I’ve always been a big fan of music. I grew up with it, and even ended up going to college majoring in woodwind performance. I’ve always been fascinated by composition, and there are a few older “works” of mine that are floating around the internet if you look hard enough. I’ve always wanted to get really deep into DAW’s, but the amount of time required for me to invest in them makes it prohibitive for me. I know I could learn it if I spent x amount of time a day on it, but between managing my Youtube stuff, trying to play League at a professional level, working through e-mails, building computers, and dealing with all of my website stuff, I just don’t really have the time to invest anymore in learning something new like that.

And that’s where you come in!

I’ve always had these little melodic ideas but I never have time to do anything with them. I jokingly strung a few different riffs together and called it “Serenade of the Infestor” and played it for Axeltoss in a hotel lobby one day. I didn’t think much of it, but a few months later, someone came out with a remix of that really simple arrangement of chords and rhythm. The idea that someone can take a really simple melodic statement and superimpose their own ideas onto it is really fascinating to me. I have these little bits and pieces of melodies or progressions that float around in my head sometimes, and to know that someone else could take one and interpret it in a way that was previously completely unknown to me is really cool.

What does any of this have to do with anything? Well, now what I want to do is use my streaming platform for two different things: 1) selfishly indulge in my desire to hear other people interpret my little melodic bits of information, and 2) provide exposure to people who do. So every few weeks I’m going to dump a little melody and ask anyone who’s interested to take it and interpret it how they see fit. I’ll provide some loose guidelines for how I see things, but really I’m just curious what you can do with the piece of melody I give you. After an arbitrary amount of time (two weeks? four weeks?) I’ll go through all of the submissions, pick out my favorite (or maybe my top 2 or 3? depending on how many people submit them), and promote that particular remixers soundcloud/website at the end of my stream every week.

Challenge #1 – http://vocaroo.com/i/s1Hjjoo4tt5z (I had to play this using the line-in from my keyboard to the computer, and everything “sounds” like a half-second later in your headphones, so please forgive any weird bumps or something that occur because this messes with m y mind a lot, heh)

This little modal thing switches between C-G, with the entirety of it being in the key of G (so any melody played on C would be C Lydian, or C-D-E-F#-G-A-B). I have very little interest in the actual melody, that can be changed if you so desire. What I’m more interested is the contrast between the two sections. I like the idea of a slower, more minimalist section that moves into a larger, flowing, lush sections filled with more instrumentation, that moves back into that quieter, more stripped down section. The transition and contrast between those two sections can be huge, and it’s what I’m really interested to hear.

Your style can be anything, the instrumentation can be anything, and there’s no restrictions on interpretation. If you feel like you need more information, feel free to click the above “Discuss” button and post any questions you have!

Part list/rationale

CPU: Intel i7-3930k

I need a really beefy processor so that I can handle streaming at a high quality (1080p@48fps) while being able to play without suffering a major loss in performance. Even though Ivybridge/Haswell are out now, the raw power I get from two additional cores is more beneficial to me than increased IPC from a newer CPU that only has 4 cores.

Cooler: Swiftech H220

I’ve heard amazing things about this cooler. The radiator pump is better than the Kraken x60, the loop allows customization if you want to add a GPU block down the line, and the block that sits on the CPU is 100% Copper. I replaced the two Swiftech fans on the radiator with four SP120 fans from Corsair in a push-pull configuration.

Motherboard – ASRock X79 Extreme9

There’s no great reason to go with this board over the comparable Extreme6. This one comes with its own sound card, though, and has excellent support for overclocking, which I plan to do a lot of.

Memory – G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series 32GB (4x8GB)

32 GB of RAM is huge overkill, but the LGA2011 platform supports quad-channel memory and throwing 4GB sticks into a $2,500 system seems kind of silly.

SSD – Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB

Amazing SSD with an amazing controller using amazing NAND.

GPU – MSI GeForce GTX 780

Single card solutions are superior for streaming than crossfire or SLI set-ups, otherwise I would probably be running crossfired 7970’s. The 780 is superior to the Titan when you consider the price point, as the Titan barely outperforms it, they are built on the same GK110 chip, and the Titan is far more expensive ($1050 vs $650).

Case – Switch 810

This case is, hands down, the best case I’ve ever worked with in my entire life. Plenty of cooling, zero problem getting the radiator installed, abundance of assistance for cable management and a nicely sized window so I can look in and see all of my beautiful parts.

PSU – SeaSonic 850W

What can I say? SeaSonic makes excellent power supplies and 850 watts is plenty of power for my system.

Streaming, exercising, Las Vegas, and sickness. It’s been quite a month!

This was my first month on the Convict Conditioning program, and it’s been interesting. I’ve more or less started at all of the basic exercises, then worked my way up from the super basic ones to the ones that are actually challenging for me to complete.

I’m not going to include body shots in this post (or probably the next one, either) because I look essentially the same, but I feel different! Here are a couple of really cool things I’ve noticed/learned/experienced over the past month –

1) The “soreness” of working out every day is gone, pretty much completely. After the first week or so, it was very annoying, sometimes lasting 48 hours after training that particular muscle group, but now I don’t have to worry about it at all. It’s really hard to not want to train every other day, but I’m still giving muscle groups 2 days of rest between workouts.

2) Going along with the first one, there are added benefits that I never even really considered before! Things like “mowing the lawn” that would always leave me feeling sore the next day now have no affect on me. The last week that I mowed the lawn, I worked arms almost immediately after, and even after all of that I still felt fine the next day. While I was in Vegas I spent a large portion of the day simply walking around the strip with Erin and I wasn’t sore at all in my legs the next day. To some people this seems really silly or insignificant, but it’s really surprising/nice for me to experience it for the first time.

3) I never had a “high metabolism”…I was just eating way less than I thought I was. I haven’t really started counting calories or anything like that yet, but I noticed when I started my workouts that I never had the energy to actually do that. Once I started eating more, I noticed that changed immediately. I’d always considered myself someone who simply had a high metabolism and was able to eat a lot, but after starting my workout I really noticed that I was simply not eating that much, even if it felt like I could eat a ton.

4) The Gold Standard protein drinks are easily doable, they taste pretty good (using the double chocolate one). My only complaint is that it’s impossible to completely stir out all of the “lumps” in the mixture. I’m considering purchasing a blender for it, but I’m not sure if it’s even worth it just to mix chocolate milk. I tried mixing it into pancake batter and it actually turned out pretty well, which was surprising to say the least.

I had to wind down on the workouts at the end of this month because I’ve been pretty sick, which sucks, but I’m finally getting over it and I hope to restart my routine tomorrow when I wake up.

Next update will be the 1st of next month!