iPhone Ringtone

So, how about that iPhone? I watched the keynote last night and I was amazed at all of the features. Who couldn’t be? If only it was available outside of Cingular…

When I’m at work, blasting Red Hot Chili Peppers when I get a call is a bit annoying to other people, so I use the standard ring sound. It sounds pretty boring though. In contrast, when Steve was demonstrating receiving a call during the keynote, I thought the ringtone that the iPhone played sounded pretty good. I isolated the ringtone and wrapped in a little MP3 that now plays whenever I get a call now. I think I might just use it for everything…

Download the iPhone Ringtone (MP3; 35KB).

Roland VS-840: Upgrade to EX

I received my VS-840 multitrack recorder a few weeks ago and it’s a nice little machine. I am getting started with recording and this will be the heart of my setup. Despite not having anything the plug into it yet I’ve already gotten used to some of its features. However, the total time I can record on a Zip 100 disk on medium-high quality is 49 minutes between all tracks. That means for a simple stereo 2 track recording I can only record about 25 minutes at a time. That doesn’t sound too good because I plan on using this to record long concerts sometimes.

To remedy this, I’m going to add a hard drive to the VS-840. But before I can do that, I had to upgrade the firmware to that of the VS-840’s replacement: the VS-840 EX. The difference between the two is a larger Zip 250 drive and newer firmware with more features. Although Roland offered an expensive upgrade kit for upgrading VS-840 to an EX, the secret is that the EX firmware can typicially be applied to most plain 840s. Luckily, my 840 took the firmware upgrade without an issue and I now have a VS-840 EX sans the bigger Zip drive. The smaller Zip drive is okay though, because now with the new firmware I can install a hard disk. If you’re interested in how I did it, check out my success story on the VS Planet forums.

Now I have to save up for some good microphones and I’ll be set for recording!

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Categorized as Audio, Hacks

Foray into Recording

This weekend I bought a Roland VS-840 digital multitrack recorder from eBay. Ever since I’ve done audio work for Gimme 5 I’ve been wanting to do my own recording stuff and this is the first step. I plan on using it to do some simple live recording stuff at first and as I gain my own experience I can go on to other things. I still need to buy about $200 worth of microphones, stands, cables and a submixer before I can really make use of it. Obviously, for about $400 I am not going to have a studio-quality setup, but it should be good enough for a beginner who will be recording high school band demos at best.

Until then, I’ve been reading up on the mods you can do with it. A hack that interests me is replacing the Zip 100 drive with a 2 GB hard drive. It’s relatively simple: you upgrade the firmware and use a desktop to laptop IDE adapter to install the hard disk. However, the firmware upgrade is somewhat hairy: it sometimes fails and can render the recorder useless. In addition, it’s a pain to remove the internal drive to transfer songs from the recorder to my computer.

I plan on making an external enclosure for the hard disk and the Zip drive so I can switch between the two and hook it up to my Windows box easier. If I get it working I’ll post a howto sometime. In any case, I look forward to posting about my experiences with starting out in recording.

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Categorized as Audio