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Oct 22, 2013
Tonight I practiced drums until I felt like I could fairly easily reproduce all patterns given to me by my instructor at low speed. Some of them I can do at full speed (which for me is around 100-120 bpm). Of course not everyone agrees that full speed is 100-120 bpm, but that's another discussion. Tomorrow when I take my second drum lesson, I should be past the eighth note feet and the first beginning rudiments. I recorded the practice with arecordmidi (alsa's command-line midi recorder) and Rosegarden. If I clean these up or perhaps after my next review of those beats, I should have a handful of very good rock beats. I have seen these beats repeatedly in Rock Band songs because they are so common to rhythm. I've decided to do 2 hours of lessons in November despite planning a long vacation around Thanksgiving.
So I decided to spend a few minutes recording a quick jam, kinda like the ones I've been doing at the EMP. I only recorded for 4 minutes (a song at most) but I spent a lot of time listening to it. I decided to quantize it to 16th notes (something I can totally do but not totally reliably) and listen to it. It's a lot better than the original in many respects. The rhythm really comes together and the worst part about it is that the quantizing will cause there to be gaps that drop the beat for a short bit. That can be fixed really easily. Then I quantized to 8th notes (something I am quite good at now, but am still working on) and it turned out really good. There are the rests which make the rhythm drop from time to time, but if you only listen for things you like, you get a quite reasonable drum session. There are different sections and no single rhythm last more than a few measures. That's by design. I don't want people to think of my beats as being regular. Of course there's rhythm to be maintained which is why I have a pretty steady backbeat with the hi-hat and snare for many parts. What I was really exercising was my control over choice of rhythm, bass variety, and breaking the tempo. Why would I want to change the rhythm rapidly? I'm trying to give the listener something to distract them. They aren't going to get a steady beat from me. Of course part of art is being able to do anything and choosing to do something you want to do. So that's why I'm practicing and taking lessons. Once I can keep a beat and mess around, I will make some pretty crazy stuff. Until then you are stuck with this. Since I want to conserve disk space on my server, I'm not making flac or mp3 available, just Ogg Vorbis and midi. Let me know if you'd like either of the other formats and I'll post them. As usual, these files are available under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
2013 Oct 22 d by Javantea is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
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2013 Oct 22 d Original
Anything else? Toorcon San Diego was amazing. They were selling Toorcamp pre-preregistration at Toorcon last weekend, so we are officially in need of a plan. I will present my thoughts on that soon. It is competing with a hundred different thoughts right now and only one gets to win at a time. I recommend Hushcon if you're in Seattle this Dec 13-14th. Get ahold of me if you're looking for an invite. They are not trying to make it hard to register or submit a talk. Techno Activism 3rd Mondays (TA3M-Seattle) was a good meeting. It was designed for people with a lot less technical expertise than 90% of the people there, so the conversation between talks were way off topic. I am partly to blame for this so I apologize to those who found themselves thinking about a tangent instead of what we should have been talking about. Unfortunately I have spent way too much time and effort thinking about the various security/privacy games we are playing.
My personal opinion is that dismantling of the NSA would not solve the problem but would be a good message to those who earn their living invading the personal privacy of others. Until we solve the problem of security and privacy, these people will wreak havoc on completely innocent people's lives. When Jose Canseco demonstrates that he has better understanding of the surveillance state than most congress people, we have made more than a few mistakes. And with mistakes comes stark and difficult realities. Companies that feed of death, destruction, and illegal spying will need to go bankrupt. People that work for those companies will need to be out of work. People who used to work for the DoD will have to find a real job or maybe no job at all. And people who care about privacy will have to give away a piece of security software to ensure that it grows faster than Tor or Linux. We need secure software to reach the masses like BitTorrent and Android. But how can we promote security when it's not easy to use? We have to give people a reason to use it: free movies, free music, faster download rates, and no lawsuits. How will we make all this possible? With enormous effort.
"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too." -- John F. Kennedy
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