The Singing Spaniard

October 4, 2011

The unsung aspects of an audio studio.


I now have a website!

February 27, 2011

Well, I would like to get this blog going again at some point. People really enjoyed it. Also… I really enjoy it. In the mean time, if you are super loyal and have been waiting for a new post for the last year and half, this will have to do…


“That terrible mood of depression of whether it’s any good or not is what is known as The Artist’s Reward.” — Ernest Hemingway

It used to be so easy to think of Sufjan Stevens as happy guy. He made great music, he sang like an angel, he loved Jesus. But a recent interview with Sufjan has shown us that Sufjan’s life is not so simple. The interview seems to show that Sufjan has lost faith in music, or at least, publicized and distributed music. He points out how the industry has changed, and how the album no longer holds up. Because of this, he feels that his concepts can never be fully realized. He goes as far as to say, “What is the point? What’s the point of making music anymore?” He then finds fault in himself, explaining that, “I’m starting to get sick of my conceptual ideas. I’m tired of these grand, epic endeavors…”

So has Sufjan maintained his faith in God as he has lost his faith in music? I know that many musicians have tried to find happiness through either medium and often switch between the two. Most notable Bob Dylan, who became a Born Again Christian during the 80’s after growing up Jewish.

I also find the comparison between Sufjan and Jeff Mangum interesting. Mangum had similar struggles with religion, and also, had the experience of creating a work of art that is considered a masterpiece. For Sufjan, Illinois is the work of a life time, much like Neutral Milk Hotel’s In The Aeroplane Over The Sea. These albums are culminations of these artist’s lives. Conceptualized by one creator. Soon after the release of In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, Mangum announced that Neutral Milk Hotel would not release anymore albums.

“I guess I had this idea that if we all created our dream we could live happily ever after. So when so many of our dreams had come true and yet I still saw that so many of my friends were in a lot of pain … I saw their pain from a different perspective and realized that I can’t just sing my way out of all this suffering.”

-Jeff Mangum

I [Hank Morris] recently discovered a website called What it is, is some kind of translation device. What it does, is when you put in a phrase for it to translate, it translates to Japanese, then back to English, then back again and so on until the English phrase is literally the same as the Japanese phrase. I decided to “translate” your [Adam Veaner] poem through this device. As it can no longer be said to be your poem, I have renamed it and I shall produce it here for you. This is only a joke. The title shall be “Man, Machine, Food.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Monopoly. America’s Game, and the highest selling board game of all time. There’s a lot of folks out there who think they have some sort of Monopoly strategy figured out, and sure maybe they do. It can’t be a coincidence that there is a World Monopoly Champion. And to be honest, as long as you’re not Boardwalk crazy or obsessed on the greens, you are probably in decent shape. Anyways, in all of these strategies, from the most menial to the most diabolical, there is always one agreement: The dark purple monopoly is worthless.

Well, I don’t care what you say, I like the dark purple monopoly. And here is my reasoning. While it is true that both of these properties are the least landed on in the game, and even with a hotel they have by far the lowest payout, the dark purples give you an advantage that other monopolies just can’t offer… zero commitment. No one is going to put all of their eggs in the dark purple basket, that would be foolish. The dark purples should be considered money makers like railroads or utilities, because they function virtually the same way. Low commitment and low price, but also a low chance of breaking the bank. The dark purples are the perfect supplement to a house’d or hotel’ed orange, pink, or red monopoly. Not by giving you the win, but by helping ensure your victory by funding your expensive investments.

Also, the dark purples have the advantage of being the most likely monopoly to at least make your money back. Because they are so affordable, the chance of being paid back on your investment is high. You can view these percentages here. While many players are convinced that railroads are important for funding your monopolies, these percentages show that the chance of being paid back in full on your railroad investment is significantly lower than the dark purple monopoly.

Lastly, the dark purple monopoly is undervalued. Frankly, people don’t like it or care about it. So take advantage of this, see if you can buy them off of people really cheap, or if they will just use them as a throw in with a larger trade. Don’t let people know that they are only ensuring their own loss by giving you those two stupid purples at such a low price. So now go out… into the world… and get them. And always play with dignity and always as the pretzel.

As a person who doesn’t care much for celebrities, I love this man. Before Alec Baldwin became an actor, which he just decided to do on a dare, Baldwin had aspirations to be a United States president. He is outspoken and intelligent. One of those few celebrities that has something decent to say. His blog, which is published by the Huffington Post, is a good read. Not only is he a great entertainer, but he is also an accomplished writer. (There is a link to his blog on my Blogroll at the bottom of this page.)

Real Time with Bill Maher: Alec Baldwin

This is something I don’t know much about, but is really interesting. If you want to learn more about this, check out Ernst Chladni. The information is around if you are interested enough to sit down and learn it all.

After blogging about how strange I thought it was that Taco Bell has decided to test out its weird colored tacos on its patrons like rabbits at an AVON factory. I took the plunge. While I consider myself somewhat of a taco connoisseur, I do admit that often times, a Taco Bell taco… tastes good to me. As I see it, Taco Bell is a different product from bad Mexican food. An Al Pastor that fails is a bummer, but fast food is always delicious junk. But back to what is really important, how does it taste?


Don’t get it. You don’t need it in your body, making you sad, and making you wish that you had just stayed home and eaten a cheese and ketchup sandwich on a grocery store brand hot dog roll. Seriously guys, its gross. They talk about that pepperjack sauce like it is Ulee’s Gold. NO. It isn’t, its gross.

The Auteurs

October 18, 2009

Great films for FREE.

This is a great site that was recommended by my friend Hank a few months back. I watched Harakiri on it a while back and it sparked a month long spree of watching only Japanese films. I’d suggest signing up. It is free and it is a good network to be part of.

I was sitting in my Audio Aesthetics class last Tuesday and taking in Stan Freberg Presents The United States of America for the first time in my audio life. I was thinking about how the fidelity was truly amazing and how the stereo imaging was perfection. As I closed my eyes and visualized the orchestra playing in front of me, I began to think of how this image was being created. Small differences in loudness and time of arrival all contributing to making this recording as realistic as possible. Stereo is an illusion. And then I wondered, would this illusion still exist if I only had one ear to hear with. I realized that I had always thought of my left and right ears as the left and right side of a stereo feed. Maybe this just came from growing up listening to headphones, but either way, I had a disconnect. So I decided to test this theory. While basking in a Freberg recording, I plugged up my left ear… waited a few moments, and soon realized that my right ear does in fact hear in stereo, which must mean that my left ear does as well.

Intrigued by this, I looked online to find if there was any research on the matter. Though I was unsuccessful, I did find a page that was advertising a single stereo earbud. Seeing as the price is low, and it does not say otherwise, I assume that all this product just runs both channels into one speaker and creates a mono feed into one ear. It seems that the main use this product is for people who have hearing loss in one ear and don’t want to miss out on half of the signal and not to create an actual stereo image in one ear. Plus, who knows if that is even possible.

I thought about this more until my brother brought something else to my attention. He related my thoughts to how our eyes work. We can comprehend depth because of the differences between the way each of our eyes perceive a certain object. This is called parallax, and it allows humans, through the process of stereophsis, to perceive depth.  He said that you can still see to the left with your right eye and everything is almost as clear. But what you loose is depth to your vision. You can no longer sense depth of field. Aha! After this I went back and tested this theory on my home stereo. I plugged up one ear and stood in front of a really magnificent stereo recording. I realized that while I could distinguish between left and right, the recording had lost much of its depth. And in general, it just didn’t sound as pleasing though a single ear.

My conclusion is that having two ears is not so that we can can better perceive Left-Right or even Up-Down, but rather Near-Far. While one ear is capable of deciphering sound on the X and Y axes, two ears allows the Z axis to come into play. With two ears our brains can more accurately create a realistic image of an actual event.

Suggestion: Do the same test I did. It is interesting. Also, think about how headphones distort our hearing. Recordings are for the most part mixed on monitors to have bleed from ear to ear. Canceling this bleed changes everything.

Parallax is also an astronomy term. It used to figure out how far away certain stars are, but it is the same concept.

If July is your left ear/eye and January is your right ear/eye, stars A,B, and C might as well represent… a Jazz trio.