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Ed Driscoll

Ed On Dead Tree

21st Century Music Making

August 3rd, 2006 - 1:11 pm

Chris Anderson’s post (see below) about digital movie making echoes many of the same points producer/guitarist Nile Rogers once noted about digital music making:

The old restrictions in technology forced us to do things right. It forced us to have to make decisions. It forced us to spiritually be so in tune with the other people that magic had to happen. It made you step up to the plate, whereas now, when I go to play on someone’s record I feel uncomfortably free-and I almost hate that. I can actually play on a record all day long and do ten different solos and take all these different approaches to the rhythm and all this kind of stuff. And then the producer has to look at all this work like a film-they have to go back and edit and figure out which bits they want to use. Whereas in the old days, when a person hired me to work on a record, I had to get it right, right there. You had to play great, you had to be smokin’, and there was no way that they could fix it and make it better.

When I played on Michael Jackson’s last record, I knew what they were going to do, so I said, “Hey, Michael, here’s like a billion ideas. I’m going to play all this cool s***, and you go off and do it.” So I didn’t have to write it, so to speak. I didn’t have to give them the definitive, perfect, guitar part; I gave them lots of definitive, perfect guitar parts, and they decided which ones to use. That’s weird to me. Once you’re unlimited, you’ll never play that same way–you’ll just go on and on and on and on. It’s like the ultimate jazz person’s fantasy: “You to tell me I’m going to solo for the rest of my life, and you guys will think it’s great?”

Having infinite options also means you don’t have the pressure on you…

It’s pressureless.

-which means that you won’t necessarily work as hard as you would if you knew you had just two takes in 20 minutes to get it right.

You can’t help it. You see, I grew up in the days of, time is money-as Madonna would say, “time is money, and the money is mine.” And I like that, I love that.

You had a limitation of tracks, too. You were lucky if you had two tracks and you could do an alternative take.

You know what people do now when they want me to overdub on a record? They’ll send an album with a mix, and I have like 22 open tracks of guitars I can put down. So now you are going to figure out what my part is.

And speaking of which, I have an article in the August issue of Nuts & Volts on Roland’s GI-20 interface, titled “Shut Up And Play Your Computer!”. The GI-20 allows any guitar with a Roland guitar synthesizer pickup to drive a myriad of software synthesizers via the PC’s USB port, opening a realm that was heretofore almost entirely the exclusive province of keyboard players.

The article greatly expands on this Blogcritics piece from a few years ago. But I have no idea where they found the guy they photographed for the article

It Slices! It Dices!

February 15th, 2006 - 1:25 pm

But no tape, glue, or Julien French Fries alas: I have the cover story on video editing in the March issue of Videomaker magazine.

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Ed Goes To England!

January 2nd, 2006 - 10:44 pm

…Well, not exactly; sadly, I haven’t been back since 2000. But because I am so very, very cool, I had an article in the December edition of England’s Computer Music magazine on using technology to improve lead vocals. It’s not online, but if you’re in the US, it’s the issue that’s currently on the shelves at your local Borders or Barnes & Noble–that’s where I picked up my copy tonight.

I haven’t been blogging as much lately about home recording because of all the Pajamas-related stuff that went on this fall here at Casa de Ed, which pushed that particular hobby of mine temporarily somewhat in the background. But I’m eager to get back to it this new year, if only for its theraputic value, and to not allow whatever meager music and recording skills I’ve honed off and on over the last 20+ years to go to waste. And as an offshoot, look for additional music-related articles online and on dead tree, from time to time this year as well.

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Have You Played Atari Today?

November 5th, 2005 - 12:16 am

That was the slogan for a series of TV commercials for the old Atari 2600 game system in the late ’70s and early ’80s, as you can see in this ultra-cheesy vintage clip.

And if you’d like a history of the 2600, my latest bi-monthly “Micro Memories” column for Nuts & Volts magazine is devoted to the rise and fall of the Cartridge Family.

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Digital Rights Management

October 25th, 2005 - 4:36 pm

Speaking of Electronic House, I have a piece on Digital Rights Management in the November/December issue of their sister publication, TechLiving.

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Mastering DVDs

September 5th, 2005 - 10:53 pm

I have an article in the October issue of PC World that explains how to use Adobe’s Premiere Elements software to make surprisingly professional DIY DVDs–and it’s online now.

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Fly Me To The Moon

September 2nd, 2005 - 3:33 pm

I have an article on the Apollo Guidance Computer in my bi-monthly “Micro Memories” column in Nuts & Volts magazine, with several photos supplied by the Computer History Museum in Mountain View California that you might enjoy. Sadly, it’s not online, but it should be at your local Borders or Barnes & Noble, or you can click here to subscribe.

And for more old school outer space action, check out my piece on Spacecraft Films’ Apollo DVDs over at Tech Central Station.

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Ed On Blogging Basics In TechLiving

August 30th, 2005 - 10:56 am

I have a short primer on blogs in the September/October issue of TechLiving magazine that you might enjoy–it should be arriving at your local Borders or Barnes & Noble shortly. I think the text is onnly available online to subscribers; if that changes, I’ll let you know.

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Cutains, Please!

August 15th, 2005 - 3:15 pm

An article that I wrote last summer for the Unique Homes real estate magazine on high-end home theater is now online.

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Learning Curve: What Is DLP?

July 22nd, 2005 - 10:54 am

I have an article explaining the basics of DLP-based TV sets in TechLiving magazine.

Makes for nice reading if you’re planning on a new 50 or 60-inch TV set to kick off another year of watching the NFL–whose preseason is right around the corner.

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New Article On Blogs “On Dead Tree”

July 7th, 2005 - 3:11 pm

Note: I wrote the bulk of this post late last night, before I woke up to the news of the terrorist bombing in London. I’ve only modified this piece slightly; I apologize if it sounds too exuberant after the news today.

I have two articles inside the July Nuts & Volts, that are curiously interconnected.

The first is an update to a piece I wrote for the July 2001 issue of N&V. Back then, I did a piece for N&V on Silicon Valley’s Computer History Museum. At the time, it was located in the oddest and funkiest of locations–a Quonset hut on the former US Navy air base at Moffett Field (now controlled by NASA). In early September, I spun that article off into a shorter and slightly less technical version for National Review Online, back when they had their now sorely lamented “NRO Weekend” feature. A new blogger, whose Weblog had only gone up back in late August happened to spot it, which I only found when I did a vanity search on Google. (All writers do Google–and now Technorati vanity search–usually a few times a day…) That blogger? Glenn Reynolds.

This of course was all in the weeks leading up to 9/11, which would cause literally thousands upon thousands of Weblogs to spring up in response.

Flash-forward to 2005. Glenn’s blog, and Power Line and their “Blog of the Year” sobriquet bestowed by Time magazine are both featured in my new article on Weblogs, along with numerous quotes from multiple interviews I conducted with Hugh Hewitt. The article includes explanations of how that term was derived, how to start a new blog, and what the Long Tail is, and how it benefits new blogs. If you’ve read the articles I’ve written for online publications since 2002 on Weblogs, a lot of this will be old hat, but I tried to write the piece as a primer for those coming in cold to the Blogosphere and wondering simultaneously what the heck a Weblog is, how they managed to raise so much hell last year, and how to get in on the fun.

If you’re thinking of starting a blog in light of today’s events, it could be a good starting point to get your ideas together before “going live”.

As for the Computer History Museum, they moved into swank new facilities last year, a huge step up from their old Quonset hut days. If you can’t make it out to Silicon Valley to visit in person, it’s a great primer (at least I think) on the museum, its origin, and some of the rare pieces of computing history that’s on display there.

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Ed Visits South Park

April 5th, 2005 - 8:00 am

Brian Anderson is the senior editor of the the Manhattan Institute’s estimable City Journal magazine. He has a new book that’s just hit the streets (and Amazon) called South Park Conservatives. It builds on themes discussed in this Tech Central Station piece by Stephen Stanton a few years ago, and also Brian’s own article from 2003, in which he declared that the right had achieved parity with the left in the culture wars, thanks to a combination of talk radio, Fox News, shows like South Park, web-based publications such as NRO and the Weekly Standard.com, and of course, the Blogosphere.

Brian brings all of those topics up to date to cover The Passion, the Swift Vets, RatherGate, and their November 2nd d

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The Promise and the Format War

March 9th, 2005 - 7:50 pm

Get ready to start buying new versions of all your favorite movies! I have an article on high definiton DVD in the current issue of Smart TV & Sound. The dead tree version is at your local Borders or Barnes & Noble, the text is online, here.

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Housekeeping Note

March 9th, 2005 - 2:56 pm

I finally updated the “dead tree” articles list to take it beyond 2001. There’s a gap much longer than 18 minutes during most of 2002 (and I know I churned out lots of material that year) that I have to fill-in, but at least the whole thing is no longer four years out of date.

Update: It’s not 100 percent complete, but most of 2002′s missing 18 minutes have been filled in.

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More Ed On Dead Tree Sightings

November 17th, 2004 - 6:26 pm

In addition to being linked to by the Blogfather, and my three pieces in PC World, I also have a review of the Sirius Sportster portable satellite radio in Digital World, the magazine-in-a-magazine that’s bundled with PC World. And I also have a review of Unledded, from Jimmy Page & Robert Plant, in this months’ Vintage Guitar. It builds on some of the material that Kevin Shirley, who engineered the DVD, told me for Blogcritics.

Ed Driscoll: on the Internet, at your local supermarket’s magazine rack–and beyond!

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Ed Goes PC!

November 14th, 2004 - 3:24 am

Well, PC World that is, where I have an article on “HDTV on the Cheap“, as well as a couple of computer reviews, in the December issue. They’re all online (hence the hyperlinks), but don’t let that stop you from picking up a hard copy or three of the magazine.

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The Great Wired North

October 4th, 2004 - 10:46 pm

The text isn’t online, but I have an article about a fellow named Jean-Yves Archambault, who owns an extremely high-tech Canadian home. It’s in this month’s TechLiving magazine.

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Burning Mysteries of DVD Recorders

October 4th, 2004 - 10:41 pm

I have an article on DVD burners in the latest issue of Videomaker magazine.

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Ed’s In PC World This Month

July 22nd, 2004 - 3:04 pm

I have a review of Samsung’s SyncMaster 173mw widescreen HDTV LCD monitor. It’s online here, but wouldn’t a nice dead-tree copy or ten make reading much, much easier?

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