Week 48 – and half of 49 – in pictures

I haven’t written anything since over a week. And I also didn’t take many photos, partly because my colleague Arno is off for his holiday, partly because the weather didn’t play nice at times, and I haven’t been out that much during my lunch breaks.

But apart from the usual cat photos, there were some opportunities, like a pre-Christmas concert from Zuleikha and some of her schoolmates. So let me show you some here:

7e1_b278471-dont-stop

Don’t stop!

7e1_b278480-tuna

7e1_b288482-sfx-p30c-p30s-power-chimney-clouds

Power lines, a chimney, and clouds

Me at work, lit by my monitor

Me at work, lit by my monitor

The next ones don’t have titles. They’re all titled “Vorweihnachtliches Konzert der Prälat-Diehl-Schule”
http://praelat-diehl-schule.de/vorweihnachtliches-konzert-der-praelat-diehl-schule/:

7e1_b308534-concert

7e1_b308550-concert

7e1_b308555-concert

7e1_b308567-concert

7e1_b308568-concert

7e1_b308575-concert

7e1_b308576-concert

7e1_b308579-concert

7e1_b308526-concert

7e1_b308542-concert

7e1_b308557-concert

7e1_b308571-concert

Then I took some high ISO images, with the maximum ISO set to 6400 (and the camera did make use of that at times)…

7e1_c028590-tuna

And all of a sudden, we had some first snow:

7e1_c038599-snow-cat

The making of… a snow cat

7e1_c038601-tuna

7e1_c038606-tuna

7e1_c068618-weeping-willow-leaves

7e1_c078622-muetzenstaender

“Your new Mützenständer!” – that is what Zuleikha said to Mitchie when she saw her mum’s cap on my bass guitar…

As always, thanks for viewing and reading.

Some snapshots, some playing around

Played around with Silver Efex Pro 2 again today, on this:

7e1_b138118-sfxp2-020fa-st4-zuleikha

7e1_b138118-zuleikha

This is the original photo, with the “Natural” setting of my Olympus OM-D E-M10 camera. In Silver Efex Pro2 I used the “020 Fine Arts” preset this time, which is a bit more high key than the 019 one, and which also adds the frame border you see here. What I also did was to selenium-tone it (number 4 in SFx).

Here’s another snapshot from today. It’s the Latin version of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”:

7e1_b138122-harrius-potter

And as always, thanks for viewing.

More photos on white

Today I made photos for Zuleikha, all with the white background like in my last article. Zuleikha needs some photo for application letters – next year those kids will do a practical fortnight in their preferred professions, and they have to find jobs themselves, it’s just part of the game.

I took Zuleikha’s favourite photo from the session and also made a black and white version of it, just in case, and just out of my own curiosity. Looks nice with the “019 Fine Arts” preset of Nik Silver Efex Pro2 (plus a bit of final tweaking in RawTherapee like always):

7e1_b118071-sfx-019-zuleikha

Here’s another one of Zuleikha’s choices, tho this ain’t for applications 😉

7e1_b118079-tuna-zuleikha

Our chosen ones are all on Flickr, so Zuleikha can use and download them on demand whenever she likes to or needs them. I have unlimited storage space on Flickr; time to make use of that 😉

As always, thanks for viewing.

A short status update

Yesterday we were out for a short walk in a small village on the other side of the nearby airport. Here’s Zuleikha sitting on a bench near the river:

7e1_8066767-zuleikha

Back at home, I was doing the usual daily practice routine on my bass, followed by playing around with some standards. As some of you might know, I have the “New Real Book” since some 30 years or so, but it doesn’t contain every standard you might look for – for these, you’d also have to get some of the older classic real books, or better yet, iReal Pro for your smartphone and/or tablet computer, which comes with about 1,300 free classics. And other than the name suggests, this also exists for Android devices. But these are chord sheets / playalongs only, like the original real books these tracks don’t come with the melody due to licensing restrictions.

Here’s also a new version of the collab with jonetsu/nominal6 on Soundcloud. He mixed in my fretless bass quite nicely already, tho the piece is still considered work in progress. In the LinuxMusicians forum entry you can also see some screenshots of the commercial Harrison Mixbus 32c console (on Linux of course) with which he mixed it – together with some nice plugins which I don’t have on Ardour (and which he used for the bass). Anyway, go ahead and listen to that small ambient piece in case you’re interested. It’s under a CC license which means that you could for instance use it for own videos and the likes.

So – currently I’m back to work, where I just upgraded my WordPress to 4.8.1 before writing this (together with updates of two plugins). And today I’m expecting a call from my brother who will visit our aunt, and who will probably need my help with her Linux machine during my lunch break.

And later on, I’ll probably continue working on “Blue Bossa” on my bass…

Thanks for reading.

Music, videos, and computers

Last Sunday, Zuleikha played piano together with some of her classmates of the piano teacher’s class at the local sports hall. Mitchie took it on video, and I recorded the piano (a nice sounding Yamaha Grand) with my Røde microphone, the Focusrite interface, and the company notebook (a Lenovo Thinkpad P50 running the IBM Open Client for the Debian Community, which is currently based upon Ubuntu 16.04 LTS).

Then I used every minute I could to learn new (to me) programs like Cinelerra.

In the end we’ve got a nice sounding movie with all the kids playing, and I also learned how to use fader automation in Ardour (tools like these weren’t even available while I was in the studios during my youth). Cool stuff, and the highlight for me personally was Zuleikha performing one of her own compositions – even some of the other kids were quite impressed by that. Cannot show the whole video here, but I’ll ask Zuleikha if she’ll put something online on her blog – maybe only some of her own playing (we’d have to ask too many parents to show everything here). If yes, then I can put up a link to it here.

On Saturday, June 17th, the latest and greatest version of Debian was released to the public, as promised. And I’ve got and installed it last night, just after finishing the video. It’s nice, and everything worked pretty much out of the proverbial box for me. I did an upgrade followed by a dist-upgrade like recommended, and the whole process didn’t last much longer than just half an hour. Nice.

And now, just a few minutes before writing this, I discovered a nice video on Youtube:

This is Adam Ben Ezra on his double bass.

Enjoy.

At the Chocolate Museum in Cologne

We’re just back from visiting some relatives in Cologne. Haven’t done this since a while, so it was about time. And while being there anyway, Mitchie and Zuleikha wanted to see the Stollwerck Chocolate Museum, which now belongs to Lindt. I took Zuleikha’s portrait in front of a rebuilt classic store:

7e1_4076507-zuleikha

Zuleikha at Stollwerck (now Lindt) Chocolate Museum, Cologne, April 2017

As always, thanks for viewing.

Photography, videos, sound recording and so on

Haven’t written much here lately.

Since I’ve identified what I’m actually after with my photography earlier this year, I’m taking mostly family photos – not of any interest to the general public.

And since Mitchie (and also Zuleikha) is/are more into video, I’ve concentrated a bit more onto the audio aspect of that – having been in professional studios not only as a musician but also as a technician, I try to “give back” some of the gathered knowledge from these areas to my family, my colleagues, and so on.

For some colleagues, I’ve made a (company-internal) video already about how to get the OCDC (Open Client for the Debian Community) IBM layers on top of a more or less “naked” Ubuntu 16.04.2, and I’ll make some more about the tools – both hardware and free and open source software – that I use, and about how I use all that stuff. De-Essers, compressors, LUFS sound leveling, something like this. Plus some microphone techniques.

I also tried to help someone in this thread of the LinuxMusicians forum, for whom/which I uploaded some screenshots to Flickr lately:

Screenshot_2017-03-17_17-57-10

Ubuntu Studio 16.04.2 LTS, running from a USB stick on my machine, with running QJackctl and the Hydrogen drum computer

FocusriteControl

Focusrite Control software, running on Windows 10

Other than that, I’ll cover some tools like Audacity, Ardour and the Calf Studio Gear plugins, Openshot and whatever I’m using. Since most of these tools are cross-platform, the colleagues might want to use them even on their Windows machines; let’s see.

These will be company-internal screencasts and/or videos, just for those people who want to / have to publish some public stuff on the companies’ official Youtube stream(s). Lots of stuff like that exists already, just look at the streams of people like Curtis Judd for instance. No need for me to add anything public here, since there are so many of these technical tips channels already.

Anyway; I’m quite busy most of the time, and just wanted to explain why you see fewer entries here, or on my Flickr stream.

Soon we’ll also visit some family members in Cologne; it’s about time for that as well. Plus both my brother, Mitchie, Zuleikha, and me want to see/visit the Music Store there – can’t wait for that…

Like always, thanks for reading.

Hurz!

Today is my birthday, and it’s a round one – wow, I’m 60 already. Reminds me of the “Seven years” song we’ve heard during our summer holidays…

The most wonderful present I’ve got – beside a really nice cake – was this new birthday card made by Zuleikha:

7e1_2180000_birthdaycard2017

And I’ve got some new gear. This time less photo-related, tho we could use it for some of the videos which Mitchie and Zuleikha make:

7e1_2186458-scarlett-6i6

Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 2nd gen audio interface

7e1_2186459-rode-nt1a

Røde NT-1a large diaphragm studio condenser microphone

And no, I don’t intend to become one more of those Youtube video podcasters, or “vloggers” as they sometimes call themselves. But with this I can do some voice-overs for videos and screencasts – also for the company – and I can record the acoustic guitar or Zuleikha when she plays the horn or countless other things. I already recorded a “Hurz!”:

Oh, and the sound quality from that Focusrite interface is really nice. The onboard sound can’t even think of competing. Plus it’s plug & play under Linux, while on Windows you need some drivers (from Focusrite *and* from Avid if you want to use the included cost-free version of Pro Tools. But Ardour on Linux is better than that of course).

Thanks for reading.

Solo piano

Zuleikha had her first solo piano performance today at the Jugend- und Kulturzentrum (JuKuZ) Mörfelden:

7e1_2126446-zuleikha-concert

Zuleikha in concert, February 2017

It wasn’t her first gig this year – there was an earlier one where she played the horn in the school’s “Brass & Co” Jazz band, but the first one for this year where she was alone on stage.

And it was a good one. Congratulations again, Schätzchen!

Thanks for reading & viewing.