As I get older, my expectations are lowering and I am living more and more by the philosophy of “keeping your own house in order”.

Teenage Engineering designed a set of incredible pocket synthesizers that cost $59 each →

This project is awesome for so many reasons!

Indeed, the first thing you notice about the new PO series is just how minimalist the design is. “We removed everything that doesn’t have something to do with how it sounds,” says Kouthoofd. “That left us with a super-thin circuit board; all the components are under the display.” As a result, the PO series — with its segmented, black-and-white LCD display — looks and feels vintage, almost like an old calculator prototype. “We really wanted to make a [Nintendo] Game & Watch, but for the synth world,” Kouthoofd says. “So we used the same technology as they did in the ‘80s. We wanted to use the old stuff.”

On Problem Solving and Accepting Change

When an approach to a problem isn’t solving it, your only option is to try a new approach.

In the worst case, your problem will remain unresolved, but you will have learned not to take the same approach in the future. With any luck, you will also be able to look at the problem with more clarity and new perspective.

Tim Schock on Recording and Human Imperfection →

Great piece from Tim Schock of Prava Creative Studios. I agree with all of his points on digital trickery. Not only does it remove the human element, but for the artist, it takes away from the satisfaction.

Here is an excerpt:

Producers are increasingly reliant on digital trickery. Not just auto-tuning vocals—that’s obvious and universally hated—but also quantizing and timing “correction”—where an engineer uses software to make a performance more technically accurate. Why? Isn’t the song written and played by humans? Don’t our heart rates and rhythms change as we experience different emotions? Why would anyone want to fix that?

There’s also something called comping. For those who aren’t familiar with the recording process, it’s actually quite widely accepted and used. Instead of singing or playing an entire song, or even an entire part until it’s right—engineers will have a performer record the same part a bunch of times (often dozens) and then sift through the different takes and piece together a single good one. How can anyone, let alone a group of musicians, have an emotional experience during a process like that? How much of it can possibly be retained?

All of these things in and of themselves can be useful tools, but collectively they end up removing the entire human element from recorded music.