.. which I was led to while investigating EastWest Quantum Leap's RA, a sample library including a delightfully expansive collection of such instruments from around the globe. Check out the sample tracks - the Demos/Movies/Graphics pulldown offers eight in all, in high quality. (Or if you prefer, tracks , , , , , , , ) If you've ever needed a shakuhachi, an axatse, a hurdy-gurdy, or even just a duduk - well, here, you can choose from Armenian, Bulgarian, or Turkish.
If you're looking for a net.radio station to try, see what you think of the retroelectronica/80s style VGM on SLAY Radio. Currently up: "Morten KORG (mit mehrfarbigen vinyl)"
Now that's one feature I wouldn't mind, but it's only present in Logic Pro, not Logic Express: distributed audio processing. If you need more power, just let Logic Node run on a bunch of local Macs, to help shoulder the load. Not that a 400MHz TiBook would be a huge boost for me. =:)
The new MusicDev mailing list from Linden Lab's worth a peek. Busy, too - subscribed last night, and woke up to about 40 new messages. Its purview is quite broad, covering all topics relating to the furtherance of music creation and performance in SL; if this level of traffic's maintained, I wouldn't be too surprised to see the list fork once or twice into more specific categories. Whatever happens, it's pleasing to see such enthusiasm for the topic. (I did like this bit from one subscriber's project, "mindSpiral is Mike Metlay and anyone silly enough to not hang up when he calls" =:)
|Studio Ghibli goes in for some experimental work, by the looks of the trailer for Моя любовь; visually, it seems reminiscent of Waking Life, in a more classical context.|
The cartoonist Nina Paley's got a weblog worth perusal, covering a wide range of cartooning/artwork-related topics, as well as the occasional "Eats for Endorsement" entry, "a new feature in which I recommend the work and websites of people who buy me dinner." =:D Speaking of whom, you can now watch up to chapter five of her ongoing self-animated project, Sita Sings the Blues.
|amelitatwinstar pointed out some quite extraordinary artwork by Lisa Aksen, whose style tends towards the vibrant use of color as exemplified here; plenty more are on display in her portfolio.|
Here's something of lateral furry interest: the Afternoon Play on BBC Radio 4 from last Thursday, Otherkin. (16MB, 45 mins) "Ash is a displaced spirit, an angelic whose phantom wings require her to rip holes in the back of every jumper she owns. Her human body looks quite ordinary but her true form is more beautiful than anything dreamed up by fantasy writers. She meets Neil, a dragon who needs help to unlock his memories."
Steven Brust wrote a fine diatribe on the nature of the current Democratic party, and further, what gives rise to political parties in the first place; though it's really in the comments where the sentiments come to life. (Thanks to circuit_four)
coongt stumbled upon a flight simulator in Google Earth. ^_^ I've just checked it out, and yep, it's there - you may need to zoom in before the activation (cmd-A in the OS X version) is enabled. As the article notes, the controls are very sensitive..
I was vaguely curious to see what would happen, so in AC:WW, I stood at the spot where Redd's tent goes up each week, and closed the DS without saving the game, so the game events carry on being processed. Tortimer gave his usual "Good Morning everyone! Rise and shine!", then the scene resumed with Redd's tent up, and me inside, briefly, before apparently falling to the ground, waking up by my house, similar to having been stung by the scorpion or tarantula.
If you recently received invitations to multiple email addresses to join a particular social networking site, that's because of their awfully friendly signup procedure: "you are offered the chance to import an address book to make inviting friends easy. What it doesn't make clear is that it will, automatically, harvest the entire address book and invite them all. I got invites from friends, people I hardly talk to and all sorts. One person got an invite from his ex, after a very acrimonious divorce..."
|Anshe Chung recently attended the debut of a sim she's sponsoring specifically for non-profits in SL. It's an interesting direction, and an example one might hope others in such a financial position can follow.|
Handbrake 0.9.0, which emerged from a prolonged period of development a couple weeks ago, is well worth checking out, if you have any need for DVD transcoding, either from a physical disc, or a VIDEO_TS directory; it's free, for OS X, Linux, and Windows. It's always been a good app, but 0.9.0 in particular exposes x264's more advanced options - if you want to make H.264 sing, this is a good venue.
How so? Well, say you've got a lot of fading in and out - typically, that would be encoded as a series of expensive I-frames. Enable the weighted B-frames option in encoding, though, and some of those can be turned into much more lightweight B-frames instead. The type of motion estimation can be specified, with uneven multihexagon a good staple, as well as the range of the search involved, up to 64 pixels - the broader the search, the slower the encode. Subpixel motion estimation also assists in a superior result, again at the cost of increased encoding time - select a factor of 6 or 7, and the benefit of B-frame rate distortion is available.
As you can see, the best parameters vary considerably depending on the source material in question - purely animated material is very different in its requirements to something purely live action; similarly, lots of fast, dissimilar cuts would benefit from trellis encoding being given permission to calculate the average bitrate on a more finely-grained level, and being given more reference frames.
Its defaults are fine, though, if you just want to drop in a DVD and encode. But it's surprisingly easy to tweak these refinements - why not give it a try? ^_^