Project Studio Tea Break

It’s the Cold, Flu, and Holidaze® Season. That time of year when everything goes BatS#*! Crazy

Here in APITEland, EduCorp® goes clinically insane trying to squeeze everything in before the end of the year, Holiday Decor in every store months before you want to think about it, Holiday Music everywhere months before the actual season, Black Friday/Cyber Flargsday sales on anything and everything (yeah, I gave in too – more in a second), and the ritual coordinating family and friends for holiday plans whilst trying to keep at least one one eyebrow above water. And December has just started…

One of the things I’ve been doing to keep myself sane over the season is indulging in Audiocasts. I did a bit of pruning over the summer, trying to whittle down what I really enjoyed verses what I was growing tired of, which of course leaves me more ‘room’ for new ones. (like somehow I magically have more time after doing that…)

Saint Ian and Jon Tidey over at The Mastering Show did an episode of their favorite shows, and one of the ones they mentioned that I hadn’t heard of was Project Studio Tea Break (title tie-in!). It’s become a highlight of my listening regimen. 🙂

PSTB, as it’s colloquially called, is Mike Senior and Jon Whitten. Mike should be well-known from Sound On Sound fame (you do read SOS, right?) and as an Audio Engineer, Author, and all-round Font of Knowledge in the Audio Kingdom. Jon is a composer firmly rooted in the theatre and dance community, and brings his unique perspective to the ‘Professional Audio Chitty-Chat Internwebz® Delivery System’ norm. For a ‘Professional Audio Audiocast’ PSTB is light on technical prowess and snobbery, aiming for (ahem) a good poke in the ear towards recording technology, techniques, and the interpersonal relationships everyone in the industry has dealt with.

The odd tip or trick sneaks in every once in a while, but this is not what you’re looking for here. PSTB is as the name implies – a time to take a break and have a cuppa and talk about dumb stuff before the clock starts ticking again. It’s an hour of clearing the fuzz out of your mind – not worrying about why you can’t figure out how to make the snare drum ring disappear or why the backing vocals sound strangely out of tune even though you’ve triple-checked them on every piece of technology you can get your hands on and they all tell you they’re fine. It’s the couple of pints at the pub after a long day nursemaiding a computer, recording, mixing, and hoping the session backs up so you can fix all the mistakes with fresh ears tomorrow. It’s reading about the latest shiny Company X announced that everyone is talking about but you know is complete and utter bullshit and won’t change games or move anything forward except the company’s bank account. It’s the relief of stepping outside after applying a bunch of studio foam with that spray adhesive, or the glorious smell of brand-new silicone-jacketed cabling. It’s a peek inside what your engineer, producer, or musical director is really thinking.

So you can see how this is right in the wheelhouse. But don’t just trust me –  click the link above and get caught up (there’s only eight episodes as of this writing) or subscribe in your favorite player. If you’ve spent any time in the musical landscape (and if you’re reading this you have) then you’ll enjoy every moment and look forward to the next monthly fix.

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In other news I bought one of the new iPad Pros – the 11” model this time. I know, I know… I kinda trash-talked them a few posts back, but after getting my hands on one I decided it was time to move my 1st-gen on to my brother (who’d better not be reading this since it’s his Christmas present) and get something smaller and…well, better.

Why?

USB-C.

From the moment I connected a USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adaptor (stupidly long name here kids) to it and connected the HDMI port to a monitor I could see the future. Having the iPad display big and crisp on an external display is an absolute joy, but instinctively reaching for a mouse or trackpad instead of the screen is just antediluvian IMO. I’m also betting this has to drive the Mothership® Engineers bananas as well, so there’s some Skunkworks iOS version update allowing this just waiting for Phil Schiller to give the okay. And since Apple is still gung-ho about the ‘It’s a computer! It’s a dessert topping!, It’s a floor wax!” moniker (Hat tip to Charles over at Space Javelin for reminding me of this) they have to be looking into this – just having an external display for the GraphicsHeads doesn’t make sense for having this usable by the entire ‘Pro’ market. I guess we’ll see if I’m correct next spring.

I also like the smaller size – it’s easier to hold in my sausage paws and doesn’t feel like I’m doing a workout after 10 minutes. The True Tone display is gorgeous, and it can do true ‘split screen’ apps (unlike the previous smaller versions of the iPads Pro).  I’m spoiled by Face ID on the iPhone, so having it here is great (although my sausage thumb always seems to be covering the sensors which it smugly tells me), and the new Pencil is just stupid clever and I like the fact that it rides on the top instead of being lost in the bottom of my bag somewhere.

Oh, and the new NanoStudio 2 has been piquing my interest and looks pretty impressive, so I’m looking forward to trying a true DAW-like experience with in on a mobile device (bleeding edge, yada yada, what about Auria? I get it…) 

Lastly, I’ve been compiling the ideas for the ‘Musical Gifts for the 2018 Holidaze® Season’ post (last year’s post here) and that should be out within the next week or so, hopefully leaving me some actual time to spend with the fam over the (actual) Holiday Season. 

Until then, stay sane out there!

Now that’s a name I’ve not heard in a long, long time…

Some Old Fossils (like yours truly) may remember that back in the ‘90’s and early 2000’s I was creating music under the moniker Pimp Daddy Nash. Not the best choice in tags for current times, but it’s just a name (not an occupation) and as a part of my history I can’t completely disassociate myself from it. So why the Star Wars reference in the title?

Let’s rewind to Tuesday morning (post-Laborious Day hangover) as I set the coffeemaker to ‘stun’ and check my phone for any updated audiocasts as per my usually early morning routine.

A new Space Javelin – cool.

Haven’t heard of Space Javelin? Neither had I until a few weeks back at the recommendation of a friend.

As a reader of this blurg you know that Music is what I do and most of what I read and listen to and write about revolves around that. But I also keep up with a lot of technology. Modern music (and pretty much everything else) is completely tech-reliant, so you need to know how (and why) your tools work. Teaching music and music technology ups that ante, so I have to stay as informed as I can. We never stop learning.

I’m also a Mac Geek. Have been since the mid-80’s. I’ve used Windows and other OS’s, but the Mac is what I know best so I just go with it until it doesn’t do what I want it to so anymore (which has yet to show up). So call me a FanBoii if you want…

I love Audiocasts in general, and I’ve gone through a lot of Apple-based ones over the years. And I’ve grown tired of most of them. John Gruber’s interviews are always fantastic and his reporting is thoughtful and deliberate – he doesn’t go in for hype, always stays professional, and has been an inspiration to Casters and Bloggers alike (myself included). Rene Richie does excellent work over at iMore, but his Vector audiocast is what I prefer from him – concise, well-crafted dailies of what happened today in Techland along with the odd long-listen interview. Both I highly recommend if you need info from that sphere.

The others (and it’s got to be in the dozens) have been dumped into the ‘Unsubscribe’ bin because I either tired of the schtick (i.e. ‘why won’t they just do what I want them to because I know what I’m doing better than a half-century old trillion-dollar corporation’) or they just sounded better when I was passively listening while doing something else – I wasn’t actively engaged with what they were talking about, it was just noise in the background. This last one is the real problem out there, and not just on the tech side. Creativity is hard, and making it work over the long haul with quality and integrity without sacrificing your soul to mediocrity takes skill. 

Hmm… kinda sounds like a lot of the modern music business, but that’s a topic for another time. 🙂

Everyone’s time is valuable and everyone’s interests vary wildly, but the power of audiocasts (much like radio) is that it can be an active or passive medium. Video, on the other hand, pretty much demands your complete attention – it’s hard to vacuum the house and binge watch at the same time. So I have a few shows that I put on for those ‘passive’ moments or just some quick entertainment, but when I want to be informed I want content that is not only as accurate as possible, but has been well thought out and presented without spin, or subversive personal bias, or attention-robbing fluff. I want to commit my time to those – to listen, to think, to understand.

Like Gruber and Richie, Space Javelin is one of those that fits all of the above on the Mothership® side. Charles and Mike have their opinions of course, but they temper them with common sense and technical expertise. That they also entertain on top of this makes for an hour of easy to listen to and easy to understand info on (mostly) Apple and Mac-based Technology. Because of this it’s now become my 3rd ‘permanent’ Mac Audiocast, and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for some weekly analysis that is smart and topical on that front.

So where was I again?

Oh yeah… If you listen to Episode 102 of Space Javelin, you’ll hear a shoutout to yours truly, although in that Nom de Musique I almost never use and rarely hear these days. I almost spit out that first swig of java when I heard it mentioned, and actually started the whole thing from the beginning to make sure I wasn’t having one of those lucid dreams you hear about.

Nope, it was there. Plain as the fast-rising sun here in Disneyhell. 🙂

Which leads to the big question: exactly why they mentioned me (or at least a facet of me) was a bit of a mystery. Perhaps some crazy new technology that allows personal podcasts? Had they hacked my player? Did that latest update of Castro do something they weren’t talking about? Some more Facetiousbook® lunacy?!!?? 

Uh, no. But still quite clever. 🙂

Once I checked out SJ about a week or so ago, I did go back into their archives and listened to a lot of the past episodes since that gives me a good sense of their style , substance, and most of all – are they consistent? (Spoiler: Yes. Yes they are.) So I’m sure their logs showing a bunch of listens from this part of the globe triggered some crazy data spikes. But there are a lot of people in this ‘burg – how could you narrow that down to a single person?

Well, Charles was very much a part of the Orlando music tribe way back 20ish years ago, and although I don’t formally recall him I’m sure I our paths crossed a few times. I’m sure we had mutual friends back then as well.

Charles was (and perhaps still is) a graphic designer. I know this because the person who gave me the reference to Space Javelin is also a graphic designer. I also know many other GD’s in town and scattered across the globe. Like my friend who gave me the listening recommendation. 

So the answer is that it’s a Small planet. And also a bit of clever networking. 

Think about that last sentence for a second.

Have you figured it out?

It’s Networking kids.

I got a quick blurb on their audiocast and now they get me to evangelize for them on my blog. 

Can you make that happen with what you do? (Spoiler: Yes. Yes you can.)

So check Space Javelin out – they’ve earned it. 🙂

Bonus: SJ also has a ‘sister’ audiocast on All Things Gaming and non-Apple tech called The Hammercast that pops up in their feed as well, so that might be more up your alley and worthy of checking them out if you’re a different kind of Fanboii. 🙂

Until next time…