17 August 2009

Dreams from the Fresh Kills

Update: First session of new RPG campaign.

After a few months, I finally got around to starting my new RPG, titled Dreams from the Fresh Kills. This is a mystery story set in modern day Staten Island, New York City, aiming for a surreal atmosphere akin to David Lynch productions. This grew mostly out of a desire to try something different after running Kin of Cerberos, a much more action themed game, for a good while, and also a little from the trouble we had getting the rhythm of fights right in that game. The current game is likely to feature very little combat for the most part, focusing more on character interaction and investigation.

As with earlier games, I'll do story write-ups of each session and post them online. This is primarily for the convenience of me and my players, but anyone is of course free to read them.

8 August 2009

Synthesis

I've just bought my first hardware synthesizer, a second hand Korg N1R from the late 90's. Obviously I don't have much experience with it yet, but it seems pretty cool. It's a rack module style synth, i.e. it doesn't have a keyboard of it's own and needs to be hooked up to a midi keyboard. (As it happens, we have an old Kawai keyboard in the house, dating from the mid-90's, with midi features, which seems to work fine for the purpose.) There are hundreds of preset sounds to explore, and lots of potential for editing sounds, if I ever get around to learning the art of synthesizer programming... Okay, it is more than ten years old, but some of the sounds are still impressive, and I'm not sure a vintage sound is often a bad thing in general, either.

Earlier I've used pure samples, with tracker software, for similar purposes, and experimented with software synthesizers (such as ZynAddSubFX), though I haven't really done much with those as of yet. (Oh, and there's that old Kawai of course. I used that on a couple of old four track recordings back in the 90's, although it's own sound is rather inferior.) It's nice to actually own a physical synth, though. I have a large selection of at least decent sounds available in one straightforward package, no need to mess around with a variety of software. And it's a name brand, of course. With my ESP guitar (albeit from their cheaper LTD line) and Korg synth I'm almost starting to feel like a real musician.

If only I was a little better at playing keyboards...