My First Steps into the Melrose Center

The first of many, I might add.  At least, that is the plan.

The offical name, as I have mentioned previously, is the “Dorothy Lumely Melrose Center” after the lady who inspired its creation.  Her children apparently donated fat stacks of cash as they say to create a huge space where creative types can get together and, well, create!

There are various booths and things I have previously talked about but now that I have been through my General Orientation, I can talk about them a bit better.  I even have shitty pictures of a few!

I should probably take a class on Photo stuff.  They have that ya know, for free.

For those who missed it check out my earlier post with the virtual tour.

So first, lets talk about the Sound Booths.  These are not the same by the way as the Audio Studio. These are more for podcasting, singers, and single or pairs of people who want to record basic stuff.

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Look at these cute little booths!  They are sound proof as well, and air conditioned.  Having my general access now, I can use them.  Apparently its as easy as sticking a USB Drive into the recording thing and hitting START, but they also have a class on how to properly use it.  Have a nice Mic with sound filter and everything!  Here, the sound booths have:

  • Shure SM58 Microphone
  • Microphone Stand
  • Pop Filter
  • Presonus Blue Tube  Preamp
  • Cymatic 16 Channel Recorder
  • Sheet Music Stand
  • Lamp
  • Table

Next we have the Video Studio.  Unfortunately I stupidly did not take pictures when we were let in to look around, but my god its nice.  Hell, even has a little sign outside that will eventually light up for “On Air”.  It has a full wall setup for Green Screen/Chroma Key, and the following “standard equipment”

Standard Equipment: Stage

  • Canon XF105 HD camera that records 50Mbps MPEG-2 with 4:2:2 Color Sampling, XLR inputs and SDI output
  • 2, 16GB Compact Flash Cards and USB 3.0 Reader
  • Sennheiser ME66 Shotgun Microphone
  • Sennheiser Wireless lavalier microphones
  • iMac computer 3.5ghz Intel Core i7 with 32gb ram, OS X 10.9.1 Maverick, USB 3 and Thunderbolt ports.
  • Boom Pole and XLR cable
  • Boom Pole holder and C-Stand
  • Kino Flo Tegra DMX 4Banks dedicated to illuminating Green Screen
  • Kino Flo Diva-Lite 401
  • Litepanels 1×1 LED Spot and Flood lights
  • Litepanels Sola 4 LED Fresnels

Standard Equipment: Control Room

  • Two Panasonic AW-HE120 Pan Tilt Zoom cameras with Full HD 3MOS sensors
  • Panasonic Remote Camera Controller AW-RP50 for full camera pan tilt zoom operation
  • MacPro (2014), OS X 10.9.1 Maverick, USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt ports
  • ATEM Television Studio with ATEM Software control to record multicamera live to H.264
  • H.264 Pro Encoder for live streaming
  • 16 channel Peavy F/X 2 four bus mixing console
  • Samson Media one Studio Monitors
  • Tascam CD-2001 CD player with iPod dock
  • Sennheiser Evolution Wireless System with handheld microphones
  • dbX 1066 Compressor/Limiter/Gate
  • ETC Smart Fade 1248 Lighting Control Board for DMX lights

That is no bloody joke.  Best part, again, since I have a library card is that once I do my Orientation and then Assessment, I can block this room out for 4 hours at a time…for free.  Thats amazing.

But sure, I can record video and whatnot all I want right?  But…how do I edit it?  Well they have 2 private EDITING BOOTHS (Mac PCs in there) that you can use for free, 3 hours a day total.  Again, if you are a library card holder.  Or if you dont need the private bays, they have 2 sets of computer banks, all with Adobe CS6 Master Collection and others.  I did not get a picture of the 2 private editing bays because, frankly, I forgot.  There was a band in one though, looking like they were doing some music work.  That was pretty damn cool.  They looked like the did metal (saw a V Guitar in a case and a bass player) but no idea.

Here, check out my terrible picture of the PC Banks.

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You can also get a good look at how BIG the space in there is.  Lots of room to chill out with a team if you have one and whatnot.  Its freaking amazing.  Behind those bays, and you can sorta see it, is the Photo Lab.

It houses, for use by the patrons, the following:

  • Canon T5i Digital SLR Camera
  • Lightbox – Product Photography (19″x26″)
  • Studio Strobe Lights with Softbox
  • Flash Boom Lighting
  • Hot Shoe Flash
  • Background Support
  • Muslin Backgrounds
  • Portable Green Screen/Blue Screen
  • Collapsible Double Sided Portable Backdrop with Tripod

I got an iffy shot of it as well, and the folks who were using it.  Pretty cool.

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I may not use this very much if at all, unless I decide to do silly promotional shots for some people.  Apparently, you can bring “guests” or “talent” in with you, but obviously the holder (ie me) would be responsible for any damages.

Yea, I am not gonna wanna be on the hook for that.  EXPENSIVE!

They also have this cool “Tech Talks” area where you can go for free and listen to various people talk about things.

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Now one of the more interesting things I saw was what they called their “Fab Lab”, where you can get hands on with technology, electrical bits, and up until recently 3D Printing.  I am kinda sad that they do not do 3d Printing anymore but it honestly makes sense.  They have some basic 3d printers and it can take a while to get em going.  This area is where they also hold programming and game design classes (I need to look into these too)

They also had a Jedi Costume in the window.  I was confused.  I assume one of the projects from the sewing classes I have seen online.  You can see the room below.

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Finally the one room we did not enter during my little orientation was the Audio Studio.  Its 2 parts, like the Video Studio, a Live room and a Booth.  You have to take orientations AND assessments for both (just like the video studio and its floor and booth setup).  I did however manage to get a picture of the interior as it has windows to the lobby.  Apparently they are remodeling and its being upgraded, but its pretty damn legit (to my untrained eyes)

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Here is the equipment in this crazy room:

Editing Bay Equipment

  • Akai MPD32 USB MIDI Controller
  • Arturia KeyLab 49 Hybrid Synthesizer
  • Avid Pro Tools Express
  • Avid MBox Mini Interface
  • Logic Pro X

Sound Booth Equipment

  • Audio Technica ATH-40 Headphones
  • Cymatic Audio LR-16 Live Recorder
  • K&M KM254 Tripod-Style Microphone Stand
  • PreSonus BlueTube DP V2 Preamp
  • Sheet Music Stand
  • Shure PS-6 Popper Stopper Filter
  • Shure SM58 Dynamic Microphone

Live Room Equipment

  • dbx 1066 Dual-channel Compressor/Limiter/Gate
  • Peavey Dual Deltafex Digital Stereo Effects Processor
  • GOBOS
  • K&M KM254 Tripod-Style Microphone Stands
  • K&M KM259 Low Profile Tripod Stands with KM211/1 Booms
  • Peavey 24 Channel Live Mixer
  • VOX AC15 Custom Tube Combo – 1X12” 15-Watt Guitar Amp
  • Yamaha DRX12 Live Speakers (3)

Control Room Equipment

  • Arturia KeyLab 61 Hybrid Synthesizer
  • Avid Pro Tools 11 HD Software
  • Avid Pro Tools HD Thunderbolt + HD I/O 16X16 Interface
  • Avid C|24 Control Surface
  • Focusrite ISA828 8 Channel Microphone Preamp (2)
  • Mackie HR824mk2 Active Monitors
  • Mackie MR10Smk3 Active Studio Subwoofer
  • MOTU MIDI Express XT USB MIDI Interface
  • M-Audio Radium 49-Key USB MIDI Controller
  • Native Instruments Komplete 9
  • Spectrasonics Stylus RMX Realtime Groove Module
  • Spectrasonics Trilian Total Bass Module
  • Waves Gold Plug-In Bundle
  • Waves SSL 4000 Collection Plug-In Bundle
  • Yamaha MSP7 Studio Monitors
  • Yamaha MOTIF-RACK XS Synth

Optional Equipment

  • 8 Channel 20’ XLR Send Sub Snake
  • AKG D112 Dynamic Microphone
  • Audio Technica AT2050 Condenser Microphone
  • MXL V67i Condenser Microphone
  • Sennheiser MD 421-II Dynamic Microphone (2)
  • Sennheiser MK4 Condenser Microphone (4)
  • Shure Beta 52A Dynamic Microphone
  • Shure Beta 57A Dynamic Microphone (2)
  • Shure DMK57-52 Drum Microphone Kit
  • Shure PG81 Condenser Microphone (2)
  • Shure Popper Stopper Pop Filter (4)
  • Shure SM57 Dynamic Microphone (3)
  • Shure SM57-LC Dynamic Microphone (2)
  • Shure SM58 Dynamic Microphone (2)
  • Sony MDR-7506 Studio Headphones (6)
  • XLR Cables in 10, 15, 25, or 50 feet.

Just so everyone knows…I have no idea what any of this stuff means other then EXPENSIVE.

Overall I cannot wait to start messing around.  I have a few ideas that I want to do once I have my Video credentials in fact.  I intend to take all the classes I can on the weekends (its free so why not!) and get started on the making of the things.

This place is amazing.  If you live in Orange County FL you NEED to go and have a look.  I mean, this is crazy.  The amount of tech in this place, available for use by the community is astonishing.

For those curious, here is the site: http://tic.ocls.info/

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Who has 2 Thumbs and his Library Card back?

THIS GUY.

I contacted my library recently, to see if the fines that I had mentioned back in an older post could be reduced.

And they were, by a LARGE margin. So tonight, I went and paid em and got my card back.

Part of it, of course, is to get books. Tasty EBOOKS! Cause my County Library actually does have a method to borrow Ebooks, with automatic returning of said books.

But one of the cooler features, which I learned about today, is a place in the Downtown/Main Library called The Dorothy Lumely Melrose Center, aka the Melrose center.

Whats cool about this you might ask? WELL! Its a giant 26000 square foot tech center. It has, available for FREE to Library Card holders (ie ME!) the following:

  • Record music or vocals in a professional-grade audio studio. Record podcasts and voice overs in individual sound booths. Access audio editing software in one of the editing bays or editing workstations.
  • Our contemporary studio is the ideal place to produce a video with professional chromakey backgrounds. Access one of the editing bays or editing workstations to edit your short film.
  • Select from a variety of backdrops for still photography or use the lightbox for product shoots. Use photo editing software to get that picture perfect finish.
  • Explore, innovate and create in hands-on classes such as 3D printing, electronics, basic engineering, computer programming, robotics and so much more. (yes, thats a freaking FABRICATION LAB)
  • Explore the worlds of flight, construction and driver education by attending one of our classes. Access these interactive simulators for an out-of-this-world experience.

Its madness.  You have to attend a “general orientation” class first in order to access the full suite of classes (free classes I MIGHT ADD) and the actual area, but I have this Thursday off.  I mean, just LOOK AT THE EVENT CALENDER!  Programming classes, sewing, just all sorts of shit.

There is an orientation class at 6pm on Thursday.

I know what I am doing that evening.  Oh yea.  This is gonna be awesome.

Things sure as hell have changed since the last time I went to a library…17 years ago.

WWE 2k16 Comes out This Week

And I am excited!

I love wrestling.  I am well aware that the stories and the like are fact.  Most of the time they people are not even hitting each other.  Its a male soap opera (thats the best description I have ever heard).

But its fun.  Its storytelling.  The Pageantry.  All that jazz.

Sadly until last year the WWE 2k games were basically nonexistant on the PC.  Sure you could get em on a console, and in fact at one point I had a PS3 whose main job was basically to play 2k14, but its not the same for me.  I dunno why.  I just cant get into console games.

Last year, 2k15 came to the PC.  It was a solid port, but the game itself was missing TONs of stuff.  I managed to play about 30 hours but got seriously bored with it as the MyCareer mode was basically dark and tune up match after dark and tuneup match.

This year however is a VAST improvement.  I have watched people play through the Career mode and seen the cutscenes and rivalries and all that.  And I am excited.

Cant wait to get my hands on this game.  Nevermind the modding on the PC.

Some thoughts about #StardewValley for @ConcernedApe

Stardew Valley has taken Steam by storm recently.  I myself find that I am in love with its quiet charm and world.  I mean, I am nearly obsessed with creating honey, fruit wines and jams, and planning on how to win next years Fall Festival (darn you Pierre I WILL WIN! MY ARTISAN GOODS WILL BLOT OUT THE SUN!).

It’s amazing what a small game made by 1 man can do.

Granted, I am 17 hours into the game and not even done with Year 1 yet (Almost done with Fall though) and I am taking my time and playing the game with no clear plan, but I am noticing a few complaints here and there on the Stardew Valley subreddit.

NOW.  Be aware that there will be mild spoilers to the game listed here because of this.  But I wanted to get my thoughts on ways our lord and savior Concerned Ape can expand the game and maybe address the complaints, as well as add some of my own personal wants.

  1. Life after Marriage: I have not wooed a lady or man yet.  I am not even sure who I want to woo.  Original it was Maru but then Abigail had her 2 heart event and I just…I dunno man lol.  But apparently after marriage, currently your spouse sort of loses their personality.  Maru stops going to work, Leah doesn’t do her thing, ect.  Further, once you have a kid there is no major change apparently.  You just have a kid.  I would love to see CA expand life after marriage.  Fun events (like a vacation!) maybe your kid growing up as the game years pass, having your spouse do things on their own and whatnot.  There is a whole world he can do here.
  2. The Community Center: So one of the major events is fixing up the Community Center (one way or another).  However, once you help rebuild it…apparently nothing really changes in town.  The townsfolk don’t really visit it, don’t use it, ect.  Maybe start having community center days (Sundays?) where the NPCs go visit and do activities and events.  Again, having more stuff and events to do would be awesome here.
  3. Mead Brewing: I can make booze.  I can make honey.  Why not MEAD?!  And further, why not stuff like whiskey and vodka and the like.  Expanding the options for farming life would be epic.  Hell, give me cheese options too (Not just plain cheese!  How bout Chedder!  Bleu?!)
  4. New Areas: Maybe a visit to a city mall?  A theme park?  Ect.  A beach resort.  Fun stuff like this.
  5. More Decorations: Maybe a new store opens up once the Community Center is repaired that offers more decorations for your house!  My wife personally would adore this, as would I.  Maybe a family portrait option?  More little knick nacks?
  6. Ability to Invest: I would LOVE to be able to invest in the town infrastructure.  Maybe attract new residents?  Hell give me the option to use my money to buy land and expand with homes there and give me new NPCs and people to meet.  Hell this could be a full on paid expansion (AND I WOULD BUY IT)

Granted, I do not expect most of these wants to happen quickly.  Again, its all on one guy.  But I think these would expand the game in good directions and that, based on what I am seeing, are wants that very many people have for the game.

Also, apparently expanding the marriage candidates.  I mean, many folks wanna woo Shane (not me, but hey more options are ALWAYS better).  I would like to possibly woo Emily myself.

For those who want a chilled out relaxing game that evokes a feel of Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon, with a tiny dash of Terraria (there is a Procedurally Generated Mining System you have access to where you can get metals and fight baddies) this is the game for you.  Everything about it is phenomenal and personally I have zero actual complaints about it.  Its $15 on Steam and GoG as well.  GO BUY IT!  Support this man, so he can expand the game further and give us all our wishes.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have some Maple Syrup and Honey to collect.  And some Jam to make.

Well, looks like the Coleco Chameleon / Retro VGS is on its last legs!

coleco chameleon

From the Facebook post found here – http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1696447897298841&id=1616402778636687

Pretty sure this is the end of the RetroVGS / Chameleon, unless Coleco is just trying to do damage control and will approve anything put in front of them. There is no reason to believe that this is going to get past them.

Its like watching rats flee a sinking ship. And the comments are the best part there honestly. Some are damning the system, others STILL have hope. Even now, in the face of EVERYTHING!

I found the post here on Reddit – http://www.reddit.com/r/retrogaming/comments/48py60/colecos_official_statement_on_the_chameleonretro/