Sunday, December 20, 2009

Season's Greetings

Things are slowing down here at the Institute, holidays coming and taking some time off to relax. I have to balance house chores with software editing and music production, but lately have been taken more by the chores around the studio. My brother brought me a weight bench a while back, and the only space for it was in my main studio, so I've been dodging that while working with my trusty old powerbook down there. Yesterday I finally put some more weight on the bar and started bench pressing that in between takes on the macbook. I'm sore as hell today, but happy with the fruits of my labor on the machines down on level zero.

Today, I'm languishing on the mezzanine level and washing dishes. I am betting that will be the norm until Christmas. So far, looking forward to a Nero Wolf marathon, and perhaps something else if I've been shaking the boxes right.

Stay thirsty my friends, and don't let them know you're thinking.


Monday, November 09, 2009

Korg Update

Korg no longer require the USB "dongle" as copy protection for their Legacy Collection synths. They have also today released an update for Mac snow leopard. Woo hoo! Today is a great day for that.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

MP4 Sessions

The jam sessions for the Korg mono/poly are exploring the various presets from and playing the distorted ones with intervals that make some very righteous sounds. There are some good sounds just in the downloads for this synth.

Gut feelings lead to very simplistic hardcore sounding riffs. The arp voices lend themselves to some freaky things sort of like what I'd expect from the Native Instruments Absynth 4. Some of the voices suggest preludes to songs, but the best of the lead sounds really lend themselves to hardcore.

I'm going to jam with these voices for a while before even thinking of new material. I still want to spend time with the MS-20 and Polysix voices to keep things melodic and musical.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Korg Legacy Collection Analog Edition 2007
I've been waiting quite a while to get this update to my synth collection. Korg originally included the WAVESTATION synth in their analog collection, but have replaced it with Mono/Poly, the Korg MP4. That is the synth I've been looking for. The presets include lots of ARP stuff, and some formant vocal patches that are fun to play with. I like it enough to be tied to a USB dongle for copy protection. My computer only has 2 USB ports, but in general, I only use the other one for keyboard input. This leaves me one free for recording vocals later. Not really a problem in my setup.

The PolySix and MS20 synths are as expected and I may even find use for legacy cell, but this Mono/Poly is the one I've been waiting for. There are some voices that go beyond any MiniMoog emulation I've heard, and it rivals the SonicProjects OP-X that I already have. There are even some string machine sounding voices that Mono/Poly does well.

I think I'll find some great uses for Mono/Poly, and it is a good feeling to have PolySix in the arsenal again. My hardware version has seen better days, but this software recreation is a comfort to have around. MS20 is useful in a variety of unique situations, and the LegacyCell has some nice sounding combinations of synths to work with.

It's just a matter of time before these synth legends speak out in my music.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tonight I tried to give a short description to most of the songs at

I tried to give at least a clue towards what lies underneath the links there. Maybe that will help people find things they like. I'm finding that the US contingency of visitors is listening mostly to Anthrope and Alien Influence albums. Those two are good, so I am pleased. The 2000 Chinese listeners are all over the place. I can't help wondering how they decide what to play. Big question mark there. I don't care as long as they are satisfied.

A listener is a terrible thing to waste. I felt that I should at least try to describe some of the cryptic titles that lie in wait at my web page. Some of my descriptions are telling, others more elusive. I'm trying to type this while a cat licks my hand, so pardon me if I cut it short.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Rockmartian Splendor

Music as therapy might describe my hobby if I were getting better, even more so. My latest effort, "Romancing the Stoned" is part a capella, part synth music, and a couple of old things. I always wish it was better quality, but I'm lucky to be able to put two sentences together as it is, so I really can't complain.

When I first started my web page at FluxOersted.Com most of my listeners were Chinese. As time has gone by, most of the listeners are Americans. Hopefully some of them not me. (I listen to my own music quite a bit.) As the number of songs there approaches 100, it seems clear that it's one of the best deals around for free music.

It's best to try as many songs there as possible. To some, they may all sound the same, but I think there are some real gems hidden among the MP3 files there.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I've been listening to some of my earlier albums from partly as an effort to prevent re-inventing the wheel, and partly because I don't fully remember them. I know there are some people who think all synthesizer music sounds the same, which is really just sad to me. I am not one of those people obviously.

Right now, my two favorites are Anthrope and Alien Influence. Anthrope was written during a highly stressful period when I was serving on the jury of a murder trial. I listen to that now, and it brings back the tension and the insomnia that I had then. Alien Influence is really some of my favorite music though, and if only the rest of the world could recognize my talent, then we'd all be in agreement on something.

For some reason, my ipod hangs up when I try to play m3u lists from some of these, and I think it is because the size of my mp3 files gets pretty big some times. I went for quality, and am too lazy to go back and re-sample them at a lower resolution to get a smaller size. Some of the earlier stuff is at 128k but most of the new stuff is 320k. At the moment, I don't have any plans to change this. If you purchase a Flux Oersted album from iTunes or Amazon, etc., you get like 198K which isn't bad, but I'd rather have the files that on my web page personally. I suppose it is a matter of how miserly you are and how little you care about how fidelity. I like my synths to be almost live, so I go with the top fidelity.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Goings On

Recently purchased a Line 6 guitar interface for my mac, only to find that it serves nicely for vocal, keyboard and bass recording. I'm still waiting for the snow leopard drivers to come out, but the latest ones they have seem to work nicely.

I thought I was starting a new album, only to have my attention drawn to several unpublished songs from yesteryear. I collected them all as "Glyph" see

I've been learning to program in Cocoa and reading about that. Haven't actually made anything, but it seems to be a worthwhile endeavor.

The Visitor has been getting a few downloads on Jamendo, but not sure how to promote my music in general. It just sort of occupies space on a server somewhere.

I listen to my stuff quite a bit, so at least I've built my own record collection.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Embedded JRL
JFred ruleset langauge has remained pretty much the same since Paco Nathan designed it in 1997 or so. However, some of its capabilities have been updated since then.

JRL is a scripting language for the JFRED bot, usually a java application but sometimes an applet. JRL tags for setvar and equals have been improved since the program's inception by some open source contribitions and by the hand of Robby Garner. For the bot, this means that variables can be set during a conversation with no relation to the grammar being used, and action rules may be executed conditionally based on the value of variables set elsewhere in the conversation. These are powerful features that make the JRL bot useful and scriptable.

Paco set most of these functions in place originally, but they are only recently being reclaimed as updates to the jfred library have been made. The Institute of Mimetic Sciences has been keeper of this code for some time, and is working to improve the code beyond its humble ambitions initially set forth by Paco and Robby.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Unexpected Road Trip
We always get lost when taking the mini back to the dealership for service. Where the fuck is it? Somehow we get fooled every time. Then, we figure out how to find it after driving around for an hour. Time passes and memory fades. Then we do it again. Every time the map doesn't show all the roads, the roads don't have any signs, the signs we see point to the wrong direction.

That's what we get for buying a car that has no dealer with many miles of us. We're on vacation though so I suppose we should welcome the adventure. Here we go again. . .

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

"Point me at the sky and let it fly . . ."

I recorded a documentary on VH1 Classic the other day called "Which One's Pink?" It details the origins of Pink Floyd and the demise of Syd Barrett's days with them. I can't help but think about our old friend Weird Steve, that I've lost contact with. He wasn't quite the same sort of casualty as Syd Barrett, but there are some parallels there.

Barrett's case is pretty sad though. He was the original spark of the band it seems, but there is always the adage, "life goes on." Everyone can't just stop living because somebody becomes lost or unhappy. The ironic thing to me is that Roger Waters thought Pink Floyd should cease to exist when he left the band in the mid 80's, despite having driven on the band himself after Sid left. Time be time man.

I've been doing some songs with guitar samples lately, or should I say, I've been playing some guitarish sounding tunes on a sampler lately, not having touched an actual guitar in years. The new will wear off eventually, but I've had some fun with these "Les Paul" samples.

I still have a crush going on with my old mac and Logic Express 7. There is an aesthetic advantage there that Sonar just can't touch. I'm not sure what it is. I feel more inspired with Logic for some reason, maybe my windows notebook just weighs too much or something. I don't know. It's better to just go with the flow and not ponder too much about why certain tools appeal or don't. Use everything.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Romancing the Stoned

Right now I don't know which I like more, Ruby or Emerald Dry Roasted Almonds. I'm sober as a judge here, not really trying to decide.

I've been going through "Rails" tutorials today, and am tending to grok them all. Now I just need to brush up on my ruby syntax and conventions and I'll be solid and ready to roll with rails. I see the argument clearly that if your app fits the framework you'll love it, but freaky web sites might not get along with rails. Rails has the benefit of RAD and all, but you've got to see how it all fits together or you'll be beating your head against the wall.

I've been going through the Emerald roasted almonds too, and they are my new favorite snack. Very hamburger.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

my plastic hell

Pipe dreams echoing
in the dimly lit corridors of my brain
like beams that go in every direction towards the sun
where the fountains are
that shine in the pitch black empty hell between my ears
that something moves me onward down the hall
to where the fountains are
that shine in the pitch black empty hell between my ears
my plastic hell