Creating Gifs from Images – Image Magick

This was real fun. I had to create an gif from a set of images and i knew for sure that Image Magick can do it and yes it can. Its pretty simple.

Move all the images you want in the gif into a folder. cd to that folder. Now type in,

convert -delay 50 -loop 0 *.jpg myimages.gif

This would create a gif file called myimages.gif that is made up of all the images in the folder. The order of these images would be the the order in which ls lists them on the terminal. So change the names accordingly.

The delay parameter can be used to tweak how fast/smooth the animation should be. Loop set to 0 loops the image infinitely as is common with all gifs. *.jpg assumes that all your images are jpg. If they are in some other format use as necessary or you could just say *. Since the images are the only ones in the folder.

Format a drive on Linux – CLI

Really simple. But i keep forgetting this all the time. So wanted to write this down somewhere.

Find the drive that you want to erase.
fdisk -l
You will require root permission for this. So do what is necessary for that. su -c or sudo or whatever. This lists all the drives that you have in your system with their addresses. Usually with just one hard disk, and another target drive, the target drive should be /dev/sdb and your hard disk should be /dev/sda.

Now type in,
mkfs.vfat -I /dev/sdx
This should begin formatting. This would require root permission as well. Replace sdx with what ever drive is your target.
You are done.

There is a way to manually write zeros as well. You do this by typing in
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdx
if is the input file system. of is the output file system. What you are basically doing is writing zeros on the output file system. Here again, replace sdx with your target drive. Once this is done, you can use the mkfs.vfat command used above to format the drive to a fat file system.

Installing New Fonts on Fedora

Installing fonts on Fedora is quite simple. First you have to decide if you want the fonts to be available across all users or just yourself. The most common option would be to install it across all users.

logo

  1. Download a font pack from some website. I was able to get a font pack with 1500 fonts in one zip file. Which contained many smaller zip files, each containing a font. You could unzip all of this by navigating to the folder in the terminal and saying “unzip \*.zip” and it would unzip it all for you.
  2. Once that is done you will have plenty of font files and also the readme files that come along with it.
  3. Become a root user by typing in su in the terminal and giving the root user password. Navigate to usr/share/fonts/ and create a folder to put all your new fonts in. I called it “userInstalled”.
  4. Copy all the font files from the place you unziped them to this place. You could do

    “cp <folder path where you unzipped all the font files>/*.ttf /usr/share/fonts/userInstalled”

    on the terminal to do this in one shot.

Hope this works out for you. Thanks for reading.

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Ableton vs Cubase

A NEWBIE’S REVIEW

The Story
I have been working with these two and some other software for sometime now and i thought i’d write a review. My humble opinion. Let me tell you before hand that i’ve had no special training in music production apart from the big thriving interest i have to learn these things through blogs, youtube videos and manuals. I have been working with these things for about 8 months now. I’m telling this to you before hand so that you would know how seriously you should take me and my review. 😉

So here it is…
As for me I love both these software. But to be honest i like cubase more. Now read carefully. I said i like it more. I didn’t say which one is better. Because both these are amazing in their own way. I would like to compare the two with ONLY stock plugins.

ABLETON first, cos i used it first

Ableton Live Logo

Ableton Live Logo

To be honest i loved ableton. It has the most amazing workflow ever. You make these little clips of ideas and mash em all together. It was really simple to get my ideas from my head into the DAW within seconds. Everything you need is within reach. Anything you want to do is pretty straight forward and simple. Besides that its said to be great for live performances, which i have not experienced but i can imagine how good it can be. What I had trouble with was the quality of the music i made was always a little lower than what my friends produced with cubase and protools. I was really sure that this was something wrong from my part and i did all i could and changed all settings needed for high quality, but still couldn’t get the satisfaction. What ableton lacked for me was some good pop and rock instruments that i found pretty easily with cubase. Especially when it comes to bass, i still haven’t found one good bass preset for a rock song. But on the other hand it can produce some amazing techno tracks because of the power you get with its operator, tension, electric etc. You can create amazing new instruments, unique ones. This is probably one of the most powerful attribute of ableton according to me. It should also be said that ableton is cheaper than cubase but then there is a reason why cubase is costly.

So a few pointers to round up…
Pros
1. Great workflow.
2. Live performance.
3. Ability to create amazing and unique instruments.
4. Simple and straightforward.
5. Cheaper.

Cons
1. Lack of good pop and rock instruments.

CUBASE…

Cubase Logo

Cubase Logo

I started to try cubase after a friend of mine suggested it. I was at first hesitant because i have always found cubase’s very complex as an 18 year old who tried making songs long back (although now i say something totally different, i love it and its simple). But then after i tried it recently, i simply loved it. I fell in love again. It had everything i needed. I am a pianist, and i had two amazing pianos right there (plus many others too). The quality was awesome. Although i missed the workflow of ableton. Although i missed the session view. The sheer quality of cubase, the number of instruments you get, the plugins all made me forget and move on. I can boldly say that cubase is for me. Pitch tuning capabilities right out of the box.? Wow!. So many plugins and presets.. WOW!… Trust me presets are amazing. You can learn so much from them comparing the title and the settings you can derive so much information.

Although cubase missed the session flow, the features like the marker track and arranger track make up for it.

So lets round up…
Pros..
1. Great instruments. (When i specify instruments i talk about the presets themself and not the vst instrument such as Halion one on the whole)
2. Great plugin presets.
3. Complete package of everything you will need to produce an independent track from start to end.

Cons..
1. Different learning curve. Takes just a little more effort to get started
2. Different workflow but that does not affect people who haven’t tried ableton yet and you will eventually get used to it if you continue using cubase.

Final Word..
So for me.. Cubase wins, because for the kind of music that i come up with, it simply works. Although i will not go of Ableton. It can be amazing for live performances and for producing techno tracks. But if you are never gonna perform live with a laptop why use a software that you wouldn’t fully utilize anyway?.

Thanks for reading
Joys

Questions and Answers

Lately it striked me that answers i give on forums could very well turn into really good blog posts. So I have decided to modify them a bit and post them here on my blog. Maybe it can help you in some way. I would categorize them as Q&A and tag them with the same.

Thanks for reading.
Johanan