This is the website of Neil McDougall, a musician/blogger/podcaster/bookie from Ayrshire.

My Mac Dilemma

Here’s the deal- thanks to the overwhelming success of my ‘Siri Answers The Ultimate Question‘ video on YouTube, and YouTube inviting me into their video monetisation programme, I have managed to squirrel away a few quid.

Subsequently, I’m quite fancying getting a 27″ iMac. The only thing that’s holding me back now is- do I buy now or wait until the forthcoming Ivy Bridge model refresh?


This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on February 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm, filed under apple, geekery, life, Mac, musings, tech and tagged , , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

iPhone get!

So, this here is the first (of many to come?) blog posts using the WordPress client on my shiny new iPhone 3GS.

I was using a Nokia N95 8GB before now and that has served me well for the last year and a half, but I never really felt like I was using the phone to it’s absolute fullest potential. I never really used the email functions (writing email on a numeric keypad would royally suck), or the office type stuff, and I had my iPod for music and podcasts, so the multimedia side of the phone kinda went to waste too. It was basically phone calls, texts, calendar, web browsing at work, keeping up with Twitter at work and the odd game of Tetris or Bejeweled at work (yeah, working in a bookies can get dull sometimes, especially in Kilmarnock).

However, things finally came into shape for me to finally jump on the iPhone bandwagon. My iPod went tits up, my phone upgrade was due, and Apple released the iPhone 3GS, which ticked most of the boxes I was waiting to be ticked before I was iPhone-ready- better camera and more storage being the main ones. If a phone was going to be my all-in-one device, I needed it to have at least 32GB on board to replace my 30GB iPod Video. Lo and behold, come WWDC, Apple drop the 32 gig 3GS. And it was good.

So, what am I enjoying so far?

The apps are tremendous. Well, some of ’em anyway. There’s plenty of shovelware on the App Store, so it’s definitely worth doing a bit of snooping around for app recommendations and community word of mouth. Alternatively there’s often free trial or lite versions of some apps to tickle yer fancy. Check out this Twitter feed for a feed of apps that go from being paid apps to freebies. I’ve got a couple of decent ones out of that. There’s also a podcast called Appslappy that’s available on iTunes and the like. It’s all about iPhone app reviews, but it’s quite entertaining.

Anyway, I reckon that’s enough iPhone blogging for now. I’ll be updating this blog, my twitter feed (link at the bottom of the page) and my audioboo feed (more on that soon) with more stuff in the days to come.

Oh, incidentally, thank for all the great feedback on the Rick Astley/Dream Theater mashups. Glad so many folk enjoyed them

This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on August 6, 2009 at 12:27 pm, filed under apple, musings, Site, tech and tagged , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

So I got Logic Studio

As some of you may know, I record my own music (examples of which will hopefully be on this site in the future.  Although I said that on the old version of the site…).  The program I use to record said music is a Digital Audio Workstation package called Sonar, by the now Roland-owned Cakewalk.

I’ve used Cakewalk stuff for seven years-plus, from Cakewalk Pro Audio 9 through multiple versions of Sonar (up to version 7, the version I use now. Haven’t tried 8 yet, but I bet it’s great), and it’s a great package.  It comes with a bunch of nice effects plugins, software instruments and the like.  Definitely under-rated in the Pro-Tools-dominated DAW world.

However, I now have a Macbook Pro, and I quite fancied the look of Logic Studio, having had a shot of the previous version on my friend’s machine.  The latest version, Version 8 is a whole different kettle of fish to the version I’ve tried previously though – a totally revamped single-pane interface, plenty of bundled effects, instruments, samples, sounds, content, several additional programs (Soundtrack Pro, a stereo audio editor that also comes with Final Cut Pro and Mainstage, an app to help you use your virtual instruments in a live setting, are the two biggies for me) and best of all, it’s cheaper than most of the other equivalent pro-level DAW packages (Sonar Producer Edition, Cubase et al).  And to top THAT, I got it for even cheaper on eBay.  £175 to be exact.  Just.  Over.  Half.  Fucking.  Price.

As Chris Kamara would say, “Unbelievable, Jeff!”

So, the box turned up today, and it’s a sexy beast indeed.  As one might expect, the packaging is up to Apple’s usual standards.  Heck, even the shipping box is up to Apple’s usual standards, with nice foam inserts to protect the box in transit, and an internal sub-box frame thingy with handles to help get the main box out of the shippong box.

That last sentence had more boxes than a lesbian orgy.

Inside, you get a stack of manuals (including two big ones for Logic itself and another big-ish one for the software instruments – I forsee stuff like the big ESX24 sampler taking up a lot of that), the seven or eight DVDs for all the software, sounds, content, et cetera, a couple of things about Applecare and the likes, and another bit of Apple Foam (you Apple fans know the stuff I’m talking about) to keep everything snug in the box and provide a little bit extra transit protection.

A very nice package so far, and I haven’t even installed it yet!  I plan on using The Metal Shop Podcast to air my thoughts on Logic in audio form at some point in the future.  I’ll blog here about it when that show’s done and up on the feed.

In the meantime, I’ll be taking the big fat Logic manual into work with me tomorrow.  Those double shifts can tick by slowly indeed….

This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on April 2, 2009 at 11:51 pm, filed under apple, logic, Mac, music, musings, recording, tech and tagged , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

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