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Messages - mgriffin

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I guess that's one benefit I find with the Mac, which is that you don't need to worry about things like DirectX drivers (if that's even a real thing any more), ASIO, and so on. The only problem I ever run into is manufacturers failing to update their drivers to compatibility with the latest OSX, for example I've had instances of hard crashing with the old drivers for my Presonus Firestudio on my new iMac. When I disconnect the device and uninstall the drivers, no more freeze-ups. It's apparently a widespread issue with drivers for all Presonus firewire interfaces on OSX 10.9 or Mavericks.

It isn't too inconvenient for me at the moment because my old Mac Pro is sitting at the next desk over, so I just connect the Firestudio to that, and use a different USB audio interface for getting audio out of the iMac.

I think the sound quality of iTunes for playback is very good, but I'm using it to play back 320k MP3 files, so I'm not being as fussy as some people about absolute perfection here.

I understand some people who don't like to have their music in a library format, but it's the only way to have playlists, and I find playlists very convenient. I have iTunes managing a very large library, and it's not slow at all. Of course, the library is so large that it's not extremely convenient to scroll through the complete track listing. I mostly select playlists, or search for artists or albums.

Foobar is kind of a nifty stand-alone player, but I use iTunes because I have a huge library with many playlists, and it's very convenient to be able to play it from any computer (Mac or PC or iPad or iPod or iPhone) in the house.

People complain about iTunes messing up their library, but if you keep your library consolidated and don't do anything bizarre with metadata, it works perfectly well. I leave iTunes running on my studio Mac Pro 24/7, and play tracks & playlists from it from all over the place.

Hi Jim - I agree with Seren. Don't start from a "workflow" - just start making sounds, and tweaking and adjusting, until you come up with something you like. I'm usually not able to articulate my workflow until after I'm finished.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Help me find good cider
« on: January 01, 2014, 04:17:25 PM »
I've seen Crispin in a lot of the stores. "Dark" is something I can be flexible about, but I have no interest in sweet, juicy ciders, so "dry" is a must. I'll add this Crispin Brut to my list. Thanks, Bill.

One of my Facebook friends pointed out that in SE Portland, there's a store called Bushwhacker that sells nothing but fancy ciders! Good old Portland...

Everything and Nothing / Re: Help me find good cider
« on: December 31, 2013, 06:51:55 PM »
Thanks, Immersion. I'm not sure I've seen that here, but I'll look for it.

I posted the same question on Facebook and received many quick replies. This leads me to believe my Facebook friends are more accomplished alcoholics than my Hypnos Forum friends. ;)

Recommendations I received there include Ace Joker and Woodchuck.

Tonight I'm sampling Spire Dark & Dry draft cider. It's not quite as dry as the name implies, but better than most I've tried. Still a little "light" for my tastes. Not quite cider nirvana.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Help me find good cider
« on: December 31, 2013, 04:36:33 PM »
I haven't tried that one, but I'm open to the suggestion. I'll check it out.

Generally I'm not a huge cider fan, compared to my interest in craft beer and bourbon and Scotch, but sometimes I crave a good, dark, earthy cider. I figure there are so many clever folk visiting this forum, somebody will have ideas.

Everything and Nothing / Help me find good cider
« on: December 31, 2013, 12:43:57 PM »
I enjoy a good hard cider, but it seems the recent boom in popularity of cider has resulted in more "candy" ciders -- light and very sweet, with more in common with a Zima or a Bartles & James wine cooler than the dark, dry cider I enjoy.

Some of the craft breweries are offering cider now, but I'm leery of proceeding without recommendations. I don't want to spend $7 on a bottle of cider only to find it's sweet "alco-pop..."

Any recommendations?

Everything and Nothing / Christmas wishes from Mike & Lena
« on: December 25, 2013, 09:05:12 AM »
We wish everybody a great Christmas, and hope you all enjoy the rest of your holiday season. We've both been sick a lot lately (like everybody else around here, it seems), but we're fighting back and looking forward to a great 2014.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year 2014
« on: December 25, 2013, 09:03:44 AM »
Thanks, dreamin4ever. Here's to a great year coming up.

Just picked this up yesterday, and tried it last night. Very nice!

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« on: December 24, 2013, 10:44:11 AM »
I recently finished The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, and I'm most of the way through the second book in the series, A Wise Man's Fear. These are part of the Kingkiller Chronicles, a fantasy trilogy you've probably heard of if you're interested in the genre. Rothfuss has been referred to as a young George R.R. Martin. I'm not sure that comparison is apt, in that Rothfuss's writing has a very different tone than Martin's, but it makes sense in that Rothfuss's stories, like Martin's, stand apart from the cookie-cutter similarity of so much epic fantasy.

These follow the story of the multi-talented Kvothe, who would seem capable of succeeding at anything he attempted, except that his own ego and stubbornness often cause him trouble, from childhood to the university and into the world. At the beginning of the story, Kvothe has been discovered living in hiding under a different name by a scribe who wishes to write down his true story. Kvothe tells the tale in his own voice, and this comprises most of the novels, with brief interludes back in the tavern where Kvothe is posing as proprietor. It's interesting to keep revisiting the present, getting perspective on what Kvothe has been through and how it ended up for him in the present.

I'd recommend these books for anyone interested in sensitive and well-written fantasy with more emphasis on academia, books and storytelling than combat and war. Five years passed between the first book and the second, so we're not likely to see the third book until 2015 or 2016.

Oh, and... Highland Park. I've always heard good things about it, but the name doesn't really seem exotic or Scottish to me. "Highland Park" sounds like an affluent suburb of Los Angeles or something!

Bulliet bourbon is really good. When it was first introduced in our area, it was much cheaper and Lena and I drank it all the time. Then it became popular and the price rose by nearly double, so we don't buy it as often. As much as I love Scotch, I probably drink bourbon more often, especially alongside beer. Scotch with beer doesn't really work -- but a bourbon and a beer is lovely!

I'm also very much into rye whiskey lately. It's very similar to bourbon, just a bit spicier, with more of a sizzle. Rye seems to be making a comeback, after several decades where most people considered it old fashioned and unhip.

Great, now I have to buy all the examples in that chart so I can compare for myself.  ;)

Those Laphroaig videos are fantastic! I haven't gotten through the last few yet, but enjoyed seeing the process so far.

Julio, you'll be pleased to know I took your advice and picked up a bottle of Caol Ila last night, and gave it a try. I thought it was fantastic, and Lena really liked it too. I rank that up there with Ardbeg as one of my other recent favorite discoveries.

You also asked about the Scotch recommendations that came from the whiskey fanatics Lena and I met at NecronomiCon. Aside from the discussions that happened at the room party I mentioned, where I only made note of one recommendation (Balvenie Carribean Cask, which I believe is aged in Carribean rum casks), the notes I made actually came from a few weeks later, when a book reviewer we met at the convention tagged a few of us on Facebook and asked for Scotch recommendations.

I don't remember what I recommended to him, but a few others spoke up:

Ilan Lerman, a horror writer from Scotland, suggested Aberlour 16 year, which I haven't tried yet.

Our own Ian Boddy (this is the fun thing about Facebook -- the cross-pollination of your friends from different realms) spoke up and suggested Isle of Jura 16. I believe I've had the younger Isle of Jura and liked it quite well but haven't tried the 16 yet.

The horror writer John Langan, whose excellent collection The Wide Carnivorous Sky I just finished reading, suggested Auchtentoshan. That's next on my list to try.

The room party we attended in Providence was John Langan's room, which he shared with perhaps my favorite active fiction writer, Laird Barron, whose books I strongly recommend for anyone interested at all in weird, dark fiction. Laird's recommendation was Glenrothes. Now, because of my extremely high regard for Laird's writing, this was the first of the recommendations I tried, and while it was a high-quality scotch and had pleasant enough qualities, I didn't really love it. Probably worth a try, but to my taste it was not nearly as distinguished and "deep" as some of the others we're discussing.

Every time I glance back through this topic, and all the pictures, it makes me happy.

I'll definitely have to try Caol Ila soon. It was one of the names mentioned by the many Scotch fanatics I met in Providence. I've been working through the list of great recommendations I received.

What a great post, Julio. Thanks for bumping this back to the top.

For a long time I've favored Glenlivet as my main Scotch, with Laphroaig as an alternate when I'm in a mood for something more exotic.

This past year or so I've been trying to nudge myself out of my comfort zone, and have discovered many new favorites along the way. Ardbeg in particular is something I now rate very near the top of my list.

The Lagavulin 16 is another special one, as Lena and I showed up with a bottle of that to a room party at the NecronomiCon convention in Providence, and found that another guest (one of my favorite weird authors in fact, Michael Cisco) arrived with a bottle of the exact same thing, by chance. So the guests in that room party (which included many other of my favorite writers) consumed two bottles of that fine Scotch in short order, along with several others. Here's the mad genius Cisco offering his endorsement:

Everything and Nothing / Re: MP3 player widget?
« on: December 13, 2013, 02:59:10 PM »
That looks pretty good, John.

I assume you can get it to show the playlist by default? Is there a volume slider option?

That's roughly the idea, Julio. We want to create a central spot for people to come and browse for ambient and related music, not just CDs but also downloads, eventually. To begin, the downloads available will be only a few, but we will quickly add to the list. I expect to have hundreds of album downloads added within the next few months, including many non-Hypnos items.

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