Details… Details…. Hey Siri

OK Google != Hey Siri.

Update: Google took a huge step forward. (Do they read my blog!?) You can now do OK Google from any screen. Yes, even a locked PIN screen. It’s clunky but it works. Now, they need to get Google Now closer to Siri in terms of common things like directions and make it less specific with keywords. Siri is still much better for common language commands.


Most Android phones cannot do much from a PIN locked screen. A good exception is the Moto X which really can do this from a PIN locked screen and indeed can implement this feature while sleeping.

In iOS8 with the available hardware as of this date, can only do this while plugged in.

The OnePlus One is rumored to do this, but hardly anyone has one of them.



Kronos and stuck notes

If you use a Yamaha type damper/sustain pedal with the Korg Kronos and it ever goes bad, watch out. You can get stuck notes on the Kronos and there’s no way to stop the stuck sustaining notes and continue to play the keyboard. You are screwed.  Sure, you can stop the notes by pressing COMPARE or switching sounds, but you cannot play the keyboard without the notes getting stuck.

The only thing you can do is restart the machine. Wait 2 1/2 minutes minimum to restart. By then you are mad, the song is over and maybe the entire day is ruined.

There is a work-around to a restart. Load this MIDI File and have it in the sequencer for an important gig. If you ever have the problem – pull the sustain/damper pedal, press play on the sequencer and the notes will shut off. Then continue to play.

Suggestion: Buy a Korg sustain pedal.

Ear Plugs

I tested out two brands of ear plugs last night. Etymotic ER2o and Alpine Music Safe.

Both are affordable (under $20). Both are non-custom fit. Both cut highs despite what the manufacturers say. Both affect the way you will hear music. In practice – on stage – playing guitar – the ER20 was the clear winner. Overall, the sound was balanced in the low to high mids. It was an ok experience playing with these ear plugs. With the Alpine – dynamics seemed to be squashed and the roll off of highs was more apparent. What the Alpine has going for it was comfort and looks. The Alpine fits well and doesn’t stick out as much as the ER20. The ER20 was harder to fit and it sticks out a fair bit.

In the end result, the sound is what matters. The ER20 is my choice for live band use when needed.

Note: Since everyone hears differently, try both of them yourselves and see which one is better for you.

Are YOU Local?

FREE- download for your iOS device!
Honolulu, Hawaii – Filament Partnership is proud to announce the release of their latest app for iOS “Are You Local? 1.0.1” This app, available for no charge at the Apple iTunes store, poses questions celebrating the trivia, culture, racial diversity, athletic pursuit, political landscape, multi-ethnic cuisine, and just plain growing up in the islands of Hawaii.
“All of us at Filament have been gathering this knowledge our entire lives,” said Shawn Takabayashi, of Filament. “We thought this would be a fun way to share our experiences, and tap into the local culture that makes Hawaii a special place.”
“Are You Local?” follows in the footsteps of “Speak Katakana,” another iOS app created by Filament to help read and comprehend the many signs in Japan that are written in Katakana, the Japanese syllabary which is primarily used for foreign words.
“Are You Local?” is available for download at no charge at the Apple iTunes store for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
Device Requirements:
* iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (4th generation). Any iPad.
* Requires iOS 4.3 or later.
* 8.4 MB
Pricing and Availability:
Are You Local? 1.0.1 is free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category.
Located in Honolulu, Hawaii, Filament Partnership is a team of people doing creative projects, involving traditional as well as non-traditional media. Our talents include writing, photography, videography, editing, audio post-production, music composition, and dog training. Copyright (C) 2012 Filament Partnership. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.
Shawn Takabayashi
United States