June 18th, 2009


Dumb WordPress Q: Where’s my ‘earlier entries’ linK?

I noticed this, and someone had the temerity to complain about it, but Wordpress is confusing me. From the front page of the blog, you can go back a certain number of entries, and then there’s no way to move backwards in time, i.e. the “Earlier Entries” link at the bottom of most self-respecting blog/journal/whatever …

If I look at the archives they have the same problem — you can’t navigate earlier than what Wordpress is apparently convinced is sufficient entries to display on one page. What gives?

Originally published at Do My Eyes Look Scary?. You can comment here or there.



Thanks to Ronnie from Rekkerd.org for the tip — you can now move forwards and backwards in time in my blog. I will at some point replace the text tags with images, Preferably pointing skeleton hand with flaming torches.

It points up something a little annoying about Wordpress. The entry on post_nav_link neglects to say “oh this would go here in this file, most of the time, here’s what it will look like.” It’s one of those things where you can’t really understand what the fuck is going on in the wordpress codebase until you understand a large percentage of what’s going on.

A lot of things are like that — learning to build applications on Windows or Mac, OpenGL, Tcl, Qt, etc. But WordPress isn’t supposed to be MS Comp Sci Hackerish stuff — anyone should be able to use it. At this point I can’t update the theme I’m using because I hacked on it to get the image in my header, and change colors. If I upgrade my theme, any customizations I’ve made will be gone.

In order to NOT lose my customizations I’ll have to try and find the stock code for the version I’m using, do a diff on it, install the new version, and then reapply the changes. This is doable, but it’s the sort of low level, detail-oriented code-gardening that takes up my time at the day job. I hate doing it when I’m not being paid to do it.

I’m not whining, mind you, I’m just saying that WordPress is in dire need of a WYSIWYG theme editor, or the themes need to have customization panels that are easy to use. Otherwise they’re just going to drive people nuts. The best thing about WordPress imho is that it isn’t Blogger.

Originally published at Do My Eyes Look Scary?. You can comment here or there.


Ableton Live How To: Re-clocking tracks

Someone asked me this on twitter: “Is it possible to fix a tracks tempo in Ableton and then export it for use elsewhere?”

The answer won’t fit in a tweet, so I’m posting here.

It’s not a big deal but it’s not 100% obvious how to do this. If you only ever deal with Live, once you warp a track, you don’t need to have the track at a different tempo — you can just use it warped. Of course there’s a whole world outside Ableton Live so…

  1. Warp the track as you would usually.  If you have Live 8 by all means set the warping mode to “Complex Pro” — this will give you the best possible sound quality, and since you’re rendering it to a new audio file, there’s no CPU usage penalty.
  2. Drag the clip for the track from session view onto an audio track in the arrangement view. The keyboard shortcut for this is to click and hold the mouse on the clip and hit the tab key, and then drop the clip on the timeline at 1.1.0.
  3. At the top of the arrangement view, drag the loop region to the complete length of the track.
  4. Set the project tempo to the desired tempo.
  5. Click on the loop region at the top of the arrangement view.  This will make sure that when you render, the entire loop region will be rendered.
  6. In the file menu, choose ‘Export Audio/Video’ and save to a wav or aiff file.

This is how you’d, for example, take an 118 BPM disco track, correct any tempo fluctuations, and make a new digital copy at 125BPM.  Of cource, once you have the track in arrangement view, you can edit the track to create a new arrangement.  Helpful here are Ctrl+E to cut a track at a certain point, and Shift+mouse drag to duplicate a region.  Also, you can select a track region, and then use the ‘Duplicate time’ command in the editor.

Originally published at Do My Eyes Look Scary?. You can comment here or there.


#Ableton Q: Start a track before 1.1.0?

Notice my clever hash mark — because my posts get forwarded to Twitter … I’m becoming a blog/facebook/twitter whore.

 My friend Dylan wrote “Here’s a problem I’ve been trying to figure out for a while now: say you want to drop a track in from the very start instead of fading it in  slowly, but it starts before the first downbeat. (This usually comes up when I’m messing with acapellas, but can apply to a full song as well I suppose.) Is there a clever work-around to drag 1.1 back beyond the start  of the audio file so it drops on 4.2, for example? Then I could trigger  it however many bars earlier as appropriate to let it come in synced.”

1.1 is a convenience point so you can drag the ’start’ marker before 1.1.   That’s a time saving trick when you’re warping a track — find the first solid, unambiguous downbeat, and then set that as 1.1, warp from there (automatically or manually) and then drag the start point to the actual track start.

BUT — if you set the start marker NOT on a downbeat, you’re not going to get things the way you’d like.  What that seems to mean is ‘the downbeat is offset from what Live thinks is the downbeat.   This lets you play tricks like drag the loop to the middle of a measure, and then set the start on the downbeat, if you want to loop a measure, but combining the first half of one measure with the last half of the previous measure.

The only way I know how to do what Dylan wants is to always keep the start marker on a downbeat.  In Live 8 you can drag the start and end markers before and after the actual clip’s start and end. So you can warp the track starting at a logical place, and then drag the start marker to the downbeat before where you’d like the clip to come in.  In Live 7, you can’t go before or after the clip’s actual beginning or end, unfortunately.

Then, if there’s audio before the beat you want to come in on, use a volume envelope to mute it.  And you have to trigger the clip a measure before where you want the downbeat to fall.

Ideally there’d be a second type of start marker, that would mean ’start here, but keep the downbeats in sync’ — but there isn’t.

Originally published at Do My Eyes Look Scary?. You can comment here or there.