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Simon & greg Record the world

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On December 11th, 2017 I received an email from Greg Bonnier titled “About an African Journey.” I receive emails nearly every day with one pitch or another that are going to make my company Lauten Audio famous if only we send free microphones. However, this email was a little bit different.

First, the email started off with a referral reference from one of my most respect colleagues in the music business, Fab Dupont. Second, Greg already owned two of our highly acclaimed Atlantis FC-387 microphones, which is no small investment, and finally, the first paragraph ended with “…for the love of the music and people.” Gregs’ hook worked.

Here’s Greg’s opening paragraph.

My name is Greg, I’m a friend of Fab’s which was nice enough to put me in contact with you. I’m writing you about a project I’m about to do in Senegal. Mid-January, I’ll be leaving for the southern part of the African country where I’ll be recording bands which do not have access to recording ressources other than a computer microphone. My colleague did this 3 years ago and it resulted in a band even getting a recording contract. This is a project we are funding by ourselves, for the love of the music and the people.

Greg and I scheduled a call to discuss the project further. My gut told me this project could turn out very cool, and it was clear Greg and his partner Simon Walls had their heads on straight. My biggest concern was whether the microphones could survive such a trip and the environment. If they didn’t, my brand was not going to look very good.

Six months later I began to receive photos and snippets from Simon and Greg’s adventure. The microphones were taking a beating, but they were holding up to the task. When I hear the music that was being captured, the hair stood up on the back of my neck, I knew I had made the right decision.

Without further ado, below is a link to the 6-episode series from the first season of Simon and Greg Record the World.

ABOUT SIMON AND GREG

Simon Walls is a music producer, songwriter and adventurer. After producing his own original records, he has been producing, recording and mixing for other artists such as Le Winston Band, David Jobin, Clay and Friends, ILAM, Tee Cloud, Sadio Cissokho and Aaron Lumley. He also produces for Wapikoni Mobile, Musique Nomade and AVATAQ offering recording services and mentorship to indigenous musicians across Canada. Between records, Simon is a motivational speaker at The Great Explorers where he tells the tales of his adventures.

Greg Bonnier is a record producer, sound engineer and film maker based in Montreal, Canada. Beginning at Musique Plus (Much Music) in 2000, he has since managed post-production facilities, mixed various TV shows, filmed and edited many documentaries, live shows, corporate films and web projects including a web series with renown french actor Pierre Richard. Since 2006, his work in music has led him to produce, record and mix all over the world with artists from all walks of life and diverse musical genres.

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When Social Giants Get Digital Personas Wrong

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Apparently I’m mistakanely PERCEIVED AS a Grammy nominated Recording Engineer FOR CarDi B.

The recent Capitol Hill hearings with Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook got me thinking about how I was being tracked by the social giants of our world, namely, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook (Instagram included).

I began by going through my ad preferences under the –> settings –> Ads section of my profile settings in Facebook. I started deleting companies that had me tagged, and removing interests that I had no idea were there. I can only surmise they got there by Facebook scraping my gmail account and the many advertising related emails I receive. I certainly hadn’t clicked on all these companies ads. I did notice a similarity between companies that email me and those tagged in my FB ads profile.

In the capitol hill hearings Zuckerberg said if we opted-out of these ad preferences, our Facebook experience would get far worse. However, mine has improved greatly! Now I see posts from friends I had almost forgotten about since I’m no longer being bombarded by ads I didn’t care to see in the first place. Try it, you’ll see.

I also noticed the “Your Information” section. I have very little provided there beyond my relationship status saying “Married”. There is also a “Your Categories” tab under that section. When I clicked this I noticed a “Mulitcultural Affinity” section (see graphic). This has me labeled as “African American (US)”. Isn’t that interesting? I’m happy to see I have a multi-cultural affinity.

It got me thinking, why I would I be labeled with this “affinity”? I figured because I have social friends of many ethnicity’s due to my involvement in my business, which is very rewarding and allows me to meet and know people of many ethnic backgrounds all around the world.

But then I decided to “Google” myself. I was quite surprised at the first result in Google. It was a link to my LinkedIn profile, with a picture of someone who isn’t me (see graphic). Google apparently thinks this is what I look like; a handsome young gentlemen with a nice shirt and tie.

The picture is actually that of Michael Ashby, who recorded the highly publicized and popular recording artist Cardi B. Michael and I have had many conversations both on and offline over the past couple of years. I consider us good acquaintances if not friends. My company had also released a press release with this photo of Michael. Did Facebook get my “Multicultural Affinity” from a picture on Google results? Maybe, maybe not, but it does give the perception that Michael is me.

Have Google and Facebook been scraping my data and incorrectly identified me as Michael Ashby?

I guess I’m now a Grammy nominated Recording Engineer for one of the hottest modern recording artists in history, in addition to being the owner of a microphone company.

What is alarming to me in all this is that we are living in an era where computer algorithms are running wild and generating our personas, without our control, and obviously falsely at times. As much as I’d like to turn back time a couple generations and have that young energy again, I’d rather just like to be presented as me, and not someone else.

In the mean time, I look forward to the Grammy’s sending me a trophy when Michael wins. I’ll be sure to forward it on to its real persona when it comes…Facebooktwitterlinkedinrssinstagramby feather

Hate carrying luggage? This hands-free suitcase will follow you around – But will it be banned?

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The robotic suitcases come in a variety of sizes and colors. Image source: Travelmate Robotics.

Interesting, a “fully autonomous suitcase”. I wonder if they’ll be banned in airports. I can see people tripping over them. I think we identify the location of someones suitcase, at least partially, by their body position, e.g. your arm reaching out to pull it and/or push it. I’m also always weary of advertised battery life as well, if they say 4 hours, given my experience, you’re probably likely to see 60% of that. All that being said, my wife would love not toting a suitcase around. 😉

Source: Hate carrying luggage? This hands-free suitcase will follow you around and respond to your commands – Electronic ProductsFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssinstagramby feather

I’m ready for wireless power transfer – Electronic Products

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Image source: PowerSphyr.

I’m so ready for an efficient solution to wireless charging. “SkyCurrent is a series of products for PowerSphyr’s multi-mode wireless technology. Designed as a power hub to be the focal point of the room it resides in, it can be placed on your desktop or counter and will support the Amazon Echo Dot. It’s capable of recharging mobile devices, wearables, and any gadget with a built-in receiver to accept wireless power. Simply put, PowerSphyr’s looking to cut the cord to the traditional method of recharging.”

 

Source: New solution combines near-field and far-field technology for wireless power transfer – Electronic ProductsFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssinstagramby feather

Going Cold Brew – Sweet and Smooth Sensations

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby featherI must admit, I feel a bit foolish having never tried cold brewed coffee. Last week it was recommended to me. So, I ground up one of my daily favorite beans, Philz – Jacobs Wonderbar and prepared my first cold-brew. I was astonished in two ways.

1. Wow was it smooth and sweet.

2. It literally tastes like a different bean, and this is a bean I know well.

So, after consuming my wonderful Wonderbar beans I moved on to another favorite, Pete’s Major Dickason’s Blend®. Again, astonished how much sweeter it was, absolutely zero bitterness and like a totally different coffee.

I use a Bodum 34oz french press. For Jacobs Wonderbar I grind my bean medium to medium fine with a ratio of 60 grams (weighed on a scale) to about 34oz of water (the Bodum container isn’t completely full).

I slowly add cold filtered water, via a cup, used as a transfer device; study Integral Principles of the Structural Dynamics of Flow by Leslie Claret for this process, from my refrigerator and carefully stir with a spoon or chopstick. This is usually occurring between 8 and 10PM at night.

When I wake in the morning I plunge the French press, pour it into my coffee cup and nuke it in the microwave for 2 minutes. I use a big coffee cup, so 2 minutes isn’t scorching, but I do still like my coffee warm.

I’m looking forward to trying many more of my favorite beans as it seems it’s like a new whole world of taste sensations! My buddy Mike Terry, whom I often discuss such endeavors with, recommends I now try “Nitro-brewing”. I’ll have to look into that…Facebooktwitterlinkedinrssinstagramby feather

Deepmind’s WaveNet Composes Original Piano Piece

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“WaveNets” Borrowed from WaveNet

   

WaveNet by Deepmind and/or Alphabet, Inc. and/or Google has created a very impressive audio signal modeling system.  Although Adobe’s Voco is cool, my feeling is WaveNet is much further along in development, it’s just missing the flashy live video demonstration that went viral from Adobe.

A quick summary of what WaveNet is capable of.

They trained WaveNet on a dataset of classical piano music. This dataset was generated by modeling the raw waveforms of the classical music pieces, one sample at a time with approximately 16,000 samples per second. They did not provide a musical score, structured sequence, or order, they simply allowed WaveNet to generate it’s own musical compositions based on what it learned from the music dataset. Then WaveNet takes all those many thousands of tiny audio soundwave samples and reconstructs it own compositions. Really quite amazing.

Without further ado, here’s WaveNet’s original piano compositions.

Track 1:

Track 2:

Track 3:

Track 4:

Track 5:

Track 6:

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