Pixelmator test…

I’ve been wanting to download some kind of graphics package for the iMac, since we had to completely re-install the operating system and all the programs etc. We looked at Photoshop Elements (£50) which is the lite version of the full program. It’s still a good program but still more than we need just to do photo editing and some graphics things.

So, a very quick look on the app store revealed a load of different programs, and after a 2 minute browse, I picked Pixelmator 2.1 (Cherry).


I’ve tried a few things out for about 15 minutes and this was the result…

I turned the original colour photo to B&W, altered contrasts, added various coloured circles, was able to align each circle in elation to each other using a very cool angles tool (automatically pops up) and the overall look and feel is very user-friendly and if you are familiar with Photoshop, this will work well for you.

So far i’m using the free trial for 30 days and if we like it we might buy it and it’s only £10.49, which is 5 times less than Elements!


Recording from mixer to Garageband 11…

If you own an Intel-based iMac and want to record vinyl records via a mixer into Garage Band, here’s how to do it

  • 1. Open GB’s prefs, select the Audio MIDI tab, and choose “Built-In Input” from the Input pop up menu.
  • 2. Create a New Basic track by clicking the ‘plus’ symbol in the bottom left corner and hit record
  • 3. There is no 3!

The other strange thing which we’ve just realised could have been affecting the iMac during all the problems we’ve had recently is the connection of the cables from the digital mixer into the audio port at the back of the iMac. I had just plugged the cable in to record some mixes from the decks and that’s when the old problems started again – video and audio not working, web pages not loading, the beach ball of doom coming up most of the time, programs freezing etc.

As soon as the cable was taken out, it all started working again. I have no idea how that cable connection can have such a significant impact on the functioning of the computer (particularly internet functions), but hopefully that’s it sorted.

Happy days again : )


iMac down, so here’s some music while we wait…

Ok, my iMac is mega-broken – i’m not happy about this – i’ve got 2 weeks of abstract photos to upload and I can’t – very frustrating! : )

In the meantime, here is the Prodigy, with Comanche / The Big Gundown…

The high quality original version…


imac issues…

Here’s a picture drawn by Jamie showing that we can’t use the mac at the moment! It’s having all sorts of issues loading things up and it’s off to the repair shop.

The drawing shows Daddy, Mummy + Jamie and Jac, with the mac and a big cross over it. No blogging for a while me thinks. : ( I’ll just have to back-date a whole load of posts!


Connecting mixer to imac…

Finally, after months of planning and researching, the digital mixer which my turntables are connected to, has now been hooked up to our imac!

This makes it sound a bit epic but in the end, it wasn’t that difficult – well, not with my techno wife on hand!

The 10m cable had arrived and the idea was to run it behind the mixing table and sofa (along the same wall), then around the front bay and back around to the computer which is on the other side of the living room. Given the cable is a dark blue and we have white walls and skirting, this stood out a bit. So, I went back to my original idea of running the cable under the floor boards in a more direct route to the computer.

This was easier than it sounds and involved unscrewing two boards and drilling a smallish hold in either end for the cable to go through. The cable was passed under each of the joists then the boards screwed back down. The cable came up right in the corner and is now hidden by the computer table leg.

That was my contribution to the process and this was where Claire took over! I had already found out that Garageband for the imac would receive, record and edit the signals from the mixer, so this just needed setting up with the right inputs etc. The cable plugged into the Audio In socket at the back of the imac, not the headphone in socket, which various forums suggested.

Once i’ve got into the swing of using it, i’ll post about the setup within Garageband plus hopefully have a link to a music hosting site. Just one of the many things i’m really excited about but which is competing with all the other things! : )


Connecting mixer to imac 2…

This is the sort of setup which normally scares me! But, i’ve done some research and I think I know what output is the best to use (tape out). Now I just have to play around with the settings in Garageband to get the right inputs and levels.

At that point I should be able to record mixes and singles from vinyl, at which point my super star DJ career can really begin! : )

The cable plugs straight into the 3.5mm headphone jack in the back of the imac and will apparently provide a high quality connection, even over 10 metres of cable. I may need to get the WordPress audio upgrade to get some mixing results onto the blog!


Connecting digital mixer to imac…

I’ve been doing some intensive cables research to work out what the best way is to connect my digital mixer with the iMac, for recording vinyl records and DJ mixes.


I’ve asked various people and the result are the above cables. These connect the mixer to the iMac via the headphone jack and I already have Garage Band on the Mac which can record and edit mixes.

Another tip is to record in.wav format not mp3 but convert to mp3 if uploading to web or want a smaller file size. Use Garage Band for Mac which is good for multi-track recording but a bit more memory needed than other programs.

Audacity is also highly rated to record on Mac http://audacity.sourceforge.net/about/features, as is Audio Recorder from www.versiontracker.com


Christmas lights #4…

A blurred photo of the red and green tree lights with part of the imac screen in the background…


Christmas lights #2…

Some itunes visualiser effects while playing some Christmas music on the imac…


Old vinyl to new Mac…

Well, I love vinyl but also love my iMac. I want to work with vinyl as it has soul and character. I love the way the edge of the record slowly moves towards and away from the centre point because it wasn’t cut exactly right. I love the way the needle rides up and down over the surface and reflects the life of the record. I love being able to touch the music. I love the amazing process of two pieces of plastic rubbing together to reproduce one of human’s greatest achievements.

Vinyl will always be in my soul and memory. So, that being the case, how do I go from vinyl to iMac in order to allow the evolution of my learning of music and also to help preserve the music recorded on the vinyl and to use the digital recording in other ways?

I have so much vinyl collected over the years and have already looked into vinyl to MP3 recorders, but i’m just thinking this could take the rest of my natural life to do! So, what I might start doing is selecting only certain records and hook up the mixer to the iMac and make the recordings. This would almost be a link to the original vinyl, much of which can’t be downloaded and which is essentially free.

This is a good step by step guide to recording vinyl onto the Mac, which i’ll hopefully be putting into practice in the near future. The selection process will also make me really think about which records are the most important to me.


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