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1522 5 Simple steps to secure TT-RSS reader
secure tt-rss, tt-rss security
5 Simple steps to secure TT-RSS reader
July 27, 2015 by Anand Leave a Comment
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We recently presented Tiny Tiny RSS to you as a great alternative to Google reader, which is one more way you can extend the functionality of your home server or your hosting space. Hopefully, you already exported your data from Google Reader. In this post, we will show you how to secure TT-RSS reader to prevent unauthorized access. Tiny Tiny RSS is an open source web-based news feed (RSS/Atom) reader and aggregator, designed to allow you to read news from any location, while feeling as close to a real desktop application as possible. As we previously explained, it makes an ideal candidate to replace Google Reader. While there are services like Feedly and Newsblur grabbing the crowd Google Reader, which some of you may prefer, there are a group of people who would like to run a RSS reader on their own server and keep things private. Assuming that you have already installed Tiny Tiny RSS on your alternative to Google reader or hosting space, we will now show you how to secure TT-RSS reader.
Secure TT-RSS Reader
One of the main reasons to move to an RSS aggregator like TT-RSS is maintaining your privacy. So if you do not secure TT-RSS reader well you are not only making your data available public but also making your system vulnerable to potential attacks. Choosing a strong username and password while setting your TT-RSS is the first basic thing that you can do to secure TT-RSS reader. Listed below are few more ways you can increase TT-RSS readerâs security.
1. Rename TT-RSS Folder
One of the first lines of defense is to not use tt-rss in your URL to access your TT-RSS reader. To do this on your hosting account, use a folder name other than tt-rss while installing TT-RSS. On your Linux home server, edit /etc/tt-rss/apache.conf and change the first /tt-rss to something else. An example is shown below.
TT-RSS Rename URL
TT-RSS Rename URL
After making the change, restart your TT-RSS and Apache to apply the changes:
sudo service tt-rss restart
sudo serivce apache2 reload
Your TT-RSS reader is now available through the new URL (example: http://mydomain.com/myreader) only.
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2. Enable SSL
Accessing TT-RSS through http sends all information as unencrypted data. This could mean less privacy due to potential sniffing. The solution is to encrypt the data during transfer, which makes sniffing by hackers harder. To enable and enforce HTTPS access on Linux servers with Apache, install the following run-time libraries:
sudo apt-get install libssl0.9.8 libpam0g openssl
Restart your Apache server as shown above. You should now be able to access your TT-RSS reader with HTTPS. Note that you may have to have a SSL certificate generated. Refer to Apache documentation if you want to generate your own certificate. By default, the system will install self-signed certificates for you. These certificates are likely to raise warnings when you point your browser to the site.
3. Disable Single User Mode
By default the single user mode is already disabled (in /etc/tt-rss/config.php). Enabling single user mode will also disable TT-RSS login system. Therefore, keep the single user mode disabled.
Disable Single User Mode
Disable Single User Mode
A better way to make it a single user system is by limiting the number of registrations to 1 as described below. For whatever reason, you still want to enable single user mode, make sure you implement Apache Authentication method described below.
4. Self Registrations
Self registrations allow a visitor to register themselves, which could reduce TT-RSS security. If your TT-RSS will be for personal use only, then you may want to disable user registration by setting âENABLE_REGISTRATIONâ to âfalseâ.
TT-RSS Self Registrations
TT-RSS Self Registrations
To further secure TT-RSS Reader, uou may also want to change âREG_MAX_USERSâ to â1â to make your account the only account on TT-RSS.
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5. Apache Authentication
Last but not the least, enable Authentication. This is even more important if you have enabled âSingle User Modeâ describe above. Every time you access TT-RSS, you will be asked for a username and password as shown in the picture below:
Secure TT-RSS Reader
On your hosting account this equivalent to password protecting a directory, in this case the TT-RSS directory. To do this on your Ubuntu server, you will have to create a .htpasswd file. More information is available in Apache documentation. But the easiest way to achieve this is to use one of the htpasswd generators available online.
After you enter the username and password two code blocks will be generated. Copy the contents of the .htpasswd code block and save it to /etc/apache2/.htpasswd_ttrss. Next, copy the contents of the .htaccess code block and add it to /etc/tt-rss/apache.conf as shown below:
TT-RSS Apache Authentication
TT-RSS Apache Authentication
Save and exit. Restart both TT-RSS and Apache previous shown above. You should be prompted for a password every time you try to access TT-RSS. Some may think that this double authentication method is an extra inconvenience. But I would rather be safe than sorry.
Go ahead, secure Tiny Tiny RSS Reader and enjoy reading articles on your private secure RSS Reader.
1386 Retro Synth Ads: Sound Master Memory Rhythm SR-88, Keyboard 1982
Sound Master Memory Rhythm SR-88 drum machine 1-page advertisement from page 67 in Keyboard Magazine August 1982.
Hmmm. Not sure how I feel about this ad. There just seems to be a lot going on.
For example, am I supposed to know who "The Rhythm Section" is? The fact that they include themselves in an already long ad title suggests they must be some kind of a big deal. And then you find their name again in the bottom left-hand corner:
"The SR-88. Another innovative product from The Rhythm Section by Sound Master Distributed exclusively by JTG of Nashville."
So, let me get this straight. JTG of Nashville is the distributor of the SR-88 which was created by The Rhythm Section which is somehow owned or operated by Sound Master.
That is waaaaay to much information. Sounds like something political is going on there, and readers unfortunately get stuck in the middle of it.
There also seems to be a lot of ad-copy which actually doesn t give me much information. Reason #4 gives readers the most info including instant stop/start, variable tone and output switches, and a write/play mode indicator. The most I glean out of the four other reasons put together is: 16 rhythms, clock pulse and a price of under $200.
The actual specs that are probably most important to potential buyers are inexplicably shoved into the bottom right-hand corner.
Luckily for me, there are a few resources on the Web with more information about this beast. Unluckily for blog readers, as soon as I started looking for more info, I got swept up in a certain SR-88/Boss DR-55 controversy.
Comparing the SR-88 and Boss DR-55
One of the first Web sites I hit while looking for info on the SR-88 was Dubsounds.com. The site includes a great little write-up on the SR-88, but, more interesting was finding out about a little controversy about whether the SR-88 or the very similar Boss DR-55 came out first.
The two do seem mighty similar in functionality. For comparison purposes, I did a quick search on MATRIXSYNTH to find more photos. . A great photo of a gray SR-88 can be found in this December 2005 SR-88 MATRIXSYNTH auction post and the less common, but definitely more cool, blue SR-88 can be seen in this January 2011 MATRIXSYNTH auction post.
Comparing the two to the Amdek RMK-100
Interestingly, it s not just these two machines that look and function similarly. In this May 2009 MATRIXSYNTH SR-88 auction post commenter "PAC" notices:
"Interesting. I have an Amdek RMK-100 (sold as kit), very similar!"
Never heard of it, so I Googled "Amdek RMK-100" to see just how similar it was to both the DR-55 and the SR-88. Turns out (according to the Internet) that Amdek products were made by Boss/Roland back in 80s, and, not only that, but that the RMK-100 is actually the kit version of the Boss DR-55. Makes sense on why it would also be similar to the SR-88.
I found an ebay auction for an Amdek RMK-100 going on right now with a great photo of the front panel (see below), and indeed it does share a lot with the DR-55 and SR-88 - but definitely not identical to either one.
For example, it looks like the Amdek and SR-88 share a similar filler function that as far as I can tell is not available on the DR-55. And the DR-55 and the RMK-100 share a similar accent function that I don t see on the SR-88.
Now where does the Electro Dynamics Corporation Programmable Rhythm SR-99 fit in?
I also came across another machine with similar features - the Programmable Rhythm SR-99. No - not manufactured by Sound Master, but by Electro Dynamics Corporation. And, it too resembles the others in functionality, and especially the SR-88 in design also.
I ve included a row of photos below to help make the comparison between the two. The SR-88 photo is from the 2005 MATRIXSYNTH auction post and the EDC SR-99 photo is from the excellent BigBlueWave.co.uk site. I ve also thrown in a photo from another recent E-bay listing that included both - plus boxes and manuals! Sick!
Obviously, Sound Master and EDC are somehow connected, although I can t find any info on the Internet concerning these two companies. I do know that they were both advertising separately in Keyboard Magazine in late 1983, making it unlikely that one of the companies changed their name to the other. Anyone know anything?
And then there is the Clef Master Rhythm...
Now, I m going to throw in a late entry. It s Sunday night, and I just came across this August 2010 MATRIXSYNTH auction post for the Clef Master Rhythm. It not only shares part of the name of one of the other units ("Master"), it too has many features of the other rhythm machines, and identical innards as the DR-55, but is expanded to include even more sounds:
"This is essentially a fully expanded Boss DR-55 feature-wise and tone-wise. The circuits are identical (schematically and tonally) to the Boss DR-55, but the Clef Master Rhythm gives you way more instruments than the Boss DR-55..."
Interestingly, according to the post, it pre-dates the Boss DR-55 - and also came in a kit form like the Amdek.
"The Clef Master Rhythm came out a little before the Boss DR-55 in late 1979/early 1980. It was sold in two versions and available in greater quantities in Europe than in the United States. One version was a kit that the user put together and another one was a prebuilt machine."
A photo from the MATRIXSYNTH post really helps show the similarities in functions with the others:
What does it all mean?
So, looking at all five machines, its almost like there was a rhythm machine salad bar of some sort in Japan, and each company stepped up to it and picked out which features they wanted to include in their product.
And that begs the question - since we know there was a kit form available and there are claims that the Clef Master even has the same circuits as the DR-55, could all five products (and probably others) have used the exact same internal parts - each company choosing which features to include and then customizing in their respective rhythm machine? And if so, were those parts supplied by Amdek, or did all five get their internal parts from some other manufacturer?
And if that is the case, then the question of whether the SR-88 or DR-55 came first doesn t really matter much, since it is likely that the kit components would have been available first. Plus, we have that one auction post with the claim that the Clef Master came out before the DR-55 - making it all even more confusing to figure out.
Or, am I totally off the mark on all this? Were they all created separately? Maybe I ve just been fixated on this a little too much...
I ll keep on looking for more info on these companies and any connection they might have, but if anyone want to buy all four and open them up to take a look - it would be muchly appreciated. :D
Posted by RetroSynthAds at 12:05 PM
Labels: 1982, amdek, clef master, dr-55, drum machine, electro dynamics corporation, keyboard magazine, rmk-100, Sound Master, sr-88, sr-99
Here s a funny thing - I seem to remember Clef in the early 1980s as a British company that made electronic pianos (touch-sensitive ones!) in kit form. Deep in the back of my mind I recall seeing them at a music fair in London with a couple of their pianos and some drum machines including a prototype drum/bass/chord sequencer called something like a "Band-Box". But it WAS a long time ago.
February 12, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Looks like (for once) my memory didn t fail me. Here is a 1982 ad for Clef Electronics showing all the products I mentioned, plus a natty-looking little monosynth! BTW, I owned an EDC SR99 drum machine in the mid-1980s, but replaced it with a Yamaha RX-21 a couple of years later.
February 12, 2012 at 12:46 PM
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I have started to build a (slightly) updated version of the Korg PS-3200 synthesizer.
The PS-3200 was the last of three fully polyphonic, semi-modular analogue synthesizers offered by Korg in the late 70's. (See Ben Ward's excellent Korg PS site for detailed information, including user manuals.)
The concept of the PS-Synthesizers was different from other manufacturer's early polyphonic instruments. Instead of using a small number of voices and a clever keyboard assigning circuit, the "PolyKorgs" had a complete synthesizer circuit, hard wired to each key. That makes a total of 48 VCFs, 48 VCAs and 48 voltage controlled ADSRs even for the smallest of the range, the PS-3100. The largest of the range, PS-3300, even had 144 of these circuits.
The sheer number of synthesizer circuits called for an extremly economic circuit design, and it's a joy to look at Korg's design ideas which led to building blocks that almost did the same as in the better known "classic" synthesizers. And after many years of engineering and reverse-engineering electronic music circuits, I have learned to look at odd solutions not as "substandard", but as a source of creativity an individual character. Here's a list of some highlights:
Function Implementation Side effects
Single-Transistor Waveform Converter creates triangle, saw, pulse and PWM from saw input, using one (!) transistor, one diode and two resistors per voice, plus two global control voltages Pulse height also changes with pulse width
5-Transistor-VCF (Korg-35) A Voltage controlled 2-pole (Sallen&Key) LPF built from 5 transistors rather high CV feedthru
Single-Diode VC Resonance The dynamic resistance of a simple diode is used to alter the feedback gain of the VCF limited range of Q
"Expand" function instead of VCF Envelope modulation depth Instead of scaling down the ADSR with a VCA, the a variable portion of the Envelope is just clipped with a single diode. It's so remarkably close to ordinary VCA function that apparently nobody takes notice. At least I have not read about it anywhere.
At slow Atack times, the Envelope appears delayed at the VCF (no effect until th eclipping point is reached). Usefull for Brass sounds, and not easy to emulate with conventional synthesizers.
Minimum parts count Voltage Controlled ADSR Three transistors, 1/2 of a LM324 and one CD4007 per voice. Plus some more involved control circuit, shared by several voices Transistors must be selected in 13-tuples, not just in pairs.
ADSR detail (1):
One-opamp control logic 1/4 LM324 is used as Flipflop, which is dynamically set by Gate-ON, dynamically reset by Gate-OFF, statically reset when the attack peak voltage is reached, and whose set/reset sensitivity is altered by a CV Very odd "Hold" function, depending on the "Attack"-value. But very useful in practise.
ADSR detail (2):
Single-Transistor, exponential slope VC-Decay Using a single transistor per voice for VC Attack and Release is remarkable already, even though the A and R slopes are linerar. But the Decay slope is exponential, and this is achieved with a single transistor and two resistors per voice! The Decay time range is rather limited. No ultra fast Decay, and no ultra slow Decay either.
Single-Transistor VCA That's the "Korg standard" VCA, well known from other instruments like the MS-10.
761 Midi Software - Synth Zone
MIDI Sequencing SoftwareAnvil Studio Anvil Studio is a MIDI and audio sequencer and is free software for Windows users.
Building Blocks Building Blocks for Windows is a multifunctional MIDI application / modular sequencer, that allows you to build custom controller remapping, LFO's, arpeggiators, autochords, drum and note sequences, echoes etc.
Busker A Windows score editor and player that has Yamaha style support. 1000s of Yamaha styles can be downloaded for free. Another great music software tool from Jos Maas.
Cakewalk Sonar Windows & Mac sequencer now with integrated midi and audio. Sonar demo available. For other Cakewalk resources see Synth Zone's Cakewalk Page
Cubase - Steinberg Featuring integrated midi & audio package Cubase VST For more info & related links see Synth Zone's Cubase Links
Cursed Sequencer Open Source sequencer for Windows and Linux.
Digital Performer MOTU presents Digital Performer for the Mac, a complete digital audio and MIDI production environment. Competitive upgrades available. See the new Digital Performer mailing list.
Ditty Ditty is a freeware MIDI sequencer for Windows aimed at assisting piano practice.
Easybeat Mac MIDI sequencing software from Uni Software Plus. Features include a software GM wavetable synth.
Energy XT Energy XT is Windows sequencer/composer software.
Fl Studio Windows application that provides easy to use yet powerful MIDI/digital audio sequencing and looping tools.
Intuem Mac OSX MIDI sequencer that provides a variable-tempo system and a simple way to transform a real, human, performance into a sequence where bars and beats actually have meaning. Time restricted version available to download.
Jammer - Soundtrek Jammer for Windows provides a 256 Track MIDI sequencer with built in studio musicians. A very useful program for creating arrangements & drum tracks with assistance from the software. Also check the Yahoo Jammer Group.
JUMP A highly streamlined Windows MIDI sequencer, designed to help you compose music
Jazzware - Jazz++ Windows & Linux open source MIDI sequencer with audio support. If you need a MIDI sequencer you really should check it out.
Logic Pro Audio Apple's MIDI & audio solution for the Mac. For Emagic product support see the Emagic Legacy pages at Apple. For related information see Emagic Users Page with resources & mailing list for Emagic products, the Logic Users' Net which includes Mac related info, and the Powerkeys "Learning Logic" web site. SwiftKick provides and archive for the Logic Users' Group environments. Editors, MIDI processors etc. are available. Omega Art has Logic info and resources. You can read the History Of Logic at Tweakheadz Lab.
Magix Magix Music Studio incorporates a MIDI sequencer with its digital audio sequencer.
Massiva An audio/MIDI sequencer for Windows users with undo plus plugin support. This is just an archive of an old site. You can still get it from AudioMelody.com. Massiva has now moved on to become Energy XT
Mixcraft Windows software that supports MIDI and audio sequencing..
MU.LAB An alternative, hi-quality music application for Mac OSX and Windows with MIDI and audio support.
MultitrackStudio Window digital audio recorder with VST 2.0 plugin and MIDI support. Freeware version and pro versions available.
Music Master Win sequencing & notation package with a full graphic interface for Roland VS880 control & integration.
Music Master Works A shareware Windows sequencing & accompaniment package. Win95 & Win3.1 versions available. From Aspire software
MusicPhrase XL MusicPhrase for Windows is a creative tool for composing music. Features phrase sequencing and visual groove editing tools.
Music Studio Producer Music Studio Producer is a free Windows MIDI sequencer, DAW which can host VST(i), supports ASIO. From Aspire software
Numerology Numerology is a modular sequencing and audio plugin environment for Mac OS X.
Onyx Onyx by Jasmine Music provides powerful sequencing, harmonizer and MIDI-2-Audio rendering.
Power Chords By Howling Dog Systems - Innovative Windows midi sequencer using onscreen guitar fretboard interface, plus other unique features for creating strum & rhythm patterns. Demo available
PowerTracks Pro Audio PG Music's budget priced sequencer for Windows now features up to 48 tracks of digital audio with effects, EQ, panning etc plus 3rd party plugin support.
Pro Tools Digidesign provide Pro Tools for Windows and Mac with MIDI, multitrack audio and plugin support.
Quartz Audio Master Quartz Audio Master is free Windows multitrack digital recording software and MIDI sequencing software. Provided by DigitalSound Planet
Reaper REAPER is a fully featured Windows multitrack audio and MIDI recording, editing, processing, mixing, and mastering environment. Fully functional evaluation available for download.
Rosegarden Rosegarden is a free MIDI sequencer and notation editor for Unix, and has binary distributions for Linux PCs and SGI IRIX.
SoftStep SoftStep is a Win9x modular step sequencer based on modular analog step sequencers. Features modules, which are math and logic functions that you treat as physical boxes with knobs and sliders.
Style Enhancer Windows MIDI sequencer based on Performance Modeling technology with powerful and intelligent MIDI-data generation and transformation.
SwarShala Midi sequencer package for Windows software that covers both the melodic and rhythmic aspects of Indian music. Featured instruments include Sitar, Sarod, Tanpura, Guitar, Tabla, Pakhawaj, Dholki and Bells. MIDI files and WAV files can be output.
Sweet Sixteen Midi sequencer package for Windows from Roni Music. And check out the Sweet MIDI arpeggiator for Windows, very cool !!
TR-x0x Freeware Windows step sequencer based on the Roland TR-808/909 drum machines.
Tracktion Tracktion from Mackie provides low cost MIDI and audio sequencing.
Tunafish A Windows VSTi MIDI sequencer with sample support. A fully functional ( save disabled ) demo is available to download. Has sample support and provides a built-in sample/drum sequencer.
Xx A multi-track MIDI sequencer for MacOS. It is also an algorithmic compositional tool. Requires OMS.
Midi SoftwareAudible Oddities - Twerk's Tools Audible Oddities is an audio mastering business and Shawn Hatfield also provides some free music composition tools for the Mac featuring sequencing control and algorithmic music generation. Burnt Toast even has a beta version available for Win XP.
Catanya Software pattern arpeggiator VST plugin.
MIDI-OX Win9x/NT midi utility providing sysex handling, diagnostics, filtering & mapping of midi data Streams. All Windows MIDI users should check this out. It is also available from Yamaha UK. Also see MIDI Yoke which allows you to route MIDI between different applications.
vanBasco's Karaoke Player vanBasco's Karaoke Player is freeware Windows software that plays Karaoke (.kar) and standard MIDI (.mid, .midi, .rmi) files. Provides a piano keyboard and lyric display.
Vocal Writer Shareware music & vocal synthesis software for the Power Mac. Not only playback & edit GM midi files, but it will also sing your lyrics (85 voices to choose from)
Zel Zel is an interpretive MIDI programming language for Windows. Version 1.2 includes the Zel Drum Machine, a style based composer and editor which makes it easy to create MIDI drum tracks without having to learn the Zel language. Freeware.
Midi Sequencing Related SitesAtari-MIDI Yahoo Group for Atari computer users to discuss MIDI applications. Also check The Caged Artist Series Page for once commercial MIDI software that is now freeware.
Audio Forums Forums for most major sequencing & digital audio software packages.
Harmony Central Provide an archive of MIDI sequencer and notation applications to download. There is software for all platforms available.
HitSquad Provide links to a number of MIDI sequencers and "tracker" sequencers for Windows, Mac and Linux.
MacMusic.org Macmusic.org have lots of links to Mac specific audio and MIDI sequencing resources. .
Mac OSX MIDI Apps A very useful list of links to Mac OSX MIDI applications with descriptions and direct links to the websites and apps.
Midijoys Freeware Windows program that combines two independent fully programmable joystick controllers, and a Continuous MIDI Controller programmable sliders that can send a wide spectrum of MIDI control parameters.
MidiPlugins.com Links to freeware and commercial MIDI plugins for both Windows and Mac OS9/OSX.
Music-X Amiga University Info on the original Amiga sequencer Music-X including writing sysex protocols. Also see Driptomatic Fairytales for Music-X info and resources. AM/FM also provide disk images containing many Amiga MIDI articles and tools.
Sonic Control Sonic Control provides information and reviews of sequencers for all platforms as well as MIDI hardware.
SourceForge SourceForge provide freeware software for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms and have many MIDI sequencer applications.
Sweetwater Sequencer Forum Sweetwater.com provides forums including one dedicated to MIDI sequencers.
Vintage Sequencers Tweakheadz Lab provides a great rundown on the ancestors of todays sequencers on computers in the 80s. Very interesting and informative reading with screen shots of many sequencers from the early days of MIDI.
Sound synthesis and sound design
Music has brought pleasure and entertainment to mankind throughout the whole of history. Each person is by nature equipped with one of the most elaborate and emotional musical instruments; the human voice. Whenever people feel good music seems to fit the occasion, and it is considered quite natural to hum or sing a song. Musical instruments have brought their own moods to music and at the current moment in human evolution there is an enormous variety of musical instruments available. The twentieth century has seen the development of a range of new and exciting electronic musical instruments. These electronic instruments are very flexible, they can produce a wide range of timbres and can be amplified to whatever loudness level sounds best for the occasion. Most of these electronic instruments are played by a keyboard, but in essence the keyboard can be replaced by any electromechanical device that is able to transform a movement caused by a human interaction into an electrical signal that can drive the sound generating core of the electronic instrument.
All sorts of technical and scientific developments have helped to create electronic instruments and the human interface to play them. Still, music is an art and not really a hard science, although music and sound have for a long time been subject to various scientific research. An important realization is that science can not really explain why much music is such a pleasure to listen to and such a joy to make. Which is not a bad thing, as probably no one is waiting for science to take the fun out of music by applying formalized rules and templates on what is also subject to âfeelâ. So, although this book covers techniques that lean heavily on scientific research, the application of these techniques will in general be aimed at creating fun. There are a lot of professionals working with sound and even more people that make music for their personal enjoyment. Mastery of sound synthesis is valuable to all of them. Still, it wonât be easy to please everyone with one single book, as some people will be more interested in how things work and others might want practical examples that just work. The aim of this book is that it can at least be used as a practical guide in workshops and courses in electronic music, covering some essential basics that are needed to operate the equipment used in sound synthesis in a way that makes some sense. Additionally it can be used to explore techniques to find out how they can help in the development of oneâs own musical style.
Sound synthesis is the art of creating sounds by using suitable electronic means, using either analog or digital electronic devices. Sound design is the art of creating particular sounds using sound synthesis techniques. The definition of sound design as used here might be confusing to some, as the name sound design is also used in the discipline in industrial design that occupies itself with how mass produced objects should sound. Examples are how the sound of cars or ladyshaves are âdesignedâ to sound pleasing while in use. Which of course has nothing to do at all with music or sound synthesizers. This book puts the emphasis on the various synthesis techniques for musical purposes and how to setup sound synthesizers to create a large range of characteristic musical sounds. The art of musical sound design is left to the artist.
490 16 vs. 24 bit Audio Recording Demystified
The Tweak attempts to give you a perspective on 16 vs 24 bit audio recording that makes sense.
24 bit, 16 bit, audio recording, multi-track recording, sequencer, logic, cubase, sonar
428 Alain Neffe and the Home-Taped Electronic Music Revolution
Alain Neffe launched his first tape label at home in Belgium in 1981. He called it Insane Music Contact and his first installment was called Insane Music for Insane People. Thus began a nearly thirty year foray into home-made, visionary and utterly unfashionable electronic music that has hardly made anyone involved a household name.
Insane Music released 55 titles in its most prolific years (1981-87). Five of these were vinyl records and the rest were cassettes tapes. Why cassettes tapes? Magnetic tape was the obvious solution to the problem facing many artists working without record contracts in those days. Cassettes could be recorded at home, produced at home, dubbed at home, and sold or traded by mail. No need for tasteless outside producers and marketing mojoâone needed only leave home to buy more tapes. Says Neffe, âI could copy the tapes on demand. Releasing an LP required that you print 500 copies and 1000 copies of the cover sleeve, and everything had to be paid up front âŠ if the buyer didnât like the music, he or she could wipe it out and record something else on it.â
Mr. Neffe was not the only one out there recording, selling and trading tapes by mail. On both sides of the Atlantic, home cassette technology was permitting the release of much groundbreaking and breathlessly beautiful work, as well as some noxious and otherwise self-indulgent wankingâthat coat of many colors we call the DIY (do-it-yourself) Revolution. As early as 1974, Albrecht/d. self-released a cassette entitled Amsterdam Op De Dam in Germany. In 1976, Throbbing Gristle was distributing tapes of their infamous live recordings, and in 1977, the French electro-industrial unit Die Form began releasing tapes on their own Bain Total label. 1980 saw the release of two monumental self-released cassettes, The Storm Bugsâ A Safe Substitute and Colin Potterâs The Ghost Office. In Japan, 1980 saw the release of Merzbowâs first two cassettes, Remblandt Assemblage and Fuckexercise. And in the USA, 1981 saw John Benderâs Plaster: The Prototypes, a laconic and mysterious series of tone and vocal poems. Home taping was not limited to electronic music. R. Stevie Moore, one of the elder living ancestors of the lo-fi rock aesthetic, began releasing distributing home-made tapes via the R. Stevie Moore Cassette Club sometime in the 1970s. And tapes of live punk shows from the era continue to trade hands.
Soon, cassettes were coming from everywhere: mysterious PO boxes in the Midwest, to which you sent a blank tape and three dollars and received the tape back with something on it. The Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine was a Fluxus-inspired subscription audio-journal dedicated to music as well as poetry and drama and other forms of audio-art. Zines like Factsheet Five and Unsound devoted entire columns to the material they received from bands on home-made cassette, and demo tapes began leaking to radio stations prior to official record release dates. It was a grassroots movement that marched in association with the self-publication of zines, comics, chapbooks, and other media. The medium had begun to become the message.
Insane Music for Insane People (which eventually reached 25 volumes) was a series compiling all home-made electronic music made by artists from across the globe. By including in the liner notes the contact address for each artist featured, Neffe helped pioneer a snail-mail network for those interested in more of what they heard. Artists from all over Europe and the USA, from Japan, New Zealand, and beyond contributed over the years. One could send a few dollars to Insane Music Contact, receive tapes in the mail, write to artists involved and receive more cassettes.
Insane Music Contact (now known as Insane Music) has always been a vehicle for Mr. Neffeâs own electronic music projects as well, many of which are periodically active to this day. Though he now makes liberal use of the CD format, Neffeâs artistic approach remains undiluted by years of underexposure. He expects very little acknowledgment of or remuneration for his efforts, which, for him, are emotional articulation, continued experimentation, and purity. It seems nothing but nothing could possibly catapult such heavily uncommercial sounds into the public consciousnessânot even this thirty-year retrospective box-set entitled The Insane Box released (ironically, on vinyl) by the venerable Frank Maier of Vinyl-on-Demand Records, an outfit devoted to preserving the precious gems of cassette culture before the evidence disintegrates.
For this retrospective (4 LPs + a 7â 45), Mr. Neffe has reached into dusty attic boxes, wherein lay unreleased (or hardly available) material by five projects of which he has been a part: BeNe GeSSeRiT, Human Flesh, Pseudo Code, I Scream and Subject. Each has a unique cerebral orientation and emotional vibe made possible by the combined efforts of invited guests; each runs the high fever of a man very much committed to a personal vision of artistic purity without virtuosity, and each is distinctly French.
BeNe GeSSeRiT was not the first of Mr. Neffeâs projects to be recorded and distributed, but is, to my understanding, the genesis of his approach to music as âtextsâ or âphotographsâ, or as he puts it, âpotlatch musicâ. On these early tracks we also detect a burgeoning interest in the endless expressive properties of the human voice, both explicitly human and as heavily-treated sound sculpture, both French and English At times, voices shout like besotted Celine parlor workers at each other from tenement windows; at other times a high-pitched female voice wails up and down like Catherine Ribeiro alone in her bathroom. In these tracks, one can also detect the half-digested influence of electro-rock luminaries Silver Apples, the avant-lashings a la Yoko Ono, and occasionally the thunder-beat of early Laibach. Primitive Casio electronics, stage whispers, delay echoes, tape loops, and a certain absurdist humor redolent of Erik Satie, neither dampen the fabric with melodrama, nor detract from the integrity of the grist, nor from the topical seriousness of the textâs subjects. BeNe GeSSeRiT is difficult music, even in the moments that risk elegy, yet it is still more accessible than some of the other Francophone avant-dada outfits of the day, such as DDAA and Ătant DonnĂ©s, or Nurse with Wound in the UK.
Human Flesh is decidedly more structurally cohesive and song-oriented than BeNe GeSSeRiT, and its predecessors and influences are less clear. Still there is a clear interest in the human voice, its textures and timbers when removed of sign value by backwards-masking, and the new textures that emerge when disassembled and reassembled. Even rock-oriented at times, Human Flesh chases a more delirious climax, for the hounds of the carnival are snapping at their heels as they run. This is also a project of varied angles and pursuits, sliding as it does into poetic electro-pop (the supple and Chicago-accented voice of the late Lydia Tomkiw, of Algebra Suicide, appears on two tracks), and moments of Half Japanese-style primitivism. The side-long track âLangsamâ is more reminiscent of Piper-era Pink Floyd and Brainticket, as well as other Krautrock, yet is still distinctly French. These early and rare tracks are, in contrast to the more ambitious Pseudo Code and the more intimate recordings by I Scream, more oblique for being a mix-down of materials sent to Neffe from artists around the globe. The track âSons of God?â is also notable for what is perhaps the first recorded sample of the American fire-and-brimstone preacher Ferrell Griswold, whose voice has appeared in music by Front 242, Phallus Dei, Pragha Khan, et cetera.
The cassette medium, for all its benefits to individual artistic expression and culture, is for the selfsame reasons impermanent. Magnetic tape has a thirty year lifespan if properly archived, which means both that preserving their contents in other formats is important, and that paying hundreds of dollars for the original artifacts is a questionable collectorsâ pursuit (nevertheless, you can watch it happen daily). With the advent of the mp3 and the efforts of Vinyl-on-Demand and other labels, Insane Musicâs CD-r reissue program included, some of this exquisite material has been rescued from oblivion.
339 HOW TO: Market Your Small Business With No Budget
The social web makes it more cost-effective than ever to get the word out about your business, no matter what industry you're in. We spoke to the experts for their cost-cutting tips.
324 61 High Quality And Free xHTML Templates Part 2: Year 2010 | Graphic and Web Design Blog
This is part 2 of really fresh and high quality XHTML templates free for you to download, study and get inspired - all in the same time!
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323 F.lux: software to make your life better
Ever notice how people texting at night have that eerie blue glow?
Or wake up ready to write down the Next Great Idea, and get blinded by your computer screen?
During the day, computer screens look goodâthey're designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn't be looking at the sun.
F.lux fixes this: it makes the color of your computer's display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.
It's even possible that you're staying up too late because of your computer. You could use f.lux because it makes you sleep better, or you could just use it just because it makes your computer look better.
246 Ortofon 2M Red >> Ortofon 2M Red MM Phono Cartridge
The Ortofon 2m Red MM Phono Cartridge + Stylus - an excellent cartridge suitable for many makes of tonearm, turntable or record player. Visit Needles & Spins at http://www.needles-and-spins.co.uk/ for great deals on a wide choice of phono cartridge, turntable, record player, tonearm and other vinyl accessories
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