That was 2017

Although nothing has really changed in the greater context, I won’t repeat my negative statement from last year’s article. In regard to goals accomplished, there were some important ones (albeit not related to my usual music-stuff talk), and that way, I’ll even accept that there wasn’t so much music-related things happening. Well, at least not with a tangible result.

Goals Revisited

In short: leave this place, accomplish the thing to celebrate originally planned for 2016, start an acoustic ensemble project, do the all-analogue signal chain thingie, do a #secretalbum release, maybe remaster old albums or get An Ambient Manifold out of the way. And although I missed writing it down: there was still the story about the NAS.

Not Music

NAS

This had been on the list for what feels like eternity. The first documented mention (albeit only internally) comes from 2010. It was always the usual things: make or buy? how to integrate it if I’m moving house? Let’s not do this right now, I can make do with other things.

I had enough of the stupid excuses (mine, that is). So I defined a project structure.

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It actually worked. I started early in 2017 with the development phase, reached Milestone B in March, and Milestone C in May. (Milestone A happened somewhere in 2010 or 2011).

The Make or Buy decision was decided with a make for hardware (well, I didn’t build my own microprocessors and harddisks in my condo…) and part-make-part-buy for the software.

Quick facts: Supermicro X11-series board with the smallest available uP but lots of RAM, five big disks, FreeNAS RAIDZ configuration, active directory server running on a Raspi, twin 10GB Ethernet connectivity. Rulez!

20170318_153130_Alzstraße.jpg(In the meantime, the project definition document had grown to over a hundred pages).

Other Stuff

Day-job-wise, I took some time in the day job to invent things. A total of ten or so things, some of which have already been registered with the patent office. Look ’em up!

I also went to a few conferences. GTC Europe was all the rage! The TÜV Fahrerassistenzthingie was also cool. The others were so-so. I did a business trip to Malaga.

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And then I tricked a colleague into helping me out with a rather innovative paper. Algebraic topology, which is key for automated driving. Which he then had to present at a (boring) conference, because I got married.

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Let it be known that a suit or a dinner jacket is like wearing briefs!

There’s some snapshots from Prague and Karlsbad I’d like to share.

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That last one wasn’t from Prague or Karlsbad, but from MoinSound Studio’s balcony.

Blog Statistics

The lowdown:

  1. Views are up by a meager 11%.
  2. Places one and two remain unchanged (FM/PM synthesis and Elektron Analog Rytm review).
  3. The first one not having to do with synths/audio tech is still the review of Sony’s QX1 – but it has dropped from place 4 to 12.
  4. First article about art is still the review of Hannover (up from 21 to 15).
  5. First post on my own art is in place 34 (up from 36).
  6. First new article is the review of two Airwindows plugins (place 14).
  7. Oldest article in the top 10 is Taming a Noisy Beast in place 4 (it’s from 2010!)

[all figures from right after the year had ended]

With the typical key takeway. I should stop writing about anything else than audio tech articles. They’re going well and have staying power!

Music

There’s a lot of things I though about, but didn’t complete. But I started some of them with an actual chance to complete them.

More Than Moore

That was something I had been thinking (and talking) about at great length. I don’t even remember when the idea first manifested: a kinda-audiophile synth album with an all-analogue end-to-end signal chain.  Minimum generation count. Old and new analogue synths. Cassette culture. Special editions.

Not much progress was made for most of 2017. At some time, I got a few cheap delay pedals, hooked them up with a few other analogue components and started to have fun. Here’s one of the examples again:

Later in the year, this project also got greenlighted. Which means I can at least spend money on it. Like, on gear.

Console

What happens next? Assembling gear. Selecting a partner for duplication. Writing music. And recording it. Relearning use of analogue tape.

Do not expect anything tangible before end of Q2/2018. Meaning it could also be later. But I want to make this happen in 2018.

Old Remasters

I also talked about those at length in the past: working backwards in my back catalogue, I wanted at least all of my radical improvised period releases available online in a decent condition. Which meant diving into some old recordings which were not very cleverly done audio-engineering-wise.

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In November, I finally greenlighted the production for the rerelease of the two remaining items. On board is Martin Kristopher (who has to do the unpleasant audio treatment). Expect a release within Q1/2018.

An Ambient Manifold

Also something I had talked about a lot. A week from the MoinSound Studio Sessions with daily virtual concerts, performed on a rather complex setup.

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There’s hours of recordings, like, more than seven.

Gotta finally turn this into an album. When? Let’s hope in 2018.

#secretalbum

Nothing has happened for the entire year. Why? Laziness. And lack of opportunities also helped. Let’s just remember: the cattle call for Baßtelstube recording happened in June of twenty fucking sixteen!

I don’t know what will happen, but I bloody well know not to promise anything. I have already disappointed myself and others often enough on this.

Not My Own

I have to start this with a confession: if memory serves, I didn’t attend any concerts this year, nor did I discover fancy new things. I got back into vinyl a little, though, in part triggered by the fact that I was still missing Metallica’s first release on vinyl. And I never had a vinyl copy of Sgt. Pepper. Why not grab something more contemporary at the same time?20171216_202618_Roßtalerweg.jpg

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Not vinyl-related, I hugely enjoy Murray Perahia’s Awards Collection, and Gerhaher singing Schubert is always a safe bet.

Other things I listened to? Well, at least I got down to finally pen a review of one of the greatest albums of all time.

Curves of Life

But apart from that? I really need to do more listening.

Next Year?

Let’s see:

  1. I’ll rerelease SAUBER! and groxi.
  2. I’ll release An Ambient Manifold
  3. I’ll make great progress (and most probably release an album) regarding More Than Moore.

And hopefully: some #secretalbum activity, a new place to live, and an actual (preferably acoustic) ensemble.

And attend some actual concerts.

Have a great 2018!

Rainer

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