March 2021

3 minute read

Inspired by Ken Corless and Chris Swan “month in review” posts, here is mine.

🪂 March paragliding flights

I had 2 great paragliding flights in March, with one of them caught on video. Still love the GoPro Hero 9. The fact that it stabilizes horizon makes paragliding videos really smooth. Check it out:

I have used Ayvry previously to visualize the track recorded by my inflight instrument - a GPS from Syride, a local manufacturer.

I upload all my flights on their web site and turn some of them into interactive Google-earth like experiences, like this: (click on the picture).

Trace parapente

The Chartreuse mountain is just beautiful that time of the year, and flight conditions have been great.

🎹 Controlling a laser playing along with me

As mentionned in the February edition of this “month in review”, another project that I am working on is being able to control a laser from my Komplete Kontrol mk2 keyboard, while playing live during concerts. The intent is to be able to set a specific laser figure at the right time (controlled by the timeline), and then modulate it based on what I play on the keyboard and how I play and leverage aftertouch. In summary, the intent is to control a laser light, as naturally as the instrument. Easier said than done!

Given that I use Ableton Live during shows for backing tracks and even controlling the other lights, I wanted to stick with that. The really cool thing about Ableton is that you can create (or reuse) small filters (à la Linux) which will fulfill a very simple function. For example take the value of the aftertouch (how I hard I press the key on the keyboard) and use that value as an input for another function.

I eventually came up with this setup:

  • DMX is a protocol which is mainly used to control lights. I have a small DMXIS interface (from USB to DMX with great electrical isolation) I have been using for years to control other lights. My laser has that interface too to control some parameters of the laser (not as flexible as ILDA interface, but good enough for what I want to achieve)
  • OSC is another protocol which aims at replacing the antique MIDI protocol (which I used back in the 90’s on my Atari ST!)

Then, chaining several plugins in Ableton (live grabber for OSC and Expression control +) makes it possible to achieve my goals.

I don’t think it has ever been done, so I’m quite excited to see how far this can go and wow the audience!

Taking over a PHP app

Every year, I volunteer at “La Coupe Icare”, a beautiful 3 days event for free flight. As part of this engagement, I am part of the team who handles a used gear mini-shop. A PHP was developped some times back. Several bugs and enhancements need to be addressed.

First step was to get the code who has been sitting on a shared Google Drive 😔 in a private GitHub repo, document all issues and convert the documentation from word to markdown.

Stand 1

Stand 3

That’s done, and we can now collaborate with other volunteer developers. I know little about php, but enough to fix bugs here and there. Pieces of the app will also move the cloud, as we need to offer a small mobile interface (hello Flutter).

Stand 2

Creating my own airline

The new Shiny Darkness album - Attractive - is available! Shameless promotion, here is the link to get it: shinydarkness.com/albums/attractive/.

Shiny Darkness Attractive

For better exposure, I’m working with my son on the next music video. The theme of the album being mostly about travelling, we came up with the idea of creating our own airline. Nothing less 😎 With the new Flight Simulator 2020 being out, I thought I had a way to create my own virtual airline.

Using Blender - an amazing Open Source project - and few tutorials, I was able to come up with videos which look pretty amazing.

Shiny Darkness Air

Shiny Darkness Air

Chocolate mousse and Iles flottantes

I’m not a great chief, but I enjoy deserts. I got myself a great cooking assistant last year, the Monsieur Cuisine Connect.

MCC

Iles flottantes (also known as “Oeufs à la neige”) is one of my (and wife and kids) favorite recipe. It’s a vanilla cream with egg whites and caramel.

Iles flottants

The Mousse au chocolat is another personal favorite, which I can customize to my own taste (less sugar, blend of dark and milk chocolate).

Mousse au chocolat

To be continued

Thanks for reading this far! April will be different with more time spent at home, because of a stricter lock-down here in France. 👋 be safe.

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