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Korg SD pictures

Posted under Musical Technology at .
Tags:BBD, Korg, musical equipment, photographs, SD‑200, SD‑400

Side by side shots of the Korg SD delays, the -200 opened for comparison while I convert the -400 for 240V.

Korg SD-400 and SD-200 front panels

The SD-400 (brown) has the bypass, short/long delay option, swell, and ADT settings, but no tone control. I haven’t quite worked out which I prefer; the -400 seems to have a fixed filter; it’s smoother than the SD-200 (silver) on simple delays, unless you turn the -200 tone down. Maybe the -200 is better for harsher delays. The only online technical information I’ve found for them suggests they have roughly the same range of 30–400ms for the -200 and 25–400ms for the -400. Presumably the -400 should go lower on its Short setting, but it’s the same as the -200 on its Long setting. In practice, comparing these two, the -400 gets up to around 10% longer delay, but that could just be a calibration thing on one of them.

Korg SD 200 and 400 open

Maltron Keyboard Retrospective Notes
(& Related Considerations)

Posted under Other Technology at .
Tags:hardware, keyboard (typing), Maltron

Having finally worked out how to write blogging software capable of containing the Vosathenik pages, I feel able to publish my page of thoughts about why I didn’t adapt to the Maltron keyboard. (Apart from a few grammatical edits this was mostly written in late 2014.)

In their defence, I have to say it was probably more to do with the structure of my fingers than anything else. The Maltron keyboard is based on some design principles which reflect usage assumptions which may be valid for some people, but not for me.

Maltron keyboard

1. Long and Short Fingers

Some of us have longer fingers than others, some have relatively long third fingers, and some have relatively short fourth fingers. My impression is strongly that the Maltron was designed for a more even balance. I found using it less comfortable than a standard flat keyboard, partly because of the extra tendon strain involved in keeping my third fingers out of the way. Conversely, with a flat keyboard, I get on reasonably well by angling my fingers over so that they meet the keys with a similar level of tension, though the Vosathenik layout now helps with that.

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Zen & the Art of Synthesiser Maintenance

Posted under Miscellanea at .
Tags:site‑admin

So, a new site? Yes, after a year of covid and code. The older site was no longer serving its original purpose, and I’m writing now mostly about . . . well, Zen & the Art of Synthesiser Maintenance seems to sum it up. (Contrary to my expectation, it seems no-one had used it before . . . ) Also I’m consolidating a few other things here which never worked very well in the old CMS, and mostly got lost in different subdirectories in earlier/other sites. (They still have their original publication dates though, near as I can work them out — anything prior to this post.)

This site will be divided into topical sections for ease of access, and will be less constrained by templates — I’m doing my own CMS. This may involve a bit more vector graphics than works well with off-the-shelf software, and anything I fancy trying out. Some pages will even have scripts for special operations, but this will always be a) handcrafted, b) lightweight, c) served from this domain, d) stated and explained, and e) honest (but don’t just trust me on that). Enter at your own pleasure over pain ratio, but feel free to contact me about visibility issues.


Another Bird in the Hand

Posted under Miscellanea at .
Tags:photographs, wildlife

Sooty
sturnus vulgaris zetlandicus, a bit soot-stained

Another one. This one, as so often, in the stove. Not sure how long it was there, probably less than a day. A bit more cantankerous than the last, and a bit sooty. (These two things may be related.) You’d think birds would have the sense not to fly down a dark reeky hole, but then it’s been so warm this year that even in mid-December we haven’t had the fire on. I suppose we should light it if only to make it smell a bit more daunting.


Evening Waxwing

Posted under Miscellanea at .
Tags:photographs, wildlife

red waxwing perched in a hedge
Bombycilla garrulus garrulus (I think)

Almost got it. These are very interesting birds, so I have the ambition to take a good photograph of them one day. But they’re a bit too fast. You see red waxwings, but not for long. Usually blur-red waxwings when you get a camera near them. So long as they keep coming back for the berries and rosehips I think there’s a chance.


Bad Stars

Posted under Miscellanea at .
Tags:politics, Scotland, UK

So it seems Boris Johnson thinks that devolution and the return of the Scottish Parliament has been a disaster.

That’s somewhat curious, as my experience has been that since 1999 Scotland has been better governed than at any time in my life and probably better than any time in history. And this does not depend on a particular party or coalition being in government; it is a consequence of the existence and the structure of the modern Parliament. Scotland has for twenty years had a series of governments which have been more highly representative of the people, and more responsive to our concerns, than ever before. Which is a great deal more than can be said for the United Kingdom governments over that time.

So who exactly has this been disastrous for? Not for Scots; so, for English people perhaps? I rather doubt it. For the most part it has been irrelevant, but it is true that many English people have expressed a sense of envy, and of disappointment in Westminster. We make them look bad. But even so it is scarcely disastrous. Perhaps for the British establishment? But how? Has their ineptitude been shown up so critically? Well, yes, but even that has been simply by events rather than by the existence of a Scottish political system. Except perhaps just recently, in the comparative performance of the governments relating to the pandemic. Is that what he’s on about?

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