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Neglected Blog Updates

Posted in Uncategorized on September 2, 2015 by deliriumdog

Hi all,

Most of my blog activity has gravitated over to Tumblr:

http://deliriumdog.tumblr.com

Where you can see updates and behind-the-scenes postings about the immersive theater experience I am currently producing: The Mesmeric Revelations! of Edgar Allan Poe. (I’m also co-director and sound/music designer for that unique and amazing show that somehow has managed to change my life just about every day for the past year.)

And I still make video, too. Like this trailer!

So sorry I’ve not been tending to this blog much lately, but you can still find me all over the interwebs, now more than ever.

Warmest regards,

g

Silent Night, ScareHouse Night

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2012 by deliriumdog

Warning: No Children Should See This!!

This is the second of two videos we shot on a warm Summer day to promote a Christmas-themed haunted attraction that will run through the Fall. Make sense? No? Good.

As before, the performers you see are actually lip-syncing to scratch tracks recorded by my wife and I. Then we hauled them upstairs after the shoot to capture their voices in small groups to get that choir-like sound. The final mixed track synced up magically with their creepily vacant, animatronic performance. Why? Because if you wish for something with all your heart, it must come true.

It also helped that the guide mix that they lip-synced and sang to had a prominent drum track to keep everyone together. Without it, it the organ alone was difficult for them to sing to in unison. Adding drums tightened things up considerably. Removed for the final mix, nobody’s the wiser. Except you, because you read this.

The last song we twisted was a fairly safe, secular holiday piece, and it received very little in the way of blowback. This take on the more sacred Silent Night…also has not produced any controversy that I know of. Obviously, we’re not trying hard enough.

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Follow Delirium Dog on Twitter and Facebook.

Too Much New Software = Brain Freeze

Posted in Uncategorized on November 29, 2011 by deliriumdog

Last weekend, I opened up a few programs from my newly purchased Adobe Production Premium CS5.5 suite. It was half-off for Final Cut Pro users (for a limited time!) so I decided to go for it. I clicked around and started to get acclimated with After Effects and the new Premier. Not making much progress, but taking that first brain-burning leap.

Exploding ComputerThen I remembered that I had downloaded, but not installed, an upgrade to MetaSynth. I haven’t used MetaSynth in years. It’s been so long that the thought gives me nostalgia. Going from version 2.5 to 5+, I had some catching up to do. I also bundled with it their program Xx, a composition tool that pairs with Metasynth (why not?). I opened up both and started to click around.

Meanwhile, I still had a musical composition to finish (secret squirrel project that I will explain someday), so I went back to good old Logic Pro and pieced together a few more sections of the tune. At one point, I wondered if I should be doing this in Abelton Live instead, but figured I could go there later if I wanted. I’m still more comfortable composing in Logic.

But the video tools were still calling me and I realized that, as a Final Cut Pro user, I had just flirted big time with Premier without having even yet downloaded the new major upgrade to Final Cut. And as the free 30-day trial to Final Cut X was downloading, I opened the latest version Motion and clicked around to see what was different.

Yes, this is all true. I really am nutty enough to purchase several huge, deep applications covering video, graphics, motion graphics, music and sound all in one weekend. Granted, it was a long holiday weekend, but still.

Final Cut X opens up and I feel like a child again taking my first steps in a scary new world. It’s quite different from it’s predecessor. Ten minutes and a nice youtube overview later, I’m importing video from my live performance last month and slogging through an edit.

By the time Sunday evening rolled around, I had achieved precious little. So many awesome and powerful tools, but so little done. Did I mention the new plugins for Logic and Live that I just installed and have not even glanced at? Or the ever-present Web browser windows floating around my desktop, taunting me. Facebook, Twitter, WashingtonPost.com…

I remembered all the progress I made with Abelton Live just a month ago and how I was going to dive even deeper into it an make that my total focus for the rest of the year. I think it will have to wait a few more weeks.

I know I will eventually master some this software, and hopefully moderately competent in the rest. But right now, my brain hurts and I’m frozen by all the possibilities.

Brother, can I borrow 10,000 hours?

 

Random Thoughts from the First Weekend Playing at The ScareHouse

Posted in Creativity, Delirium Dog, Performance, Scarehouse, Uncategorized on October 3, 2011 by deliriumdog

First thought: Wow, what a blast!

Actually, that’s my first thought now that it’s over. My first thought when we started playing on the first night was “What the hell am I doing!?!?” I’ve had that thought at several moments over the past few weeks preparing for this gig. It especially hit home while putting on my custom-made costume, which is pretty fab but includes a neon green fishnet top which, let me just say, has never been a part of my wardrobe prior to Friday night.

I’ve managed to be free of Impostor Syndrome for  quite a while. Years, maybe. Then came my battle with Who The Hell Cares About What I’m Doing Syndrome. (“There are a million people out there on the internet making music and starving kids all over the world–what makes you feel like you’re so special, Delirium Boy?” That sort of thing.) The supportive atmosphere I found at The ScareHouse, as well as online and other friendly corners of my life, helped me greatly with this. But then the What The Hell Am I Doing Syndrome sneaks up on me and it feels like a proxy for all the previous syndromes combined. My wife reminded me that this is what happens quite often to every artist, and I think “oh yeah, I guess so” and try not to think about it any further.

Then the performance starts. If you’ve read my previous post, you’ll know what an odd type of “show” this is. It took a while for the first visitors to wind their way through the first haunt (“Foresaken”) and into Delirium, so starting early as we did was not necessary and the first 20 minutes was basically a holding pattern. No problem, I was still getting my bearings.

The “pulsing” of the groups that evening was strange. We started to see groups coming through, then there would be 5 or 10 minutes with nobody. I tried to time it so that we were not singing our hearts out to an empty room (more than half the songs contain some singing) and got better at extending or shortening sections of the songs as needed. I would use the spaces between groups to switch songs. Ableton Live cannot have two projects open at once, so I would cross-fade to a sound bed on my ipod for the 30 seconds or so it takes for me to open a new song.

What was difficult as a performer was getting any sense of reaction from the highly transient and distracted audience. This was easier Saturday night when there was a sold-out crowd and a more continuous stream of people. Great energy. It often felt like a real party at which new people were constantly were arriving and joining in. I never got tired of seeing people stumble in, a tad disoriented, take in the wacky surroundings and start to dance. One group appeared to be professional club-hoppers because they were dressed the part and could really dance. I was glad to see that the music worked for them.

With all the distractions, few people could actually see me, but some (and not just my brother) waved and acknowledged that they knew who I was. At 8ish, we were told that four Ghost Hunters would soon be passing through. I had a good groove going and didn’t want to risk stopping it just as they entered but ended up keeping the same tune going for over 20 minutes. I felt less guilty about that when closing time rolled around nearly seven hours after we started. That was a lot of time to fill, and somehow I did it without repeating any piece more than twice. Maybe it was a time warp. Perhaps we were abducted by aliens. Maybe the rest of the cast of Delirium are aliens. Who’s to say? The fact they didn’t want to kill me after many hours of sonic assault definitely raises my suspicions.

During the final hour, delirium was more than just a concept–it was our true state of mind. I was working a new high-energy piece that strings together dozens of variations of the Amen Break with sound effects, rhythmic bird chirps, deep bass hooks, and other bits of randomness. (You may not realize it, but the Amen Break is etched into your sonic memory in a way that forces you to want to dance.) Thinking that closing time must be just a few minutes away, I must have kept that going for 45 minutes–adding different effects to extend the sounds and slowly boosting the beats per minute to keep people from falling asleep. I searched my hard drive for more sounds to throw in, but I’ve kept the performance computer lean. Too lean, apparently. Next weekend, I’ll be better prepared.

Fun With Textify.it

Posted in Creativity, Digital Culture, Free Downloads, Uncategorized on June 27, 2011 by deliriumdog

I could use this first post in weeks to dwell upon how busy I’ve been with the new recording and other ventures.  But hey! Why do that when there are so many cool new distracting toys to play with? Like Texify.it, which will take a photo and render it with the text of your choosing.

What amazes me about tools like this is how wonderfully cool they are when you first encounter them, and then how quickly they can become commonplace. Then, they can eventually become stale or just overused. We’ll see how this one fares.

Note  that it only works in some browsers (I used Firefox). In other browsers it can appear to only half-work and might leave you confused.

You can adjust several parameters, so it’s worth trying some different settings to get just the right effect. Have fun!

Back in Time (Machine)

Posted in Uncategorized on April 13, 2011 by deliriumdog

Not posting much lately because I’m still getting things back in order after losing my laptop to theives. It feels like having a brain transplant.

I must say, however, that transferring all my files to the new machine (a screamin’ new Macbook Pro) was a breeze with my Time Machine backup drive. It’s yet another OS X feature that works so well that you can instantly take it for granted. Upon booting up the new machine for the first time, I just hooked up the backup drive and told it transfer all my info from that. An hour later, I booted up to my old, familiar desktop and nearly wept. Everything opened and worked as it did before, aside from having to re-enter some serial numbers for the software  that’s smart enough to know it’s on a different computer.

My work momentum was slowed a good bit, but I hope to get that back this weekend. Too bad I couldn’t just restore that from a backup drive as well.

Reznor and Ross’ Oscar Revolution

Posted in Uncategorized on February 28, 2011 by deliriumdog

So they won! And now that I look over the list of awardees from previous years, it appears that the Social Network soundtrack is the first non-orchestral score to win the award. In fact, of all the nominees ever, I do not see a single electronic score.

If I’m right (and tell me if I’m not!), isn’t this huge?!?

I boldly predict that you will see a lot more electronic scores for “serious” movies in the future.

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