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Everything posted by nickeax

  1. nickeax

    Green Room non-Googleable Music Quiz Game.

    I think it's Fenn's turn again.
  2. nickeax

    Green Room non-Googleable Music Quiz Game.

    Vanda and Young? Countdown?
  3. nickeax

    Green Room non-Googleable Music Quiz Game.

    Am I Ever Going to See Your Face Again, The Angels Need a clue for 1.
  4. nickeax

    Green Room non-Googleable Music Quiz Game.

    1. Bullfrog Blues, Canned Heat?? 2. ??, Tina Arena 3. Yesterdays Hero, John Paul Young... 4. The Bee Gees, Spicks and Specks
  5. nickeax

    Green Room non-Googleable Music Quiz Game.

    CLUE: It's probably one of the most beautiful songs ever made.
  6. nickeax

    And What Are You Listening To?

    Kate Bush Pi.
  7. nickeax

    Green Room non-Googleable Music Quiz Game.

    Oooh... You have part of it! (Thanks for the warm welcome back too!) You're on the wrong album though (it's from their latest) ?
  8. nickeax

    Green Room non-Googleable Music Quiz Game.

    Clue: Tesla was posthumously credited with a particular machines invention.
  9. nickeax

    Green Room non-Googleable Music Quiz Game.

    Clue: English group, 90s to now.
  10. nickeax

    When will be the next World War?

    In the next world war In a jackknifed juggernaut I am born again In the neon sign Scrolling up and down I am born again In an interstellar burst I am back to save the universe
  11. nickeax

    Mobile App Builder

    If you are used to making single page Web apps, there are two great options: PhoneGap (which is powered by Cordova) and ReactNative.
  12. nickeax

    Roll Call!

    I'm a mid-range member, #18597.
  13. nickeax

    And What Are You Listening To?

    Mostly A Moon Shaped Pool or 10,000 Days!
  14. nickeax

    Post Your Latest Real Life Purchase!

    It was a Yamaha Pacifica guitar.
  15. nickeax

    What Did You Watch Lately ?

    Misfits on Netflix.
  16. 1. Open the powershell as admin and type: Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux You'll need to reboot after that. 2. Go to the play store and install your favourite distro! - Ubuntu www.microsoft.com/store/p/ubuntu/9nblggh4msv6 - OpenSUSE www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9njvjts82tjx - SLES www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9p32mwbh6cns - Kali www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9PKR34TNCV07 - Debian www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9MSVKQC78PK6 3. For GUI you'll need to also need to install https://mobaxterm.mobatek.net/ and make sure X Server is running.
  17. PART 1 Now we’ve looked at binary number systems and how electronic signals can be used to represent our human notions of on/off true/false etc, it’s time to pull some of these ideas together and see our first computer component. Nearly… Before we delve into the heady world of digital electronics, I want to get some things straight. The level of detail I’m going to show you is purely for education. It doesn’t help you to understand the computer system itself, as you could never envisage the computer system itself from this close up. The sole intent of this detail detour, is to make you feel better inside. It’s to help you get the magic zing flowing through your veins. You see, the real magic begins in the electronic circuits, but once you’ve been close enough to see it, you don’t need to worry about it again. So I’ll show you inside each item or device, then put the lid on the box. From then on, we’ll be working with the box and not consider what’s inside it. The first device we’ll look at is called a ‘register’. It’s used for remembering a signal that was sent to it. A good way to think about a register is to imagine a row of pins stuck into a block of polystyrene foam. They are all at the same height, but if you push on a few of them, those pins will remain deeper in the foam. The same kind of thing happens inside a register. It’s not quite the same, but you get the idea, right? Now this register device will have a certain amount of ’bits’ that it can handle. This is the number of unique signals it can remember in one hit. For instance, if you plugged eight wires to a register that could accept eight connections, you’d have an eight bit register. If you sent an electric signal down a selection of those eight wires, the register would be able to store the ’on’ signals in the same places as they appeared in the group of wires. Maybe I over complicated that? It’s pretty simple though, just think of the wires as some kind of parallel cable. The difference between the pins in polystyrene and a real register is that a new group of signals will replace whatever was stored there previously. It’s time to remove the lid on the register box. Looking inside, we can see lots of AND gates, NOR gates and OR gates. They’re all hooked up in neat little circuits. Those circuits are what we will now examine, one small step at a time. If you take an AND gate and place a NOT gate at the end of it, it becomes a new type of gate called a NOT AND gate. This name is condensed down to NAND. Remember back to what the AND gate did? It accepted any number of inputs and had one output. If any one of it’s inputs did not have a signal, it would not output any signal. Only when all input signals are ‘high’ will an AND gate output a ‘high’ signal. See how I snuck a new term in there? NOTE: These logic gates all have proper symbols that are used when they are shown in a schematic diagram, the image below describes them: http://www.bandofgreen.com/cpu/img/NOT-AND-NAND.jpg Now a NOT gate is the essence of simplicity. You may recall (I can’t!) that it’s AKA an inverter, and placing it at the output of the AND gate will invert any output from the AND gate. So the AND gate has two inputs in this case and connected to the single output of the AND gate is the NOR gate. Things are different now. For clarity, have a look at these tables, known as ‘truth tables’. The first table represents a normal, two input AND gate. Each column represents the state of each input and the output: A TWO INPUT AND GATE INPUT1 INPUT2 OUTPUT 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 AND as we’ve seen, only outputs a high signal if all of it’s inputs are high, as represented by the last line in the above table. Now, I’ll show you the truth table for an AND gate, with a NOT gate connected to it’s output: A TWO INPUT AND GATE WITH AN INVERTER (A NOT GATE) CONNECTED TO IT’S OUTPUT INPUT1 INPUT2 OUTPUT 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 We can compound this arrangement into a new gate called a NAND gate. It does the same thing, but saves space on our schematic diagrams. You can think of this new gate as NOT-AND. It’s symbol is in the above image. There is an interesting switcheroo you can perform with NOT, AND and OR gates. All of these gates can be purchased from any electronics store, and they come on little chips, usually with four or more gates on each chip. The legs on the chip are the inputs and outputs for the gates within. I’m not going to go into any more detail about chips, but it serves my example to let you know about them! Just say you were making ten NAND gates from NOT gates and AND gates. You would be inverting the outputs of your AND gates with the NOT gates. An inverted output results in the opposite, as you know. Now let’s assume that you have a chip called a CMOS HEX AND or something like that. All that means is that CMOS is the technology used to build the circuits inside the chip (complementary metal oxide semi-conductor) and that you have six separate AND gates on that chip. Now, you’re busily hooking up NOT gates to the outputs of your AND gates and you use up the six AND gates from your CMOS chip. Reaching into your box of supplies, you realise you have no more AND gates! Shock!!! All is not lost, thanks to Augustus De Morgan. He worked out that inverting the inputs of an OR gate would allow you to use an OR gate exactly as you would a NAND gate. Well that’s not entirely correct… You see, Mr DeMorgan did not live to see digital electronics, but his work with binary logic gave us lucky ones plenty of handy knowledge. Anyway, below is what your OR gates would look like with inverters placed on each input: http://www.bandofgreen.com/cpu/img/NOTNOTOR.jpg The above shows the OR gate equivalent to a NAND gate. It’s up to you which one you’d rather use. Staying with OR gates for a bit, let’s look at what happens with a normal OR gate, just as a little refresher. We can work our NOT wonder with OR gates also. When we apply a NOT gate to an OR gates output, it becomes a NOR gate. See below for the truth table and image: into... A TWO INPUT OR GATE INPYT1 INPUT2 OUTPUT 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 A TWO INPUT OR GATE WITH INVERTERS ON IT’S OUTPUTS CAN BE SIMPLIFIED INTO A ‘NOR’ GATE (NotOR) INPYT1 INPUT2 OUTPUT 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 Pretty simple, right? As with the AND gate, the output pattern is inverted by placing an inverter across the outputs. Funny that! Deep breaths now… We’re about to tackle the problem of building a register. The register can accept a high or low input and can remember that input. The first thing to learn about, is called a ‘latch’. The latch is an arrangement of gates that ‘remember’ the last input given to them, until a ‘clear’ or ‘reset’ signal is given. The most basic latch circuit is the ‘SET/RESET’ (RS) latch and here is it’s schematic: In this example, we use two NOR gates. Here is the truth table for the NOR-SR Latch: AN SR-LATCH BUILT WITH NOR GATES RESET SET Q !Q 0 0 - - 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 Not allowed! Hmmm. I hope this hasn’t caused anyone to stop reading! It’s really simple, as I can understand it, and you will soon too. Firstly, we need to think about what is going on inside each of the NOR gates. NOR gates only have an output if their inputs are all low/no signal. So what is happening in the circuit? The first thing to note is the labels on the outputs. They are ‘Q’ and ‘!Q’ (the correct way to right ‘not Q’ is to place a bar above Q or a tick before it, `Q like that.) as Q is used to denote output in schematic diagrams; it prevents confusing O with zero. So the outputs are always opposite from each other, we can see that. Also, the outputs are driven by only one corresponding gate. Let’s run through some inputs and trace the current flow: (I’ll use S for ‘set’ and R for ‘reset’ - ‘low‘ means off/no signal/false) NOTE The inverse of low is high, so don‘t think that anything with a bar over it, or a tick mark before it means that it‘s low. It simply means that whatever is there, is inverted. O Input S is high, input R is low. The signal flows into the top input of NOR #2. Since the presence of any signal produces a low output from a NOR gate, that is what happens. O The low output from NOR #2 is sent to the bottom input of NOR #1. O NOR #1 has two low inputs, causing it to output to go to high. O The output of NOR #2 remains low, reflecting it’s opposite to output #1 nature. O The input to S now goes low… (read on) Now we see the latching quality that causes us to call this type of circuit a latch! You see, the key to these type of circuits is that there are really two inverters feeding back the opposite signals to each other. Let’s continue and pick up from where we left off, with S input going low… O When S goes low, NOR #1 remains high, as if to remember the previous S signal. The reason for this becomes clear if you watch this little video: Notice that once the signal goes low on ‘S’, NOR #1 is still outputting a high signal, as both of it’s inputs are low. This high output from NOR #1 is also going into the top input of NOR #2, hence it’s output remains low. So now it should be clear how the RESET half of the circuit got it’s name! You can observe from the video that a high signal into R will cause it’s output to fall to low. When this happens, Q also falls to low. Since NOR #2 now has two low inputs, `Q becomes high with the output of NOR #2. Magic! Magic yes, but useful, not very. There are some obvious problems here. The main problem occurs when both R and S are high. The results cannot be known beforehand. It’s known as a ‘race’ condition. Also, this type of latch is not very useful when it comes to grouping eight or more together to form a proper component. Before we move on, I’d just like to note that the RS-Latch can be produced using NAND gates too. The differences are listed below: O The race condition happens if both R and S become low, instead of high like in the NOR version. O To prevent the race condition, the inputs of the NAND RS are inverted That’s all for this instalment, but I think that’s a fair bit! The main thing to take away from this is that we are building up specific functions from simple building blocks. This first step does not yield useable results yet, but it shows the direction we will be heading. In the next instalment, we will complete the register and see how we can use a ‘clock’ to control it properly. I’d suggest playing around with these gates and try building the latches yourself. You can do this by downloading Multimedia Logic, a free program for simulating logic circuits: http://www.softronix.com/logic.html After playing around at your own pace, the next part will be a lot easier to swallow.
  18. Get on my bus(!), I’m going to a magical place. I’m going to have to strap you all in before we begin, as this is an experimental journey; one that travels through uncharted and scary territory. It’s a journey from uninterested layperson, to enlightened computer LOVER. You’ll wonder how you never felt about the machine you call a ‘box’. Like magicians protecting the tricks of the trade, the uber nerds don’t want you to know about this place! Well, maybe they don’t care, but it sounds dramatic, right? And it’s damned dramatic. You’ll touch on parts of your mind that’ll have you linking the Universe to bunnies and hair ties. You’ll scratch your left butt cheek as your knowing grin spreads with the realisation that you know more about computers than 99% of Earths population. Yes. I’m selling tickets for a bus ride. A bus ride through the very heart of a computer brain. I mean, the brain of a computer, stopping off at the heart on the way. Or, was that bypass the heart, then blow by the lungs as we circumnavigate the brain? It’s not important. What you should know before we leave the depot is this: What you are about to learn will make you an uber nerd. You will, from now and ever after be hated by everyone you meet. Not through jealousy at your broad knowledge, not through disdain at not being able to keep up with your dinner table banter… Oh no. It’s just that you’ll bore the crap out of everyone you meet! Once you know the secret of the computer, you’ll be consumed. You’ll want to build your own CPU, just like I have. And that’s a good thing. Oh yeah… Uber nerds stay out! You already know all this stuff, so I ask that you give up your seat for a lesser, pimplier nerd. Thank you. Are we ready, set, primed? Good, let’s begin. First Stop - Information: You are standing in a dusty room. It’s in an arid outback location. Two people are talking to the desk clerk about a journey to the summit of the nearby mountain. It’s named, Mt Uberknowledge. It’s a pretty big mountain, lucky we’re taking my bus to the top! Our aim, by the end of this article, is to get intimate with the workings of an electronic computer. Our aim, by the end of this article, is to know what it is to compute. The computers we’ll be studying are built and designed by me. They are not real! They are software simulations of my designs. The first computer is primitive and simplistic, but it works. We will begin our journey with a look at some of the items required in order to begin computing. First off, what is a goal of designing a computer? It needs to process data. Apart from how we interpret that data, everything a computer does is just processing data. You put something in, and expect the right output. OK, that’s pretty bog standard knowledge. We all know that. What we don’t all know is, how simple it really is inside the computer. It’s simple, but there’s a lot of simple, which ultimately makes it complex… Please don’t get the wrong idea about my computer designs that we’ll be using for this article. They are not up to scratch by any modern or 1950s standard. What they are though, is a perfect example of what a computer does. They can play games, process words and balance your budget (we’ll get to those things). Clever folk come along and make the basic design quicker and cheaper to build, but the concept remains the same. So onwards we go! We process data, but what is data? To a computer, data is an electronic signal. Well that’s what you’ll hear all the time. We call it a signal, but it’s nothing more than a voltage, or not a voltage at some point in a circuit. We place our own meanings on what the value of those ‘signals’ might be. How can this allow a machine to process human information? This is the question that has driven my simple brain to learn what I now know. This is the magic part of computers, and more importantly, the magic part of humans. Computers are human things, they came from human minds. They are tools that work with our minds, like a PCI card for our minds. Have you ever stood at the end of a passage way that has a light switch at both ends, for the same light? It’s so you can turn it on, walk to the other end, then switch it off; all without being attacked by a monster. The passage light is something I find very useful as your first example of digital electronics. The light is wired to the two switches in such a way that they have a relation ship to it. The light can be turned on by different combinations of the switch. Let’s see. If one switch is turned on, the light will be lit. If both are on, the light will be lit. But you need at least one switch to be on before you’ll light the light. This is a logical arrangement. And it has a special name within the world of digital electronics, it’s called an ‘OR’ gate. Digital what the??? Digital electronics is just a fancy name for circuits that work based on levels being above or below a certain threshold. For instance, anything above 5volts DC will be considered an ‘on’ signal. Anything below, will be considered an ‘off’ signal. But we’ll see more of this as we progress. Back to the ‘OR’ gate. These ‘gates’ (no relation to Bill) are just switches. If you placed five volts at one end of a wire, you’d get five volts at the other end. Unless you broke the wire, then you’d have two pieces of wire. Not a bad deal really, except that the two new pieces are not as long as the original. But let’s see a video! Here is a generalisation of an ‘OR’ gate: In a computer, there are a lot of these things, although they don’t look like that! The switches are made using ‘semi-conductors’ and they are microscopic switches that rely on electricity to switch them on or off. But the idea is simple. The ‘OR’ gate/switch has two input signals and one output signal. It needs at least one input signal in order to output a signal. Two input signals is fine and will yield the same output as one input signal. It should be noted that the ‘OR’ gate may have many inputs, but it only ever has one output. What you have seen is simply amazing. That simple switch arrangement is a major piece of the computer puzzle. There are only two other pieces. Close you mouth…! I didn’t mention that the computer puzzle uses the same three pieces over and over and over and over… Did I? Here is the second piece, it’s called the ‘AND’ gate. I’ll show you the video first, then an explanation. Those at the front of the bus should already be onto this! The inputs aren’t so clear for this gate, but once again, they are the switches. See how the light only comes one if switch one AND switch two are closed? As with the ‘OR’ gate, the ‘AND’ gate can have multiple inputs. It can have one million inputs if you want, but only one output. And for there to be an output, every input must bear a signal. Step back! Signals, volts, gates? Yeah, I’m talking pretty generally, as it serves no purpose to get down as far as the electronics behind these things. We can assume that five volts means ‘a’ signal and anything less means no signal. This ‘signal’ is not really travelling along. It’s more like either present on a wire or not. But we’ll see this in more detail when I show you the design of my first computer. Hehehe.. There is one final gate that I can show you. It’s the only other gate used in computer circuits. It’s the ‘NOT’ gate. Not that it’s not a gate, it’s name is the ‘NOT’ gate. It is a gate. Not, not a gate. Simplicity itself. Any input is reversed. A signal going in results in nothing coming out and verse vice. There is no end to how useful this gate is when applied to digital circuits. And you’ll certainly see this when we look at the microcode for my computer designs. These pretty animations are pretty, right? We all agree on that. What you may be wondering though, is how do electronic ‘gates’ form a machine that can process data? A machine that can beat you at chess? A machine that can connect to another machine, via the utilisation of yet more machines, to a machine across the globe? This is why you’re strapped to your seat. You will certainly try to leave the bus during this next section. Whatever magic was there, will be stifled and possibly murdered by the boredom that is about to follow. Your eyes will glaze over. Your brain will ask you “what have I ever done to you???”. You’ll want to scream, just to liven things up a little. But relax. I strapped you down for a reason. For it’s the simple things in life that are often the best. And when it comes to binary logic, there is nothing more beautiful and succinct. Argue with me now, and later, you’ll agree. Certainly, later, you’ll agree. Binary logic is the paper work that makes electronic computers possible. Their operations are designed using this form of mathematics, largely credited to George Boole who lived in the mid part of the 19th century. Binary logic is the description of what results from the application of operations on logic states. Or, what happens when you try to find the truth of adding two false things together. You’ll see this terminology crop up often. True, false, on, off, one and zero. They all mean the same thing though. The same thing in the circuit of a computer. Either there is a voltage, or there is not. Generally, a voltage is mapped to true, on, 1. A lack of voltage is mapped to false, off or zero. We combine gates in order to perform operations on data. That’s it. You can go home now! Oh, you want to know ‘how’ we combine those gates? Well read on. The number system we use has ten symbols, ranging from the symbol ‘zero’ to the symbol ‘9’., right? There’s nothing special about it. It’s boring and silly and I want a new one. But that’s not important right now. Back to the decimal number system… The decimal number system has like some kind of ‘add in’ functionality that may be applied to any number system with any amount of symbols. This functionality is the how the columnar positions of a numeral lend weight to that numeral. The rightmost numeral has a value of the numeral, multiplied by (10 to the power of 0). Anything to the power of zero is always one. So this first column is just one, multiplied by whatever numeral is there. If it’s a three, the value of the rightmost column is three. Moving to the column left of the rightmost column, we have a different imposed ‘weight’ over whatever numeral resides there. This time, the column multiples it’s numeral by 10 to the power of 1. In effect, we just multiply everything in the second from the right column by ten. Pretty straight forward. There is a generalisation for how this weighted column system applies to the decimal system: ColumnValue EQUALS ColumnNumeral X 10^ColumnNumber Note that the column number is a zero based count from the right(the rightmost column is numbered zero) to left for ‘n’ number of columns. And forgetting all that garbage, we can see that columns moving to the left apply powers of ten increasing by a factor of ten per left column move. When you see a number written, like say 666, you are really seeing this system in play. Let’s go thr… INTERJECTION: This is brain numbing boring crap, I agree, but please bear with me, as this turns into something beautiful. And it’s all yellow. …ough this number. The leftmost three is in column number ‘2’, if we count from the right and start our count with zero. That means, that we multiply the numeral in this column by 10^2, or 100. Giving us, 600. The column to the right of the leftmost column contains the numeral ‘6’. This column is number one, so it’s power will be 10^1. We need to multiply the numeral in this column by ten. OK, we have a total of 660 so far. I’ll let you guess what happens for the rightmost column. It has something to do with multiplying the numeral there by 10^0, which is ‘1’. The magic of numbers and computers and toast starts to come into play, RIGHT NOW. We have just generalised all of number symbols. You’ve just seen how flimsy our decimal system is, and how we can generalise how we show amounts, any way we like. The fact that we grew up with decimal means we ‘think’ it’s a great way to work with numbers. And I can’t see any problem with it, but computer manufacturers could. As you may recall from earlier on in this essay, I mentioned that logic gates are electronic circuits, on a microscopic sc… INTERJECTION: Why all this talk of numbers and columns and crap?? Listen punk! It’s all part of it, OK? We’re learning about how the output of an electronic circuit can be mapped to something a person need to know, OK?? …ale. They aren’t microscopic for the fun of it. It has to do with productivity and competition. Computer manufacturers need to work to a supply and demand basis like all companies. This means efficiency, and simplicity in a mind numbingly complex field. When you hear someone mention that computers can only work with binary numbers, tell them they are wrong. Explain to them that any number base is possible, binary just happens to translate to cheaper circuits! Cheaper, for many reasons, as we’ll see. Binary? That is the focus of the last part of this first essay(there‘ll be more!). Try to forget for a moment, decimal. Try to think of it as an arbitrary system for arranging symbols to represent an amount of something. We use ten unique symbols in the decimal system. Binary uses but two. The numeral one and the numeral zero. How do you show the number zero in the binary number system? I think you all know the answer to this. How about this then… How would represent one of something, using the binary number system? Yes, the numeral one! Easy as wetting yourself. By now you may be thinking that there’s nothing special about the decimal number system. You may be thinking that you can generalise the representation of the amount of something using any symbols you like. And you can. And further to this, why use a fancy name for a number system? Why not use the number of symbols available as the name? So for decimal, we’d call it a ‘base ten’ number system. For binary (which has two symbols), we’d call it a base two number system. And to take this all the way home, let’s apply our weighted column system to the binary number system and see where that takes us. In the base ten (decimal) number system, the exponent used to calculate the value of each column is the number base itself. So it’s ten in decimal. In binary, the exponent is two. So our new generalised way of looking at a weighted column amount representation scheme is: ColumnValue EQUALS ColumnNumeral X 2^ColumnNumber …for binary numbers. The rightmost column represents a direct amount based on the numeral there, so it can be either zero or one. The column to the left of the rightmost column has 2 X 2^1 applied to it. This simply means that a numeral of zero appearing here will give the column a value of zero, but a numeral of one appearing here will give the column a value of two. This pattern continues, with the value of each left moving column increasing by a factor of a power of two. If you thought this was magic, wait until part two when I show you how to take this theory and use it to create a machine that can add numbers! Yes. We’ll build a machine that can dumbly take two binary numbers and come up with their sum, completely unaided by us. Is that magic? Well it’s certainly yellow!
  19. nickeax

    Horse Riding

    A blonde decides to try horseback riding, even though she has had no lessons or prior experience. She mounts the horse, unassisted, and the horse immediately springs into action. As it gallops along at its steady and rhythmic pace, the blonde begins to slip from the saddle. In terror, she grabs for the horse's mane, but cannot seem to get a firm grip.She tries to throw her arms around the horse's neck, but despite her best efforts, slides down the horse's flanks. The horse continues to gallop along, seemingly oblivious to its slipping rider. Finally, giving up her frail grip, the blonde attempts to leap away from the horse and throw herself to safety. Unfortunately, her foot has become entangled in the stirrup. She is now at the mercy of the horse's pounding hooves as her head is struck against the ground time and time again. As her head is battered against the ground, she is mere moments away from unconsciousness when to her great fortune, Frank, the Woolworth's trolley boy, sees her dilemma and unplugs the horse .
  20. Having covered the basics of equipment and some settings, it’s time to approach a mix. The first thing to decide is where to start to build from. This will be something that gives the song a strong foundation, so it’s drums and bass usually, but it doesn’t have to be. You could just as easily isolate the vocal, get it to sound great, then gradually bring other elements into the mix so they sit well in relation to the vocal. This will make the vocal the focus of the song, and by having it there from the beginning, you can be sure that nothing obscures it. Let’s take the approach of drums and bass first for now though. If you’re working with a drum machine, the balance of the sounds will probably be ok, but I’d still recommend getting each drum onto it’s own track. Here’s how you can do this, but only if your drums are sequenced: How To Produce Individual Audio Files for Each Drum Element: 1. Within your music software, work out how many individual drum tracks there are and copy the drum part that many times. This way, you’ll have the original drum part safely unharmed. 2. Go into the first copy and delete all but the kick drum triggers. 3. Go into the next copy and delete all but the snare triggers 4. Repeat for any other drum sounds you wish to isolate. 5. Now solo the first edited copy (the kick drum) and render this MIDI track to a .wav. Or, record a new audio track using the output from your drum machine/synth. Either way, you’ll end up with just the kick drum part as an audio track. Repeat for all the other parts. Now you have fine control over all the elements of the drum part. Just remember to leave the original MIDI drum track on mute from now on. Another method would be to adjust the actual sounds on your drum machine to zero apart from the element you want to record. Make multiple recordings of each part using the original MIDI drum sequence. For information on EQ and Compression, see this article http://www.atomicmpc.com.au/forums.asp?s=2...;c=23&t=496 Kick Drum Vs Bass - Title Fight! In order to get a solid bottom end for your song, you need to get the bass and the kick drum sounding big! A common mistake made by beginners is to get them both to sound similar, then try and get them to sit well in the mix.. Forget it! There’s only so much space for each frequency, you can’t fit a bass and a similarly sounding kick drum in the same audio space. Here’s a trick! Using your parametric EQ, scoop out a place for the kick drum in the bass part. The actual frequencies to scoop will depend on the sound of the sound of the kick drum. And really, the best way to find any frequencies is by listening, not by reading a chart! Another thing to try, that will solve many problems is to record with different sounding bass and kick drum sounds. So you would use a bass heavy, dull kick drum with a sharp sounding bass or vice versa. This will really help them sit together. The mixing of the bass and the kick drum is very important, as they occupy the same frequency area. Therefore, once your mix is complete, any EQ applied in the mastering stage, or even by a listener on their HiFi, will affect both elements. In other words, if one is too loud or quiet in relation to the other, you won’t be able to fix it later. Ultimately, you want the two elements to seem like one instrument, each adding it’s own unique frequencies in unison, unless the bass is playing an extremely adventurous melodic part, then treat the bass as more of a lead element. Spicing Up The Drums: Ambient Miccing Having a drum machine sequence playing acting as your drummer is a common option for the home recordist, and using the method described above to gain finer control over the disparate elements of the drum part, you can get some excellent results. However, you’ll probably still think there’s something missing from your drum part. It may sounds too clear, too plastic-y or too clinical. Most probably, it’ll lack depth and atmosphere. I put this down to the way a real drum kit would be recorded. There’d be a microphone on the snare, maybe two on the kick, one on the high-hats and maybe one or two on the toms. Now the samples in your drum machine/synth will be professional recordings of real drums of course, so why the lifelessness? Well, in case you don’t already know, in a proper recording of a drum kit, overhead microphones will be used. Maybe one, but usually two microphones will be place a few feet above the whole kit to capture the performance, and maybe a bit of room character as well. This overhead track/s are then mixed in behind the main drum recording to give that big sound. I’m still experimenting with the following method of ambient miccing a drum machine part, but here’s the basics: 1. Solo the drum sequence and play it back over your monitors, or any good external speakers. 2. Place one or two microphones about a meter away from the playback speakers, but higher than the speakers. 3. For more than one microphone, record the results to a stereo track, once you’re happy with the results. NOTE - If you’re recording your studio monitors, make sure you have the microphone input muted! It’ll still record, but won’t play what it’s recording back over the monitors. If this happened, you’d get bad feedback, possibly damaging your speakers. Be CAREFUL! You’re not going for the greatest drum sounds you’ve ever heard here. This recording will be mixed in with the main drums so that it can only just be heard. It’s only there to add that little bit of spice. Spicing Up The Drums: EQ Place an EQ on the kick drum, and seriously boost a very narrow band (a high ‘Q’ setting). Now sweep through the frequencies from 60Hz to 150Hz. Listen where the kick drum gets boosted the most, this will be it’s ‘fundamental’ frequency. Let’s say the frequency was 70Hz, the first harmonics of our kick drum will occur at double this frequency, 140Hz. In fact, any factor of 70 will have a powerful effect on the kick drum. We’re interested in using the EQ to add some ‘point’ the kick drum. This can be achieved by boosting high harmonics, found by multiplying the fundamental frequency of the drum (in this case 70Hz). How high? It’s matter of listening of course, but start above 5KHz. Having said that, try all the ascending harmonics and see what it sounds like, if nothing else, it’s a good exercise! Now try the same thing with the snare. The high-hats should be fairly easy to EQ. Basically, cut every frequency below 2Khz and boost some very high frequencies relating to the fundamental frequencies at around 10Khz or more. Spicing Up The Kick Drum: Compression Funnily enough, compression is used to make drums sound ‘bigger’. As with everything I’ve discussed so far, it’s up to your ears to make settings, but here’s some basic advice on using a compressor on individual drum elements. Making the kick drum suck: For the kick drum, you need to carefully adjust the ‘attack’ on you compressor. You want the compressor to allow the initial ‘hit’ through, but then apply it’s compression very quickly. Release is only important inasmuch as don’t release too early before the sound finishes. This’ll sound weird. The amount of compression should be pretty severe! Try ratios of 6:1 and above for starters, and find the threshold that sucks the most… =) After doing all that, bring the output gain up so your kick drum is back to normal level. Another approach is to know the initial hit down with a very fast attack setting. Once again, use aggressive ratios and thresholds that will really push the sound down. This time, play around with the release to end up with a big, boom-y kick drum. You’ll lose some definition, but if your bass player has a sharp sounding bass, it’ll work great with this approach. Spicing Up The Snare: Compression and Distortion I’d assume the first method described above for the kick drum will yield the most successful results in most cases. Play around with it! Copy your snare track and overdrive it! For best results, run it out of the computer and through a guitar overdrive device, then back into the computer. Cut most of the low frequencies from this new track and boost the higher harmonics of it’s fundamental. Mix this back in, in the same space as the original snare, with heavy compression applied. Spicing Up The Drums: Reverb Simple guidelines here. Long reverb will make the drums sound distant and small. Short reverb will make them sound close and big. Short delays can have the same effect, but I personally don’t use delay on drums very much at all. If I do use delay, it’ll be barely audible. Something very short, with minimal feedback, only noticeable if removed. Spicing Up The Base: All Together Now! Finally, bring the ambient drums, the individual drums and the bass up together and listen to what you have after all this work! The first elements to bring up will be the kick drum and the bass. Get their balance right before proceeding. Next, get the snare working nicely with the kick and bass. This is the life of the song, the snare drives the music forward. It needs to command a very special place in the mix. Make sure it is big and powerful and not overpowered by the bass and kick drum. Bring in the other drum elements and balance their levels. Here you can start panning the high hats and toms. It works well if you imagine a real drummer sitting on a stage playing. Pan the high-hats to a logical position and do the same for the toms. Now, carefully bring in your ambient drums. You might add some subtle ‘room’ reverb to them. If you have a stereo ambient recording, pan each track about 25% each side to begin with. Move more if it doesn’t sound big enough. Don’t let the ambient recording sound prominent. It should not really be noticeable, just an enhancement to the main drums. Bring it up until you can just hear it. That’s all for this guide, but in the next instalment, we’ll bring other instruments into the mix and see what we can do with them.
  21. nickeax

    And What Are You Listening To?

    Plasma - Luxxy Daizy
  22. nickeax

    What is cross posting?

    I don't understand why the mere mention of another forum causes a thread to be deleted. Especially when the aim was to help people who would never even have known they could be helped because of the stupid decision to place a thread in the obviously wrong section. This happens a lot. So, is a cross post constituted by the mention of other said thread from a thread in a different forum? Or does an actual link need to be involved? I thought we were allowed to refer to other forums and threads, I mean that seems conducive to the greater good right? Yeah, I'm whinging, but only because I want what's best for the AtomicMPC forum goers.
  23. nickeax

    What is cross posting?

  24. nickeax

    Quite possibly the best invention. Ever

    I think life on Earth wins that title.
  25. nickeax

    Rudds $1000 xmas bonus

    Who is eligible? I already feel like hood.