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Llamatism is the website of Richmond, Va-based artist and musician, Gary Llama. Be sure to checkout the essays, howtos, and his Reviews. Enjoy!

Focusrite Saffire Pro 40

Make / Model: Focusrite Saffire Pro 40
Year: ?

Build Quality

Decent

Functionality

Decent

Impressions

The Focusrite Saffire line of interfaces runs across Fireweire, instead of the USB of the later Scarlett range. The Saffire also has different mic preamps, that are different than the Scarlett. The Saffire preamps have more headroom, but sound a little duller. However, they seem to be higher quality overall.

The Saffire Pro 40 and Pro 20 tend to feel much more solidly constructed than the Scarlett devices, and seem to be aimed more towards working studios, than individual musicians. Accordingly, the Saffire mix software offers features more conducive to studios than the very simplisitic device software of the Scarlett.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Make / Model: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
Year: ?

Build Quality

Ok

Functionality

Ok

Impressions

This is one of the most inexpensive audio interfaces available that is well built. It is very simple, and It will do what you need it to do, decently. The mic preamps are decent. However, they don’t have much headroom, and it’s easy to overload them.

The biggest issue with the focusrite USB stuff is that it tends to generate lots of recording errors on my setup, and from what I’ve read online, it’s typical. There were two versions of each of the Focusrite Scarlett models, with the latter version of each having better USB performance, but even then they still had issues.

For what this device is, it really is amazing to get the quality available of mic-preamp and ad/da for the price it is. A much different situation than the interfaces I grew up on in the 2000s.

JBL 4412 Monitors

Make / Model: JBL 4412
Year: ?

Build Quality

OK

Functionality

Ok

Impressions

These are great sounding playback monitors.

However, for mixing, I have never encountered a more deceptive speaker. The mid area leaves a lot to be desired, and the bass response as well. Never had a mix come off of these with anything in the right amount.

They do however, sound great.

Converse Chuck Taylor Low

Make / Model: Converse Chuck Taylor Low
Year: 2017-

Build Quality

Ok

Functionality

Ok

Durability

Around 1-2 years daily wear

Ethical-ness

Nike factories, probably sweatshop

Vegan-ness

Canvas

Impressions

So these are my favorite shoes, ever. Simple. Clean. Love them.

However, Converse has done a couple things to complicate this.
1. They were bought by Nike. Now I know Nike isn’t the only company using sketchy factories, and they, kind of unfairly, catch a LOT of flack for this, despite other companies getting a pass, using basically the same factories. However, Nike is so HUGE, they could influence the industry for positive change. The fact they haven’t, says something.

2. They sued the competition. When Ethletic was making a shoe that was like a perfect (ethically) chuck, they sued them. Now I get that you have to defend styles, because if you don’t then, well, you can’t defend them at all (legally, if design become ‘commonplace’, it fucks with trademarkability). But I think it still sucks.

3. They changed the actual shoe. In the 90s, the shoe upper was made of two layers of thinner canvas. Converse replaced this with one layer of thicker canvas. The result? They aren’t as soft or pliable. They may be more durable though.

For me, these shoes are a ‘loaded’ thing, an area where I choose between ethics, and aesthetics, and whatnot.

And over the years, I’ve landed on different sides of whether or not I will wear them, ranging from ‘fuck that!’ to ‘fuck it, ok’.

I guess the thing is, should a shoe be this complicated? Apparently, in the world we live in, it is.

Ethletic Trainer Lo

Make / Model: Ethletic Trainer Lo
Year: 2017-

Build Quality

Decent

Functionality

Ok

Durability

Around 5-6 months daily wear

Ethical-ness

Probably Ethical, Made in Pakistan

Vegan-ness

Canvas

Impressions

These are fairly comfortable shoes. Nice insole. They last about 6 months of daily wear before the soles crush out. Ethically produced, using organic rubber and cotton. Company seems to give a fuck.

Unfortunately, Converse sued them and they can’t be sold in the US.

About The Site

Llamatism is a collection of things, a cabinet of curiosities, and reports from explorations on things, by Gary Llama.

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