Time for some housecleaning of the musical toys…

One of my absolute favorite blogs is The Recording Revolution, where the writer, Graham Cochrane, is a professional musician, mixer, and producer.  One of the things he covers is ‘simplicity over stuff’.  The music industry *loves* to say that ‘stuff’ is required to be a good musician.  Graham likes to debunk those myths 🙂

One article that hit VERY close to home is the article ‘what we need vs. what we buy’.  I am *absolutely* guilty of this this with my musical toys.  This fact got hammered home recently.  I was testing a new DAW, and had pulled up an old mix that I had apparently started, but not done much with.  I had set up the ‘heavy mixbuss’, then walked away from it for some reason or another.  So, when I pulled this project up, I was not terribly happy with the mix.  I did some minimal changes, things that I’ve learned recently, or RE learned recently :), and was very happy with the mix.  The amazing thing?  It didn’t require anything more than some basic plug-ins I already owned and applying some knowledge.  Wow!  Do I think that the specialized, whizz-bang plug-ins have their place?  DEFINITELY!!!!  They can get to specific sounds very quickly with minimal work.  But, the point is that they are not needed.  As Graham points out, a compressor, an EQ, and reverb are all you need to get a good sound.  The other stuff helps, but is NOT required.

This also can be said about guitars 🙂  My collection has grown lately, and it is probably time to shrink it a bit.  What’s amazing is that I’ve gone to the ‘vintage style’ guitars; reissues of some very famous instruments.  I’ve found that they do have the tones I’m looking for, so there’s not much need to keep the ones that don’t sound like what I want… eBay, here I come!

More Developer’s Express Fun, this time with nested reports and running totals…

Since I’ve gone back to programming, more things on this blog have been to help me remember what I did!  This is one of the programming posts, music will be on my next entry, I promise!

More Developer’s Express fun…  I both love and hate some of the things that DevExpress does with their tools.  I’ve recently started using the XtraReports suite for some ‘more than trivial’ reports, and hit a snag.  I had a devil of a time trying to solve this issue, it took almost a day to figure out a way to make this work.

Here’s the setup:

I had a report that had three different sets of data.  The exact information is a Point of Sale daily report, needing sales, taxes, and payments, but that’s not pertinent to the problem here…  To use the three disparate data sources, I started off using three sub reports with a master report that would only have one record.  This worked grand!  I was able to do the reports with no problem… but… I needed to have a total of all three sub reports.  This is where my implementation came crashing down.  The XtraReports sub reports have a great way to send information to the sub report, but it doesn’t have a very good way to get the information BACK to the original report.  I tried everything I could think of for almost a day, but with no luck in using the sub reports.

After reading a LOT of pages and articles, I found out that the XtraReports had a very neat feature.  The reports have what DevExpress calls a ‘DetailReportBand’ on a report.  This allows you to have a fully nested sub report inside of the main report without it being an actual sub report in a completely separate report.  Hmmm… combine this with the parameters feature, and I may have something…  It was easy enough to move the sub reports into Detail Report Bands, and it actually simplified the code a bit.  Hoo-rah!  I still had to get the running total, though.

After a couple of false starts, I did get the running total working.  To get this to work, a report parameter needs to be added to the report.  Then, the easiest way that I found to get the subtotals into the parameter was to use the sub report’s summary total XrLabel’s SummaryCalculated event to add the amount to the parameter.  Then, at the end, it was straight forward to set a label to the parameter to show the overall total.

I know this blog post may not make a lot of sense to most, but it will help me in the future when I have to do this again, and can’t remember what I did!

How to center text on a Developer’s Express (DevEx) WPF grid

This nearly drove me crazy.  I’ve been working with the Developer’s Express grid in Windows Presentation Framework (WPF), and have NEVER been able to find a way to center the data in the column.  Turns out, it’s rather easy, BUT, it requires using the control nesting that makes WPF powerful and frustrating.

To center the text in the column, the dxg:GridColumn needs to have an EditSettings tag added.  Inside of that tag, add an TextEditSettings tag and set the HorizontalContentAlignment to “Center”.  Voila!

Example:

<dxg:GridControl Name=”gcTest”>
<dxg:GridControl.Columns>
<dxg:GridColumn Name=”GridColumn1″ FieldName=”TEST_ID” Header=”ID” Width=”100″ HorizontalHeaderContentAlignment=”Center” VisibleIndex=”0″>
<dxg:GridColumn.EditSettings>
<dxe:TextEditSettings HorizontalContentAlignment=”Center” />
</dxg:GridColumn.EditSettings>
</dxg:GridColumn>
<dxg:GridColumn Name=”GridColumn2″ FieldName=”DESCRIPTION” Header=”Description” Width=”100″ HorizontalHeaderContentAlignment=”Center” VisibleIndex=”1″>
<dxg:GridColumn.EditSettings>
<dxe:TextEditSettings HorizontalContentAlignment=”Center” />
</dxg:GridColumn.EditSettings>
</dxg:GridColumn>
</dxg:GridControl.Columns>
</dxg:GridControl>