DJ Warehouse Fail!

So I went to DJ Warehouse today, let me start by saying that the experience was not pleasant. I went there to get some road cases for my SL1200’s, which I had been shopping around for, for sometime. I found that DJ Warehouse had the best price on these type of cases, but, unfortunately the cheap price reflected the cheap service.

Now, generally I buy this kind of thing online and I have it shipped to me so I don’t have to deal with the dosh bags in the store, but when I discovered that these guys had cases at a good price and the shipping costs where extortionate I decided that I would go pick them up myself since the store is local to me in Sydney. It started last week when I rang the store and I spoke to ‘Jayson’, I asked the guy twice and I wrote the name down. When I rang them today I asked for Jayson and I was told that Jayson only works in the warehouse and ‘No, he never works on the front counter, you must be mistaken’

‘oh god, ok whatever, what is your name ?…’

‘Olivier’ he said

‘OK cool I’ll be there shortly’, in other words I was saying, ‘Get my shit ready I will come and get it and get out of your hair real quick!’. But this was never going to be the case.

First, when I get there, there is some cretin crapping on to the sales dude, who I assumed was ‘Oliver’. He was crapping on for about 20 minutes talking about shit which I am sure he knew nothing about and which I am sure that Oliver knew equally nothing about! Why do this? Before even stepping foot in a store like this you should be well armed and understand exactly what you are about the fork out cash for, never trust a salesman! There is so much stuff on the net these days that the salesman has become almost irrelevant, along with the store itself. The only value I see in a store is to act as a warehouse to store good that you may need to get on a whim or in an emergency…. anyway.

I just wanted to get my cases and go, but it continues. Oliver then suddenly asked me to pay, I said ‘Can I look at the cases ?’

”They are out the back’, he says

‘Oh really what do they look like ?’

‘Blah, blah, blah, they look like the ones on the website’

‘ok fine whatever, here’s my card…’

He then proceeds to bill me and print an invoice, but, there is no paper in the printer!! Arrrg, while he is trying to get the printer sorted out the phone rings, twice! Then after 10 minutes of searching he decides that there is no paper and rings the warehouse to ask if he can email the order to them… ummm… why don’t you just do that all the time!?!?!  Anyway, whatever, I think to myself.

So finally I head out to the warehouse to pickup my order, where low-and-behold, I meet a guy called Jayson! He also screwed around… couldn’t find the cases and when he did find them one of them had scratches on, which to be honest I was not that worried about. Finally I get these things and tried them out in the studio, they are good, pretty happy in the long run but it was a long painful process. It’s this kind of experience that has really put me off going to shops, if the retail sector is serious about keeping customers then they need to sharpen up their game and stop being so full of themselves!

 

 

Positiva, another Dj Mix for ya!

A new DJ mix for you today. This one is a celebration of the record label ‘Positiva‘, arguably one of the most influentual record labels of the 1990’s. From dance, house and trance this label had plenty of hits, and misses! Artists such as, Hyper Go-Go, Dj Quicksliver, Deepdish and Fragma are just a few of the sensational line up that has had hit tunes on Positiva. Mixed on 21st November 2012, and you can download the mp3 from HERE. Enjoy….

 

 

Focusrite and Windows 8 No Go!

THIS is bullshit.  Manufacturers of hardware have had months and months to get Windows 8 drivers for their products sorted out. I am a proud owner of a Focusrite Saffire Pro 24DSP, it has been my workhorse for around 2 years now, I had to buy it when my last card, an EDIROL DA-2496 was passed by for 64bit drivers when I went to Windows 7, now there exists the potential for the same to happen again with my new-ish Focusrite! I can only hope that they will get their act together and develop a driver and save me from throwing yet another piece of hardware in the bin!

Great ad, technical fail.

I’ve seen this ad once on TV. I love it, great tune and cleverly down using a turntable. But there is one big problem, the turntable is spinning the wrong way! I suppose that if you want to lick the record with your tough like this then it has to spin this way, only a minor problem!



Studio Session

Over the weekend I got to work in another studio. When I say studio I just mean a small room with some instruments in it, it really was just a practice studio. But these days you can really make a studio wherever you have a laptop and a soundcard. This room was cool I suppose, fairly well sound proofed and lots of instruments just lying around, including a Roland XP-80 and an X-Station 25… which I made use of. There where also many, many other pieces of old gear lying around including a big pile of jumbled cables and a drum kit with heads that where way to lose and gave me a headache!

Supporting Sala Bai

As part of my business, I’m helping these guys out tonight at a charity wine auction. I was asked to put together a DVD containing some video that was shot around the homes of the Sala Bai students, there are also some stills and thank you slides amongst it all, the package has come out quite well and both the client and I are very happy with it. The vision will be used for a presentation and talk that will be given by one of the stakeholders of the school. The event will be held at the Manly Quarantine Station, which is a really nice location. It should be a fun night, and all for a good cause!

‘Party Of The Decade’, it’s a banging house mix!

Another new house mix for you to pump! This is more-or-less the set I played on the weekend at my mates birthday party, there are a few tracks at the end that I changed because I wanted to have more recent tracks. No gimiks, themes or fancy pants stuff with this mix, just the best tracks that are around at the moment… enjoy… and as always you can download the mp3 HERE

Video Conferencing to Alaska!

Some of you may have noticed this photo on my Facebook stream earlier in the day. It’s a shot of the production setup for a video conferencing shoot that I was working on through my business. I have been working with the New South Wales Department of Education to deliver video conferences into schools around the state and overseas, of-course I am the sound tech. This is a very challenging job, because the sound is not straight forward. At a shoot like this I am expected to keep track of the front of house levels and levels to at least three other Aux’s, I need to monitor them all myself and make sure that there is no feedback at front of house. The feeds are all different and I have to be careful not so send the output of the Video Conferencing codec back into itself, which would cause serious feedback to the listeners on the far end. But the most challenging thing is the unknowns at the remote end, often they are school teachers with little technical knowledge and many of the setups are different, which means the sound feeds are usually all very different and I have to compensate with compression and clever fader movements. This is the second job like this I have done with them and there are still a few glitches to iron out, it’s close, but still a few things to sort out before we get it 100% right….. I love a challenge like this.

What The Hell Is a Shellac Record?

A client rang me last week and asked if I could convert a few records onto a CD for her, sure I said, sounds easy! Wrong!!! What she brought me was a couple of Shellac records from the 1930’s. Shellac is a resin that is used to coat a substrate, either ceramic or aluminium. The Shellac is very soft and can be cut very easily to form the groove for playback, but the problem is that it has a limited shelf life and after a time if it is not stored properly the Shellac will chip and flake. That is exactly what has happened to these records. The other problem is that Shellac cannot be cleaned using conventinal Ethonal based cleaners, since the Shellac will dissolve to make liquid Shellac which is not much good for playing back music! Take a look at the picture and you will see what I am dealing with. One of the records will play, although it does have signs of some cracks starting, but the other record has major damage and cracking. I will be able to play some parts of it but I will have to stick it all back together in Wavelab and do some serious de-crackling and de-poping, thankfully it is just a simple voice recording so I should be able to get real aggressive with the settings. Will keep you posted…

Steve Reaver On Discogs

Turns out I have a Discogs artist page, trouble is that across all the releases that I have had my artist name was never consistent. Sometime it was just ‘Reaver‘ sometimes ‘DJ Reaver‘ and more recently ‘Steve Reaver‘, my real name is even used on one of them… But I’ll leave that to you to figure out. This means that not everything is listed in the one place, and to make things more confussing there seems to be another artists called ‘DJ Reaver‘… guess I’ll have to get in and fix it all up…. I’ve also been using Discogs to catalog my record collection, I have a system where-by as I convert each record to mp3 I add it to my collection in Discogs, and  I add to the meta data of the mp3 the link to the release details. Iit’s great because I can have all the records details at my finger tips as I play or use the mp3….. ahhh the interwebs, how I love you!