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Willie's Off-Brand Web Journal: April 3--May 23, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010:

Hey, Internet! I need your help if you know anything about computer processor problems or can at least direct me to a message board populated with appropriately knowledgeable folk. Allow me to describe the problem using the format of your typical House episode, without the increasingly tone-deaf interpersonal dynamics.

THE BIG PROBLEM: I had to rebuild the computer I record my songs into, and now it's recording everything at a faster tempo than I'm actually singing or playing it. For instance, if I record a vocal track on top of a song I recorded before rebuilding the computer, upon playback my voice quickly starts picking up speed and going faster than the rest of the song. (The acceleration isn't comically fast or anything; the affected track will fall audibly out of sync in about 15 seconds, and will be out of step by a second or two by the end of the song.) This obviously means I can't record anything until the problem is resolved, because although my songs may be short on technical precision in the first place, I'd like to think that their general unlistenability is unrelated to the separate instruments operating at radically different velocities.

OPENING CREDITS, STILL INCLUDING JENNIFER MORRISON FOR SOME REASON.

WHAT WE KNOW: I've verified that playback proceeds at the correct speed, so the recording rate itself seems to be the problem. Also, I don't use MIDI for anything; I just record live audio into the computer. The machine is running Windows XP and the processor is an Intel Pentium E6500. The motherboard is a Gigabyte brand G31M-ES2L, if that helps. (Adorably, the Gigabyte driver download site writes, "For better download quality, it is recommended to use the download monitor shareware like Flashget, Getright...etc for reserving your treasure time and effort.")

FAILED DIAGNOSIS #1: I've eliminated the sound card as the cause, as I switched in a new sound card--with proper drivers installed for each--and had the same problem.

FAILED DIAGNOSIS #2: I've also tried recording in several different programs (Cakewalk, Cool Edit, even the basic Windows Sound Recorder) and had the same problem, so that's not it either.

FAILED DIAGNOSIS #3: And I reinstalled the chipset drivers just to be safe. That was a further pointless waste of my time.

FAILED DIAGNOSIS #4: One of Bev's coworkers suggested my processor might be overclocked, so I downloaded the CPU-Z program, which gave me the following info about how my processor is currently operating:

Core speed: 1600 MHz
Multiplier: x 6.0
Bus speed: 266 MHz
Rated FSB: 1066 MHz

So that coworker said those numbers don't sound like it's overclocked. (He then used some math to prove it to me, but trying to understand math makes me feel like I'm being mildly walloped with a foam therapy bat, so I took his word for it.)

FINAL EPIPHANY MOMENT: That's where you come in.

Please, please e-mail me if you can assist. Any ideas of what I might do or what resources I might check out would be very much appreciated. If you require any extra information, I'll do my best to provide it. Thanks very much in advance!

CURRENT MUSIC: My record collection on shuffle. Last 10 songs: "Sin the Sailor" by When, "Seeing Other People" by Belle & Sebastian, "California Man" by Cheap Trick, "Every Lover's Sign" by The Lover Speaks, "Toadies" by the Minutemen, "U-Mass" by the Pixies, "Jerusalem" by The Fall, "El Bebe Masoquista" by Fatboy Slim, "The Weight of My Words (Four Tet remix)" by Kings of Convenience, and "Devotion '92" by Charizma & Peanut Butter Wolf.
CURRENT MOOD:
Immensely frustrated.
THE NAME OF A FRIENDLY CHIHUAHUA I MET YESTERDAY: Trout.
TIME: 10:30 a.m.

Doot?

Saturday, April 3, 2010:

Here's a new Disclaimer song I recorded, "(The) Hale Boggs/Bopp." Figured I should share something, since it's been six years since I've "released" a new song, and I think this is the best one I've ever written. (I know, it's a stubby yardstick against which to measure, like saying, "This is Eric Schaeffer's most enlightened work!" or "Chad is the least repugnant human being on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange!" Still.)

Disclaimer: "(The) Hale Boggs/Bopp"

Lyrics, if you're interested:

Something unknown has curdled the waters
We are inured to licking flyswatters
We're conditioned to react by cocooning
Weapons mistaken for spiders ballooning

This one will likely be the last song on the potentially forthcoming new Disclaimer album, They Burned for 18 Days, so this is what you'll miss when you turn it off early in exasperation.

CURRENT MUSIC: There is Love in You by Four Tet.
CURRENT MOOD:
Amused by snoring puppies.
CURRENT EVALUATION OF OUR THOUGHT LEADERS' NEWEST VALUE PROPOSITION:
A big "win"!
TIME:
10:24 a.m.

Doot?

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