Friday, 23 August 2013

eCigs save lives, stop the MHRA from regulating them!

Hi, my name is Stacy, and I am a smoker, lol. Or at least was! I smoked for 16+ years, probably about 40 a day by the end. I tried loads of things to stop smoking, but none worked. Until recently, when I started using eCigs, and have been smoke free for nearly a month, with no plans to ever smoke again!
People were worried they were dangerous, to users and bystanders, but a recent study ( by CASAA has found them to be completely safe, and compared to how dangerous tobacco cigs are, you'd be mental to say they are a bad thing!
Currently 1.3 million people in the UK have switched from smoking, to "vaping" with eCigs, just like me. That 1.3 million (and rising!) that have drastically reduced the chance on tobacco related disease (Notably, cancer!), which will mean to you (even non-smokers!) that 1.3 million people won't be draining the NHS and your tax money due to their lifestyle choice! For those close to me (Notably my Fiance and 3 daughters) that I am going to be around for a little longer!
In the UK, the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) plans to regulate the eCigs and eLiquids as non-prescription medicines from 2016, at which point they would be considered as a treatment option for the NHS... Sounds good, right?
Well, no. They want to regulate it, saying it is unsafe (disproven by CASAA!!). Here is a quote from The Independent: "The MHRA said the market needed to be regulated because existing ecigarettes were not good enough,-" (Good enough to stop 1.3 million people smoking, but OK, go on...) "-with contaminants found in some products-" (disproven by CASAA) "-and nicotine levels varying widely-" (disproven by CASAA) "-. Once ecigarettes are licensed, manufacturers will have to prove the quality of their products-" (They are already regulated by the General Product regulations, that means the nicotine containing liquid undergoes random testing by Trading Standards, ingredients listed, childproof bottles, product recalls if faults are found and more.) "- and demonstrate that they deliver the correct amount of nicotine, although they will not need to do clinical trials."- (All medicines and medical devices have to undergo clinical trials, according to the MHRA's own website, at huge expense to the manufacturer. Only the pharmaceutical companies and tobacco companies could afford this, wiping out hundreds of small business' across Europe. So they are actually lying in that last claim!!)
This argument is based on research(which, funnily enough, has been discredited) by BAT (British American Tobacco), a large tobacco company that makes Dunhill, Benson and Hedges and Lucky Strike. Coincidentally, as this news broke, BAT bought out their own eCig (which is horrible by the way, tastes awful and the battery only lasts an hour!), which apparently meets all regulations the MHRA will bring in, just as that same regulation will cripple and destroy the small businesses that are responsible for the current eCig boom, and put the entire market profit in the hands of Big Tobacco, Big Pharma and the governments hands!!
So, after 2016, parts for my eCig will no longer be available when they wear out, and my favorite flavors of eLiquid will no longer be available, so I will have to buy MHRA approved eCigs, manufactured by Big Tobacco companies, which if the current batch are anything to go by, will be awful and, since the government and Big Tobacco companies need their billions of £'s, they will be just as expensive as normal Cigs! So, I will just go back to smoking, drain the NHS, and die pretty soon of cancer then.....
I would honestly like to stop this! And so should you, smoker or not. There is a petition going to stop this here - - that I would like to get more people to sign. I would also like to raise awareness, so will be posting this everywhere, and hope people will share it to help stop the destruction of a product that could save millions of lives. If you don't smoke, then you should still be aware and sign the petition, as I am sure you know and care about someone who smokes, or you don't want your tax money spent trying to save us smokers from diseases bought on by ourselves, or if you have ever known anyone who battled with cancer caused by smoking, or even if you don't like smoking because of second hand smoke, as there is none when using eCigs. I don't want to glamorize smoking, nor make it OK to do so in a public place, I just want to live longer and enjoy using eCigs, and stop such a brilliant, and quite frankly life saving device from being stamped out because it dents the governments and Big Tobacco companies profits from tobacco!
These things seriously benefit everyone, so please, I don't ask very often (never in fact!) for you to share something, but please do so with this, and help us stop the MHRA from making a huge mistake.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Babies, Work, Games, Cubase and Get 'em High 2012!!!

Oh my god, what a year!

So yea, been quiet for ages on all fronts, mainly due to having my 3rd daughter (well, my missus gave birth, but you know what I mean). Her name's Francesca, and she is amazing!

My music has taken a bit of a hit (Try concentrating on music and looking after a 3 month old... doesn't work!), but not only from being a father, I also scored a new job to boot. Well, I say new, gone back to working at a place I used to work for, but it's pretty cool. And games!!! Been playing lots of games for some reason, perhaps due to a PC upgrade. So a lot has been taking my attention away from making music, but I have found time to dabble here and there, creating some Schranz and working on other projects.

Think the biggest problem has been my (awesome at the time, but shit after 3 months) idea to re-work my old track "Get 'em High". Seeing as I have made the switch from FLStudio to Cubase, I needed a project to sink my teeth into, and the creative juices just weren't flowing! So, had what I thought at the time was the great idea of doing that track again. It's turned into a bit of a nightmare for me to be honest!

Having not a lot of free time, I have been working on this track for 3 - 4 months in fits and starts, and you know what, after that long, I now abso-fucking-lutely hate the track... with a passion! It sounds awful, it's poorly written, and the mixdown/master is horrendous  More so than the rest of my tracks! Yes, I think pretty much every track I have ever created is awful, but this one takes the prize, lol.

Now I don't normally release stuff that I really hate. Normally, I love my tracks, until they are released, then I hear them against other works, and begin to despise them! But, I hate this one now, and its still sat waiting to be uploaded. I am going to release it though, in the thinking that, A) It might only be that bad after hearing it 900,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times, and, B) If you guys get to hear me at my best, I think you should probably hear me at my worst too, coz it's the mistakes you learn from!

So, it's all mastered, probably be uploaded in a few hours, and then I am going to forget about it and move on to the next one!

Only unfortunate thing is, I have to write tracks in FLStudio still, then import the midi into Cubase to make the track! Which is weird, but I guess all my creativity has been with FL, and if that's the way it has to be, so be it!

Right, gotta go get Franky and Evie out of bed, the day begins now!

Laters, hopefully will have more content sooooon!


Monday, 6 February 2012

I'm baaack!!


Been ages since I updated this! Had an internet blackout for a few months, but finally back online, and trying to get on top of everything, while playing games (SWTOR & Minecraft).

So, I have a few new releases, all available at . Been really trying to push the boat out with my productions, some serious experimentation going on!

Also designed a new Logo this morning:
Let me know what you think!

I also have been overhauling the studio, and designing a new desk, which I plan to get started on (and put up a "How to build your own" tutorial) over the next few weeks. I've done a 3D model of what it will look like::

I'll keep you posted on that one.

Oh, and also have a collab in the works with my friend Rachel Fisher, so look out for that too!

Will be some more updates soon, I promise!


Thursday, 12 May 2011

Is this the end for UK Hardcore?

So, I'm feeling pretty down right now, and I can tell you its nothing to do with the sinus infection I've been battling with for the last 2 weeks!

Its actually all the bullshit, name calling and nonsensical arguing going on on every Hardcore forum on the net right now!

There's been rumblings here and there on the forums that hardcore is dying for the last few months, and with this weeks announcement of Nu Energy Collective going under, its all blown up big time. Trouble is, I don't see how hardcore is dying!

Some people are blaming freeform for it, others are just shouting crazy opinions because they have grown out of hardcore, maybe they feel bitter about this and are now doing their hardest to destroy the scene. Whatever it is, there's only one thing I can see that's destroying hardcore right now, and that's these people throwing around all this shit.

A lot of them are comparing now to 12 years ago when hardcore went under. I remember those days, and its nothing like it, in my opinion! We have a mass of new producers and DJ's in the wings, coming out with some really good stuff. Yes it's true that a lot of them aren't getting the exposure they deserve, but it will come in time.

As I see it, as long as we have this new blood pumping into the scene, we can't go under. Sure, popularity may drop for a while, but that sort of thing helps weed out the shite, while the true pioneers maintain their place, to bring hardcore to new heights.

The reason I'm feeling so crappy is two fold. 1 - I love this scene with a passion, can't imagine my life without it, and I will do anything to stop it being damaged! 2 - As an aspiring producer, seeing people shouting their mouths off about how all new hardcore is just crap, sped up trance, and saying all us new producers are just putting out generic crap has really knocked my confidence. I've just finished mastering a track that I have really worked hard on, and was intending to send it to a few record companies, but to be honest I now only see my track as generic crap. I'm quite disheartened about the whole thing.

Having compared my tracks to whats being released, I'm getting the feeling that I'm really not up to scratch. I would never have thought that a few weeks ago, I'm proud of my style of hardcore, and personally, I think its unique to me. But these guys have really knocked me for six now, and I'm losing hope of ever having a release.

So, when all this comes to a head, hardcore goes under, and I stop putting tracks out there, you all know who to blame! And I do apologise for this rambling post, but I'm quite worked up about it all, and needed to vent!!

Watch this space for a more creative and thought provoking post in a few days, rather than the ramblings of a mad man!

Take it easy y'all, and I leave you with this:

I am Hardcore till I die, and as long as I live, Hardcore lives with me!!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

TempoSync: Lazy-Evilness, or Creativity-Unleashing Breakthrough?

I first stepped up to a set of decks at the tender young age of 13, and have been hooked ever since (I am now 27!). So, as you might have guessed, I started out on belt driven vinyl decks, with a less than desirable mixer with a leaky crossfader, all linked to an Argos bought £39.99 hi-fi system. Not exactly "Pro" equipment at the time, and by today's standards, prehistoric!
I kept with the vinyl right up until last year, when I blew the motor on my Numark turntables, the death dealing blow in a string of problems I had had with my vinyl setup. I haven't since played a single vinyl record, opting instead to "move with the times", and go digital!
Now, as CD decks, even now, aren't exactly affordable, and it seems are already being made obsolete, I opted to go down the software road, going fully digital, mixing mp3's on my PC. Very quickly, the PC in my studio became not only my DAW, but my Decks as well.
However, due to running an on board sound card at the moment, the master output and the cue mix in my headphones are heavily out of sync, and while not making manual beat matching impossible, it makes it a lot more difficult, and cueing up a mix damn right frustrating! To remedy this situation, I have added to my wish list a Focusrite Saffire 6 USB and a Numark Mixtrack Pro (As much as I would like a Traktor Kontrol S4 or, as Slipmatt seems to be loving his, the Pioneer DDJ-T1, I really can't afford that sort of money!), but until I can gather funds for these, I am stuck with using TempoSync.
 Now, in the years leading up to the demise of my vinyl decks, I outright despised tempo sync! With a passion. And the thought of having to use it to get my mixes out there made me slightly queasy! But, and its a big but, I am now torn between whether or not I think its a good thing.
On the one hand, yes, it is lazy, and I still think all aspiring DJ's should learn to beat match by ear. Yes, its hard to learn, even harder to master, but the rewards and satisfaction are huge!
On the other hand, I can see its uses. When beat matching by ear, most of your time between mixes is spent beat matching and cueing up the next track, or, for me, having a cheeky cigarette if I can get the tracks synced quick enough! But with the tempo sync done automatically by the software, I found myself suddenly getting extremely bored between mixes. To the point where I was checking Twitter and Facebook while waiting for my next cue.
 Suddenly I found myself getting more creative with my mixes. Dropping in bits of this tune or that over the top, or just mixing from one track to another with lightening speed, condensing what would be a 15 track in 1 hour mix, to 20 tracks in 30 minutes. My effects bay had never seen so much use either, as I was using filters, stutters and loops just to alleviate the boredom of not having to beat match!
Take for instance, on of my favorite DJ's, DJ Gammer. I recently listened to his guest mix on the Next Generation Podcast, in which he crammed 21 tracks in 26 minutes. He is known for this type of lightening fast mixing, and by god does he do it well! Now, I don't know if he does use TempoSync, but I can't see anyway he could do it without it to be honest. It seems when you remove the need to spend time beat matching, the creative juices come out, allowing for some serious messing around on the decks!
 So I am now torn between the oldskool and the new, in some messed up limbo between hatred and love of temposync. And one question keeps popping into my mind: Would I rather do long and potentially boring mixes, and say with pride that I beat match by ear, or do I use tempo sync and get really creative, exciting mixes out there? I know the answer, but am hesitant to embrace it! I DJ and Produce for the people. I don't do it for money or fame, or anything other than to get the music I love out to like minded people to enjoy. In that light, TempoSync appears to be a god send!

So, I'd like to know your thoughts on the matter people! As in the title, my question to you stands:

TempoSync: Lazy-Evilness, or Creativity-Unleashing Breakthrough?


Welcome! (To both you and me!!)

Well, here it is, my first ever Blog. I really feel behind the times!

This will soon fill up with posts from myself, commenting on the trials and tribulations of trying to make it in the UK hardcore scene as both a Producer and DJ. Hopefully giving the average person who has never witnessed any of these things a bit of insight, and maybe aspiring Producers/DJ's a bit of inspiration, motivation and the occassional tip here and there.

So, watch this space for the first of many posts, as soon as I've worked out what I want this place to look like!

Take it squeezy!