Change (B)log

Week 7 Update - The First Mix Session

February 22, 2019

Sizable met with Wil Reeves earlier this week for 3 hours to mix 2 songs. It was awesome! I worked with Wil a few years ago on these two songs. He did a great job and was easy to work with so I thought it’d be perfect for this material. His studio, Centro Cellar, is well equiped and it’s right down the street from 3/4 of us band members.

Brad and I both have “studios” of some kind where we record and edit our own material for Sizable but mixing is a completely different bear. Back in the day when I tried to mix all of my own stuff, I’d spend hours twisting knobs only to realize I had made the mix worse. For me, any time spent mixing music myself is a waste of time. I’ll happily outsource that work.

I think I have a pretty good ear for sounds but mixing is unique. My strengths are getting good takes and moving the notes to the right place and on the right pitch if its necessary for the composition. For me, it’s like doing times tables in 4th grade. There’s nothing confusing about it. It’s just doing the work. Mixing on the other hand is elusive and less logical. It takes supreme experience and good tastes to confidently mix a track. And although I’ve never really worked with anyone else, I feel that Wil is the right guy for us this year.

Hypochondria

I think I may have some mild hypochondria. As I eluded to in the overture of this blog series, "when certain physical pains don't immediately go away, I'm already wondering if I have to deal with it the rest of my life or if it is even worth living at all." Well lately those pains have been weird, subtle pains in my chest (sometimes aggressive). That combined with the fact that my neck is still sore (1+ month) especially around mornings and curious googling got me thinking that I may have cancer or something.

I don’t know much about bodies or even my own body, but as a programmer, I know that odd behavior doesn’t happen without reason. Everything has a reason whether I understand it or not. And when I don’t understand something it’s left to my imagination to explain it. In this case, that means thinking of the worst possible case. Why?

I don’t know… But maybe it’s a survival instinct; it may motivate me to get checked out. Or maybe it’s a flaw; needless worrying will only put more stress on my body and leave me to live and shorter and less fulfilling life.

When the issue (pains or mild hypochondria) steals this level of my attention, it’s time to do something about it. Especially this year — I don’t want it to distract me from my goals. So I went and saw an internist, told him everything, and then he recommended blood tests / urine tests / chest X-ray. I did all of those things promptly. The results? Well it’s very unlikely I’m dying of cancer. Everything checks out. That’s a bit pleasing but because the tests didn’t reveal anything, I still don’t know what is wrong. So I’ll continue to investigate when it bothers me and if it doesn’t go away. Maybe I’ll go back for another visit. Success for me is not being distracted by it. So I’ll ultimately do whatever I need to do to achieve that.

Roommate

Got a new roommate: my friend and co-worker Caleb Salyer! He was my roommate 3 years ago on Amelia St. before he left for Kansas City. Now he’s back in Columbia and I’m glad he’s back. We’ll probably be making a bunch of stuff together whether that is music or podcasts of some sort.

PAPIO

I’ve been putting my coding time into PAPIO. I recently added a search bar using Algolia. I use Algolia to index all of my material. Then I expose the service through my existing graphql api for control and encapsulation. It does a pretty good job and will be free most likely for a while.

At first I started hand-rolling my own search algorithms but after a day or two I realized that there’s already a lot of people who have perfected this. Companies like Google or Elasticsearch hire lots of people who are way smarter than me to work on this simple problem. But while it’s easy to leverage the work of other programmers in general, in this case it’s not usually free. Most search solutions involve a hosted / managed server and are expensive. But since I’m a small shop, I don’t need servers for backend infrastructure. Luckily Algolia is basically serverless and free for small usage, which is my case for now.

So I have search! Now on to more exciting features…

Until next time!


Joseph Weidinger

Written by Joseph Weidinger.