Discerning elucidations regarding whatever comes to mind.

And Relax. 30 July, 2010

Filed under: Life,Music,Rambling — bonzairob @ 11:06 am


So in my last post, I documented all the crap university has put me through this year. Well, it’s finally all over, and I got a 2:1!
I haven’t checked if I could have got a first, without the docked marks from the essay. I got it done and in, but well below the word-count, and got a bad mark for it.

But, honestly, I don’t care! I’m just glad it’s over! The emotional pain of going over all the marks and working out what I could have got isn’t worth it to me. Sod it, I have a decent degree. And, besides, I don’t think I would have got a first anyway, as most of my marks were low 60s (70 average being the threshold for first).

Music & New Site

A new song for you to listen to! One of my courseworks was to arrange an existing song (by someone else) for string quartet and woodwind quartet. We had these performed live, and I got a really good mark for mine. Here it is:
Waker of Wind

Now, I haven’t updated the music portfolio page, and there’s a reason for that. I’ve re-registered bitcrush.org, and I’m going to turn it into a portfolio site. This blog will get moved there (or simultaneously updated or something, I don’t know yet), along with lots more music, and examples of my art, design, and coding.

I’ve also started a tumblr, which I intend to use to post art; my graduation present from my family is going to be a Really Awesome Thing that will make more art possible =D I can’t wait for it to arrive!

But, next in life comes trying to get a job. See you next time!


A Musics 8 November, 2009

Filed under: Games,Life,Music — bonzairob @ 12:25 am

Post a week. Hah!

I made a musics: Tree of Life.
It’s a piece for a friend of mine, who is making a Pokemon fangame, for PC. He’s happy with it; the brief was “crystally, pulsing, lively, mysterious”.
Also, I misnamed it, it was “Tree of Creation”.

I’ve been ill the last few days; ironically I’ve got lots done. For my uni coursework, and P&R, I’ve been making this game: Waveform.
Annoyingly, the most important part of it doesn’t work properly at the moment: making music. I was planning to record the wave sounds to files, but they don’t get played fast enough. I’m going to have to switch to MIDI to play them, but it doesn’t seem to work on OS X. I knew it had been going too well!

Things have also been going well, if slowly, for P&R; the TurnShip demo nears completion, and we’re experimenting with C++ and OpenGL for some faster, 3D games than Python can handle.
I also worked out that, if we sell (later) games for £5 each, we’ll have to sell an average of 16/day to live off the proceeds. I’m also considering a £3/month (or something) subscription to get access to beta testing, extra things, that sort of thing… maybe also free games. I don’t know, I need to discuss it with the other two guys at our Monday meeting this week.
A “pay what you like” system might also work for the games we’re doing for free, rather than just donations.

Right. Until next time I remember this blog~!


Music, Part 2 20 June, 2009

Filed under: Life,Music — bonzairob @ 9:02 am

Well, it seems to have worked!

Last post, I said I was going to listen to the music to see where it wanted to go, for my coursework. I did, and the result is up on TurnShip’s site, here.

TurnShip, by the way, is part of Propellor and Ratchet Games, a studio founded by me and Pete with, so far, one other member and a website coming soon. However, for all that we’re small, we have 95% of a working demo of TurnShip! All it needs is menus, because to play it, you need to be able to connect to someone else over LAN or internet. This is brilliant because we can intercept it and get a reading of how many people are playing TurnShip at a time.
TurnShip itself is a game set in (ambiguously) either a post-apocalyptic future or an alternate past. Society is roughly concurrent with the 17-1800s, but there are some technological advances. It is a war game, and you are fighting off an invasion, with both sides using airships.

It started off as me and Pete having an ideas session (for we have something like six other games planned, one of which is also in production). Then Pete started making it and we’d have meetings dedicated to TurnShip. And now Pete has been overtaken with enthusiasm for the second game and has left m, pretty much, to make TurnShip as I see fit, and he’ll code it.

I’ll make sure it’s awesome.

Thought I’d tie up some loose ends from other posts:
Monitors and Things: I managed to solder the connector back in place but the monitor is stil bork. I’ve obviously broken it while fixing something else so I’m giving up on it and getting another broken backlight monitor from ebay.
Active and Passive: I started getting up earlier and letting ideas flow rather than trying to force them out; the creativity fairy seems to be enjoying itself more. Now it’s a matter of organising myself to do work every day.


Music 5 May, 2009

Filed under: Life,Music,Rambling — bonzairob @ 4:16 pm

I’ve whinged a bit about me and music on here before, so time oto do it again! HURRAH!

I’ve just spent an enlightening half an hour searching for and listening to the pieces of music I wrote for my AS and A2 levels. I don’t feel like I’ve written anything better, so I wanted to have a listen. And then, of course, it hit me.

Nowadays, I know a lot more music theory than I used to; I’m a bit out of practice but I can work out what time signature, key, tempo a piece of music is in. just recently for some exercise, suggested by Luke, I transcribed the opening bit of 19 Days by Gavin Harrison (Spoiler: swaps between 7/8 and 12/8).
Yes, now I’m more technically skilled than I was. But, back when I wrote music that I couldn’t write today, it just flowed. I didn’t know what the chord sequences were that I wrote, I wrote them because they sounded good; because that, in my head, was where the music wanted to go. I’m attempting to write some battle music for TurnShip and I spent some minutes (displacement activity) writing out what chords I’d used, what relations they had, and the other chords in this key.

That was wrong of me. I should be listening to the music, not telling it what to do.

I’m going to try to write how I used to, and see if itflows easier; if it does, I might have cracked it. If not, I haven’t really lost anything.

There’s an mp3 up here of my AS piece; the A2 pieces weren’t put together in a long piece like this so I haven’t bothered. The recording is simply my computer’s midi instruments; there are one or two little skips. It’s still better than the midi itself.


Monitors and Things 4 April, 2009

Filed under: Life — bonzairob @ 6:58 pm

Borrowing an adaptor from Pete, I now have two monitors set up.
This sounds simpler than it was. I have no problems now it’s sorted, I really, really like it. It’s extrememly useful. It was getting the second monitor running which has been giving me problems.

I had a pool of three monitors to choose from:
1) A cheap Belinea monitor from ebay, which has a broken backlight. Bought originally to make a DIY projector, canned after it was too dim.
2) Ruth’s old monitor that is pretty much just broken. The screen displays odd grey lines.
3) Our TV, a tiny flatscreen thing that hasn’t got very good resolution.
I am currently using 3, because the quality isn’t brilliant. Let me regail you with how this came to be:

I started with the intention of using 1, having a dim memory of teh backlight working when I tested it after it frist arrived. It was still in pieces after being used for the projector, so I laboriously reassembled it for 45 mintues, and then tested it. The backlight flicked on for a second, then died.
So I decided to try Ruth’s old one, 2, shelving 1 to fix later. 2 was still broken, of course, and I’m currently looking into fixing it (since, often, only one piece is at fault in dead electronics. Example to follow.) After digging this one out, I was getting annoyed that two hadn’t worked.
So, now, I had to find all the bits for 3, the TV. I found them after another half an hour or so. So after 2 hour, I could finally set up my monitors.

3, as mentioned above, works, but looks quite bad. The picture is fuzzy, and there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do about it. It automatically switches to PC mode, so it’s definitely not untuned or anything like that. So I decided to go back and start fixing 1 adn 2, whichever worked.
First I tested the backlight of 1 with the power supply of 2. This worked, but the two main circuit-boards in the monitors weren’t compatible with each other.
I began to wonder if the screen connectors were, though, so I managed to wedge the screen connector of 2 into 1 to see if 2’s screen was the problem, or the driver. Without a backlight I couldn’t tell, so I had to sort of stick the two monitors back-to-back and then test them. The connectors for the screens didnt match after all, and I’d bent the monitor connection a bit doing this.
At this point I had to give up for the night, since I’d been working on it for four hours. I made a mental note to google the monitor problems, and check sites like Instructables.

Next day, I checked the sites, tried a few different things in the morning (looking for shorts, dry soldering, bulging capacitors). Eventually, during a break in the afternoon after badly shocking myself, I hit on a possible solution: this thread. I ordered some capacitors from ebay, and then realised it said in the article I could substitute 35v for 25v. Monitor 2 had a 35v to use, so I swapped them. The first monitor’s backlight worked! Hurrah! Minus the £1.60 of those capacitors, I seemed to be on the right track. I could always swap them later and try to get 2 working.
I put the monitor mostly back together and tested it: no picture. Looking closer at the monitor connections, I realised when I forced 2’s cable into 1’s slot, it had broken it, and some of the teeny tiny soldered contactshad come loose. These things are like a single millimetre across.

So, now I need to get a very fine tip for my soldering iron, basically. I’m nearly there. Unfortunately, this process of trial and error with very little payload seems to be my modus operandi. Perhaps one day I’ll fix something first-time and won’t have to keep going through different possibilities like this. I’ll update when eitehr the monitor breaks, works, or with the result of my post-mortem posted by someone else.


Portfolio Update 20 May, 2008

Filed under: Life,Music — bonzairob @ 1:06 pm

I’ve been busy with university work lately, but there are a few things I need to mention.

The Portfolio has been updated with my latest piece, which was composed on a Gameboy. I’m happy with how it’s turned out.

My radio show, BiTcrush, goes out live every Thursday at 8pm GMT.

I am currently working on the website of Source Radio, the hosts of BiTcrush.

That’s all for now… more posting in June when my work is done.


Hax (part 2) 22 April, 2008

Filed under: Life — bonzairob @ 11:14 am

I’m happy with how all these are looking. I’m getting some purple LEDs to do the same again to Ruth’s remote soon, along with some bulk stuff.
Why bulk? Well, my friend Burger has a car. It’s old, and knackered. He wants to sell it on. What would increase value like pretty LEDs sapping away at the battery? So he’s going to give me some money to go mad on LEDs, and then leave his car with me for a few days for me to put LEDs wherever I deem them necessary. I’m still thinking about how to get them into the wheels.

A little while ago, I bought a “Crazy Music Generator” from maplins, which is basically a stunted theremin. It generates a tone, and as your hand (or something metal) gets closer to the copper plate, the tone’s pitch rises.
This is all well and good, but on its own it’s a bit boring. So, I was thinking, how possible would it be to turn it into a guitar controller? This is my next project.
I’ve been playing with the circuit, using a spare LED to test joins and short between terminals, and I’ve isolated the bit that generates the tone (I think). Now, I need to work out how to wire a guitar in.

Also, if the person looking at my CV from GAME is looking at this page, I’d like to make clear that the below post isn’t complaining about Game and it’s preordering system, but Nintendo and its ridiculous handling of the SSBB release date. Thank you. Sorry.