adventures in dysthymia

Saturday, November 14, 2009

FONTS and MUSIC

I've long kept my eye open for a good font to use in printing out lyric-and-chord sheets for my use. Up until quite recently my choice was Humanist 521 -- looks good, doesn't take up to much space, easy enough to read. The problem was lining things up -- tabs and so on. This is exacerbated if I send a page to someone else who used a different font to view it or if I ever chose to put stuff on line.

The answer, I realized, was to use a fixed space font. Unfortunately, most of them looked bad or didn't read well. Oh, Courier is okay; after all, I typed up a lot of sheets with it long ago!

Then I came across Vera Sans Mono (aka Bitstream Vera Sans Mono). It's sort of like a fixed-width Verdana. Looks pretty good on a monitor, prints out nicely enough, not a space hog so I can (usually) get a line of lyrics across the page, complete with breaks at the bars. And, if I send it to someone as a file (I've taking to saving them all as RTFs) it can display pretty much the same in the equivalent size of Courier.

VSM can be found as a free download here and there. Google it if you're interested. Btw, if you're into programming, it's supposed to be great for writing code.

In other music-related matters, I continue to attempt to get into the studio and actually record something. It's not easy to find the time as I have to keep an eye on Mom pretty much constantly. Thank God I have Rachel, Martha, Bonnie and Ellen to help keep her occupied most afternoons! I just may have to try recording in the middle of the night when she's asleep. When I will sleep then I'm not exactly sure...

I'd been thinking of getting some mastering and/or CD burning software to use here. My old Nero is barely adequate and buggy on the newer Vista machine in the studio. The thought was something Sony, either the full Sound Forge 10 (which probably would have been overkill for my needs) or just CD Architect. Either way, I could write professional Red Book standard CDs. Then I discovered that the newer version of Adobe Audition has full mastering and burning capabilities. That would be Version 3; I have had and occasionally used Version 1 (which is essentially the old Cool Edit Pro by another name.) V1 does not have these capabilities so it had not come to mind but I find I can upgrade for about the same cost as buying CD Architect and get a lot more functionality so that's the way I've gone.

Audition might become my primary DAW from here out or I may use it mostly for mastering. I am rather fond of my old standby from PG Music, Power Tracks, largely because of its midi capabilities.

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