Assessment Task 2: Finding my community.

It was tasked to us to go in search of our communities, find some more reach, and engage others with tools other than our blogs. I took a few different approaches to this, I tried signing up for and posting in a tech forum (DJ tech tools), and posting in an active music Facebook group I’m already a member of. Most of these attempts landed little to no results for my blog reach. There was some good insight attained about the way online communities are moderated, the way people interact with each other, and how people feel about self promotion.

I decided to post on a public forum, DJ tech tools. For my first attempt I decided to reach out and ask a simple question “How do you do what I do“?  I gave the post a few days but it was met with no real engagement, I felt in this age of quick technology, a quick post would get answers quickly. Finally, despite being disheartened, I made one final attempt at reaching my audience, despite being knocked back on facebook, I posted my KRK 10s repair log. Once again, this received no real reach. It was clear to me that I needed to build a rapport with DJ tech tools. “Only ask for favours once you’ve established a relationship” (Oatway, 2012 p99). Despite the fact I wasn’t asking so much for shares or reach, I shouldn’t expect people to engage with me.

In a different approach I decided to go seek a crowd for which I’m better know, more specifically the “Melbourne Trap Pack”. My attempt was quashed quickly after posting my Compa gig review. Shortly after posting, it was taken down by admins , I wonder why? Not long after I made the post I saw this:

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A facebook post from the creator of Melbourne Trap Pack

It was clear that the sort of post I put up, was not accepted by the community as more than spam. I didn’t feel too disheartened though, because regardless of status, community guidelines dictate a certain etiquette when posting. Within the Melbourne trap pack, I have a community and am a respected member of the almost 1000 strong facebook group, but this didn’t trump the need to follow guidelines. The outcry by the community solidified some of the values within the community, but also began a shift.

Communities share the values of the members; Online communities change rapidly reflecting the changing values of the members. “Social media platforms are eclectic… and prone to change”(Bolter, 2012 p.207). The people had spoken, and I had also decided to speak too. I basically outlined that the community should create what they want to see, directly shaping the content added to the group. The fallout was a restructuring of the original intentions of the Trap pack, shaped directly by the members of the group.

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Posts made by myself on may 3rd and 5th. expressing that the community should shape it’s self.

More time and effort could have yielded more results favorable for my blog. Regardless of reach gained, three very important concepts were realised, It’s important to be very active within a community before seeking promotion, etiquette and respect for guidelines must be respected and communities are shaped by those most active.

Bibliography:

Bolter, Jay David. “Social Media and the Future of Political Narrative.” Travels in Intermediality. Lebanon, US: Dartmouth, 2012. ProQuest ebrary.
accessed from:
http://site.ebrary.com.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/lib/rmitau/reader.action?ppg=206&docID=10556511&tm=1455077330982. 7/5/2016

Oatway, Jay, Apr 26, 2012, Mastering Story, Community and Influence : How to Use Social Media to Become a Socialeader Wiley, Hoboken. 97-109. ISBN: 9781119943457.
accessed via https://equella.rmit.edu.au/rmit/file/48c1e6be-7649-44d9-860b-2e7aff36dadf/1/160211_3_006.pdf  7/5/2016

 

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Repair Log: KRK 10s Sub and the search for R503

I had a very good friend, a VERY good friend, gift me a used, KRK 10s sub. It’s a 10 inch, front firing, studio sub, intended to be used in conjunction with a pair of studio monitors. Upon giving it to me, he had already tried to repair it, with no positive results.

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The 10s Sub all opened up.  This photo was used as an instagram post; an attempt to find out some more information about the Sub. 

After taking the Sub home, it was time to diagnose the problem, but before I go any further, I’d like to disclose that I have an Associate Degree in electronic engineering. Take caution before attempting  a similar repair, that being said, anyone with a little bit of confidence, know how, and responsibility CAN do this themselves.

After Plugging it in, the sub mad a horrible sound, the previous owner said that only signals plugged into the left channel created this sound, and the right side was fine. I confirmed this as fact pretty quickly. Now it was time to answer the next question; Why did it make that sound?


I found out pretty quickly that there was just one thing wrong with this sub, a missing resistor… a really tiny, seemingly insignificant component, the part number was R503

Resistor no.503 was harder to find than I would like to admit. I’d love to rant on about how cheaply electronics are made, almost disposable in their build quality. Alas, I  was determined to find R503, I knew it would be cheap, and I was confident that I could get this beast roaring again.

I reached out through a number of different sources to find R503. instagram, forum, and facebook posts, and emails out to relevant tech groups and repairshops as well as KRK themselves.

Within 12 hours of starting my search, I had found it! R503 was no longer a mystery for me. After talking to a repairshop, I was quickly emailed the electronic schematics and found the value of R503. The part was a 100 ohm, metal film resistor with a 1% tolerance.

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Resistor R503. Metal film resistors: 100 Ohms, 1% tolerance. 

The total cost of Resistor R503 was 50cents, for a pack of 8. It’s sad to know that this Sub, which retails at about $600 new, was almost destined for landfill, I can only imagine the amount of electronics which have met a similar fate.

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 A blurry photo of R503 in it’s place.

I wish I had taken more photos of the repair, but I was rather excited to get the resistor and test my new sub, I can tell you now, it sounds better than 50 cents.

Shure M447 Install and Review.

So I had to switch back to turntables for the Compa Gig on the 22nd. Alas my poor S-120s were shot, needles worn, records skipping. Instead of buying replacement needles to fit my S-120 Cartridges, I decided to buy a new pair of Shure M447 carts.

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Shure M447s mounted (center) and Serato x Ortofon S-120s unmounted (outside)

So I suppose the logical question is, why replace the whole cartridge? A pair of M447s will set you back $190, $95 a piece. Splashing out on two new M447s seems a little insane, but here is the plot twist, a pair or replacement needles for S-120s will set you back $160! Personally, I couldn’t justify paying so much to replace needles on carts I’m just not stoked about. If you ask me, “are the S-120s good?” I will tell you they are, but I felt I had to give the classic M447s a try. Now at the very least I will now have a cheaper needle replacement option; $80 a pair vs $160, half price. While I do expect to pay a little more  I can’t explain why the needle price is so high on the ortofons. To give a full context of price, 1 M447 unloaded cartridge is $95 1 S-120 Cart loaded is $150. Not too bad, keep in mind that the s-120s come with a headshell (the one’s pictured in this blog actually), where as M447s don’t (there was once a Technics headshell option).

The M447s are solid out of the box. As you can see, I’ve set mine up 23 degrees. For those not familiar, a 23 offset, is a setup that is meant to result in better tracking for the needle, because the Cartridge is better aligned with the tone arm. I’ve also done some experimenting with 0 degree offset, they performed equally well setup this way, however I reverted to 23 offset because it’s my personal preference.

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Diagram provided with the Shure M447s illustrating the 23 degree setup.

Right out of the box, I can tell you I really like the 447s, they track well, are a breeze to setup and really stick well to the record sans high tracking forces. Perhaps the nicest thing about these needles is the fact they track well without a lot of wear in. Here is a Serato Public post that has a short discussion on Needle wear in process for S-120, this process need not apply to the 447s.

Since switching over to 447s I’ve started scratching again. It’s been about 6 months since I last practised scratching, and the carts were very stable despite my poor technique and heavy hand on the platter. The carts did jump a little, but a minor adjustment in tracking force (4g-5g) and they were back on track.

When used with Serato DJ they provided a clean, consistent, signal when used in conjunction with Serato 6dB Performance vinyl. This is expected, prior to the release of the Serato x Ortofon S-120 carts, the M447s were the cartridges Serato recommended.

Overall, I think the Shure provide a high value product in the M447 cartridges. They perform great out of the box, and don’t break the bank. The reading material provided is informative and detailed, it makes the setup of these needles a breeze. I would recommend the M447s highly, there is a reason this design has stood true for years and has been used by DMC champions and bedroom Djs alike.

 

 

 

Dark Riddims Presents: Compa (Deep Medi)

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Local bass weight crew; Dark Riddims, and local bass haven; Grumpy’s, showed melbourne how to run a dubstep night. We hosted Compa, the young Deep Medi gun from the UK, and he brought along a whole crate full of fire. Supported by local guns Kamo, Kymera, Nocuer, and myself Hite, the night rocked until 1 with Compa giving us a 2 hour dubstep masterclass.

Compa brought a real treat for his show; custom cut dubplates, exclusive records never to be heard again, he slung some heavy remixes of old school classics. The whole floor was packed wall to wall from 10-1 (close) and it was a stand out night put on by Dark riddims and Grumpy’s. It’s not often we here in melbourne get a taste of the dubplate culture that’s represented in the UK, but everyone there savoured the rare sight.

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The Author (right) with Compa (left) after the show.

I managed to catch a few words with the don after the show. Safe to say, he’s one of the nicest, most respectful international artist I’ve had the pleasure of working with. He’s clearly worked hard to get where he is, and his shows are top notch.

Big Ups !

Bando Rave

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This is literally the only good photo of the night, and it’s still a mess. This does pretty well to describe the way things panned out.

A little more context…
One Sleepy Saturday night, my friends and myself attended a humble abandoned warehouse rave (a bando rave). I’m not really at liberty to reveal the location, but It was 25 min travel from Melbourne CBD. Upon arriving, we squeezed through holes cut in chain link fences, walked past burnt out cars, kicked broken printers? This derelict warehouse had broken down brick walls, smashed out glass, broken bottles (signs of previous ravers) and a mess of people, some even attending another rave nearby.

A small single stack was brought along, Turntables were propped up on a portable table. The whole setup was being run by a generator chugging along outside.

Not toilets, no running water, no bar, no security. The freedom afforded at these events is unlike any experience at a club. These sorts of raves are where I feel most comfortable, people are at greater ease. Often these sorts of events can bring more mature crowds, people that know how to look after themselves, because if you fuck up, there isn’t a lot around to help you.

The people, the music, and atmosphere was more than what any club could offer.

A true escape from monotony of the club circuit.

Assessment Task 1: Blogging

I’m not sure how common my sentiments are with blogging, but I’ve struggled to get a foot hold, finding my ideas and the balance of detail vs succinctness has been difficult. I started with a relatively short post, then subsequently felt as if it didn’t even scratch the surface with how I felt. I put off blogging because every time I started something, I felt like I had to include everything, I couldn’t focus myself. I had a few draft posts, of 300 words with no signs of an end. I have since read around a few blogs and have seen they are little updates, and little stories. Bites and snippets. A few longer ones here and there, but nothing huge. I’ve decided I’m going to add little day to day things, with less words and more linking to self made creative content. My future ideas include, “weekend in reviews” little 150 -200 word post quickly giving a snapshot of the weekend, as well as gear reviews and maybe one larger 500 word opinion piece every week.

I’ve attempted to add hypertext as regular part of my blog posts, I felt that making the most of the technological advantages blogs afford is important as it distinguishes blogs from other texts. However, I feel as if I’ve fallen short of the main objective of hypertext, which is to create a network or texts. Below is a piece of hyper text, within a paragraph about hypertext, explaining a portion of hypertext (so meta).

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Landow (2006, pg 70)

 

So how does the above picture relate to my blog? Well, instead of creating a network similar to the diagram on the right, which links back and forth between similar texts, my model appears to closer resemble an axial electronic book structure. I have Auxiliary links which link one way only, as apposed to linking with each other. Hopefully as my blogs begin to cover similar topics to one another, I will be able to re invigorate discussion from previous blogs.

My blog posts are aware of other work available. Through out my blogging I have used other works to spark discussion, to provide a different perspective, or to support an idea. In my blog “Gear isn’t everything, and buy used!“, there is a link to an article which I used as a single discussion point, and the primary source of the idea . Additionally, in my blog, “360° Video Adventures” Discussion revolved almost entirely around a video project I was part of. I feel that by using other pieces of media in my blogs, I encourage more engagement with the audience when compared to simple written text.

I’ve had trouble with blogging thus far, focusing my discussions to be concise has only developed in the last week. This particular task forced me to closely examine my own and other’s blogging, and has given me new direction and drive to create enguaging regular content.

Stay Lokt.

References:

Landow, George P (2006) Hypertext 3.0: Critical Theory and New Media in an Era of Globalization. Avalible at: https://equella.rmit.edu.au/rmit/file/5827c6cc-7cad-463e-8db2-182a30d8e642/1/130130_3_002.pdf (Accessed: 10/4/2016)