a new year

…in which we contemplate our tools, website navigation, and another face lift.

So much to do, so little time. A well-worn complaint, about to be donned again as the general excuse for so few updates here recently.

First of all, when we last checked in on these blog pages, SoundWalk 2010 was coming right up. That’s done, and we have the wiki page (and pictures) to prove it. We had a great time, learned a lot (including how to overpack gear), and used a lot of GGB and oil pump sounds in the process.

But October 2 (!) is ancient history in January 2011 as tech pundits proclaim the end of the PC Era. Mobile broadband devices took a bite out of CES this year, just after filling a few million stockings of former less-fortunates with iPhones, iPads, and Androids. We’ve tested a slew of Android apps that turn a smartphone into a 44.1K digital recorder. Favorite so far? Tape Machine by Samalyse, which costs a few bucks but seems capable of long recordings and pretty fair quality, at least on our Xperia X10. Runner up? Livo Recorder Pro by Mach +1 Mobile. Samples are available for comparison on our Sounds pages. We are rapidly approaching gongMob potential!

On the home front we added a small Analogue Systems synth to the studio and cooked up a few loops for remixing. Despite the timesuck potential, there’s nothing quite like twiddling the knobs on a purely analog, monophonic synthesizer. We’ll post some pictures on the Tools page sometime, even if it is a diversion from the original sampling instinct that set wikiGong in motion.

Finally, halfway into our second year, with the major wiki and ccHost efforts behind us, our not-so-young man’s thoughts turn to widening our exposure and that, in turn, is driving us to integrate the site a little more. At the same time, it would be nice to be able to blog from anywhere, and that drives us to examine yet more disparate tools. Can we stand the irony of having MediaWiki as our wiki engine if we then implement WordPress for blogs? And will we then have a fourth tool on the site and another integration headache?

And so, we return to our theme: so much to do….