Index of Articles
NorthWest CyberArtists

Einar's articles from the NWCA Newsletter.

September 1994

Important Note: These articles are history and all references to upcoming meetings and contact addresses and phone numbers and other things that change with time should be ignored. I decided to leave them in for readability.

September 1994

It had to happen. My favorite piece of equipment has been discontinued. The Yamaha QY-10 portable 8 track sequencer, composer, and awesome pocket sized drum machine, has been replaced by the QY-8. Its big brother, the far more sophisticated QY-20 remains on the market, and I will probably someday have one, but I will never part with my own QY-10.

So, after hearing the news (I think read it in Keyboard) I decided to spend my birthday money on something that would upgrade my extinct sequencer. It's a Novation MM10 two octave keyboard with full size keys and a slot for my QY-10. It has a one watt amp in it to drive my headphones loud enough to hear what I'm doing, even in the back of a bus or in a crowded room.

Having full size, velocity sensitive keys on your lap while you're capatalizing on some otherwise wasted time is liberating. I used to enjoy punching those little QY buttons, but this controller has spoiled me.

Because of my experience with my QY-10, I see portable technology as a great thing. I'm a shy person, and being able to alienate myself from someone sitting next to me on a bus is wonderful. I know that might seem a sad statement, but it's no worse than the use of a Walkman and headphones. It's convenient that what I do with portable technology requires headphones. I suppose if I was doing graphic art on a laptop computer people would be tempted to say hello and ask questions about the work - or more likely the equipment. I use my portable technology to build walls around my "personal space", and just focus inward. I build a virtual office in my head.

Besides using this great portable MIDI studio in the urban jungle, I very often find myself using it in a relaxing setting, like on my deck, in my living room, or out in the woods. Inspiration comes at the darndest times. I would love to hear from someone who does electronic graphic art with a pen based input device and a notebook computer. Do you find working outside of an office to be more rewarding?

Mr. Turnidge himself once told me, just after he got back from the famous CyberArts conference, that the invention of the metal tube for holding oil paints spawned impressionism. It allowed the artists the freedom to create somewhere other than in their studios. A whole new style of art was launched just by getting outside.

I'm looking forward to the day when I'll have a more powerfull workstation on my lap, able to save far more data, with sound editing functions and maybe even a sampler on board. I'm not going to stop what I'm doing now to wait for this, but maybe there's a market for such a thing that will get more of us outdoors and into the sunshine. I'm sure it will happen sooner than I think. The QY-10 was something I could never have imagined ten years ago, and although it's discontinued and a couple years old, it still gives me a the willies when I walk down the street tapping in a rhythm. The box strikes me as something that fell off the Enterprise.

Then again, you should see me when I have a headset mike, a QY-10 in my pocket playing backup, a ZOOM 9002 strapped to my belt, a guitar hanging in front of me and a pair of headphones as I walk through my neighborhood. I'm usually oblivious to my surroundings as I do this, but I have a hunch that parents are grabbing children, running inside and locking doors as everyone hides from me--CyberNeighbor. Maybe portable technology isn't such a good thing. Maybe some people should just stay in their dark basements, tapping away.

See ya,
Your CyberNeighbor,

Enough! Back to!

Einar Ask /