“I was saying boo-urns”
Chris Liscio's Boo-urns Log
July 27, 2010
New Mac Pro Gripes

I’m a Mac Pro kinda guy. I do my video editing, development, and crunch all kinds of numbers doing research for said development, on this machine—horsepower is important to me, and mobility is not (I have a 13” MacBook Pro for that).

But this update seems like just another speed bump…

What I wanted, and got, in the update:

  • More cores (8 -> 12 physical cores, 24 logical now)
  • Even faster RAM (867MHz -> 1333MHz)
  • A 2560 x Whatever LED backlit display to match

What I wanted, and didn’t get:

  • More RAM capacity (I’d like to keep the machine a while…)
  • Wider GPU choice (Only 2 ATI card choices right now? Seriously??)
  • eSATA connectivity (I do my video editing stuff on an external RAID0)
  • SDXC card slot in the display (My HD camcorder records to SD)
  • Pricing to match Early 2008—8 cores for $2xxx

I’ve got an ADC Select discount burning a hole in my pocket until January 18th, so I still have a lot of time to think about this. But for the money (and utter pain in the ass) to make the switch, it’s not going to be a dead-simple decision…

At least the display won’t be a hard decision—my 30” Dell has all the ports and slots I need (but alas, no SDHC support), wide gamut, and 160 more vertical pixels. Also, it’s gloss-free, and has height adjustment!

March 29, 2010

All the time you spend researching, and buying a new piece of gear, doesn’t put you one step closer to having faster fingers.

I think we’re all guilty of this, no matter what the discipline. You won’t be a better coder with a Mac Pro, or a better cyclist with a carbon fiber bike, etc…

January 22, 2010
Logic Studio Blows My Mind

When I was producing music back in the mid-nineties, I did most of my work in the MIDI domain, with an outboard synth providing the instrumentation for my tracks.

Back then, to get decent-quality instruments, you had to buy decent quality synths and/or samplers. To get this sort of hardware, you were spending thousands of dollars per synth, and hundreds more on additional samples.

My pro-level synth at the time was the Roland XP-50 Music Workstation. It was worth around $2000 after you factor in the Dance expansion card that increased its ROM sample set.

And around that time, audio was starting to enter the mix. A copy of Cubase Audio would set you back around $500. But, hey—now you could have vocal tracks alongside your MIDI instrument tracks, and plugins to add compression and reverb to your vocals—incredible stuff!

Fast-forward about 13 years.

For the same $500 you would have spent for just a sequencer and basic audio mixing/processing, you can buy a copy of Logic Studio. Except now, you get:

  • A raft of synths/samplers
  • More audio effects units and presets than you’ll ever need
  • Many more channels of mixing possibilities
  • Audio slicing/stretching/comping controls that we could only dream of in the nineties
  • And I’ve not even considered MainStage, Soundtrack Pro, WaveBurner, etc.

Just thinking about the sheer amount of hardware you’d replace, we’re talking about thousands of dollars. Hell, tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment. And that’s not even factoring in the intrinsic value of not having to store all that equipment, or wire it up, maintain it, etc…

So whenever I see someone complain that Logic Studio is too expensive, at $500, I can’t help but wonder what these same people would be doing in the mid-nineties.

For $500, you’ve got a complete set of tools that’ll set you up for producing all sorts of music, from the songwriting/recording process all the way to burning a CD master.

Like I said: it blows my mind.

December 2, 2009
I’d rather hang out with folks who are a little high than a bit drunk.
So true, Gus. So true.
October 16, 2009

I’d love to see Mayer perform this on the Today Show, with the lyrics untouched. Cue the humorous comment from Meredith about her misspent college years…

If I could grow a beard, I’d have some nutty things going on on my face.
October 15, 2009
This song’s a fucking swiss clock, and it still gives me shivers every time I hear it. Which is a lot.

Over at kung-fu grippe, Merlin helps me remember why I used to love producing music.

Back then I was doing it all electronically. Now I’m just beginning to wrap my head around how to mic an acoustic guitar, and an amp cabinet. Baby steps…