Gino Robair is former editor of EM

Archive for January, 2010

Gino’s Big Adventure: Building a Personal Studio, Part 2


Lake Robair in late January, before it was drained.

Part 1 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7

Today, I’m reminded of the evil scientist’s quote in the Looney Tunes episode “Water, Water, Every Hare?:

“Delays, delays, nothing but delays!?

No one is surprised that this adventure will take longer than expected. For example, our holiday gift from the county was a 100-day wait for a set of building permits—all because of an internal door. In the meantime, my son has launched a flotilla of paper boats on Lake Robair as we wait for the rains to subside. His next big scheme is to promote our impromptu reservoir as a “semi-rural spa with mud baths,? hoping to charge $5 a customer. “Lemons into lemonade? is how he puts it.

Meanwhile his father is coming to grips with the issues of creating a work environment that keeps residential sounds out while keeping musical ones in. Anyone with a personal studio knows that leaf blowers, trucks, and airplanes provide a formidable opponent in terms of sound isolation. But this studio owner also likes natural light, so I’ve been thinking long and hard about the windows. The permitting process has bought me a bit more time. more

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Why Is This So Complicated?

Winter NAMM show

If you read the gear mags or follow music technology online, you’re probably aware that the Winter NAMM show begins today in Anaheim, Calif. Winter NAMM is the most important annual trade show (though, not the biggest) of the “music products industry,? and it’s where manufacturers from all over the world announce new stuff, look for distribution, and talk to the media. Its also great for people watching, thanks to the city’s fair weather and close proximity to Hollywood.

NAMM also means announcements of software upgrades. Rather than repeat myself, you can read my thoughts on the longevity of electronic musical instruments versus the recurring upgrade paradigm here. The upgrades are usually announced with great fanfare, and in many cases it’s warranted—such as the last Pro Tools rev, which was sorely needed to make the product competitive in terms of notation, MIDI, and beat production. Some announcements, however, just seem to pile sexy new features onto an older product while core issues remain unsolved.

Late last month, Ableton CEO and founder, Gerhard Behles, announced on the company’s forum that he was suspending further product development in order to fix the bugs in Live 8. (The product was unveiled at last year’s NAMM show, along with the Cycling ’74 collaboration Max for Live, and the first controller created for the system, the Akai APC40). more

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