NS Newsletter 012: 4 May 2002

[this issue]

[long time no news]

it's been a busy last few months... hmm, that sounds suspiciously familiar. a lot has changed at namesuppressed since the last newsletter, so here's a brief rundown if you're interested.

namesuppressed's range of software has diversified again. besides the scripts and cool edit plugins i've released previously, namesuppressed now also has a range of photoshop plugins. so far, they are proving to be successful and are gathering attention in press & magazines worldwide. their introduction won't affect the strong commitment i have to my music, rather it confirms that software is also core to what i create under the namesuppressed banner.

the other major change is that namesuppressed is no longer a part-time hobby, it's a full time business. after a nasty experience working for a demanding and unethical software team leader last year, i decided i'd had enough. the experience showed i wouldn't tolerate working for a company that didn't care about ethics, or the spirit and individuality of its employees. so rather than complain for the rest of my life, i'm trying to create the alternative by establishing my own business, and running it according to my values.

that pretty much brings you up to speed on what's been happening around namesuppressed way - onto this month's news.

[softener photoshop plugin update]

softener, namesuppressed's soft focus plugin for adobe photoshop, is now at version 1.11. since the last newsletter, softener has been updated to support presets (you can load and save your own), improved image quality on transparent layers, and installing softener is easier with the brand new installer program. it can also remember your settings on newer plugin hosts (such as paint shop pro 7).

version 1.11 fixes a small bug in the uninstaller that caused it not to work when run from the start menu (running it from the add/remove programs menu still worked fine).

[brand new studio diary]

the big secret of the last 5 months is finally unveiled... i've been keeping an online "studio diary" about my music, my inspirations and my thoughts on the music scene, and now it's ready for release.

the best part is you can add your own comments to the diaries, whether you want to ask me a question, give an alternate opinion, criticise or praise... whatever you like.

the diary is still finding its feet, and i'd like to know what you want to read. want to know the inspiration for the songs? more personal entries? more opinions on the world and music? or is talk of studio kit and songwriting tips just what you're after? email your suggestions or add them as comments to the diary entries.

i've listed some highlight entries to get you started: take a break, quality. enjoy.

[kenny's dead! or is he?]

namesuppressed's kenny translator is back after a one week hiatus. it was temporarily offline after a cascade of calamities, the most damaging of which was a *massive* jump in downloads from the namesuppressed site (up 800% in the space of just 24 hours).

the download spike was traced back to a warez community (a website dedicated to the copying and "cracking" of commercial software) that had published an unlocking code for namesuppressed's softener plugin. the site was also using the kenny translator to obscure passwords and urls to their "cracked" software. downloads via their site caused namesuppressed to get close to its bandwidth limits, risking high fees.

while it was offline, the kenny translator was replaced with a message (written at 4am) asking for people at the warez site to stop their downloads. of course, anything you write at 4am is bound to have a certain "character", and my poorly chosen words sparked much debate on the kenny forum.

kenny is now back online, and there are plans to add more pages to the site. i'm also hoping to make the kenny translator available under the open-source lgpl license, so hopefully you'll soon see kenny for every computer system imaginable. still waiting for a commodore 64 version....

[gear review: rbc voice tweaker]

i promised last newsletter to take a closer look at the rbc voice tweaker pro, an audio effect plugin that i helped to beta test. vtpro is a directx plugin that automatically corrects the pitch of monophonic recordings.

its main competitor is autotune, which is used in top recording studios around the world. even though vtpro is just a fraction of the price of autotune ($59 as compared to $269), it does a better job. i tried using vtpro and autotune to tune a vocal melody to a single, monotone note. vtpro handled the task perfectly, whereas autotune was confused and jumped randomly between octaves. vtpro can also be used for special effects, such as changing a male vocal into a female one, whereas autotune is limited to pitch correction only.

my verdict: the voice tweaker is a great plugin, essential for any project studio and anyone recording vocals on their computer.

i've been playing with lots of other studio gear lately, and you can read more of my studio gear reviews in the studio diary.

[p3p privacy compliance]

namesuppressed is proud to have created one of the world's first p3p 1.0 compliant websites, and to be listed as such by the w3c (world wide web consortium). p3p is a new privacy standard for websites, announced by the w3c on the 16th april 2002.

what does all that mean to you? increased privacy. if you have a p3p compliant browser (like ie 6.0), you can tell your browser the level of privacy you demand from a website. if that site doesn't match with your demands (and is p3p compliant), the browser will warn you.

namesuppressed is always refining and improving its privacy practice & policies. if you have a suggestion or a concern, please send email. love to hear from you.

[your comments]

the changes at namesuppressed have also meant changes in the format of this newsletter. i'd like your feedback - does this style suit you? are the sections too long? what suggestions do you have to improve it? i'll take all your advice into consideration.

meanwhile, here's what fans and the press have had to say recently about namesuppressed's music and software:

"I'm currently listening to your CD demo, I REALLY liked a lot of it. Talentless and Antisocialite were pretty cool... Getdown was pretty spiffy, I especially liked how it changed about a 1 minute and 35 seconds into it..."

the shareware download site "the file transit" rated softener 5 out of a maximum 5 stars.

[signing off]

new songs, new cds, it seemingly never ends and seemingly never eventuates. there's at least three new songs in the works, and on the plugin side i'm updating autochromatic and autointerlace before starting something fresh (can't wait).

but before then, it's time i finished the website for a rather nifty band that emerged from cambridge in the uk... keep an ear out for 2liar, like a beautifully depressed sunday, alone in the asylum. very massive attack / radiohead. stay tuned.

.strawberry wounds.

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