Showing posts from May, 2024

How to: Re-mix old music, step by step

The use case here isn't universal, but it is quite common. There are tracks ripped from old vinyl, or available as 'extras' from various sources, and which haven't been attended to by a professional publisher already. You know, those 'Unreleased demo 2' tracks on band Y's latest re-release of a 1975 classic. They all add value to the re-release, but no one has taken the time to actually improve the quality. Well not until now. Using the tools that we have in 2024, it's possible to take tracks apart to a degree and then put them back together in a way that presents the vocals and instruments more clearly. So, where there was originally a mono-ish, muddy mix, probably a capture of a cassette copy of a rehearsal, or similar, we can now have a much clearer, wider stereo version that sounds as if it was recorded in 1995 rather than 1975. Well maybe. Perhaps nearer 1985 in some cases! But better, that's the point. Begging the question 'How do I do thi

The Perfect Quark? (by request!)

Hawkwind's seminal 1977 album Quark, Strangeness and Charm remains one of my favourites, but as I've previously discussed in these days of digital music, it's possible to curate your own 'version' of anything.  And with that in mind, I've been 'fiddling' with my digital bits and bytes to create my own 'best' album. Culled from the remaster of the actual album, from live bits and out-takes, as you'll see. I'd call it 'definitive', except I keep fiddling further, so it's always being changed in some small way. Happily, the original album, especially in super-clear remastered (by Steven Wilson) form, is so good that there's not quite as much needing doing as on some other albums by this or any other band. Side 1, in particular, is editing to perfection. The 11 minute 'take one' 'Spirit of the Age' was stripped back to verses 2 and 3, 'Damnation Alley' is complete and perfect in itself, and 'Fable

What I don't understand about... holidays!

I realise that this is a cliche, but I have to rant just a little. I completely understand the point of a holiday. The derivation of the word is from 'holy day', i.e. a day when you don't work and relax instead. At which point I also understand that staying home and not going into work (for example) is also a nice 'holiday'. As is, presumably, if you have no responsibilities and unlimited budget, where you could travel around and enjoying yourself enormously. But.  In between these two stress-free extremes is what most of us understand as a holiday, and it's a hundred times more stressful . There are three factors and I rant and rail at each one when someone starts enquiring after your holiday plans, past or future, and coos "Well, that's nice for you". No, it's usually (mainly) not nice. And I'll explain why. 1. Arrangements For starters, there are 'arrangements' to be made. Nothing to do with getting to your holiday or what to do

Playing Russian Roulette and Folding Phones

Folding phones have been very exciting to me as a geek, goodness knows I’ve owned or reviewed enough of them, but the physicist in me has always been sceptical. Glass isn’t supposed to bend and fold, and as for the intricate hinges, the less moving parts in a consumer device, the better. My friend Shane Craig’s latest video sheds light on the way manufacturers are not standing fully behind the tech, leaving you and I in the lurch. If the folding glass breaks and there are no signs of external impact (i.e. a drop) then it's always the fault of the tech, its inherent physical design and fragility .  So for manufacturers to turn round and say 'Oh, no, broken screens aren't covered under our warranty' is utterly ridiculous. They were the ones who invested millions into developing products using folding glass and they need to follow through with the usual warranties and support. If only so that the customer won't dismiss the brand when choosing the next device, whether

Compact flagship head-to-head: Samsung Galaxy S24 vs Sony Xperia 5 v

If there’s one search that I hear about once a month from various people, it’s how to get flagship performance and features at a price that’s not extortionate and a size that's not extravagant. In 2024 we now have flagship phones that are £1000, £1200, £1400, and more, for the folding variety and, if I may suggest, it’s all getting a little silly. Not least because after paying all that money, you’re also stuck with a phone that’s over-large and heavy, cumbersome in day to day life. Why can’t we have most of those flagship internals in a phone body that’s a regular size and a price to match? Well… there are options. The 'correct' size for a smartphone, I contend. No monstrosities, please. Oh, and aim for £800 max! Certainly on the iPhone side, you can’t argue with the performance and imaging in the regular ‘base’ iPhone, the 15 at £800 . It’s not cheap, but it’s terrific quality hardware and software and it’s significantly the right side of a grand. But it you're leanin