G4 Startup

02020-04-30 | Computer, Music, Recording, Studio | 7 comments

Yesterday I went to my studio to work on a new piece. At 86 beats per minute it is the slowest piece, so far, and quite romantic, I find. It took me about fifteen or twenty minutes to get the old G4 Mac to start up. I hate that startup button on the old Mac towers, always have. There is no positive feedback as to what’s happening… I pushed the button and nothing happened, then I had to move around the dust-free box the computer is housed in, open the back door, and remove the power cable from the back. That resets the power button. Replug the cable, close the door, open the front, push the power button… repeat…

After a while the computer finally started up. I am coaxing life, and indeed music album after music album, out of a classic old piece of computing hardware. 2004!! That’s ancient! Then again I am becoming a classic, or vintage, myself…

Perhaps the failure to start up is related to the internal battery, which is there to keep time while the computer is turned off, having no power left. Each time the computer does start up I have to enter the current time and date, as the computer defaults to some date in the last century… I ordered a new battery, which is supposed to arrive tomorrow, so I’ll wait to panic until after I install the new battery. Perhaps the start up issue will be resolved with a new battery. I don’t know what I can do if it doesn’t…

I worked on the piece and hummed a few melodies to myself. I find humming is often a great way to find a melody, as opposed to playing the guitar right away. This way I can usually discover melodies that are simpler and more memorable.

In the recording room I played the melody on my guitar, then played a second, different, melody that seemed to materialize. Back in the control room I listened to the first melody, then the second. I wasn’t in love with either option, though. After a while an idea came to me, the possibility of using both melodies. I set up a separate track for the second melody and panned the two guitar melodies, one slightly to the left and the other slightly to the right. Now it might become a dialog. I removed sections from each melody so that the melody switched back and forth between the guitars. Now there was something. I listened to it for a long time, enjoying the new melody.

This afternoon I will go back to the studio to hear whether the melody/melodies hold up. To be continued…


  1. MTCallahan

    As with most good things in life, the process of creation is as least as good as the end product.

    • ottmar

      A little fight has to be part of it amirite?

  2. JaneParhamKatz

    Dear Vintage Man, I will have to think deeply to understand why you don’t have a new computer and cloud storage. There must be an important reason.

    Anyway…you thrill me when you share your processes, especially since I love so much your melodies.

  3. Boris

    2004 was La Semana and there was Adam’s website and a whole group of fans kind of chatting “online” and following the evolving new album including that box artwork thing. It felt like a fresh start back then. Wasn’t it the first album you produced entirely yourself? Hard to swallow that this should be ancient … Cocteau, Caballada, UnderWorld, Carrousel – still on heavy rotation on my OL playlist (and other playlists). And there is La Luna, of course.

    • ottmar

      Yes, that was the first album I engineered by myself, mixed by myself, and mastered by myself. It’s also the first album Jon used his new five-string Lakland bass on. And the bass sounds great on La Semana! So much richer than before.

      Yes, I believe we lost that DIY spirit of the internet a little after 2003/4. Everything became centralized and corporate. I miss those earlier days of the internet. It’s something we would do well to return to.

  4. Denise

    Ottmar, I’ve loved your music since I first listened Nouveau Flamenco CD, when I was 15 years old. In this quarantine time I’ve listened to more of your songs. I always loved your style, it has something gypsy. I also discovered your diary recently beautifully written. For me you are the best guitar player in the world. Love you forever. Thank you

    • ottmar

      Thank you, Denise!


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