LoFi Buttery Piano – Akai MPC X Program

Let me start by explaining the patch a bit, and how I got here…

Life started off on the Akai S950, using piano multi samples from G1 through C4, every sixth note… My goal was to get some of that S950 12-bit grit and artifacts, but still keep it relatively free of the crazy stretching artifacts you can get by just sampling a single note and stretching it across the entire keyboard. This way, it maintains a lot of the characteristics of a piano, instead of heading into the field of creating what sounds like a more synthetic instrument.

From here, I routed the audio output into my guitar pedal board. The output on the S950 was a bit hot coming out of the mix channel though, requiring me to get the output level down to about halfway so that I wasn’t hearing any clipping or distortion on the output signal from the S950. A little bit of strategic EQ’ing helped to round out the sound through Brothers, I wanted to get a bit of that old school Casio sound, though I don’t have one handy any more for reference, so I was going from memory what of “that sound” was.

Once I settled into how I wanted to EQ the audio, I routed it to the Generation Loss. You’ll definitely hear the Flutter the most, but there is some Wow in the background as well. I also switched on the Noise, I really wanted it to sound like the piano was recorded from an old school tape that had been played quite a bit, and the tape player was about to fall apart. This definitely shines through in the samples recorded.

Everything was sampled in through the Autosampler on the MPC X, and here I recorded every note, as I didn’t want the Wow or Flutter distortion to get further distorted through the sampling engine on the MPC. Although the noise exists in the samples, I decided to tame it a bit by adding a low pass filter into the program. It helps pass through that strained sound without the piano sounding so harsh. If you want to add the noise back in just go into program mode and modify KeyGround->All and open that filter up.

Anyway, feel free to play around with this program, I had fun sampling it, and may end up adding some variations as I play around with it. I’m not sure you can tune anything to it or with it, but it definitely has a vibe all its own.

OS X Catalina – Music Automatically Opening Files Downloaded from Safari

TL;DR go to Safari -> Perferences -> General, and uncheck Open “safe” files after downloading to disable automatic opening of files downloaded by Safari.

A problem I’ve had with downloading content in OS X has been that a lot of files will automatically open once you’ve downloaded them. For compressed files, it will uncompress them, for PDFs it will automatically open them into Preview, and for audio files it will automatically start playing them in Music. For the compressed files, PDFs and others, I’m often not downloading enough of them to be too upset by this feature, but when I am downloading stems, one shots, or other audio content, I don’t always want it automatically imported into Music.

I spent some time digging through the Music app preferences to see if I can find a way to disable this behavior. I had wrongly assumed that it was the Music app that was automatically importing content. After some searches around the web I found this video that describes how to disable this behavior.

To properly resolve this issue go to Safari -> Perferences -> General, and uncheck Open “safe” files after downloading.

Unfortunately this feature does not have granular control over different file types. If you like this feature, but specifically don’t like it for audio files, I suspect you’ll have to disassociate the audio files from specific applications. Personally I’m okay with loosing the automatic opening of PDF files as that has been a hassle in the past, but uncompressing content has been a handy feature.

Album: Eclectic Electronica

I found more album and artwork things! So let’s just get right to it for this, my second album, and originally published (okay, I burned it myself and printed out all the artwork) as a two album discography for friends and family. I’m willing to bet that all the copies made it to the trash or got exposed to the sun ruining my nicely burned CDs. Yeah, that was a thing back in the day.

Eclectic Electronica by NearTao

Good news, I’m finding a lot of this older content, bad news, I’m starting to see gaps in my older self’s ability to organize and keep track of everything. I’m missing a lot of album artwork, and not so sure how much of it I can find. Boo on me, but I’ll keep digging as I get this site back together!

Album: Aboriginal Dream

Well… I figured out to mount my old NAS box, and while it is a treasure trove of media, it is also a big, unsorted mess. It’s going to take some time for me to dig through and find albums, artwork, and put it all together.

For the moment I think I have settled on Bandcamp as a target to upload content. It seems to be reasonable service wise compared to soundcloud. I’ll keep playing around though. Below is the album, enjoy!

Aboriginal Dream by NearTao

Ooooooof

So reality is starting to set in as I try and consider all of the content I have ever created, and where the heck it is. Servers are gone, my network addressable storage (NAS) won’t mount on my computer. I have a bit of a road in front of me to recover my digital life again. I am not giving up already, but it looks like I may have to face some harsh realities about the time investment I need to put in so I can accomplish what I set out to do.

Deep breaths, and just take notes of what needs to be done.

  • Links to message boards, social media, etc…
  • Upload music albums
  • Upload photo albums
  • Curate through old sample libraries
  • Figure out what to do with tutorial videos
  • Replace all the generic artwork… my goodness is it ever present.

All that, while working on building out a plan to move forward. No buggy.