• No music for 7 days

    I’ve been having difficulty finding the desire to work on my own music lately. So I’ve decided to try something drastic; I will not turn on or seek to listen to any music for 7 days.

    That’s a lot for me. I always have music on. Sometimes I’ll have multiple layers of music on. I’m talking 3 or more self-selected sources of music in the same small space.

    I use it to drown out my thoughts when they become overbearing. I use it to drown out the soft noises from outdoors that pique my interest and distract me. I use it to mask the noises that startle me. I use it to mask the fan. I use it to waste time. I use it to relieve the frustration of disliking my own musical expressions. I use it to work (on other people’s creations). I use it to explore technical processes. I use it to find practice material. I use it to time myself such as when; cooking, cleaning, exercising or waiting for glue.

    What I don’t do with music is listen to it. Actually listen to it. I haven’t done that in decades.

    So, I am going to not seek to listen to music for 7 days. I will not avoid it if my wife is listening to it. I will not avoid it in the store. I will not avoid it on streams or such.

    I’m on Day 2 now, and it’s surprisingly difficult. My anxiety level has skyrocketed and I’ve gone through enough benzos to kill a horse. Doesn’t matter though.

    7 Days

  • How to lose a finger, or die trying

    Bang! A loud bang followed

    This is why you always use a push block or a pair of push sticks.

    I was routing this cove in a piece of Ash. I had featherboards in place and I was using a push block. The router bit caught a wayward grain exclusion which twisted the board slightly between the fence and horizontal featherboard. One face of the cove was then wedged between the router bit and the pressure from the featherboard.

    Then BOOM. The workpiece flew across the shop and hit the wall with a loud bang. Click the image above. You can see each point where the router bit grabbed the work as it was flung in to the wall.

    My brother curiously suggested that it was going at about 10-15m/s and packing about 40 joules. That would be painful enough if it hit you, but the real danger is if your fingers were pulled in to the router bit.

    Stay safe! Even when doing everything right, accidents still happen. It’s up to you to make sure those accidents don’t cost you a finger.

  • Speed up your water stone sharpening with this simple hack

    Shiny! Look at that shiny shiny shine

    Some people love sharpening. Some people hate it. I like it, but there’s no reason to spend more time doing it than necessary.

    If you use water stones then there is a way to reduce time spent on each stone and improve the feeling of moving the steel across the stone.

    Click through for how, and some testing!

    Read more →
  • DAW Chart v5

    Preview Just another chart

    It’s time for another DAW Chart!

    I’ve spent some time thinking about how I had this setup. Having experienced DAWs that are deficient in some areas, and learning the wonders of other features, I’ve re-evaluated what I feel is important. There’s features that I’ve come to rely on heavily in Reaper, and some features I’ve realized (analytically) that I don’t use as often as I thought.

    My time spent in each DAW as a percentage, according to Time Sink has been:

    • Reaper - 61%
    • DP - 39%

    Actual chart after the break…

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  • Single 2x4 multi-stool

    One two by four Free, sturdy and useful

    The thing above is a 2-stage stool. It’s a 35.5”/90cm tall bar-stool that allows you to swing your legs back more than normal. It’s also a step stool!

    The joinery is almost entirely drawbored mortise and tenon. There’s a decorative doweld-dual-V bridle joint in the center and where your feet sit are half-open dowelled lap joints. The half-open joint allows your feet to rest without the possibility of tearing the end grain of the seat.

    The real fun part of this is that the entire stool was made with no power tools of any sort and the material is a single pine 2”x4”x10’ found on the side of the road.

    It was glued almost entirely with rice glue that I made. The exception was the seat laminations. The entire structure is sturdy based entirely on the mechanical structure of the joints. The rice glue is just insurance. I’m certain that you could throw it off a building and the joinery would be unscathed.

    Now I need to darken the finish to match the kitchen that it’s set to go in, and stabilize a few of the knots with some epoxy.

    (shoutout to Darn Tough for making the world’s best socks, and with a no-nonsense lifetime warranty!)

  • Level-based routing in Reaper

    Level-based routing Routing based on the incoming level

    There may be times where you want to affect a signal based on its current level. Usually this requires some sort of ducking or gating on the effect itself, but using Reaper’s Routing you can do some pretty cool things.

    So here, let me explain to you how to route a signal in Reaper depending on the level of that signal.

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  • 30 days of Reaper come to an end

    The 30 Days of Reaper comes to an end today. I’ve been through the worst and found some cool stuff.

    If you know me, or have read any earlier blog posts you would know how much I’ve hated Reaper, and the “Reaper Users” (out in the wild at least).

    So if you’ve been following my blog you may or may not be surprised at the conclusion of this, especially after my recent trials of Studio One and Cubase.

    Read more →
  • The penultimate post of perturbances pertaining to Reaper

    Not Reaper Yeah, Screw this, I think?

    This is the second to last post about my 1 month of using Reaper. As such, I’d like to cover some other things that annoy me about Reaper.

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  • Reaper's Amazing, and Awful, Almost Anything to Anywhere Avenues (routing)

    Modulation madness! Modulate all of the things!

    Reaper has quite a routing system. It can allow for some exceptionally cool routing configurations that will leave you scratching your head the next day.

    In this post I’ll be going over some of the things you can do with Reaper’s routing, and I will also discuss why it will immolate your soul and leave nothing but the charred remains to remind you of your sins.

    Read more →
  • Pro Tools-like group editing in Reaper

    DP's Track Grouping Track Grouping in Digital Performer

    If you are not familiar with how DAWs like Pro Tools and Digital Performer handle editing multiple tracks at once, let me explain:

    • You select some tracks.
    • You add them to a group
    • Optionally setup what is grouped about them (DP has fantastic options for this)

    Now when you make an edit to a single track that is in an active group, the same edit happens to everything else in that group. Groups can be turned on/off at will quite easily.

    Reaper does things quite differently, and I find it to be a pain. But there’s a workaround (more like an alternate workflow) that I think is better in some case…

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