things i'm pleased with

"The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique" .. Walt Disney

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Apple – 20 hours and counting

September 8, 2014

18.00 UK time tomorrow … Apple’s big announcement.  After reading speculation and rumour for weeks i’m going to make a prediction of what will be shown just for fun.  I think it will be a watch (not exactly departing from what everyone thinks there!) in numerous designs or even customisable (mix/match fronts and straps) with […]

Craters

September 7, 2014

Nearly a full moon now – but often better pictures are gained on the “terminator” line – where the moon goes dark – as the resulting shadows emphasise features.  Unfortunately it kept clouding over last night but I managed to get this image which I have annotated.

Hotel Chocolat Liverpool

Hotel Chocolat Liverpool

August 30, 2014

Popped into the cafe and had a superb dark chocolate based hot chocolate.  Really worth trying if you’re in the area.  I believe they have similar cafes in York and Leeds.

How to bookmark my site on an iPad

August 30, 2014

This post is going to come across as quite presumptuous.  However a friend said that they would bookmark my site if only they “knew how”…  We’ve all used that excuse but I wasn’t going to let it go that easily and anyway I haven’t done a technology post yet so here we go.  Stops anyone […]

Best high-street chocolate?

August 29, 2014

Back in January I tried M&S Dark Chocolate 72% and quickly noted “Mr Marks and Mr Spencer are keeping this one for themselves.  Hidden behind an anonymous name and a generic wrapper is this superb easy going honey drenched find with strong hints of raisins.  High street chocolate of choice. “

Ambient Generation on YouTube

August 29, 2014

Found one of my more techno tracks on youtube, along with some nice fractal images.  This track “Electrotech” was originally on my album “Icebreaker”.  It featured a new piece of Vocoder software by Akai I had got for £10.  Click read more to watch the video.

 FAQ

What equipment do I use to write music on?

Over the years the equipment has changed often, but basically for electronic music you always need some sound sources, effects, monitoring, and a digital audio workstation.  I always try to use only the basic equipment necessary to get reasonable results – it’s too easy to get involved in an endless cycle of buying and selling equipment instead of actually sitting down and doing some composition.  Years ago everyone used hardware and some of my favourite synthesisers I owned included the Roland JV1080, Novation Supernova II, and Access Virus B; effects included the Lexicon MPX500, Boss VF1, and the Smallstone Phaser.  I always used a PC running Cubase since version 3.5 for sequencing, recording and mixing.

Now however hardware is not required (although some still prefer it for its tactility) and everything I have is contained within my Mac running Logic Pro X.  My favourite sound sources include the Spectrasonics and Native Instruments software plugins and my effects are SSL and Lexicon software plugins.  I master using IK Multimedia T-Racks.

What equipment do I use for astrophotography?

As with my music equipment I try to buy the most basic equipment possible to allow me to get reasonable results.  My imaging telescope is a Skywatcher Explorer 150PDS reflector attached to a Skywatcher EQ5 Pro mount.  I then use an Opticstar AR80S Guidescope with Opticstar PL131M camera to guide the mount using PHD guiding software so as to compensate for the earth’s rotation.  My camera is a Canon 1100D with the factory fitted infra-red filter removed, and I usually use an Opticstar two inch Ultra High Contrast filter to reduce light pollution.  I use StarTools to help process the images along with Apple Aperture.