Studio Updates

Good Things – I just rebuild my Aeron Chair. I got it when the digital agency I was with went belly up in the dot bomb. $300 cash. A bargain. It has lasted me 20 years at home, but with all the wear and tear it was getting this year, it needed a little TLC. So, I got these parts my amazon shopping list and I followed the directions, used a little PB Blaster to help with the rubber mallet part. Chair is good as new and rolls a heck of a lot quieter on the wood floors.

On the not so fun side, Amplitbue 5 was released, but the ASIO support on Windows continues to be a major problem. So I posted here to share my issue

IK Multimedia • Windows 10 Native ASIO Multichannel Driver -NO ASIO4ALL

Am hoping this will become a useful source of information on a longstanding issue.

Please – only info about Windows 10 and native (hardware manufacturer supplied) ASIO drivers. ASIO4ALL is not an acceptable solution.

I am running
Windows 10 build19042.685 64bit
Surface Book 3, i7
Soundcraft Signature 12 MTK Mixer/USB Interface 12 track
-input 14 channels x 24bit

  • output 12 channels x 24 bit
    Soundcraft USB Audio Driver v 3.20.0
    [b]I DO NOT use the ASIO4All diver or audio routing solution. I will not use them in the future either[/b]

INPUTS: Guitar and Bass use the HiZ inputs on the Signature 12 (channels 5 & 6)
OUTPUTS: Output is sent to channels 11 & 12
MONITORING: Main Out and Headphone out from Signature 12 – not on computer

Other software that operates without any issue using this setup

  • Guitar Rig 5 & 6
  • Bias FX 2
  • Reason 11
  • Live 10
  • Reaper 6.18

Software that DOES NOT work

  • Amplitube 4
  • Amplitube 5 Max


  1. Inputs & Outputs non – responsive – no audio in our out.
    Clean boot the system (just after having test the rig with all software above)
  • Soundcraft is selected and I cannot change it.
  • Inputs appear in setup dropdown (Analogue 5 & Analogue 6) – and I am able to select them.
  • Soundraft appears, I can drop it down, can see above Soundcraft in the list is Komplete Audio 6, if I try to select it AT5 says that device is not connected (that is correct)
  • WIth Soundcraft selected I choose Channels 11 (left) and 12 (right)
  • Close setup and try to play – no input signal appears in the input section – gain all up –
    WIth all that – the Amplitube simply won’t take in a signal – and won’t send any output.

When I have mucked about – using Channel 1 as input, I did get input showing and the output meters were going too…. but no audible output. even if I tried other channels.

I am really hoping to get a real answer here – and some real understanding on what the IK Team is going to do about this… This was some pricy kit and … as you say… Musicians First, please.

7pm Project – Thanksgiving 2020 Launch Day!


November 26, 2005, Thanksgiving here in the USA. My favorite holiday, because of simple goal of the day. No gifts, only re-affirming the bonds of family and friendship and as a whole. No guilt, only shared expression of the bounty of things we have to be thankful for – represented by a bounteous feast. Thanksgiving is all about putting aside the petty, and looking into your heart and head and realizing that no one makes it alone, everyone has at least one person to be thankful for.

But something I expected to happen didn’t …

The notion that the thanks we offer others connects our gathering, spiritually perhaps, to scores and scores of other gatherings. All of those gatherings’ expressions of thanks reach hundreds and hundreds of other gatherings, etc. An ephemeral network of connections -based on thanks and gratitude – lives for a short while on the ethereal plane. And it’s not just for Americans. There is always thanks given to people and groups in far off places. How do we nurture this phenomenon to be more inclusive of the whole earth? How do we make the gratitude network permanent? How can we make the warm embrace that this symbolizes more tangible? How can we make it more accessible?

I started this project as an open ended exploration of gratitude and thanks, as represented by the phenomenon in which people would open their windows at 7pm and clap and cheer in thanks for all those who were keeping us alive, those on the frontlines and those doing essential jobs. I am fairly certain that many of the gatherings, though much smaller that usual, officered thanks to those workers, but they probably expressed it at the table and not out the window.

That’s Correct, in my little patch here, there was no clapping and cheering at 7pm on Thanksgiving.

That a phenomenon designed to celebrate those who are working to keep the rest of us going did not manifest on a day dedicated offering Thanks and Gratitude – in a time when the virus continues to spike (so they are still at risk) and to top it off, are working on a holiday when they should be with loved ones. Seemed like a moment for a massive outpouring. It was not to be.

This was a real wake-up call for me. I have been toiling, in fits and starts on this project since last April. Last month or slow I have not been doing and posting much work. There are always excuses. My response to the lack of cheering is that I am going to begin spreading the word of this project – unfinished as it is. Why would I hold back the real expressions of gratitude made by many, anonymously, with nothing but thanks and good wishes to fellow humans.

And so, I would like to invite you to explore and share the 7pm Project

Anyone who takes the time to explore will have my gratitude and anyone who explores the project and shares it with a friend (building that ephemeral network of connections -based on thanks and gratitude) will have my gratitude and thanks. For those who would like to participate, in any way… welll… you’ll get MORE gratitude and thanks ;^ ).

Please understand that this is still being developed. There are rough edges and it may seem a little confusing. Fear not. Here are some initial links to help get you oriented. From there, you are free to explore.

Start Here:
7pm The Clappy Hour Project |

These are good example of what a content page should have:
Friday May 8th @ 7pm |
Saturday May 9th @ 7pm |
Sunday May 10th @ 7pm |
(this is actually where I paused the audio work, the May 20 & 21 pieces were the first ones I did.)

This next one doesn’t have any processed recording, but it lays out a vision of how this project could become some sort of digital manifestation of the that network that envelops the ethereal plane.
7pm Project Update – Nov 10, 2020 |

Thanks for reading this far, go ahead take the plunge!

I would be very grateful if you would leave a comment or two

All the best to you and yours and thanks for all you do

Nick Katsivelos
November 27, 2020

Sunday May 10th @ 7pm

Todays recording could be be called “What the Machines Heard” when you look at the process. From the raw recording I had two tracks of production.

Process and Tech
– Process One: Raw recording is then sent through RX8 Music Rebalance which attempts to take an audio stream and tried to identify and isolate, Vocals, Bass, Precussion, and Other and then outputs audio files for each of the components. This is where we can talk about What the Machines hears – and also consider the question of Bias that is implicit in AI/Machine Learning algorithms. That is, the creators of the algo assume that music is made up of voice, bass, drums and other… When that tool is applied to a situation that is not like traditional western popular music, very strange results come out.

– Process Two: Using Ableton Live 10, I loaded the component audio files as well as the raw recording. Then using the Convert to Midi Process – with the outcome being 6 different MIDI files that represent the Harmony, Melody and Drums from the Raw Track. For each of the component files I processed it with a relevant Audio to MIDI process – -so Percussion -> Convert Drums to MIDI, Voice -> Convert Melody to MIDI, Other->Convert Harmony to MIDI, finally Bass was processed as melody.

– With all that, I applied the Midi tracks to relevant synths and then added the raw audio in as a bed. All signals were then sent to the Master bus where Movement was applied with a 50/50 Wet/Dry to give it a bit of a groove. This was all assembled and rendered in Reason 11

I think the results show that there are many, many avenues to follow. This took a long time to pull off because the new opportunities kept presenting themselves. But in a nod to getting the work done and putting it out there, I have not spent time really tweaking the synth sounds. So this – and any other recordings done in this process – offer a very interesting place to experiment with fine tuning the synths.

I also like the synthy “voices” which to me feel like what the aliens would be hearing as the way we speak/sing. And you can hear some of the real voices creeping through the mix.

The raw waveform is at the bottom – all others are midi derivatives
The color coding maps the tracks to the synth used

All NYC Data on this day from WolframAlpha:

The News of the day from one of the local New York City papers

Interop is what its all about


Phil Windley –

“For these connected products, and the thousand more that are coming, to truly reach their potential people need a common place where their stuff connects—a dashboard for their things. Not just a dashboard, but a programmable platform that allows all these connected things to work with each other and Web services. Building that is what gets me up every morning.”

Family CTO Roadtrip: What’s in your CTO Go Bag?

It’s the time of year for family vacations. All you need is a car, a family, tons of stuff to pack, and a rental agreement for a vacation house. When I was a kid, that meant making sure my favorite cassette tapes were packed. And a book or two.

Today, the Family CTO needs to be prepared to provide the same high level of service in what can be strange and sometimes inhospitable conditions. During the loadout this year, I realized that what I need is a “Go Bag” that just sits in my car, always ready to facilitate adventure.

So here is my basic checklist for Family CTO Go Bag (automotive):

  1. A tackle box or tool box to hold all this stuff. Get one a little bigger than you need because next year you will be jamming new things into it
  2. Power Strip & Extension cord(s) – the outlets you need for all that recharging are never where you need them and then there are never enough of them
  3. 3 prong-2 prong AC outlet adapters – do folks outside the USA have this problem?
  4. Display Port -> HDMI adapters
  5. HDMI -> Audio + Composite video adapters (Red, White, Yellow)
  6. Cheap Speakers – because after you realize that you will never be able to connect your tablet to that old TV set, you need to hear what you are watching on your tablet or laptop.
  7. Audio Cables – my preferred set up is two 3.5mm Stereo Male to Two RCA Stereo Male Y-Cables and a pair of Female-Female RCA adapters. This will help you out if you need to plug your audio source into whatever they call a stereo in the house – the Aux In may be the 3.5 Mini Stereo or it may be Male RCA jacks.
  8. USB Card Reader – because you never know who is going to show up with what camera or phone.
  9. Hand Crank Flashlight & Radio – lest you forget the realities off life off the beaten path. A good old paper book with survival skills may be handy too.
  10. Inflation Pin for Football/Soccer ball (if you have kids you should have these everywhere).
  11. Wire (lamp wire – zipcord), Wire strippers and electrical tape – for those moments when you have to take interop into your own hands.
  12. rechargeable batteries, if you are using stuff that has those kind of batteries.
  13. cheap replacement headphones, two pair – because someone is going to lose/break theirs.
  14. one or two basic AC cords (the ones that will plug into any power brick)
  15. USB Adapter pack and a couple of USB cables
  16. HDMI cable and adapters to Mini
  17. Old SD Cards and Memory sticks – sneakernets work great in the country.
  18. A back up phone with a pre-paid sim, so when you drop your precious phone in the drink, you can still call for help.
  19. Ethernet cable – a couple of them
  20. Backup Hard drive with images of the machines you are bringing.
  21. An extra mouse and keyboard (small)
  22. Power Inverters for as many power jack as your car has.
  23. 3 or 4 AC/USB power plugs
  24. One 3.5mm splitter so two people can listen to one thing with headphones
  25. For retro sake I still have a portable DVD player and some classic movies.

This list is available at’s github repo. Please feel free to add to it, make additions, share it and the like.


OK Now with that all packed, all you really need to remember are the devices and their individual chargers…

4 tablet computers (3 of these use the same style charger/brick -brought a brick for each)
1 Kindle (USB charge – yet another USB Cable)
1 Music Player (Proprietary to USB -grrrrrrr)
3 Camera (DSLR, old point and shoot for the kids, and a cheap one that works underwater) – battery charger for the DSLR, proprietary brick for the point and shoot, way too many AA’s for the underwater cam.
2 Phones – with Internet Sharing capabilities (USB)


Barcelona–F1-Grand Prix-Saul Bass

A quick post – and I realize it has been a while.


Recently, I had the good fortune to visit one of my favorite places, Barcelona. I was particularly lucky to have been there while Formula One Winter Testing was taking place at Circuit de Catalunya. On Friday 2/21/2013 I had the good fortune to see some incredible talent and technology in action.

Today, I found myself immersed in Pinterest.  It happens sometimes. I was on a scavenger hunt for images related to Ray & Charles Eames, Alexander Girard as well as Saul Bass, Massimo Vignelli and Paul Rand. At some point I came across a Saul Bass movie poster I had never seen for the 1966 Frankenheimer film “Grand Prix”   – and the need to blog hit me.

I have seen the movie many times – the title sequence (which I now know was done by Bass, along with many of the race sequences) always blew me away – Dwell magazine seems to agree. And holy cow – if you ever want to go deep on Saul Bass title sequences, you need to go here – oddly Grand Prix is absent from this great title sequence site which I learned about while listening to 99% Invisible Episode 28 – you should listen to them all.

But the poster that I knew, by Howard Teperning, was a clownish affair. But, on Pinterest, I introduced to the real deal – the poster that Bass had designed


How anyone in their right mind could put aside this fantastic Saul Bass poster and choose the other is beyond me… well… I see that sort of thing every day, but it really is a bit tragic. So, I started digging around to see if anyone has any mention of it. All I can find is this bit about how rare original silkscreens do exists. If anyone has one, I’ll take it.

And so ends this little roundabout post. Let’s close with the sights and sounds of F1.

WordPress – Azure – Remote Desktop, almost.

As I mentioned in my last post, I got WordPress up and running in Azure using the Windows Azure Companion. I used one of the prebuilt packages, it was drop dead simple. I then proceeded to play around with Azure Remote Desktop access following Maarten Balliauw instructions which was simple enough. It was kinda fun to see Azure from the inside 😉

Naturally, the next step was to remote desktop into my WordPress instance. I added the required certificate to my instance, but the “connect” button on the dashboard never lit up. I reach out to Maarten via Twitter and he got right back to me. Turns out that the packages were created against an older version (1.2) of the SDK and Remote Desktop requires 1.3. So, after building the Companion from source (I had to fix some broken references to the WindowsAzure.StorageClient assembly), I tried to deploy. I thought I was in business as the solution began to deploy to a brand new deployment, but then I got hit with the following error:


Error Creating New Deployment Error creating deployment for hosted service ‘MyProject’ Invalid number of endpoints for role WorkerRole; maximum number permitted is 5. Invalid number of endpoints for role WorkerRole; maximum number permitted is 5. Dr. Watson Diagnostic ID: 3cd580025a79480faa5eb07f8f53c9d4 Subscription ID: 6eed2056-87ae-481e-87dc-cc2856447040 Time started: 12/7/2010 9:33:06 PM UTC
Time completed: 12/7/2010 9:33:10 PM UTC Duration: 0:00:04.2258416


Meanwhile, my .csdef file looks like this

My .csdef file looks like this:

<Endpoints> <!– Make sure that this HttpIn is same as that of HttpIn InputEndpoint in ServiceConfiguration.cscfg –>
<InputEndpoint name=”HttpIn” protocol=”http” port=”80″ />
<InputEndpoint name=”WindowsAzureCompanionHttpIn” protocol=”http” port=”8080″ /> <InternalEndpoint name=”VMManagerServicePort” protocol=”http” /> <InternalEndpoint name=”MySQLBasedDBPort” protocol=”tcp” /> </Endpoints>


I posted my issue up here

Satish got back to me and now I am in the process of contacting Azure Dev Support – who will hopefully be reading this post shortly.

I’ll get back to everyone – updating this post – once I hear more.


Looking forward to next steps.


UPDATE: 45 minutes later, this is the response I received from Frontline Azure Support


Issue Definition: We understand that you are facing issues while creating endpoints when deploying a solution and would like us to investigate on the issue. Scope Agreement: To provide you with the cause of the issue and to help you resolve the issue that you have.

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to you and would like to inform you that, we have a limitation on the number of endpoints per worker role and the web role. We can create only two endpoints for the web role (HTTP or HTTPS) and Worker role can have only a maximum of 5 endpoints/role(HTTP, HTTPS, or TCP). Please see below for more information on limitation on endpoints of azure web role or a worker role:

Hope the above information is useful to you. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience caused. Let us know if you need any further assistance and we shall be glad to assist you.

Looking forward to your response. Thanks  & Regards,


I now need to run an additional test – if I turn OFF RDP, then I believe the deployment will be successful and the explanation provided will be insufficient. More news as it develops.


Update # 2 – Allowing RDP seems to be using up my Endpoints!

By that  I mean that I created the package without enabling RDP and the deployment went fine and Windows Azure Companion works fine.

I them packaged the exact same built, this time enabling RDP and when I deployed I once again got the message about Maximum number of endpoints. So, what does this mean? Does enabling RDP use up your available endpoints??

More info when I get it.

Update #3 – I have been escalated

I got a quick reply from Frontline support informing me that my issue was being escalated – mostly because I couldn’t provide a Deployment ID because my package won’t deploy ;o Here was the response:

Thank you for the quick response. We would like to inform you that in your case, our cloud integration team will be able to work with you and resolve the issue at a quicker pace. We have escalated your issue to our cloud integration team and one of our engineers will contact you to work with you to resolve the issue.

Meanwhile, if you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us and we shall be glad to assist you.

I am looking forward to working with the cloud integration team! More news as I get it.

Hands Getting Dirty in Windows Phone Dev, Thanks to Baba

OK, part of my goal for the holiday weekend was to start digging a little deeper into Windows Phone development (amongst other things). Right off the bat, I sidetracked myself and decided to play around with deploying WordPress in Windows Azure/SQL Azure. Both of you who read this blog know that I have been involved in the Orchard Project and that I am really excited about the progress there. However, I have been saying for a long time that it is all about interoperability – so for Azure – I needed to see what it was like deploying WordPress, using the Windows Azure Companion and this great writeup from Jim O’Neil. After a little head scratching – mostly about the where you find the WindowsAzureStorageAccountName – it is not the friendly name that shows up in the account  – see screen grab – it is the name in the URI. Anyhow, that all went amazingly well. At this point I could provision a WordPress site in about 15 minutes. There is one caveat, for the time being, as the Windows Azure Drives are read/write for one web instance and read only for any others – you can only scale up (go to a bigger instance), but not not scale out to multiple instances. This is not a major concern for the types of deployments I am looking at and I am certain that folks are working on the requisite enhancements to remove this constraint.

But, I digress. This post is about progress on the Windows Phone App I am working on. One of the key components is being able to have the phone “Speak” to the user. Bing Translator has that capability – exposed with a number of web services APIs. As this is Silverlight, you need to use the Async Methods – for simplicity – and to rail against the prevailing wisdom I am using the SOAP service (when the tooling is there it is so drop dead simple). But frankly, I was a little rusty on the async syntax and the hoops you have to go through for playing back the audio file that the service returns was a little arcane for a newbie. So, I set off to find a good example. There were a few blog posts with code snippets that were of no use to someone not already really proficient. What I needed was a sample project to “study”. After a total of two hours of searching – sadly even fellow New Yorker Charles Petzold’s 1,000 page free opus on Windows Phone Development was no help – I stumbled onto this post with a great reply from babaandthepigman his avatar may be a can of spam, but the sample code posted here was as fine as jamón ibérico de bellota. So thanks to Baba,  I have cleared the major technical hurdle. More to come!

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#1 WordPress – Azure – Remote Desktop, almost. on 12.14.2010 at 5:02 PM
As I mentioned in my last post, I got WordPress up and running in Azure using the Windows Azure Companion . I used one of the prebuilt packages, it was drop dead simple. I then proceeded to play around with Azure Remote Desktop access following Maarten