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Posts Tagged ‘Toshiba’

My man James from LoadingReadyRun came over today to help me with the new Mac and to resurrect the Toshiba.  Success n both fronts… and we got to talking about podcasting.  I’ve been podcasting for many years now, and being a radio mucky muck, I have access to a professional audio studio, a tech guy, music, and production libraries.  Good times.  BUT I find it has left me a little ignorant on the hows and the whys and the whats.  I can make a podcast, but I feel that without this support from the radio station, I could never crank one out myself.

Now, oddly enough, I feel like I am learning about the nuts and bolts of podcasting again from scratch.  James and his team at LLR jam out a weekly podcast just like Capital Rock City.  Their podcast is a 40 minute yak fest where a bunch of dudes sit around and riff on video games.  I wanted to know how they do it.  James basically explained they use a USB mic called the Samson C03U.  They record into GarageBand which is an audio editor software that comes with the MacBook.  I have been poking around Garageband and find it weird, seeing as I have used Cool Edit pro for a hundred years and Pro-Tools sometimes.  What I like about Garageband is that it seems built for podcasting and will let me do a bunch of stuff that I see on other podcasts that I have wondered about.  Like inserting pictures and having them change during the broadcast.  neat.  It’ll take sometime to figure it out and I’ll need a mic (think I’ll see about a Samson), but you might be hearing some early demo podcasts on here pretty soon.

Another inspiring thing that should help get some new show ideas out there is streaming the shows on this here blog.  Amanda over at the Indie Files was very helpful in explaining how to rock an audio player on the blog. Check out an MP3 post she made that features the songs she is talking about.

Your likely thinking, “holy fuck Jeremy, that is some blogging 101 stuff there.”  But not for me, I’ve seen that on so many blogs and always wanted to do that on my blog when i’m yapping about music, or quickly jam out a little podcast to play some audio for you… and now finally I think I can.

You’ll likely be hearing and seeing some practise over the next couple weeks as I flirt with Garageband, WordPress, Serato and this Mac, creating podcasts and publishing the content.

Thank you James for your computer knowledge and help and to Amanda for the email.

Oh and the Toshiba lives. Nice.

Go with yourself.

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I had talked about wanting to start a financial blog on here awhile back, but I think the reality of that happening right now is low.  It is a challenge enough  to stay on top of this blog and keeping on the news and music for my radio show.  Plus I am DJing more and more these days and I really enjoy that and want to keep growing my performance, so right now, no new blog.

That said, Coral and I are really starting to get into the hang of the “Jar Budget” or basically, living off a set value of cash every week.  Granted, we set a fairly generous amount of cash to live off each week, but its working.  We now generally have a little of last week’s cash in the jar by the time its time to put more in!  Just in time for Coral’s birthday.

The other benefit… and this is one I shared with my buddy Dave, you end up collecting lots of change.  Loonies and Twonies and quartres and all that good stuff.

Its getting to the point where for some goofy things like a coffee or even a lunch or simple groceries, I just take a fistful of change and not even open the cash jar.

We’re not perfect at not using the debit, but its much better than before.

***

Which brings me to my next project.  A new laptop!  huzzah.  But I’m not there yet.  I am still dreaming and pricing and see what I need and/or want.

I need a more powerful laptop to run my DJ software and eventually I want to play around with creating my own lounge beats.  The Toshiba, god bless it, freezes during my sets sometimes (well actually about once a night).

I want a Mac Book Pro.

The conflict I have is cost.  I am still putting a jihad on bills and debt so no computer right now, but my projection is to be in a position to buy a computer by April.  Knock on wood, no issue with the Toshiba and it serves till then.

From my wandering on the Serato message boards, the consensus is a Mac.  It might be true that 90% is on PC, but in the creative DJ world, the opposite is true.  It feels like 90% of professional DJs and producers use a Mac.

But when you ask why?  the answer isn’t always clear.  “Its better” is common.  That’s cool, but is it $1000 better?  Coral and I bought our Toshiba two years ago for about $750.  Is a MacBook Pro 17″ monster worth $2,599.99?

My studies have concluded that even if I went Mac, I could get away with a MacBook ($1,000 ish) or the more powerful Pro 13″ 2.53 GHz.  cost: $1,599.00.  wow, for a computer.

That screen is actually smaller than our 14″ Toshiba… and my second major issue after the freezing is the small screen.

Bump up to the 15″ MacBook Pro and now we’re talking $1,799.99.

Scary.

I want it, but do I NEED that?

Coral was watching Olsen on Your Side on CTV the other day, and they said the best PC Laptop for value was the Dell Studio XPS which start on the Dell website for around $1,000.

Get a Dell, save $800?  hmmm.

Is a MacBook Pro worth $800 MORE than a PC?  If you think so, I’d like to hear it.  The biggest thing I’ve heard of the value of the Mac is stability.  At the end of the day, that might be my most important attribute.  One DJ said that “the cheapest used Macbook on Craigslist is better than any PC for operating Serato.”

I figure, if the Toshiba, god forbids, shuffles off the mortal coil before April, I can always find a used Macbook and just get back out there.

*** future project, I want a MIDI controller ($200 ish) and to learn Ableton (Thanks Rozie)!  And start building a stage show for when I DJ.  Maybe my saved up change jar money can buy some lights or what I really want is a screen and a projector.***

Go with yourself.

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A bartender named Holly turned me on to this song from a band called Kyte.  Wikipedia reminds me of the epicness of Explosions in the Sky or This Will Destroy You; but with a wispy vocal melody.  Mighty good.

I met Holly last Saturday at the Rialto where I find myself DJing Saturday nights.  What a great place, it feels good to be at a place where I can really bite into my playlists and find some interesting music.  This gig found me because I sent a cold call email to the Rialto about a year ago when they did their renovations.  I asked if I could DJ, they said no… fast forward a year and there I am.

The evening forced my hand in finally investing in my production.  I headed to Long and McQuade and purchased a Numark NS7.  The NS7 is a controller that lets me use Serato Itch.  It simulates a turn table DJ rig, but I like it because it is smaller (it uses two 45s instead of LPs) and all contained.  I can set it up in our little home, practice, and break it down much easier than the turntables I had from Boitano.  I might have wanted to chose the Vestax VCI 300, it is smaller still than the NS7 and cheaper, but I wanted to play on something a bit more substantial… but I can see myself one day wanted something even smaller, when my skills improve.

My goal right now is practice, practice, practice.  I want to have at least a passable skill at blending and mixing two cuts together.  The NS7 also has lots of fun and user friendly features to create loops and rush around a track, maybe one day I’ll be able to really birth some interesting sonic creations.

In the future, I will need to get an accountant (thank you John!), register the old business up, promotional material and I think we’ll need a new laptop.  I just didn’t have the money or the guts to finance one right now.  Coral and I are hoping that after her layoff is final, we put some money in the bank and my DJ business stabilizes and becomes legitimate I can invest in a MacBook Pro or something equally fancy pants (do I *really* need a Mac?  I mean all the other DJs have one…).  The Toshiba is a temperamental lady these days, but she serves like a wiley veteran of foreign wars and so far hasn’t had any meltdowns or tantrums during a set (well it did the other night but no one really noticed!).

After the laptop, my next goal is a mobile set of speakers to rock a shindig that is not rigged for a dance party and build a visual component for my performance.  Then Coral and I will need a bigger home to store all this stuff and build my studio to make my historical podcasts and Coral was saying something about living somewhere where it snows in the winter and we have a barn… OK, breathe… now I am getting way ahead of myself.

First, practice, practice, practice.

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bwoar, I want fight my toshiba.  It somehow (well I somehow) toggle the French characters on, and I have no idea how I do it or any idea how to turn them off without resetting the computer!  Now I want to fight technology!

***

OK, I broke down a resetted the old computer.  I really do need to learn to toggle the french characters off.  I tried searching on google but didn’t find very much that was helpful.

***

Its Friday the 13th!  wow, spooky.

The top referrers to my blog this week are (not including The Zone dot FM or my social networks):

Drowning in Kids
Laura
PrettyMuchAmazing
Coral
Miranda
VanCityRockGirl
ZeroOutofFive

Thank you!

***

Since we’re jibber jabbering (or I’m going on about lists) lets have a look at the first ever Jeremy’s Top Bands.

I signed up for Last FM last week so now I have my own personal chart of fave bands on my media player at home for the week.

01) The National
02) Propagandhi
03) The Killers
04) Bruce Springsteen
05) The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

and my write in vote is The Boxer Rebellion which I’ve been jamming out at work in the studio but I don’t have a Last FM scrobber thingy there.

***

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.  Coral says she doesn’t celebrate the day, but I do… so we do. Ha.  I am hosting an event at Element tomorrow if you’re looking to party on a Saturday night.  Bring your special someone or come with friends.  We have all sorts of fun shenanigans planned!

Before the big day, I think we’ll cook up a scrumptious dinner.  I saw David Fey and Rod (My aunt Melanie’s brother) on A Morning today cooking up something I’d like to attempt.  But try finding a website with the details and you’ll be disappointed.

Should you be fortunate enough to get laid on Valentine’s Day… Kid Carson posted this neat-O! link on his twitter.

Devine Pleasure Poses?  Yes please.

OK, I better get in the shower… its almost 11!  I got a ton of work to do today.

Go with yourself.

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