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  • Miss Geo

    Janelle Rogers

    Driven by the need to bridge the gap between artist and listener, Miss Geo's debut studio album Connection is an exploratory journey into the emotions that bind people together. Primarily mixed by Rob Arbelo (Brain Tan), with a contributing track mixed by Matthew Beaudoin (St. Vincent, Ryan Adams), "Connection" brings Miss Geo's distinct instrumental and lyrical aesthetic to the forefront, and introduces them to the public.

    Each song represents a different emotion, and morphs stylistically from the dirty electro underground beats and fuzzy dance bass lines of "Miles from Home" and "Techno Entry", to the sheen melodic synth layers of "Sea In Between", and stretches higher to the dream pop bohemian rhythms heard in "Daydreaming."

    The songs are further articulated by the lyrics and melodies that help personify each emotion. "Sea In Between" explores hope and youthful exuberance: "We're love and lust and bones, all the places we could go." "Answers" reflects on betrayal. It's the confession you've always wanted from a swindler, who broke your heart: “I know it hurts when you're playing for keeps, but just let go cause knives cut too deep." While their dance anthem "Techno Entry" is an encounter with a moment of indecision; "You turn to face it; good luck, just make a move...the past and future they both talk."

    The Boston-based band first gained exposure in 2014 when Filter Magazine picked up their first single "Waves" and described their songs as a "perfect mix of fuzz and synth". Consisting of an international pair, Pascaline Mary (hailing from Paris, France) manages the synths and backing vocals, and Abby Heredia (Filipino-American) takes the helm on the lead vocals and guitar. They were brought together by chance at the Apple store while attending a recording demonstration, and found themselves bonding over similar musical influences and their mutual love of the DIY music making process. They write, record, and produce all their songs.

    Since their formation, they have released two EP's (Self Titled, and Shapes) which have gained a stream of recognition within the blogsphere. They've also been invited as supporting acts for The Blow, Lovers, and Robert Delong among others.

    In 2016, they added a third live member to the mix, Polish multimedia artist Alex Miklowski on bass. In regards to what they hope to accomplish with this release and their live shows, Mary says; "We embraced our joy and darkness in this album. After spending time exploring different creative processes, we feel it's a new fusion point for us as a band." Heredia adds, "Each song represents an emotion and interpretation of our experiences. Our lives are so intertwined and we hope people can feel something from it."

    Their full-length album "Connection" is scheduled for release September 16th and will be accompanied by a national tour.

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  • photo from www.placidaudio.com

    Hi Gang. I know the larger percentage of our readers are musicians, and that most of you are creating your fine musical works independently, in your own home project studio, and usually with both the DIY mindset and an equal DIY budget.

    Because of this, every once in a while I like to share some cool leads on music creating tools that I feel are equally obtainable as they are inspiring to you, our Indie Darkroom friends.

    The Copperphone microphone by Placid Audio fits this criteria and then some.
    -An inspiring creative tool.
    -Hand made with love.
    -Built by a company with strong roots in the creative music scene.

    -Affordable budget price for a mic that is in no way a budget microphone.

    Lets start off with a little bit about Placid Audio:

    Located in Dallas, Texas. Placid Audio was started by bass player and engineer Mark Pirro. You may recognize Mark from such bands as The Polyphonic Spree and Tripping Daisy.
    As a musician with high standards for creativity, and as a studio engineer with equally high standards
    for build quality and function, Mark started Placid Audio and set out to create a microphone that

    reflects this. On placid audios website, Mark sites an “emphasis on durable build quality, attractive design and distinctive sonic character,” and these descriptions are not to be taken lightly.
    Placid first introduced the beautiful and unique Copperphone in 2003, and it had created quite a buzz
    as studios and musicians (big and small) the world over have embraced it for its unique (understatement) musical color. Since then, Placid Audio has moved forward adding even more inspired and unique microphones to the company’s product line.

    Not your mothers microphone (but maybe your grandmothers):

    The Copperphone is a sonic and aesthetic nod to the past with a modern ear aimed at the future.
    Right off the bat when you look at this microphone its solid copper steampunk design instantly

    Takes you to a pre-edison mad scientists sound laboratory dreamed up by H.G. Wells. Just sharing a room with this microphone is enough to inspire your creativity and take you somewhere outside yourself for a moment. And then you plug the mic in….
    The sound of this microphone is both old and new. Upon first use, it is immediately evident what Mark was after with his creation. If you could, picture the sound of Judy Garland singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in The Wizard of Oz, mix that with the sound of an old Edison wax cylinder, mix that with the sound of a World War II radio broadcast and lastly, remove all that noise, crackling and imagine that tone with perfect clarity and fidelity. The Copperphone is somehow both hi-fi and lo-fi

    at the same time and man, does it sound amazing.
    Don’t take my word for it, check out these audio samples on Placid Audios website,

    When inspiration strikes:

    The Copperphone is a dynamic element microphone so it can be used easily on stage as well as the studio without the need for phantom power (although precautions should be taken to prevent feedback when used live). Situations where one might want to use this microphone are when you would like to simulate an authentic recording from the 20s or 30s, when you would like the sonic aesthetic of an old recording while retaining modern fidelity, when you want a specific affect in a piece of music that sounds unique, or when you come across that part of a song where you need that kind of filtered telephone voice and want it from the source. My favorite use of this microphone though, is when blended with other sources. I like to use it on the voice to get “that sound” but when used as a room mic for drums or guitars and blended with the other microphones on the instruments some really magical stuff happens. The specific sound of this mic is not something you can create through EQ in mixdown as it is a combination of the frequency curve of the capsule and the microphones copper chamber combined.

    At first one might assume that this mic just does one thing (and does it well) but this is definitely not a one trick pony. It has become one of my most trusted microphones in my mic locker at Four Foot Studios.

    If you want to be inspired with an amazing and versatile creative tool, you can purchase the Copperphone directly from Placid Audios website at:

    Tell Mark, “Gabe at the Indie Darkroom sent me”

    Get the mic, experiment, be creative, enjoy life, thank me later.
    -Gabriel Galvin

    Check out this funny bit of publicity placid got a while back:

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  • TiBook 500 Music Server running OS X 10.4.11

    TiBook 500 Music Server running OS X 10.4.11

    Today’s adventure starts with a semi-broken Mac PPC PowerBook (the so-called TiBook 500) and a desire to consolidate and simplify our household iTunes use. There could be many ways to do this, but as usual the results here were completely dependent upon the tools that were readily available. The impetus was not only finding a use for the PowerBook with a broken screen, but also making iTunes more accessible for us and giving us the one thing our iPod can’t – the ability to make playlists on the fly. This could also be called the poor man’s wireless audio.

    So the requirements are pretty simple: 1) the PowerBook must be out of sight, but still completely accessible via network connection. This includes being able to put the machine to sleep regularly but not have to physically access it to wake it again (an early incarnation envisioned wireless peripherals and using the TV as a monitor but the avoidance of this is preferable). 2) We should be able to share the iTunes Library from a central location, and access/manipulate it from any machine in our house.

    First… the Disclaimer

    This tutorial is for educational and informational purposes only. There might be a dozen other ways to accomplish a similar result to what is presented here, so I am not claiming that this is the end-all, be-all solution. In fact, you may find that some other method suits your situation more appropriately. I fully recommend that anyone attempting to follow the directions posted here also do your own further research, as there is a wealth of information available online and the components listed here are specific to what was available to me without having to buy even more junk to put in my house. Good luck!

    PPC G4 Titanium - Is this thing on?

    PPC G4 Titanium – Is this thing on?

    What You’ll Need

    The tools we have for the job are as follows:

    • PowerPC Mac running at least OS X 10.4.11 (Tiger). In this case, the TiBook with a broken screen.
    • 300GB Firewire external hard drive (well, only necessary because our iTunes library is already larger than the 30GB hard drive in the PowerBook, and our iPod is the 160GB version).
    • A router; ours is a Linksys wireless with 4 ethernet ports as well.
    • Any other Mac capable of running Screen Sharing, which is found in OS X 10.5 (Jaguar) or above.
    • The freeware application WakeOnLan.
    • For a laptop, a piece of metal (likely iron) that will disrupt the magnetic switch that makes the computer sleep.

    The logistics here pretty much suggest the need to have both the router and the potential music server in some proximity to your sound system — I find that hard-wiring the music server via ethernet gives better results. And of course you will also need whatever cabling it takes to hook up the server to your audio receiver. When considering where to put your machine, take into account things like fan noise, ventilation and the potential for overheating (running a laptop with the lid closed isn’t necessarily recommended in many cases – see this page for more info).

    Preparing A Tiger Mac For Use Over A Network

    Sharing pane within System Preferences

    Sharing pane within System Preferences

    Assuming you have everything you need to start, the first thing to do is set up the machine that will serve the iTunes library. To do this, open System Preferences and select ‘Sharing’. There you will find the option to turn on the Apple Remote Desktop client. When you check this, a dialog should appear giving you the option to set access privileges – go ahead and set it up to allow at least one user to log on from another machine and control this computer from there by choosing as many checkboxes as are relevant to your situation (I went ahead and checked them all). Probably not best to leave the machine without a password in any case, but especially not if your network isn’t password-protected.

    iTunes Sharing

    iTunes Preferences > Sharing!

    Sharing iTunes

    After that you want to make sure you have the most up-to-date version of iTunes — for a machine running Tiger, this is iTunes 9.2.1. If you have the most current version of iTunes, you should set up sharing so other computers on your network can access the music library. To set up sharing in iTunes, select ‘Preferences’ from the iTunes menu, and then select the ‘Sharing’ tab. Check the box that says, “Share my library on my local network” and you should be good to go; now other computers can see this library within the iTunes application running on their own machine. [You can also enable Home Sharing, which requires an iTunes account, but I’m not going to wade into that here. Ultimately, however, the functionality we want will probably be made most simple with this feature, if only because I don’t want to have to connect the iPod to the Music Server directly, and Home Sharing seems to be the only way to truly avoid that. Furthermore, we want to be able to get more music from the iTunes store and don’t want to have to use the Music Server directly or via Screen Sharing to access the store. A follow-up post would be warranted, I’m sure. However, I wouldn’t go so far as to guarantee there will be one.]

    Setting up Screen Sharing in Lion

    Setting up Screen Sharing in Lion

    Setting Up Screen Sharing

    Once iTunes is set up, you’re ready to see if you can access your music server from another Mac. Presumably you have your own network settings and the new server is showing up in your network. We’re now running Lion (Mac OS X 10.7), so your mileage may vary on how this next part works. In Lion, any Finder window should have a list of Shared items on the left sidebar. If you select your music server, you will see that you automatically connect as a guest. You will need to connect to Screen Sharing as the user you set up to access the Mac running Tiger, so you have the range of control you need to open and close applications and put the server to sleep. Select “Screen Sharing…” and enter your credentials. If all goes well you should see the desktop on the Tiger machine open in a window on the machine that you’re using to access it.

    And… that means you’re almost done! Open iTunes in the Screen Sharing window and enjoy your music server. Also you can go to the File menu in Screen Sharing and save the connection for easy access at any point.

    Approximate location of "magnet blocker" on TiBook 500

    Approximate location of “magnet blocker” on TiBook 500

    Sleeping And Waking

    A final note about using a laptop for this project – if you want the machine to stay awake with the lid closed, you have to disrupt the magnet that acts as the switch to engage the sleep mode. For details on how to do this, see this web site (it’s pretty simple but involves finding where the magnet is located and using a piece of metal to block it).

    Of course, if the machine is asleep, how do you remotely wake it? One excellent solution I’ve found is a bit of freeware called WakeOnLan, which allows you to scan the network when the music server is connected and obtain the MAC address of that machine. Later, the application can send a wakeup message over a network to the machine when it’s sleeping. The app has worked very well for us, especially considering we really wanted to be able to sleep the music server and cease its loud-ish fan when we’re not using it.

    TiBook says ROCK!

    TiBook says ROCK!

    Rock ON!

    So far we’re really enjoying the flexibility the music server gives us. I recommend this project for anyone with an extra PPC around collecting dust, and extra benefit is that you can also use the machine as a web, FTP or mail server if you want. As a web developer I find this to be a big added bonus result to the project. I’d be interested to hear about any similar attempts.

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