Tuesday 3 April 2018

Ableton Live…and my first ‘work in progress’ starts to make sense…

UURGH….cold, wet and grey today…looks like I’ll be stuck indoors.

There’s more security notices from the web client that need checked out..still nothing to worry about, I fiddle with some code to try and prevent her getting these false triggers.

There’s also some vinyl to be packed and sent out.

A new iPad case arrives from Amazon.  While it’s claimed to fit the new 2018 iPad, I ordered it before considering that the built-in screen protector might mess up the Apple Pencil experience. I’m expecting to return it so carefully open the pack and  test it…the pencil still works but it’s not as responsive. Mmmm…on examination, I see the clear plastic screen protector is just an insert and it detaches easily with no damage. Perfect! Comparable to cases at £80 or more, the case is a bargain at twenty quid. Check ’em out and get yours here!

Then it’s into the studio where I mess with the new song idea and revisit an older one for an hour or so. Think I’ll do a Facebook livestream update from the studio tomorrow (Wednesday) around 11.30am.

After lunch I tackle a whole load of USA visa-related stuff which takes longer than I’d like.

Finally I have time to get back onto Ableton Live and see if I can work some samples into the beats. I lose myself for a few hours and although the result isn’t a work of art, I’ve made headway understanding and working the damn app.

Before closing up the studio I pay some attention to my Loch Lomond Studios Facebook page, adding some photos to the galleries and spreading the work a little.

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Saturday 24 March 2018

Aisha Malik gives a winning presentation for Shakti Women’s AId at the Your Place, Your Priorities event

AN unusually early start for a Saturday – there’s a public vote on some local grant applications under Stirling Council’s Your Place, Your Priorities project and the rural applications event is in Callander.

There’s no applications from our area on East Loch Lomond which is a shame…our village hall could certainly have found some projects worthy of an application up to £10,000. Anyway, the closest application came from some of our friends’ in Drymen…and our pal who runs the local MugStock Festival has an application in, so we want to show some support.

The event kicks off at 10am and we’re a couple of minutes’ late…but that’s made worse when we’re told there’ no parking spaces left at the and are redirected to alternative parking which adds ten minutes to our driving and another ten or more minutes’ walk.

We arrive just as registration for voting is being closed…and there are a few understandably angry folks behind us. This is when we start to see the problems with what on the face of it, was a good project idea.

There’s 49 (actually, 45 as some folks withdrew or didn’t show) presentations to sit through and high percentage are from the Callander area..we immediately sense these have an unfair advantage as there’s such a strong local turnout…other folks have up a 60-mile round trip. And if that hasn’t put them off supporting any of their local applications, the lack of parking and subsequent closure of voting registration will certainly work against them.

Judging by the presentations, the applications are all good and deserving causes…but putting the applications from across such a wide geographic area in the same bag..and up against each other is questionably not the fairest way to distribute grants,

I find myself getting annoyed with the folks that don’t ask questions about the projects per se, but instead use the  chance to ask a question to pick holes, or expose what they think are shortfalls in the project…and one question in particular is a shrouded racist remark from a plummy sounding audience member which really gets our back up.

Furthermore, the lack of any ‘sector’ definition means important social causes are pitted against needs of local amenities and, in some, cases, areas that should already be the council’s domain.

Democratic? In theory, yes, but in reality? But that’s a criticism of the project/process and in no way aimed at the applications – all of which are well presented on behalf of deserving causes and needs.

Eight projects successfully make it though the vote…including Callander Primary School, Callander Youth project. Sadly, nothing to benefit any part of Stirlingshire  west or south of Aberfoyle.

Some worthy awards tho’ – in particular Shakti Women’s Aid which provides specialist support services to black minority ethnic women and children and both Trossachs Search & Rescue and Killin Mountain Rescue…all of which got my vote.

A little jaded – by the process, not the winners who are all deserving causes – we drive home, get some work done then go for a walk, dropping in to see our pals Betty and Joe on the way back.

Back home – having been inspired by the Ableton workshops at yesterday’s Question Session 03 event in Glasgow – I download a trial version of Ableton Live 10 and experiment putting together some beats on my laptop. I think the ‘big Mac’ in the studio is too old and long in the tooth to run it..but if not, I’ll give it a whirl int he studio at some point.

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