discchord 6th Anniversary

This weekend discchord turns 6, but perhaps even more importantly I turn 38. This is usually the time of year I combine our birthdays for an annual fundraiser/gimmie presets... which I will continue to do, but this year I've got a present for you!

Preset Sharing

You didn't ask for it, and you got it! I've spent the last several months working hard to bring you a feature that I think will be extremely useful to the community. You can now upload presets to the site! These presets can include custom artwork, and demos from either SoundCloud or YouTube. The goal here is to make sharing presets as easy as possible, and I sincerely hope I have accomplished that.

There are a hell of a lot of security concerns involved in letting people upload files to the site. I spent a lot of time trying to make sure people couldn't hack the site, but preventing people from using the service to upload malicious content is even harder. There are just too many different types of presets, so I can't check them all. To weed out miscreants I've limited uploading to just Patrons, developers, and active members of the community that have been here for a while.

If you have had an account here for longer than 6 months, and you've been actively commenting, your account is now automatically enabled for uploading! If you didn't make the cutoff don't worry! The system will continue to enable uploading for people who have been on the site for a year and are actively commenting. If you still can't make that cutoff, and don't want to be a Patron, you can email me and I'll consider you on a case-by-case basis. Now for someone to upload something they shouldn't, they would have to spend an extremely long amount of time to do so.

Right now there is only one preset up there, so I hope there will be a lot more by the end of the weekend! To see if you are an authorized uploader hit this link. If you don't see a message saying you can't upload, then you can!

Now Back to the Important Stuff

As I continue to age disgracefully, I keep trying new and interesting hobbies to avoid golf... or worse, model trains. This year I'm getting into reef keeping. This is the challenging end of the aquarium hobby, which combines fickle saltwater fish and even-more-fickle corals.

There's so much to learn! The hobby demands constant water quality tests to maintain a delicate balance of water chemistry. I'm only one month in and have already had to deal with some serious issues in that regard, but I'm loving it! The challenge is extremely engaging!

So this year, as every year, I ask that if you enjoy the site please become a Patron! (Per Video or Per Month) You get an ad free experience on the site, automatic upload approval, and the knowledge that you are helping me directly! If you aren't comfortable with Patreon, please consider sending me a one time gift such as a gift certificate to Unique Corals (my email address is tim@the most obvious domain name that comes to mind), or PayPal me to help me pay for fish! If I've helped you enjoy the music making hobby, please help me enjoy the reef keeping hobby!

I'm documenting my experience as a novice reefer in a series called Proteus Reef on YouTube. This is a monthly episodic journal of what I've learned and how I deal with challenges along the way. The first episode if up right now, and another will be posted to YouTube at the end of the month. I'm not going to be posting any more of them here, because I can appreciate that most people won't give a fuck about my fish.

Let's Play with Ripplemaker

I had a recent epiphany that is relevant to this video. I like making weird noises. This is probably not news to anyone who has watched most of my videos, but I think I understand why I like making weird noises so much. Weird noises are new noises! I've been playing with synths off-and-on since the late 90's, and continuously since the late 00's. I've synthesized a lot of sounds, so for some quick new sounds to engage my ears I go into the weird. It's good to know that because I can catch myself before I go too far off into the deep end.

Ripplemaker is a high dive into the deep end, but I managed to avoid being too annoying in this Let's Play!

Video Description:

Bram Bos brings us another music app innovation with the semi-modular Ripplemaker. The app is designed for West Coast synthesis, and in this video I go so far West you can smell the salt spray on Fisherman's Warf. Speaking of salt spray... My birthday is in August, and would like corals for my birthday! If you've enjoyed this series please consider making a gift by becoming a Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/discchord If you'd prefer to help on a monthly basis, instead of per video, there is a monthly Patreon campaign: https://www.patreon.com/discchord_com

If you'd prefer to make a one-time gift, I would make great use of gift cards from either of these coral shops ( my email is in the video @ 23:08 ): http://uniquecorals.com/gift-card-nam... OR https://worldwidecorals.com/giftcard....

Let's Play with Unique

Unique lives up to its name! Sugar Byte's latest synth produces some amazing sounds with an interface that is fairly easy-to-use. I am loving the sounds I get out of it while exploring it in this week's Let's Play!

Video Description:

Sugar Bytes has been bringing us some very big apps on iOS and Unique is no exception. I know that sounds like a B.S. marketing blurb, but I legit found myself saying "Holy shit!" quite a lot while playing with it. If you enjoyed this please consider supporting this series by sponsoring them on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/discchord If you'd prefer to help on a monthly basis, instead of per video, there is a new monthly Patreon campaign: https://www.patreon.com/discchord_com

discchord v3.1: New Search & AppDB List Views

Today I've rolled out the next set of features for discchord v3.1! This update focused on some community requests. Readers stub and AJP had requested a new "spreadsheet" view on the AppDB for easier voting, and Marcel wanted a condensed view on search results. I've addressed both of these requests in today's update.

Search & AppDB List Views

At the top of the the search page, as well as the AppDB Index, you'll now find a button to switch views. This will toggle between the detailed view, and a much more condensed list view. This is included in the URL, so you can share links with the same view. As an example: you can see it in action here!

List view gives you 20 results on each page. This will hopefully make searching faster, but I've also included voting in results for app searches and on the AppDB. Now you can quickly vote on many apps at once! I'd like to continue to encourage more voter participation, because the "Reader Rating" is only useful if people are voting. Do your part to help other readers find good apps, while avoiding the bad ones!

Now 80% Flatter!

The site uses Angular-Material for many of the front-end elements. This is Google's design platform for nice, mobile-friendly, interfaces. Many Android apps use the same core technology for their UI. It was an interesting challenge to use Material in the redesign of the site. I tend to want to make things super tight and small, while Material wants every screen element to be FUCKING HUGE for easy finger accuracy. I let it make some things bigger, but I reigned it in where I felt it was making elements too big. We came together at a middle ground that I've been pretty happy with.

One of the more interesting features in Material is the ability to easily set the z-axis height of elements. This amused me way too much, and I got somewhat carried away with that. I basically ended up with a flat design of many layers... which means it isn't flat at all.

I've calmed things down a bit. A lot of it is subtle stuff most people will never notice, but I went through the whole front-end code base removing most of the height elements. Now the site is much flatter, but still retains some height to distinguish and delineate elements.

Low-Carb Cookies

I've repeatedly heard requests to make the site keep people logged in. This is a good idea and I'm trying to achieve that without using cookies. There are a lot of privacy and security concerns with cookies that I just don't want to have to deal with. Instead the site uses Sessions; which are like cookies without tracking you on other sites, nor any of the other things people hate cookies for.

In my local testing I think I have the Sessions storing properly to keep you logged in, but this is really hard to test without real world conditions. If you notice the site isn't keeping you logged in, then please let me know what device, browser, and the type of Internet connection you're experiencing this from. I'll continue to tweak it until it works, or abandon it for cookies if I can't make it happen.

Up Next:

With the "easy" stuff out of the way, I'm now focusing on Preset uploads! I'm still on schedule and hope to have those live for the site's 6th Anniversary around late August.

Here is a quick video I did to show off the new List View features.

Let's Play with Mood

I jump at all apeSoft apps, but I was especially excited to try out Mood. I was in as soon as I heard the Moog Model D style synthesis, but what I've spent most of my time playing with is the extra added bonuses apeSoft has added to the formula. Both Granular and FM synthesis are available in a nice tight package, and all running right next to the classic Subtractive synthesis. I play the hell out of it in this Let's Play!

Contest: I have 2 copies of Mood to give away! This article is a contest post. Since this is also a Patron Timed Exclusive, I'll wait to close the contest on Saturday morning so everyone will be able to see it and enter Friday. Patrons can comment here to join the contest early, but that does not increase your chances to win.

Contest closed! Congratulations to Charlie, and deezign!

Video Description:

Mood is a re-imaging of the classic Moog Model D. Rather than emulating the original hardware faithfully, this takes things much further! In this Let's Play I'm exploring both the standard and non-standard features of the app. If you enjoyed this please consider supporting this series by sponsoring them on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/discchord If you'd prefer to help on a monthly basis, instead of per video, there is a new monthly Patreon campaign: https://www.patreon.com/discchord_com

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