Sunday, November 22, 2009

God Is An Astronaut!


First up, the stuff i've been listening to for the past few days, which i HIGHLY recommend for anyone slightly into post-rock or ambient sort of stuff.

God Is An Astronaut - All Is Violent, All Is Bright; Far From Refuge and their self titled album.

These are pretty much the only three i have so far, but boy are they awesome. No really heavy stuff, just light melodies interweaved and backed by strong bass and drum tracks.

Caspian - Tertia. Pretty similar to GIAA, but both lighter and heavier at the same time.

As far as events go, the last week was pretty much dedicated to recording and editing Chris "Bubbles" Au's encore composition. A Sennheiser 401 up close on the hammers (he has this amazing kawai rx grand) and a Shure SM57 slightly off axis behind the stick as more of an overall mic. Both mics into an ART usb dual preamp, and recorded with adobe Audition 3.

Video was recorded was my mediocre sony video camera, but it did the trick.

The audio turned out to be pretty good, nice, clear and crisp but slightly harsh due to the nature of his pianos. Nothing a quick EQ couldn't fix.

So on Thursday, we went through the videos and tried to sync the audio and the video with the *cough*pieceofshit*cough*adobe premiere (or maybe it's just my old version). But we pretty much wasted a day because the audio just didn't want to sync AT ALL; the first few seconds would be fine, but then it'd die afterwards. AP also decided to turn the video a nasty shade of blue, so he looked like a bloody smurf.

At 5, we started to get pissed, so i just decided to try sony vegas instead. And lo and behold, managed to finish it in about 40 minutes.

Are pizzas meant to be 18 bucks delivered!!?, cause we wanted a few for lunch, but it was too hot outside to walk. Looked online and holycrap they're 18 bucks each. So, we opted to pick up, and whaddaya know, 5 bucks each for a custom 70s lot and godfather. Saved 26 bucks just by walking a little in the heat.

During editing, Mr Au made quite an intelligent comment: "Hey! That's me!".

Also saw a handful of ruse people at the UNSW interviews today; i actually have no idea how well i went, and neither do most of the people i talked to afterwards. One of my interviewers also had this lazy eye, so i had no idea if he was looking at me or not. Haha, ended up being really distracting and kind of strange because i didn't know if the eye contact was there or not.

Aaaaaaand, many packages have been arriving this last week and a bit...

I wonder what they all are!

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Buddha's Shopping Spree!

God it feels so good to get rid of AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL my school crap. My room will be entirely empty after this, but not to worry, it'll be much nicer as a small home studio setup. Muahaha.

As for the shopping spree:

Thanks to the Department of Defence and the Reserve Bank, i am now 500 bucks richer (name and address blurred just in case):

Which will go towards my amp/effects fund!, currently sitting at about 2000.YEAH BABY. Hopefully, i'll get the following setup (skip of you don't care):

Running in front:
MXR Dynacomp for compression, into
BB preamp for slight boost/dirt on clean and low drive channels,
Vox Satchurator for Satriani style drive,

FX loop:
MXR 10 band EQ, for precise frequency shaping and emulation of voicings,
My current ME70 for delay/modulation/volume controls.

Shure SM57 dynamic instrument mic, and a analogue to usb adaptor of some sort.

As for amps, i'll be going around to different shops over the next few weeks, trying out as many as possible and posting up mini reviews for you UG people. Pwahahaha, it will be incredibly awesome. Once i get everything set up, i'll start recording heaps, so stay tuned!

Oh, some cool wallpapers i found to spice up your desktops:

Also, dad's going to Europe on a business trip in January, so i may tag along and go explore Europe when he finishes his jobs there. Hopefully visit Rome, Paris + Normandy, Berlin and possibly London if i go.

Dear god i'll be spending so much money, hahahah. However, that's soon to be fixed.

Well, enjoy your well earned break everyone, and safe and happy trips!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Classics

Well, high school is pretty much over.

Awesome thing is, i don't regret one thing i did, only the things i didn't get to do. Ruse has really been an awesome environment, and it all feels like it's leading up to something big in the future.

So, all that soppy stuff aside.

No wait, hahahah, here are some classic (possibly love) songs that i've recently been getting into.

BUT, I remember my first exposure to music was this:

Then after that, i went through the mainstream phase, where i only listened to stuff from the uh, what do you call it, charts? After that, it kind took a turn to the heavier side, i.e. bands like Evanescance, which i still listen to a decent amount.

As i explored more, i started to get an interest in guitar, which seemed to be the basis of the majority of songs, and sounded oh so cool. Again, my taste got heavier, going more towards metal and its subgenres. That lasted a while.

Thankfully, i discovered blues and jazz, through Eric Clapton and Norah Jones, as well as piano and acoustic based stuff. Then came progressive rock and post rock.

Haha, seems like the theory for kids who play guitar is true; they start off with rock and metal, and slowly mature towards much lighter and more articulate styles.

Balmoral was pretty fun, couple of interesting bus trips and some time just to chill out on the beach is nice way to end the year; but i guess the most interesting thing was getting attacked by seagulls, (who? what word should be used here!?!?) have advanced from crowding around people with chips to swooping in and snatching them from their hands, haha.

Oh, i've also hopped on the Facebook wagon. I hope that it won't become too much of a distraction for the next few weeks.

Well, all the best everyone.

Happy studying, and stay safe :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Home Recordings


Trials are finally over, and marks are coming back. Yadda yadda, i really don't want to think about marks more than i have to, haha.

Anyway, for the past couple of days i've been fiddling around with some recording gear, and ended up with this. <- It's the one called "tone test".

It's pretty much just a little test of my gear. The first half is a little original thing with a mostly impro'd lead line, then some random songs that just came to my head. Mistakes, of course, are there - please ignore them, haha. Any criticism would be good, keeping in mind it's a first attempt - everything else before was done with the help of some very experienced friends :D

For the quality of the gear i've got, i'd say it's a decent recording. Pretty much guitar into the preamp of a Boss ME70, using the onboard effects(compression, reverb, delay, EQ, slight gain boost), straight into computer's soundcard (soundblaster or something) and into Adobe Audition, with ASIO drivers.

Moving on,

Just finished speech for 2u english, which means, NO MORE RUSE ASSESSMENTS. Woooooooo

Anyway, that also means that our time at Ruse is drawing to a close. Ah well, nostalgia's never been my thing.

On a completely different note: District 9. Whoa, completely different to what i expected (i.e. independence day esque alien thing), but in a very good way. The documentary style was really well done, and didn't take the focus away from the plot. For a new director in the scene, it was pretty badass, though the violence could have been toned down just a little.

Kinda hard to describe it without any spoilers, so i won't try. Definitely a must see if you're into sci-fi sort of stuff, with [subtle] political undertones.

Dear god my upload speed is shocking.


Back to ye olde dreams, i've had some pretty damn strange ones, but this one stood out the most.

So, i'm walking along a really dimly lit passageway of some sort, seems to be a sewerage treatment plant at first glance (never really thought of this, but you can't dream smells, can you?), and come to a table where two guys are busy cutting up stuffed toys. Assorted parts lie all over the table.

So, i find that really strange and ask one of the dudes, who looks up. His eyes seemed really glassy, but then i realised that his eyes were the same plastic ones you find on toys. I step back in fear, and fall into the water.

The water isn't very dense, and i sink straight to the bottom. It also flowed REALLY quickly, so i get dragged along with it, bumping along pipe corners and seeing the odd solid bit float past (not sure if you can feel pain in dreams either, physical i mean).

Eventually, i get spurted out into a stone courtyard, and i realize it's some sort of ancient Aztec place. It's dusk, and the sky is a weird reddish colour.

So i hear a shout, and these army guys come running out of a forest, shouting and panting. Curious, i tried to glimpse what they were running from, and their officer tells me the get the hell out of here.

Just as i was about to turn and run with them, i see a group of stuffed toys come out of the forest, running really damn fast for their size. They catch up to the last soldier, and drag him kicking and screaming back into the forest.

The other guys stare in horror, and almost stop. One of them yells out "He's gone boys, there's no getting him back". At that point, i go "what, they're only toys for pete's sake". They all turn to stare at me, and point to various points around the courtyard.

Human body parts are nailed to various posts and walls, along with some bits of stuffing here and there.

So their officer decides they've slowed down enough, and calls out to keep going. Without anything better to do, i tag along.

As we're going along, we see more body parts are nailed to trees. But, there's no heads anywhere. Then, a ferris wheel comes out of nowhere, covered in soft toys.

We come to a ravine, and the ferris wheel gets jammed in it, forming a sort of bridge. The guys start shooting at the toys, but there's so many of them, so they resort to bashing them out of the way as they ran across.

Me being last, got grabbed by one of the toys. With a crazy amount of strength, they drag me back into the forest and start bashing the crap out of me - a hit to the head later and i'm out cold.

I wake up a while later (i actually thought i woke up), and everything seemed really blurry to me. My eyes also seemed kind of dry and itchy, so i rubbed them with the back of my hand, only to realize that they were plastic.

At this point, i hear a radio song playing, which is when i ACTUALLY woke up - my radio alarm clock went off.

Weird eh. I wonder what dream interpretation will yield. Probably some inexplicable fear of stuffed toys or something, or fear of going blind, haha.

Anyway, that's it from me.

Enjoy our last few weeks of school!

Tip of the day: Surgical spirits are very good at keeping guitar strings in good nick, but keep away from fretboard at all costs, or you'll end up with dry, cracked fretboards.

LAME JOKE OF THE DAY: What the purpose of a Will? I'll give you a hint: it's a dead giveaway.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lyrics game!

Before we start, take a look at this:

I warn you, if you are a fundamentalist christian, or are in some way closed-minded about christianity or God, I recommend you don't read what I'm about to say, as you will be very offended.

I was having a discussion at work today with a friend of mine, who is one of those Christians who seems to not let his religion interfere with having fun and being open minded. The kind I can keep a civilized discussion with. During our conversation of religion, the subject of free will came up.

I asked him: "Why do you think most christians we know equate free will with the devil?"
He replied something to the extent of: "Because the devil tempted man to eat from the tree; God didn't want us to, but Satan did."

After this, I brought up the following point: How is it that a docile, closed-minded person who does what he is told without question can gain access to heaven, but the man who becomes proactive, seeks truth for himself, is doomed to eternal hell?

He was quiet for a moment. Then he, yes the Christian, said "What if God and Satan are actually reversed?"

Needless to say, we were pretty dumbfounded at the thought, and in Pit language; brix were shat.

What if God is the one who wanted man to eat the fruit, to take a step out from the blind obedience and find truth for himself? What if Satan is the one who actually created us, who wants us to remain ignorant?

Yes, i realise that's a pretty shallow view of Christianity; it still gives you something to think about though.

Retarded images for the day:

SO, onto the lyrics. Simple, name the song these lyrics are from, and the artist.
If anyone gets 3 or more of these, i will be EXTREMELY impressed. Heh. All lyrics are very easily discerned in the songs.

I can feel the cold air flow into my lungs,
Brave another winter, and pray for the sun.

Oh how i wish, for soothing rain,
all i wish is to dream again,
my loving heart, lost in the dark,
for hope i'd give my everything.

All that has changed, 'cause it's all down the drain.

But i can't spell it out for you,
no it's never gonna be that simple.

Maybe tonight, we'll fly so far away,
we'll be lost before the dawn.

Why does Saigon never sleep at night?
Why does this girl smell of orange trees?

Yesterday i died,
tomorrow's bleeding,
fall into your sunlight.

There's a lit cigarette,
in the hand of my new angel,
she's blowing smoke like halos.

There's a train leaving town,
if you hurry up, i think you just might make it.
Damnit i hope you make it.

Dark, no you can't come soon enough, for me.

The chapel and the saint,
The soldiers in the wine,
The fables and the tales,
All handed down through time

Help me out, said the eagle to the dove,
I've fallen from above my nest so high above.
Help me fly, i am too afraid to try.

I listened in, yes i'm guilty of this, you should know this.
I broke down and wrote you back before you had a chance to.

Finding myself, in a place i've never been,
where i don't know myself, or anyone else.

Follow me down, to the valley below,
moonlight is bleeding, from out of your soul.

What did you say?
I know i saw you singing,
but my ears won't stop ringing.

On a different day, if i was safe in my own skin.

So you're leavin', in the mornin',
on the early train.
Well i could say everything's alright,
and i could pretend to say goodbye.

There's a harvest,
each Saturday night,
at the bars filled with, perfume and hitchin' a ride.

When somethin' like a soul becomes initialized,
and folded up like paper dolls and little notes,

I find the map and draw a straight line,
Over rivers, farms and state lines

It's just like him,
to wander off in the evergreen park,
slowly searching

Somewhere in a private place,
she packs her bags for outer space,
and now she's waiting for the right kinda pilot to come.

And now my heaven's gone away,
and i'm out in the cold.
Cause you had me believing,
you had me believing in a lie.

So many nights trying to hide it,
but now i stay awake just pleading for more.

Muahahaha, no google allowed!

Why are chefs cruel?
Because they whip cream and beat eggs!

Monday, July 6, 2009

For Those Hard To Reach Itches.

Other cool pictures/art for your entertainment:

Meh, not really in the mood to type much.

Be true to your teeth, or they will be false to you.

Sunday, June 28, 2009



I just checked my watch, and it said 2222:22. Speaking of which, i've always had kind of and OCD with stuff like that, i.e. when microwaving stuff, i do it for 1 minute 11 seconds or 2 minutes 22 seconds. I just have to, haha.

Also, just found these on my computer:

So, onto my latest dream.

The only reason i can remember them so damn well is because i ALWAYS wake up right after they finish. Pretty much everyone dreams at least once a night during the REM stage, but, they continue sleeping after that stage is done - disallowing the "memory" to be burnt into the medium-long term section. Heh.

Waking up right after helps a lot with the recollection.

Anyway, i start by walking towards a really weird house that's kind of hanging off a cliff. There's a really dense forest on all sides, and the house looks like it's only made of rotting timber.

I look at my hand and read the note in there - apparently i'm here for a job interview.

So i walk up to the door and knock, an old lady opens the door and lets me in. As i walk through the door, a beep sounds. So kinda like the airport security things, i have to hand over stuff.

I hand over a phone, a knife (Smith and Wesson HRT tanto - don't ask me how i know, i just do :P) aaaand a phone book. Somehow i just pull it out of my back pocket.

With all that stuff in a basket by the door, which is moved to a laundry of sorts, i walk in to the waiting room.

There's a few retarded chairs, and some other guys are already seated. In one corner of the room, there's a really friggin scary mannequin, and the other corner - what looked like a torture bed. It had chains, blood, nails and a rusty iron thing where the person lay.

So at this point i'm thinking... whaaaaat the hell.

The other guys waiting don't seem to notice anything, like the bed and mannequin aren't there.

My vision flickers for a sec, i see a really nice white room with pot plants and stuff, then it goes back to this horrific place that only i can see.

I turn to leave, but decide to get my knife and phone first. So i walk back to the laundry place, and there's this guy in the corner of the room, all huddled up and scared. Bloody wounds and ripped clothes.

The mouldy wood gives way, and the dude just falls out of the house, down the cliff. I hear screaming, but no splat.

At this point i'm scared out of my mind. I gran my knife and drew it, only to see the blade chewed away. It was literally a stump.

I start to run out of the house, just as the whole place just topples off the cliff.

Aaaaand once again, i wake up with that darned falling sensation. Garh, i hate it.

Aaaanyway, on a lighter note, i dug out my little bottle of that dettol hand sanitizer stuff. It's so useful :D

Oooh, almost forgot. New pedal!

Introducing, the Boss ME70

Pretty nifty little guitar effects unit; ain't hard to get some nice tones out of it. The compressor is decent, the drives are nice and pretty sensitive to pick attack and guitar vol. other effects are cool as well, but i won't bore you with my tech talk :P

Money well spent.

Ah well, back to 3u then.