The Best Xmas Music Pandering Ever.

I haven’t made any new xmas music this year, because why bother. There’s still lots of old xmas music to not listen to. That’s the point of xmas music in the first place, isn’t it? To milk it for years to come.






The original snuggie-with-lights-that-flash-to-Trans-Siberian-orchestra track

Bonus: New Year’s Eve stuff


I’d Hoped You Were Finished: The 2014 Crap Chute Collection

It’s actually as big a surprise to me as it is to you, but here’s a new album of material for 2014 for you to enjoy. Crap Chute’s Box of Devils. 37 tracks, a little more than three hours.

Download from Bandcamp
Listen on Spotify

Also available from: iTunes, Amazon Music, Google Play

This album, like all my previous material is available through Bandcamp. There are benefits to you paying more than nothing for an album. Alternately, why not give your money to your local animal shelter or other artists.

You can get Crap Chute’s Box of Devils from stores like iTunes and Google Play, but if you want to download it your best option is through Bandcamp, as it’s cheaper and you get more choice in formats.

As a download from Bandcamp you get to download it in whatever stupid format you want for your FreeBSD 10.1 powered electric toothbrush or Linux Toenail Chip: Ogg Vorvis, FLAC, MP3, AAC, FBI, CIA, whatever, audio nerds.

Like my previous material, Crap Chute’s Box of Devils is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike. I wrote a little piece on this once on what this means to you if you want to do things with my music besides listen (hint: almost anything).

Creative Commons License
Crap Chute’s Box of Devils by Steven Cogswell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Crap Chute’s Box of Devils got featured on episode 38 of Night Attack at the 1h41m mark. Yes, I wrote the ad copy. Show notes for Night Attack 38: Clench-A-Butt.

My last album Crap Chute’s Pinched Loaf was previously featured on Night Attack episode 11.

Changing the Pickups in an Ibanez S420 Guitar

In late 2011 I bought a stock Ibanez S420 guitar, which I’ve used for most of my musical projects since then. While I like the guitar I’ve always felt that I wasn’t happy with the stock pickups, the Ibanez INF1 and INF2. I can’t even articulate what it was I didn’t like about them. Maybe they were too boomy? Maybe they lacked definition? I don’t know, but I’d managed to convince myself I didn’t like them.

Fast forward to 2014, in order to deflect my increasing frustration with music I decided I would actually change the stock pickups out for something new. This led to the first problem: what to exchange them with?

Continue reading

Ass Seen on TV

From the shameless self-promotion file.

I got a nice mention on Episode 11 of Night Attack, which thankfully did not diminish the great show that Night Attack is.

You can watch talented rubes Brian Brushwood and Justin Robert Young all the time on Diamond Club TV. You can support them directly on patreon.

Although contrary to Mr. Booshwood’s kind words I do not actually bring ruck, you still can get the music discussed for free at http://stevencogswell.ca. Also I have lots of other garbage.

Show notes for Episode 11 of Night Attack.

Gnu Years

I haven’t made new gnu pneu New Year’s music for a couple of years, because I haven’t seen the point of retreading that ground, having already done the same thing twice. I did make a super awexome music video this year though.

Or you can just listen.

or not, whatever.

Creative Commons License

Less is Less: The 2013 Crap Chute Collection

Wait, this was 2013?

So for the fourth fifth year – following the pattern, the end of the year rolls around and bundle up all the music from the past year and put it under one collection. This year’s fantastic album is Crap Chute’s Pinched Loaf. This collection features nothing not previously released in the year, no tracks have changed, and there aren’t any bonus items this year either.

Crap Chute's Pinched Loaf cover art by Ro Karen

You can listen to the whole thing right here:

Like previous years, the only good part of the whole mess is the wonderful cover art by Ro Karen.

The entire collection is available via Bandcamp. If you’re homeless and destitute and somehow are downloading music off the intarweb you can once again enter the secret code of $0.00 for the price and not pay a damned cent for it. Also, don’t complain to me about it. If you want to put your money to good use give something to your local animal shelter, or Ro Karen, or some new media disruptive kickstarter indie go go douchebags.

Bandcamp very nicely will provide you with just about any audio format you want, even if you’re still using that Diamond Rio and Microsoft Kin Phone Zune Whatever.

Following last year’s successful campaign by Dicks, Everywhere, output this year was not as prolific as year’s past. In fact, this year has the least number of tracks (36), and the least running time (three hours and forty-eight minutes, give or take). Even less than 2009, which was the year where I only put out material for half the year. It’s enough material to maybe get you through the morning, or the whole day if you like to go to the bathroom a lot or work for the government.

Still all covered by Creative Commons. I know, you still don’t know what that means. That’s okay.


Creative Commons License
Crap Chute’s Pinched Loaf by Steven Cogswell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

I’m not going to bother to make the MD5 joke this year. Once again, the offer still stands that if you can somehow figure out how to ask nicely, and actually provide a mailing address, I’ll send you a disc with the material on it. Number of discs I sent out in 2013: zero (0).

If you’re completely crazy, you can also uselessly spend money and buy Buy Crap Chute’s Pinched Loaf from iTunes, or from Amazon’s MP3 store, or from Google Play. Not all these links work in all countries. In fact, they don’t even work for me in Canada, so I can’t even check them myself. Bandcamp should work for everyone, and is cheaper for you.

Logic X and the Missing Edit Button on EXS24 Instruments

Like a lot of people, I bought Logic X, and have been digging my way through it. One thing I ran into was that my EXS24 sample instruments were missing the “edit” button, which you use to edit the zones and velocities associated with the samples.

No Edit option

Googling around didn’t help, the usual things that people who don’t know the actual answer tell you what to do are “repair the permissions” and “check the disk” (which I did do), usually moving on to “reinstall everything” (which I wasn’t going to do).

Turns out with Logic X, especially if you have a fresh installation on a machine you didn’t have Logic 9 on before, there are some options under “Advanced” for enabling things for advanced users. Logic X (and previous Logics) are pretty complicated pieces of software, and hiding options seems counter-productive to me – but hey, I don’t write Logic I just use it.

Anyway, easy solution: Go into the Logic X Preferences, and under “Advanced” you can turn on the “Audio” selector, that will enable editing EXS24 instruments again.

audio must be enabled

Presto.

Edit now available

Maybe while you’re there, you’d like to check the rest of them too. That’s up to you.

Pigs in a Slanket: The Next Generation

In the natural progression of moving my music onto bandcamp, it has activated that gene that makes me have to go back and tinker with all the old tracks. 2009 was the first year back after not recording any music for twelve years. I started out the year in Garageband, moved to Logic 8, then back to Garageband, then moved to Logic 9, then back to Garageband. I’ve previously attempted to spackle over past sins of recording. After much stress and gnashing of teeth my circle of failure is complete and you are now presented with the 2013 remaster set for 2009’s “Crap Chute’s Blast from the Ass.”

Much like the Crap Chute’s Sluice Juice Spatial Edition 2012 Rage Fury Wifebeater, I did a lot of work trying to fix some of the more egregious problems with the material. All the tracks feature new mixes. Some of them have new instrumentation, some of them have newly-recorded parts to replace corrupted files, some have strange new additional parts. The material is still the material though, you can’t change that.

All in all, about four and a half hours of music. As usual, you can still download the whole thing for free from bandcamp. Also available is the material from 2010, 2011, and 2012. Total is about 22 hours of terrible, terrible music.

It’s also still covered by creative commons. You never figured out what that meant in 2009, and you still haven’t figured it out. Don’t worry about it.

Creative Commons License
Crap Chute’s Blast from the Ass 2013 Edition by Steven Cogswell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

When I say “free” I mean “free.” I’m not sure why people have a problem understanding that “free” means “$0.00” but it means you don’t have to pay. You don’t have to pay to download it. You don’t have to give me your email address. That’s because it’s free.

Korg USB MIDI Driver Disables the Alesis Control Pad

This is another single-serving post that explains resolution to a problem I had, that I could not find an answer to on the internet. So perhaps you’ve found this searching for the same problem I had. This is how I fixed it.

I have an Alesis Control Pad. A couple of years ago I bought a KORG nanoKONTROL unit, which I actually never used for anything. I have a recurring problem with Logic Pro becoming unresponsive to keyboard input (the one with the letters on it, not a musical keyboard) when you have plugin windows (Kontact, Amplitube) open. Makes it hard to stop playing if it won’t listen. I hooked up my nano kontrol to see if the transport buttons on it would work even if Logic isn’t listening to your typing.

nanokontrol2

Sure enough it does. It doesn’t fix it, but at least it lets me break out Logic without crashing it. I thought that would resolve the issue, but then my stupid Alesis Control Pad wasn’t working anymore. I could hit the pads and see the little red led on the Alesis flicker showing it was registering input, but logic doesn’t show any midi input. Using the approach of “last thing I did must have screwed things up” I went after the nano kontrol, which turns out to be the culprit.

It’s not the nano kontrol itself, it’s the “KORG USB-MIDI Driver” (v 1.2.0 r2) the instructions told me I had to install to have it work. If the korg usb midi driver is installed, the Control Pad doesn’t work anymore. Of course, finding instructions on how to remove the the korg usb-midi driver was impossible, hence why I’ve written this post for you. There may be more to this, but this works for me:

On your mac, open up the /Library folder. Go to library Easiest way is from the Finder go to “Go” and “Connect to Folder” (shift-command-G). Enter “/Library” in the dialog box. Navigate down into /Library/Audio/MIDI Drivers/. Find the file called KorgUSBMIDIDriver.plugin (there may be others, depending on what you have installed, you just want this one korg one removed). Select the file and delete it (command-delete). You will need to enter your administrative password. There is also another korg midi driver in /System/Library/Extensions/advKorgUSBMIDIDriver.plugin you could also remove. Empty the trash and reboot.

Here’s a very, very dangerous script that will remove both libraries. Be careful using it.

echo "Removing KorgUSBMIDIDriver.plugin"
sudo rm -r "/Library/Audio/MIDI Drivers/KorgUSBMIDIDriver.plugin"
echo "Removing advKorgUSBMIDIDriver.plugin"
sudo rm -r "/System/Library/Extensions/advKorgUSBMIDIDriver.plugin"

midi drivers
korg midi get info

After reboot if you start the OSX standard “Audio MIDI Setup” application you should see your Alesis Control Pad again.

audio midi setup

The stupid part is, for me, Logic still works fine with the nano kontrol even with the usb driver removed. After restarting Logic shows it’s connected and the transport controls still work for me. works in logic I can’t use the “KORG KONTROL Editor” because it seems to just crash on OSX 10.8.2. Every time. So I’m not worried about editing the scenes, I just want the damned “stop” button to work when Logic won’t listen to typing.

editor crashes

A little update: A clean reinstall of OSX 10.8.2 (with restore of user files but not applications) does not fix the kontrol editor problem. If I boot with extensions disabled (holding shift at startup) Kontrol Editor works. If I make a new user and boot normally into the other user Kontrol Editor works. So it’s obviously something in my user profile that’s causing it to crash.

Another update and resolution: Going from the fact that a safe boot let Kontrol Editor work again, I decided to pursue what exactly safe boot disables. Thankfully Apple has an article on exactly this. I started going down the list: I didn’t have any user-directory extensions. I didn’t have anything in the various Startupitems. However:

It disables all fonts other than those in /System/Library/Fonts (Mac OS X v10.4 or later).

Now this was interesting. If you look at the crash message from Korg Kontrol Editor the top line is juce::ATSFontHelper::getPathAndKerning and a few other ATS functions, which are all to do with Fonts and the OSX Type System. I looked in ~/Library/Fonts (the fonts directory under the user directory, not the system /Library/Fonts and well shit, look at this:

OS9 Fonts

2001 dates? Shit those are old. Oh wait a second, those aren’t even modern fonts. Those are OS9 Fonts (font suitcases). Those fonts have literally been travelling around with my setup for more than a decade. From OS7, OS8.x, OS9.x, OSX. The various upgrades of OSX over the years have been just happily bringing those along for the ride. They’re in the user directory, so they got saved/restored from the time machine backup even though I didn’t bring applications back.

Sure enough, I just removed all the fonts from that directory (who the hell wants Wingdings anyway?). Technically I didn’t delete them, I just moved them to a new directory somewhere not in ~/Library/Fonts. Now Korg Kontrol Editor works again. So something about juce::ATSFontHelper::getPathAndKerning doesn’t like one or more of those fonts. Maybe a font is corrupted? Maybe juce:: just doesn’t like OS9-style font suitcases? Didn’t matter. It works now. The Alesis control pad still doesn’t work with the Korg USB MIDI drivers installed, but who cares.

Korg Kontrol Editor