Monthly Archives: February 2009

Back to ambient…

Silencio draft#5 (about 22:00)
Appr. 22:00 long
©2009 tim p scott
(click (>) to play)

Going through old ideas I I decided to put back my Eno/Budd/Lustmord hat and the result is a new ambient/soundscape piece. It still needs some tweaking but in any case we’ll put up a player with the current draft on it for your amusement (warning; the draft is 20:00 long)

OK, on 19 Mar–after listening to this a couple times, I’ve figured out that it needs a new revision. The last half of it is closer to what I want, but the first part has to change. So check it out now and then next week I hope to have version #4 up to listen to on this page.

It’s also recommended that you listen to it in a very quiet environment since it’s extremely subtle.

(Note: if you see a list of “automatically generated links” below, that’s something that wordpress is doing that I don’t really approve of. I don’t know how it generates the links or what the rationale is for it. In any case, I’ll probably figure out some way to turn them off using CSS if they get really annoying.)

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A new and excellent site for musicians: bandcamp.com

Update stardate 4 Sept 2009

I’m liking this site more and more. If nothing else, their FAQ is the most fun to read of any site. They obviously understand “Web gruettiquette” and “independent music” well.

The little player tool that embeds into wordpress stuff doesn’t look so hot. I went back to their site to see if they had improved it any..doesn’t look like it yet.

The history

I found a site called “bandcamp” through some forums I read.  This is a new site for independent bands and musicians to put their tracks and albums, sort of like amiestreet and many others (some of which I describe on other pages of this site.) It looks very flashy and professional; obviously whoever is behind it has some $$ for programmers. At the moment it’s free in order to try to get musicians to put some content on it (otherwise…what good is it?)

I’m also getting sucked in by their nerdy+cool attitude in their newsletter and

I’ve signed up and stuck one song from “The Circle of Art” up just as a tryout. It will of course take some time and effort to set up a band page on yet another site, but it does look well thought out and feature rich.

One nice little feature is that they offer a player shortcode that lets you easily embed tracks back into a wordpress.com page! Isn’t that a nice feature? Thus:

This was the original shortcode:

Now they recommend I use this one:

which sort of looks the same to me.

(I can’t show the code that generates that player in wordpress.com, the “sourcode” tag doesn’t work for it either.)

Anyway–bandcamp is not a social networking music site where you can message the artists, rate their works, etc. (as far as I know so far) but more or less just a showcase at present.)

The other thing it doesn’t have at the moment is a “browse” or “search genre” feature. All the artists appear to be on the same level without a way to filter for certain genres, popularity, etc. Maybe these things will be implemented or maybe I’m missing them. More Will Be Revealed, Doubtless. But if you have your own promotion mechanism and just need a place to park your product, this looks like a good place to do it.

(Eventually this page will probably end up on “51-Places to put your music” but I just wanted to get this note written quickly.)

Note added 20090526

It looks like they’re implementing a way to buy tracks at “U choose the price” value.

The replaygain computations

Winamp can calculate the “ReplayGain” value for an album, or individual tracks.

What is ReplayGain? This will be explained in more detail on the LOUDNESS WARS page but in short, it’s an objective measure for how relatively loud a whole album is. For instance, if an album has a ReplayGain value of -5 dB, that means you would have to turn it down by 5 dB so it would sound as loud as one with a value of 0 dB.

The original idea of that was that you wouldn’t get blasted if you had a mix CD or playlist of a lot of different recordings from different sources. In practice it doesn’t seem to be that important since most people listen to the same sort of music, and most commercial music is already produced to sound as loud as possible anyhow.

In any case, using WinAmp to calculate these values for all the tim p scott albums:

Title Value (dB) Approx. range (dB)min .. max
Jack of Shadows -1.50 +2.2 .. -3.4
The Circle of Art -1.35 +1.3 .. -4.3
radio i -1.00 +0.2 .. -3.3
glossolalia -3.00 -6.0 .. +2.2
MMIV -1.75 -2.6 .. -1.0
Canciones… -3.60 -6.0 .. -1.3
The Secrets of Metals -2.47 -4.3 .. -1.9

 In other words, the Canciones… LP is the loudest and radio i is the quietest.

Some comparisons to commerical records:

Digweed’s Global Underground GU014 album gives –7.45 dB  (!) That’s not surprising considering it’s a club record.

Metallica’s Death Magnetic (the Guitar Hero 3 version, not the standard released version) gives -2.72 dB. There are lots of discussion of this album all over, especially in terms of its terribly poor mastering for commercial release. The sad thing is that it’s great music (at least in my opinion). It wouldn’t matter so much if it were Creed or Nickelback or something.

Firefox/Safari/Chrome: better now!

Originally published 2009 Feb 1

The cool thing about wordpress.com is that you can purchase an option to customize the CSS for your site. This is great and allows you to do amazing things to the site appearance.

Of course, the problem is that every browser (Internet Explorer[IE], Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) has its own idea of how to interpret certain interesting CSS code. On top of that this is a moving target since all browsers are continually releasing patches and updates. For instance at this moment (2009 Jun 5) IE is at version 8, Firefox is at 3.0.9 (I think) and Chrome is at about 2.0.172.something)/ Safari I have no idea about.

Update 2010 Mar 6

Now Chrome is at 4.0.249.89 and Firefox at 3.6. I’m pretty happy with my CSS now, because gradually my site is looking OK on those two browsers.

We have been trying to write the CSS so that the site looks at least reasonable for all the browsers; but unfortunately this means they don’t look great in any particular one. This will take more study–maybe there’s another way around it. But for now it will have to do

Since for better or worse 60 to 80% of people use Internet Explorer, if there are conflicts the CSS was written to look best in that browser. Mainly version 7.

So, our apologies in advance if you’re using another browser and things look “off”. They should at least work even if not well…

last update before I delete this post (feb 2011)

It seems that for whatever reason, I always revert to Chrome for browsing the web. Its current version is 9.0.597.98. As far as I know, all the major browsers seem to be happy with WordPress and my CSS and I haven’t changed it in months.