A photo of Tuna, and one of me…

On Saturday I took a photo of Tuna, our cat who was on the heated floor in front of the TV set:

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Tuna the cat on the heated floor, lit by a TV set,
Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020

I cropped that one into a 16:10 format.

And yesterday I’ve got my own photo taken, together with my upright bass and the bow:

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Wolfgang, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020
photographer: Mitchie Suadi-Lonien

As always, thanks for viewing, and/or reading.

Free (Always)

I don’t have words to describe this one. So I just played a little…

As always, thanks to my friends for all the fun (an unforgettable one this time). And thanks to you for listening.

Getdown in the lockdown

Cool & funky template from sami, and he asked for bass & drums. Well I’m no drummer, but I wanted to try another microphone position on my upright recording anyway, so I started with that – and ended up using both the double and the fretless bass. And drums are still missing, so that – like the last one – isn’t ready yet:

Thanks to sami for all the fun, and thanks to you for listening (or even more if you also join us and play or sing or both) 🙂

Edit: oh, and about that microphone position: here it’s pointing to the bridge, and until now I’ve had it pointing to the lower fingerboard instead. The instrument is/was also much closer to the mic here, about 5 inches (normally 10). But while that sounded better on someone’s instrument on Youtube, I think for my bass I’ll go back to the old position – it’s easier to setup and play *and* it sounds better on my instrument…

Don & Wolfgang have the Blues

Sweet track from Don_T which he wrote in January just for me (I feel honoured, really). So finally here’s my bass on it, ready to be filled with drums, vocals, guitar soli etc.:

Thank you Don for all the fun, and thanks to you for listening to it 🙂

Selfie during work

We have another “customer service week”, and some IBMers asked us to take selfies, so here you go. From my iphone which was also provided by our employer:

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Selfie during work during customer service week, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020

The original including exif data is on Flickr, so if you click on the photo, you’ll go there as always.

Also as always, thanks for viewing.

Unanswered questions

Wonderful contemplative track from FrankieJ, couldn’t resist to add a little low end to it:

Second of two recording takes in Reaper, mixed and finalised in Ardour.

As always, thanks to FrankieJ for all the fun, to the Wikiloops supporters who make this all possible, and to you for listening.

Ardour and Reaper

Since I got my audio interface and a studio condenser microphone to record my own voice for videos, I was using Ardour as my main program for recording on my Debian Linux machine. I have tried the Windows version as well, even the new 6.3 one lately, but in my opinion this free and open source tool runs best on an operating system like Debian which is also free and open source, and I think it’s natively developed on Linux as well.

With the audio interface I had gotten some free goodies like for instance the very nice XLN Audio Addictive Keys Studio Grand (what a name!) sampled Steinway grand piano – a 90$ value in itself. I had tried it, loved it, and also installed it on Linux where Windows VSTs need an additional layer to work. It does work, but of course it puts some load onto the machine that way, which is counter-productive in a near realtime usage like music. I’m no pianist, so for me the Salamander Grand, a Yamaha C5 nicely sampled by Alexander Holm was almost equally good. Plus it is under a Creative Commons license, and it runs natively as a soundfont on Linux.

Then I’ve got some more free plugins (and they keep coming if you buy an audio interface from Focusrite, thank you very much to that company!), but like most if not all freebies such as these – they exist for Windows, and for the Mac, and that’s it. So Windows, hm, never was doing much in there…

… I had tried Reaper since version 5 or even earlier, but since I never do much on Windows anyway, that trial version was just laying around mostly unused, and the 30 day trial period was way over, although I had only started it a couple of times. So when I learned about some really cool tricks and about the new version 6.x of Reaper, I decided to pay for it and to license it – it’s no free software like Ardour (which I also support nevertheless). And so I installed Reaper 6 both on Windows and also on Linux (which I also hadn’t done before). For my last two collaborations with other musicians from Wikiloops (see below), I’ve used both Reaper *and* Ardour.

There are many reasons to have them both – first Ardour, since it is open source, runs on Linux, Windows, and Macs, and because a download of a compiled version for Windows or Macintosh machines start at 1$ (or now 1€? Forgot…) – but if you’re fair, and can afford it, you can pay more of course. Ardour is wonderful.

But Reaper has a few things which really save you some time, or which can’t be done at all in Ardour. Take video as an example – yes, in Ardour you can have a video timeline in case you’re making some music for it, but in Reaper you can actually *edit* video. See one of Kenny Gioia’s videos (and he has lots which is another reason to use Reaper) about that:

This is REAPER 6 – Video Editing (13/15)

So you don’t really have to go and to use kdenlive or other programs for simple editing like this, which is cool. And that is just one of many things.

Adam Steel tells us a bit more (but his mentioning of Sonarworks on the monitoring only is what I’m also using in Ardour since I have it):

Why I Love Reaper with Adam Steel!

So no matter if its free or commercial plugins, or any of the tricks Reaper can do but which are difficult to impossible to realise on other DAWs (even ProTools), there’s a reason to try it. Some of my friends over at Wikiloops also use and love Reaper, so in case you can’t or you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars or euros on programs like Cubase or ProTools, you should have a look at these two – Ardour, and Reaper. Best would be a combination of both of them.

As always, thanks for reading.

About strings…

This is the video I was *not* waiting for (well actually I was, but then decided that I needed strings, so I’ve bought some already):

PIRASTRO PERPETUAL Double Bass Strings Review (Plus: How do they compare to Spirocore? Hear both!)

Hervé compared the two sets of strings for double (or upright) basses I was most interested in – the relatively new (invented in 2019 I think) Pirastro Perpetual against the old market leader amongst steel strings, the Thomastik Spirocore Weich.

Both sound pretty good in my opinion. I bought the Thomastik, and have them on my instrument right now – you can hear them on the last two collaborations on Wikiloops, and they made my bass sound way better than it did with the nylonwound strings I had on it when I bought it. And I can also bow it now which is cool 🙂

So thanks again Hervé for that nice comparison, tho I had made up my mind even before you published that video.

See also on TalkBass.

▸Vapourised◂

What a nice ambient chill-out track from DanDiplo and from FrankieJ – couldn’t resist to add both my basses this time, and also with using two different DAWs (Reaper and Ardour):

Thanks to my friends for all the fun, and thanks to you for listening as always 🙂

I’m not my depression

Wonderful track from sami and from mpointon, couldn’t resist to add some upright playing to it:

Thanks to my friends for all the fun, and thanks to you for listening as always.

Update, from September 30th, 2020:

I remixed my own track since I wanted to clean up some things on my bass track using Reaper, and I had the voice way too low in the first version. So here’s the newer one:

Hope this is better now 🙂 And as always, thanks to my friends for all the fun, and thank to you for listening 🙂