(329 replies, posted in Nintendo Handhelds)

Very good stuff! I've been having a lot of fun with it so far.


(7 replies, posted in Other Hardware)

Best 555 music project: http://kaput.retroarchive.org/555/


(32 replies, posted in General Discussion)

My resolution this year is to get rid of the strange pride and attachment I have to totally vapid and uninteresting things like monitor resolutions.

bought myself some fresh salmon after months of labor in the nanoloop factory

who's the relativist now?

Feryl wrote:
boomlinde wrote:

Even if you think that the point of expressing an opinion or reviewing music is to establish or maintain some sort of objective means to judge things, you still have to agree that these things fail horribly at that.

Why do I have to agree to that? I often find music reviews to be decently helpful in judging what I should or should not spend my time checking out. Obviously, you'd look for specific things which can be measured objectively, like 1) how repetitive is the album? 2) is there anything particularly interesting or creative about it compared to most other albums of its kind?

How can those thing be measured objectively. I mean, you can definitely measure repetition, but not in the sense that a person will find something repetitive or not. Interesting or creative? Just not objective qualities at all.

Feryl wrote:

That's another thing I'd like to stress... even if (as we haven't agreed, it seems) one song is objectively better-composed than another, than doesn't mean the listener has conditioned himself to enjoy that kind of song (which you can do, by the way... the more you listen to a song or genre, the more you find yourself enjoying it).

Now, the way I understand it, most of you seem to think that music cannot be approached objectively because (in part) its purpose is only to satisfy the different subjective tastes that people have, which are often wildly different from one another.

I agree that music can be approached objectively to some extent, but the objective qualities which we are able to measure say very little about the inherent beauty or praiseworthiness of the music. Even if we come to terms with an objective definition of what it means for music to be interesting, that won't say anything about whether we enjoy it in any other terms.

Feryl wrote:

As far as perception goes, of course everything we know is filtered through our individual beliefs, thoughts, and experiences (since we are ourselves); but does that preclude the notion of objective truth / reality existing on its own, as something we can choose to see or not to see?

It doesn't preclude the notion of objective truth, but more importantly for the sake of this discussion, it makes your apparently strongly held belief that some music is objectively worse than others seem unreasonable and almost religious. That is a fair basis for a personal belief, but as a basis for telling other people that they are wrong it seems both arrogant and ignorant to me. The non-precluded notion that objective truth might exist adds about as much to your argument as the non-precluded notion that there might be an almighty god that decides what is beautiful.

You have only experienced a tiny fraction of what could possibly be experienced in the tiny fraction of time in the tiny fraction of locations that you have visited in this tiny fraction of the universe, and from this limited view you talk about universal beauty as if it is something that you could even comprehend if it existed. You don't have to travel very far to experience cultures where the notion of beauty is utterly incompatible with the one developed in western musical tradition.

Feryl wrote:
boomlinde wrote:

Did you read the post you responded to? I can't see where it mentions you at all. It does not make any assumptions about you.

Huh? "Look, I used to be like you. I thought I was pretty good at arguing [...] as smart as you think you sound [...] you're going to sound like an asshole [...] be nice to people [...] there's a lot you could be missing"

I'm sorry, that does make a lot of assumptions about you. For some reason I thought that you responded to the post below yours.

Feryl wrote:

I'm talking about things like "in things so subjective like the quality of [...] music, there's no wrong or right" and "quality is in the ear of the beholder [...] to think otherwise is to succumb to sophistry." If one musical taste is never objectively worse than another, then how could all songs be anything but equally praiseworthy, if their worth is completely defined by the listener's subjective experience?

A song could be worse than another on a subjective basis. Do you imagine that people judge music objectively? There are things that we can know objectively about pieces of music based on how we define the terminology, but these knowable qualities, like "how many notes are there", "what scale is it", "how many beats are there per bar" etc. are not the qualities we judge music by in terms of how much praise it deserves. I have no idea how acknowledging that is to succumb to sophistry, but I'm sure that there is a rational basis for that suggestion.

Feryl wrote:

What I meant was that our perception alone cannot alter reality as such. For example, claiming that Call Me Maybe is a masterfully complex piece of songwriting cannot make it so.

Good, we both agree on that. If you establish a definition of musical complexity, I'm sure that you can find songs that are more or less complex, but there exists many such definitions.

Feryl wrote:

But we do have a means to judge certain qualities of music (as sugar explained) as better or worse than others, don't we, using intelligence and objective factors of quality, like technical expertise, complex songwriting, and intelligent structure? Otherwise, what's the point of expressing opinions or writing reviews?

Even if you think that the point of expressing an opinion or reviewing music is to establish or maintain some sort of objective means to judge things, you still have to agree that these things fail horribly at that. People often express opinions because it's nice to have them acknowledged by your peers. As for reviews, in a good review the judgement is usually given some context in terms of the basis of that judgement. If there was an objective basis for judging music, why would reviews be more than a score? The score itself would be indicative of whether you will like it or not.

Technical expertise, complex songwriting and intelligent structure are neither objective qualities nor necessarily part of the definition of "good" or praiseworthy music. Let me explain where I come from. The way I see it, objectivity only exists in theoretical and and limited systems for which we define the rules in such a way that truth is inferable by means of the definition of the system. The prime example is of course something like mathematics. Math can be used to model things, but you can't really use it to prove anything outside its own system. You can create a mathematical model of a real world thing, but you can't know your model to be true or consistent. Whenever you observe something that is consistent with your model, you can only know it to be true for the instance that you observed. More importantly, there isn't much basis for the idea that we can observe reality objectively, so even in the instances we observe something, we can't know our observation to be true. From this point of view, the idea that music is somehow objective is ridiculous.

Feryl wrote:

You're correct in that example, but what I'm trying to say is that these things seem to indicate some objective standard of beauty that the human person is normally able to see and respond to (as in the sunrise example).

Unless you agree that the notion that they indicate some objective standard of beauty is another non-argument that doesn't support anything you've said, I think that you'll have to explain how they indicate that. I mean, is there any more to indicate that these are even universal to more than the small fraction of humans in your cultural vicinity that share your opinion? There are a lot of interesting theories on why some things seem beautiful to humans in general in fields like evolutionary biology.

Feryl wrote:

That's quite a large bag of assumptions to pull from my tiny posts.

Almost as if you can guess every single thought coursing through my head. Nicely done, sir.

Did you read the post you responded to? I can't see where it mentions you at all. It does not make any assumptions about you.

Feryl wrote:

Our perception has nothing to do with the state of reality. I'd need a lot more evidence to convince me that all songs are equal in quality. You can't say that because different people enjoy different songs differently, that makes all songs equally praiseworthy. It's an illogical leap.

No one is saying that all songs are equal in quality or that they are all equally praiseworthy. You are the one making a leap. The discussion is about whether the qualities that make a song good are subjective or objective, and you keep setting up straw men like this instead of responding to the arguments.

Feryl wrote:

Why must art be entirely subjective?

Because we have no means to experience it objectively. You said so yourself: "Our perception has nothing to do with the state of reality."

Feryl wrote:

There must be a reason why some things are (for the most part) considered beautiful on a universal level, like mountain views, sunrises, and romantic love. It can't just be a mindless mess of subjective likes and dislikes...

Universal is not the same as objective. Every single being in the universe could share an opinion, which wouldn't necessarily make it true. I think that you fundamentally misunderstand what objectivity is. Otherwise, good non-argument. There must be, it can't be. Those will keep me awake at night.


(10 replies, posted in Graphics, Artwork & Design)

There is a menu called DRAW that includes the function PEN. You should read the manual about saving and restoring pictures.



(15 replies, posted in Circuit Bending)

The TIA chip in the 2600 handles both sound and graphics. Changing its clock frequency would likely break video timing.

A more interesting mod would probably be to remove the filters from the audio output. Then you can really get to those deep bass frequencies.

Jazzmarazz wrote:

Ask Paul Slocum what the best frequency would be. Because of the default frequency, bnotes are out of tune. He would know the best frequency to get perfectly tuned notes, as well as the half-speed freq for lower octaves.

Their relative pitch is way off (for western musical intervals) and is AFAIK based on clock divisions, so while you may find a perfectly tuned single tone, you will never get a consistent 12-tet scale with this method.


(43 replies, posted in General Discussion)

It's bound to happen. After all, it's more than just a kettle.


(43 replies, posted in General Discussion)

It says "Dillon!" just before a high five then after it it says "You son of a bitch!"


(43 replies, posted in General Discussion)



(3 replies, posted in Past Events)

I'm going on tour in Russia! There will be a lot of excellent local acts supporting me:

777minus111 (Moscow)
VRUMZSSSR (Saint-Pete)
<3an (Nijniy Novgorod)
AlexOgre (Podolsk)
Reboot Me (Saint Pete)
Twistboy (Saint Pete)
spacecosmo (Nijniy Novgorod)

Dates are as follows:
September 18th - Petrozavodsk
September 19th - Saint-Petersburg
September 20th - Moscow
September 21th - Nijniy Novgorod

More info at Facebook and VK!


(13 replies, posted in Software & Plug-ins)

SketchMan3 wrote:

I really like the concept of your instrument editor!

Yeah, man. This is what hooked me. Well, that, and the example tunes that come with it.

The instrument editor is so user friendly, and even tells you what does what so you don't have to memorize all the commands. Are there any other trackers besides HivelyTracker, LSDJ and LGPT that incorporate "tables" into the instrument creation process?

Adlib Tracker II, AHX, maybe MusicLine? Not to mention pretty much all C64 trackers.