Category Archives: Uncategorized

Staying Motivated to be Creative and Completing Projects

As an artist sometimes you don’t always feel creative or inspired to create new work, but you know that being creative is one of those things that is needed for your sanity, and personal expression. So what can one do when the well runs dry? Did you ever sit down at your computer to work on music, but you feel nothing, nada, zip, zilch?

This happens to everyone, but the key is not to overthink. Then the other trick is to overpower it and MAKE your own inspiration. But how do you do this? Well my methods sometimes are a bit mechanical, but if you approach it like this you can overcome dry spells. For example, I set a goal for the day. I may say to myself, “I’m going to make a new beat today” and I sit down on my computer and I do it. The important thing is completing the project like it’s an assignment. You don’t wait for the perfect beat, song, melody or whatever, you just complete your goal.

When you complete the goal, you may love it and it may surpass your expectations since you felt so uninspired when you started making it. Or, it may still be underwhelming to you. But honestly, what’s wrong with that? The key is you need to take the pressure off yourself and it’s perfectly okay to make something that’s not great. It’s the action of creation that is important.

When an athlete trains for a big game, not every practice is going to be amazing. Some days they’re going to just suck, and some days so will you. That’s okay, you don’t have to use those things you make on the sucky days. But it’s always good to save them! I’ve personally made things I hated while I was making it, then I open it a year later and think, wow, this is awesome!

Many times it’s really just your state of mind that is blocking you. You need to remove the seriousness from what you are doing and have fun!

Earl Nightingale

Other things that get me going are motivational speakers and authors. Though people tend to make fun of this stuff, it really works. I listen to people like Tony Robbins, Napoleon Hill, Stuart Wilde and Earl Nightingale  and I can really get me motivated, and just feeling better in general.

But when it really comes down to, all you need to do is start acting. Just get the ball rolling. Sometimes you have to push it the whole way, other times it just starts rolling down the hill and all you have to do is follow. But rolling the ball is something you do regardless of how easy it is. Just do it. Make the time, the do the task. Once you start the task regardless of it’s success, it is equally important to complete it. Do this religiously, mechanically, rigorously and with discipline, and your dry spells will come less and less, and when they do, you’ll kick them right in the ass.

The Insanely Cool $99 Reverse Key Akai MPK Mini

You’ve got to love reverse keys! Something about them just looks so cool. It’s like looking at a photo negative in real world. The Akai MPK Mini is a very cool midi controller already for it’s compact size, many controller options, built-in arpeggiator, and note repeat functions. It weighs under 2 lbs and can be used with a wide range of software and recording applications.

 

Plus it just looks awesome.

I mean, look at that thing.

so sexy.

Oh yeah, it also has a joystick.

Get one here for only $99 

There is now a Chinese Kick Drum Mic (beta 52A clone) available on Amazon

I had just made a video about recording drums with insanely cheap mics and in the video I mentioned that I never checked if there was a China kick mic out there. After I made the video, I checked, and yup, there is! And it’s only $25!

It looks like it still may be pretty new since there’s no reviews yet. I went ahead and ordered one and will make a video on it as soon as it gets here. If you want to check one out for yourself, click the image below to see it.

I’ll be excited to try this thing out!

Linux for Serious Photography

This post comes from Scribbles and Snaps blog, so be sure to check out the original post here! 

Linux Tools For Serious Photographers

While most mainstream Linux distros come with photo management software, these applications are more suited for shutterbugs than serious amateurs and professional photographers. Fortunately, there are quite a few high-quality powerful Linux-based photographic tools that can rival proprietary commercial applications like Adobe Photoshop Elements and Lightroom. And using applications like Entangle, Rapid Photo Downloader, and digiKam, you can turn your Linux machine into a powerful darkroom for processing and organizing photos.

Common Photographic Tasks

Let’s start with a brief overview of common photographic tasks:

  • While you’d normally use your camera to take photos, there are a couple of Linux-based tools that can be used to remotely control and trigger your camera. These tools can come in handy for exposure bracketing, focus stacking, macro photography, and so on.
  • Before you can do anything with your photos, you need to transfer them from your camera to a computer, and then import them into the photo management application.
  • Next, you have to sort and organize the imported photos.
  • Once the photos have been neatly organized, you have to process the RAW files.
  • Most of us share our photographic masterpieces with others. And in most cases, we publish photos using either one of many third-party photo sharing services, or upload photos to self-hosted galleries.

So what are the tools that can help you to handle these photographic tasks on Linux?

digiKam to Rule Them All

A solid photographic workflow is unthinkable without an application that can help you to import, process, and organize photos. While there are several such applications available on Linux (RawstudioDarktableRawTherapee, etc.), digiKam makes a sensible choice for a number of reasons.

  • Thanks to the LibRaw decoding and processing library, digiKam can handle a wide range of RAW formats. digiKam currently supports more than 400 cameras that shoot in RAW, and new models are added almost as soon as they hit the market.
  • digiKam offers several ways to view your photos. You can use a conventional album view, browse photos by tags or by date, or display your photos as a timeline. digiKam also allows you to view your photos on the map, provided they have been properly geotagged.
  • Speaking of geotagging, the application sports a separate interface for working with geographical data. You can use it not only to geotag photos, but also geocorrelate them. digiKam offers another useful feature called reverse geocoding. Using it, you can retrieve human-readable locations such as city, street, country, etc. for photos based on their geographical coordinates.
  • The photo management application offers a wide array of tools that can help you to keep tabs on your photos. For example, digiKam offers tagging and rating features. In addition to that, the application sports the Color labels and Picks tools. The former lets you apply color codes to photos, while the latter can come in handy for quickly sorting photos.
  • digiKam sports powerful filtering and search capabilities. The dedicated Filters sidebar in digiKam offers a simple yet flexible way to filter photos by specific criteria. For example, you can easily set up a filter that displays photos containing certain tags and have a specific color label.
  • The application supports non-destructive editing and versioning. This allows you to tweak photos without affecting their originals. In addition to that, you can save multiple modified versions of the same original and use digiKam to neatly organize them as well as keep track of changes made to each version.
  • When it comes to editing, digiKam offers a wide selection of useful tools. Besides the usual suspects like Curve and Level adjustment tools, digiKam offers exposure blending, lens correction, perspective adjustment, black-and-white conversion, and many other nifty features. Better yet, the application sports powerful batch processing capabilities which allow you to apply multiple editing and conversion operations on a set of photos.
  • Finally, thanks to a comprehensive collection of bundled plugins, you can publish your photos on many popular photo sharing services like Flickr, Picasa, Facebook, SmugMug, and others.

Read More here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Learn more about RAW photography with this book!

Create a VHS Movie Effect with Vegas Movie Studio

This is a tutorial I made a while back about creating a VHS effect using Vegas. Vegas is a great affordable movie editor for Windows.

It used to be owned by Sony, but recently was purchased by Magix. It’s still the same great editor and this technique will still work. With the popularity of Synthwave, and the never ending 80s nostalgia, a lot of people have been living this tutorial. I’m glad it was able to help som e people.

If you don’t have Vegas, you can use the link above to get a copy for yourself.