While I’ve been doing this DAWless thing and avoiding using computers for music making I haven’t completely moved away from what might be called “computer music”. I was exploring iOS music applications and found the EGDR606 Drum Machine which was $3.99 USD.
It’s a recreation of the Roland TR-606 which means it’s similar to the Behringer RD-6 Analog Drum Machine I use. For that reason I gave it a try. While I would rather use the RD-6 every time, while on the move the EGDR606 can be a fun little thing to play with. Occasionally I’ll make some drum pattern than I can then try out on my RD-6, which is nice.
I did find the application a little rough as far as saving out patterns, but it it can export WAV files and you can grab them to move elsewhere. Honestly that’s probably due in part to the clunkiness of the iOS file system, so it’s not a huge deal. It could just be a bit cleaner.
(If you’re more of an 808 fan you can check out the EGDR808 from Elliot Garage instead.)
All these stats and graphs are provided by a Fitbit Charge 3 that I wear every day. I just grabbed screen shots from the Fitbit web site.
Wow, check it out! Starting slowly and increasing over the month for a total of 409,059 steps in October 2021. That’s quite a “step up” from the numbers of previous months.
Totally floored by this number! We only have stairs at home, there are none at work, but I think a lot of these are from the inclines in the streets I walk. 1,088 floors? I’ll take it! (I’m still not sure exactly happened around October 16th & 17th but since that was a weekend I’m guessing I was pretty damn active those days.)
I’m going the distance. (Though I’m not going for speed.) I walked 192.7 miles in October. That is…insane! But hey, I’ve got more miles to go before I sleep.
Burned at the wire? No, but burned 107,844 calories. I’ve also been burning more calories than I take in each day, so that means weight loss, which is a good thing, because I (like many people) added some “Pandemic Pounds” I wouldn’t mind losing. For the month of October I shed about 10 pounds. I’ve got a bit more to go but it’s a good start. (I’ve also started eating a bit better, including smaller breakfasts and, alas… less burritos.)
This is another one of those “personal posts” so if you were hoping for weird bleeps and bloops or some electronic madness, this isn’t it.
The pandemic was rough on us in many ways. Things got rough for me back in 2019 with an unexpected career change which led to a new position that didn’t fit and then leaving that and finding new things. Back in 2019 Dana and I were going to the gym when we could (she’d go once or twice a week, I’d go… maybe once a week at most.) I was trying to at least walk a bit more each day, and for Christmas in 2019 Dana got me a Fitbit. Oh, back in fall of 2019 I had an injury, nothing major, just an arm thing, and back in the spring of 2019 I did some physical therapy for foot pain I was experiencing. So basically in 2019 I sort of felt like I was falling apart. Age does that to you. I decided near the end of 2019 that I would spend less time at work (I routinely put in 45 to 50 hours) and try to get fit in 2020. The pandemic blew that shit right out of the water.
2020 was a lot of working from home, and working three jobs just to get by. Besides being taxed mentally, I ended up gaining a bunch of weight since I didn’t have a job that was physically active anymore, and I didn’t go places or do things. I just sort of accepted it for most of 2020 and 2021. I didn’t really go out in public or produce events, and then when I finally did an event in 2021 I had a blast. It was great seeing old friends (outdoors) and a friend of mine said he was spending tons of time out in nature, hiking, biking, etc. since it was better than hanging out with people indoors. Somehow that stuck in my mind..
Oh, at the event a friend took a photo of me, and I ended up seeing it online a few days later because they tagged me. I looked at it and said “That’s not me, that’s someone else.” Then I looked… and it was me. Shit, I really had gained a lot more weight that I realized. I also thought back to another friend I saw in July. He mentioned how he had a scare with diabetes and had to change his diet to start eating healthier, and he was doing much better. At the time I said “Well, I’ve been pretty lucky as far as good health is concerned.” And, I had been, but luck can run out, and I finally decided I had to do something.
Now, I really do not like exercise classes, and I don’t really like going to the gym that much. Since I had a Fitbit Dana and I often compared our steps each day, and she almost always got way more than me. I decided I could probably walk more. So I did. Usually I’d be up at 7am, feed the cats, have breakfast, then get ready for my work and maybe even go in a bit early. I started by just doing that, but altering my routine to walk around the block a few times before I headed in to work. I didn’t really feel like “exercise” just doing some walking. After a week of that I started just getting up, having breakfast and then getting right outside to start walking. Then I come home with enough time to get ready for work and still get there by 9am. Holy shit, I exercise in the morning before work. I’ve heard of people doing it, but I never imagined I would. Now, I still have zero interest in getting up early, driving to the gym, working out, showering, then going right to work. That is not for me. I like this walking though.
I started at the tail end of September, and it was still a little warm outside. Even mid-October is a bit warm some days. I hate the heat. Hate it! I don’t mind the cold. We’ll see how this walking stuff goes once the weather gets too warm next year, but for now… This weather is perfect. (And I love winter, so I see no issue there, and I was occasionally doing morning winter walks after snowblowing back in January.)
So now I am walking man. I’m the Milverine of Enderis Park. I’m the Aaron Cometbus of Lenox Heights. All kidding aside, I do remember when we were young (well, me and Aaron and my friends, not me and Milverine) and we would just walk everywhere all the time. Walking is pretty damn easy, and a great place to start. Right now I walk about 5 or 6 miles per day, which is about 12,000 steps. Some days it’s more, and some it’s less. This is the thing I do now, so… cool.
Two for one! October has been so busy I never got to upload the September data, so here it is along with October, which is almost over as of the time of this publication. again, the important thing to remember here is that this is the time my CPAP is in operation, which means I may or may not be sleeping. My normal routine is that I fall asleep quickly, sleep a few hours, then wake up and if I’m lucky I fall asleep again and if not… I call it a night, leave the room, and go find another place to lie down and rest.
I made a real effort to attempt to fall back asleep again when I awake, and I think it’s been working better. I’ve also made a number of life changes in October than are probably the reason for better sleep this month. I hope the trend continues. (More info in another post.)
Overall though, good trends! I only had one night in October that was under 6 hours and one under 5 hours. These are similar results to what I was seeing in May & June. (June had a few bad nights due to travel.) Anyway, sleep well, my friends!
I’ve been doing these Pocket Operator Jams for a while now and I noticed that the more complex ones (with multiple Pocket Operators) require some notes when programming the sequences. I was hastily jotting down notes but then I came up with this Pocket Operator Programming Chart. (You can download a PDF of it!)
The way it works is simple. You can keep track of each PO by number (or name) and then create the sequence, writing the pattern numbers. You can just leave it blank when you want a PO to drop out (or write in a blank pattern number). I’m still experimenting with this stuff but it’s definitely come in handy. I’ve said it before, programming music sequencers is a little like programming computers, but more fun.
The paper is super-handy to look at and follow along with while you set the sequence for each PO. I tend to read the chart, count out loud, and press the appropriate buttons. Works for me.
This 16 step chart works for most of my jams since it keeps things under a minute at 80 bpm. Since the PO-12 and PO-16 can only chain up to 16 patterns, this works out well.