iamNEETA (Band)

In my last post I wrote about the recently produced and released Malaysian drama “Sweet Dreams” – which gets so many things just right. And one of the important things in movies, films, and videos is always music, and that’s right as well. Amongst others, there’s a singer called Neeta Manishaa and her band iamNEETA who produced several songs for the mini series, and instead of showing you parts of that series again, here are three original videos (by nartvnetwork which I think is owned by Warner Malaysia, so these young people do have record contracts already). Neeta is following Jasmine Thompson, and her voice at times also reminds me a bit of Ana Torroja of Mecano – a band which featured an unknown young actress called Penélope Cruz in one of their videos (which made her famous later on).

So here are iamNEETA:

iamNEETA – iLusi (Official Music Video – with cc)
iamNEETA – Jatuh Cinta (Official Music Video)
iamNEETA- Marry Me (Official Music Video)

Awesome, aren’t they? And yes, they were on the “Big Stage” already, featured by Siti Nurhaliza. So it’s good to know that the Malaysian music business is alive and well…

Hope you enjoyed it – and as always, thanks for watching / reading / listening.

Sweet Dreams

Saw the sweetest drama ever, and terima kasih to my wife for translating most of it for me:

[EPISOD PENUH] Sweet Dreams – EP1 (Mira Filzah,Ben Amir,Sean Lee,PU Azman)

This is the first full episode of 20 (well 19 and 20 are identical until the last 5 minutes or so, where they split into a sad / a happy ending).

This was produced in 2019, and broadcasted from August 5th until September 5th on Malaysian Pay TV (Astro Ria). Sadly, no subtitles, but after watching just a few minutes you’ll realize that this is something special.

Loved that show, and I’m so glad that I could see it. Really recommended stuff, even if you – like me – don’t understand most of it.

Me on film, August 2019

Got my first film back from the lab, together with some prints (10x15cm), and scans on CD which aren’t very good or high-res (but we knew that already, doesn’t matter since these are cheap).

I’m not too convinced with the colours from their Kodak Gold colour negative film (200ASA), so I tried a black & white conversion using RawTherapee, and added a white border in Darkroom with the last image from that film. Looks like this:

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Me, on film

Not too bad, my “full frame” camera from ca. 1972 or so, hm? Scaled down to your usual image height for screens like here (1080 pixels high), or even printed on 10x15cm paper, the results are very nice. And I’m sure that they’d be even better if I would scan the images myself (and maybe I’ll do that with a few prettier ones).

Edit: just converted another one to black & white, same method as above:

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Zuleikha, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2019

As always, thanks for reading, and for viewing.

Found via PetaPixel: a short intro to Darktable

This one might be interesting for all of you who don’t like or want Adobe’s subsription-based software (and in music, there are companies like ProTools which do the same). It’s about a free Lightroom alternative, and yes you’ve read that right, it’s both free as in cost as well as free as in free speech (and as such, rights), which is even more important.

It’s available for all major operating systems like Linux, Windows, or MacOS, unlike RawTherapee which I mostly prefer. But it tops RawTherapee in features, especially in the masking explained here, and as such, in its local processing capabilities. Other standout features which I’ve mentioned already include the map for instance, or the profiles for denoising an image.

So go and read PetaPixel, and watch the video right there, or in Youtube.

And as always, thanks for reading.

Smiles for Miles

Just received a terrific remix on a track on which I also played:

The sax is by ‘Fishinmissio’, so the list of musicians – one has left the loops under this account – is like follows:

Thanks Mark for your great Sax! And thanks to everyone else for listening.

A rhythm group setup for Ardour

Just made this template:

Ardour channels for drums, bass, and piano

It shows a nicely integrated Black Pearl drumkit from Glen McArthur in its multichannel version, a track for my bass and another one for effects in case I need them, and another one for Alexander Holm’s nicely sampled “Salamander Grand” which is his Yamaha C-5 grand piano miked with two AKG microphones, sampled in thirds with 16 different velocity levels (needs almost 2GB of RAM when extracted). One last channel is for Reverb, so I can route all channels to the same ambient if needed.

So yeah, this could be used for a one-man rhythm section. Or of course for a real band if you have one. Needs soloists and/or vocalists etc. on top to make it complete (in case you want more than a Jazz trio or something like it, think Dave Brubeck for example 🙂 ). Or you could throw in some electronica and make music for computer games; whatever…

As always, thanks for reading.

The Gentle Rain (featuring Ali Campbell)

Here’s Don, Ali, and me:

Ali isn’t on Wikiloops as far as I know, so it doesn’t make much sense to show the list of musicians with just Don and me.

Oh, and this is of course not my normal fretless bass, it’s the Karoryfer “Meatbass” which is a great free sample library of a 1958 Otto Rubner double (or contra) bass:

So thanks to Karoryfer and to Ludwik for the nicely sampled instrument as well. You guys rock!

As always, thanks for reading, and for listening.

A new mini keyboard for me, and my first contact with it

Got this one on Monday:

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Keyboard, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2019

And I used it together with a free synthesizer in Ardour to record this:

This has several remixes already (three alone this morning), and for one of these remixes I used another free virtual instrument, and I also borrowed this from Zuleikha:

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Zuleikha’s Ukulele, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2018

This is Zuleikha’s Ortega “ruocean-ce” ukulele which was one of her birthday presents for her 14th last year. As you can probably see in the photo (or read in its product description), it has an in-built tuner, so it also has a piezo pickup and a preamp built in – and so you can plug it in directly into an interface like I do it with my bass guitar as well. For the recording I used this, and I also used my Røde NT-1A microphone to get my fingering noises on its strings (and the foot-patting, couldn’t really filter all of it out).

Not that easy to change from a bass to that g’-c’-e’-a’ tuning of the little thing… 🙂 But for the few chords (and a simple Reggae rhythm) which I used here I think I figured it out…

The three remixes from this morning were all on top of that recorded piano/ukulele one, see the ‘loops if you want to hear these.

And as always, thanks for reading, and also for listening.

A new tripod ball head for Mitchie

Got this Manfrotto MH494-BH for Mitchie’s 190-series tripod today:

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A new Manfrotto Mini Ball Head 494 for Mitchie

And yes, that’s her camera and lens.

Oh, and like the photo in my last blog post I used RawTherapee 5.5 (and only that) on my Linux machine to make this with a simulated Kodak Portra 160VC film. Also cropped it to a 4:5 format. Took it with my E-M10 Mk2 and the 45mm/1.8 lens at f/2.

Mitchie’s new tripod head feels and operates very nice, and for the size of her camera it’s the appropriate size as well. And it has friction control and even a panoramic mode – cool.

Thanks for reading.