Michaelwclark.com

Just my stuff


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Firebrand

This is a pretty old tune that I originally sang. The first recording was done in the late 1980s / early 1990s on a Fostex 4-track tape with a Yamaha mini keys keyboard, an Ibanez digital delay and a couple of foot pedals. Despite the limited tech, the end result was pretty good. (I might transfer it from tape and post it some day for interests sake).

This time around I didn’t feel like singing so just did the main melody with a synth line. And I gave it a sorta i Robot update. Digital age…

But still, I left in retro “Disco Toms” and California-style lead guitar. So it’s a bit of old and new.

All the VSTi plugins are freeware. Some were slightly modified with other paid-for VSTs that come with Reaper, which itself is a very modestly priced DAW (digital audio workstation).

Photo (cropped): www.flickr.com/photos/ihearaviolin/8103585130/

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Alternative to Adobe

image via tumblr

If you saw my blog earlier you’d know that I have been restoring an old computer. Basically, I want it as fast as possible, considering it only has 1gb ram and WinXp.

After a day or two of banging away at it, I finally got it in great working order. Thing is, I don’t want to install a bunch of software because it has such precious little ram, and more programs would likely slow it down (even if disabled at startup, they seem to have their ways of gobbling up resources).

So instead of installing Adobe Photoshop Elements, which came bundled with our scanner, I thought I’d try an online photo editor, namely, https://pixlr.com/editor .

My main concern this time around was text manipulation. I wanted to see how much I could alter the text because that is often the weak link in cheaper photo editing software. At least, it was a few years ago when I was more enthusiastic about photo editing.

As far as I can see, pixlr doesn’t have a “stroke text” option, which basically puts a line around the outside of the text (like you see on Tumblr). But it does have a “hard” adjustment to its outer glow. So using all the sliders available, I got a pretty nice approximation of a light pink stroke effect.

There’s also a very nice “denoise” which adds a subtle smoothness to a grainy image. I used that too.

Yes, the photo colors are garish. But don’t blame me for that. Anyone who has owned WinXP will recognize that this is one of the stock photos that comes with a fresh install.

So will I eventually load up my Adobe PS Elements? Probably. It’s like a poor wo/man’s Photoshop, with almost everything one needs for casual use. Pixlr was fun to try but with PS Elements you can load up any font you want. Pixlr seems limited that way.

Oh yes, the quote. That’s from the rock group The Who—an lp that I used to like as a kid. Some kind of critique of psychiatry or something. I’m not sure. But I love the energy.

“Can you see the real me?” – Quadrophenia.

 


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u wanna know – new tune

Sorry if I’ve been neglecting my emails. Been putting the final touches on this…


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Yes

Probably pretty rare… Vinyl

A post shared by @mc2go on

an old prog rock lp that I still like to listen to from time to time…


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Back on the Train (blast from the past!)

Here’s a tune I wrote back in the 80s! My partner had just moved out and this creative outlet started spouting all sorts of tunes. So… it’s young, not too sophisticated… but part of me. I might do a version with real guitar. The guitar sounds here are from VST plugins. I love to cheat! MIDI is so much more fun than stringed instruments (tho’ one guitar is a sampled Strat). As for the vocals… well, I AM rusty. Haven’t been signing much lately. And when my pipes do open up, it’s usually later at nite. So I had to speak/sing into the mic to not awaken anyone in the house. 🙂


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The Story of David Bowie – interview / documentary – 2002 (part 1 / 6)

I watched all six parts of this last night. An interesting account…


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Steve Winwood Back in the Highlife Again!

I was in the used bookstore yesterday and heard this groovy sounding Steve Winwood music playing in the background.

As I pondered the book titles I searched my memory and, no matter how hard I tried, couldn’t locate the record I was listening to. It sounded very 70s and I thought I knew just about every Blind Faith, Traffic and Steve Winwood tune there is.

So on exiting the store I asked the man at the counter… “What is this lp?”

“Steve Winwood,” he replied.

“I know that…” I said. “But what album?”

“Nine Lives,” he said. “It just came out Tuesday.”

Well, I haven’t heard all of it yet but from my initial sampling it seems that Mr. Winwood has rediscovered his muse, big time.

This isn’t a flashy sound. And it probably won’t make the bubblegum (or should I say razor blade) charts. But Winwood fans should be happy.

It’s really a statement…