Showing posts with label Garageband. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Garageband. Show all posts

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

The iPad is Gone

It's grey and rainy and I am have hust been watching Ripper Street and Taboo, lots of grim , 19th Century violence and machinations.

Yesterday morning I had a dream , I think I was in Edinburgh, in some Polish shop but I had to go back to get a codec for a video but the only way out was via a hardboard catflap blocked by a China man on a trolley but I had to go out via side door into somewhere I had never been before , lots of high dark streets, then the alarm went off. I know this makes no sense but it was a dream and I can still remember some of it, so that's why I've written it down here. Some psychiatrist will probable get some insight into my psyche from that, or maybe not .. who knows.

Anyway for the last year I have probably used my iPad to charge up and update IOS and that's about it. I'd originally got it to play with Garageband and basically I just doodled with Garageband. I find my TASCAM portastudio and Audacity far easier to produce music with so I ditched the iPad and bought a Kindle Fire 8. All I've done with it so far is charge it up, but I  hope I will get more use out of it than I did the iPad. I just tried to install the Google Play Store but that wasn't successful and Alexa has talked to me.

I only have sixty thousand steeps to no to hit my million steps in three months in the Million Step Challenge, and after that I pledge to do 340K each month. It's a good way of keeping fit without the boring drudgery (as I see it) of gym membership,

Anyway I thought I would tell you about my dream and how I am no longer infected by Apple but we shall see how the Kindle performs. So a suitable record would be on of the Osmonds goodies, where they try to take on the Jackson 5 leaving you with "One Bad Apple".

Sleep well my friends.

Sunday, 15 January 2017


It's weird, over the last couple of months I seem to have less time to do what I want, often missing out on things so that I can have some me time to recuperate from the exertions of whatever I'm doing during the week. I haven't attended a gig since November and I've forgotten last time I met someone socially, the nearest being dropping in on my friend Krista at her KOTA place in the Grainger Market.

Tomorrow I go to the Freeman Hospital for a Liver Biopsy coincidentally the same day as a friend of mine is there for the start of his chemotherapy, hardly the best conditions for social interaction.

So what do I do , I set up another blog to give out free horse racing tips here. So I'm still looking for things to do, I'm also still trying to sort out recording possibilities with my set up, having discovered how to use the arpeggiator in GarageBand on the iPad, as well as catching up on TV and listening to music, at the moment "Queen" by Perfume Genius , followed by the stunning "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" by Pere Ubu , both stunning records.

I hope this doesn't sound as though I'm complaining, I am making plans to do things and will be definitely more active in the new year. Sometimes I wish I didn't have to sleep and had 30 hour days not taken up with 8 hours of work, but don't we all feel like that.

I'm lucky that work is a pleasant place to work with some brilliant people there, and they also do a great job that I am glad to be a part of.

So what temporally themed song should I choose "Time" by Pink Floyd or David Bowie? I will probably shock you by choosing Coldplay's "Clocks" but the Buena Vista Social Club version.

Have a lovely night my gorgeous friends.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Is That A Christmas I See?

Three years ago I posted a seasonal song of the the day every day in December, obviously there's no point in me doing it this year but you can sample it here. Christmas is two weeks on Sunday and we'll get bombarded with pleas for goodwill to all men and looking after those less fortunate than us from people like Gary Barlow, who , if they paid their taxes, would go some way to alleviating the suffering caused by poverty. Sorry I went of track there. The point I really want to make is we should spread goodwill and help EVERY DAY and not just at Christmas. I once had a boss who was a miserable spiteful git throughout the year (his introductory words to me were "If I was allowed I would sack you on the spot" ... I replied "and nice to meet you too"), then at Christmas he was everybody's friends. That doesn't work for me. You can always be supportive and friendly.

On a separate not , it's been a good week and on holiday I learned how to use an option on Garageband which I had bought a keyboard for. The keyboard can go back now and I will produce something at the weekend hopefully. with my iPad.

Last night going to sleep I used the iPad to play my copy of "Timewind" by Klaus Schulze to drift off to sleep too. Technology is brilliant at times.

Anyway we're in December now and maybe I will include a seasonal song and I have decided to go with two Public Service Broadcasting songs Elfstedentocht Part One and Part Two . Here's the story:

" In April 2013 we were approached by the organisers of the Explore the North festival in Leeuwarden, Netherlands. 

They asked if we would use some footage of the Elfstedentocht (Eleven Cities Tour), the world's biggest ice skating race, and write some songs around it. 

So we did. "

Have a brilliant Thursday my friends

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Autumn Equinox and Here Comes The Rain

Thursday or Friday was the Autumn Equinox, this means the nights will be longer than the days. Yesterday looked as though it was going to rain, but didn't but it was very grey. Last night there was a huge downpour although it's fine now. The good thing about rain at night is that your don't have to water your garden (which I mowed yesterday).

The less good thing is that grey skies tend to make grey moods in me, sunshine does lift my spirits. I have LED lights in my house which apparently cat more natural light, but I prefer normal daylight.

The thing is that I am lucky in that I live in a wonderful place, with lots of wonderful friends , with lots of opportunity to do things should I so choose. Yesterday I spent most of the day in the house, reading , watching catch up TV, listening to music, playing guitar and messing about with Garageband and taking delivery of a vinyl version of Status Quo's Piledriver which I had purchased for it's Vertigo Swirl label (see here) I love the 3D optical illusion you get watching it , which is why I bought it. I wrote a blog post about it here

Today's music will be Garageland by The Clash for the simple reason that mentioning Garageband reminded me of it.
Anyway I think today is a good day for doing something to lift your spirits and make yourself feel happy. It may be having a bar of chocolate , a glass of wine or enjoying time with people you like and giving big hugs. Stay positive

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Ain't Friends Just The Best

This post is not about anything in particular. You may know that I am a "man of leisure" at the moment (for leisure substitute volunteer work, interviews, traveling , networking , organising things, and generally not having a lie in but managing a bit of catch up TV, and possibly finally getting my Garageband / Alesis Dock / iPad set up so I may be actually be able to record something in the spare time that is taken up with everything else in this list) . The thing is having things to do does make you appreciate sometimes having some time to yourself.

Yesterday was really special though, a sort of leaving do that turned to an extremely chilled and brilliant catch up with five really great friends I've worked with over the last seven or eight years, and a commitment to doing more of these with the friends who couldn't make it. Starting off with a trip to a couple of record shops with Chris we bot visited Reflex and RPM but didn't get time for Beatdown and bought stuff by newish bands such as Panda Bear and Alvvays. Jon got a seven inch vinyl single by White Lung who I've never heard of as well as some nice beer glasses.

Dat Bar Decor
We then met up with Darren, Neil and Jon is the Central Bar before a leisurely visit to a few Newcastle pubs including The Town Wall, The Forth, The Stand , Dat Bar (where Neil sample some 7.2% lager that they wouldn't sell in pints) and finally finishing at The Head Of Steam. Darren told me that I was getting a subscription to Rough Trade as a leaving present from my team and colleagues (plus an Amazon Voucher , because like 'em or loathe 'em you can't go wrong with an Amazon Voucher and Steve and Sara's has already gone towards my new Samsung soundbar / subwoofer).

It was just amazing to spend a day doing nothing in particular, enjoying each others company, catching up and committing to doing this on a monthly basis. One of the great things about social media, email and mobile phones is that it is very easy to keep in touch these days if you want to. Next week I have my dad's 80th birthday and his present is going to be to get him online, so that will be great fun.

Oh and the cheery on the top of yesterday's cake is that my phone is temporarily reconnected while they sort me out with a proper tariff.

I was trying to think of a decent piece of music to go with this and the Steve'N'Seagulls just presented itself, uplifting , great fun and impressive , sort of like yesterday.

All in all and absolutely brilliant day and looking forward to a lot more like this

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Twelve Hours Into 2015

Well it's now 2015, after a great New Year's Eve Party at Mark and Helen's managing to catch up with lots of friends and people I haven't seen in ages, talking about all sorts before a round of Auld Lang Syne to ring in the New Year.

Built On Glass
The first album I've put on this year is Built on Glass by Chet Faker recommended by a great friend, which reminds me of Brian Eno and Van Der Graaf / Peter Hamill smoothed down , just wondering if the name is a nod to the great Chet Baker , that's a lot of musical references I wasn't expecting to make in my first post of 2015. They are all worth following up as well as the excellent Chet Faker album.

I'm sure this year will find me liking lots of new music, just like last year and every year before that. There will be books to read, films and plays to see, people to meet, songs to write , my book to finish , which is now two months overdue, this blog to keep going , songs to write, and to try and get Garageband to work properly with the Alesis connection deck on the iPad.

So it is going to be a busy and brilliant 2015, I am so looking forward to it. It's my dad's 80th Birthday in January so there's a surprise party for him and I will have to think of a suitable present to get him. So without further ado I'm going to wish you all a Happy New Year and going to enjoy the rest of my day.

I've include some fireworks from Newcastle / Gateshead last night . Happy New Year again.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Saturday Morning 2:30 AM and an unprovoked dig at Apple

Martin and Dave
Wide awake , although feeling slightly tired, but as it's still effectively late Friday night , very early Saturday morning after a manic couple of week both at work and socially and the fact that I 'm going to see two of my all time heroes Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick next Saturday at The Tyneside Irish Centre, I thought , what the hell , I'll just get up and go and write something and see what's happening in the world.

I've just realised that this has taken me 45 minutes to put together though I've managed to learn a few things, and put another smile or two on my face. I do love the way how one thought can lead to another and if you don't reign in your mind who knows where you will end up.

It's quite funny how online spelling checkers keep tryting to tell me it's "center" not "centre"  , but when I'm using the HTML tag it's <CENTER> not <CENTRE> in one of those rare situations where you get conformity in the name of standards , though I can see Apple trying to change HTML tags just because they are Apple to something like MIDDLEIZE and then patenting the word and their users defending it on the principle that "there must be a good reason for it". Oh and by the way I do have an iPad, which I bought because of Garageband , which, when it decides to work and not hide necessary controls is brilliant, but there's probably a good reason why it does that. As this is just text I'm not going to put in a smiley face or say "LOL", but I am obviously saying these things with my tongue firmly in cheek.

The fact that I was able to write that paragraph means that my mind is obviously wide awake even if my body is not quite there. Though tonight is the first time in ten days I've gone to bed without bandages on my arm, and I can't tell you how good that feels. Having them on was neccessary but , getting them off is brilliant. While I'm not sure I'll be able to play the intro to AC/DC's Thunderstruck just yet I am feeling absolutely great now.

The other thing I'll be able to wash and shower without trying to keep my left arm dry. God bless the NHS.

Anyway everybody enjoy your weekend and this gives me an excuse to post this video as well, by Finnish band Steve'n'Seagulls which really is impressive.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Here Comes The Weekend

Well the skies are grey but it's a three day weekend with lots of things happening , including me doing Good Day / Bad Day on Steve Lamacq's show on Radio 6 on Monday.

Also I've finally got my guitar , iPad and Alesis dock working so hope to be able to put some more music down assuming Garageband wants to play.

The rain is well and truly here with a vengeance but that just means that the garden is getting watered.

I've got my ticket to see the Eagulls in October at the Cluny with my friend Gillian. But even better, last night saw my mate Tom Tierney for the first time in ages who was effusing about the new Wolfenstein game and on absolutely top form. He told me about the version of The House Of The rising Sun in the game which I've included here, what if the Nazis had won?

Anyway enjoy the rest of the weekend fmy friends

Friday, 21 February 2014

Friday Is Here

I know it's not the last working day of the week for everyone but it is for me and a lot of others. The Arctic Winter and Bulgarian Invasion forecast by the redtops and tabloid rags never appeared, so generally life is good, and thought it was time I posted something.

I do intent to do a blog post by talking into my phone and maybe I'll do that this weekend, and I also need to do some more recording. I have in my head an idea for an album, although I can't say a thing about it as the title will give it away, although it's probably already been done but not by me , yet. The old Apple iPad with Garageband will be my recording studio for that.

I've also keeping up writing my book , with an October finish target and that I will hit. Anyway I'm drinking Lemsip to stave off my cold and will soon be leaving for work. There are lots of Friday related songs but there's only one I'm going to leave on here for you , The Cure's Friday I'm In Love (again).

Have a great Friday everyone, I certainly will.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Keep Taking The Tablets

I'm surprised at the number of advertisements for tablets and the horribly named "phablets". Tablets are gret for looking at things generally, but not that brilliant for keyboard based creativity. I have an iPad and mainly use it for watching downloaded programs on BBC iPlayer and TED.

I actually bought it because a friend showed me Garageband on it, and I've manged to create two pieces of music on it and actually put one on commercial sale just to see if I could do it, so it's brilliant for apps that are customed towards it's strengths, the Artrage app is another good piece of software that is great on the iPad.

I also have a Samsung Note 2 phone which allows me internet and other access as well as having a screen that allows me to watch downloaded programs.

So it just strikes me as overkill the amouth that these devices are being pushed at us, maybe it's the run up to Christmas, but I now just see another tablet. Is it my attention deficit disorder and I want something else to stimulate me? I'm also worried about young children who have these and then ten minutes later are bored. Which is why I thought the Raspberry Pi was such a brilliant concent as it would get kids (and adults) into actually doing things rather that passively expecting to be entertained.

Anyway that's enough and I'm sure a lot of you will have tablet's on you Christmas shopping list for either yourself or your loved ones. And I'm sure you will find a use for yours. Below is a video featuring  my first published piece from Garageband.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Picture Books

Hell everyone, I'm amazed that the number of views on this blog is about to hit 40,000. Most post get 50-100 views these days, so someone obviously reads it. Thank you to everyone that does.

A couple of weeks ago I discovered the art of Rebecca Cother and said that I'd put together a slideshow which you can watch above. I had a short musical motif going through my mind so played it in Garageband and used it as the soundtrack. It's very sparse and was thinking of Arvo Part's Spiegel Im Spiegel. I'm going to upload it to the various digital providers via Tunecore and will update the post at some future point.

So I hope you all enjoy the post , the slideshow and the music. Have a great Sunday everybody.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Early Morning Observations

And there isn't really that much to observe as it's pitch black outside, but it seems calm , with a little wind. The good thing about getting up at 5am and getting probably a 6.45 train to work is that you get get to see the sunrise on the east coast. There are likely to be some glorious pictures, but most are unphotographable from a train because of the reflections caused by the window. But at least I will get to see them. and they do help set you up for the day.

Well lat night I was messing with the iPad / Garageband / Alesis dock set up before eventually getting it to work and got down a few ideas for a piano piece which I may continue with tonight.
Have a Nice Day
So this is just a short post, have a wonderful day everyone, and always keep focussing on the positives, there are a lot of them out there.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Mandolins and Six

Just been amazed by the amount of rain today, so no need to water the garden then. Also had the lights replaced in the kitchen though the unit uses halogen and need to replace the with LEDs. Worked at hope and got through a lot more than I expected despite fighting with a network on a selective go slow. Anyway the weekend is here and hopefully I can relax a little.

John Peel playing Mandolin
I'm another year older in numbers but I'm still 15 in my head, looking for fun things to do and ways to enjoy myself. I need to learn more things to play , try a bit of composition on the old iPad maybe using the wonderful Garageband . Was messing about on the mandolin while waiting for files to load today , and just love how the mandolin sounds. I reckon I could compose a song with just two chords on the mandolin, just love how it sounds. Never forget John Peel miming with one with Rod Stewart doing Maggie May on Top of the Pops. Probably made that connection cos I'm listening to his son Tom Ravenscroft on the radio at the moment.

Anyway I feel remarkably relaxed, and ready for the weekend. Looking forward to lots of good things , having lots of fun , and having a great time . Hope you all have a great time too.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Rain Is Good

It's raining again, but only to be expected at this time of year. Maybe I should have mowed the lawn yesterday , but not to worry.

I'm almost shocked at the amount of good music around , if you want new stuff there's the excellent band from Northern Ireland The Strypes who are still under 17 , while at the other end of the age spectrum Yoko Ono has a brilliant new album out . Add to that new offerings from Franz Ferdinand, Janelle MonaeManic Street Preachers , Bill Callahan , Elvis Costello and The Roots, and many many more the music scene seems to be thriving. And next week I am going to see Wire for the first time in my life. You can find all of these on Youtube and Amazon or just go and see them if you get a chance.

Another success is that I finally manage to export a piece I'd put together in Garageband that I'd originally meant as an accompaniment for a World Book Night montage , but forgot about it and used some random Anthony Gormley images as well as the odd skyline. But it's nothing special , it just means now I can actually use Garageband as a studio now about 15 moths after gettin all the relevant bits and pieces.

So enjoy the rain , enjoy your day and enjoy your music.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Fighting With My Left Hand:It's Alright Ma ... It's Only Severe Nerve Damage

...which may sound negative , but on fact it's actually very positive. The human body has a remarkable ability to just mend itself, in fact your body is continually repairing itself and you don't actually realise it. I learned that from my first brush with ITP when Juliet and Kirsty were around 4 and 2 and I was really frightened that I wouldn't see the grow up. When I was shaving and cut myself , the bleeding didn't stop , so I had to let a beard grow! Don't think the girls remember , but they were amused by it , that was around 1986.

Well I recorded me messing about on the bass, and I am trying to play some proper chords on the acoustic guitar. Electric is not an option to youtube unless I think of an instrumental to do. The thinkg is I still can't get Garageband to export a composition to iTunes, but I can record video as you can see above. The song is an extremely simple Neil Young composition "Love Is A Rose". Now this isn't about showing off or anything , it's just that a couple of months ago I couldn't hold a plate or turn a key with my left hand, now , with difficulty I can master a basic "G" chord. I've just used G,A and D and missed out the fancy bits , but I my hand is very slowly getting better.

So all in all things are improving , and the future is looking bright 

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Blank Canvas and Saltires

It's funny when you want to really do something but every time you try , it just doesn't work out. I'm working with a program called Artrage and am amazed how counter intuitive the software is. Basically I what to draw a picture , and it gets part of the way the screws up my picture. I'm having similar problems with Garageband. Have my first completed piece but it won't export to iTunes, I've just removed all the music and it still seems to hang.

 Having said that the pict, is getting better each time so, who knows it may turn out OK in the end.

The thing this calls to mind Robert The Bruce and the spider which  I thought was immortalised in a poem by Robert Burns . I must have been imagining it . So we'll just go for this Eddi Reader singing "Ae Fond Kiss" , and why not:

Monday, 12 August 2013

Three fingers , Left Hand and a real Bass Guitarist

The little finger is slowly improving , I think , but still waiting to see a neurologist. The muscle wastage is visible , and not sure what that will mean in the future, I've been playing about with Garageband on the iPad and still trying to extricate my first (very basic) composition out of it. Each time it just stops working but it's great to play with . Anyway, I'm still having difficulty with guitar , though I've taught myself a rudimentary "Smokestack Lightnin'" m but still trying .

So I thought I'd maybe try the Tanglewood . I still can only use three fingers, but thought I'd try a bit of bass improvisation . Just recorded this too iPad so not trying to impress anybody , but it's ages since I even held a bass and so just did a little two minute improvisation , on quiet so not to annoy the neighbours too much. Stanley Clarke it is not!

I'm happy with the first try as nothing was planned and only just decided to do it now. So it's just a progress report and the hand is doing OK!!

Here's some real bass playing !!