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Thoughts on The New Mac Pro

Posted by Scott

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I have never owned a Mac Pro nor do I ever plan on owning one (probably, never say never). I am writing this from the perspective of a life-long PC user (which I am) who thinks very highly of Apple products (I use Macbook Pros for the Tycho live shows). I love OS X, I love Apple hardware; I just prefer PC as my desktop environment when creating music, design, and video. I don’t have any great explanation, I just do. But I’ve always envied those shiny aluminum behemoths lurking in the corners of my friend’s studios. The interior of the Pros was always what did it for me: that blue color on the PCBs, the brushed finish on the capacitors, the thermal compartments. So I too was waiting on this new machine, if only to see what Apple would come up with next.

Considering I’m not a Mac Pro user it’s not really my place to be thrilled or disappointed, I guess I’d just say I’m surprised. This was a radical step in a new direction and for that, I applaud Apple’s stones. With their dominance in the consumer sector this could have gone two ways: The Mac Pro could have just gone away, or, with nothing to really gain or lose, they could do something completely unexpected and truly innovate. They chose the latter and I think it’s a great thing for the PC industry as a whole.

I would have said let’s put aesthetics aside and just discuss the specs on this machine, but it seems the two are inexorably linked, which depending on how you view this, could be a good or bad thing. On the one hand it’s compact and sleek, on the other it seems very proprietary, further limiting the already limited list of compatible hardware. But don’t forget what’s around back: six Thunderbolt 2 ports. The first thing I thought when Thunderbolt 1 was announced was “here comes modular computing”. The first thing I thought when I saw the 2013 Mac Pro and the Thunderbolt 2 announcement was “here is the face of modular computing”. A compact central computing element with an external interconnect protocol capable of PCIx+ speeds. This opens some very large doors in terms of upgrading and/or easily and quickly adjusting your system for changing needs.

The form factor is incredibly efficient (take a look at the Mac Pro site at Apple for more on the unified thermal architecture, brilliant). For someone who transports a very large PC ATX case to and from various studios, the idea of a compact, tubular enclosure like this is a dream. I could fit this thing in a messenger bag or a small flight case. For tour it could be great too; mount two of these horizontally in a flight case so that when the case caps are removed the intake and exhaust are exposed. I’ve seen the old Mac Pros mounted two-up in 19″ flight cases on stage before, it’s a huge footprint, this would be a welcome change for many a stage manager / tech I’m sure. As I’m writing this I’m starting to convince myself this might make a good next desktop, we’ll see.

All in all I think it’s a beautiful piece of engineering with the specs to back it up, but what do I, a lowly PC user, know? What do you current Pro users think? Does this scare you? If so, why? What do you think of the look? Are you going to get one?

The New Mac Pro

ISO50 Exclusive: Stream Gold Panda Album

Posted by Jakub

"Half Of Where You Live"

“Half Of Where You Live”


We’re proud to be allowed to be streaming the new Gold Panda album for the ISO50 readers. If you love the record be sure to support it physically, this one should be around for years to come. Below is a more detailed description/story around the album but if you want just the music then enjoy above.

SUPPORT:
BUY VINYL / CD / DIGITAL

Nearly three years after the release of his debut album Lucky Shiner, Gold Panda returns with his second album Half Of Where You Live, to be released on Ghostly International and his own NOTOWN label (UK). The album is the product of a period spent touring the world multiple times around, absorbing influences and probing potential new avenues of creative exploration.

Half Of Where You Live represents a stylistic and thematic advancement from Gold Panda’s previous work, expanding on the ideas he presented on 2012’s Mountain/Financial District 7” and this March’s Trust EP. It reflects its creator’s nomadic existence — you can see the influence of his travels in track titles like ‘Brazil’ and “Enoshima,” in the oriental textures of “My Father In Hong Kong 1961″ and “We Work Nights,” and in the sounds of “Junk City II,” conceived as a hypothetical soundtrack to ’90s anime and the films of controversial director Takashi Miike.

“These films depicted a post-economic boom Tokyo in the 1990s”, the producer explains, “and there was a last days feeling in them. [The feeling] still lurks [in Japan]. I saw a return to that possible dystopia. I’ve seen people in Osaka walking around, jobless, mental, stricken. I think real desperation and poverty is returning; it’s quite scary.”

The whole album, in fact, is described as a “city album” by its maker, and it’s easy to see why — each track possesses a different aesthetic and reflects a different environment. Gold Panda describes it as “a jump from location to location… I felt like I was stealing a piece of each place I went to.” ‘Community’ is a house-tinged reflection on cultural divides in London, while “Brazil” catalogs Gold Panda’s arrival in Sao Paolo: “I wanted to make a track that soundtracked my ride from the airport to downtown” he explains. “The [vocal] sample is kind of like an excited chant, bigging up the place, then it all gets confusing to replicate the traffic and buildings.”

Taking on this loose concept has meant a more considered approach for Gold Panda, and the music has harsher edges than his previous work, and an almost hauntological feel at times. Crucially, though, this new approach hasn’t compromised the producer’s creative freedom, and the album still flows with his trademark organic vibrancy. “I’ve tried to really focus on just a few elements,” he explains. “I tried to avoid chopped up female vocals this time around, as it’s become pretty well done, and anything that was too solid structurally. Ultimately, though, you just you find your groove and settle into a sound and realize you only really need to please yourself.”

Kickstarter: Wooden Pinhole Cameras

Posted by Jon M

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Like Jakub mentioned in a previous post, here at ISO50 we try to share what we feel are interesting and worthy Kickstarter projects, so when I came across ONDU’s beautiful handmade Wooden Pinhole Cameras, I felt not only the need to share this on the blog, but pledge as well.

THE CAMERAS


ONDU 135 PANORAMIC PINHOLE
This camera combines the best of both worlds. It can shoot the regular Leica format in 36 mm x 24 mm or panoramic double frames at 72 mm x 24 mm image. It also hosts a 0,20 mm pinhole size and a focal length of 25 mm and a standard tripod mount. Great for taking amazing panoramic shots with a field of view of 113°.


ONDU 6X12 MULTIFORMAT PINHOLE
This is a multi-format all-in-one camera that can take 6 x 6, 6 x 9, and 6 x 12 images. It produces similar looking results as the ONDU 135 Panoramic but with much greater clarity, thanks to the 120 roll film. The camera has a pinhole size of 0.30 mm, a focal length of 40 mm and a standard tripod mount.


ONDU 135 POCKET PINHOLE
One of the smallest and lightest cameras around, this camera is still durable enough to outlast any of its digital counterparts. The ONDU 135 Pocket Pinhole camera is great for when you are shy on space and want to take it anywhere with you! It has a pinhole size of 0.20 mm, a focal length of 25 mm, and it comes with a standard tripod mount.


ONDU SLIDING BOX PINHOLE
A camera for the collector enthusiasts. It’s made with two sliding boxes that hold the paper in place for the exposure. This way, a single image is produced before heading to the darkroom or changing the paper in a changing bag. It uses a paper format of 12.8 x 18.7cm, has a 0.3 mm pinhole and a 50 mm focal length.


ONDU 4″ X 5″ LARGE PINHOLE
If you already know a thing or two about pinhole and large format photography, this is the perfect camera for you! It uses a standard 4˝ x 5˝ film holder that is secured snugly on the back with strong magnets. The camera has a 0.30 mm pinhole, a focal length of 60 mm and a standard tripod mount.


ONDU 6X6 POCKET PINHOLE
A tiny camera, given the fact that it uses 120 format film to expose an image! Like 135, it’s small enough to take it anywhere with you but takes images with a greater resolution. The camera has a pinhole size of 0.20 mm, a focal length of 25 mm and a standard tripod mount. Because it uses 120 film, the negatives on this camera are 56 mm x 56 mm, and the angle of view is an astonishing 115°.

Support ONDU Wooden Pinhole Cameras at Kickstarter

Playlist 16

Posted by ISO50

ISO50-PL16-450

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

ISO50 Playlist 16 – Compiled By Heathered Pearls & Tycho
Track Listing
Bibio – A Tout a l’heure
Bonobo – Cirrus
Machinedrum – Whatnot
Atoms for Peace – Default
Sepalcure – He Said No
XXYYXX – Alexis
Airbird & Napolian – In The Zone
Toro Y Moi – Say That (DaM-FunK Re-Freak)
Dauwd – Ikopol
Lord RAJA – Panthera Bengal
Chrome Sparks – Marijuana
Ulrich Schnauss – I Take Comfort in Your Ignorance (Tycho Remix)
Yuna – Lullabies (Jim-E Stack Remix)
Maribou State – Scarlett Groove (Feat. Saint Saviour)
Clarian & Guy Gerber – Claire
Nosaj Thing – Eclipse/Blue feat. Kazu Makino (Blonde Redhead)
Beacon – Bring You Back
White Denim – Street Joy
Youth Lagoon – Mute
Frank Wiedemann & Ry Cuming – Howling
Smashing Pumpkins – Cupid De Locke
Avey Tare – Bobby’s Loop
Meanderthals – Collective Fetish
Superstructure – Escape
Levek – Girl In The Fog
John Talabot & Pional – Braves
Grizzly Bear – gun-shy (Lindstrøm Remix)
Poolside – Next To You
Hot Chip – How Do You Do? (Todd Terje Remix)
Lindstrøm & Todd Terje – Lanzarote
Lescop – La Foret (Joakim’s Balenciaga Remix)
Black Sabbath – Planet Caravan [DJ Steef Edit]
Ptaki – Krystyna
Todd Terje – Snooze 4 Love (Version)
Darkstar – Timeaway
Knxwledge. – wishuwerehere.
Throwing Snow – Aspera
Andy Stott – Numb
The Holydrug Couple – Out of sight

Past playlists are available in the Playlist Archive

Lets talk Boards Of Canada RSD 12″

Posted by Jakub

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As part of Saturday’s Record Store Day festivities, Warp released a solitary 12″ credited to the pair through NY record shop Other Music. The disc features a short clip of a woozy none-more-BoC piece, plus a vocodered voice reading out the numbers “9-3-6-5-5-7″. It appears the record may be one in a series of jigsaw pieces: the record is credited as “—— / —— / —— / XXXXXX / —— / ——” , and features dead space on either side of the clip, implying a fill-in-the-gaps approach.

We obviously approached the story with the requisite skepticism, but Pitchfork now claim they have had direct confirmation that the record is legit. An Other Music employee, Mikey IQ Jones, has also got in touch directly with FACT. According to Jones: “It’s real. We were given a copy to secretly place in the racks at Other Music; we’re really psyched that it was found by a big fan!”

– FACT

So the vinyl is legit, now its time to figure out what the numbers mean. I have to hand it to Warp Records and BoC, this brought back the young fan in a lot of people that might have written them off. Its funny how hardcore music fans that treat music really seriously can trash talk and the less serious more carefree listener is just geeked and ready to spend their weekend trying to decode the exciting mystery that is there.

I personally think the 6 spaces each stand for a letter and then will be converted to ASCII to text and its not going to spell out SUMMER but the album title. Any thoughts from you guys?

Quality sources with info:
2020k

FACTmag

UPDATE – VINYL 2: