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“But, Dimitri…” Ukrainian Shades of Dr. Strangelove

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Comments

  • @cian said:

    @richardyot said:
    @cian Putin in his speech yesterday specifically described the Ukrainian government as “drug dealers and nazis”. He’s not using the level of nuance that you attribute to him.

    I didn't say he was using nuance, or that his version of events was particularly true. I'm merely pointing out that it's not pure fabrication - there is some truth there.

    Sorry but just go back and read our original exchange:

    @richardyot said:
    he continues to insist that Zelenski is a Nazi and that Ukraine is part of Russia.

    @cian said:
    I think he's referring to stuff like the Azov brigades when he's talking about Nazis

    Zelenski is not a nazi, so it is pure fabrication. He's accusing the current Ukrainian government of being neo-nazis. That's the equivalent of accusing Macron of being an actual Nazi because the National Front has seats in the French parliament.

    He's not referring to the Azov Brigades, it's a specific accusation aimed at Zelenski. He's been 100% clear about that.

  • @cian Putin in his speech yesterday specifically described the Ukrainian government as “drug dealers and nazis”.

    Which sounds totally nuts to the rest of the world.

    He (and his PR people) know his comments are going to go global. They must know that a claim like that makes him look 100% like a liar or, at best, a crackpot.

  • @Simon said:

    @cian Putin in his speech yesterday specifically described the Ukrainian government as “drug dealers and nazis”.

    Which sounds totally nuts to the rest of the world.

    He (and his PR people) know his comments are going to go global. They must know that a claim like that makes him look 100% like a liar or, at best, a crackpot.

    It’s all for the Russian, populace, no? Now BBC and other journalists are leaving cause they could get 15 yrs for telling the truth. Many Russians will believe the Putin narrative.

  • @richardyot said:
    he continues to insist that Zelenski is a Nazi and that Ukraine is part of Russia.

    @cian said:
    I think he's referring to stuff like the Azov brigades when he's talking about Nazis

    Zelenski is not a nazi, so it is pure fabrication. He's accusing the current Ukrainian government of being neo-nazis. That's the equivalent of accusing Macron of being an actual Nazi because the National Front has seats in the French parliament.

    The French National Front are a lot less extreme than the Ukranian fascists, but I get your point.

    But for the analogy to work Macron would have to have done the following. His predecessors would have to have brought neo-nazi street militias into the French army and police forces - and Macron would have done nothing to reverse that. If his government had been naming streets/parks/buildings after French fascist Nazi collaborators, or glorifying Marshall Petain. Or if Macron had just appointed a guy who's essentially a fascist to be a regional governor.

    On top of that Zelenski has also been banning media outlets and trying to put his predecessor in jail (I have some sympathy for this, though his predecessor does seem to be responsible for fixing the army).

    Yes Putin is grossly exaggerating this because its what he does - but this stuff is effective (at least in Russia) because it has some basis in reality.

    He's not referring to the Azov Brigades, it's a specific accusation aimed at Zelenski. He's been 100% clear about that.

    The stuff I saw was super vague, but I haven't been following it super closely. At one point he was explicitly referencing the Azov brigade (who are not the only ones btw - there are others). And like I said, the Azov brigades are part of the Ukrainian state.

    Clearly Putin is a hypocrite. But it would be nice if the we weren't also hypocrites in the west. Or if weren't sending so much training to groups of extreme far right psychos.

  • @LinearLineman said:

    @Simon said:

    @cian Putin in his speech yesterday specifically described the Ukrainian government as “drug dealers and nazis”.

    Which sounds totally nuts to the rest of the world.

    He (and his PR people) know his comments are going to go global. They must know that a claim like that makes him look 100% like a liar or, at best, a crackpot.

    It’s all for the Russian, populace, no?

    I think so.

    Now BBC and other journalists are leaving cause they could get 15 yrs for telling the truth. Many Russians will believe the Putin narrative.

    The political crackdown in Russia looks brutal. Think we're going to see lots of people fleeing in the next few years - or at least those who can.

  • @LinearLineman said:
    It’s all for the Russian, populace, no?

    Yeah, could be.

    But I don't know that making statements "just for the locals' works any more in the age in the net. The Russians can look on the net and see what the rest of the world is saying can't they? Or do they have a "net wall" like China?

  • Yes the West are hypocrites, I agree with that. We have a history of destroying democracies that vote the "wrong" way and installing brutal Western puppets in their place (Iran 1959, Chile 1973, etc.), we ally ourselves with brutal theocracies such as Saudi Arabia, while denouncing others as our enemies, all depending on how that serves Western interests. We've destroyed several middle eastern countries in the last 20 years, and propped up tyrants when it suited us.

    It's possible to be opposed to all of that, and still recognise that all Putin's excuses are bullshit. Putin is an imperialist, who murders and imprisons his political opponents, who is responsible for the brutal repression of his own people, and is far worse than anything the West has to offer, and that's saying something. But he is worse, much worse.

  • @Simon said:

    @LinearLineman said:
    It’s all for the Russian, populace, no?

    Yeah, could be.

    But I don't know that making statements "just for the locals' works any more in the age in the net. The Russians can look on the net and see what the rest of the world is saying can't they? Or do they have a "net wall" like China?

    Well not all Russians speak English. But yeah the Kremlin are banning stuff like Facebook and twitter now, so I guess that's the plan. Who knows if it will be successful - China is a fairly well run and efficient state. Russia is a corrupt mess.

  • edited March 2022

    @cian said:
    Well not all Russians speak English.

    They don't need to speak English. Just go to a Western newspaper online and translate the text with Google Translate.

  • …in decadent west, Google translate language, in Putting’s Russia, Google translate you?

  • @ervin said:

    @supadom said:

    @ervin said:

    @supadom said:

    @ervin said:
    @cian, mate, this is simply not the time for whataboutery. 🤷

    Finally. Long overdue. But the HU/UA border is now properly open, people keep entering, no admin obstacles, the first groups said to have reached Budapest. Even the administration of pets was minimised 👍 so there's no delay when they are brought along and the EU can follow up later.

    I'm not sure if this is part of the general contrarian shtick you seem to be playing on this thread or you mean to be funny, or whatever but the reality is that the HU government, which otherwise has an abysmal track record with refugees, has so far been doing (and letting its private citizens do) a remarkably decent job here.

    I think part of the reason for the lack of large-scale racism is probably the fact that there are no big crowds like on the Polish border yet, so no need to push, noone tries to prioritise white refugees etc.

    In any case, the fact is Hungary has welcomed almost 150k people from Ukraine so far, the second biggest number after Poland, with no major hiccups. But you do you mate, from the comfort of your home, wherever you are.

    I don’t think I’m being a contrarian or whatever. I’m just pointing out inconvenient truths.
    The truths are that Hungary, as well as Poland are both fairly (funny word) racist countries. There’s also quite a bit of religious intolerance and xenophobia without going into the unrelated LGBT+ rights etc.

    Polish media are basking in this, especially the government television: TVP News. These days the news bulletins start with footage of Ukraine’s destruction with dramatic music and then all the refugee stuff.

    It’s really sickening and is as if they were saying: look at us, we do care about the refugees, as long as they are similar to us. So we’re nice people and only just a bit racist. Of course the governments are in large part a reflection of the population.

    I totally understand where all this comes from, it’s just a perfect combo of religion and terrorism narrative as well as the fact that dark skinned minorities have been for centuries mostly unseen on Polish streets.

    With respect, you're making some valid points but you're also missing my point entirely.

    If the roof was the general track record of these two countries, we wouldn't have an argument (I even mentioned that in my previous comment).

    That's not the case though. Poland and Hungary are currently getting close to accepting and helping half a million refugees between them. Finally, they are doing something right. My company is a tiny bit involved in helping out, and I can see the amazing effort the people of these countries are putting in every day. Your reaction to that: a "you're racist lol" cartoon.

    I mean, sure. Whatever floats your boat, man. Maybe you could see it differently, but I'm not trying to convince you.

    I’m just giving you my perspective. Our opinions don’t have to be in opposition and I cannot and will not criticise you because I don’t know you. I don’t want to burst your bubble or make your effort with refugees less meaningful. In fact I’m glad there is support for the people fleeing their homes from war.

    I just can’t help having those thoughts. They aren’t directed at you, but rather at your government as well as the government of Poland for whom this is a massive publicity stunt. Anyways, let’s hope Vladimir doesn’t take the sanctions too personally or we’ll all become refugees.

  • The Russian people? Seems about the same all over.

  • @richardyot said:
    It's possible to be opposed to all of that, and still recognise that all Putin's excuses are bullshit.

    They're not all bullshit. Many of them are, quite a number aren't. It doesn't do anyone any favors to pretend that Putin/Russia 100% bad, the west/Ukraine all good. Particularly if there's to be a negotiated end to this.

    Putin is an imperialist

    I mean I guess, but on a fairly small scale compared to the US. Yes Russian shouldn't be able to interfere in Ukraine, but then what gives the US the right to do so in Mexico, or Cuba? And compared to what Turkey, or Saudi Arabia, or the UAE have been doing over the past 20 years - Russia is on a much smaller scale. There's a reason that we're focusing on Russia - and it's not due to morality. The west's attitude to him changed when they took back control of Gazprom, and kicked out people like Bill Browder.

    who murders and imprisons his political opponents

    Sometimes. Which isn't good - but it's not exactly as if you're a political opponent you will get arrested and murdered. It's more complex than that, because Russia isn't a dictatorship, even if it's not entirely a democracy.

    And what tends to get missed in the west is often the reason for this has more to do with extra-curricular activities (e.g. if you want to a billionaire, the deal is you stay out of politics. Or various political activists angering what are essentially gangsters in business, or FSB, or something).

    who is responsible for the brutal repression of his own people

    While this may be about to change, this mostly isn't the case.

    And there's never been anything close to what you routinely see in Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia - or indeed many neighboring states or Russia. It's more comparable to maybe India, or Brazil. Or maybe Bulgaria, or Albania. Which is still BAD - but not really the way it's presented in the US.

    and is far worse than anything the West has to offer, and that's saying something.

    Well if we exclude Israeli treatment of the occupied territories from consideration Otherwise that is worse. And obviously we support far worse countries than Russia with no apparent moral qualms.

  • @cian sorry, too much handwaving in your arguments. Not interested in continuing the debate.

  • @cian said:
    There's a reason that we're focusing on Russia - and it's not due to morality. The west's attitude to him changed when they took back control of Gazprom, and kicked out people like Bill Browder.

    Isn't the reason we're focusing on Russia because this is the first full scale invasion in Europe since WW2?

  • @Simon said:

    @cian said:
    There's a reason that we're focusing on Russia - and it's not due to morality. The west's attitude to him changed when they took back control of Gazprom, and kicked out people like Bill Browder.

    Isn't the reason we're focusing on Russia because this is the first full scale invasion in Europe since WW2?

    Well yes - but I guess my point was that the reason Russia became an enemy of the US when they acted against perceived US business interests, rather than when they committed atrocities in Chechnya.

  • Russia thought they would win in a day -- two max. They wouldn't have wasted most of their food and fuel on the pretense of military exercises otherwise.

    If they had thought it would be a protracted war in any sense, they would have expanded out from Sevastopol where they had an easy and secure point to resupply. That's why the push is there now. If Russia can connect the support from the ports to the stalled column in Kyiv, this turns into an overthrow of the Ukrainian govt. pretty quickly.

    Meanwhile,

    “Just today we talked with the President of Belarus on this matter. Our Belarusian friends are interested in being present in the Baltic, interested in developing their own port facilities. You know that I also support it,” Putin said during a ceremony for a new Russian ferry, which he attended virtually.

    Belarus is landlocked.

    I simply can't understand the US position that they can't create a no-fly zone in Ukraine because it might lead to a war in Europe. It's already a war in Europe and Russia is threatening to expand it in Europe.

  • @cian said:

    @Simon said:

    @cian said:
    There's a reason that we're focusing on Russia - and it's not due to morality. The west's attitude to him changed when they took back control of Gazprom, and kicked out people like Bill Browder.

    Isn't the reason we're focusing on Russia because this is the first full scale invasion in Europe since WW2?

    Well yes - but I guess my point was that the reason Russia became an enemy of the US when they acted against perceived US business interests, rather than when they committed atrocities in Chechnya.

    While the West does have more business interests in Ukraine than in Chechnya, I suggest that is not the primary difference why the West is so much more interested in Ukraine.

    Ukraine is a large country in the heart of Europe -- it is the largest country by area in Europe other than Russia -- and it is not on the periphery. Location matters. I

    ts population is on the order of 30 times that of Chechnya? There are likely to be more Ukrainian refugees created by the invasion than there are people in Chechnya. It has the seventh largest population of European countries.

    Did I mention location?

    Reducing this to mere economics is oversimplistic and overlooks so much.

    It astonishes me that some people take Russian fears about geographic security so much more seriously than Western European fears. It strikes me as strange that people act as if Russia has a right to be concerned about western expansion but that western Europe has no reason to worry. Didn't most people here have parents or grandparents that lived through a pretty catastrophic demonstration of what can happen?

    There is a lot more here than simple economic opportunism. And there is a lot of not-so-distant history that gives everyone reason to have the jitters.

  • edited March 2022

    Fascinating thread on that column of Russian trucks apparently stuck near Kyiv:

    For those who can't access Twitter: they are out of fuel, and out of food, with very little chance of supplies reaching them. And this is costing them senior officers:

    This is why that Russian 41st CAA general was killed.

    He showed up at the head of the column to unscrew the logistical mess, screaming at people and waving his arms in the air in visual range of a Ukrainian Army Sniper.

  • Some excerpts from a WSJ on Ukrainian Special Forces:

  • @espiegel123 said:

    @cian said:

    @Simon said:

    @cian said:
    There's a reason that we're focusing on Russia - and it's not due to morality. The west's attitude to him changed when they took back control of Gazprom, and kicked out people like Bill Browder.

    Isn't the reason we're focusing on Russia because this is the first full scale invasion in Europe since WW2?

    Well yes - but I guess my point was that the reason Russia became an enemy of the US when they acted against perceived US business interests, rather than when they committed atrocities in Chechnya.

    While the West does have more business interests in Ukraine than in Chechnya, I suggest that is not the primary difference why the West is so much more interested in Ukraine.

    Ukraine is a large country in the heart of Europe -- it is the largest country by area in Europe other than Russia -- and it is not on the periphery. Location matters. I

    ts population is on the order of 30 times that of Chechnya? There are likely to be more Ukrainian refugees created by the invasion than there are people in Chechnya. It has the seventh largest population of European countries.

    Did I mention location?

    Reducing this to mere economics is oversimplistic and overlooks so much.

    It astonishes me that some people take Russian fears about geographic security so much more seriously than Western European fears. It strikes me as strange that people act as if Russia has a right to be concerned about western expansion but that western Europe has no reason to worry. Didn't most people here have parents or grandparents that lived through a pretty catastrophic demonstration of what can happen?

    There is a lot more here than simple economic opportunism. And there is a lot of not-so-distant history that gives everyone reason to have the jitters.

    Not to mention the economic disaster that awaits Europe.

  • Terrific thread on Russia's exports:

    tl:dr Russia exports mostly natural resources, primarily oil and natural gas. Southern deposits are depleted so most extraction takes place in the arctic and is very expensive. This is compounded by the fact that all contracts are corrupt and Putin's "friends" create very expensive and inefficient infrastructure. Most exports go to the West, and if Russia loses that market then only the Chinese remain.

  • Another Nuclear power plant is being attacked (which is a war crime):

  • @knewspeak said:
    Not to mention the economic disaster that awaits Europe.

    Fun fact: this sentence, or something to this effect, was published about three times per day in English newspapers since June 2016. We're kind of used to it by now. First it was brexit, then the migrant crisis, then covid. Now it's Putin. I don't know the future, but I don't think he'll be the last one. Predicting all kinds of doom in Europe is a favourite pastime in the Anglo-Saxon press.

  • Huge if true 👊
    "Tactical pickles" - I wish I had thought of that term

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