• About
  • First time here?
  • Sitemap
  • Archives
  • Categories
  • Posts Tagged ‘art’

    ‘Late Nite Chill on the Lake’ downtempo mixset


    2011 - 10.09

    Servin’ up another mixset to add to the list of original content around here; I call it the “Late Nite Chill on the Lake”. This is another byproduct of the Bill’s Boat Cassette Project, only unlike the previous two “Cactus Vinyl Funk Mix” and “BOATCHASE!” this one is a descendant of the mix which was imprinted to ferromagnetic tape, labeled “Heady Downtempo”. The tape was version 1, this is version 5. Click on the image below to stream it from the music player on the navigation bar!


    This mix is intended to be something you’d put on after a long day of cruising around on the lake, tubing, drinking, goofing off, enjoying the sunlight and the fresh air. The sun goes down, you turn on the running lights, pop open one last brew (or maybe the second or third to last), and slip this tape into the deck. Or this could be what you put on the stereo after you get back to the lakeside house after a day on the water. In any event, it’s the soundtrack to the end of a long day of good times.

    Tons of artists suffer from the desire to keep tweaking their works ad nauseum, to the point where one begins to wonder, “Will it ever be ready”? This mix was suffering from the same nagging feeling that I could still improve it, but finally I decided to just shove it out onto the stage and say okay, OCD adjustments OVER, this is it. Some of the neat tweaks you guys might appreciate knowing about:

     the sounds of the Mediterranian Sea can be heard between tracks 2 and 3. I recorded these on MiniDisc in 2004. Finally I put them to use here.

     the very start of the mix begins with the sound of me taking a cassette out of its plastic case, opening my cassette deck, putting the tape in, closing the door, pressing the power button, and hitting play.

     the end of track 1 and the beginning of the last track were run through my Glass Nexus effect pedal, providing a large reverb and some delay. On track 1 the effect starts out light and gets progressively thicker; on the last track the effects start out thick and fade back into to clean. I tried using the software reverbs on the PC and they just weren’t cutting it–the Glass Nexus has an awesomely realistic ‘verb.

     some of the chatter (in French) before the last track I recorded at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris from 2005. There is also a really cool sound effect that I included, which plays through the airport preceeding any announcement over the intercom.

    update: the people have demanded a tracklist, so here she be:

    Tracklisting:
    1. Global Communication – “5:23”
    2. Leggo Beast – Bizzare Love Pentangle
    3. Tipper – Everything Is Everything
    4. Visit Venus – First Man On The Moog
    5. Tom Middleton – Astral Projection
    6. Blue Planet – Chaser
    7. Bonobo – The Shark
    8. Swag – Aug Munch
    9. The Karminsky Experience – Departures

    As with before we’ve got a 160 kb/s mp3 for download, and a luscious, rich FLAC file for your audiophile needs. Put this on after dark, and kick it.

    3 hours of night sky in under 30 seconds


    2011 - 10.09

    A short timelapse video I made, showing the night sky from 12:30am-3:30am.  I used 830 images to make this, and you can see the corresponding startrails images in the previous post!  Don’t forget to hit fullscreen and 1080p on the video.  A tiny preview doesn’t do the stars justice!

    I’ve wanted to get into making timelapse like this for a long time, so it’s rewarding to put one of these together.  I did a batch process on all photos in Photoshop before compiling into a video, which was an awesome idea; definitely want to do more and get better at all of this.  Check out that SKY!

    This is truly inspiring: masterful timelapse


    2011 - 09.30

    Today I was derpin’ around on the timelapse subreddit, and I found a link to this video.  There’s a lot of badass timelapse out there, but wow, this compilation really has it all. I wanna do stuff like this…
     

    Album Art Feature: BT Express “Do It ‘Til You’re Satisfied”


    2011 - 09.29

    A totally bomb album that I only discovered this summer, BT Express with “Do It ‘Til You’re Satisfied”

     

    Open up to the inside and check out this badass picture of these guys! The eponymous track of this album can be heard as the second tune in my previously posted Cactus Vinyl Funk Mix. This is some smokin hot 70’s funk right here!

    The Funky Cactus Vinyl Gold, To Blow Up Your Eardrums


    2011 - 08.27

    It’s time to raise the curtain on two little mini-mixes I’ve been compiling for some time. I’m really tickled with how awesome these turned out.  First off: “The 70’s Cactus Vinyl Funk Mixtape” (click the cassete to play)

    I’ve been hitting up this really awesome record store in Houston called Cactus Music, where they have maybe 20-30 crates of used vinyl which is up for grabs at 97¢ per LP. Yes, $0.97. It’s completely unsorted and a good deal of the records are scratched and dirty, but still, for under a dollar per LP, this place is a total gold mine. This mixtape is the cream of the funky crop I found while diggin through those crates down at Cactus this summer.

    As you’ll hear immediately from the start, there’s plenty of crackle and vinyl “dirtyness” in here. I did pick up a record cleaner soon after I started buying LPs, but listening back to two recorded versions of the opening track which I dubbed before and after using the record cleaner, I actually decided to use the dirty one on purpose. I dig the raw, unkempt vibe that record crackle gives. There’s even a minor skip in the second track; see if you can catch it. I left if raw intentionally so it’s exactly like you’d hear if a buddy came over to your house and you were excited to play that hot LP you just found earlier this week–we’re not going to waste time cleaning this thing, throw it on the platter and go, man!

    That’s pretty much the spirit of this mix–it’s a bunch of weird 70’s funk that I’d never known of before, mostly from bands I’d never heard of before either. I compiled it to share my favorite finds with fellow funk fanatics. The mix is 30 minutes long so it would fit perfectly onto a cassette tape as part of the Bill’s Boat Cassette Project. Since I was putting extra care into the track selection and mastering of this mix, moreso than any of the other tapes, I got on eBay and picked up a sweet looking reel-to-reel style tape for it, as you can see above. The vinyl was digitized to FLAC through my Pro-Ject Debut III USB turntable, arranged in Sony ACID, compressed and mastered with T-Racks tube emulation software, rendered back to FLAC again, and then put to tape on my NAD 6130 cassette deck. I was very pleased with the end result!

    Since I did spend time obsessing about the sound quality, I’ll offer this one in FLAC in addition to the usual 160kbs mp3. Right click those links to download. Click the cassette above to stream it now (flash required).

    Track Listing:

    1. Cosmic Truth – Earthquake Shake
    2. B.T. Express – Do It ‘Til You’re Satisfied
    3. Brass Connection – Movin’
    4. The Commodores – Patch It Up
    5. Cosmic Truth – UFO’s
    6. Ronnie Laws – Mis’ Mary’s Place
    7. Steve Miller Band – Fly Like an Eagle (psychedelic intro only)
    Playtime: 30 minutes

    And the proverbial Side B to The 70’s Cactus Vinyl Funk Mixtape: “BOATCHASE!” (you can stream this too, by clicking the previous cassette and going to the next track. Since these mixes were created together, I’m grouping them in their own playlist together)

    Track Listing:

    1. Brass Connection – Sambo (progression)
    2. Curtis Mayfield – Junkie Chase
    3. Ohio Players – Fight Me, Chase Me
    4. Ohio Players – The Big Score
    5. Mandrill – Silk
    Playtime: 24 minutes

    As with the A-Side, this mix was gathered exclusively from 97¢ vinyl I bought at Cactus Records and built/mastered the same way, only this time I picked these particular cuts to emulate the soundtrack for a 1970s style boat chase scene, probably from a movie about people smuggling illicit goods from tropical locations. There’d be a lot of exposed chest hair and mustaches involved. And brown avaiator sunglasses. You’ll notice the last tune is a change of pace–this is the triumphant part of the boat chase where you’ve eluded the pursuers and are chillin out in the sunshine, smooth sailin.

    As above, we got FLAC format available for you audiophiles with the Grado headphones, and we’ve got 160kbs mp3 available for the iPod listeners on the move. Click the top cassette to launch em right now in the player, playa. Also available in the Music section.

    Awwwwwwww GIT IT!

    Cloudy Sky Timelapse: A Taste of What’s Ahead


    2011 - 08.12

    As mentioned before, a goal of mine is to start getting into timelapse photography. In the words of Carl, “Recently, we’ve waded a little way out, maybe ankle-deep, and the water seems inviting.”

    I’ve done four different night-sky timelapses, each getting progressively better. I may yet post one of them, but I haven’t so far. I’ll lead off the timelapse posts with this short clip I compiled from around 300 photos of the clouds a couple weeks back. For those so interested, the exposure was 1/500th at f/8 with ISO100. This was actually done with the T2i that was briefly in my possession.

    More imporantly, the exposures were about 15-20 seconds apart (I don’t recall precisely, but it was inside that range). You can see how fast the clouds move! I had no idea they shifted so quickly. For my next attempt, I did the exposures 6 seconds apart, and that showed the cloud movement much more fluidly. I’ll post that one later when I figure out why the rendering always seems to come out choppy. I’ve had some rendering issues with these…

    Anyhow, here is my first, tentative step into the world of timelapse! It’s The Moment Of Genesis baby!… the instant when a once far-off dream makes its first step into being REAL. Gotta love the energy that comes off of a thing like that. Bodacious!

    (Yes, I did just say bodacious)

    Canon T3i is HERE. File this under “Yesss”!


    2011 - 08.05

    Oh yeah!  OhyeahohyeahohYEAH!  Canon T3i is here!  More technical thoughts and details to come, but for now let’s just gawk at some really pretty images with thin focal planes thanks to the almighty Canon 50mm f/1.8, now in the glorious format of motion-photography.  Here’s a bunch of loose test shots cobbled together quick in under an hour.

    For anyone so interested, the track playing is a snippet of “Green Bird” by Magic Places.  Apparently it’s a remix of something from Cowboy Bebop, although I don’t recognize where.

    A fresh photographic epoch: new equipment and the goals of these acquisitions.


    2011 - 07.27

    I have been waiting for today.

    Today a new camera came in the mail!: a very lightly used Canon t2i DSLR I snagged on eBay. Dude.

    I’ve been dreaming of a video DSLR with extended ISO range for years now. Today it’s HERE. That is so &^%!@*# exciting.

    I’m going to be able to make movies now. Sexy, beautiful HD movies that have blurry backgrounds and sharp detail. This is a major technological advance for my artistic tools. The nerd in me is so ready to rock every dial and button on this puppy! We’ll see if the artist in me is capable of crafting something of beauty with it… afterall, that’s what matters. I see a Vimeo membership in my near future.

    This camera also comes with a battery grip that will accept either AA’s or two of the normal canon camera batteries. Hopefully this should spell ample battery life for doing all-night timelapse photography. That’s like a whole extra layer of cake on top of the icing of the previous cake layer which is the t2i video capability.

    So, what do I aim to do with all this hardware?

    Well step one; I’m taking a trip back home to Wisconsin in Mid August. The objectives:
    1. get some sweet video of my favorite places to visit while I’m there: Devil’s Lake, Parfree’s Glen, Durwood’s Glen, the Baraboo hills, etc.
    2. capture video on the boat outings I’ll be doing with my buddies Bill and Rob. Maybe including a music/dance video of the funk mixset due for release on Bill’s boat, in conjunction with the new wide angle Tamron lens
    3. take all night time lapse photography of the sky in Caledonia where I hope to capture the Milky Way moving over the sky, also in conjunction with the new lens.

    Those are the initial ones I can think of. I’m sure lots of little ancillary bits will occur along the way.

    Long term, I want to make some ‘shorts’–little mini-movies that are digestable 10-15 minute affairs, maybe with the goal of shooting enough footage that I could combine it into something feature length. That’s a tall order, and will probably take me a very long time to actualize.

    Anyway, the tools are here, and I am thoroughly excited to dig in and start playing!

    In the pic below I thought it’d be cool to show the evolution of my camera setup.  The Elan IIe at far left was my first SLR and my last film camera, I bought it at the end of high school.  It’s got a 28-105mm walkaround with some great filters, and a Canon 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 came soon after.  A95 was my first digital, shown here with a fisheye attachment that rocks my socks.  The Rebel XTi was my first DSLR and I got it with the wonderful 17-85mm, my first setup with Image Stabilization.  Next came the Tamron 10-24mm, a bondafide superwide, with 16-38mm equivalence in full frame size.  And finally, today, the Rebel T2i, my first video DSLR, shown here with the 50mm f/1.8, possibly my favorite lens out of them all ;)

    So excited to work with this new capability!

    SETIstars Infographic


    2011 - 06.26

    So recently I was contacted by the SETI team regarding a sequel to the infographic I had produced a couple months back.  As many of you may know already, they’re trying a new way of keeping the Allen Telescope Array running: crowdsourcing.  There’s a new website over at SETIstars.org where anyone can go and give funds specifically for the restarting of the ATA. It’s a savvy move in the age of kickstarter, microloans, and grassroots funding.  And it’s pretty awesome to think that, well, if the people who should be paying for this won’t pay for it, fine, we’ll do it ourselves!

    I hope the venture is a big success.  It’d be reaffirming to see the citizenship of planet Earth as forward-thinking enough to collectively grok the profound implications that discovery of other intelligences would have.  It would be invigorating to know that we realize this meaningfully enough that we, as single individuals, would band together to sustain this important work.

    In the large scope of things, it’s not all that expensive either.  Just for perspective: the 1st infographic so far has seen over 40,000 views (just the flickr version, nevermind the ones I cannot track).  See the bottom of this new infographic to see how much 40,000 people would need to spend apiece to keep the ATA in action…

    There is a slightly-higher quality version available at flickr, as well as a whopping 11,749 pixels-long monstrosity of this new graphic combined with the original.  Anyone is welcome to use or repost this to their heart’s content.  All I request is a link.  And that you can chip in at least a fiver to SETIstars! Anyone can swing that.

    Also, I got a lot more creative with the background this time around.  Check out the remnants of Kepler’s supernova, comet NEAT, and the Andromeda galaxy!

    Special thanks to Phil Plait, Jill Tarter, & John Girard.

    Lastly, if you’re really into this sort of thing check out some other space-musings on the site

    Kepler Space Telescope Exoplanets visualized (great video comparing sizes and orbits) – video

    “oh, by the way” (a reminder of just how large the universe really is)

    Putting Things In Perspective: NEAT!

    When I’m Feeling Down, These Are Some Things That Bring Me Back Up (a roundup of inspiring projects)

    the microcosmologist frontpage

    Album Art Feature: Cosmic Turnaround


    2011 - 06.14

    Unfortunately this album sounds like Jimi in his teenage years, jamming in the garage.  Not the greatest listening.  But the album cover knocks my socks off!