Those very nice people at FXpansion kindly sent me copies of both Guru and BFD to play with. They’re both software instrument plugins (used as a RTAS plugin via their very own VST->RTAS wrapper on Pro Tools) that ‘do’ drums. BFD is concerned with real drum kits, Guru has more of an electronic-drums bent.

I don’t actually get sent free stuff THAT often so it’s nice when it does happen! I said I would write up reviews of both of them at some point, and I still intend to do that.

As a quick starting comment though, they are both very good products (I had been looking into buying Guru anyway, so it’s not like I’m just saying this ‘cos I didn’t have to splash out) – Guru, with it’s drum-machine mentality and crunchy sound-library is my favourite out of the two at this time. It’s brilliant fun to make up little 2 bar loops and muck around with them… in fact it can be a little TOO much fun sometimes, I’ve lost an hour or two here and there with it.


New Toys

April 29, 2007

One other thing that’s happened in my time away from the bloggage is that I got a brand new Pro Tools HD PCIe system. I’ve got it running inside a PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5Ghz desktop.

It was hard to actually find a G5 in the ‘retail chain’ last December (as my dealer pointed out, Apple don’t exactly advertise too far in advance when a whole line is being discontinued and it seems that many dealers were caught on the hop a little by the sudden introduction of the Intel desktops, so they ended up not being able to fill all the upcoming orders for PowerPC systems as Apple just decided to stop production of PPC stuff dead), but I didn’t want to jump straight into a MacPro system as at the time the situation with many HD plugins being updated to Universal code (or not, or doubt as to exactly when that might happen) was making me uncomfortable with the prospect. It felt a little version 1.0 to me.

It may have seemed a bit strange to some people (especially the folks the system was bought from!) that I was insisting on what is effectively yesterdays’ techonology, but essentially the CPU side of the system is the least-expensive (and easiest to upgrade) part of it. It was a good choice to do this, I still think, as although in the 4 months I’ve had it running all the installed HD plugins purchased have indeed been made Universal there’s still total support out there for the PowerPC userbase.

In summary – the new setup is lovely.

With version 7.2 and upwards, the PTHD software has finally come of age, it has not only the features it always should of had anyway (region groups for example) but also many additions that you didn’t realise you needed until there was an option to use them. Which, to me, is always the sign of a grown-up piece of software.

That’s not the same as when some applications get overtaken by ‘bloat’ though, as it feels like there hasn’t just been an attempt to throw in random new features just to lengthen the ‘look what it can do!’ list.

So, yes, I’m liking the new toy big time.


I can usually find anything I could ever dream of (and sometimes things people should not even dream of) on The Internet. Tonight, however, I have discovered that The Internet does not seem to contain a place where I can look at/download 1986-era O Level exam papers.

Well, who’d have thunk it.

I’ll be writing a strongly-worded letter to the company that created “The Internet” forthwith.

Gosh, a 4 whole months since I posted any news about what I/we’ve been up to. Sorry. Damn. I’m not sure I can actually remember all the stuff we’ve been playing with in all that time, oooops. But, hey, I’ll have a go and see what I can dig up…

We’ve done a remix of a track by a very well known and influential hip hop trio. Hopefully you’ll be hearing it on a television set near you soonish. I can’t, as usual, say much more than that (as you can see somethings never change – wherever this blog is hosted!)

I’ve done a couple of mixes (in the ‘mixing down the final version’ sense, not ‘remix’) for a newish/up-and-coming artist called Parker, who’s signed to my old mate Cut La Roc’s Rocstar label.

We did a remix for the Young Punx‘s new track “You’ve Got To” which we like a lot (as do they, luckily)

We created a new version of the classic Mighty Dub Katz track “Just A Groove” featuring Brazilian Diva Daniella Mercury, which Norman played many times when he did his series of gigs in Brasil last February, and a few times they did a PA together with Daniella on stage doing her thing. Not what the plan is for releasing that, or if there even is one.

Oh, of course, Norm did his New Years Day thing down here, which there’s no real point detailed this long after the event. Much fun was had by (mostly) all – it all does seem forever ago now!

There’s a MDK mix CD coming out very soon too, and I’m told I should mention that. So I just have.

We’ve just finished another remix, which is basically awesome, but I hate the fact that yet again I can’t mention what it is.

The new track by Dan Le Sac VS Scroobius Pip is really good.

We’ve also continued to do some bits and bobs on the David Byrne “Here Lies Love” project.

I was recently helping out production-wise on a track by a female solo artist who found fame as part of, what was technically, a duo. That’s all I should say really. The track in question was a possible for her new album, but due to time constrants didn’t get to a finished stage in time for that. Not sure what the future holds for it, when I know more I’ll be sure to give you all the gory details…

I’ve finally finished some Go Go Underground stuff. I’ll be boring you to death with all that when I get around to working out a plan for the whole project. Be very warned.

That’s all I can think of/find reference to at the moment. If I remember anything else, I’ll try and drop a note here about it.

Hello. It’s me. Again.

April 28, 2007

Welcome to The New World.

OK, that’s overstating it a little – welcome to the same old nonsense in a new place. There’s a better, more 21st Century, layout. The way it looks is likely to be the only real improvement round here though – there’s no point me promising that the writing here will be any better, interesting or frequent than it was at the old place.

All the old “” stuff from 2006 and before will stay where it is for now – I won’t be converting it all over to the new WordPress format – it’s just too much work for not enough reason. So it’ll stay there and perhaps some people will continue to find posts of interest in there via search engines, but as far as this new blog goes my plan is to pretty much start from scratch.

I’ve been a bit naughty in using the old skool HTTP EQUIV refresh stuff to redirect people from the real “” site to this WordPress site. This is Bad, for lots of reasons, I’ll work out doing it properly one day. It does also means that the few people that used to get an RSS feed from won’t know to resubscribe to this new stuff.