Archive for August, 2016

guest musicians and thanks

Tomorrow’s the day the new song comes out. I’ll talk about the song itself then, and how and why I think it answers SJ Tucker’s rallying call. But I wanted to throw out some thanks and acknowledgements here today.

First, thanks to Kathryn Tewson for the guest vocals. She hasn’t worked close-mic before, or much really with this kind of music but I think she sounds good, and she said she thinks she’s “never sounded that cool ever in my whole life” and that’s good enough for me.

Second, thanks to Alexander James Adams, for both chorus vocals and surprise fiddle! He surprised me with a recording when I was only asking for vox, and that fiddle track is all over the song now. That post I made a couple of days ago, “This seems unlikely,” with a picture of my Surprise Fiddle Part? The line above mine is labelled “AJA fiddle,” and that would be Alec. Lots goin’ on there.

Third, thanks to Klopfenpop, for listening to roughmixes and being the only person who caught me being out of tune in one of the harmonies for a bit under 40ms underneath hard consonants which were keeping my attention distracted. Goddamn, Klop, you have good ears.

And fourth, Anna, for joining that big thick chorus we have for this thing. This song needed a big group, and she helped it get there.

Tomorrow. Or tonight, midnight Pacific time, if you want to stay up. Watch Bandcamp, ’cause the blog post will be later in the morning. But Bandcamp – that’ll be midnight. We’ve got a torch, and we’re gonna light it up.

Midnight, on Bandcamp

oh right, singles need art too

I’ve been going through photos trying to find something nice. What do you think?

(yes the text trim is intentional)

The album will have original art of course, this is for the single this year.

this seems unlikely and yet

this seems unlikely and yet it appears to be happening

all out of digital signal processing headroom, but we’re ready

It’s a good thing I’m pretty much ready with “We’re Not Friends,” because I am absolutely out of DSP headroom. Seriously, the screencap I actually got read 104% CPU, but it peaked at 107.4% so I mocked that up.


All the recording is done; last of that was Saturday afternoon. I’m pretty sure I don’t have any more effects I want to add. The current mix holds up on laptop speakers, which is, unfortunately, a bar you have to hit. I’ve got test-mix copies out to Alec and Anna and Kathryn to see what they think of what’s on it.

This is not a single I thought I’d be releasing this year, but it’s gonna happen. I don’t know if Sooj’s idea – ‘the mood is amazingly bad, get the most “up” material you have out, we can at least do that much’ – is going to do any good, or even if anyone other than me is actually following through on it, but my barrage is ready, and I’m gonna be launching it at the objective in two days.

I still have to figure out single art tho’. Ffft. Who went and made music releases so complicated, anyway?

musicians, contact norwescon now

As you may know, several years ago, I started and built a small geekmusic festival at Norwescon called nwcMUSIC. I took last year off completely as a sabbatical year, and they continued to do it.

This year, I’m back as an advisor – sort of a showrunner emeritus. And while I won’t be running it, I will be giving a lot of advice and training on how to run it the way I did.

NOW IS THE TIME TO CONTACT NORWESCON TO BE A PART OF NWCMUSIC 2017! Or, for that matter, to be involved in any programming at the show. Here’s part of the announcement:

I know Norwescon seems forever away, but August is actually when the main work of programming begins. SO! if you are interested in being a panelist, get yourself over to this attending pro information page and use the contact link to tell us who you are and why you would be a good panelist.

Please do so even if you have been a pro before, the programming team isn’t constant from year to year.

Bonus request: if you are an artist, and there are workshops/demos you could run, please include that info; art track is my responsibility and I’d like to increase the amount of hands-on programming.

So, hie thee off and fill out the form! That’s EVEN IF you’ve been at nwcMUSIC or Norwescon Programming before. I did it, even. Do it today!

update any apple mobile devices NOW

It’s getting good traction, but I’m going to borrow the band blog to mention this now: if you have an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, etc), then go to Software Update and update it right now.

Here are some details at Gizmodo, and here’s the BBC story. Basically, it’s a single-click exploit and your phone isn’t yours anymore.

Seriously, update now, it’s a bad one. Actually, it’s three bugs, each of which is very bad, but they’re all fixed at once.

and so another year’s hugo awards are past

I haven’t written much about the alt-right/”Rabid Puppy” Hugo Award slate gaming lately; as last year, their slate utterly collapsed, with the core of it finishing behind “No Award,” again, just like last year. Theodore (“Vox Day”) Beale did of course claim TOTAL VICTORY, as he will always do regardless, and I got a small bit of banhammered hate on Twitter (aw, they remembered me! I’m flattered) and blah de blah de blah. To be honest, Dave Truesdale’s expulsion from the con was far more interesting.

Really, I’m kind of surprised they still care, what with actual fascists being actual contenders in elections in the west this year. It makes their chosen pond look even smaller. Scalzi wrote a column calling them gum on the shoes of history, which is about right.

I imagine they might give it another run next year even with the new rules in place, mostly ’cause Dunning-Kruger is gonna Dunning-Kruger, and if you want poster children for that effect, I have some suggestions.

Why do white supremacists always look like counterexamples?

Jim Hines has a nice post up about the actual award winners, and it’s a good read.

Meanwhile, the Sad Puppies – as opposed to the Rabids – are concentrating their efforts on a new set of awards, the Dragon Awards, to be given at Dragoncon. Those are over here, and it’s an internet vote so have fun managing that because wow I can’t think of anything easier to hijack, but y’know what? Great. Go have fun, I hope it works out (no, really, I genuinely do) and good luck.

Meanwhile, I’m going to post this and hope the construction next door takes a break today. My studio is sound-conditioned, not sound-proofed, and I have to ask, WHO NEEDS FIVE KINDS OF POWER SAW FOR A CARPORT? I mean, I’m guessing at five, given the number of different sounds I was hearing, and unless they’re starting some sort of electric saw noisemusic band, I’m assuming this is all for the carport and not either music nor lulz.

Then again, the griefer count has been pretty fuckin’ high lately. Maybe it is lulz. These chorus vocals I was mixing are sounding pretty damn sweet despite the saw effects, I got to say, so you’re gonna have to do better than that to stop me.

This is part of a series of posts on the Hugo awards nominations capture by rightist political slates.

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.


Stranger Things title-style generator here.

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