MoShang – Chinese Chill
Journal of a sound jeweler.

Apr
17

I was trawling the net the other day for a freeware alternative to something like Apple’s Garageband. Couldn’t find anything similar, but I did find a very cool online sequencer called Splice. It allows you to find free CC licensed loops and sounds, upload your own loops or sounds and then to mix them together in a composition.

As sequencers go, it’s pretty basic; you can time-stretch and trim loops (unfortunately you can’t transpose them), add volume and pan curves, add 4 effects to each track (though you can’t edit any fx parameters), and there are two soft synths available (again no editing of synth parameters). But hey, it’s free and runs in your browser. Once you’re done with your track, you can publish it to the Splice website under a CC license and download your mix as an mp3.

To get some idea of what Splice is capable of, I spent an hour with it yesterday. Below is the result, rather unimaginatively entitled “Hour One”:

On the track’s page over at the Splice website here you have the options of downloading the mp3, opening the track in the online sequencer to look at how it was made, or to remix it.

I don’t see the Splice sequencer replacing Reason or Sonar for me anytime soon, but it’s still fun to play with and a good introduction to sequencing. And did I mention that it’s online and free? You’ve been editing your photos online with Photoshop Express, now welcome to sequencing in the cloud.

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Apr
07

Time for a short break from work on Tafubar’s album. It was a long weekeng in Taiwan for Tomb Sweeping Festival and Em. and I headed off to Sun Moon Lake, about 70km from Taichung.  This morning was just beautiful and we grabbed the chance to record some visuals with the Xacti. The last mix I did for Tafubar was a breakbeat-hybrid, and I was reminded of the fun to be had with breakneck BPM’s. Came back from the lake in the afternoon and wrote the music for “Casting Off”, and jumped to editing it – fun to do a track and video from scratch in one day ;^)

As with “Light of a Firefly” the track is made available under a Creative Commons Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.
This time around, I’m making the music available as a 256kpbs mp3 (zipped) for use in other videos. Grab it from http://moshang.net/audio/CASTING_OFF.zip.

There’s a higher quality 640/480 WMV (28MB zipped) of this video available at: http://moshang.net/video/Casting_Off_WMV.zip

Mar
06

No previous experience required.

Apply here:

All of this in response to the 1000 True Fans article by Kevin Kelly featured on BoingBoing.

Mar
04
Mar
03

Completely off-topic, but I discovered this awesome little gem of a game yesterday and have to tell everybody about it:
crayon.zip

This version was apparently written in 5 days by a single programmer, Petri Purho. Only 7 levels in this small version of the game, but there’s a deluxe version on the way. Here’s a taster:

Much more about Crayon Physics on the Kloonigames website.

Feb
12

I’m live in Taichung again for a change this Saturday, performing in support of Kou Chou Ching’s album release. I’ll be joined by Chang Jui-chuan for four songs, so it’s actually a collaboration set. Looking forward to it!

Feb
07

Happy Year of the Rat! Being a rat myself, I’m kinda hoping this will be a good year :^)

I’ve just returned from a short trip to the east coast of Taiwan – I’ve been meaning to go there for the last five years, but somehow never got ’round to it. So happy I finally have. It’s as beautiful as I’ve been told – some parts really reminded me of the Cape, my home in South Africa.

I’ve uploaded a new YouTube video with some ocean scenes captured in Hualien. The track is called The Light of a Firefly and is a lot more orchestral than the stuff I’ve been doing lately. Hope you enjoy it.

Jan
23

I’m thankful that the stress of preparing for it is behind me, but I had fantastic time at the International Workshop on Asia and Commons in the Information Age (ACIA) in Taipei last Saturday (19th). I did a presentation on Jamming with Machines in front of a very distinguished audience that had me feeling a little out of my depth, but as organizer Chuang Tyng-Ruey explained, it was helpful to have an artist’s perspective in amongst those of lawyers, academics an device manufacturers. I spoke last in the morning session on Tools for creativity, collaboration, and communication that was opened by a keynote address by Harvard Law Professor, William Fischer, and chaired by Mike Linksvayer (vice president of Creative Commons). Also featured were presentations by Sean Moss-Pultz (OpenMoko), Ellis Wang (ASUS), Takeshi Honma (SONY) and Jon Philips (Creative Commons).

In the afternoon, I attended a meeting with musicians attending the workshop from other parts of Asia. The meeting was led by Pig Head Skin (Taiwan) who has released a number of albums under CC licenses, and attended by Lisa Diy from the Philippines, Sudev Bangah (Malaysia), Bust This (Korea), a hip-hop duo whose album was the first to be released under a CC license in Korea and Fan-chiang of Kou Chou Ching, who performed with me in the evening. It was an interesting meeting of minds, and we left with the resolution to create a collaborative album together, which I will probably mix.

In the evening it was time for the Asia Megamix Party at Riverside Cafe in Taipei featuring all of the artists who were at the afternoon’s meeting. It was a great way to round off the day’s proceedings. My great thanks to Chuang Tyng-Ruey for inviting me to workshop and for his hard work in organizing such a successful CC event. Many thanks also to Kou Chou Ching, Chang Jui-chuan and André van Rensburg for joining me for performances in the evening. Here’s a video of my jam with André van Rensburg and Kou Chou Ching‘s DJ J-Little:

Jan
22

Em. and I shot through to Taipei by Taiwan’s High Speed Rail on Wednesday the 16th for the launch of Kou Chou Ching’s new album, “Kou!! It’s Coming Out!!!”. Since I’d been heavily involved with the double-disk album, I thought it important to be there. I did a short set and had a mini heart-attack when my MidAir midi wireless system stopped working just as I started – luckily I had a backup wired midi system in the T-box that performed flawlessly. No idea what’s up with the MidAir – seems not to work off battery power anymore :^( I’d say you get what you pay for, but the Taiwan made T-box was really cheap, too. I did a couple of tracks with Chang Jui-chuan, too – nice preperation for the performance on the 19th.

Kou had a really cool turnout for the event. I had a great time finally putting faces to many of the artists I had heard while mixing the album.

Jan
11

I’m featured today in the Vinyl Word column of Taipei Times, one of the largest English language newspapers in Taiwan. Thanks a lot to Tom Leeming of Vinyl Word for the interview and article.

Just want to point out that my performance with Kou Chou Ching at their album launch of “Kou!! It’s Coming Out!!!” will be this coming Wednesday (Jan. 16th) at Underworld in Taipei, not tomorrow. I’ll be doing some tracks with Chang Jui-chuan as well – good practice for the CC Asia Megamix show on the 19th ;^)