The Haunted House

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Alesis IO|26

I have just received a new piece of kit for the Studio. I really needed to replace my aging USB audio interface, so I have replace it with a new Firewire Alesis IO|26. This new piece of kit offers 26 inputs, 8 of which are XLR/jack inputs with phantom power and decent mic preamps. The device also has 8 output which I can eventually use for re-routing audio to a analog summing mixer in the future. Another feature that really drew me to this unit is the 8 outboard insert points found on the from panal.

My PC didn't have a firewire interface though so I had to get one of these, but they dont cost a lot. Installation was relativly painless. The only problem I had was that initially XP didn't recognise the device on the firewire bus. After a quick browse through the Alesis website, I found a troubleshooting booklet. To fix the problem I had to download an OS patch that fixed an issue with firewire devices. So if you are reading this and you have just bought one of these devices and it wont work you need to install this hotfix. Now this is installed, everything is working as expected :-)


Bank Holiday Walk 2

On the bank holiday Monday we decided to do a more adventurous walk. We picked a walk out of the AA book that starts near Axe Edge, just outside of Buxton. After looking through the instructions the day before, Amanda decided it would be best to try and trace out the walk on the OS map first as it sounded like it could get confusing.

Amanda looked like a proper geek huddled over a huge map on the floor in the living room working out the route. I think she enjoyed it though, although I will probably get into trouble for the geek comment.

It was a bloody good job we took the OS map and GPS as the walk was quite hard to follow from the instructions. And to make things worse part of the route was closed off due to work removing fallen rocks. Luckily though using the map and GPS we managed to sort our selves out.

The walk in the end was about 9 miles and our legs were killing us by the time we got back to the car. Parts of the walk were very steep as you have to climb over Chrome Hill. We was just trying to remind ourselves of the exercise benefits :-)

I would recommend this walk though. As you can see from the pictures it was very scenic. The weather held out nicely in the end. It felt like it was going to pour down a few times, but luckily it didn't.


Bank Holiday Walk 1

Last weekend was a bank holiday here in the UK. Me and Amanda decided to go out and do some walking. The first walk we did was near Linacre reservoir a short distance from Chesterfield.

It turns out I have done this walk years ago with Neil and Caroline. I thought I recognized parts of it, but I wasn't sure. But after Amanda spoke to Caroline earlier on in the week, it turns out it was the walk I did before.

We did set off from the house too early as we were both tired from a busy week previously, but the walk was around 5.5 miles and was fairly easy. Except for the really muddy bits.

When we got back to the car park we treated ourselves to an ice cream from the van parked in the car park. All in all a pleasant day.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sound Design and Science Fiction

Last week I finished reading a book called Sound Design and Science Fiction. The book discuses how sound design has changed over the years in cinema and how advances in technology have helped progress the field. The book talks about difference science fiction films including George Lucas's THX 1138, Star Wars, 2001 A Space Odyssey, Aliens, Terminator 2, and the Matrix series.

I definitely recommend the book if you are into sound production, or even if you are just interested in science fiction films in general. It doesn't paint a rosy view of Hollywood though, especially where the film unions are concerned. I can see why George Lucas decided to keep Lucasfilm an independent company!!

The authors website is here. If you are interested in checking out the book, you can read an excerpt here.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mechanical : The EP Collection on CD

My latest release, Mechanical : The EP Collection, is now available from all the main digital download stores. The CD version will be available to buy soon. I am waiting for the first box of discs from the manufacturers. The manufacturers upload software has produced the case renderings below. I hope you like them.

I wanted to go for a very simple design on this case. Lots of white and very crisp. The artwork was put together be Neil of Neil Duffin Photography and I think it looks great. I cant wait for the dics to turn up. Should be this week...

Next on the release schedule is the remaster and extended edition of Nightmares and Dreamscapes. I am planning on putting this out around November time. I am also working on a brand new Creature album. I currently have 9 tracks completed. I will keep on writing until after Christmas. I will probably to an EP release first to help promote the full album.

Sound design wise I have a couple of new sample dvd ideas in production. I am hoping the first of these will be ready in time for Christmas. I won't divulge to much information about this just yet, but as soon as I have the demo pack ready I post again with more information.


Film Trailer Licensing.

Over the past few weeks I have been talking to an independent film distributor called Metrodome Distribution. They got in touch with me because they were interested in licensing a section of one of my tracks. The track in question was Hive off the Nightmares and Dreamscapes EP. They want to use part of the track in the UK version of the trailer for the Korean film 'The Chaser'. You can see the original Korean trailer here. I havn't seen the trailer with my track in yet, but their marketting guy said he would send it to me when it is completed.

The great thing is I didn't even have to do anything to get paid. I offered to edit the track for them, but they said they would do it, we just had to agree a price, which we did and the cheque turned up today. Exciting stuff. After discussions with them, there could be a chance of doing some more bespoke music work for other trailers. We'll have to see what happens.

By the way, this film is currently being remade for a western audience, staring Leonardo DiCaprio.



Last weekend I had to go into work all day Saturday and half of Sunday as I have a project nearing completion. Amanda came and met me at work on the Sunday and we drove off to Dovedale for a walk.

Dovedale is one of the more touristy paces in Derbyshire so the first couple of miles were quite busy with people. But the route we took soon got us away from everyone else. The weather was mainly good although it did rain for about 5 minutes.

All in all we was walking for about 4 hours. The walk was quite easy until the last but where you have to shimmy across the side of this hill which we thought was quite dangerous. We thought we had gone wrong with the instructions but we met a few other people who were doing the same walk as well.

I would have written this up earlier but this week has been very busy indeed at work so by the time I have been getting home I was too tired to bother downloading the photos :-) We haven't got a huge amount planned on this bank holiday weekend. Tomorrow we are going to a county show with Neil and Caroline. Neil tells me they have a dancing diggers show every year so I am looking forward to seeing that. We will probably do another walk on Monday too. Something a little further afield and more challenging I think.


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Walk through Wolfscote Dale

We had quite a busy weekend last weekend. On Saturday our friends Neil and Caroline came around for dinner. Amanda cooked, she made a nice quiche for starters, then duck and apple lentels for a main followed by creme catalana for dessert. All was very tasty.

On Sunday we went out for a walk with Neil and Caroline. We went to Wolfescote Dale. Me and Amanda have been here a few times earlier in the year, but the weather was nicer this time. We started the walk around 10.30. The total distance covered was around 8.5 - 9 miles. We are not quite sure as the GPS ran out of batteries part way around and Neil wasn't sure how long it had been off. Not for too long though.

The walk generally wasn't that difficult, but we were all knackered at the end of it. When we got back we was a bit to late to go shopping at the supermarket as we hadn't got anything in for dinner, but luckily the co-op in Duffield opens late on a Sunday.

By the time we got back we were both shattered. Just been a busy week. Didn't really do much in the evening except watch some tv and then go to bed early.

Was nice to get out for a walk though. Hopefully we will get to do one again next Sunday, if the weather is nice. Today is has been quite cold and pissed it down all day. Good old Britain.


Friday, August 01, 2008

Electronic Critters In Electronic Musician Magazine

I have just found out that Electronic Critters has been given a mention in Electronic Musician Magazine. This is cool as it is a major printed recording magazine in the US. Kinda like Sound on Sound is over here.

It's not a review though, more of an editorial news piece. Hopefully it will drive up sales some more. Getting in print magazines really does help.

Here is what they said:

Haunted House Records' Electronic Critters

Haunted House Records' Electronic Critters sampling DVD ($40) is a menagerie of recordings from bent-circuit children's toys: Furby, Major Morgan, Musical Animals, Phone, Speak & Spell, and Talking Computer. These toys were severely dealt with by sound designer Stephen Haunts, then the results were recorded in 16- and 24-bit, 44.1 kHz WAV files. The collection contains 750 raw recordings and 250 recordings processed with a variety of DSP effects. The DVD also contains a demo album of ten MP3 songs and before-and-after photos of the critters. You can buy the DVD as well as other music, samples, and swag at