Digital Summer at Millennium Hotel, London

Wow! Just got back from a fantastic tech-filled evening – Even though there was torrential rain tipping it down outside, inside the Millennium Hotel in Grosvenor Square, ’twas Digital Summer! I went along with pals Ant Davis, whatleydude, and Rob Hinchcliffe.  There was much fun stuff:Belkin Rockstar   Mental Music Mayhem

Take this from Belkin (not out yet) called the Rockstar. Connect up to five headphones, and your iPod or other MP3 player, to start sharing. Or, add another portable device to mix songs and listen together.  Imagine if you had 2 people with wildly differing tastes playing their music through this at the same time…. Hmmm, mixing two music sources on the fly will sound a little interesting. 

Come to think of it, I bet it sounds a bit like my train home from London, there’s always a couple of mobile phones blaring out diametrically opposed musical genres.  I confess to finding that  strangely comforting, perhaps as I now associate the sound of “mash-up” to being less than 18 minutes from my house.  

Right, Next Up:

These are the W5000 headphones from Audio Technica, not sure if they’re available in the UK yet.  Yes, of course they sound fantastic.  The outer part of the earphones is made of Striped Ebony, there are stand-alone cushioned rests for the top of your head that make them feel incredibly light on, in fact, I can’t help thinking that these cans are perfectly suited to your hardcore hi-fi fanatic… and if that’s you, the specs are here for those gorgeous gory details.

Finally for this post:

Are you looking at my bird?


Well, the parrot went on the record saying that it enjoyed listening back to itself with the LS-10 voice recorder from Olympus.  Parrots need voice recorders so they can practice in their cages when no-one’s listening.  Why else are they so good at mimicking?  Rather amusingly, I remember a (probably apocryphal) story about a friend’s parrot who only said rude words.

I’ve now realised that the story was in fact not real – it was a joke told to me a while ago.  D’oh! If I had this voice recorder (which has stereo recording capability and records high-quality straight to PCM (Wav) ), I’d have been able to listen back to myself, know for certain that the parrot story is a naughty joke with a punchline I cannot bring myself to reproduce, and delete this entire paragraph (if you get my drift…).  Actually this is a great looking device close-up, and I love the clever placement of the microphones, ensuring that if you are a net-caster, you can stick this in the room and get a satisfactory spacing between conversationalists, as well as some easy buttons and a friendly interface.  Stay tuned, as I’m going to test it in the field.


There are other products I want to share with you, but I’ve got to take pictures so  you can see them properly – I’m thinking of the iskin range of mac accessories and the v-moda iphone-friendly earphones. 

Digital Summer was great – there was a friendly vibe about the place, and great chocolate mousse, which is always a winner as far as I’m concerned.  I had a fantastic time, and it’s great to see innovative stuff from companies that could just play it safe, but choose not to.  


Geek Chic: Dream Machine on its way!

Happy Days! I have ordered a seriously ridiculous music studio which is currently in the post – it’s been a good few years since I’ve upgraded my then-state-of-the-art steam- and pedal-powered music computer, so I can’t wait for my Mac Pro, stuffed with Logic 8 to play with. I’m going to be in a pleasurable compositional vortex once this baby arrives, so it’s now a race to get everything else sorted in advance of my delivery! My first system was at the time, a top specced PC system, however my friend and LBC Radio host Anthony Davis would be delighted to see I’ve gone over to the dark side.
I must confess, it seems like I should have bitten the bullet a long time ago and bought my dream system, but I think part of it is having enough faith to put your money where your mouse is, which is what I’ve just done – incredibly frightening, but necessary. Thinking about it, the other part of it was not spending on anything frivolous for a year to save up enough dosh. I’ll keep you posted on the spec, as the nice people at absolute music in the UK are hopefully taking pics of the machine as they are customising it, so I can post the piccies here.