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Monday, 8 September 2014

Who's afraid of SQL?

I refer to a blog I have just read which was referenced in today's Code Project email.

There are a few good points here but I'm a little disturbed about the one dimensional view (i.e. from a SQL developer's view) and the style of presentation of a blog which could be extremely useful.

Where to start?

Firstly the implication here is that ALL (non-SQL) developers are scared of SQL. This is like saying all drivers on the road are bad because a few cut you up occasionally. Granted there are bad developers out there (for all sorts of reasons) but there are many who embrace SQL as a useful and powerful tool in the developer's armoury of equipment.

Then there is the implication that ALL SQL developers (yes, they are developers too) get it right all the time. No they don't - just like everyone else, there is good and bad ways of doing things (he states examples of his own).

There is also the frequent use the word 'stupid'. I have often found this type of approach to educating people rather less than helpful. People don't like being called stupid and, in fact, most developers I have met in the 34 years I have been doing this are far from it. They may be entrenched in their ways or even unwilling to learn anything new (sadly all too frequent) but they are not stupid.

Finally there is SQL itself. I use SQL a fair amount on various different platforms. For all its merits in terms of its 'English language' approach, it is far from the perfect tool.

As I write this, I am embarking on an exercise breaking down a tortuous Oracle query into several subcomponents callable from a C# program. In this case (and for process as well as performance), it is more efficient to load the various datasets (4 much simpler queries) into memory and index them internally than it is to retrieve getting on for a million rows of data, much of which is null, and then attempting to resolve the logic required.

I have seen some extremely tortuous and borderline incomprehensible SQL in my time. Sometimes taking the logic and breaking it down into simpler stages procedurally has increased both performance and maintainability of the process.

I am a developer who likes SQL, but it can't cure everything.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

MIDI into Cubase LE

Right, this has been my task for today and I have had some success!

I have an old Roland PMA-5 which I bought in about 1994/5. I have used it a great deal over the years and still find it incredibly useful for jotting down ideas when the inspiration takes me.

My MIDI use in the studio is minimal and I need to address this.

I bought a while ago a ESI ROM I/O Midi adapter.  I never really used it properly when I was using XP and since I upgraded to Windows 7 I haven't used it at all. I was sceptical of finding the drivers for it, but I did at which was a result. I installed them without any hassle.

Once connected the trick was to get the PMA-5 and Cubase talking to each other. I connected the USB end into the PC and the 'Input' lead into the MIDI Out on the PMA-5. Checked that the swicth on the side was set to MIDI and turned it on.

I created a new MIDI project in cubase and set up the receiving and transmission channels. I needed to Change the Transport->Sync Setup dialog to match the new settings, but there were no real problems.

I had trouble recording at first until I found that if you have Sync turned on in the transport bar, it won't record.

I created a Master temp track and set up the  MIDI Update on the PMA-5 to be MIDI. I also plugged in the Output1 lead from the PC into the Input on the unit.

I hit record and away it went sweet as a nut.

Now all I need to do is have some inspiration :-)

Badger Studio

It is thus called because that was the nickname my children gave me when I was going grey in a particular way. It could have been worse, and I quite like badgers so I didn't mind.

I had the building put up about in 2004 by my neighbour Terry Howard who is a smashing guy and also a top builder. The inside has all been done by me, with the exception of the inner double glazed windows, which I had added to reduce sound leakage.

I have slowly been kitting it out and it is now a functioning recording space and rehearsal room. The recording software I use at the moment is Cubase LE. For software which is free, it is remarkably good and serves my current needs. However, I will upgrade to the full version at some point when funding permits, but the budget is now small and the wish list gets ever longer.

The PC (yes, not a Mac; I can't afford one) was built by me and is perfectly adequate for the time being. I use an EMU 1212 card utilizing the optical adat inputs from a Behringer Ultragain pro-8 A/D unit in the main studio. Thus I can record 8 tracks simultaneously. I want to increase this to 16, but again I cannot afford the upgrade costs and for the moment 8 is sufficient.

That's it for the moment. I intend to use this blog space to document changes and activity in the studio, but I get bored quickly with doing this kind of thing, so there wont be long essays. If there is anyone who will actually read any of this and have any questions, just ask. If you are the kind who leaves stupid or childish remarks, your parents have my sympathy.