Music Production on the iPad. (Or why I might cave and buy one yet.)

Now that the iPad is (finally?) out in the wild, here are a few reasons that just may intice me to cave and buy one yet.

I’m pretty jazzed after reading through the great round-up at Create Digital Music of apps designed to use the iPad to make music. For me, I’m excited to try the iPad out for a few different purposes:

  1. Practically speaking, it would be a great MIDI controller for my software synths, by using it to drive Reason and Pro Tools. I have a MicroKorg, but the portability of the iPad, to easily sit it on my lap, would be unparalleled. I’m curious to see how the latency is though.
  2. As a control surface for Pro Tools. I’ve never had one, so I’ve always controlled Pro Tools with my keyboard and mouse.
  3. To use it as a live musical instrument. This will certainly require some imagination on my part, but mark my words, I will make this happen. After all, inspiration is out there.

Now I just need to actually pick one up, but I promised myself I wouldn’t get the first generation.

Wrigleyville: Where bartenders skip Johnny Cash songs

This weekend, my good friend Jason and I went to an unnamed bar in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood. I will not name the bar because I at least attempt to have at least some level of class. Our first impressions were low, but after all, we were there to begin with so they couldn’t be too high.

Our conversation included music and tattoos as usual, so that naturally lead to the recently deceased photographer, Jim Marshall. Marshall shot many an iconic photograph in his day, including famous shots of Hendrix setting his guitar on fire and Cash flipping his middle finger. John Mayer did a great write-up of Marshall and the Chicago Tribune featured the photographer in this Sunday’s edition. 

Our Lady Peace at The Vic

I've seen Our Lady Peace live 3 times to date (98, 03, and now 09). Each time was a different moment in their career and a different time in my life. The first time was just as I was coming of age to go to concerts with just my friends and no parents. Their '98 show, where the opened for Creed, is one of the most memorable moments during a live show I've ever had and I think of it just almost every time I think of bands playing live. The show in '03 is also a fond memory because of the company I saw the concert with. Come to think of it, the shows in '98 and '03 I attended with basically the same friends. It's a testament that we're still all friends to this date, and I know that has a lot to do with music.

New play list for the ride to Michigan tomorrow, and also why iLike is great but fails too

I just put together a first draft of a new playlist to listen to on my drive back to Michigan tomorrow night. I'll be leaving after work, so it will be nice to at least have some new music to get me through the normal length of road between work and home, if not out of the city altogether (that's being optimistic!). My playlists usually take some tweaking over time to get the songs in the right order so the list works well together. If I'm good, as I have been in the past, I'll come up with a mix I listen to years down the road that reminds me of the occassion for which I made it. If I'm not good, I'll have this lingering name in my library and on my iPhone constantly reminding me of how bad of a mix I made. Either way, the mix serves the purpose to take me back to the moment in time when I made it.

I also "discovered" a site this week that I've heard of for over a year now, called iLike. I've seen widgets from the site on the web before and no doubt have seen a few hundred thousand posts in Facebook from people who've installed their app. What I really like about iLike (that sounds corny to type, btw) is that it has a feature where I can import a playlist I made in iTunes into the site and it turns it into a postable widget (see below and the "Current Playlist" in my blog's sidebar).

Continuation of my catalog of favorite albums

Each year around my birthday, I select my favorite album from the last year. This is the third installment of that tradition, taken from April 2009 when I was still using LiveJournal as my main blogging platform.

More than 5 years ago, in March 2004, I came upon the idea of cataloging a favorite album from each year. I started as far back as I could remember listening to music and listed an album for each year.

Last year I updated the list with favorite albums from 2005-07. Now I’d like to add my album for 2008. I plan on updating this every year around my birthday, so I’ve set a to-do list reminder for a year from now.

coldplay / viva la vida
2008 - third year in chicago, second year at depaul - 25 years old

A note on the completely subject selection criteria: The album listed as my favorite of that year is the one that I feel I spent the most time listening to during that year. It’s the album that when I think of, it takes me back to that time.

2016 Update: I find it tremendously funny that even at 25 years old, the year I made this pick, I knew this was a terrible one. So bad that I had to add that caveat at the end. Eight years later, I still listen to a lot of my annual favorite album picks, but not this one.

Favorite Albums, Part Deux

Each year around my birthday, I select my favorite album from the last year. This is the third installment of that tradition, taken from February 2008 when I was still using LiveJournal as my main blogging platform.

A few years ago, I made an entry titled “Favorite Albums”. I happened to stumble upon this list just now and decided to update it for the three years since it was created. Scroll to the bottom for the new additions.

  • aerosmith / big ones 1994 - 5th grade - 11 years old
  • smashing pumpkins / mellon collie and the infinite saddness 1995 - 6th grade - 12 years old
  • foo fighters / the colour and the shape 1996 - 7th grade - 13 years old 
  • weezer / pinkerton 1997 - high school freshman - 14 years old (…I skipped 8th grade…)
  • unwritten law / self-titled black album 1998 - high school sophomore - 15 years old
  • deftones / around the fur 1999 - high school junior - 16 years old
  • a perfect circle / mer de noms 2000 - high school senior - 17 years old
  • black eyed peas / bridging the gap 2001 - college freshman - 18 years old
  • our lady peace / gravity 2002 - college sophomore - 19 years old
  • foo fighters / one by one 2003 - college junior - 20 years old
  • thrice / the artist in the ambulance 2004 - college senior - 21 years old
  • yellow card / ocean avenue 2005 - post-college year in saginaw - 22 years old
  • our lady peace / healthy in paranoid times 2006 - first year in chicago - 23 years old
  • third eye blind / out of the vein 2007 - second year in chicago, first at depaul - 24 years old

One of my favorite parts of having a LiveJournal for nearly 5 years now is this ability to look back, learn, and then add new things. I’m glad that my opinion of good music really hasn’t changed all that much.

P.S. Yes, the original post did have pictures. However, I’ve since let www.evasic.net lapse and never renewed it, since we now own www.evasic.com again. If I find the time, I’ll re-download the album artwork and post it back up on here.

Update 2016: I never did get around to downloading and re-posting those pictures...

Favorite Albums - The original post

Each year around my birthday, I select my favorite album from the last year. This is the original installment of what became a tradition. I did not explicitly select a favorite album each year between 2004 and 2008, but I did think about what it would be from time to time. It wasn’t until 2008 that I decided to formalize this as an annual tradition. 

This is that first installment of this tradition, taken from March 2004. 

Below are the albums that I listened to the most frequently each year for every year since I started listening to music.

  • aerosmith / big ones 1994 - 5th grade - 11 years old
  • smashing pumpkins / mellon collie and the infinite saddness 1995 - 6th grade - 12 years old
  • foo fighters / the colour and the shape 1996 - 7th grade - 13 years old
  • I skipped 8th grade, it’s a long story, you probably know that :-)
  • weezer / pinkerton 1997 - high school freshman - 14 years old
  • unwritten law / self-titled black album 1998 - high school sophomore - 15 years old
  • deftones / around the fur 1999 - high school junior - 16 years old
  • a perfect circle / mer de noms 2000 - high school senior - 17 years old
  • black eyed peas / bridging the gap 2001 - college freshman - 18 years old
  • our lady peace / gravity 2002 - college sophomore - 19 years old
  • foo fighters / one by one 2003 - college junior - 20 years old

(FYI, the years and progress in school refer to the year that that school year started.)

In other news, I got Logitech MX-700 wireless mouse and keyboard package today. :-) Let me tell you they rule! I can’t imagine living without a wireless mouse anymore now.

Update 2016: I still can't imagine life without a wireless mouse.