northern voice 2011 jam session

the after-conference gatherings at northern voice have always tended to be rather musical, so this year [Grant]( went out and booked a rehearsal studio for us to jam without annoying neighbours. [The Sanctuary](, in East Van, is an incredible rehearsal space. I only recorded a small clip from the 11 hours (!) spent in The Sanctuary over 2 days. It was awesome, in every sense of the word. Seeing people I know share music together, with skill and talent I didn’t know they had? Inspiring. It was my first time ever playing music with anyone else. I’ll definitely be trying to do that some more…

Mikhail, Bryan and Alan on guitar. Brian on drums.

Here’s a small clip, from the Saturday session. Brian Lamb on drums. Grant Potter on bass. Bryan Jackson and Mikhail Gershovich on guitar. GNA Davis on vocals. Killer.


More recordings are being pulled from the archive. Giggidy.

oh, right. there was also a conference. with a panel discussion about ds106 radio that I participated in. or something. #4life

NV2011 DS106 Panel


archive from the Thursday night session
(warning: nearly 4 hours of audio, 130MB .mp3 file. but worth it.)

Thursday Night

on acceptance in freeform

Yesterday, Jim was rolling out an all-requests show on DS106, based on the theme “love and loss.” I caught part of the show, and it was pretty amazing. Then, some requests came in and I complained.

I was a jerk. I apologize for complaining about the content of a user-powered freeform Internet radio phenomenon.

For freeform to be truly freeform, the community needs to feel able to experiment and play anything, without fear of judgement or condemnation. My snark broke that trust.

But, the thing about DS106 Radio is that even when I don’t like or get the music that’s being played, I love it because of what it means. Someone in the community chose (or made) a track, and said “hey! I should share this!” And they did. That’s awesome, in the most non-ironic sense of the word.

In thinking about my snarky complaint, I started wondering about what people have told me about perceived barriers to participating in various online communities. About inner circles and statements perceived as jokes by some and insults by others. It’s messy, confusing stuff. I imagine someone just coming to the DS106 community, seeing my complaining tweet, and feeling less willing to take a risk by contributing something to the stream.

Man, I hope that didn’t/doesn’t happen. The community is so incredible because so many different people take risks and share parts of themselves – even/especially people who are not originally “edubloggers.”

I’ll try to stifle my snark in the future. DS106 for life!

DS106 ringtone. can you dig it?

DS106 RadioThe intro for DS106 Radio has become pretty much burned into my brain. I don’t know who made the clip, but they took a segment of Cyrus’s speech from The Warriors, and smushed it into some marching band music (?).

The intro bumper from the best damned freeform internet radio station on the planet. Can you dig it? Can you DIG it? CANNNN YOUUUU DIIIIIIIGGGG IIIIIIITTTTTT? Yes. Yes, I can.

So, I converted it into a ringtone. It’s available in .m4r format for iPhone, and .mp3 format for Droid etc…

Can you dig it?

Guitarcasting with Radio DS106

I had a bit of a duh/ahah! moment this evening. We’ve been messing around with Nicecast to broadcast audio from Skype and iTunes, and it hit me that it would be able to pick up sound from GarageBand just fine, too. Broadcasting live guitar jams over Radio DS106.

I plugged my guitar into my amp, and connected the headphone jack from the amp to the line-in on my MacBook Pro. I plugged my headphones into the headphone jack on the computer, so I could hear as I “played.”

Then, I fired up GarageBand and set up a new Acoustic Instrument project. Turned on “Monitor Input (no feedback protection)” for the track. Fired up Nicecast and set it to broadcast to Radio DS106. Selected GarageBand as the source app. [Jammed away](!/ds106radio/status/40608863136780288). Easy. (aside from the lack of skill or talent – the technical part of the setup worked well at least).

I picked a time when there was nobody tuned into the station (how often does THAT happen) but it seemed to work just fine.


I bet it’d be possible to do modify this to feed audio from a bunch of guitars (or other sources) through Skype or iChat on a conference call (assuming the latency isn’t too high) and from there out to Radio DS106, for a live performance or jam session…

**Update:** Of course, I could have done this more simply by just selecting the line-in as audio source in Nicecast, rather than routing through GarageBand. But I wasn’t sure I’d be able to hear if I did that directly. I’ll have to try that. Another duh/ahah! moment…

**Update 2:** yup. works just fine selecting Line In as audio source in Nicecast. The audio from the guitar gets pumped out to the headphones just fine, without having to go through GarageBand. Nice. I think I just scared off the 3 listeners that were on the station just now, to test this out… (sorry!)

gojira, in icons

Godzilla iconstory title

The original [Gojira]( story, as retold through icon imagery.

radiation. run. fight. oxygen destroyer.

and, for Jim, here’s a version of the US release from 1956, where they spliced Raymond Burr throughout the movie to explain what was going on, because North American audiences couldn’t read subtitles in 1956:

Godzilla US Release iconstory

on broadcasting to radio #ds106

The Radio [#ds106]( phenomenon has totally changed how I think of social presence in a course experience. There is something magic (and yet not magic) about a bunch of people coming together to play and collaborate in various forms, just for shits and giggles. It’s awesome in so many ways.

It’s also a little like living in science fiction.

Grant Potter [set up a radio station]( for the DS106 course. Which has been amazing. And then he shared the live broadcasting info, so [people can tap into the server and broadcast live audio]( from wherever they are.

Everything in the radio station technology stack is several years old – with the exception of mobile apps for live broadcasting. But that mobile ability – to broadcast live from anywhere – is a real game changer.

I was on the train this morning, and there was a guy playing a guitar. I thought “hey, I should share this with #ds106” and fired up the [Papaya app]( on my iPhone. With one click, I was streaming the guy live to whoever was listening to Radio #ds106.

Train guitar dude

Sure, the guy’s playing was a little rough. And his guitar was painfully out of tune. But he was giving it a shot. And I was streaming his music, live, from a moving train, to anyone tuned into Radio #ds106.

That is pretty mindblowing stuff.

How does the ability to instantly broadcast live audio to a group of people impact what we do? How does this instant synchronous connection effect the sense of social presence? And how does having to make the decision of streaming vs. recording effect the experience of sharing?