Tuesday, 28 July 2015


Not a final version, just needed to make a 1st attempt to try out the software...even this took 20 takes cos I have a cold and kept cracking up or coughing mid take. This is the 1st and only one I managed to get all the way through...

Anyway, there's some awful banging noises I need to isolate, and I accidently wiped the sync clap off the master so it may not be 100% synced up...but this is my own, my very own version of SOS...kinda based on the James Arthur Xfactor version.



Monday, 27 July 2015

Here comes the cough

The last few years, every single time I get a cold, I end up with a nasty cough that refuses to go away, its crazy. Even this extremely mild cold I am just finishing now, which didn't cause me more than a bit of a chest tightness and croaky voice has ended with the cough.

Its stopped me doing my recordings...and its also stopping me sleeping again. I don't understand what the change in my aging body is that has resulted in every single damn cold ending up with a 2-3 month chest infection.

I'm not going to stand for it... its Monday now, if its not gone by Wednesday, I'm off to the docs for some AB's and not listening to any excuses about virus infections. I'm not having my entire summer holiday ruined by a fixable condition.


Thursday, 23 July 2015

Turned nocturnal again

As always when I feel the world isn't worth living in...well that's a slight exaggeration, I am retreating into the things I love doing, Music by day, programming by night....can't afford booze till payday so this is the best use of my resources.

Been playing and trying out some new recording techniques that are starting to produce some very nice results, I'll have a few videos for you really soon I promise...singing is still crap of course, though the cold induced slight huskiness is quite nice when I'm not coughing up a lung between takes.
I have found though that putting a capo on fret 1, is making my singing a lot easier,it could be I'm starting to understand this concept of key and changing songs to suit my limited range rather than trying to force 2 untalented vocal chords to exceed their design limits.

I'm planning on doing 5 song at the moment, but unusually for me, all acoustic. Though I will try looping a few
They are;

SOS...a moody version of the Abba classic, which is starting to sound really nice after 18months of fiddling around
Creep...everyone knows this
Mad World ...looping for a nice solo
The Man who stole the world ...looping for a nice solo
Tracks of my Tears

Also working on but sure they are quite right yet
Paint it Black looping
I don't want to talk about it..Rod Stewarts old money maker but originally Crazy Horse's song

And I might do a proper video and not so rushed take of The Book of Love, such a nice song... I posted a quick take before, but my cold was in full flow as was my inability to hold the long notes....will see if I can do a video.

Dunno why I'm doing acoustic...its killing my fingers but I find I really enjoy the sound and the new recording ideas I'm doing. I don't really know how to do multi track videos, though I am going to try it soon, so all my work so far is focused on a live take. So everything you hear in the video is what I recorded when I did it, of course lots of processing and fx, but done live... I find that to be a fun way

So now I'm doing this...the VL Touch is providing my vocals, but only the smallest amount of pitch correction (no really), I'm using my wonderful No Hype RB1 mic, with a FetHead booster because the tone is wonderful
The guitar (my Breedlove AC25 SR+) is of course fed into that, but I then take the throughput and feed it via an iRig unit into my old Ipod Touch4 and use Ampkit...sometimes Amplitube as the guitar fx, mainly chorus and reveb.

Then...here's the cool bit, the vocal stereo wet feed and the guitar stereo wet feed go into 4 channels of my Zoom R24 recorder,  which is using a master Patch to compress some sounds... and voila..I get my audio track.crisp and clean, including every bang and breath not intended.
All the time I've got a Video camera pointed at me, and I just do a clapperboard sound/motion so that when I feed the video and audio into the computer they match.

I did try hooking the video mic up to the R24's signal, but it buzzed like mad, and wasn't able to get rid of it, there's no way to earth them since the R25 and camera are using 2 pin ac/dc adapters, but the R24 recorded sound is clean so I just match up the video and sound... This will also allow me to do the multi track videos when I figure them out in a few weeks. a 1st test sounded fine, time to push on and keep practicing for a proper take and then post my acoustic sessions.


Monday, 20 July 2015

Bit Lost

Seriously not sure what to do with myself at the moment, spending a lot of time just playing games, getting though a few bottles of wine and trying to do some z80 in my odd sober moments.

Just did the stupidest thing ever emotionally and got nowhere...open doors sometimes need to be closed properly, otherwise you end up finding that hope is just a very cruel emotion.

am out of red..time for a trip to the late shop.


Sunday, 19 July 2015

About bloody time

Finally making some music...even though I have a nasty croaky cold, but wanted to do this for my friends Andy and Tracey who are getting wed today, and also leaving NL....so...happy and sad..


Saturday, 11 July 2015

I'd forgotton how to relax

No really, all day Friday, I felt I should be at work, it was a nagging feeling that would not go away and I just could not settle.

Weekends are usually mine to do as I please but the realisation that I don't have to prep anything or catch up with anything....is woooooooooo so nice

I'm trying to work out how to fill my days. Certainly the next couple are going to be devoted to finishing the Colecovision game, its all there it just needs a final polish and push out the door, so to clear the decks I'm, doing that now, then a nice poker game and drinks later today, hoping I can maintain my no losing streak.

I also have a couple of freelance gigs in the air, not quite sure whats happening with those, but we'll see, one is technically difficult but would be a fun way to get myself back into the mainstream games again, one is pretty straightforward but no real credit in it for game dev....we'll see which one comes up 1st and go with it.. I don't want to spend the whole summer working but I do need to make a bit of money, if only to keep my VAT/Tax status, since they want to know why I keep posting no income.

But long lie ins, and late nights are my natural state of being, so looking forward to the next 6 weeks.

if I can remember how to do that relaxing thing....

oh there will be videos again soon too, just let me get the ColecoVision game out the way


Thursday, 9 July 2015

I stood up

I stood up, I got listened to, its being resolved, I feel 10000% better now..

of course you have no idea what I'm talking about, and for now at least I cannot say, but it was just a situation at work that has troubled me, and various people insisted that it was not changeable and I had to go along with it. Its nothing to do with students or the education itself, just a quirk of employment....which as an Ex pat I found very worrying....

I may discuss in more detail later...for now though, I feel so utterly relieved and happy that I can focus on my continued career in a job I truly love.

Just as soon as my 6 weeks holiday are over :D


Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Do I quietly suffer or take a stand?

There's been an issue at work that has troubled me deeply for a couple of years, and I have genuinely had so many sleepless nights over it...like tonight.

I love my job and everything about it and hate the idea that taking a stand against something might result in me losing it, or having it changed, but I really feel that I have to speak up...

I won't discuss it here, except for this post to push me into doing what I need to do...talking to the right people and making my feelings very clear, either they will accept it, or they wont in which case,.....I don't know what will happen.. And that simple fact alone makes me more determined to confront this issue, no one should ever be stressing out about making important decisions that affect their career.

I'll hopefully manage to get a meeting sorted tomorrow....then we'll see if a follow up post is warranted...I may be stressing about nothing, or I may be making a horrible bad move.......sigh...no wonder I can't sleep.


Tuesday, 7 July 2015

another small hurdle 85.8kg

I haven't been keeping a regular note of my weight, since it seemed a bit dull, but I have been keeping to my, not very strict, diet the last few months and the weight has been dropping slow and steady but the last month I've been totally stuck on 86-87kg.. Partly because I am actually putting on a bit of muscle as my small exercise regime has been toning me up putting on muscle, and because I do lapse somedays.

But finally today, I broke through 86 and saw 85 for the 1st time....happy, still got at least 10kg to go though, but not in a rush, my trousers don't fit, my shirts feel baggy and my paunch is noticeably  reduced, no more folds..I can't afford a new wardrobe just now so will keep using belts.
Pics of me at last weeks Starrcase gig still show me as podgy though, but compared with pics from last year, there's a marked difference.

Keep on slimming.


Sunday, 5 July 2015

of course not, but it is today

The final flood of retakes all came in last week.. along with the usual cries of, please can I have my grade I need it for my P....get in the queue.

I hate this, every single year, this happens, people fail their main exam, or worse choose not to take it.
Then they have to do a retake, in Block D I have 5 days...maybe 7 if I count weekends, which I always have to.. To get the grading done...some 50-60 assignments  each taking 30-40 mins to grade.
Somehow I have to fit this into the 50 or so hours of free time I have...but wait.. I dont' really have 50 hours...I do have some semblance of a life....though not at this time of year.
Its hell.. and that does not even take into account the other work things I have to deal with regarding admin, new course work,  intern visits, gamelab presentations , eating,sleeping.

But today as I sit down for my final push on the last 15 or so, I have an in box full of mails asking where' s my grade....

it seriously drives me nuts... I don't have the time or patience to respond to them. I work flat out using up all my spare time when I'm near dead on my feet, and get hassled for it.

At least next year we don't get this, our new V2 programme will have a grading committee process which hopefully means all grading is done in work time in fixed points with no take home and ruin your life grading going on..

I can't wait..

now...where was I ......oh yes...that's a fail.


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Last day of marking???

Hope so.. I've got a tiny issue to deal with on one set of grades, which hopefully will get resolved soon as an email gets answered, then 8-10 retakes, then some stragglers......with a fair wind and my office aircon, it should all be done today.

Then I can relax a bit, look at some of the project work I need to get ready for next block and wind down for a gloriously hot summer...

Oh and I have 2 Starrcase gigs tomorrow and Friday :D That's going to be fun too, last rehearsal was brilliant