Posted by: redwinedrummer | March 27, 2008

New Tech!

I’m 7,000 pesos poorer, but look at what I’ve got!

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M-Audio Audiophile 2496Photobucket

New recordings soon!

Posted by: redwinedrummer | February 21, 2008

Presenting: Two-Layer Abstraction

In collaboration with Pipay Warren, we present

Two-Layer Abstraction
Pipay Warren – Bass, guitar, vocals
John Perez – Drums

Two-Layer Abstraction is a two-piece online band. We record tracks in our home studios and as an online band, the challenge is to preserve quality and consistency of sound and performance, despite the lack of physical interaction. Through the power of the internet, we make music.

Warren and I have been working for more than a year, and this band has been in the works eversince. That is now about to change with Two-Layer Abstraction’s rendition of Trapt’s “Skin Deep.” Despite the track at its rough draft, this is the time we emerge.

If you want to read on Pipay’s side of things, visit her LiveJournal for her scoop. View Pipay’s LJ here.

This track is one of the most fun projects I’ve worked on. Difficulties abound, though. Prior to recording “Skin Deep,” the studio was in shambles due to a previous project. Putting the studio, drums and mics back together, resetting mixer settings and resetting levels took a significant amount of time. Rust settled in my hands after not playing for months, so getting back in the groove takes some time.

As far as drums are concerned, I believe that the drum track was more of an interpretation than a cover. I changed quite a few things. One, I don’t crash ride. I prefer to use the ride cymbal exclusively. Two, my biggest influence is Neil Peart. So adjusting to Aaron Montgomery’s style was challenging. Neil Peart kept his drum parts fluid, mature and sequential, but Montgomery’s playing was more apt for grunge and metal.

As for the drum sound itself, the snare and bass drums are works in progress. Stay tuned for further experiments in future tracks.

I hope you enjoy the track as much as Pipay and I did. Have fun!

Percussion equipment:
1. Pearl Forum Series Drumkit
2. Pearl Omar Hakim 13″x5″ Mahogany Signature Snare Drum
3. Evans Coated G2 on toms
4. Remo Coated Ambassador on snare
5. Evans EQ3 on bass batter and resonant with Kevlar patch
6. Zildjian 14″ ZBT Hi-hats
7. Zildjian 16″ A Custom Fast Crash
8. Zildjian 14″ A Custom Fast Crash
9. Zildjian 20″ A Custom Ping Ride
10. Pro-Mark 5A Drumsticks

Drum Recording Equipment
1. Yamaha EMX860ST Powered Mixer
2. Samson 7-piece drum mic kit
3. Derby balanced oxygen-free cables
4. Sonar 7 Producer Edition
5. Personal computer as digital audio workstation

Posted by: redwinedrummer | February 11, 2008

On MicroHoo! and Yahoo!Soft

The recent big buzz on Microsoft’s US$44BN bid for Yahoo! stirred the industry quite a bit. I don’t know much regarding the details of the deal, but I’m really glad it did not go through. The purchase might have been a financial boost for Yahoo! and a Microsoft might’ve had the biggest online platform in the world.

In the February 6 podcast of Cranky Geeks, I actually agree with John C. Dvorak. Dan Goodin and Cade Metz were enthusiastic about the deal, but Dvorak “represents the man on the street.” My main concern was the potential monopoly and invasion of Microsoft in many aspects of my internet experience. I definitely do not want to see “Windows Live”-esque branding on Yahoo! products among many other things. Microsoft’s execution of their ideas are often lackluster, especially in technical aspects.

I’m fine with the way things are, and I don’t think Microsoft can revolutionize the internet with Yahoo! at this point. Good thing Microsoft never got to.

What do you think? Drop a comment!

Posted by: redwinedrummer | January 10, 2008

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Note: I am not sure why, but this entry apparently failed to publish for some reason. I only noticed that now. Sorry for the delay.

This semester, I am writing an argumentative research paper, and I’ve chosen to write on open-source.

A few weeks ago, I e-mailed Chris Pirillo, the geek of all geeks, asking if I could interview him for my paper. I e-mailed him a set of 10 questions and I was pleasantly surprised that not only did he answer my questions, he dedicated a 20 minute video answering them.

Receiving something from Chris Pirillo is such a pleasure and an honor. Couldn’t get any more grateful.

Thank you so much, Chris! I really appreciate it. Learned a lot from the video. I’ll write something on the topic when I find the time. Hopefully soon.

I am truly standing on the shoulders of giants.  Thanks again, Chris.

You can find the video here.

Posted by: redwinedrummer | December 14, 2007

Brothers-in-Arms: Highway to Vaporware

So, Ubisoft delays Brothers-in-Arms: Hell’s Highway again, along with some other games. In an older entry, I wrote about why I’m so disappointed in Ubisoft for the series of delays, and I am still holding on to the sentiment I had at the end of the entry. Wait. No. I’m taking it a step further.

Read More…

Posted by: redwinedrummer | December 9, 2007

Owe ATI an Apology? Not Anymore.

I don’t get it. I’m referring to my I Owe ATI an Apology entry.

Suddenly, Crossfire behaved like how it used to. It’s crashing all my games and it’s intermittent again. And this time, with only one Crossfire bridge. I really don’t get it.

And I take back that apology I issued yesterday. Apparently, the “fix”–if you can call it one–was simply a bug in the system that worked for me, but no longer does. Nothing change in my system since yesterday.

 Better fix this problem on your next driver release, DAAMIT.

Posted by: redwinedrummer | December 8, 2007

ATI HD2600XT Overclocked Crossfire Benchmarks

Now that I’ve got Crossfire working well, I decided to take Crossfire a step further: OVERCLOCKING.

Unfortunately, overclocking Crossfire set-ups isn’t as easy as it seems, especially that ATI Overdrive does not work at all with me. So I followed this ingenius guide from NordicHardware on overcThe overclock showed considerable increase. According the my calculations, SM2, SM3 and total 3DMarks increased by 8.46%, 7.82% and 6.28% respectively from stock Crossfire results. In real-world applications, this translated to about 1 to 3 additional frames.locking Crossfire set-ups. It’s a relatively brute force way around overclocking; tedious and useless when the system is restarted, but it works.

I played around overclocking a single HD2600XT, so I pretty much knew how far it can be pushed with stock air cooling. So I settled for a 860/760 overclock, from a stock 800/700 using RivaTuner.

Without further adieu, synthetic benchmarks. Forgive the cluttered desktop. It comes with the was-frequent troubleshooting.

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I am not quite sure what to make of the 1-3 FPS gain with a +60/+60 overclock. It seems too much for too little. Either that or I just need more testing. Is it my PSU bottlenecking? My CPU? Or don’t the HD2600XTs really have much overclocking potential? We’ll see.

What do you think? Feel free to drop comment.

P.S.

Crysis does not respond well to overclocked Crossfire (Far Cry much?). It would fail to launch, crash and cause a BSOD. Even the slightest increment of +10/+10 makes Crysis go haywire. Stock settings make it feel good.

Posted by: redwinedrummer | December 8, 2007

I Owe ATI Support an Apology

For the past few days, weeks–or month–I’ve been harrasing ATI support for my Crossfire problems. In a nutshell, I couldn’t get Crossfire working despite good components and a good set-up. It looks all very good, even the support people are baffled. Everything should be working, but it just didn’t click. The mystery was the Crossfire took effect only 3DMark 2006 and 3DMark alone. Other games had no benefit at all, and Crossfire would work intermittently.

 Fast forward a few weeks and frustrated argumentation, ATI support suggested three things:

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Posted by: redwinedrummer | November 29, 2007

Crysis Alert. Crysis Alert.

Crysis took a little longer than usual to reach Philippine shores, but once it did, I grabbed a copy off the shelf. My wallet tightly shut, but when I saw Crysis’ price at Datablitz, I just had to active Strength Mode and pry it open. At P1395 (~$31), Crysis was a bargain! Usual prices in North America reach $45 to $50.

When I played the demo, all I could say was, “Wow.”

But now I have the (standard ed.) retail version, all I could say is, “WOOOOOOW!

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Posted by: redwinedrummer | November 29, 2007

Hacking Crysis: Intro Advertisements

Tired of pressing “ESC” to skip the advertisements in Crysis? Solution? Get rid of ‘em.

The advertisements are simple video files located in the Crysis install directory. But instead of deleting them, I choose a less destructive path of giving the game a hard time by hiding them.

Here’s how:

Read More…

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