Saturday, September 29, 2007

Discovering Macs. Discovering Music. Discovering Friends.

Yesterday, an old friend Lekowala (whom we serendipitously reconnected through Siva earlier this year) texted me, asking how stereo tracks could be created in GarageBand. So I did, via this blog post.

Lekowala got himself a Mac about three months ago. He emailed me, as a demo piece. Which led to this collaborative piece quite by chance (see also, this post).

powered by ODEO

A few weeks ago, we met face-to-face for the first time after 20 years (yeah, 20 years!) When we parted, we'd agreed to jointly work on music album. We've about seven songs so far. We're producing it all on our Macs. Target date for release: December 2007.

Lekowala mentioned the same thing here. I'm really quite excited about this. Not that we would become rich or famous. It's really about creating some meaningful direction and purpose for a hobby that both of us share.
My Macbook ProMy Electrics

Of late, some Songcrafters have been talking about getting Macs to record and edit their pieces. At least one of them has crossed over to the Dark Side... or, FROM the dark side, depending on how you see it. :)

I told the folks at Songcraft to check out books like this from the NLB public library:
Mac OS X Tiger (Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks), by Mark Chambers.

NLB Call No.: 005.4469 CHA -[COM]
ISBN: 0-7645-7699-2
Check NLB Catalogue for item availability.

As I explained at this post, the first time I used a Mac was when I received my Macbook Pro. I switched it on. Then stared at the pretty interface. Didn't quite know what to do next. I knew it was using the OS X operating system but otherwise, I was thinking in "PC Windows" mode.

For "switchers", it might be useful to read posts like this and this one (hat tip to Siva). Excellent posts, although I still found the book more concise and structured for newbies.

One of my first impressions after the first Songcraft meetup was how most of the participants didn't record or mix their music using computers. And they didn't consider publishing their music online.
Songcraft Songwriters Circle Meetup #1

Which was a pity to me, 'cos many of their songs ought to be made available to the world at large. Music by Singaporeans. It's easily on par with amateur musicians from other parts of the world, at least to me (go check out their blogs at the Songcraft blogroll).

RAMBLE -- on Macs and Computers Viruses:
Heh... I'm chuckling after re-reading this comment from Doug. He's the Director of Media and Technology for the Mankato Public Schools. He wrote that he discouraged people from buying Macs, fearing that the popularity of Macs would lead to increased attempts to hit Macs with viruses.

I had that concern too. Not about discouraging people to buy Macs, but about the virus problem.

A Mac is relatively virus-proof as compared to Windows PC (as I've found). You can safely surf around without installing anti-virus softwares (try that with a PC and you'd be hit in a matter of days).

Also, if you follow advice like this and join groups like ME@N (where you can get friendly advice from Mac users).

Maybe we could appeal to would-be virus vandals to consider pictures like this before they decide to wreak mayhem:

Chirag Thrilled with Powerbook
Originally uploaded by Captain Suresh

Music in the Me@n-time
I figured if the day comes (when Macs aren't safe anymore), then so be it.

In the meantime, I'd encourage more Singapore amateur musicians try out Macs (or PCs for that matter). I believe that the more Singaporeans share their music online, the more mature we'd grow musically.

I believe an active amateur movement will inevitably create a spillover effect, towards a vibrant music and performing arts scene in Singapore (to even groups like ScreenPlayer).

And maybe, we'd even discover what exactly is the Singaporean flavour in our music.


  1. Jeremy12:54 pm

    Nice to hear that you're meeting up with your old friend again, after 20 years. 20 years is a long time!

    All the best in your collaboration on the album. I look forward to listening to the album once it gets released in Dec!

  2. I listened to the song while reading this post. How inspirational. You can distribute your album right this way...

  3. Anonymous3:26 am

    yeah! 20 years omg !

  4. Adrian has been a mac user for years but the new MacBook Pro had GarageBand. It's nice to see this synergy between the ex-geek and the ex-jock if we can stretch definitions!


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