leslie Jones saw Whoopi Goldberg who, in turn, saw Nichelle Nichols, and in all of our cases, we’re seeing someone that isn’t allowed to exist just show up in front of you.

So of course with perfect timing I’ve been fighting weeks of system issues (thanks, Ubuntu), but despite that, I have been making headway on an early single release of this track. It was going to be on Din of Thieves – and still will be, all said and done – but I’m still trying to answer Sooj’s call.

And it’s being a real pain in the ass to mix. It doesn’t want a bassline, I’ve tried. It seems to want its entire low end in the drums. But while the drums it wants are simple, they’re difficult to get to come together sonically in a way that makes them sound like they’re all pieces of the same set.

And the chorus – hoo boy, I’ve reached out to people, but everybody’s busy with Other Stuff, because this is not the time of the year to try to work together some new tracks, apparently. Still workin’ on that. I have very specific ideas about what I want and I’m not getting them.

Still, I’m doin’ my damnedest to pull it together. September’s the goal. Labour day. Labour day if I can, aheh, get it all to work.

the transition masking alone is worth the watch

Watch this. No, seriously, watch this, the transition masking alone will blow your mind. It’s a Disney fan AMV, and it’s got something from pretty much every Disney animated picture since 1989, plus a few others, and it’s great. You will feel happier after watching it.

if you were one of the people on Tsū

Hey, if you were one of the people liking and/or following me only on Tsū – and pretty much everybody who was doing that on Tsū was doing that only on Tsū – this blog is where everything lives. Welcome, Tsu refugees!

I’ve also got echos on Livejournal if you like things oldschool, and Facebook and Tumblr and Google+ and even ello, tho’ I just post links mostly at the last two.

Let me know where you are now, so I can follow you back there.


rip, tsū

(typing it Tsū and Tsu in case people are searching and can’t easily type ū)

ubuntu is not and will never be desktop ready

Today, Ubuntu Linux has decided I don’t get to log in to the desktop.

I can log in via a command line just fine. Just, you know, no GUI for me today.

It let me log in a couple of hours ago, but for WHO EVEN KNOWS reasons, I was getting a bunch of XRUNs suddenly, even when I just tried to copy a track internally. (XRUNs are buffer overflows or underflows resulting in lost data.) I think that’s because the software updater decided to restart itself after I disabled it. I even uninstalled it from the command line, but I think there are secretly two of them, one command-line based and one GUI based, because WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!

So I went through in the GUI and disabled that version too (because when it starts, it hits the disk for obvious reasons, and when you’re recording to disk, as I was, that’s bad), and while I was at it made Dropbox not autostart anymore since the first thing I always do is turn it off until I actually need it.

Then I ran apt-get update/apt-get upgrade manually (like I do always) and restarted.

Now, no GUI for me. Oh, it gives me a graphic login, and it looks like it starts to log me in, but then it says “eh, no” and blanks the screen and throws me back to login with a big HA HA FUCK YOU GUESS WHAT YOU GET TO DO TODAY INSTEAD OF WORKING ON MUSIC.

Ubuntu is not and will never be desktop ready. I know I’ve spent a lot of time talking about using Linux and running Ardour, but you know what? Ardour also ships for the Mac, and I am done with this horseshit. I have literally spent more time this last month working on making Ubuntu Linux work again after some new damn explosion than anything I might ever conceivably release, and this isn’t a one-off, Ubuntu just fucking explodes every so often now, and this isn’t worth it.

So, yeah. My job today is fixing this piece of shit OS again. But my other job is: start saving for a studio Mac. This insanity simply isn’t worth it.

eta: Y’know what? Two hours of failed searching later, this is stupid. I have a system partition image from less than a week ago. Maybe it wasn’t the system patches, maybe it was some other damn thing. I’ll restore the boot partition from that and pray it doesn’t happen when I reapply the security updates.

Hey, I don’t have any better ideas. I lose today regardless, so why not?

eta2: Restored previous boot partition, booted up fine, applied the security updates (apt-get update / apt-get upgrade), hosed again. It’s definitely the security updates.

cardboard electric guitar

This is pretty cool – a cardboard company and Fender Guitars got together to make a one-off cardboard guitar. And sure, it’s promotional video, but it’s an cool looking end product.

I love how you can see through so much of it:

They don’t tell you much about engineering for strength, but I have some thoughts, because where you can’t see through it tells you a lot about how they made it work. You can clearly see the truss rod, common to all metal-strung guitars. But there’s also a keel added in back:

And the one through-shot of the head shows how – surprisingly – the tuning knobs may have a backplate, but they do not seem to be attached to the neck bracing. That’s just the cardboard.

I’m more curious about the sudden change in the finish between shots, right after they’ve sanded the body into the shape they want. They put a lot of something into it, and I really doubt that’s just lacquer.


Before


After

Hardeners, maybe? I don’t know. But I don’t see how it keeps the edges of its form across plays without some sort of chemical additive. And I’m really curious about the string bending being done by some of the players – doing that against that texture looks really messy, but they’ve got it going – is it just fret pressure and nothing on the board, or is the top layer filled with something transparent?

Don’t get me wrong; I’m for it. I think it’s Neat, with a capital N. Frankly, I think it’s gorgeous, and I can only imagine how little it weighs. Getting a bass built like that might be amazing, if the cardboard has been made durable enough. I’m just wanting more details on what it took to make it work.

(h/t to George P. Burdell III on Facebook for the link)

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