Wednesday, November 04, 2020

So much cleanup to do.

 I like Aurora.

Aurora concert.

Black and gold engravable acrylic.

The MFOS Voltage quantizer. I tried pricing out the parts and it was about a hundred bucks. And there aren't any kits available. And apparently it really wants .1% tolerance resistors. A whole bunch of 'em.

There is group video calling on Skype. 

Lament progression. I VII VI V. You know. Dido's Lament. Purcell. 

Micachu is kinda interesting. Atonal pop music. And some scoring. 

Consumer Reports likes Icelandic Provisions Vanilla Skyr.

Murray Gold composed a bunch of stuff including the new Dr. Who.

Laser engravable aluminum plates.

I don't know that I ever was able to read those inversion markings under the bass. I certainly can't now. Dido's Lament arrangement in .pdf.

A video on the accuracy of the costumes in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Things to know.

 How this does, and does not, apply to video games.

One might reasonably presume that dramatic "moments" do not occur in video games as such. 

The direct analogy for a dramatic "movie" in a videogame is, of course, the "cutscene." Outside of the cutscene, however, the player controls the moments in well-designed and well-written music in a videogame. 

Moments in the game, which is typically attached to the player entering into a specific physical area of the game, can be revelatory in a story sense (seeing the "Big Bad" for the first time) or in an emotional sense (discovering the entrance to the golden cave), or even in formative (you can ride whales here.)

A post-sound workflow.

Sometimes you need just a white, black, or blue screen. Whitedisplay. I'm not proud. I've used it as fill light.

Streamyard is a multiple participant video-production software which you can use for webcasts and panels and such. 

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Maybe I AM a Robot

How to write a detective story. I've been reading a lot of posts about how to write stories and the one big thing is to add an antagonist, which honestly I hadn't thought of for a detective story. RIMS is a risk-management "society." They have podcasts. PRMIA is another one. Beechwood Cafe in Jersey City. Sennheiser HD 800's. Man, this post is starting to look like a 'bot wrote it. The Production Bot is a box with some SDI ins and out, it can record to internal hard drives and runs on Windows 10. Outlining with index cards.

Hypatia of Alexandra

The Shadow calculator. I'm not entirely sure how to really use it. But for the shoot next week it seems like we'll be in sunlight all day. I should remember to bring a hat. Astra light panels. Adobe is making things which might automatically take out "um's" and such. Well, at least find them all for you. The Eight Sequence Method of writing a screenplay. 

Monday, September 14, 2020

Nigh on the Ides of September


The Microsoft Lifechat headset.

Montclair Radiology patient portal.

Locking female 3.5mm to regular 3.5mm male connector.

The crime: there are three IAs who control the city. Each has it's own weaponry.

The White Queen controls the SUZI security android force.

The Medusa has an army of killbots -- floating little poison-infected things that can key onto an individual's biology.

Amaryllis controls nanobiotechnology. That's used for both medical and security purposes. 

Robots have certain other powers. They can see into the future. Some see better than others. The ones who see all the paths are called Cassandras. The Cassandras were all but wiped out in the wars between the Warlord AI's, before the truce and peace of The Triad. Their manufacturing plants were shut down and all the humans involved with creating them were exiled or terminated. 

Amaryllis, a powerful AI who is worshipped as a god, has died. But the only people who know this are The Medusa and The White Queen. This could permanently upset the balance of power in the city. 

The Cassandra is dead. The Cassandra was supposedly killed by the White Queen because the Cassandra knew of the Trojan Horse the White Queen had planted in Amaryllis and had warned Amaryllis (who ignored her.) 

Except both the White Queen and the Medusa know a Cassandra is very hard to kill. 

The Medusa believes that a hunt for the Cassandra's killer, will reveal the Cassandra herself -- putting her into grave danger before she can advise the Medusa on how to prevent it's OWN death. The White Queen believes that putting Logan on the hunt for the Cassandra will give the White Queen another opportunity to murder the Cassandra, leaving her free to take over the city with the Amaryllis nanobots. 

When Logan finds the real Cassandra, the two of them race across town to the Amaryllis Castle, only to discover the god has perished. 

Although seemingl

Saturday, September 05, 2020

It was the Panda

OBS Studio can emulate a web camera so that you can use it with Zoom and suchwise. You need OBS virtualcam. (A Mac version is here.)

Mi electric scooter

Izotope academic policy.

Using .srt to After Effects plugin from Digital Anarchy


The scooter is six hundred bucks. I may be too overweight for it.
I don't know. But I've been told. Marketing an indy video game with no money.

Friday, September 04, 2020


If you have your captions in Word and you copy-paste them into a Notepad document, make sure that when you save you use UTF, not ANSI encoding, if you want to maintain Chinese characters.

My kitchen isn't even this clean right now.

Digital Anarchy's After Effects SRT Importer Script. If you need to format captions (which I way do) it's kind of a life-saver.


 Title safe nowadays

QLab on Zoom.

R0DE made a video on using lavalier microphones that's pretty good.

Saturday, August 29, 2020


 Standdesk collapsed. I'd put wheels on it more than a year ago. I can't find the instructions for the wheels but they seem to all be stripped. I mean, they're loose -- and I can't imagine I put them in that way originally. But in any case, I went to move the desk and it fell off a wheel and then went gerblonk.

This makes me just want to lie down and sleep for a while.

No cats were harmed. I'd actually grabbed onto the desk as it was collapsing and I moved a lot a lot a lot of stuff off of it with one hand while holding it up with the other. That why there isn't, for instance, a smashed monitor or speakers on the floor. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Let the Darkness In

Christa Kimlicko Jones as Dr. Ellen K. Henderson in Richard Byrnes' Let the Darkness In. This was shot entirely remotely, it's a "Zoom play." But we set up a second camera (a Panasonic GH4) and separate audio (a Zoom -- not the same company as the teleconferencing app -- F1 with a Sanken COS11). Laura Schlachtmeyer produced, I "directed" (more like a TV director, with Richard having worked with Christa beforehand and Laura as always having the best notes and adjustments.)

The lighting was all Christa's practical lights except for a ring light she has.

Christa really knocked this out of the park. There are two camera angles -- the actual Zoom call and the GH4 but this is all one performance (take 4.)

Sunday, August 23, 2020


 I'm working on a short with Richard Byrne and Laura Schlachtmeyer. Little do they know this is part of my PhD journey.

Here are Laura's notes. Followed by Richard's notes in all caps. The "You know, more yellow" is an old joke.

1. Title can be shorter than 10 seconds
2. Opening music could be more tension, excitement, nerves, less ominous and more busy. You know, more yellow. 
3. Can the second bubble at the beginning say "You have a new message" instead of "voicemail"? (Maybe that fits in the bubble better anyway)
4. Can the last bubble at the end say "Disconnecting" instead of "Good Bye"?

1. Title can be shorter than 10 seconds (I AGREE; MUCH.) 
2. Opening music could be more tension, excitement, nerves, less ominous and more busy. You know, more yellow. (BUZZY? AGITATED? FIZZY?) 
3. Can the second bubble at the beginning say "You have a new message" instead of "voicemail"? (Maybe that fits in the bubble better anyway) (YES)
4. Can the last bubble at the end say "Disconnecting" instead of "Good Bye"? (YES)

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Your things for today


TDR Kotelnikov GE

It's a kind of cool compressor which seems to get a goodly amount of attention from classical engineers, which is cool.

The Star Wars Original Radio Drama

Use a wizard to create a Gantt Chart. Only works in Project.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Remote Production

 Today we're attempting a remote production of a short film written by Richard Byrne. 

Romulus is the catmer operator.

I dragged a microphone and a GH4 to Christa Kimlicko-Jones' in fabulous Sunnyside today. We are partly on Zoom, partly with the Panasonic. We'll find out if we can cut back-and-forth. 

Romulus pulling focus.

Photos by Christa, of course, because we're not there.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Crane Control 

1 cup white, granulated sugar (can reduce to 3/4 cup)
1 cup water (for the simple syrup)
1 cup lemon juice
2 to 3 cups cold water (to dilute)

The Tokyo Dawn Labs Kotelnikov limiter. 

Ink beds. Next time we need a space bed.

Saturday, August 08, 2020


 The latest Scampr beta.

The link will only work for a few months.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

That which

The water's translucence amuses me.

Oof. The new Blogger interface makes it hard to see where the cursor is. And you can't tell if the images you post are "original size" or just some arbitrary Blogger size. Bleh. 

Tegeler makes some very interesting compressors and EQ's. 

Sound Skulptor makes an interesting 500-series kit for an SSL-style compressor. 

I actually own Camtasia, but it is a bit annoying. There are other options. Free Cam. And even the free, built-in screen recorder in Windows 10. Depends on what you're up to. 

All I've done during the pandemic is gain weight. I haven't gotten better at guitar. I haven't gotten into shape or written a screenplay. 

Dungeons of Chaos. I understand you can be killed by rabbits. Video game. 

It works like this:


4 h 35 m10 servings145 


Add a notePrint
  1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled.
  2. Remove seeds from lemon juice, but leave pulp. In pitcher, stir together chilled syrup, lemon juice and remaining 7 cups water.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 145 calories;  38.2  0.1   

I don't really have a way to measure of "cup" of anything. I should get one of those Pyrex things. I know, I'm such a single man. It's interesting to me that you make the syrup separately. And that you use more sugar than water to make that syrup. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Monday, July 20, 2020


For me, it's easier to just put everything into one blog. So I've stopped posting to the Tyrannosaurus Mouse blog, and to the Pandora Machine blog, and to the Puppies and Toast blog, and I'm putting all my nonsense here where I started -- the Pleasure for the Empire blog.

Why? Well. Yes. Why. I have no idea.

Winston, with Meydl in background.
Part of it is that I don't know whether some things belong under "music" or "film." Like, for instance, video games. Or my PhD that I'm working on, which is music in film.

Anyway, all my incoherence will be here now.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Some Things

I guess I should be happy they're continuing the develop Blogger's user interface. 
This is still hilarious.
EndeavorRX is the first prescription video game for ADHD.

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture is an art videogame.

The First Tree is even moreso. 

Cava is a place I ate at once. In the before times. 

Zed Bennet is an animator, specializes in rigging. 

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Narwal Impedance
Audio Movers is a plugin you can use to send audio over the Internets in just a bit past real-time.

Synchro Arts Vocalign.


Space Sounds.

How to get Microsoft Office 365 for free.

APA style. And more on formatting.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Scampr Runthrough 2020 05 19 20 20 25

Here's 30 minutes of me running through my video game, Scampr.
I'm gonna admit something: I don't even know how to end the game. I think the mechanics are in there. I know I wrote music for the cinematic. But I have to find out from the developer.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Brian Schiavo's new movie

I think the working title was Demon Nun. The artwork is pretty fantastic.

A Piece of Paper

I got my diploma.
Andrew Bellware, M.A.

Now I have a Master of Arts from the University of Chichester where I graduated with merit.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Drew's story about the movie Wolfen

Drew's story about the movie Wolfen. My dad made handrails. Technically the field was "architectural metals". But mostly that meant handrails. It was '79 or so that he got a strange call to bid on a movie. They needed a big, curved rail for an apartment set for the movie Wolfen. My dad thought "Well Andrew likes movies" and he came in with a low bid on the handrail. I was a freshman in high school at the time. I THINK he may have taken me out of school one day to go up to the set, in any case I certainly went with him. They were shooting at Kaufman Astoria. It may have had another name at the time. But let me tell you. That. Soundstage. Is. Enormous. I have seen some serious construction sites in my time, but that place was and is Huge. Sure. I'm 12 or 13 and trying to play it cool. But it was really amazing. Now my memory here gets fuzzy. We met the director (Michael Wadleigh) or maybe it was the Cinematographer (Gerry Fisher.) But we really did meet one of the big-wigs (production hadn't started yet.) And I remember he did the whole thing with the scarf and the pipe and looked the part. (I could have sworn we met the director, but looking at pictures of the guy now I'm not too sure. I'm gonna say we met Wadleigh and he had a scarf and a hat and a pipe.) He talked all about this new wolf POV look they were doing. To us. Some guy making the rail and his son. This was all during pre-production, obviously, and they had what was and is to me and infinite budget. If I hadn't mentioned it, those studios in Astoria are enormous. Now I didn't work on that at all. I mean, I was in high school. But there were funny stories about iron workers getting lost at Astoria and finding themselves in these rooms filled with body parts and gore. We saw the movie in a drive-in. If you didn't comprehend just how old I am and just how long ago this all was, we saw it in a drive-in. A drive-in. In New Jersey. The question that is on your mind is "Can we see Drew's dad's handrails in the movie Wolfen?" And the answer is yes, you can.
My dad's handrails.
TL;DR: my dad under-bid on a railing project once so I could go visit a movie set and it was pretty cool.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Glimpse of the New

Glimpse is the new GIMP.

Pixel artist waneella.

Red Giant has made their Complete collection free for students and teachers.

A 3D-printable mask. I don't how how great it is really. More washable, or at least more washable quickly.
Here's a mask head harness, which is less annoying to the ears. You can print on PLA but you need to bend it while it's warm. I think you can warm it with hot water too.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Distance learning

Having just completed one online degree, and having started another, here is a arbitrary list of things I know or think.

Lots of people used for one-on-one meetings with students, but the people who used to be "" lost the domain. They're now The free version only allows you to share with 4 "participants."

Skype is, as always, the default for so-called "1-2-1" meetings.

Zoom allows up to 100 "participants" for free, but the meetings are done after 40 minutes. That might be a feature, not a bug.
And there's also Google Hangouts.

There are dedicated distance-learning systems which you might have access to (or even be required to use.) I've taken courses on Big Marker and a couple others. I have a couple "universal" notes.

  • One is that if you have a system that is capable of playing (say) YouTube videos -- just don't use it. Give the students links to the YouTube videos, tell everybody to watch, mute your microphone, and then tell the students to type "done" in the text box when they're done watching the video. 
  • Even better is to make a Dropbox or whatever of all the materials you'll be going over -- any videos (in .mp4 format because it's the most universal), any .pdf's, even PowerPoint presentations if you have them. The key here is you're trying to not use the Internet to stream high-resolution graphics or video. 


  1. Try to not use wifi for the computer you're using to run the class, webinar, or 1-2-1 on. Please just plug an ethernet cable into your computer from your router. Don't make us fight with whether your wifi is crapping out on you. 
  2. If you need to listen to students talk, wear headphones. And not poopity earbuds neither. 
  3. Get a microphone close to your mouth. 

I suggest wearing headphones and any of the Antlion mics. If your students are interacting with you (especially if there's more than one student) and talking, they'll end up hearing one another "directly" through the feed and also through your own speakers and your own microphone, which will get tiresome very quickly.
If you're not going to get nice headphones and an Antlion mic, then at least get a gaming headset. I want to press home with you that the mic built into your webcam is not good. It is not good. Not. Your students might be able to hear and understand you, but they will be straining to hear you through all the reverberation of the room you're in and that won't be good for anyone. They might even say "It's fine." It isn't. Your microphone must be within 12" of your mouth -- even closer if it is a webcam mic. Just don't. Get a headset microphone. If you're very fancy you can use a lavalier or some sort of boom that's within a foot (30 centimeters) of your mouth.
Can you get away with just using your iPhone if you're teaching "one-on-one?" Yes, probably. But as soon as you get into a multi-student situation, you gotta move over to the close mic.

There are some advantages to "webinars" over "seminars." For instance, you know all that stupid stuff students have to say, both to other students and also to just make a comment? Well if you're using a system that has a little comment box off to the side, they can say whatever they want without interrupting your flow. Honestly, in my experience, a lot of that is just students being polite to one another, saying "hello" and if someone asks a question or branches off-topic, another student can provide a link to whatever they needed without really interrupting the class.

When all students are on videocams and all have mics, you can get chaos pretty quickly (just like a real classroom) but the worser part is that the Internet feed will probably get very cranky and freeze and drop out and be ugly. One technique to deal with that is if you need to hear students talk (I know, what's the point, right?) just select one student at a time to talk or ask questions through their mic. Try to keep the number of open microphones down to 2 at any one time.

Yes, when teaching remotely like this you do have to be something of a live video engineer. When students are supposed to be watching/listening to other materials you need to mute your own mic (nobody wants to hear you typing or sipping tea while they're watching a video you carefully curated for them to think about and discuss later). When students come onto the webinar you need to control who can turn on their own mics (and then when they're done you need to turn them off -- you don't want everyone to have to listen to the garbage truck outside a student's house while they're watching your webinar, not realizing they're broadcasting their own sound.)

It's a bit more paying attention to the technical aspects of transmitting/receiving than you're used to probably. And you're likely to have all kinds of whackadoo technical issues and limitation the first few times you do it. It's also sort of lonely. You're not looking at your students and seeing if they're totally confused by what you're saying -- you need to use your experience and also to ask them questions to make sure they're following along. It's a bit disconcerting at first, but you need the confidence that you know what you're doing and they're all paying attention.

But I enjoyed my experience with it. You might too.