Where to download the Access Virus TI Software

I have no clue why Access Music has decided to make it bloody impossible to find download links to the TI Software Suite (which includes plugins and Virus Control) anywhere on their website.

If you are looking for the downloads you need to go to this specific URL, which as far as I could see in my 5 min attention span searching the site, is not linked anywhere…

http://www.virus.info/start

(I found it on a postcard that’s included in the manual and warranty information bag that you get when you buy one of their synths…)

Anyways, hopefully this saved you 5 min of trying to navigate the Access Music web maze…

CDs – still going strong in Japan

Japan, in contrast to the rest of the world, still has a fairly healthy CD sales market (last year 85% of music sales in Japan were CDs). It is definitely shrinking (17% 2014), but still accounts for a significant portion of world wide CD sales (Japan is still the second largest music market world wide).

IMG_0226The reasons are probably multiple, a mixture of the demographic (older people buy more CDs), the collectable fandom culture and finally the lack of streaming options. The last point in particular is interesting since no streaming service, domestic or foreign, have ever really caught on in Japan. In fact, most of the global services have never even been introduced here.

Within this landscape there are several media rental chains that thrive on renting out CDs, DVDs and console games. GEO and Tsutaya are probably the biggest, with stores across Japan.

They are the perfect waterhole to batch sample new music regardless of genre, as they usually carry a very wide selection. Whenever I go to Japan I like to stop buy and rent a bunch of discs from artists or genres that interest me, and then pick out the stuff that’s good enough for keeping.

If you visit Japan, don’t miss out on this opportunity to listen in on what’s currently popular.

Japan Shopping #2 – A New(?) Method

I’ve decided to use the downtime in Japan to get serious about some academic studies around the science and history of music. I haven’t gone so far as to actually join a course, but I found a great series of books in the Japanese amazon store that I decided to dive into, and so far its paying off. IMG_2668 Have you done any music theory studies or are you mostly self taught? Are the ears really the best path to musical understanding or is a solid theoretical foundation a necessity to truly grasp musical concepts and become proficient in song writing and composition? What are your thoughts?

Rock on! or off…

While my inspiration for the electronic side of the Glitzerstrahl project is running a bit low at the moment, I decided to do some intensive guitar practice instead. For this I need a new practice amp since I sold off my old ones when leaving the states.

So far I’ve narrowed my choices down to the following:

The Bugera V5 which is a tiny all tube amp with a power attenuator that allows you to switch between 5, 1 and .1 watts. This should come in really handy when practicing late at night. It’s a really simple amp with what sounds like a great clean channel and no frills except a built in digital reverb.

The Orange Crush PiX 35LDX which is a solid state amp rated at 35 watts with a 10″ speaker, digital effects and a built in tuner.

Both amps have headphone out and are comparable in price, so really the choice is between an all tube setup or a solid state. I can’t get rid of the feeling that the Bugera would sound just a tiny bit better (as in warmer, fuller and more natural) thanks to its tubes, but that the Orange would be more convenient.

Btw, I already have the pedals I would need to create most of the effects in the Orange box, but it would be more of a hassle to pull them out every time I just want to add a bit of delay…

Which one would you have chosen? Or would you go for something completely different?

Update: After much back and forth I ended up getting the Orange. Yes it may lack some of the tonal character of an all tube amp, but it makes up for it in convenience. Also, in all honesty the little different I could here in tone between the two is sure to be blanketed by my poor playing any way.

I’ll save the tube lure until I’ve learned to play properly and saved enough money for a really good one…

Random Update

Just a quick random update to show that I’m still alive.

It’s been really hard getting back into a good workflow since I arrived here in Sweden. I think part of it is my mind being occupied by my new job, the new environment and all the other changes that we are slowly getting used to. I also haven’t been able to organize my working environment very well and I’m the type of person who needs a well organized space to be creative.

On a positive note though I’m making some very slow progress on the next Cumulus album which will focus a lot on soundtracks to post-apocalyptic scenes and environments.

I got the chance to read through the latest version of the old swedish roleplaying game Mutant, which takes place in Scandinavia after some unknown apocalyptic event, and it’s been great fuel for the inspiration.

Finally, since Linn (my daughter) has started showing an interest in learning the piano we’ve added an electric 88key Yamaha piano to our home. I plan to use it for practice as well of course ;-).

That’s that! More to follow!