September 4, 2020No Comments

From the archive: Team GB

Added another project to my portfolio. Back in 2012 at Pirata we were proud to be chosen by the British Olympic Association to create a digital platform fit for a winning team in the host country. and the Team GB app were a huge success throughout the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

See the work here >

Header photo by Simon Connellan on Unsplash

September 4, 2020No Comments

From the archive: McLaren

Better late than never! I have been lucky enough to not really need a portfolio for years. But it seemed a shame not to have one and, after all, I do know how to make websites so here we are. I am slowly adding both new and old projects to this site over the coming weeks.

This one is something I’ll always be proud of – at Pirata (RIP) we built a new and innovative site for McLaren, starting work on it in late 2009 and launching the first version – the award-winning ‘The Race 1.0b’ – for the start of the 2010 Formula1 season. We continued to reinvent, maintain and support the site for several years.

See the work here >

More than just a typical site, it was built around race weekends when it became a live dashboard with realtime data from the cars, drivers and team wherever they were in the world.

It goes without saying that it was a huge team effort, we had some some incredibly talented designers, developers and producers.

Take a look at my McLaren portfolio page for more details and screenshots.

I have plenty more more work to add both recent and from my archive. You can find all projects on the Work page.

September 4, 2020No Comments

Portfolio update: Rachael Smith Photography

Just added to my portfolio: Rachael Smith Photography.

I have plenty more more work to add both recent and from my archive. You can find all projects on the Work page.

September 2, 2020No Comments

Back in the studio

Over the past few months I’ve not made any music. I had hoped that 2020 lockdown would present a good opportunity but March to August turned out to be my busiest months ever work-wise, made more difficult of course by the fact that schools were closed. And on top of that my mixer died and had to be sent off for repair (it was replaced under warranty so all good).

I finally got everything hooked up again yesterday and it’s great to be able to pop in there without it feeling like a chore. I have the Behringer TD-3 at my disposal now as well as the Volca Modular which I’ve hardly scratched the surface of. Planning to get some tracks together by the end of the year.

Studio kit list

I like to work with hardware and record everything live for a more natural, and less programmed, feel. I then finish things off later on the computer.

I definitely don’t use all the gear at once, most tracks use two or three synths plus some effects. But I probably still have too much stuff.

  • Akai APC40
  • Alesis 3630
  • Alesis Midiverb II
  • Alesis Quadraverb
  • Behringer TD-3
  • Behringer Ultrapatch Pro
  • Boss DS-1
  • Korg Electribe Sampler
  • Korg MicroKORG
  • Korg Volca FM
  • Korg Volca Keys
  • Korg Volca Modular
  • Korg Volca Bass
  • Mackie Mix8
  • Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6
  • Novation Circuit
  • Novation Launchpad Pro
  • Roland JU-06
  • Roland TR-8
  • Soundcraft Signature 12 MTK desk
  • Teenage Engineering PO-33 K.O!
  • Zoom H5
  • Zoom MS-50G

August 25, 2020No Comments

Drum n’ Bass mix

I’m gradually selling all my old records through Discogs. I recently got an order for some drum n' bass records and decided it would be fun to do one last mix using some of the vinyl before it went.

I recorded this mix live using one Technics 1210 deck and Traktor. It’s part vinyl and part digital. 1990s jungle and drum n’ bass. Enjoy!

Direct download link or stream below...

August 25, 2020No Comments

Anyone still using Flickr?

Are you still using Flickr? I’m interested to hear from anyone still using it, and why. Or what you’re using instead, other than Instagram.

I have had a Flickr Pro account since 2005, then it went free for many years under Yahoo! And then now it’s owned by SmugMug it’s back like it used to be, with a limited free account and Pro option where you can keep more or less unlimited photos.

When that kicked in I decided to pay to keep my full account because I have photos on Flickr going back to 2005. But I was in two minds about it because at the time I hadn’t posted anything since 2016. Paying for Pro again kind of felt like a waste of money, but on the other hand I wasn’t ready to have that whole archive wiped from the web. For one thing this blog goes back to 2008 and many of the posts have photos embedded from Flickr.

Flickr used to be so great! It was my favourite thing on the web. I would spend hours on there, browsing and running groups and chatting about photography on the group chats etc. I have some shots with hundreds of faves, and discussions in the comments.

What’s kind of a shame is that now it’s technically as good as ever, I would say (yes, there are arguments for the previous UX but that’s not the point here), the mobile app is decent and everything is working well, yet it feels a bit dead in there.

I much prefer Flickr to Instagram because I like to look at BIG, high-res meticulously-processed professional-grade photos on a big display. Instagram would diminish an Andreas Gursky or Gregory Crewdesn shot, but my 27" iMac would do it justice. But of course everything is about mobile now, Flickr were years too late with a decent mobile app and Instagram became the photos place.

Instagram is cool but so much seems to have become about the process of infinite scrolling and liking, it’s kind of strange. Algo-hypnosis.

A year or so ago Rachael was told on several occasions by publishers that she needed more Instagram followers before they’d consider going ahead with a book. She now has lots more Instagram followers and some books are going ahead – not because of Instagram, but a decent presence there is apparently a prerequisite.

I stopped using an SLR camera when phone cameras got good, because the phone is much more convenient. But on my phone I shoot countless shots that just collect on there, until every two years or so it gets full and I back it up into a folder called something like "2019-08 iPhone photos" and never look at those shots again. Occasionally I post one to Instagram but mostly I’ve become bored with photography I think largely as a byproduct of the cameraphone revolution.

Anyway I’m not plugging anything in this post but I’ve started occasionally using the Canon 5D Mark II again. And it’s so much better. I am starting to enjoy it again. And I’ve posted a few recent holiday shots to Flickr – three weeks after they were taken, because I had to select and process the RAW files. But maybe that’s better.

Will I renew my Flickr account again when it’s due? Not sure. Is there an alternative place for photos in set and gallery format that’s still thriving? Will Flickr itself even survive?

I am, for now, on Flickr at

Cover photo: Matchstick Skiers, 2006

August 24, 2020No Comments

Taking a Covid-19 Test

[Edit: It came back negative. Not surprising but worth knowing, and hopefully useful information. I’d be more interested in an antibody test but that wasn’t on offer].

Did anyone else get one of these testing kits? I received a letter last week inviting me to take a home test. I suppose they want to figure out what proportion of the population has asymptomatic Covid. I am happy to help.

Lateness in the year aside, it all seems very well organised – so far. I am taking the samples tomorrow morning and a courier will pick it up during the day. Apparently they need to have it in the lab within 36 hours.

August 24, 2020No Comments

MTB Serra Grossa

My brother lives in Alicante, where in his spare time he's a keen mountain biker. He’s recently got a new GoPro camera and has produced this stunning 4K video cycling around Serra Grossa.

Thought I would share. Enjoy!


© 2020 Ade Rowbotham Ltd