Archive: April, 2014

The Linnstrument: Not a Great Instrument?

The electronic music interwebs are starting to rev their engines for Roger Linn’s new Linnstrument. And as much as I love the sound of a LinnDrum snare (and believe me, I love the sound of a LinnDrum snare), I just can’t get myself excited about this particular instrument. With its overlays and one-size-fits-all approach, Roger’s new instrument tries to be a grid, a piano, a drum pad, a guitar, and hexagonal controller all in one. And because of that, it fails on all counts. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say I don’t think anyone has yet invented a truly playable and expressive controller instrument (though the Haken Continuum comes close). I think I’ve figured out why, and it has nothing to do with the limitations of synthesizers or computers: Physical specialization. Or, more specifically, the total lack thereof.

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Back Up Here, Back Up There, Back Up Your Data Everywhere

Unlike most of the computing public—whose crucial data consists of email, Word documents, and maybe an iPhoto or iTunes library—musicians and other digital artists can quickly accumulate multiple terabytes of MOVs and RAWs and WAVs. And with all that data comes great responsibility. Namely: What are you gonna do when your hard drives die? (And yes, they will die.) Luckily, surprisingly affordable solutions exist today that can turn “I’m hosed” into “no big deal”: All you have to do is pop in a new drive, restore over a lunch break, and resume where you left off.

A wise man once said, “Data doesn’t exist unless it’s on three drives, in two different locations.” Meaning, a single hard drive or a lone iCloud backup isn’t going to cut it for anything that’s valuable (or should I say invaluable?). I’ve tried many solutions over the years, always valuing simple, comprehensive, and frictionless solutions that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Here’s what’s worked for me.

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