Thursday, June 18, 2015

speaker designs and audiophile blah blah

the enormous question "can you be chill about its not the best and its not perfect?" has been echoing around in my head lately. this might not sound like an earth-shattering, humongous philosophical mountain to climb, but i feel its the cornerstone of all audiophile concerns and goals.

a lot of my feelings about high-quality music playback center around it not being perfect: "ooh, i can hear that it booms a little around 100hz" or "aargh, those sibilants sizzle a little too much".. and that type of thinking drives me fucking crazy.

even listening to my favorite, desert island records, i get those nagging thoughts. records that i love even when theyre playing off youtube on my phone while im doing dishes. maybe i love those records MORE off my phone or through some bunk-ass computer speakers. just because its out of my control: i didnt build that phone, i didnt design those laptop speakers. but when the music is coming out of my big main system, then the flaws are my fault. if i'd gotten different drivers, or positioned them better or spent more money on an amplifier or ..or..or..
these thoughts hurt my enjoyment of music. my overwhelming doubt and second-guessing gives me such an anxiety surge that it overshadows the music im listening to.

and i think my thesis here is that my time would be better spent training myself just not to worry about it, than it would be buying new speakers or parts or fussing with it at all.

i recently changed jobs and now have a lot more time to tinker around in my workshop/office on little speaker projects. so this is kind of a warning shot. lets focus more on the philosophical side of high fidelity music-playback, lets focus some on building an above average system for a below average amount of money, and lets focus less on what stereophile says about million-dollar systems we could never afford.

more to come i think.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

we are all probably getting what we deserve

someone on fb posted this pitchfork article and it got me thinking. or angry, or tuned-up or something.

i work on music more than i work on anything. i work on music more than i work at my real getting-a-paycheck job and my social and romantic relationships all combined. im utterly obsessed with it. if i got paid minimum wage for every hour i worked on music, i would have a super comfortable life.

but making little beats and writing little songs isnt the part of music-making i get paid for. the two revenue streams i have are selling the actual albums (and maybe a t-shirt here and there) and playing shows.

when i say selling the albums i mean physical copies. (digital releases of my music have been available for ages and ive yet to make a single sale.) but also, i mean in-person. (my albums have been carried by brick-and-mortar record stores, and ive never seen any money back from that either) when i sell an album, the customer buys it right out of my hand, and pays cash, usually at a show.
an important thing to consider about this model is that no one who buys my music really wanted it in the first place. we are exploiting the drunk and impulsive. if there are 30 people at a show, and you ask every one of them if they would like to purchase a recording, one is bound to be drunk enough, and one is bound to be impulsive enough. this is the same method as panhandling on the street. pure statistics. if you stand on the corner and ask 30 people for spare change, a couple people are bound to help you out.

i dont play the right shows and the shows i do play are for financially-irresponsible and business-inappropriate reasons. this autumn, i turned down a show with a 200 dollar guarantee because i was sure it wouldnt be any fun (reports confirm that it was indeed un-fun). and i consistently play shows with friends (who are in the same low-earning boat as i am) because i know itll be a good time (for which i earn an average of 20 dollars per performance, plus merch sales, which are spotty and unpredictable)

we are building a case here for i probably dont deserve to make a living off my music and no one probably owes me anything.
plus, i make ridiculously unlikable music, filled with harsh tones and anti-social themes. i dont have a hit single or any sing-along jams. my most recent song is about shitting and its like the funnest, most pop-friendly thing ive done in ages.

the chewy center of the issue is: if i changed the type of music i made, and the people i  perform with, and the method by which i distribute and promote my music, i could theoretically make a living at it! im not compelled to be in a punk rock band (even a bad punk band can tour squats and dive bars forever) and im not compelled to be in a classic rock cover band (i know a local band that does eagles and led zeppelin covers and gets paid hundreds of dollars every weekend) and im not compelled to be a techno dj (tho i have done that, theres always money to be made as a techno dj for some reason)

what i find distasteful in the pitchfork article is that it ignores the major issues of quality. quality of the music being made and quality of the work ethic of the musicians. it smacks of too much sense-of-entitlement. if i made really likable, un-threatening music and worked really hard to promote it and paid for a booking agent and a publicist, then i might feel like some success was missing. maybe the issue is that pure self-expression is something youre pretty much gonna lose money doing, and we would have to make too many sacrifices to provide a consistently salable product.

art is not defined as a business.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Philter - Not Quite [PV]

we have completed the promotional music video for the philter's mighty track "not quite". but what comes next?

Friday, June 27, 2014

the philter - not quite

we have been hard at work making films.
all other projects have suffered for our single-minded focus.
there hasnt been a new YOUNG SHOES beat posted in weeks.
collecting camera equipment, fighting technology every step.
massive frugality prevents just getting a dslr and a mac pro and calling it a day on video production.
we struggle to trick vintage windows computer into limping along with premiere.
we struggle to trick consumer-grade standard-def cameras into looking decent in hd.

all the footage for the music video for the THE PHILTER's nihilistic party stomper NOT QUITE has been collected and organized. now we edit. we already have the jackets and the business cards. c47.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Yamaha NS-6490 Great Sounding 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers

heres some info scraped from b&h:
woofer: 8" high-compliance, silver metal-like, long-throw cone woofer with cloth surround and inverted cover.
mid: 4" ferro-fluid cooled, silver metal-like cone midrange driver with inverted dust cover.
tweet: 7/8" ferro-fluid cooled balanced dome tweeter.
frequency response: 45hz-23khz
sensitivity: 90db
power handling: 70-140w
magnetically shielded

currently, i am running these at very low power (like less than 10 watts per channel), and they are behaving very nicely. i presume if you fed a full 70wpc to them, they would be unimaginably loud. or distorted. or tear themselves apart.

ran thru some classic test-out tracks and these speakers really knocked my socks off.

handled stand-up plucks with no sweat, and conquered that art blakey "moanin" close-up lip/reed-squeal/sputtering which is lost on lesser speakers. my notes read "believable trumpets"

put on biggie's "ready to die" and they grabbed-hold of the lowest 808 kicks and didnt make me wish for a subwoofer. (interesting note: some reviews mention lack of bass, and others, overwhelming bass. neither is the case, far as i can tell)

muddy waters "folk singer" fared pretty well. less dynamic than im used to, but the crescendo at the end of country boy still made me clap like an excited child, so thats saying something!

mozart's requiem and that new st vincent record were positively slamming.

im not trying to say that these are some audiophile miracle speakers, cause they're really not. but they are absolutely the definition of bang-for-your-buck and would be very comfortable in your home-stereo or home-theatre setup. these speakers are terrific and massively impressive, and to my ears, sound better than the 6-times-more-expensive-yet-still-boomy-and-muddy yamaha HS8 studio monitors.

they are like-new and have very low hours. fabric grills are included. they have lived all of their lives in a smoke-free environment, (but pick em up quick cause im smokin next to 'em now as i write this!)

i am [slightly] flexible on the price and also open to trades. (decent quality midi controllers that have mpc pads, anyone? a large-scale smoker made out of 55 gallon oil drums?)

please note: i'm hardly ever able to answer phone calls, so text and email are preferred. but also, if you do call, make sure to leave a voicemail. thanks!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

reasons to get digital camera

populate blog with actual photographs.
other peoples iphone/facebook pics make me look angrier/drunker than i really am. (if control means of documentation also control level of face-fury expressed on social media)
if start etsy account, show visually what objects are for sale.
food will look less like puke.
document speaker design progress.
document shows/events.
document sewing projects and costumes.
no phone pics because tacky and refusal to pay bill.
never use video cameras to full potential, will still-camera be different? (maybe because it is for more specialized, non-creative use. strict documentation is not expression)
point-n-shoot that suits needs only 50 on craigslist.
can make short films that are slideshow with narration on top. ken burns effect.
example of me appearing to be angry on facebook when actually quite happy an excited:

shouts out to kevin and gold house media for the pic.

Friday, May 09, 2014

pedophobic records, back in the saddle

getting back to it after interminable hiatus. hold on to your hats and gimme a soul clap cause pedophobic rides again!