Retirement Diary #2

So that happened.

I’ve been trying a few things. Some of you may know I planned to take piano lessons. That lasted about as long as it took to remember why I hated them the last time.

BUT I never planned to get good at playing piano. It was to help me put music theory into practice… something I realized I could do with a couple of classes I’d picked up on Udemy to fit in with my preferred work mode… Using a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation – more on that in a minute).

First down is Beatmaking for Beginners, which I just finished. It says the course is 1.5 hours. That doesn’t include pausing it to take notes, play testing the demonstration, fixing errors in my play testing, experimenting with variations. Experimenting with variations is what made me like writing code. Figuring out not just the different ways I could do it, but ways I could customize something and add my own special touch to it. So figure it took me closer to 10 hours, but I had fun. He does the whole course using LMMS, which is an open source DAW created for Linux but ported to Windows and Mac too. It’s not the fanciest or most polished DAW out there, but it’s quick to pick up and you’re able to create a full song in it.

Next up is Music Theory for Electronic Music, by Jason Allen, PhD. He’s got other music theory courses that are pretty good, but they all rely on a piano. This one is done in a DAW. He uses Ableton Live, which isn’t free, but does have a 30-day free trial and I have a license for the Lite version that came with a keyboard, so I can follow along in Ableton or I can follow along and convert what he does to FL Studio. I bought myself the top of the line version years ago on a Black Friday sale to try to kick myself in the butt to start doing this. Didn’t work… the kick in the butt, that is; FL Studio works fine.

I’ll probably do this in FL studio since I have to train myself on something.

Speaking of training myself on something…

The other courses are all coming along. Basically the music theory class is replacing the piano class. I’m about 20% of the way into the Inkscape course and over halfway through the Blender course. I’m planning to pound on those two this weekend, hopefully getting close to done with Blender and over 50% through Inkscape.

I’m also loving taking notes for the classes with Obsidian. It’s about as close to the note taking app I would build for myself as an app has gotten. I’ve finally put OneNote in the rear view, though I’ll need to import some notes from OneNote to Obsidian.

Speaking of training…

I’ve finally taken the Sound Transit light rail. I took it into Seattle twice in the past two weeks so I could go to my club and have lunch. Getting into town once a week is helping me reconnect with old friends I haven’t seen in person since pre-COVID and my club has a nice co-working space, so it lets me head in for meetings and have a home base for the day. Here’s my view from the co-working space last week.

That’s where we are folks. More news to come.

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