Iain Cameron's Diary
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2010-06-14 - 1:18 a.m.

On Saturday I thought my cold was disappearing as time went by and on Sunday morning it was irritating to find it was still there especially as I woke early. Saturday night's late night movie, American Beauty, was a great watch. There's a very detailed discussion in Wikipedia about what it might all mean - I hadn't realised that this had been such a topic of debate although I can remember wondering about it when I first saw it in the cinema. Amazon wrote about the release of a new Miles Davis live album from 1981. There is already the live We Want Miles from then which is a cracker - it's a phase when Miles is redefining his vision of jazz rock with Marcus Miller on bass. It's said that CBS thought Miles was so frail after his withdrawal that they recorded him live all the time in case they didn't get much more. That's maybe where this new release comes from.

I have stumbled across the Miditech Pianobox which is a classic GM sound module costing well under 100 and made in Germany. There's no USB connection but there are control buttons on the top which allow voice selection, reverb adjustment and some rhythm box features as a stand alone entity. The idea at the moment is to Midi in from the Dhorn rather than getting a keyboard Midi controller. The gamble is how many of the patches are up to snuff - I suppose if it's a real disaster then one can always return the thing within 30 days and get the money back. There's also one German site that's selling the Roland SD 20 for 150 which is almost half price. The SD 20 does have USB control and the USB also will provide power but it doesn't have the external controls so there would be no way of using with the Dhorn stand alone. The SD 20 has chorus and possibly some other effects but even reduced its nearly twice as much as the Pianobox - it comes with more than twice as many voices though - and all being well comes with a tailored version of Cakewalk. On the other hand it dates from 2002 and has been replaced by this year the SD 50 which is about 300. This is probably why the SD 20 is on offer.

There are some standard progressions that I have been practicising with quartal harmony in different keys - just simple keys like E F C and G. I tried the Pacifica out - it has got a scratchy pot - it would be nice to have it set up properly. Even only using 3 out of 5 pickup switch positions there's a lot of tonal variety especially when the tone control behaves.

The Philadelphia Experiment is the name of a conspiracy theory from WW2 as well being the name of a jazz album. Patteran Pages report successful gigging. I was surprised to see that MD Walkmans are still on sale at about the same price as five years ago. Corinne Baily Rae's The Sea is insinuating herself into my liking even though I still think the arrangements could be better. I am sure I like her best on River. I found a user manual for the Tascam 564 online and downloaded it.

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