Keith Snyder
Door always open.

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The thing works

I actually wanted to call this entry "The fucker works!" but I didn't want that showing up in the mailbox of anybody who's subscribed.

I am just back from Starbucks.

The Starbucks-compatible music production laptop works.

I get to sell (and the italics are meaningful) all my stuff. This is the stuff that's required a second bedroom in every house and apartment I've rented for the last fifteen years.

I get to sell it.

I won't miss it. Even though you can't help but fall in love with this particular sound from that particular synthesizer in the fullness of time, I'm already falling in love with new ones. The piano sample that comes with Kontakt (my new software sampler) is perfect for the piece I tried it in today. The randomly dialed-up lead sound on the Prophet-5 emulation brought back the days when we used to head straight for Goodman Music when school let out, playing with all the synthesizers we couldn't afford. ("No J. Geils!" was the sales staff's mantra, which tells you exactly when I went to high school.) The Prophet-5 was one of the models we'd never be able to afford until we were rich. Now its ghost runs on my laptop, along with a DX-7 emulation, a Hammond B3 emulation, a software drum machine, and some newer, weirder stuff with names like Absynth, Reaktor, and Plex.

Also Virtual Guitarist. Which now plays in tune and in time, thanks to the faster CPU in my new laptop.

I already know my next major expenditures. Now that I have a sampler (I skipped that whole arm of electronic music for years), I want an orchestra. A whole one, starting with the strings. The big orchestral sample collection that everybody's impressed with is $2500, but there's another, for a third of the price, that could very well do.

And brass. Pop brass and orchestral brass. Pop first.

Then woodwinds.

I haven't been this excited about music since I started assembling what became The Studio That Would Not Work Right. With one major investment-- a laptop and a 2-octave keyboard (which fit together in a backpack)--I get to sell (looking around from where I'm sitting) 3 keyboards, 2 mixing boards, 4 sound modules, 1 effects unit, 1 digital audio interface, 1 MIDI interface, 2 computers, about a hundred guitar cables, and a CD burner. (I'll keep the K5000 and the Juno-6.) I might even break even. The screen's big enough that it's not annoying to work with. When I'm home, it has two screens--its own, and a second 15" LCD--and a pair of Genelec audio monitors. At Starbucks, I work in headphones--and get online with no wires. I can work on the train. I can hole up in a hotel and work on music, the same as I do sometimes with writing. I'll probably get a pair of small powered speakers for hotels, so I won't have to spend all week ironing my ears with headphones.

I can get back to making music when I feel like it.



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