Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Post topics


Sometimes you might be forgiven for thinking I live on the net as yet another example of the up and downsides of net life is currently running it's cycle.
At many sites there are the main forums  that are around what the site is mainly about which I guess was which  it was we originally joined and on some sites there the so-called off topics that may have a separate sub forum where people talk about the generalities of life not otherwise covered and sometimes this can prove problematical for often people have strongly held beliefs.
There's a bit if a storm brewing over political posts at one site where some feel one member is really pushing the buttons interjecting political points in threads that are not about politics feeling this leads to a poisoned atmosphere and those members feel nothing should be off limits.
The problem with the political posts tends to be the poster often writes in such as way that it seems they are shouting from a platform, generally not accepting contrary points as if opponents are evil, rather than trying exploring more the topic and may be feeling you've learnt something.
Sometimes these hard feelings and animosities creep over into how people see each others posts on unrelated matters which is why on some sites it's banned. My own take is the sites owner needs to make a decision on this.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

We have it taped!

How we stored music certainly has changed over the decades and this came back to me a few days ago
When I was little to store music you used a machine using magnetic tape and back then it was on reels of different sizes as well as lengths and the very first machine I had was a small portable recorder that took up to 3 and a quarter inch reels which were popular for taking out in the summer or sending voice recordings thru the mail with. Radio Shack did the tapes with mailers too.
It wasn't long though that I wanted something capable of better sound using a faster speed and necessitating larger reels so I acquired this:
Made by Tandberg of Norway, it was a part tube, part solid-state stereo recorder with a built in speaker for portable use that took the larger 7 inch reels.
For music I generally used the 19.1 cms (7 1/2 inches per second) speed setting for quality and as was my want this was a 'twin track' machine using just two tracks to record in stereo meaning you only could record on one side of the tape just like professional machines in studios do.
For the technically minded it gave you less noise, less bleedover between the tracks and critically made editing using a splicing block complete with splicing tape easy as you'd cut at 90 degrees without affecting anything else on the tape.
You set the record level using the ganged control of the  far left toward the front checking with the 'magic eye' indicators above the 'Stereo' logo they were not distorting.
I recorded radio concerts getting otherwise not on album performances as well as putting my favourite lps on tape to help preserve them from wear and damage by either two or four pawed life forms. I was using this until February 1997 when because of my severe disabilities, I was no longer able to use it and bought a digital MiniDisc recorder. 
Back then it was fairly easy to get tape and typically I paid around £5.99 for a 2,400 ft reel of Maxell UD that gave me an hours recording time at 7 1/2 I.P.S. in stereo where as today Maxell no longer make reels of tape and the limited numbers of people that do only supply the professional users such as studios charging over £20 per reel.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Tag hash wednesday

Hello folks from a very warm room today.
I'd like to talk around a few  topics today that have been on my mind for a while.
 I was reading yesterday on Tumblr about an argument between two users whose names I'll keep out of this entry around the use of Hash (#)  tags where one person was saying that they didn't wish another to use the #lolita tag in their posts and the other person responding by saying that they've every right to and if the individual had an objection to other aspects of their life that might be evident from their entries it was kinda tough.
For what it is worth no one person or 'community' owns a hash tag, the only thing that matters is it should be applied correctly so that for instance an  entry  just on lolita fashion or meets should use it as it is an aid to finding entries NOT as a part of a series of unrelated tags.
That's because it's not helpful to people trying to find entries on a service like Tumblr if we mix up all the tags.
It is unfortunate that some (not all) in the #lolita community can be very judgmental taking issue with non brand wearers at meets as well as being transphobic.
It is true we all have different takes on life, how we may present and we may not wish to know about anothers, however that is something on social media is something you can control by choosing who you follow which as the name suggests means you are able to see easily more of that persons entries and if we just dislike an individual (or all their posts) you may have the option of putting them on an 'ignore' list that effectively hides their posts from you.
When posting it is probably a good idea to try to keep mainly to one topic if you intend to tag it so it's clear what your post is about and does lessen any potential to offend even if you personally don't feel it should.
The final arbiter of what is acceptable at sites such as Tumblr, Google Plus, Facebook and so on is them because you accept their terms upon joining and they have reporting systems should you feel a post or entry is inappropriate.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Going for the one

When it comes to specialty mastered cds there are two names that are heads above most others, Mobile Fidelity Labs  and Audio Fidelity, the company formed from the ashes of the former DCC label.
Recently Audio Fidelity issued the second disc in a re-issue program by the Prog Rock group Yes following an agreement with the bands management and Wea who hold the rights to much of their catalogue.
This was one album I have strong memories of 1977 coinciding with the period I learned a lot about rock music from being in my early teens from shows such as Alan Freeman's Saturday afternoon show when he'd play an incredibly wide range of music including new releases which this album was one of.
Originally it was released on lp, cassette and 8 track cartridge which is one of the versions I had at the time and has had three previous cd issues of which the last one I bought was the 1994 remaster by Ted Jensen.
Musically it has 4 shorter tracks of which one, Wonderous Stories, was a 45 and a good showcase of Jon
Anderson's voice and the much long piece Awaken that features Rick Wakeman's organ playing which was recorded separately in Switzerland.
The original recording and mix  is one dimensional and a bit shrill in high level high notes something that even the UK original lp didn't cure.
This re-master by Steve Hoffman is surprisingly effective for he managed to find the deep bass previously hidden to bring out the organ and to carefully reduce the shrillness without it sounding as if he'd removed all the high notes losing detail. We are given to believe Yes band members are impressed with how this turned out.
As with most recordings he remasters, it has a wide dynamic range as unlike a number of remasters on mainstream labels he doesn't severely reduce it in the mistaken belief it brings out more in the mix by bring it forward.
I also acquired the earlier Close To The Edge issue Audio Fidelity put out which is a significant improvement on the 1994 and 2003 reissues.
Technically, it is a super audio cd giving higher resolution on sacd comfortable players such as many blu ray players or sacd audio players but also has a layer that plays on regular  players.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Scheduled edition

As I sit across my chesterfield I had a few thoughts that I felt like typing out to you all.
The first thing being I am experimenting with post scheduling in part with some of the warm weather we've been having, it seems to me to make more sense to work on a post first thing when it's cooler and I'm less tired and to then have the post be sent automatically using Scheduler to the blog.
The second thing is I has a tumblr now, a novel idea that Luna_rain kinda inspired me on for bits and bobs that don't fit in with a regular posts as they can be anything from extended tweets up to and including a mini blog entry all done with a very simple interface.
As I mentioned - would of been in early 2011 - I would be working on restoring and updating my vinyl lp collection and you'll find a number of entries related to specific artists. Well that's still ongoing here with work having been done on my Motown collection involving the works of Diana Ross, The Temptations and the Jackson Five although I have a good number of recordings by these artists on cd (or on download where not available).


Finally today is Dominion Day (or as  was renamed Canada Day back in the 80's) so do celebrate. The bottom flag was the last original ensign before the Maple Leaf was adopted and some of us still prefer it.