Monday, December 31, 2012

New breath sensors arrived :D

Muahahaha! After months of waiting, the MPX5010GX I've been waiting for have been restocked! YES! On the flip side, even though I also have acquired a low pass filter for use with these babies, I have no way of checking how the low pass filters respond. So, I'll just go ahead with connecting 'em breath sensors to the Teensy directly for now.

I actually am waiting on the delivery of a oscilloscope by Xprotolabs, with that I can finally see what kind of signals I'm receiving.

In other news, london is boringly wet and drab. I have been wanting to go out to the zoo as well as play my whistles out in the park, but with this kind of weather... meh.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Buster Wings | Bullet Hell Prototype

So, I finished this little exploration into Unity3D last night. Next: food. Sleep.

Play the game here!
(Windows and OSX)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Cheetah 3D. Mine.

So, day two of my year end holidays begins with.... a very slow day. A day of debauchery of gaming, food coma-ing and lazing about. It lasted a few hours, and I went back into looking at Unity3D again. Version 4 has been released recently, got it and..... being the utter newb I am, have zero idea what's the diff between that and the earlier 3.5 I had played with earlier. Maybe I should read their marketing blurbs.

In any case, after fooling around inside Unity - it seems like having been bumped around by the hdk and all helped alot with understanding how the OO works in Unity with C#. Of course, I finally hit a bump of trying to import animation in. Because I don't actually have an animation package. Houdini's out as mentioned before; apprentice doesn't have FBX export. Once more, I tread into the open source waters and downloaded blender. Again.

I tried, I really tried, but the basic navigation is really, really just non-intuitive. For me, that is a fact. Heck, even the dude IN the official video tutorial mentions it is not very useful for people coming from other packages.

Enter: Cheetah 3D. (Again :P)

The last time I tried Cheetah was version 5... ish. I tried Version 6 today, and whilst it still isn't the easiest to pick up, out of the box, I could navigate and figure out stuff more or less.

Heck, I was rendering with caustics and AO very soon after that. So you know what, I hit the buy button, because the demo version of Cheetah could not save or export, and I really wanted to get assets into unity.

Shaders are just drag and drop. Lots of options there, and there is sort of a master "Material" with all the parameters available to play with. A separate render manager appears when you hit render, which is nice.

A very nice thing about Cheetah 3D is that the native file format (.jas), is natively supported by Unity. Just by saving the model in the /assets directory, alt-tabbing over to unity will have it show up on the fly. Fbx should do the same thing as well.

Animation also appears to just work. I setup an animation "rig" in Cheetah - a box with bones and skinning basically - and the animated mesh appeared in Unity without a hitch. There are the usual assortment of tools to paint weights per joint and blend shapes, pose tools - didn't get too far though, as what I'm doing doesn't involve skinning.

Can't wait to see how the light maps import into unity :D

Monday, December 24, 2012

Weather and Whistles

It's warmed up over the last few days. So much, that when I went on an errand today, I only wore a light jacket over a t-shirt. Hope it keeps up :) It is still wet (it's drizzling outside as I type) and dreary though, and everything's like grey and dull.

I've been picking up tin whistles lately, and my latest acquisition today is a Generation Bb whistle. It's the biggest one on the left, and costs about the same as the smaller Generation F whistle on the right.

I think the Bb whistle is the one I should have started off on. It's very nicely sized, with no need to switch to the piper's grip. The tone is mellow, and carries itself well without being piercing.

The whistle in the middle, is a Feadog Pro-D. I think it's my favourite whistle of the lot for the moment. It plays really well, and feels really good under the fingers. I'm arranging an irish jig at the moment and I think I'll play it with the Feadog.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Life of Pi

Wow. What can I say. This is storytelling. Something in my heart broke. And yet, I feel that I'm missing *something* about the story. Like some major point that only struck home halfway and I'm left reeling from the blow. What, what what?


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Penny for your thoughts?

Bought this little baby off Denmark Street today for the low low price of £5 - it's a Generation Tin Whistle (aka Penny Whistle) in the key of F.

This is a marvelous piece of kit and I would wish that when we were kids in school, to have this replace the soprano recorder instead. Having only 6 tone holes, it's waaay easier to hold them down tight, versus the two tiny holes at the far end of a recorder.

This tin whistle has F as its lowest note and plays the F major diatonic scale right out of the box; starting from the next note up it's G dorian, so improvising over Gm is easy, and unlike choromatic instruments, it's just lifting up one finger for the next note up.

Played it today in my office's back stairwell, and produces a very nice rounded tone. The long reverb tail in the stairwell is just bliss. Notes take seconds to die out and mix in beautifully with the newer notes. Ah, the real thing (tm). I only managed perhaps A above the octave break, and it was very easy to get to the next octave by overblowing.

Unlike my other flutes, this little one has a fairly small air requirement, and I could sustain a note for a fair while - plus putting in extra air means overblowing it.

I also tried vibrato on it, could do but quite difficult. I think it's due to the short length of the body.

Also, as it is a keyless instrument, it is quite critical to cover all the holes properly with your fingers. The F whistle is actually quite small for my paws (for some reason I might have read the key of F was used for titanic, but I'm probably wrong - but that's why I bought it in F) and my fingers are all squished up side by side. Should have got a regular D, or even the larger Bb whistles.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Distant Shores: Recorder Trio

Out of the blue, VSL released a new Recorders library! I'm very glad I didn't pick up recorders from other companies as I have been itching sooo bad to get a set of recorders.

I've played them to my latest 3 part counterpoint practice. Enjoy!