Google Pixel Buds A-Series

Got them for Mitchie during the last Black Friday Sale, and later for myself, both 40% off, so almost two for one:

Google Pixel Buds A-Series, dark olive (Picture: Google)

They sound okay, with a very full bass, even more so than the Moondrop Chu in-ears with cables. Not the best and most HiFi (or neutral) sounding headphones – the Moondrops are probably even better in that regard, but I’ve tried them with a bit of Wikiloops radio and TV via the Zapp app, and they’re good, and even for TV you won’t really notice the latency. Then I listened to one of my own albums because I know the sound of these of course, and yes, they’re still nice – of course not comparable to my open Sonarworks-corrected Sennheisers, but if you want neutral on your phones, there’s always Wavelet – if you believe in that. My personal experience especially with in-ears is that it’s mostly the correct fit which “makes” the sound, especially in the lows. And both Mitchie’s Jabra Elite Active 75T and my Moondrop Chu can’t reach these here in the bass *in my ears* (yours might be different – Zuleikha for instance would prefer the Jabras I think). Anyway, in case you want to read and know more about Wavelet, you can do that here, here, or here. Or directly at the source.

I started listening to my album with both the phone and the earbuds at 100% charge, and after the 41 minutes of my album it was 97% for the phone and 87% for the earbuds. All good.

So yes, if you want to (or have to) get rid of the cable, and for casual listening and/or phone calls, and for 59€ these are nice ones. Recommended.

Using open source for music and video, by Bransby

This is a very cool video about what you can achieve using “only” open source software when creating music and videos for the tubes. The gentleman calls himself “Bransby“, and his explanation of things is about the best I’ve seen, so thanks for that, sir! Here we go:

Recording and Mixing using Open Source Software – Ubuntu, Ardour, Calf Plugins

I’ll use this for friends in Wikiloops in case they’ll ask about a howto, so thanks again for your good work and for the nice explanation, Bransby. Oh, and your song is great as well 🙂

Backstreet Rookie – a webtoon series with awesome music

In case you have Netflix, this is a good tip (see Wikipedia and/or IMDB). I hadn’t heard the term ‘webtoon‘ before, but this seems to be the current big thing coming from Korea, and with this series based upon such a webtoon, that might explain its charm – it’s adorable. I totally agree with IMDB reviewer kgolmei who wrote that this is a “Must watch: A stress reliever!!!”. Even the music is awesome – here’s the 6-head girl group April with “Crazy”, one of the main themes of the show (together with a few pictures of it):

[M/V] 에이프릴(APRIL) – Crazy :: 편의점 샛별이 OST Part.2

In case you prefer the lyrics, there’s another video with these.

Oh, and I always suggest watching shows like these in their original versions, with subtitles of your choice (I take English most of the time). That way, you get many more of the original expressions and feelings of the actors/actresses, most of which would be lost in translations.

Again, kgolmei is right: What a relief to see something this nice. And as always, thanks for reading/viewing/listening.

Looking at / listening to Ardour 7.1 on Windows

Today I’ve been looking at & listening to the new Ardour 7.1 free and open source software DAW on Windows 11. Looks and sounds awesome:

Ardour7_on_Windows
Ardour 7.1 on Windows 11, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2022

The music you see within that program is from Dan and Chris, you can listen to that one on Wikiloops if you’d like to. The program seems to work fine, so next step is to also install it on Linux 🙂

And like always, thanks for viewing, listening, and reading.

What’s New in Ardour 7.0

I had downloaded the new Ardour 7.0 for both Linux and Windows as soon as it was released, but haven’t tried it yet (except that on Windows I installed it parallel to the 6.9 version I already had).

In case you’re interested, here’s what’s new, in about 4 minutes:

What’s New in Ardour 7.0

Maybe I’ll try it with the next song & project I’ll be “working” on 🙂

As always, thanks for watching. And thanks and congrats to the Ardour team of course.

Edit, from later the same day: as soon as I show this, there’s a new version again. See here

Sad news indeed…

Terrible to read about the passing of Don T., one of the bluesiest guys I’ve ever heard on Wikiloops… he was a good friend and once even wrote a song for me. I had the honour and pleasure to play on his latest song in the ‘loops and asked him with a PM whether he would also consider to sing on it, no answers so I was thinking of him. So here you have it with a lead guitar from Carlo instead of Don singing:

This track is embedded with the friendly permission by the creatives on wikiloops.com.

Condolences to Don’s family, he truly was a wonderful guy! Rest in peace my friend…

Polyphia

Sometimes you’re just lucky. Today a headline in one of my RSS feeds caught my eye, so I decided to read the article. And I found Tim Henson and his band Polyphia. Listen:

Polyphia – Playing God (Official Music Video)
Polyphia – Ego Death feat. Steve Vai (Official Music Video)

Finally, Rick Beato explaining why their song G.O.A.T. is so great:

What Makes This Song Great? Ep.103 Polyphia “G.O.A.T.”

And like always, thanks for reading / watching. Hope you’ll like it as much as I did.

A new PC build – just in time

Thanks to a friend who sent me a present lately (you know who you are), I decided to build a new PC for myself. I had built one for my wife earlier this year, and after waiting for the first reports about newer stuff like the new AMD Ryzen processor family I thought that that’s *not* the direction I wanted to go – these newer ones consume power just like Intel processors, and I wanted something a bit less power thirsty. ARM is the future (see Apple), but for normal PC builds we don’t have anything usable yet, so I decided to take more or less the same parts of the build for my wife, but in a smaller case. Here’s what I chose:

Parts for my PC build in October 2022

Here’s a parts list in case you’re interested:

So that would be my first Mini-ITX build, and I was really looking forward to it when the first of these parts arrived last Tuesday:

7e6_a044818-pc-parts-oct-4th-2022
PC parts for a new build, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2022

The case (and mainboard) arrived a day later:

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PC case for a new build, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2022

And last Friday, I had the new machine up and running beside the old one:

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My finished and running new PC, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2022

Of course, building a machine and setting it up to use it are separate steps. First I thought about what I’d need or want, and after copying over my Windows 10 partition it offered me to upgrade that to Win11 more or less right away. I thought: “Why not?”, since I use that only for the Olympus (now “OM System”) raw image converter. In the end I decided for a clean installation tho – you need a Microsoft account even for the Pro version of Windows I had, so it made no difference, and I wanted to start with a more clean plate. So soon enough I was done with that, and greeted by that newer operating system:

Finished my Win11 installation on late Saturday
Ooops – not quite done yet…

First impressions of it are positive – in my opinion it got the looks almost like Apple does, and for its internals they borrowed many good ideas from both the BSD and also the Linux side of things. Even their Edge browser which I tried only briefly seemed to show me less ads and other annoying stuff than (Google’s) Chrome would. But ok, this ain’t the OS for surfing, not for me anyway, so on to more pleasant things…

After looking at many options like Arch, the new beta of Fedora Workstation and so on, I decided against a triple boot this time. I wanted to keep things easy and just set up for my personal use (music, photography, blogging, and so on), so except for Windows which didn’t get that much space I took about three quarter of the space on the new SSD for Debian, so here you go:

Debian 11 “Bullseye”, but with a newer kernel

What you see is Debian stable (which is currently nicknamed “Bullseye”). In the upper right hand corner you see the processor temperature and fan speeds reported by a Gnome desktop extension called “Freon”, and under that you see that I have installed a kernel 5.18 from the Debian bullseye-backports repository, otherwise you wouldn’t see those fan speeds, and the Intel WiFi chip which is integrated into the mainboard wants a newer kernel as well – I knew that already from Mitchie’s machine where wireless and Bluetooth started working with Ubuntu 21.10 (instead of their older 20.04 LTS).

So this morning I was about ready, and short after lunch I was greeted by TEE-KWA’s pretty cover picture on Wikiloops:

Wikiloops’ album of the day on my new machine

Of course I also installed and tried Ardour, my Digital Audio Workstation of choice, and within it, the headphone correction by Sonarworks:

Ardour with gimproviser’s wonderful song “Cloudy
Sonarworks correction for my Sennheiser HD560S headphones in the monitoring section of Ardour

So, regarding music and photography and blogging, this more or less completes my build.

Which was, coming back to the headline of this article, just in time. I wanted to give my old machine to my brother, but alas, it gave up its ghost just after I was finished building this one. Broken heart syndrome on a CPU? Hm, that would be something new even for old timer PC doctors like me… anyway, I tried lots of things today, but it seems we’re out of luck with that one. So yeah, phew, that *was* just in time! To really ‘nail it down’ to a single not working component, I’d need to have a bench and spare parts like Jay so I could change each part and see what/who the culprit is… still sorting out if my brother – who lives in a much bigger city than we do – maybe has neighbours who are hobby PC builders with enough parts for that.

So for me, and thanks to my friend, it’s this new one from now. So cool… and by the way, 8 cores and 16 threads are way more than enough for what I do… still these machines are waiting for us most of the time, not vice versa 🙂

And like always, thanks for reading.

Three hours with Paul Davis of Ardour

I reported about yesterday’s interview event, and in case you haven’t seen it, here are three hours of talks and interesting news about the upcoming version 7.0 of Ardour. Starts at 30:11 according to unfa, one of the hosts.

Enjoy…