Mixtape, Muxtape, MuddleTape

I was quite excited about the Muxtape idea that mentioned the other day, and it even got a mention in Dreamrapper’s blog too. However, it’s all gone a bit pear-shaped over at Muxtape’s HQ and I feel a little bit foolish now. It looks like my twelve tracks have gone from my virtual tape and ended up in someone else’s, as there’ve been one or two problems with their software and servers.

On May 21st, Muxtape experienced an error that caused every song in the database to be overwritten with the wrong artist & title. (from Muxtape’s blog)

I must say that it was a very good concept, and right now I hope they manage to get everything sorted as soon as possible.

If you’re not too sure what Muxtape is, have a look at the article I wrote the other day for more information.

By the way, I’m still on the hunt for recommendations etc., about the Presonus Firestudio. If you’re using one, can you give me some info about it (pros and cons, that sort of thing) as there’s just too much info to wade through on the web.

Autism and music

photo by Headancer

image: 29 may 2006 – eventful.org.uk – 0008 – (medium) by Headancer/Simon Green (copyright 2006) (link to Headancer homepage)

As you’ll probably have read on Paul’s blog, he’s still not back in school. This is having a massive knock-on effect on the rest of family and my in-laws, and is generally causing chaos at Mistrust Towers. Anything from a decent night’s sleep to watching tv is being affected as Paul’s life is almost completely unstructured and he’s having to find things to do all the time, something he finds quite difficult at the best of times. He’s getting tired at all the wrong times, just because he’s getting really anxious in the mornings from not knowing who may call round to see him (school inclusion people, mainly). If you haven’t been here before, he’s got Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not otherwise specified, which means Autism/Asperger’s type personality and behaviour, hence all the anxieties.

What’s this got to do with “mistrust music”? Well, for some reason, Paul has decided that he wants to learn to play the drums. That means he wants a drum kit. Not just a basic, cheap kit. A proper one, with all accessories included. Bear in mind that he has a very small bedroom and there’s nowhere else in the house that it could go. So that’s a non-starter. I’ve told him we’ll get a basic drum pad-type thing – one of those plastic things without about 4 pads on it, with a set of plastic sticks – so he can see how it goes. Judging by his recent attempt to learn to play the guitar, he’ll give up if he can’t work out how to play a particularly beat. With Paul, it will be as follows: Learn the bass drum, then the snare, etc. Then learn a rock beat, then a waltz, etc, and if he gets stuck on one, he’ll pack it in.

He also wants to learn keyboards….. He’s been fiddling with my old Casio MT31 (which still works after nearly 30 years!) but it’s got small keys and he’s having problems playing the notes. He’s gone onto “Learn to Play.com” or something which has basic riffs to play, and has been practicising the same thing over and over till he gets it completely right. The problem is that there’s no audio on the site, so he relies on me to say if it’s right. Once again, if he can’t play one of the tunes, he’ll pack it all in.

It’s good that he’s interested in making music the “traditional” way, instead of using loads of samples in Acid Pro, and he’s actually got potential in the technique side of things. He now wants to use my Evolution Midi keyboard, plugged into the computer, and use a keyboard training program.

All this means I’m getting less and less time to come up with some new tunes. I’ve got the playing bug again and I want to do some live work, but there’s very little time to do much at the moment because of all this domesticity. The tunes that went to Candycover music library should be live soon, and that could open up some new opportunities, and I’d like to be prepared for anything that comes along. Howeve, anything that will keep him focussed, occupied, and will develop his skills, is something we’ve got to keep up with.

You’ll probably have noticed the image at the top of this post. It’s a photo by Headancer, one of the Big Chill Forum folk. I asked on there last week if I could use some of the things that have been occasionally posted on the forum, or if anyone could point me to some others I could use to brighten up my blog. So, thanks to Simon Green (Headancer) for use of the image. If you want to see more of his photography, please go to Headancer on Mac.com and tell him I sent you. Please note: All the images used on this site are copyright and should not be used without the owners’ permission. The pic I’ve used is from eventful.org.uk. It reminds me of the fact that I’m off on holiday in about 5 weeks……

Everything’s gone green again

I’m something of a perfectionist when it comes to something looking right, and usually I get this nagging feeling in the back of my head telling me that something doesn’t look as good as it should. That explains why I’ve changed the look of this blog about 5 times in the last few weeks. I’ve reused the old “green” header and adopted a more plain-looking body. Hopefully I’ll be satisfied now and not want to change it again.

I’ve been trying to work out what to write here because there’s just been so much going on at home, work, and with the music. When I’ve got everything straight in my head, I’ll post more info here.

Other things: I’ve been helping Paul with some more tunes. He’s finally got back into music-making, so he’s been asking for some help. Expect more of his stuff on myspace soon.  Also,  I came across a great WordPress blog called Svartling.  It’s a comprehensive list of loads of new VST plugins and music-making software. Highly recommended!

Life, the Universe, and my alter-ego

In fact, I seem to have forgotten who I am. Or at least forgotten that I’ve got a musical alter-ego who likes making tunes and whose music some people like listening to. There’s been so much going on at home and work that it’s been impossible to even think about making music recently. Me and Mrs mistrust have been occupied with Paul almost every waking hour (and those times we should be asleep), so there’s been no time to think of other things.

As you may have read in his blog, Paul has PDD-NOS and has become more and more anxious and socially reclusive over the last few months. Helping him to make some tunes and sorting out the production for him was an excuse for me to get using the music software, but now he doesn’t seem interested in creating some of his own tracks and getting some plays. Mrs m and I spend most of the evenings sorting out his needs and then desperately needing a rest when he goes to watch a dvd, or at least checking emails, forums etc.  Last evening I took him to the Trafford Centre (big shopping mall) almost straight after work and got home at 9.30pm, all because we’d promised him a reward for going to the child psychology day unit and seeing the registrar. The result was Gran Turismo 4 for PS2.

Come on Paul, get making music again and writing your blog.