billroper: (Default)
Gretchen and I have mailed the Dodeka tax returns.

Now, we can start work on our personal taxes. :)
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I went to print out the Dodeka tax forms where I had carefully filled in the PDF forms the other day.

And when I opened them, every single Federal of them was blank, completely devoid of the values that I had filled in and saved. I do not know exactly how this happened, but I am not at all happy about it.

So I filled them in again.

Interestingly, the Illinois tax forms had kept their values. I have no idea why.

And I caught a six dollar error in calculation when I was filling in the forms again. So I had to tweak the values on the Illinois form anyway.

Blort.
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I am greatly puzzled by how I have managed this, but it appears that I have finished the Dodeka taxes. The forms are all filled out and just need to be printed and mailed. I do not actually recall the last time that I didn't have to file an extension for these.

I suppose this means I need to sort out our personal taxes next. :)

Not Death

Mar. 4th, 2017 11:50 pm
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Taxes are the other half of the equation and I am working on the Dodeka books to try to get everything closed out so that I can get the rest of the paperwork together for my taxes and get it to the accountant so he can sort all things out. I have managed to get all of the credit cards and checks entered into the register, so I now have a fair idea of what we spent. I have pulled all of the sales from Square and entered them into the spreadsheet, so I now have a fair idea of what we sold.

Somewhere around here is the closing inventory, which still needs to be entered into the spreadsheet.

Then it will be time for the dumpster dive through the e-mail as I try to find everything that still needs to be accounted for.

But I am close to the end of the process. I'm not exactly sure when I'll get all of the way to the end, but it could be tomorrow.

I'm not betting on it though.
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See, they sold my bank.

This happens to us periodically. This is the bank where Gretchen used to work. The original parent bank sold off the suburban branches to a bank from downstate after a management shakeup. Then they got into trouble and sold themselves to a bank from California and Missouri who figured that penetrating the Chicago market would be a piece of cake. When that didn't work out for them, they sold the Chicago area branches to a bank from Ohio who figured that penetrating the Chicago market would be a piece of cake. (Still wasn't, but at least they tried advertising.) So now, that bank has sold all of itself to a different Ohio bank.

The changeover to the new online banking system will be next weekend while we're at Capricon. It is also just about the time of year when I make sure that I've downloaded all of the banking info for Dodeka and ISFiC Press so that I can work through the taxes.

So I downloaded all of that today and printed out all of the check images so that I have them safely on my computer.

I also went to StubHub and put together a big spreadsheet so I could figure out what I made from selling Cubs tickets last season. This has never been a problem before, because the only question would be how much money I had lost on my Cubs tickets, with the losses being (sadly) not deductible. Gains, on the other hand...

Having done all that, I thought about the issue of having all of this data "safely" on my computer. And I looked at the NAS sitting on my desk that should hold my backup.

Why is that not powered on?

So I powered it on.

And apparently, the backup that I started when I got the NAS had never finished.

It is running now. When that is done, I will back up all of the music on the Dodeka side of the machine.

This will take a while... :)

Taxes Done

Apr. 1st, 2016 02:18 pm
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The taxes are now at the accountant, so I just have to mail the Dodeka returns and I'm off the hook for all that for this year.

Sadly, the ISFiC Press accounting still needs to be done and I still don't have all the data to do that, but I'm going to try to ignore that for a day or two. :)
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I need two items of information to complete the packet for Gretchen and my tax return to go to the accountant.

I have finished the State and Federal Dodeka returns.

I haven't done diddly on my Dad's tax packet yet, but his is actually really simple.

However, I think this isn't going to get finished until tomorrow.
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I am asymptotically close to finishing the Dodeka taxes for the year. Then I need to assemble the materials for my Dad's trust and for our tax return so that I can get everything to the accountant.

It's amazing how much data you can pull off the Square account. :)
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One of the distressing things about doing the taxes for Dodeka is seeing:

  • How many different titles we carry.
  • And how many of them appear to have sold one or fewer copies in 2015.

    Some of these are the result of having bought out Juanita's inventory when she retired and having acquired various CDs that had been sitting in her inventory for too long. A few of them are the result of my own ordering errors.

    The problem is that the boxes are large and heavy and the table is very full. But if you don't take the CDs out to the cons with you, you can't sell them...

    Filk is an extremely regional business. And given that we're in the eighth-or-so year of a sucky economy, I certainly understand people's reluctance to take a flyer on something that they aren't familiar with.

    Ah, well. Moving along now.
  • Mixology

    May. 17th, 2015 04:24 pm
    billroper: (Default)
    After having left the new speakers playing "The Chain" all during Marcon to break them in -- which would have caused Gretchen to break me in, were she not more tolerant than many -- I have finally gotten a chance to get down into the basement and try them out on some of the actual mixes for The Grim Roper.

    The good news is that they appear to be working as designed. This means that I will get very few surprises -- I hope! -- when I take the resulting mix out for a truck test. It also means that I can hear and make adjustments more easily for some of the pathologies that I've been dealing with across the various mixes.

    I am also developing a distinct fondness for the Brainworx EQ package, which is allowing me to do some surgery on tracks that need it. Part of the attraction is that the tool is well designed to allow me to say "There! That is the sound that I want to get out of the mix!" and then adjust the EQ to minimize it. :)

    Thus, progress is being made.

    One track at a time.
    billroper: (Default)
    The new Avantone speakers arrived today and -- with a bit of help from Katie passing the two cables up from the power supplies so I could snag them after I'd plugged them in below the console -- they are now hooked up. The manufacturer recommends a bit of a break-in period where you play a commercial CD with some decent bass in a loop at a medium volume for 24 to 72 hours.

    So The Chain is on a loop.

    In the basement.

    Far from where we are sleeping. :)
    billroper: (Default)
    (Or maybe Lunatic Moon -- I'm still being ambivalent about a title...)

    Last night, in preparation for some recording that Jen will be doing while here, I went down to the studio to set things up so that today's recording will go relatively smoothly. While there, I cut the concert that [livejournal.com profile] sweetmusic_27 and I did at Consonance several years ago into individual songs so that it can be used as scratch tracks.

    I have another four or so scratch tracks to record, at which point I'll then have a full set of scratch tracks for that album.

    So progress is being made.

    (Slowly. :) )

    One Down

    Mar. 28th, 2015 03:31 pm
    billroper: (Default)
    The Dodeka tax forms are all filled out and ready to print.

    On to the personal taxes...
    billroper: (Default)
    I ran across a pointer to the Focusrite iTrack Dock the other day and decided to pick one up from Amazon as a wonderfully useful device for recording scratch tracks. It arrived today and I had a chance to pick it up and do a quick recording with it.

    [livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise listened to the results on a pair of headphones and said that it sounded better to her than the tracks that I'd been fighting with in the studio for The Grim Roper. Of course, the technology is also about 30 years newer. :) But it seems to do the job nicely.

    I paired it with a $10 multitrack recording app for the iPad. The app will allow you to connect to your iPad via Wi-Fi and upload tracks to your computer. From there you can send them via FTP to someone else who needs a copy of your scratch track. It's also got a number of other ways to dump tracks out, but this appears to be the most convenient way to get the individual tracks out.

    So it looks like it will do the job. It does require an iPad with a Lightning connector, but that's what all the new tablets come with, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

    And I managed to snag one off of Amazon for $30 less than they (and everyone else) is charging. Which is also good. :)
    billroper: (Default)
    I am now asymptotically close to being ready to fill out the Dodeka tax forms. We're just checking a couple of numbers and then we should have it sorted out.

    I think. :)
    billroper: (Default)
    There's is nothing like entering data for the Dodeka accounting for the year preparatory to doing the taxes to make you wonder why you're doing this.

    On the other hand, we do have a lot of nice things in the studio that this has paid for over the years...
    billroper: (Default)
    Is too damn cold, that's all I'll say about it.

    On the other hand, [livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise joined me down here and we fixed up several tracks from The Grim Roper that sounded like they needed tweaking when we looked at them upstairs. And I burned another CD, that we'll listen to shortly.

    In other news, I got another plugin offer from Universal Audio, so I figured I'd audition a bunch of plugins using "The Candy Tree" as a tackling dummy.

    And I threw one of them onto the mix bus and said, "Wow! Listen to that!"

    So after I finished auditioning plugins, I dragged Gretchen back down to listen to it. I tossed it into the circuit and Gretchen went, "Wow!"

    Ok, I guess I need to buy that one. :)
    billroper: (Default)
    When I sold the Mackie d8b, I kept the big Argosy 90 mixing console in the basement, because it's a handy piece of furniture and -- even if I sold it and got rid of it -- I would have to find something to replace it that would probably cost more than I got from selling the old console. Late last year, [livejournal.com profile] samwinolj came over and helped me cut a couple of pieces of oak plywood to drop into the large hole that the mixer had formerly occupied. [livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise stained them, we dropped them in, and voila! A big empty hole that things would fall into was transformed into a surface that would hold a Mackie Big Knob and a Behringer X Touch control surface.

    Now, there is some tendency for things to roll underneath the armrest at the front of that section, but Gretchen has promised to make a fill piece that will prevent those same things from escaping. So that will be taken care of.

    But there was the cutout in the armrest where the job / shuttle wheel for the d8b used to go. It was going to end up sitting directly in front of the control surface and become a repository for every small lost object in the studio. We could have jammed something in there to fill the hole, but that was not exactly going to be an attractive solution.

    So I went browsing on the Internet and found the Argosy Console folks were still happily operating. An e-mail and a phone call later, I discovered that I could get a replacement for the armrest without the cutout for a price that was not extortionate. And it arrived today and has been safely installed.

    As I was warned, they've changed vinyl suppliers, so the new vinyl doesn't quite match the old, but that's fine.

    Now, if Behringer would just ship the control surface, I'd be done with this refit. :)
    billroper: (Default)
    I burned what I hope is the final test copy for The Grim Roper, modulo fixing the trims at the beginnings and endings of tracks (which I haven't bothered to do yet, because until the mix is done, why do the clean up activities?). There may yet be more adjustments, mostly to reverb envelopes, but I think that the end is near.

    Big thanks to [livejournal.com profile] mysticfig for his suggestion of the AutoAlign plugin, which has fixed a multitude of annoying phasing problems on tracks where the guitar and vocal were recorded at the same time. It's simply amazing what you'll notice on a nice digital CD that tended to vanish into the hiss on a cassette tape. :)

    I've still got to get the printed materials ready for this and What's a Hoosier?, but it looks like I'm in serious danger of having to send things off to the duplicator soon.
    billroper: (Default)
    A few weeks ago, I was in the studio laying down a vocal track and realized that I only had one channel of headphones. This is a bad thing and -- given that I had just rewired the studio recently -- indicative of the fact that I'd probably mucked something up.

    Finally getting a chance to get down in the studio again to do some mixing and with the chance of cutting more tracks looming large in my immediate future, I figured maybe it was an opportune moment to fix the wiring.

    Step one was to download the manual for the headphone amp so that I could look at the connectors when not lying flat on my back. I determined that the Main In connectors were L/R balanced tip/ring/sleeve and checked the Big Knob to make sure that the cables matched that configuration, which they happily did.

    Ok, on my back under the console now. The left channel input is plugged into Main In L, the right channel input is plugged into Main Out L.

    Well, that would explain a lot.

    The problem is that the headphone amp is not very deep in the rack, while the units above and below it are very deep. So deep, in fact, that I could not manage to snake my big fat hand in the gap to plug the single cable that needed to be moved back in.

    A solution existed. So I unplugged everything that was connected to the back of the headphone amp, got up, yanked it out of the rack, and moved the really deep unit that had been above it down one slot. Then I dropped it back in and went to rewire it. This lasted until I decided it was still annoyingly difficult to reach and I called [livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise in to help.

    I pulled the unit back out of the rack while Gretchen got down underneath the console and handed cables up to me to be plugged back in through the gap in the rack. Once the five cables were reconnected, I dropped the unit back in the rack, plugged in the headphones, and there was much rejoicing.

    Or, at least, there was signal in both the left and right earpiece, which I will take as a victory. :)

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