Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Shows live again

After several weeks of just pre-recorded shows, a knock-on effect of the first phase of coronavirus issues, we're back with live production. Listeners to Argyll FM on 106.5, 107.1 and 107.7 (which covers most of Argyll on the west coast of Scotland and reaches parts of Northern Ireland and Ayrshire) can again enjoy my Folk At Five shows daily at 1700 Mondays through Saturdays, and Teatime With Trevox at 1800 on Fridays.

There's a lot of new music to hear, added after audition to the playlists which can be checked out on the web by following the links at trevox.uk. Many broadcast shows are also available there to listen to again.

Monday, 27 April 2020

Change of gearbox pro tempore

The lockdown triggered by the pandemic of Coronavirus Covid-19 continues, meaning that my radio shows are using a pre-select "gearbox" rather than the usual live manual, to use a motoring paradigm. It's not an automatic though, so new music continues to be added to playlists. Thank you to all the artists sending tracks in.

Friday, 3 April 2020

Coronavirus Covid-19

In common with many organizations just now, my radio program production has been disrupted. Hope to be back soon.

Saturday, 1 February 2020

Music old & new, & sometimes a surprise or two

The daily Monday to Saturday folk music show Folk At Five is produced and presented live in Campbeltown for Argyll FM by Trevox, along with Friday's Teatime With Trevox. After each show, people can listen again on Mixcloud as well as catching up on the playlists with the programmes' 'blogs. Playlists go back years.
Listen live on Argyll FM from 1700 on these frequencies: 106.5, 107.1 & 107.7.
The tagline "Music old and new, and sometimes a surprise or two" is lived out daily in both the social comment, history and joie de vivre of Folk At Five and the dancey feelgood rhythmic records of Teatime With Trevox. New music is frequently added from the plethora of offerings of musicians the world over, and thanks are due to those who send in new material and re-post our 'blog entries on theirs.

Cluttered web page?

Some web pages have adverts or pop-ups which may obscure the article. Remove the clutter by using Firefox web browser and clicking on the "open book" or "page" icon to the right of the web address. This "Reader View" also sets the page to a larger sans serif typeface that is easier to read, and is also useful for saving the page as a PDF.

Monday, 14 October 2019

Rhythmic records

My September 2019 playlist of "rhythmic records", compiled from 4 x 1-hours shows broadcast on Argyll FM and available also on Mixcloud.com/Trevox:

Phil Collins - True Colours,
Ed Sheeran ft Khalid - Beautiful People (Original Mix),
Aileen Rosario - Tu Amor,
Jason Derulo - Too Hot (Sisco Kennedy Intro),
Eddy Lee Ryder - Silverchain,
Between Suns - Fractured Life,
Them Ones - Good Vibes Only,
Gipsy Kings - Bamboleo (Mauricio Cury Remix),
Beyonce & Calvin Harris - Single Ladies X Slide (Intro Clean),
Taylor Swift - The Man (Sisco Kennedy Intro Clean),
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello - Senorita (Original Mix),
Ex-Norwegian - Making Deals (Extended Intro),
Summer Heart - Always On The Run,
Le Cheval ft 220 Kid - Forrest Gump,
John Paul Young - Love Is In The Air (Mauricio Cury Remix),
Lewis Capaldi - Someone You Loved (Mauricio Cury Remix),
Rihanna vs Tiesto & Dzeko - We Found Love X Rude Boy,
Rainbow - Run With The Wolf,
Al Green - Your Love Is Like The Morning Sun,
Graham Gouldman & Beth Nielsen Chapman - Come To Mine,
Scissor Sisters - I Don't Feel Like Dancing,
Thompson Twins, The - Hold Me Now,
Kajagoogoo - Too Shy,
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax (Mcmxciii),
Madonna - Holiday,
Ed Sheeran - Galway Girl (Kay Stafford Club Mix),
Madness - Our House,
Rod Stewart - Baby Jane,
The KLF - Last Train To Trancentral,
Katy Perry - I Kissed A Girl,
Deborah Harry - I Want That Man,
Tiffany - I Think We're Alone Now,
David Kirton - Worth Holding On,
Parish - Indian Mood,
Liv Austen - Whole Heart,
Soul II Soul - Keep On Moving,
Samantha Mumba - Baby Come On Over,
Monsieur Job - Pica Pica,
Boomtown Rats - Rat Trap,
Girls Aloud - Jump,
Suzi Quatro - Tear Me Apart,
DJ Otzi - Hey Baby!
A.R. Rahman & The Pussycat Dolls - Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny).

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Saying goodbye to Windows 10

... goes the arresting heading printed in Which? Computing of October 2019. Probably a misprint, as the article is all about switching from Windows 7 to 10. Check out the online version, informative and minus that error.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Music to the ears, or deafening noise?

A question on Digital DJ Tips in September 2017 went thus: "How Many Watts Per Person Do I Need For DJ Speakers?". Well...

Any 'rule of thumb' relating loudspeaker wattage to audience size is either wrong or at best an over-simplification! Wattage alone does not provide quality or loudness. A set of ground rules for loudspeaker power is proposed below, but first some basics.

People absorb sound and generate alternative sound. Hard surfaces reflect sound. Loudspeakers have varying frequency-dependent efficiencies. There is a helpful noise chart at Noise Help. It indicates that human ears can tolerate exposure to 91 decibels for up to 2 hours. This is a reasonable maximum.

Loudspeaker specifications should indicate their sensitivity as sound pressure level (SPL) in decibels (db) measured at 1 metre with 1 watt applied. (The range of my speakers is 88-98db.) Doubling the wattage increases SPL by 3db. Doubling the distance to the listener decreases SPL by 6db. The critical distance is between speaker and furthest listener.

Rules

1. Minimize the sound absorption of the crowd by positioning mid- and high-range speakers well above head height and angling them down to point at distant head height. That ensures loudspeaker sound can travel direct to audience ears and not be baffled by bodies.

2. No matter how loud the crowd noise is, the SPL at their ears should not exceed 91db. We can use  Geoff The Grey Geek's calculator to determine RMS speaker power for various distances (see table of results for common distances below).

3. Always check sound levels with a Sound Level Meter.

Alesis Monitor One Mk2 Passive (studio)
DistancePowerSPL
(m)(w)(db)
1188
510091
1039891 *
1589691 *
20159291 *
* N.B. Maximum power for speaker exceeded massively!

Wharfedale Titan 12 Passive (mobile PA)
DistancePowerSPL
(m)(w)(db)
1198
51091
104091
159091
2015991

Maxima for Titan 12s
DistancePowerSPL
(m)(w)(db)
1025199
2524991

Ensure that the maximum power rating of loudspeakers is complied with! If greater distances than these are required, additional loudspeakers would be better than more powerful ones, as the objective is to provide music and not deafen the audience!

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Fake Facebook reviews

There's such a lot of fakery about. With fake reviews adding to the dangers of fake products, it's very hard to avoid it. Facebook is still at it, according to Which?, who say :

Surprise, surprise. Facebook continues to be plagued with fake review groups even after a warning from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
These groups recruit people to write fake or incentivised reviews, with sellers offering free products in exchange. It’s deeply concerning that the company continues to leave customers exposed to poor-quality or unsafe products boosted by misleading reviews.
It has been over a month since the CMA told Facebook about the groups that it had found, but our researchers have joined 10 of these Facebook review groups and found more than 55,000 posts over that 30-day period.
Facebook has failed to stamp out the problem and now must take serious action to crack down on fake review groups thriving on its site.
We want to know: have you ever read an online customer review for a product that you thought was a fake review?

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Printer not working? This checklist may help.

Support folk helping you with printer problems will probably ask these questions:

A. Printer hardware

1. What is the make and model number [e.g. HP LaserJet P2055dn, Canon MG5450, etc.]

2. When did it last work OK? [minutes / hours / days / weeks ago / never]

3. What significant events have occurred between then and now? [e.g. Printer moved, lightning storm, power cut, coffee spilt, computer (re)configuration]

4. Are power and data cables correctly plugged in and fully home at both ends?

5. What type of data cable is in use? [ethernet / USB-A / USB-C / parallel / serial / localtalk / firewire - see below for details]

6. After switching it on, what lights are showing on it? Please indicate color and whether flashing or steady.

7. Is a print server (a type of network device) in use? [If "yes", please perform checks 1 to 6 above for it also. There will be at least one data cable connecting the printer, a second data cable going to a wall data outlet or network hub, and a power cable.]

B. Computer side

8. Is the problem general for all applications (e.g. SketchUp, Office, MySQL, Adobe Reader, LibraOffice, Draw, etc.), or specific to one of them?

9. What indications or messages show? [you may be able to take a screenshot and email it, describe the indication, or just write down the message]

10. Are there oustanding print jobs in the printer queue? [you can determine this by double-clicking on the printer's icon in Control Panel, Printers] [None, or 0, is normal.]

11. Can you print a test page?

To print a Test Page in Windows 10


a) Click on the Start button, then the Settings icon (looks like a cog, on the left of the screen).

b) Click on Devices in the settings screen displayed, then on "Printers & scanners".

c) Hover over the name and icon of the installed printer to be tested, click to see options, then choose Manage.

d) Click "Print a test page".

To print a Test Page in Windows 7


a) Open Devices and Printers [click the Start button then click Devices and Printers on the Start menu]

b) Right-click the printer you want to test, and then click Printer properties.

c) On the General tab, click "Print Test Page".

To print a test page in Windows XP [your login must have the Print permission]


a) Open Printers and Faxes [click Start, click Control Panel, click Printers and Other Hardware, and then click Printers and Faxes]

b) Right-click the printer you want to test, and then click Properties.

c) On the General tab, click Print Test Page.

d) Click OK if the test page printed correctly. If the test page did not print correctly, click Troubleshoot to open the Print Troubleshooter for help resolving the printing problem.


(Some) types of data cable used for printers. Most will be as 1, 2 or 3 below.

 

 

1. Ethernet cable [connects printer to wall data outlet or network device]

 

 

 

 


2. USB-A (or A to B) cable [connects printer to PC or some network devices]









 

 

3. USB-C (or C to B) cable [connects printer to computer or some network devices]







 

 

4. Parallel cable [increasingly unusual, connects printer to PC or network device]







 

 

5. Serial cable [increasingly unusual, connects printer to PC, plugs can be 9-pin or 25-pin]







 

 

6. Serial localtalk cable [connects printer to some Apple computers]







 

 

7. Firewire cable [connects printer to some Apple computers]

Monday, 10 June 2019

Like listening to a good yarn?

On Folk At Five I've enjoyed being able to include the serialisation of local author Alexander Weir's tale "Archie & The Dark Door Mystery". An episode concludes the show most days in May and continues into June. Listen again to the shows on Mixcloud. Check out the post-show playlists at www.trevox.uk.


Thursday, 16 May 2019

Plastic in our rivers

And at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

Greenpeace is testing our rivers in the biggest plastic survey in the UK. Just last year, up to half a million plastic particles per square metre were found in the River Tame - we can’t let our rivers become plastic waterways.

Will you sign the petition to tell government to protect our air, soil and the rivers that connect us in the upcoming Environment Bill?

Petition - https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/bonnieemsh

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Easter Wedding

Having been asked to provide the music and public address system for the wedding reception of family friends, Saturday took me back to the time I was a mobile DJ in the 1970s and 80s. We thought we could save time and effort by using the venue's own large speakers, but ended up using a tried and tested portable system. Lesson learned: you don't need to own the equipment but you do need to ensure it is tested in advance.

The space allocated to DJ and live performance of singer-guitarist was smaller than expected, limiting options for disco lighting, but we were able to use from other projects a mirrorball setup (12-inch ball lit from below by three pinspots) and moonflower projectors (2 x ADJ Revo Sweeps and an Equinox Warp).

Music playout was radically different from the vinyl and cassette decks used back in the day. For nearly two decades now, I have used OTSAV for playout of recorded music, a digital system running on standard desktop or laptop computers. With the addition of self-produced percussive links, a seamless beat-matched music stream emanates from the sound system.

As a convinced convert to digital music playout, I am actually bemused by the current proliferation of controllers with jog-wheels, CDJs and vinyl turntables performing a jog function. All of these seek to control digital equipment in analogue mode as if the software wasn't capable! (OK, I concede that analogue control provides for live production and manipulation of sounds as a spectacle, but surely, adequate preparation obviates the aural need for that?)

Preparation of playlists well in advance of the event was a key planning element, ensuring that the principals heard their kind of music and that any requests could be satisfied readily. The questionnaire sent out at booking time, albeit quite long, was well worth having to hand.

Playlists:

** ASSEMBLY, CHAT and MEAL **
** MUSIC IN THE BACKGROUND **
Katie Melua - Blue Shoes
In Tua Nua - All I wanted
Seal - Kiss From A Rose
Russell Watson - Have I Told You Lately
Kid Creole & The Coconuts - Stool Pigeon
Princess - Say I'm Your Number One
James Taylor - Something In The Way She Moves
Robert Miles - Children
Quarterflash - Harden My Heart
KC & The Sunshine Band - Please Don't Go
Drifters, The - Save The Last Dance For Me
Black Sorrows, The - The Chosen Ones
Cliff Richard - We Don't Talk Anymore
Nolans - I'm In The Mood For Dancing
Joan Armatrading - The Weakness In Me
Them - Here Comes The Night
S Club 7 - Never Had A Dream Come True
Jackson Browne - In The Shape Of A Heart
Who, The - My Generation
B Bumble & The Stingers - Nut Rocker
Champaign - How 'Bout Us
Chic - Le Freak
Eurythmics - Here Comes The Rain Again
Bad Company - Love Attack [pn]
Genesis - No Reply At All
Munros, The, Introducing David - Highland Cathedral
Beatles - Octopus's Garden
Corrs & Bono - Summer Wine
Imagination - Just An Illusion
John Legend - All Of Me
Bryan Adams - Summer Of 69 (Unplugged)
Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
Ed Sheeran with Beyoncé - Perfect Duet [Official Audio]
Lady GaGa - Always Remember Us This Way
Elvis Presley - Can't Help Falling In Love

** FIRST DANCE **
Calum Scott & Leona Lewis - You Are The Reason (Duet Version)

** JOHN MCLEAN, singer & guitarist **

** DANCE TIME 1 **
Cardi B with Bad Bunny J Balvin - I Like It
Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You
Queen - Somebody To Love
Eagles, The - Hotel California
Panic! At The Disco - High Hopes
Beatles - Hey Jude
One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful
Black Lace - Agadoo

** JOHN MCLEAN, singer & guitarist, main set **

** DANCE TIME 2 **
Cranberries, The - Zombie
Abba - Dancing Queen
Dolly Parton - 9 To 5
Bee Gees, The - Stayin'Alive
The Wurzels - Combine Harvester (Brand New Key)
Scissor Sisters - I Don't Feel Like Dancing
LSD ft. Sia Diplo Labrinth - Thunderclouds
Cascada - Evacuate The Dancefloor
Pussycat Dolls, The, feat. Busta Rhymes - Don't Cha (Clean)
Maroon 5 - Girls Like You
Gerry Cinnamon - Belter
Katy Perry - I Kissed A Girl
Whitney Houston - I Wanna Dance With Somebody
George Ezra - Shotgun
DJ Casper - Cha Cha Slide
Ava Max - Sweet But Psycho
Gwen Stefani - Hollaback Girl
DJ Snake ft. Selena Gomez, Ozuna, Cardi B - Taki Taki
Beyonce - Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)
Lady GaGa & Bradley Cooper - Shallow
Rita Ora - Let You Love Me
Sia - The Greatest
CNCO & Little Mix - Reggaetón Lento (Remix)
Christina Perri - A Thousand Years
Train - Marry Me (Radio mix)
Taylor Swift - Shake It Off
Alicia Keys - If I Ain't Got You
Dexy's Midnight Runners - Come On Eileen
Thompson Twins, The - Hold Me Now
Human League - Don't You Want Me
Meat Loaf - I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)
Kajagoogoo - Too Shy
Men At Work - Down Under
Toto - Africa
Green Day - American Idiot
Beyonce Feat. Jay-Z - Crazy In Love
Bruno Mars - Just The Way You Are (Amazing)
Pink Floyd - Money