September 15, 2005

How to become a knob-twisting degenerate

These past few days I've been working on a grant application, which is often tedious work (e.g., trying to come up with cohesive answers to questions like "what are your career goals?" in 50 words or less). So what does one do when engaged in something tedious? Find a diversion! Here it is:

Yes, it's a rip-off MPC, the popularity of which I honestly did not understand until I was at a Guitar Center recently and realized why they're so ubiquitous: you just mash on the damn thing. It's like drumming on your desk with your fingers, except instead of sounding like wood, it sounds like... whatever you want it to. Welcome to the wonderful world of sampling! Also, it takes no special talent or knowledge whatsoever because, and excuse my non-PC-ness, it's fucking retarded.

I love it.

Well of course this thing, which I didn't think was going to arrive at my place for another few days ("this thing" being the M-Audio Trigger Finger, which is approximately 1/10th the cost of a real, sampling MPC) shows up the day before the grant application deadline. No human being in this world possesses the superpowers necessary to resist a shiny new toy when there is important work to be done. So there it is, sitting in a box next to me, as I sit there trying to explain to a committee of people why they should give me money. For a short while I managed to avoid it, not unlike the Bush administration manages to avoid accountability, but as soon as writer's block set in... Out the thing came, like a replacement FEMA head.

And of course it didn't work. After a half hour of messing with the shiny, slightly-too-plasticky device, I finally got it working with the computer (for non-Asians, it'd probably take at least an hour). And when I finally did? There's a delay between when you hit the pad and when the drum sounds! Useless! Like an Arabian Horse Association commissioner put in charge of a life-and-death federal agency responsible for managing national emergencies!

Further investigation has revealed that I have to actually buy a sound card in order to avoid this delay.

Maybe I should ask for more money.

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