Would the last person on Earth please turn off the eternal flame?
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posted by Robb Allen @ 10/21/2014 9:03:19 AM | Feedback (1)
Just something I did for a contest

ADSR, who makes tutorials for many popular synths & DAWs ran a contest for people to make the ‘stab’ or ‘intro’ that will be used on their tutorial videos. They provided the animation and asked people to put a 3 second sound clip behind it. The winner gets some pretty impressive prizes, so I tossed my hat into the ring.

This is what I came up with

Not too shabby. You can hear a bunch of others here. Lots of stiff competition & some pretty pro-sounding stuff out there, but I gotta admit mine really seems to fit the animation.

posted by Robb Allen @ 10/20/2014 10:29:25 PM | Feedback (2)
Want to see the beginnings of open tyranny?

Pastors face jail time & fines for not marrying same sex couples.

The tyranny is no longer hidden behind patriotic phrases & the constitution, it’s now being exercised in full sunlight with nary a care in the world if you see it. The reason? Nobody who made any decision on this will face any penalty for their actions.

None.

While not my cup of tea and I don’t believe it should be called marriage, if two members of the same sex wish to form a union, the state’s only requirement is that the contract is enforced. If you wish to bequeath your estate to your partner, I don’t give a damn who has a problem with it, it’s contractual and no outside party has any say in the matter.

However, this is no longer about rights – it’s about cramming “acceptance” down people’s throats, now at the point of a gun, and in that light, I’ll fight this tooth & nail.

I follow quite a few gay people on Twitter & in blogs not because of their orientation, but because they are liberty minded. They are the kind that abhor these stories because they understand what the end game is and that when that’s achieved their kind will be 2nd against the wall, right after the useful idiots.

I know it’s a social faux pas to say it, but people should be allowed to be complete dicks if they want and to discriminate at will. Yes, that means Leroy Washington Mercury Lincoln Continental Jr. the Third should be able to kick white people out of his BBQ joint if he wants. If a gay baker refuses to bake a non-wang shaped cake for a bar mitzvah, he or she (or shim or herm, don’t want to be too cis-binary-normal or whatever) should suffer the business penalty, if any. Freedom often sucks because people do things you don’t like and sometimes even do well.

This isn’t the way to gain acceptance. It’s only going to strengthen the animosity. And if this is allowed to go through, violence starts becoming the only way out for some people.

Is that where we really want to go?

posted by Robb Allen @ 10/20/2014 9:26:18 AM | Feedback (56)
Pickup lines

There’s a behavior in practically every hobby where people glom onto what they think is the best X for Y, usually with 0 scientific evidence to back it up. Often, things just sound like they make sense and are accepted as gospel. For example, my daughter’s science experiment where people swear that audio played at 99kHz/24 bit just sounds better than CD quality 44.1kHz/16 bit because more samples has to sound better, right? (no)

There are people who will argue ad nasuem if 1 in 13 right handed twist rate is superior to 1 in 13 left handed twist rate because there’s a physical difference, thus there must be a measurable difference and one has to be better than the other.

This extends to every known facet of human life. Somewhere, there is a knitting forum arguing over needles and yarn. Or, more to the point of this post – the wood used in an electric guitar.

There is a physical difference in certain woods. Softer woods probably have bending issues that make them unsuitable for neck construction (as stated in the article, balsa would suck as a neck and would crack under string pressure) and thus there are woods that won’t work for certain applications. And it is clearly evident that the ability for the string to vibrate longer works better on a body that doesn’t absorb the string’s energy as much, thus a denser material does help sustain.

But it doesn’t change the sound.

Oh, it does change the sound – the harmonic vibrations are physically different based on body material, but from a human’s limited hearing range, not enough to matter. In one of the samples, there’s a concrete guitar that sounds just as good as a wooden one although concrete is MUCH more dense and thus should completely change the sound right?

The pickups are the key in an electric. They are small power generators that use a fixed magnet where wires are moved in and out of a fixed field to generate electricity (many people mistake the ‘electric’ part as ‘requires electricity’ when in fact they make it). Those magnetic fields are not affected by the wood underneath and thus if you were to put the exact same pickups in the exact same position on any number of guitars, the human ability to discern the difference would approach “wild ass guess”.

Still, people will fork out a bajillion dollars for exotic truffula wood because it sounds so much better then argue your guitar sucks because you’re holding it wrong.

I still want a Virgil Guitar though. Not for the wood but rather for the craftsmanship.

posted by Robb Allen @ 10/19/2014 9:55:24 AM | Feedback (14)
I have many reasons to carry

That monsters like this walk among us is just one of them.

Watch the video. I can’t understand 80% of what he says (no, dude, I don’t know what you sayin’) but his meaning, his intent is crystal clear. He’ll kill you. If they try to keep him in prison he’ll kill whoever he can. The death penalty doesn’t scare him & in fact he say’s he’ll smile when the put the needle in his arm.

No gun-free zone will stop him. No law against carrying will dissuade him. No protests from mothers with signs (and armed guards) will make him think twice. The thought of your family’s suffering at your loss elicits no emotion other than a crude ‘fuck them’.

Not that having a gun would have helped his victims as you can’t stop a sucker punch and better situational awareness would have served them better, but the only way to deal with a threat like that is overwhelming violence.

Don’t take his bluster at surface value – he fears death. If he didn’t fear death and truly wanted it, he’d have not surrendered when the cops pulled him over. He feared their ability to end his life right at that point and knows the “justice system” works in his favor and that he stands a better chance that he’ll die of old age than a needle.

A gun is not a talisman that wards off danger. You may get shot by a monster like this in the back of the head while walking down a busy street, the firearm in your holster useless – however that is an extreme edge case. The ability to fight back, with lethal force, gives you a chance at survival. Those who wish to punish you by putting you at the mercy of these monsters knowing damned well they won’t change the monster are evil as well.

posted by Robb Allen @ 10/17/2014 1:27:52 PM | Feedback (1)
What has Florida Carry done for you lately?

While you were sleeping last night, the anti-gun forces were wide awake and hard at work. 

The right to keep and bear arms has a lot of enemies. They come in the form of politicians, activists, and even law enforcement organizations like our own Florida Sheriffs Association. Since 2011, Florida Carry has become a force to be reckoned with. In three short years, the organization has grown from two ex-military gun owners with an idea, to over twelve thousand members and supporters!!! But fighting in the courts and Tallahassee costs money, and we need more to expand the fight. Right now, we have several gun rights and preemption cases in various stages of progress.

The City of Tallahassee for example, has an unlawful ordinance on the books which prohibits the discharge of firearms within the city limits. The city maintains they don't enforce the ordinance. Yet when their own city attorney and police chief recommended its repeal, While other mayor across the country have caught on to Bloomberg's true intent, Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) member and mayor of Tallahassee John Marks, along with several other city councilmembers ignored their attorney and police chief, and stated on record that they didn't care if they were violating preemption, and would indefinitely table the motion to repeal in order to deny their citizens rights granted to them by the Legislature. 

Florida Carry and the Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) have joined forces and filed suit as co-plaintiffs against the city, the mayor, and those members of the council who voted to ignore the clear intent of the statute.

Likewise, Florida Carry has filed suit against Broward County, which has ignored repeated demands over 2 years to repeal unlawful ordinances which regulate guns in defiance of preemption. The county only modified the offending ordinances to include an exception for firearms possessed and carried lawfully in response to the filing of our lawsuit, and now claims that the problem is solved, the case moot, and should be dismissed. But what is to prevent the county commission from reinstating the ordinances in their original form once the case is dismissed, and continuing the cycle in response to lawsuits ad infinitum?

We also have pending suits against the University of Florida, St. Petersburg College, the City of Leesburg, and the City of Daytona Beach.

(https://www.floridacarry.org/litigation)

But the courtroom is but one front. We also have to fight in Tallahassee at the legislature. Every year since our incorporation, we've seen multiple bills filed by gun-hating legislators attacking such basic tenets as your right to Stand Your Ground in an attack, the Castle Doctrine that authorizes deadly force in a home invasion, and even one that would have required an annual mental health evaluation just to buy ammo.

Widely attributed to Plato, the quote "The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." is apropos. There is power in numbers, and we need to count you among our numbers. 

We need your help! Florida Carry is all volunteer, and has no corporate sponsorship or institutional donors. It is only through membership dues and donations that we are able to fund the fight for your rights. 

Please, anything will help. If you're not a member, why not? If you are, and can spare anything at all, consider helping us help you. To be blunt, during the legislative sessions, we mostly need you advocacy... Right now, we pray you donate some of your hard earned money.

You can join or donate at www.floridacarry.org or use the links at the left of this email. And don't forget, you can support Florida Carry simply by shopping at Amazon. Just use the link www.fl2ashop.com to access Amazon, and they will send Florida Carry a very small portion of your purchase price with absolutely no additional cost to you!!!

posted by Robb Allen @ 10/14/2014 9:10:55 AM | Feedback (0)
She deafened me with science!

The eldest of two evils’ science project is coming up so she had to figure out what she wanted to do. She seemed rather lackluster about it and just hopped online, looking up things she thought would be interesting, but nothing really piqued her interest, and the few things she thought she’d want to do were so basic that I felt it was a waste of her time. She’d not learn anything nor would she really do science!

The other thing is my girls need to do something that either their mother or I can help them with. Some of the things she was looking at would have been 90% me building crap & setting it up for her and I said “No” to those.

Being that both my girls are into music like Daddy, I figured something to do with audio would be something that would interest both of us, give her a chance to learn about sound, digital audio, compression, etc. AND do real science! to boot.

So, for her project she is doing “Sounds Good to Me – Can people hear the difference between 44.1kHz/16bit audio and 96kHz/24bit?

The answer to this is pretty much “No”

What they found - From a sample of 554 listeners that included professionals, the general population & young listeners (prized for their high-frequency hearing), those that correctly identified the higher quality audio was 276, or 49.8%. The same number you would get if you just flipped a coin 554 times or asked untrained monkeys to do the task. No sub-group outperformed chance. In summary, 16 Bit 41.1 kHz sound is indistinguishable from ~24 Bit @ 192 kHz for music distribution. Yes, 32 Bit is important for audio processing in a DAW application, but once it comes time to convert that audio into a format useful for distribution and human consumption, you can't meaningfully improve on the CD standard.

But she needs to determine this herself.

Now, the trick is ensuring the equipment we use is up to snuff to actually present the audio well enough. My headphones are AKG K44s which have an 18Hz-20kHz range so they may not be sensitive enough to perform this task. I may check with some of the recording studios nearby to see if they have something I can borrow.

My audio interface is a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 which definitely does 96/24 output. The problem is Windows doesn’t seem to want to allow the 24bit part and is stuck at 16bit. This may or may not be correctable as I do have the latest drivers. If I can’t get 24bit, then we’ll switch the experiment to isolate just the sample rate rather than the bit depth. Which then will have people screaming “THE BIT DEPTH MATTERS!” because you can DEFINITELY tell a 1/65,536th volume difference, but oh well.

Any thoughts, ideas, warnings, etc. are appreciated.

posted by Robb Allen @ 10/14/2014 9:09:47 AM | Feedback (3)