I’m Optiganally Yours

I’m not quite sure what it is exactly that I’m curating on my website… I still enjoy it, though.

Anyway, a LONG time ago, I was saving up my hard earned cash to purchase the latest CMJ Magazine that came with an audio CD full of upcoming bands. When I say upcoming, I mean it. Thanks to those CDs, I was the first to hear Portishead in my neighborhood. The first to hear the Dave Mathews Band. Even a little band called Oasis. Those monthly CDs were fucking GOLD for a music lover like myself interested in what was happening well passed what was playing on the radio. I wanted to hear what was going to be in a year or two. That was CMJ Magazine for me.

So, on some hot, sweaty July day in 1997, I scurried to the local mall and hit the bookstore. Frantically searching for that plastic bag-covered CMJ magazine. Long story short, I was listening to that purple CD an hour later in the uncomfort of my hot-ass bedroom (my Dad wouldn’t run central air). My trusty CD boombox that I got when I turned 16 was now blasting unknown music through my headphones into my subconscious back-up hard drive.

I remember being slightly disappointed in the CD. Not a lot of “new”. It looked like it was getting commercial-y. I mean Sarah McLachlan as the 1st cut? WTF?

Little did I know a gem of a song that would not only remain in my mental palace, but, like a virus, infect my daughter years later was about to rock my dirty, torn jeans off my me.

The last song on the CD. This song:

I was blown away.

The music sounded old and sampled, but still being… played? If that makes sense. There’s just no way they sampled a song that had everything they needed to make “Mr. Wilson”. Anyway, it was catchy, it sounded great, the production was horribly good.

So 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 (have daughter), 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 (daughter walks into office while I’m listening to this, walks out singing song), 2008, 2009, 2010 (I find the music video on youtube, first time seeing Optiganally Yours), 2011, 2012 (daughter asks for name of song about Mr. Wilson), 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 (writing this post).

The secret weapon to Mr. Wilson was the instrument and the fella playing it. The instrument is an Optigan made by Mattel. An instrument I hadn’t heard of until the internet got a little more mature (around 2004-2005). It’s like a consumer version of a Mellotron based on audio discs. The audio discs are pre-recorded sounds of instruments, bands and vocals. There are buttons that are actuated and, in turn, play certain portions, vocals or instruments on the audio disc. There’s also a melody keyboard.

 

 

Here’s a video:

 

These things are vintage. And if you haven’t thought of it yet, the audio discs are hard to come by.

BUT… there’s a fun twist. The guy that played the optigan on that haunting track “Mr. Wilson”, went on to try to archive the sounds from all of the optigan discs. As with most passion projects, his efforts turned into a company.

Optigan.Com

 

This guy is Pea Hicks.

Please be sure to follow him on YouTube under peahix.

Interesting videos and every once in a long while, you get to peer into his life.

 

 

 

 

 

Like this:

Sound Synthesis Series

I use to not wonder too much about things.

When I was younger, I’d hop into my giant 1972 Impala, turn the key and go.

As I got a little older, the mechanics on why my car worked (or didn’t… mostly) unnerved me. I could feel something wrong with the pick-up and go of my car. When I pushed the gas pedal down, the car slowly came to life. That wasn’t suppose to happen with a V8! Why was this happening?

That started my life-long process of opening up things and learning. Long before the internet, that was a major life decision. If I were to open up this TV or start taking parts off of my car, I better be able to put it back on! No YouTube or late-night forum questioning from my phone. If you did it, you better be able to UNdo it.

After 20 years of doing this, I’m finally at the point where I want to learn more about the instruments I use on a daily basis. MUSIC instruments, mind you. I’ve seen so much on acoustic instruments and can name a handful of guys off-the-top that can build them. No, I’m talking ELECTRONIC.

As you may or may not know, my 5 year goal is to build a modular synth (piece it together with boutique, store-bought and self-built). The point of this post is the “self-built”. And that’s the focus of what I’m calling “Sound Synthesis Series” for now. Maybe it will change based on my interest or a major change or life or whatever.

For now, SOUND SYNTHESIS SERIES.

The first is this. A link to this guy I just came across on YouTube. I got rid of cable almost a year ago. YouTube has been one of my main sources of entertainment for the last 4 years, so of course I’m on it all day every day. There is so much content out there, you’ll never get bored.

This guy: sawsquaresine came up when I was watching sorting algorithm videos. Which led me to his site:

Flexibeatz

Where he offers open source sound generators which can help those, like me, with a knowledge deficit in sound synthesis.

This is mostly for me, but if you find these link helpful, that’s worth it too!

Music + Marketing + Finance

The actual information doesn’t start until 1:50 into the video.

This actually goes along with the fact that I’ve been working hard to pull together all the music I’ve worked on for the last 5 years. Not for work or anything, just my personal pieces that I either started or stopped at some point in time within the last 5 years.

About a month ago, I spent a few days going through the old projects. Projects in FL Studio, Ableton and Reason. I have a LOT of ideas I’ve written and saved with no discernible way to categorize them, which means I was stuck going through the project files one at a time. Time well spent.

I’ve separated the projects into 2 categories: keep & sell. That’s right, I’m going to release the projects I’ve written to be leased or purchased! This will definitely help me in a few ways. I have an outlet for the notes in my head and I can make a little money on the side to help me build a modular synth. Hopefully, I can sell my music to someone that will use it commercially or like it so much, they want to write around it and add it as a track on their album! THAT would be awesome.

Anyway, with any venture comes a ton of research, learning and near-capacity understanding of what I’m about to do. That’s just how I roll. If I’m going to do something, I really need to understand it and try to troubleshoot as much as I can prior to even starting. So that’s what I’ve been doing in my spare time. Learning.

That brings me to the subject of this post. Now that I’ve spent almost 30 days reworking old tracks, writing new pieces and finally learning software that I’ve had for years, I’m back in the groove of music. I’m also well-versed on the marketing and sales of my music. Combining them both, I was chuckling like I’ve never chuckled before at this video.

P.S. Watch for future posts about my music. I’ll have pieces for sale, but will also release tracks for listening on all the major music publishing locations online. iTunes, Rhapsody, Groove, Spotify, Soundcloud, etc. My personal music may or may-not be under robotKillYou. When I get to working on my stuff, I’ll get a clearer picture on where that is headed.

Eddie O’Keefe – What is the artistic world up to these days?

So, I remember a time when no one cared about photography. It was, maybe the span of a month. It was right before the era of 9/11. I’d say… roughly around the end of summer, 2000.

[metaslider id=412]

It seemed like everyone was more interested in how they could benefit from online commerce. We didn’t know the dot-com burst was already in full swing.

We just had the y2k scare and it felt like technology was progressing almost every hour. We were scared of some serial killer that was hitchhiking on trains. Those lucky enough to have a cell phone were already locked into horrible plans that barely had any coverage. People in their mid-twenties (like me) were feeling the economic pinch. Still rocking our 90s gear and listening to the same shit were were listening to in 1997. Good stuff.

I can’t even remember if I even had a camera. I think the last camera I had, I bought  in the 90s. It was a panorama disposal camera. I thought it would take cool shots, so I grabbed one before my band went on tour. I ended up getting the worst images I’ve ever taken, but was able to get us all in frame… so that was something?

Anyway, no one cared about photos. There was no social media, so smart phones, no digital consumer cameras. I think Canon released the D30 that year, but I’m too lazy to research that. That was Canon’s first DSLR. It was probably like .7 Megapixels. That’s a lie, I have no idea what MP it was.

among the worst things that happened to life

So, fast forward to the iPhone era. Quick photos became the norm. It wasn’t “me me me” yet. There weren’t selfies. Just random photos of everyone’s lives because we still weren’t use to the idea that we had a camera on us at all times (smart phones/ironic). If you remember myspace at all, you probably rarely saw photos of the friends you visited on myspace. If they took a trip somewhere, you were lucky to get 1 photo out of it.

Now time warp to now, you get 4 photos every 15 minutes from all people, all apps, all the time. If your post doesn’t have a photo attached to it, it’s not going to do good. If you don’t get enough likes on every post, you have failed at life.

THAT is a HUGE jump from 17 years ago. And that brings me to the point of this post.

As an artist, I am close to being done with photography. Prosumer cameras have reached the level of professionals. Everyone has access to everything you need to create a great photo, but somehow it still takes an artist to pull a good shot… hmmm….

yuck

With all the filters and photoshops in the world, you will create shit if you don’t have the eye, ability and drive for it. Thanks to instagram and other photo processing apps, my collection of Land Cameras are stored in a random cardboard box in a dark corner because I’m so sick of that look. A lot of time spent finding, reviving and maintaining my land cameras and all of my other vintage bodies, and now… I can’t even bring myself to look through a viewport. I’m just sick of that look.

Until now

I recently found Eddie O’Keefe. This guy has the eye for it. The aesthetic might look like your run-of-the-mill, retro reproducer, but look closer. It’s actually good. Both still and moving, the images are great!

I’m no critic, but like this bird, I know what’s good.

 

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Free Bacon

Who does this? I would totally be down for free bacon, though. You know, come to think of it… I don’t think I could take free bacon from someone I don’t know. That’s WAY sketchy. If I were to think about a little more… I probably wouldn’t take free bacon from people I know, either.

Well, now that’s a breakthrough! I think just grew up! I don’t like bacon as much as I use to think that I possibly could? Wow.

 

https://www.craigslist.org/about/best/hou/6075022749.html

JULY 12TH: INTERNET-WIDE DAY OF ACTION TO SAVE NET NEUTRALITY

On July 12, 2017, websites, Internet users, and online communities will come together to sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality. Learn how you can join the protest and spread the word at https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12/.

Right now, new FCC Chairman and former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai has a plan to destroy net neutrality and give big cable companies immense control over what we see and do online. If they get their way, the FCC will give companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T control over what we can see and do on the Internet, with the power to slow down or block websites and charge apps and sites extra fees to reach an audience.

If we lose net neutrality, we could soon face an Internet where some of your favorite websites are forced into a slow lane online, while deep-pocketed companies who can afford expensive new “prioritization” fees have special fast lane access to Internet users – tilting the playing field in their favor.

But on July 12th, the Internet will come together to stop them. Websites, Internet users, and online communities will stand tall, and sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality.

The Battle for the Net campaign will provide tools for everyone to make it super easy for your friends, family, followers to take action. From the SOPA blackout to the Internet Slowdown, we’ve shown time and time again that when the Internet comes together, we can stop censorship and corruption. Now, we have to do it again!

Learn more and join the action here: https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12

Found Moments

If you take a picture, you’re not truly thinking about who will be seeing that photo. Maybe these days, you have a target demographic or group of friends, but back in the days of film, you were capturing moments to remember later.

When was the last time you captured a moment? What’s more interesting, seeing a posed photo or a behind the scenes blooper of that photoshoot? Terry Richardson says, “I create photos, I don’t take them.”. Which is true, if you’ve ever seen his stuff. He is totally right in there. Literally. ALL up in there.

Anyway, photos are precious. And with old photos, someone took each for a specific reason. To remember the moment. Why not give those photos one more breath of life and take a look at these moments from someone’s history? Click the red button below to go to the HUGE collection of found photos.