Theo Verelst Diary Page

Latest: 11 january 2001

I've decided after good example to write some diary pages with toughts and events.

Oh, in case anybody fails to understand, I'd like to remind them that these pages are copyrighted, and that everything found here may not be redistributed in any other way then over this direct link without my prior consent. That includes family, christianity, and other cheats. The simple reason is that it may well be that some people have been ill informed because they've spread illegal 'copies' of my materials even with modifications. Apart from my moral judgement, that is illegal, and will be treated as such by me. Make as many references to these pages as you like, make hardcopies, but only of the whole page, including the html-references, and without changing a iota or tittel...

And if not? I won't hesitate to use legal means to correct wrong that may be done otherwise. And I am serious. I usually am. I'm not sure I could get 'attempt to grave emotional assault' out of it, but infrigement on copyright rules is serious enough. And Jesus called upon us to respect the authorities of state, so christians would of course never do such a thing. Lying, imagine that.

Previous Diary Entries

Jan 18, 2000

Can a deeply religious person be Attorney General?

That is a blunt copy from a web site qouting 'USA today'. The interpretation of the question (as in 'let me explain the background of this') evolves not only around a conviction with results, but also around information and its use. That my statement, because there is otherwise not enough question at stake. For presidents and other leaders, similar logic holds, but why couldn't a religeous person be like a computer in law: laws, jurisprudence (the trick of course), case data in, response out. Somewhere in the process of judgement one can expect a computer type of approach not work, but why, and where exactly?

I remember reading about computerized processsing of legal cases, for lets say the equivalents of parking and speeding tickets (not that grave in holland, luckily) I seem to remember. It seems logical that at least when the laws are clear and to the point enough, an intelligent logical system such as a computer can be fed all information, and deliver satisfactory judgements. Maybe not as appealing to the imagination, maybe not as 'human' sounding, but strictly honest, as for as the law is, of course.

Without going into the (also christian) meaning of lets say Moses' and Gods' law, the idea of having a law that rules life is meaningfull. I'm sure that the greek word 'nomos' in new testament, means something like 'mode of conduct', not 'code', but sort of like what is considered appropriate behaviour.

Lets see. Suppose that it is possible to by and large specify the main behavioural limits (as electrical engineer, that is almost normal design language) all humans are supposed to adhere to. Then in principle there is no problem amoung humans to assume they can then be used to make a working, just system. Two problems are easily discerned, one it may be they fail, two, the law may not indicate enough what to do in unforseen circumstances.

This being a bit of theoretical angle, in practice we also assume that the boundaries of law are, just as in many engineering problems, usually the more interesting areas, and probably the most profitable ones.

First a larger picture, as I was reading the whole quote. Can someone convinceme against better judgement that at least certain american presidents can appearently be put forward (though most probably not necessarily chosen) solemny on the basis of a name, plus or minus a double u? Thank you, that would be, but it is not likely. Their intelligence would have to be good enough, their reputation in certain ways, though I donno exactly which ones, and some other properties must be up to standard, the in this case republicans must be willing to put the forward (on vote attraction grounds?), but further it would seem that in this case, though doubtlessly worse can happen, the essence of the their capabilities as person, leader (or servant), etc. is subdued to such a base consideration as a name.

Not that that is world deranging, but for normal persons this is too clearly a way of living that is completely alien. In fact, I pbserved similar behaviour in my previous work environment, and I just can't see why a name game should be more relevant than capacities, qualities, suitabilities, vision for all I care. It means the problem of 'sin', my terminology, on purpose and I think to the point, is incredible enough to make such considerations rule. HOW that is, is a fundamentally important question, and I'd almost say thank God it wasn't over-all like that when constitutions and state foundations were made that I even still benefit from.

Assuming the world is an evil place, in need of lets call it salvation from evil, evil intent, power from criminals, evil people and in the spiritual doubless from evil spirits, what can we expect? As persons, humans, official christians, personal believers, agnosts, haters of faith as it is know, anyone. At least for certain that it is a troubling and worrying idea that one of the military, economically and ideologically most powerfull collection of states on earth is led by a person put forward which such clear considerations.

It may be argued that everyoneis evil anyhow, so that we may put some general slaves forward to do the dirty or not state representation jobs (as the romans also argued at times), but then still the idea alone that than no better can be found than from a whole 'best choice' collective where someone with a 'name' can randomly be selected on the basis of just that is short of amazing.

More synth, still

Now what am I doing relishing in toughts about my (mainly older) synths. At least there are more people than the 160.000 or so that own a dx7 that must have an interest in its 6 operator fm synthesis sounds, considering that the 'sound engine' is available again also as physical plug-in for new synthesizer/workstations.

I found archives with 10.000 sounds for the machine in zip files, which probably countain a significant portion of my favorites (maybe a few hundred high quality sounds), and it is completely worth it to still play them, though I do wonder what oscilators with more freedom in programming, a bit tighter sine-response (the additive sounds I made also on the improved tx802/dx7II were still not good enough as lets say drawbar replacement), and maybe 8 or 12 or so, with interconnections (instead of layering two independent voices) would produce, I think some of the for instance GS-1 type abba sounds are interesting to hear from an instrument, probably like that. Try 'eagle' for sounds coming from I dont know what synth to be at least sure that very long ago most contemporary riffs and samples were beaten in strength, lets say, not to speak about beauty preferences. I cant currently put mpeg or realplayer samples on easily, when I can I'll put on some examples of the reasons for being into synthesis in general, and for instance DX7 type of stuff in particular. There are many sounds and types of noises that many never hear, and they are worth hearing and playing with.

Making a DX7 type of instrument, preferably even extended myself (digitally) is without question in principle possible with current technology, a reassuring thought, but in practice may not be easy, and the interesting part is where it is merely a matter of programming, and not so much anymore of lack of computer horse power, or optimizing with that in mind. The term synthesizer programming in this case means using a computer program right, which itself must first be written.

When the computer program is available, its like adjusting about 150 virtual, or software, knobs to the right value when programming a 'normal' DX-7 from scratch. Lets say each know is a slider on a computer screen, like on the side of a netscape of word window, than you accurately (within a few milimeter) adjust about a hundred of them, and then you get a certain sound. That looks hard, but sampling enthousiasts would know that than it is at least possible to make a certain sound appear fromall possibilities, because for a sound of lets say a second long (mono), they'd have to draw accurately about 40 thousand slider positions in a little graph. And for a little change, they'd normally need to start all over again.

A synthesizer, on the other hand, has knobs with meaning, which allow one to make changes to a sound which are understood by most programmers. For instance, the 'attack' knob sets the cresendo in the sond right, low value: the sounds comes up slow, high value, the sound starts straight away when a key or a chord is pressed. A fashionable enough effect is to turn a filter knob on a sound, to make the sound duller or brighter, comparable with bass and treble controls on an amp, except that a filter is prefered where not just the amount of boost or cut in a frequency range is adjusted, but where the affected frequencies can also be selected.

On many modern mixing consoles, parametric equalizers are available, which let one change the working frequencies of a filter, and how much effect it has. For instance, one knob my be turned down to cut high frequencies, and another then can be 'played with' to decide how big a part of the high end of the spectrum can be attenuated. A sort of 'sweeping' sound is the result, which can be pleasing enough, though not that special. Audio reproduction type of use of these filters is to beef up a certain part of a sound, maybe to compensate for a recordings' lack of high end content, or cut certain portions of the spectrum, for instance to remove a specific hum-signal, or to compensate for an acoustical resonance.

In almost any analog synthesizer, a quite 'heavy' type of such a filter is used, with not a 'bell curve' characterteristic, such as to cut or boast a limited frequency range, but a low-pass (and regularly other types as well, this is just the most commonly used one) characteristic behaviour. One knob does the same as many mixers' frequency control dials do, but then as if two or 4 of those types of filter were put t work at the same time, that is a lot 'fatter' or heavier sounding. And, that knob can also be controlled by electronics, to let the filter frequency change controlled and rapidly for each note played, which makes for a lot of an instruments' spectral characteristics. Often a natural sound starts, pretty soon reaches its brightest part, and gradually becomes duller, which is in a synthesizer automatically possible.

Of course this a crude way of shaping a sound, simply all higher frequencies are cut (usually at 1/16, being 24 decibels for each octave above the cutoff frequency), meaning apart from some very loud high frequency components there simply is nothing left in the high end of the spectrum. Because of this crude spectrum partitioning, the resulting sounds have a warm and 'fat' character, that is if the filter works solid. For analog types of sounds, that is desirable and sonically pleasing, for other types of sounds, it is a clear limitation. So we need more knobs and sound processing or generating means to cover other types of sounds.

Sampling a natural sound, lets say a cello, is a method to have a computer or digital instrument (basically a certain type of computer system with good enough sound-card equivalent and a instrument-keyboard, except for some special ones) reproduce natural, acoustical instruments. Sampling means a little recording is made of a sound, like on a tape or a wav file, which can be played back at various rates, that is at various pitches to make various notes. The disadvantages, apart from quality considerations, being that its always the same sound (and our ears can register this quite well already the second time the same sample is used), and that the sound cannot be changed at all. A sample is a sample, and that is it. Most modern sampler instruments do allow for sound changes by a similar filter element as electronical synths have, though my experience is they rarely reach the same standard of powerfullness, that is they are often not so good. But they do serve the purpose of again changing a sounds spectral qualities, in the same way as described.

FM synthesis is a completely different way of making sounds, there is no filter in the signal path, and there are no samples used at all, except generators which produce sine waves to start with. These generators drive eachother in 1 of 32 possible constellations, by changing eachothers frequencies very quickly. Mathematically, it can be shown that then the spectrum they produce is governed by what are called 'bessel' functions, which in short dictate harmnics in a wiggly sort of way depending on the amont of modulation of one generator driving the other. In very general view: the more modulation, the more spectral (harmonic) content is generated, but in a irregular way. That us for an amount of modulation of 2, there are more harmonics, but for instance the 3d harmonic may be present for an amount of 1, while almost gone for an amount of 2.

Hard enough, as most know, dx synths are hard to program. At some point yamaha tried to get around that by pretending this process could be simplified by having only a few knobs, resembling the knobs affecting an analog synths' signal path, which simply doesn't allow the same richness in variation or range of control that one has when all the 150 sliders are available.

What do all these sliders do? When we remember the ADSR generator, the attack, decay, sustain and release portions of a sound are adjusted by 4 sliders: the first sets the speed the sound starts up, the second the rate at which it falls back to the sustain level (a continuous level as long as a key is pressed), and the release set how rapidly a sound fades away after a key or chord of keys is released.

In a dx7 or similar instrument, each generator of 6 has such sliders, seperately for each of the 6, and in fact with 2 more sliders to split up the decay section, and allow the generators final level to be not silent. That means 6x6 is 36 sliders to control, and they affect not just what one generator does, but when an generator modulates another, it affects the spectrum of the overall sound, in a mathematical, quite complicated fashion. That is why the sonic variation, the various sound spectrums that can be generated with such an fm synthesizer is considerable. And the main point again being: it can change considerably every millisecond the sound is activated.

Sound Studios

My experience with the essentials of sound and recording studio equipment and operation dates back from my early years with a cassette recorder, microphone, tape recorders and my own mixer units. This being not even near professional, has set my mind for almost all important aspects of modern sound studios and their use. What are they? It starts with acoustics, and microphone techniques. Then there is the electronic signal, the quality and use of recording, mixing, and effect possibilities (echo springs and chambers to start with in my case). Subsequently there is (tape) editing and dubbing (mixing tracks with other tracks on tape, and recording it on yet another) techniques. And finally mixing down, making a master recording, also suitable for reproduction, the sound reproduction, and general quality considerations therein.

Oh, and eh, of course the musicians making the music, lets not forget that. That only started when I at 15 or so made my own keyboard, and started recording with it and a a few years later commercial keybards and synths on reel to reel decks and multitrack equipment.

About 7 years later, I acquired stage experience in the pop area (and also jazz), and felt more than at home enough with most types of then modern synths and playing styles, and I regularly used various types of studio equipment besides my own (see previous diary pages), 8 track reel to reel, various mixers and PA systems, effect equipment, smpte (tape sync for sequencers), and of course computer systems with music programs such as sequencers. And of course microphones and such, though I knew about multicables, balanced signals and mixers already at highschool.

What's the fun of all that? Seriously for me it is not the most major fun in the world to sit down in or 'have' a studio with all those impressive (regulary agreed on by me) pieces of equipment and their joyous or whatever little blinking lights on them. A stage or rehearsal 'studio' with good enough equipment and preferably musicians is more like it. Studios should make it possible to make music, maybe 'produce' a recording that is supposed to be hear often and therefore deserves to get proper attention, but that sort of activity, where I have engaged in and am more than knowledgeable enough about, is not usually my hobby. That's more like work.

Studios suck? No, the space I could call studios of various kinds certainly didn't, though that is of course also a 'scene' matter, and certainly not mainly an equipment and space matter. But still, just all the right equipment together in a nice enough (in hard to determine measures) space doesn't necessarily get me going. It doesn't thrill me by itself, can even put me off. Playing artist, are we? Not realy, it's just the way it is, I had quite some studio type of equipment available over quite some years of up to quite high quality, and the end of the story is that apart from the synths and good effects, I'd not regularly use all the recording and computer equipment.

They are not instruments, studio equipment. An effect, like a reverb is a good addition to an instrument. A good amp and speakers is always good. But sequencers (computer recording programs for MIDI data) and recording equipment is just that: it records and plays back hopefully what you put in, and thats it. They aren't musically challenging or active, normally. They may be a challenge to use right, and to combine instruments with, but even that is not the nicest thing in the world, its like a wordprocessor is to writing a piece: a good one needs a good keyboard and screen, and hopefully it can contribute by cut-and-past, layout tools, and a thesaurus and spell checker, but that's normally it: it doesn't do the writing job. Sorry steinberg? (a maker of sequencers and the likes) Not realy, in fact I spend about 200 dollars at the time I bought my atary ST to buy one of their first, comparisonwise quite rudimentary, sequencers. After all, wordproceccors do sell, and oe may find it hard to live without.

And of course the comparison doesn't completely hold, maybe video or magazinf editing is a better comparison, but it is important to know and honour the difference between a piece of equipment and valid musical se of it.

Look at a certain portion of current DJ's the try to extend their applicatio area to musicianship: a mixer isn't an isntrument, guys, freaking about with mixirs can be total fun at home, but normally not many of your friends would come and listen. Certainly not if you call filter sweeps music. Buy a keyboard, learn the bleus (or whatever) and try again.

Dishonest? No. Eery DJ knows music has efffect, meaning, and even possibly a message. That makes it impossible to get away from the notion that there is an ectivity going on reproducing it that is like being either showmaster or musician, or somewhere in between. But a leader of ceremony doesn't qualifu as musician, unless they'd make music. Why all these comments? Because I don't agree with a music world where it is habitual to take talent-challenged faces, let them make hardly music, and swamp youth, elders, and all in between with these products.

I'm not sure about the year and the international renown of Gruppo Sportive, a band I regularly saw in highschool concerts, but I know form instance "Disco realy made it (it empty and I hate it)" was quite popular. Of course that is a simular thought about 20 years ago, put in a good song. And of course there's disco I liked more than a bit, and still like to dance to. Nice (female) background singers I remember, too, but the music (Sportivo's that is) I can still hum. Fun.

Studio project bands must have had a hard time, I think, at least in certain ways. A year to produce one album or CD of less than an hour of compressed, alive, meaninfull music. I knew at least a few of them did this stuff, I'm not sure about the financial picture of all of them. Abba, being at the time the biggest export product from sweden, simiply decided to built their own, the first fully digital mixing and mastering studio (probably not the best, currently), and other major acts probably could afford to rent a major studio for many months, but moneywise these factories are not easy: tons and tons of money, easily.

The beatles probably had less quality multitrack equipment at their disposal than I had with the Teac 244. I'm sure that I've never done as many tracks or overdubs as on a queen album, on the other hand. I guess its a good thing quality enough studio equipment is available for many musicians with good enugh gig-life, such as adats (videio recorder based digital multitrack recorders for a few thousand), cheap effect equipment like Alesis reverbs and effects, and of course much better and more powerfull PA systems, though in fact a good guitar amplifier stll isn't very cheap in comparison with decades ago.

Now lets see, does my opinion mean that these studio efforts are in vain. Obviously not. That I'd prefer a good synth, lets say a top Kurzweil, with a set of good headphones? No. As everyone knows, synths don't work good with headphones, and music must resound, preferably at least reasonably loud. Works better. is even biblical...

A synth with a good amplifier and speakers? Of course. A nice room ? Evidently. Some good effect equipment ? Makes it nice, as far as the synth hasn't got that built in already. More then one instrument with good mixer and the works? Of course, when you're up to it (electronical organ registration experience ?), but what does that mean: the works? For jsut playing around: a sequencer? Had one for years, fun enough, completely professional products possible, but major fun? At times. Not all too often. A mixer with many knobs? Prefered, but to play around with? I'd rather have them programmable. And the whole thing should available night and day, of course.

I read an article in Sound On Sound a few years ago (its a paper magazine, too) about the recording of Alanis' 'Jagged little pill' album (only, what is it, 25 million or so copies sold). Mainly, we a singer (good microphone needed), a band (lots of em, or do we plug them in a mixer?), and synthesizers driven by computers, somehow mixed togehter, sound and music programmed by ? Mainly a good microphone, completely affordable ADAT recorders, good amp, some automated mixer I would distrust by nature (knowing that automation probably is going to degrade the signal, normally, unless it is completely mechanical), a set of synths I know, except it seems they're not mentioned in the web-article, they are in the magazine, and even cubase, which I know quite well, is in the picture. In short: this very popular recording got togehter in a quite short time, on what could almost be called budget equipment setup, though that is not completely justified terminology, certainly not for mics and some other things.

What is a studio recording about, sort of official idea? When instruments are acoustic, drums, guitar, orchestra, the first thing is to use good microphones, and to put them in the right place, set the instruments up such that they give acoustically pleasing recording results (possibly acoustically dead, at least from from eachother, to make each instrument appear only on its own channel, not on its neighbours signals, by damping pannels), make sure the levels in the mixer and especially to the recording tape or digital input is right, and of course that all electrical connections honour impedance, signal level, and disturbance absence demands.

Than the actual recording can be done in many alternative ways, the simplest being that the band or orchetra in the studio starts playing after all channels have been adjusted, the recorder fed with tape and cleaned, and the record button has been pushed on all relevant channels. The other extreme is to procede by recording each instrument one at the time, maybe even per phrase of playing, and only dubbing the instrument in to the appropriate section of the multitrack tape for each little addition, and thus adding up all little pieces until the whole recording takes shape.

There are ample examples of the various approaches, the queen albums I mentioned for instance contain a lot of techniques, I don't know how much 'plug and all play together' takes are important. Walter Carlos' 'swithced on bach' is completely made by producing little pieces of tape (literally) and cutting them and splicing them together, and then copying the results on another piece of intermedeate tape recording, and so on. Extremely laborious and technically challenging (that prooved worth it). Some modern products are made by having a sequencer, with added hard disc recording pumping digital audio streams directly into a master DAT recorder, possibly without any analog signal at all (needed for voices, though), modern synths also tend to have digital (spdif) outputs, that can directly be digitally mixed. I do have fundamental problems with this, most effectively summed up by the need of the term 'dithering', I'll elaborate on this further on. Most orchestra recordings honour mainly the all-start-playing-and-record paradigm, for obvious reasons, though I'm sure overdubs are regular to redo faulty or imperfect instrument takes.

There is a very good reason for the latter approach. Listen to Jackson's Body and Soul I think it was, it has in the booklet a comment on it being recorded mainly in one take in some sort of hall with nice enough reverberation. That is musicians at work in a life type of performance, that puts a band on tape. Now take some nearly random modern piece of maybe computer-engineered (if its worth the term) song with heavy and maybe expensive synths and effects, and hopefull carefully chosen sample material. Hear the difference?

And again, that's not being bitter or old-farthish (I probably can beat most of them content-wise, musically and certainly technically too, I don't need to prove myself in the area), but it is important in my opinion. And it was personal experience over years for me, too. I had a multitrack and myself to play against, even to sing against, though mainly that has not been given up for public consumption, except a few good products at the time. I at times did take a day or two to record and mix only one 3 to 5 minute song, and the results, in spite of the quite very budget equipment were worth the MAR metal casette they ended up on, and the dolby-C. But oh my, the studio boredom you have to fight to get there. And the creativily that needs to be channeled to make an interesting song from the playing of one person with himself. Not fun enough for more than maybe 50 recordings or so, tops. And I had the equipment.

What was fun ? That it worked. That the book knowledge I acquired many years before when I was galancing at the studio and recording technique books was worth it and working.

And putting those synth up together (see pictures on the previous page), as many together as I had (up to three, and in a short period even 4 keyboards at a time), connect them togehter, and program them for good and/or fat sounds, and let those speakers work. At times my more than profesional synth setup (the dx7/rev7/tx802/dw8000 combinations are known enough definately not childs play) looked like a non-miserable electronic theatre organ, and I even built a volume pedal to feed this 'illusion'. But then with synths, with a lot more sliders than a hammond, and a lot less resonating coils, unfortunately. I did like the human league, Yazoo, jean michel jarre, depeche mode (I'll limit myself to the album I had 'a broken frame'), and kraftwerk (i had three actual lps I think, absolute top: pocket calculator, try that yourself) idiom.

I didn't have money for all to many records, but I'm sure my main sort of interest and little short of admiration went to a rose royce album I had from a sale, fresh cut, with for instance 'love don't live here anymore'. The synths on that stuff, the skilled, funky, sort of general soul containing playin g on those tracks, that was more my musical aim, I guess.

In certain languagem I think I don't agree with in this context, but it does say it, I've had quite some strong enough synths and my amps and speakers were not too miserable either, but I never got that synth-type f bass right in a satisfactory sense on the gear I owned. And now on my 'on the floor on cardboard' grossly oversized speakers with amp, my 286 programmed analog synth simulator and my 10 MHz Z80 based synth computer, damn, it DOES work. The term is wrong, its just to indicate that it sort of got to me on second or 3d thought. The equipment I had wasn't the cheapest. Realy, it was good for lets say in the 10k$ range, yet I never got that sort of analog synth stuf right enough. I played the son gin a band even, that's not the prob, and a DX or the korg over a big enough PA does make the lick sound right enough, that too isn't the prob. But at sub-room level getting the sort of hard to phrase lick sound with good enough oomph in it, that is recent. And I'm picky: I am NOT making an electronic organ here. Yes, there are amazing resonances in the speakers laying around as they do, but no, they are not responsible for the resonance in the sound I PROGRAMMED that. Ha. And it works at a third interval, a fifth a seventh, even an octave higher it still works right.

And that is without modulation in the sounds, with only one (not multi) sample, simple filter EG, no non-linearities (except from sampling), with 9 bits DA, no LFO's, two virtual oscilators, and no freaky or advanced sample processing. Yesterday I loaded a ready made sample in my harmonic oscilator bank, to try again to make a harmonically fuller sound. That works. It does take some efforts, those 5ths take good amplitude ratio, and the filter characteristic must be well used on the samples intrinsic filter effects, and the envelope must make a nice attack decay curve work, but then: yummy, or something, wonderfull enough sounds, even for monophonic lines. I should extend my memory cranck up the clock (the current processor is stuck at 10 instead of 35 MHz) or add some hardware (don't have many counters left), and produce some polyphonic multisamples with this stuff, I would dare to say that if I add some good enough effects it would sell as contemporary synth sound. Even without the physical modeling.

Why? Minus the obvious need for programming the sound, I do think it is essential to do the digital signal path right. Even though I sinned, for instance the filter control signal update must be good enough, I think the interpolation in my case ends up with once per 8 or 16 samples update, and I'm sure from trying that the resonance, the cutoff, anf the sample accuracy and harmonic content of the generators are essential ingredients. I learned in highschool when I did additive synthesis on the trs80 that getting the sample timing right is important, and that it is generally stupid no to rely on multiple-of-2 sample loop lengths, and accurate sample generators, taking these considerations serious, and that a reconstruction filter must not be relied on, that easily takes the strength right out of a sound.

It's a pity I at the time didn't think of putting four butterworth filter simulation sections on a row in a digital simulation (I did 2d graphics iterative iir updating of difference equations, which is not that different), and feed it around in feedback. Now I learn it would have made major sounds so much later.

What's with all the analog circuit ideas, the pulse modulation, multiplying converters, that stuff? Thus far I'm using my 8 bit fast DA with satisfaction, its noise figures seem up to maybe a direct over 16 bit extension, its speed wasn;t realy challenged yet in the audio range, and multiplicativity over clock driven pulse width modulation has been tested with a 16-counter tdm (tri state on/off) test setup, which attenuates its expected 24 dB range just fine, I just didn't have a chance yet to make my circuit a bit more up to standard, its to wieldy with wires all over the place to breadboards, and compensating for lack of parts. And it may by nice to do a sample replay dedicated unit as soon as I can affort some additional HC logic chips. Doing that in 16 bit, with a major memory ( I'd now have until 128kbyte, using only 8, though I also have a number of 32k flash rams waiting to be tested), in the 100MHz range or so should do some very decent sample reproduction and partial generator stuff. With the right parts and a stack of good breadboards a few days of fun enough work. I did keep a 300 watt switched computer supply, and surplus of general purpose pcb lying around, just in case.

I should do the AD converter too, but software is not up to high sampling speeds (maybe in delta modulation mode), the comparator I have but the breadboard space is crowded and rich in disturbance, and I didn't feel like it yet, I'd like to do that stuff in 16 bit or so, with the right equipment, and then see is compression is possible with effective 16 bit feedtrough without limiting dynamic range over a major part of the compression work are to less than lets say 85 dB or so. That to at least do the gain control on a digitally controlled mixer circuit decent, and double its use as analog signal path in a digitally controlled compressor operation. with very sub-44k1-sample update rate. That should make it a good product, for certain, and more useable as PA system mixer. Space for research. Without an osciloscope, and as it is, that is pretty ambitious.

Contemporary and anchient 'apostle'-ship ?

One of the most well known, oldest, easily obtained, and at least historically relevant if not essential books is of course the canon of hebrew and greek documents we call bible (of course just meaning 'book'). In it, the latter part is completely written by what the authors themselves repeatedly bring formward as 'apostles', greek for 'sent one'.

What does that mean? From what I learned (I took it for serious doctrine at the time), apostles were apart from (alledgedly) sent by God, also a certain type of person, with person structure adequate for leading and fullfilling the role they had.

I should verify that at the sources myself, which might be interesting, but for certain apostles were given the higest leading position in the times of the new testament writing, followed by prophets (not to be confused with the old testament concept we call the same), then teachers, etc. (see Ephesians). And of course a 'sent one' would need to be sent, to be indeed actually sent, that is obvious. That a) assumes there is a God that can effectuate such a sending, and b) that He indeed did so.

Were apostles consciously unmarried? In fact that is not true, Peter for instance was married probably already before he followed Jesus around (in the flesh, that is), but none of them seems to have led a family life, or at least none of them writing or written about in the new testament was in a married family live as many have us believe christians are supposed to live in. Not that all christians are apostles, in fact relatively few are probably given for that, but still, there are considerable differences between what various brands of so-called christians (ranging from conservatives with a tag through bad old catholicism) try to tell us and what scripture clearly indicates (christian expression on purpose, were I think I can get away with, and which is explicit enough language in a direction I think may well be needed).

Let's see Peter WAS married, and did NOT lead a family life, and most probably did NOT live in celebacy, and CERTAINLY didn't preach it. Paul does seem to have strong feelings about various people, certainly NOT of a homosexual (strange word) nature, and he was certainly not indicating women weren't important. Another (I think its Jude) addresses a woman like a teacher, and Jesus himself was most probably sexually without a woman, emotionally at times at least not, NOT proclaiming his own mother god, NOT a motherfucker, and not a son of a bitch or bastard with no respect for family type of relations, but CERTAINLY licing in almost complete denial of their relevance for his life. Period, sort of.

And it is still forbidden by old testament (jewish) law to dress up in woman clothes or to consciously make oneself exteriorwise a sacrifice to some demon god. And the summary of the main law, quoted in quite reliable enough greek by Jesus, is still: I am the Lord thy God, , you shall have NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME. Not money. Not a system. Not a position. Not another person, even. Not glory. Certainly not a demon. Not the world. Not a law that isn't his. No other god.

In greek the word for 'demon', in my language sort of a spirit without a body from who knows where, certainly not of human origin, and always evil (and usually stupid, and deceased human beings never return in our lives, also not as deamons, never, see OT), is used for 'god', 'demon', and some other meanings (I looked it up but forgot). But also for 'god', so when paul refers to 'the unkown god' he is into a territory where deamons at least also could play a role in. I'm not sure how it is in general, but all the greek 'gods' of course weren't actual gods, and hopefully would only serve as idea placeholders for certain types of behaviour, certain concepts, which is of course certainly true.

Now supposing the Holy Spirit is a spirit and a person, as is clear enough in new testament sense 'the holy spirit led philip...', 'but the holy spirit stopped us from going to asia..' (see for instance acts), there is major possibility for confusion, error, worship of deamons, and the evil and sour fruits of this. If as a christian I am supposed to live according to Gods will, and the Holy Spirit has the possiblity to communicate, than whta happens? And how is that with MY person. What is the risk ? I've been in various 'christian' congregations where I positively sure people live after the will and maybe words of deamons. That's at least ugly. An devil. A demon is NOT going to produce blessing. And in the name of Jesus or Gods words living a life led by demons is horrible, damning, not just for oneself, but also for listeners. The same holds for leaders, it is not written for nothing that prophesies (that were often enough public, and as utterance amoung other believers) need to be tested. Not to see if the Holy Spirit making a (real) christian person produce an utterance by speaking the words in his or her mind (with foaming mounts, falling on the floor, and lets say generally becoming an insult to the real God), can be cought in a mistake, but simply to find out wether the source is indeed the real, divine, holy spirit.

When people think they are listening to God, it would better be. And mind you, there is only one God, and one Holy Spirit, not a whole panteon of them, available by choice of lie or something. When a person thinks or teaches that, they are clearly in error and not following the God of the Jews and the new testament christians alike, who is only God, one God, eternal, almighty, infallible (He that is, not his apostles), and never changing.

I think the greek knew the difference. I'm sure they knew about (king) David, old testament prophets and their fruits, and when I read Homer, probably they knew quite well what the importance was, and what maybe even underlies quite a bit of their fancy panteon construction.

Apstoles in NT times preached love, even literally, though its meaning is well defined, Jesus himself calls it a positive side when certain people have hatred in their harts for certain types of evil, refutation and rebukal is in the picture, as is social buildup and even the concept of 'Gods familily', though that is basically His business, not human beings making Him the goddamned, goddamning godfather of their own little tower of babylon making.