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Electronic Music Production: Dubstep



In an exploration of dubstep, I recently produced "What does it mean to be happy?". It combines beautiful female vocals with aggressive dubstep drops. I used this track as musical complement for a short management article on burnout.

If you enjoy this music and want to see more of my Activ8te releases, check out my music on bandcamp. Enjoy listening to the track.
Categories: News
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Electronic Music Production:Teutonic Fantasy Trance



Here is another trace track I made last December. I find that making music is a great way to balance stress either at work or in life. This piece has a small section where I am noodling on my electric guitar. Stay tuned for more.
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Electronic Music Production: A Trance Track



I have started to play with making electronic music. This is a trance track based on a really nice tutorial from Sadowick Production. It's pretty beat heavy and slowly builds up. I used Ableton and a number of different synths to create the sound. There is definitely a lot of room for improvement. Anyway, enjoy!
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Blacksmithing and Youtube HDR



Blacksmithing usually happens in a dark shop with very hot metal. A dark shop helps the blacksmith see the color of the steel better and thus know when it's ready to work or when it is too cold. Unfortunately, the dynamic range between dark and light makes it difficult to create videos that show both the shop as well as the hot metal. The dynamic range is too high to show up appropriately in videos. Fortunately, this has changed with Youtube's support for HDR. It still requires a new TV to support it though. This video is my first experiment at producing an HDR video. I filmed it on a Sony PXW‑FS7 in 4K raw and then color graded it in DaVinci Resolve on a Sony BVM-X300.

The Mysterybox folks have put together good information on how to produce HDR videos.
Categories: Forge Diaries, News
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Turning Crucible Steel into a Wootz Seax


This Wootz Seax is the first knife we made from our crucible steel. The bolster is copper and bone decorated with a dot and ring motif. The hilt is ironwood left over from a flooring project. The overall length of the knife is about 14 inches with a blade Length of 7 1/4 inches and a blade with of 1 5/8 inches. The steel pattern is very subtle and not easily seen on the photo.

As usual, I also documented the crafting process in a video:
Categories: News

Casting a forge-shell from Kast-O-Lite 30 LI

Here are some pictures of my recent forge rebuild. When I originally started to look into refractory concrete as an option, I noticed that there were not a lot of articles on the web describing the process of casting a forge shell from refractory concrete. While many of the steps are pretty straightforward and do not significantly differ from using regular concrete, some people might still find my experience with using Kast-O-Lite 30 LI useful. My need for a new forge arose after some extended forge welding and bloom consolidation caused the roof of my previous forge to cave in. After thinking of different ways to construct a new forge, I decided to go with refractory concrete as it can take more abuse than the kaowool based solution I had employed previously. Kast-O-Lite 30 LI seemed like it fit the bill with a maximum use temperature of 3000F which is not something I am likely to reach unless I am over boiling iron. For general forging, Kast-O-Lite 26 would have been better suited as it provides better heat insulation but I had the 30 LI concrete available. Here is an outline of the process:

The construction used five pieces of concrete: Two sides, one roof, and two pegs. Where the pieces met, I had to split the angle, so used 22.5 degrees on each side of the different pieces. The end result was going to be a shell that would support itself. The first step was creating the forms from 2x4 and some wooden boards. The forge itself is about 13in long, and about 9in high. To get the angles, I used a bandsaw with a swiveling table that I could dial to 22.5 degrees. The measurements that determines the spacing of the pieces were all done on the outside and piece of 2x4 was attached to the board with wood screws. Here is how they looked like.


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