1 March 2006

Frustrating music session on the PC last night, following a well-worn pattern. Start with the inspiration to do something – in this case follow a decision made at the weekend to take another part of the recorded jam with Fraser and John and build on it – start but decide to try something new in FL Studio, become increasingly frustrated, lose the will to proceed, followed by the will to live. Same old. Into this fell the need to drive to Edinburgh and pick up Plague, who then showed me in two seconds how to do what I’d failed to do for an hour.

An important concept in my working life is the difference between reference material and learning/tutorial material. I’m forever trying to get people to consider which they’re really trying to create and not to do the wrong one, as each begins from a different set of assumptions and needs to be structured differently. I have a comprehensive book The FL Studio Bible. Was it any use last night? No, because it is a work of reference – when you know what you’re doing you dip in to check details. What I needed was a hand-holding ‘Here’s what you can or might want to do…’  which is available in video from the site (http://www.flstudio.com) but is sketchy. I needed something in between. It’s fortunate that Scotland’s leading FL Studio expert lives under my roof, although he is not tempramentally inclined to teaching.

After that an emotional email from a loved one required a considered reply so I had to give it lots of time and attention, and didn’t return to music.

On  a different note I normally consider attacks on the Leader of the Free World beneath my dignity, but this is lovely:

Three Brazilian Soldiers

Donald Rumsfeld is giving the president his
daily briefing. He concludes by saying: "Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were
killed."

"OH NO!" the President exclaims. "That’s terrible!"

His staff sits stunned at this display of emotion, nervously watching as the
President sits, head in hands.

Finally, the President looks up and asks, "How many is a brazillion?"