Oh, man! Where have I been??
Well let’s see. First Apple came out with a major upgrade to Logic Pro, my main composing tool. So I submerged myself in that for a while (and am still). Ya know when you are in a long term relationship with someone, there are things that just drive you crazy about that person but you accept them because you are devoted to the relationship? Well now imagine that one day this person comes home and everything that bugged you about them has miraculously disappeared. That is how I feel about this Logic upgrade. There were ways of doing things in the old Logic that just did not make sense (maybe because it was first built for an Amiga computer). But now that Apple finally got around to making it their own, everything just feels right. It feels much more like a very deep, very intuitive musical instrument. I think they were trying to make it a bit more like Ableton Live in that respect, and they succeeded. Although the two programs are still very different, I now find myself reaching for Logic for basic audio-brain things while before the upgrade I’d go for Live. This does seem to be upgrade season, with Live 7 out now and Max/MSP 5 around the corner (and Sibelius 5 a few months ago). One of these days I’ll actually compose something. (Just kidding. I am quite busy with actual music.)
Speaking of audio-brain things, I went to the AES audio gear show at the Javits Center last weekend. Probably the most interesting thing there was being able to listen to all these different, very expensive microphones at various booths. Sennheiser, Neuman, Telefunken, Royer, Blue, AEA. All my favorites that I will never be able to own. (Well, most of them; I’m still saving up for a AEA or Royer ribbon mic. I can only imagine how “silky” they will make percussive glass sound. “Silky glass.” Nice image, eh?) All these mic manufacturers had setups where you could listen to their mics on headphones. You could listen to your voice or to the general din of the hall. It was really amazing how different they all sounded. Not even an issue of good or bad; all amazingly detailed in very different ways. It’s a real art to know which mic will make the sound source shine. I have only three different kind of mics in my arsenal and I’m still getting to know their subtleties.
And again, speaking of audio-brains, I was fortunate enough to run into Charlie Morrow at the SoundField surround mic booth (he has one). It was good to see a friendly, familiar face in amongst all the pasty-faced kids and straight-laced businessmen. Of course he was as dazed out as I was by all the florescent lights and intent lack of focus. So we talked about bird calls and other real sounds and went on our respective ways.