WWDC 2020 Round-Up

The World Wide Developer Conference is an important part of Apple's cult. The keynote serves as sermon to their most faithful followers. A little thing like the apocalypse isn't going to make Apple miss this important occasion in their annual liturgy. Not even when they have absolutely nothing to show off.

Not even a new Apple Watch

I'm amazed by the breathless coverage that has come out of this event. It really is a testament to Apple's marketing department. They showed nothing. It was an hour and a half of nothing. Not even a new Apple Watch. Yet somehow the zealots are in rapturous ecstasy today.

iOS 14: Now with more Google Features!

The only things they did show coming in iOS 14 are features you've already had on iOS devices for many many years, thanks to Google Translate and Google Maps!

macOS on ARM... but not your ARM.

The one piece of news that did come out of the one hour and thirty-seven minute presentation was that macOS can now run on ARM chips. Learned readers will note that the iPad and iPhone run ARM chips, so surely this means that macOS can run on iPad Pros now right? Right? Nope.

I've wanted macOS on an iPad since the iPad 1, but instead Apple have decided to go the other way with this. Soon you will be able to play shitty mobile games on your Mac. Now people will finally have to stop making fun of macOS for not having any games. Apple are doubling-down on this, as they further announced that they will be moving away from Intel-based Macs over the next few years.

Apple claim that there are performance improvements in their desktop ARM, over conventional Intel chips. While this is a possibility, it seems like an improbability. Designing CPUs at the modern nanoscale we're at now is non-trivial. Intel are inside of everyone's PCs and servers, because Intel are the only ones really good at it. Okay, fine, AMD does alright too. Intel and AMD are the full list of companies that have demonstrated an ability to produce top-tier chips. While a lot of progress has been made in ARM space, I'd be dubious of any claims that they are matching even AMD's performance. Claims that they are beating Intel are asinine.

There are a lot of knock-on effects from switching CPU architecture. Will you be able to get an NVIDIA GPU in your new Mac? If not, you're fucked if you want to edit video in Adobe Premiere without CUDA cores. Now buying a Mac for the family could have a lot of potential unforeseen consequences. Perhaps your daughter will fall behind in her programming classes because she can't do Machine Learning at the speed she could on an Intel/NVIDIA PC. Now she can't get a decent job, because all the other kids with Intel-based PCs automated hers away. She tries to self-medicate through the depression and degradation of her situation, but becomes a drug addict. All because you picked a Mac.

Racism in the 21st Century

I've been avoiding posting anything about the riots in America. This turns out to be quite easy, because this is a music app blog. I don't want to post something that feels like I'm just interjecting my hollow support for a popular cause that I'm bandwagoning on. Now I'm beginning to feel like by not posting something, I'm somehow demonstrating opposition to the movement.

Racism is really fucking dumb. I shouldn't have to say that in the 21st Century, and I'm disappointed that I find myself in a position where I feel that I have to. I grew up in the melting-pot of Northern California suburbia, watching Webster and wearing knock-off MC Hammer parachute pants. I honestly grew up thinking racism was one of those things that was solved before I was even born, like Polio. But, like Polio, there seem to be an awful lot of people who want to bring it back.

So here is my formal declaration that I am in opposition to racism. And Polio. If you're a racist, think about how stupid anti-vaxxers look. If you're an anti-vaxxer, think about how stupid racists look. If you're a racist anti-vaxxer you win the prize! You get to eat the whole bag of dicks!

Unfortunately I don't think we're going to see anything positive come out of any of this. Just as with the protests in Hong Kong, or Occupy Wall Street, the bureaucracy we are opposing is simply too endemic. Systemic racism is as much a part of America as McDonald's. In fact, it is institutions like McDonald's that will continue to perpetuate racism under the banner of capitalism. Employers need cheap labor, and corporate prisons need bodies. Systemic racism ensures that both needs are met, and corporations can fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities to investors. If you want to change that, then we're talking about an entirely different kind of revolution than the one we're seeing today.

Dr. Cornell West gave a very heart-felt interview that discusses the problem. The professor points out that "Black Lives Matter" arose at a time when the United States had a Black President, and a Black Attorney General. Yet there was nothing done for African Americans. Democracy is a farce. If you expect the majority to uphold the rights of the minority you haven't been paying attention. You should have voted for me.

Let's Play with BLEASS αlpha

I've been playing with BLEASS alpha for while now and just realized that I hadn't done a Let's Play for it. I've corrected this omission with a lengthy exploration of the app. I felt confident enough in my knowledge of the app to go into this one without pre-planning, and I like the results. This is a different kind of Let's Play where I'm just allowing myself to get lost in the sound design process, and having fun jumping around through the app to make it do interesting stuff. I linger in the my happy-weird-place longer than I usually let myself in a Let's Play.

This is my response to the recent popularity of live streaming videos. I personally think live streams are a bit of a mess, so I'm trying to capture that spontaneity in a tighter package. I'm very open to feedback about this approach, and my execution here.

Video Description:

BLEASS has been producing a bunch of fun, feature packed, AUv3 effects and now they've brought us BLEASS alpha. This is a powerful synth! I'm having so much fun in this video but it runs long! This isn't a "tutorial" where I'm telling you how to do a thing, this is my sound design process of trying to create a thing. I love the end result!

If you've enjoyed this series please consider supporting it 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 Or you can support me on Timmeon if you don't like Patreon: https://discchord.com/supporters#timmeon (Patrons of these campaigns get the same benefits, including Ad Free viewing on the site!)

Kraftwerk Co-Founder Florian Schneider Dead at 73

The music technology pioneer Florian Schneider passed away just after his 73rd birthday, following a short battle with cancer. Together with co-founder Ralf Hütter they formed one of the most significant music acts of the past 50 years. Kraftwerk provided an important cultural touchstone during a trying and divisive period of history, bridging gaps across the world in their fan base. In a time when popular media used "German" as shorthand for "bad guy" it was difficult to embrace my own German heritage. Kraftwerk was one of the very few connections I had growing up.

They have also inspired generations of musicians. While my own music bares little resemblance to theirs, it owes everything to their technical pursuits. Florian was a big part of that. He pushed the band to explore new territory through technology, and held several patents; including their classic Robovox vocal processor.

Many modern musicians who've never heard Florian's name owe him a debt of gratitude. On their behalf:
Vielen Dank, Herr Roboter.

Let's Play with Ting & Rozeta

Field recording household objects has been something I've thought about doing for decades. It's probably something every musician thinks about at some point. I've never taken the time to do it, and I'll bet there are many who can say the same. Klevgränd saves us all a lot of trouble by making the dream happen for us!

Video Description:

Klevgränd brings us a unique percussion instrument that lets you play with household items like a drum machine. I'm using Rozeta's many interesting sequencer plugins to make it all sound lively!

If you've enjoyed this series please consider supporting it 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 Or you can support me on Timmeon if you don't like Patreon: https://discchord.com/supporters#timmeon (Patrons of these campaigns get the same benefits, including Ad Free viewing on the site!)

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