Learning to play my Roland JD-Xi synthesizer

Roland JD-Xi Synthisizer
Roland JD-Xi Synthesizer

This past Christmas I bought myself a new instrument, a Roland JD-Xi synthesizer.  To tell the truth I haven’t been an active musician in some time, and had been considering getting a guitar again, but decided instead to go the keyboard route this time.

As a young child my parents sent me to piano lessons at a Yamaha school, and we had an organ in the house while I was growing up.  My sister bought a Roland Juno synthesizer way back when that I would sometimes play around on, but mostly I had played the bass guitar up until I just stopped.

This thing is pretty impressive in terms of what it can do, but I’m starting out slowly by reading the manual and programming a couple short loops and sequences.  I record them on my PC and then upload them to my Soundcloud profile.

Today I created a new program, and I used all 4 parts of the Roland JD-Xi.  First I created the drum part using TR-909 Kit 1 sound.  Then I added the Bass track using the UnisonSynBs1 sound in Digital Synth 1.  Next I added a part using the Analog Synth and the Init Tone sound.  Lastly I used the Digital Synth 2 and the Super Saw 1 sound to layer on some high notes.

If you listen to the recording you will hear me add and subtrack the various parts while the sequence is playing.

25% off new Amazon Prime memberships

In honor of their Amazon Original series “Mozart in the Jungle” winning a Golden Globe, Amazon has slashed the cost of subscribing to it’s Amazon Prime service by 25%.

New members only can get a year’s worth of Amazon Prime for $73 instead of the normal price of $99.  This offer ends on 1/17/2016 so time is running out to take advantage of it.

When you sign up for Amazon Prime, you receive many benefits including free two day shipping, and some metro areas have some items that are same day delivery.  There is also a library of TV shows, movies, and music that subscribers can view or listen to via streaming.

Prime members also get photo storage in the cloud, early access to some deals, and access to a variety of e-books at no extra cost.  Their web site has the full details on all of these benefits as well as the sign up page.

I decided to cut the cord and drop my cable television subscription over a year ago, and I have found that my Amazon Prime membership has filled a vital role in allowing me to listen to and watch entertainment on my television, PC, and mobile devices for a low cost when you divide the annual cost over 12 months.  That alone would be enough to justify the cost but the other benefits including those that apply to accelerated shipping add even more value to me.  If you were thinking about trying out Amazon Prime for the first time, this weekend would be a good time to sign up because you will save some money off your first year.

The Powerball lottery meltdown – Part III

Last night I found out the winning numbers in the Powerball drawing by seeing a Twitter post by ABC News, about three or four minutes later.  Immediacy is one of the things that Twitter is really good about.  Accuracy can vary wildly, depending on the original source and how much diligence has been done to verify the source and the news.  In this example they posted the correct numbers for the Wednesday drawing.

I checked my ticket and only one number, in one of the picks, out of ten different chances to win, matched.  Oh well, the sun will come up tomorrow.

I checked the Florida Lottery’s website after the drawing time and unlike Sunday night, it continued to function.  I was clearing my cache, and about 15 minutes later the data updated to show the most current winning number.  This was good.  Mission accomplished, at least from the viewpoint of the folks who needed the site to stay up.

As IT has become increasing more of the things we interact with and depend upon, the need for technical solutions to scale and meet spikes in demands is more important than ever.  Sometimes “right sizing” as a inflexible approach to balancing service with costs isn’t the best approach.  Virtualization and scalabity are important attributes to consider when designing in our connected, dynamic computing world.