Saturday, June 28, 2008

Yamaha 01X and Reaper

Here is a sneak-peek using Reaper 2.13 DAW with a Yamaha_01X mixing console. These are exciting times for 01X owners!

Basic operations of 01X work fine using Cubase, Sonar, Digital Performer and Tracktion. But, Logic_7_Pro on OS_X is the only "out of the box DAW" that controls every button, knob, fader and function on the 01X console, including the SCRUB function.

Now that Reaper is including 01X remote capability shows great promise! And, Reaper is being developed for OS_X as well. Reaper runs on Windows 98/ME/XP/2000/Vista/WINE.

To see the video, click on this blog's title, "Yamaha 01X and Reaper".


Gaming Update

Hello and welcome to three days away from July 2008!

Replaying Half Life 2 on the Xbox360 in 1080p and surround was much more satisfying than when I played the PC version. The Orange Box is a very nice collection of games on one disc, but before I begin Half Life 2: Episode 1 (yeah I know... I'm behind the times) I have dove into a couple new games that are a lot of fun.

Supreme Commander, a massive real time strategy game (RTS) plays a lot differently than its PC counterpart. First you don't sit in front of a computer. Second, you relax in your easy chair or lay on the bed with your wireless controller and completely manage the NEW USER INTERFACE which I happen to like. Supreme Commander had a ton of keyboard commands and thinking this would be possible to manage using the Xbox360 controller, at first, didn't seem possible. But, they did it. The screen is uncluttered with one button bringing up a circular interface that is very inviting and easy to use. This game grows in size, immensely during gameplay, and yet I found managing everything was as easy if not easier than playing on the PC. For me, not having to sit and keep my hand and wrist on a mouse and press keys was a relaxing change of pace. Very much like the previous RTS games on the 360 including, Lord of the Rings: Battle For Middle Earth II and Command & Conquer 3. Actually, the new Command & Conquer: Kane's Wrath [which just shipped this past week] uses a similar radial-menu which is an improvement to their previous romp where the game interface took 25% of the screen real estate. Supreme Commander has 3 factions so playing its campaign mode gives you AT LEAST three entire games. Then you have skirmish modes where you can selectively choose and setup your map type, map size, factions and other details to play random games against the computer. Then you have the real meat and potatoes; playing on Xbox LIVE against other players. So, this game has some lasting appeal to me and those who enjoy RTS games. Don't let some of the "low game ratings" for this title scare you off. If you enjoy strategy games AT ALL, run and buy this game, or at least RENT it and check it out.

Next up is Frontlines Fuel Of War (FFOW). Frontlines is a military-themed infantry and vehicle based, open-world first person shoooter. Now this game was fun from the start, and in part because it is open-world. You're not playing the game, "on a train track" such as Call Of Duty and this makes it more fun. You can wander off a bit and some of your squad will still find you and offer support which is nice. But, I was surprised how much I enjoyed this game because I never was a "Battlefield" affectionato. However, I am LQQKing at Battlefield Bad Company as we speak and am considering it. I will play the demo a few times and check it out. Back to Frontlines. FFOW is easy to jump in and play. Also, unlike the game reviews, I am enjoying the campaign A SECOND TIME already! This game actually was slated as a new Battlefield game, but got shoved and ended up shipping under its own cover. Details about this can be read on the Internet if you scour around for it. But what I like about this game is, it is NOT as realistic nor are the graphics as top notch as in Call Of Duty 4. But, I like that you get more weapons right from the start. And I like that you get to use MORE weapons right away. And the variety of weapons and vehicles is offered to you RIGHT AWAY from the beginning of the game. You don't have to play for hours unlocking bonuses to start having fun. Of course, it is not realistic that you can carry 6 weapons with you while you're running around, but who cares? It's a game! Also, the story [like many other game stories] interestingly is about our current modern day times with the timeline beginning in 2005 and moving through the increased gas prices due to the politics surrounding oil. I thought the story aspect was done well, but I didn't like that the cut scenes and story are STEREO and the game is in SURROUND. Not a deal breaker, but a bit odd. This game and its accompanying sound effects are fun strait from TV speakers too, a major plus for gamers without surround sound systems. Frontlines Fuel Of War is a fun, first person shooter (FPS) that is like Battlefield when you play the game online. It has interesting weapons and vehicles and although this game does not bring anything new to the table, its a fun game to play and worth buying if you're not a game renter.

Xbox360 games that I am [still] waiting for are: Civilization Revolution (TBS), World In Conflict (RTS), Madden '09, Dead Space (FPS), Fracture (FPS), Gears Of War 2 (3PS), Fable 2, Tom Clancy's End War, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., and Unreal Tournament 3. Well, jee, there's $540 dollars plus tax! LOL


Friday, June 27, 2008

Changing DAWs

When I first dove into DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) I had skimmed over one called Reaper. At the time, Tracktion [made by Raw and marketed by Mackie] grabbed my interest with it's "one screen" simplicity. Also, at the time, I was able to jack my Yamaha O1X and get up to speed rapidly. And, in the beginning, this really excited me because the sonic capabilities of both my O1X and the MOTIF_XS are so astounding, I was just glad to start recording in the 24-bit digital domain.

Well, it didn't take time for me to mature. I spent the better part of the past year learning how to use the O1X and MOTIF and came to the conclusion that I would save my money and go with OS_X and Logic. Bear in mind, Logic 7 using O1X is by some standards considered, "old technology" but what grabbed my attention is that Logic, "was the only DAW out of the box" that supported every button, knob and switch on the O1X. Currently I am in that "saving $$$ mode" and yes I will be moving entirely to OS_X and for good reason.

Meanwhile, I am going to try out a new .DLL for O1X and Reaper. The Reaper DAW only costs $50 dollars for a license. The DAW is totally skinable to your liking. Although I am not much of a skinner, I already found a couple skins that grabbed my interest. Using "Deric's" DLL for Reaper breathes total functionality of the O1X into Reaper.

This may sound like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo so I will rephrase in simpler terms. A guy programmed, from scratch, specific Mackie Control codes so every control surface function of the Yamaha_O1X is totally compatible using Reaper. Additionally, this talented programmer added a slew of additional control features that go beyond the scope of what Logic, Cubase and other DAWs are capable of, using O1X.

So now I'm actually back to the idea of dedicating my 30" inch LCD (1280x1024) just for NASAV_Studios. I've been trying some new setups this past week. Whereas space is limited in this 27 foot RV, you gotta be real creative when it comes to how you setup recording equipment, mics and keyboards. But, I got something that is working for the time being.

I definitely will be blogging my progress with Reaper and O1X.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

June Activities

June is almost over already!

The studio has yet to get finished. I still need to take part of my mixer stand into the city and get a custom weld job to extend the stand to uprise through the studio table. This past month has been chaulked full of headaches, spinal issues and general "off my feet" adventures, but I am hoping to schedule a city trip come July.

Playing games this month shifted off of the NDS and GBAmicro to the 360 where I am finally playing, "The Orange Box" which although in the eyes of most PC gamers, playing Half Life 2 is old news, Orange Box is a great bundle of 5 games to play on the Xbox 360. Also, Half Life 2 and its episodes are much better on the higher 1920x1080 resolution accompanied by optical TOSlink surround sound. Next week we go into the city so I plan to pick up a copy of Supreme Commander and Frontlines: Fuel Of War both for the 360. Of course, there are 6 new games coming between now and December that I am awaiting to play and they all are good so I can't really just pick one out and say it's the best. However, I am very much looking forward to playing Supreme Commander, World In Conflict, Tom Clancy's End War & H.A.W.X., and Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution. Oh, and jeez I forgot Fable 2, C&C 3:Kane, Madden '09, and Gears Of War 2, ohh man and Dead Space! There's no end!!

Meanwhile I have been setting up my MOTIF_XS haphazardly just so I can at least have some fun and continue learning how to use this monstrous and powerful music computer. The pattern mode is becoming more friendly and I am looking forward to the OS patch from Yamaha that should be out this week as a matter of fact. The main thing I am looking for is storing the username and password for LAN mounts instead of having to enter each time you connect. As for the new option to include a standard QWERTY USB keyboard for data entry, I'm not that impressed. The whole point to using a workstation is to, "Get away from using a computer" so I am not in a hurry to start using PC junk with my workstation.

The MOTIF_XS has 16-track automated mixing built-in, but it's surely not as productive as having hands on the O1X. Still, on days such as today, its nice to sit and putz, "completely standalone on the workstation" and compose, edit and arrange music without having PCs or MACs in the picture. Although, I WILL say MAC is fun to have around musical instruments much more than the PC.

RV life is about the same as always--wonderful. More city people show up now that summer is upon us but still things are relatively quiet and peaceful here whereas this is an upper class resort and the clientele who visit here are not trailer trash. Been enjoying nightly walks and taking nice photos of the sunsets. Until nextime...


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Screwing Off

Slugging down ice cold silver bullets and watching commercial_free CSI:_Miami in luscious high def and THX TOSlink surround.

No place to go and nothing to do.

Life is good.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Thank You Everyone!

Right now I am a bit too busy to go into details about the depth of my busy-ness. But, I wanted to give a shout-out and thank every one who is submitting materials to the PCTech monthly newsletter. Especially this month's June, morning edition, which will be publishing Friday the 13th, Eastern Daylight Time.

See the MAY issue at: - click on PCTECH NEWSLETTERS by the USA flag

You can submit newsletter content to: at ANY time

Upon completion of the JUNE issue I will be finalizing the upcoming PC_Help_Videos.

Well... back to work.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Things Are Heating Up

Besides the lovely June weather that has brought warmth upon us here in the mountains beside the lake, lots of projects going on to keep the coals hot.

PCTech is celebrating their one year anniversary for their newsletter which went public just last month. I am busy with that and hope to publish by Wednesday 11th.

Started picking at my own sites finally. Converting them to the new format. This process will take some time because the original static sites were not truly designed from the ground up so the new replacement pages are essentially redesigned and coded. I am pleased in all respects. The final step will be to comb through all of the graphics and change to the optimal format and crush them to smaller faster file sizes.

It's vocoder time on the MOTIF using my new AudioTechnica phantom condensor head microphone jacked into the TC-Helicon vocal processor then jacked into the stereo inputs on the MOTIF XS sampler. This is truly exciting stuff. Eventually, samples, demos and final music productions of what I am doing will be available on their own dedicated website.

On the gaming front, I have returned to playing Guild Wars on the PC and enjoying it much more than my first two rounds of playing it a year ago. Still am playing Fire Emblem, chapter 26 on the Game Boy Advance micro. Great game! Speaking of games, starting in July, I am writing a column in the PCTech newsletter about games. I shall see that links here and on HappyHarryNET are available. My 2cents on games shall prove to be a wrath of knowledge, experience and enjoyable reading for anybody remotely interested in video gaming on PC, MAC, consoles and handhelds.


Sunday, June 01, 2008

Time Flies

See what happens when you blink?

The month of May impaled me with a barrage of spinal pain, skull cramps and screaming headaches. Needless to say, I lost some serious time.

Today, I found myself slumming around with a morbid headache. Still, I am poking along with projects getting things done, "at a snail's pace" at best.

Hopefully the month of June will show promise to higher productivity levels.