Friday, August 31, 2007

KiNK composing live on Vermona DRM

The Vermona DRM is a rare analogue drum machine built in 1987. It comes from East Germany before the wall came down so there are not to many of them about. 12 sounds/oscillators with a 32 step X0X style sequencer and MIDI.

Part 1

Part 2

thanks to Kink

TENORI-ON Product Demo Performance

The Preview of the Demo Performance for the TENORI-ON Product. This was uploaded a week ago and already 9'394 people have watched it. The official website is HERE and the myspace is HERE. If you're in the UK it's worth checking out the blog to see if there's a demo going on near you. Initial pricing stands at €880, £599 or $1'200...
via tenorion1 via matrixsynth.

Curetronic Analog Modular Synthesizer

"My first video!-)
Just a test... you can see my Curetronic Analog Modular Synthesizer..." - thanks to

It's rare enough to see a Curetronic Modular.

SIEL Orchestra 2

"For the friends of the forum of (and for all interested) a small video dedicated to the SIEL Orchestra 2, a "string machine" - or keyboard of the violini, as it was called to the age - of Italian production of first years ' 80, known also like Sequential Circuits Prelude. Good vision!" - translated by Babelfish; video thanks to zioguido

You can find out more about the Seil Orchestra 2 on this website dedicated to Seil instruments or over on Vintage Synths (no direct link to the Seil page on VS).

Beat Blocks Drum Sequencer

Beat Blocks is a tangible interface for a rhythm sequencer. The user is able to create and manipulate an 8-track drum loop (4 tracks in the featured prototype) on the fly by physically re-arranging blocks within a matrix. Each block is actually a sub-sequence identified by a patterning scheme. This allows the user to quickly identify what the sub-sequence is and place it within the composition in one motion, an action that would otherwise take several steps with a screen and mouse/trackpad interface. The device can be integrated directly and synchronized with other midi hardware or communicate with a computer via midi.

Two versions of Beat Blocks are in the works. The first being a sequencer for use in a performance setup and the second being an installation based around a table design. The performance device will be much more compact, utilizing a 4 x 4 or 8 x 8 matrix, and the installation version will be designed around an 8 x 16 or 32 matrix with a more spacious layout to accommodate multiple users. It was designed and built by Jeff Hoefs, Stijn Schiffeleers and Greg Zifcak.

Here's a quick little video demonstration. This one only has 4 tracks but its a prototype. It all seems very easy :)

Improved Hard-Drive Speakers

Using computer hard drives as speakers...bonkers!

Here's how to do it yourself!

How Speakers are Made

Discovery channel documentary on how speakers are made (with rocktastic soundtrack!)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Funky Old School Keyboards

"visit Antoine da Funkscribe in his dungeon with the synthesizer and keyboard tutorial space ship funk.
Visit for more funkiness." - thanks to

The Moog Prodigy getting funky :)

Custom Midi Controller For Use With Reaktor

A custom MIDI controller for Reaktor built by evanm978 on the Livepa forum. You can see a movie of it in action HERE. evanm978 is looking for a bit of help to finish the controller. If anybody thinks they can help contact him thru - via livepa

Torrentspy Blocks American Users

On Sunday night Torrentspy, one of Europe's largest bittorrent trackers, started blocking US based IP adresses from using its search engine. This move is in direct response to a US federal court decision that attempted to force Torrentspy to keep records of users IP adresses and activity.

Torrentspy presently have an agreement with users not to disclose their IP adresses or activity and rather than breach their privacy policies they have decided to block US users. The issues are, as ever, complicated. Torrentspy is a tracker and as such does not store or distribute any copyright material. Instead it gives links to data stored on other peoples computers. It does not keep any records and so can claim no knowledge of how the service is being used. - via techshout.

In another recent court case between Torrentspy and the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) a "U.S. District judge found that the Motion Picture Association of America had not violated the federal Wiretap Act, as TorrentSpy's attorneys had argued, the MPAA acknowledged in court records that it paid $15,000 to obtain private e-mails belonging to TorrentSpy executives.

The MPAA's acknowledgement is significant because it comes at a time when the group is trying to limit illegal file sharing by imploring movie fans to act ethically and resist the temptation to download pirated movies. To critics, the revelation by the MPAA is a possible sign that the organization is itself not above adopting unethical practices in its fight against file sharing." via shoutwire

If you are from the US and try to search torrentspys database all you'll get is the image above is. To me this is a bit of a weird one. It means that the US might fall behind in term of technological culture. Is this a chance for Europe to come to an agreement outside of the US?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Fade to grey-Visage and Gazdatronik

"I play Visage's Fade to grey somehow. Micromoog on Bass, Korg DW-8000 on strings, Oberhiem matrix 6 on the high part, and Emulator SP-12 on drums.
I'll clean up the production and re-record it and put it up at my other site:

But its a decent enough hack job.
" - thanks to Gazdatronik

Yamaha YC-30 & Sequential Drumtraks

"for all you portamento strip fans" thanks to jakeschrock

Modular Synths

"Modular Synths Sequencer" thanks to Vbik
Modulars this size always seem like they should have some kind of intelligence... like they should come alive at night and try to merge with the toaster.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Music via Laser Pointer

"Here is yet another thing to do with those promotional laser pointers: send music (or data) from point A to point B over the laser beam using amplitude modulation. All it takes is pointing the moded laser at a detector, and music can be heard from an attached amplifier. The range and quality (or data speed) can vary, but I have gotten a HALF MILE of range with excellent audio quality and around 300bps of throughput."

Arduino Synth

Here's a fun little monosynth built in code, using the Arduino microcontroller board

Link here: Narbotic

Monday, August 27, 2007

Studer C37 Valve reel to reel tape recorder

"Built in 1960, told to be the best valve reel to reel ever made, it is said that Willi Studer saw one of the Ampex machines (probably an Ampex 300 or 350), he was so impressed with the recorder he set out to build a better machine. The C37 by far blows away the Ampex and any reel to reel of its time for build quality, though I have not had an Ampex 300 or 350 to listen to I could not personally say which really does sound better.

The recorder was a stereo version of the famous J37 which was used in the beetles recordings, the C37 was the first stereo professional reel to reel to come from Studer and it also marks the co-operation with EMT Wilhelm Franz and Studer, the recorder boasts a recording frequency of 20Hz to 17KHz +-2db on 7.1/2 or 15 ips, this one records 20KHz on 15ips with +-2dB though a world famous designer Tim de Paravicini can modify these machines to record 20Hz to 35LHz +-1dB with a S/N of 90dB! This is beyond CD quality as 90dB noise is not detectable and CD's frequency output is 20KHz (Half the digitized sample rate)." - thanks to

Sounds from the Roland System-100m

"I recently acquired a vintage analog modular synth Roland System-100m. Here are my first minutes with it. Just a few simple (!!) sounds and sequences. No fancy keyboard playing and no weird sound effects (not yet, until I learn to program it better ;) )...

System modules used in this demonstration:
181 - 49key keyboard
112 - dual oscilator x 2
121 - dual filter
130 - dual VCA
140 - dual envelope generator & LFO" - sent my way thanks to

Klaus Shulze "BARRY GRAVES" (1977)

I thought I'd post this again. The last YouTube clip was taken down. Hopefully this one will last a bit longer. thanks to houtturn1. Klaus Schulze live in concert 1977

Part 1

Part 2

JazzMutant Lemur ( Multitouch Control Surface )

"2007 Winter NAMM Show: JazzMutant introduce its next major update for the Lemur Multitouch Control Surface. The JazzMutant Lemur, described as the most advanced and innovative controller created for musicians, sound designers, composers, audio engineers and media artists, now is taking things to the next level of control. After taking the turn to complete workflow optimization - thanks to drbrainwork

Gearwires demo of the JazzMutant Lemur

You might not have seen this one before. "
Cycling '74 director of engineering Darwin Grosse presents the JazzMutant Lemur touch-screen controller. This space-age device is unique because of the visual feedback; the touch surface is a full-color screen, providing light and color feedback to control sound and rhythm. The Lemur was developed by JazzMutant, but is distributed in the U.S. by Cycling '74." - From: gearwire

thanks to 'noise hacker'

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Buchla Easel, Concertina & Whirly Toy

June Jam at The Jaunt June 30 2007 Mike Ciul (Captain Mikee) hosted a night of improv music at The Jaunt. Participants were Evan Cairo (synthesizer), Captain Mikee (loops & toys), Charles Cohen (Buchla Music Easel), and George Korein (guitar). - Just click on the picture to play the movie or click HERE.

There's a bit more info and a few mp3's over at Radio Eyeballsun.

Roland SH-201 Bass Tutorial

Very tasty "Tutorial on getting a neurofunk bass out of Roland SH-201 Synthesizer" thanks to the excellently named OldSchoolJungle :)

DSI Prophet '08 Manual

Just a quick look at how the P08 sizes up to the PEK. A fair bit smaller really. have the Prophet '08 manual... handy to have a look through if you're thinking of getting one.
via -

Saturday, August 25, 2007


"JAMAICAN Sound System STONE LOVE WKD Jus watch Ow Thay string Up The Speaker Boxes...No Speakons Ea M8 Proper Wirng. Ha Ha LOL" - thanks to firebladerr1

Machinedrum UW live tweaking - IDM in a box!

"this is just an example of the stuff you can take out of a machinedrum. If you're into glitch beats you will enjoy this for sure." - thanks to pixmusic.

Sound Bed

Yes it's ridiculous... the sound bed. " Interactive project by Vasco Alvo" thanks to Vascolar

Friday, August 24, 2007


"Leo loves WAVES" - thanks to smelltheremains

A kind of electronic lullaby... very sweet :)

Billy Preston on the Arp Odyssey (1974)

Billy Preston best known to most as one of the 5th Beatles funkin' out on the Arp Odyssey. The track is called 'Struttin' from his 1974 The Kids And Me LP. It looks very much like he's miming which is a bit of a shame but still some serious funkin'. - thanks to newblackmusic

Sweet Dub Drums by Nico???

There's always time for a break :) - I found this on Nico Sykes YouTube account. Ed Rush & Nico made some of the most killer Dn'B back in the day... I'm not sure if this is Nico or not.... it's hard to see. Pretty cool no matter who it is.

Homer Dudleys Voder 1939 Video Clip

This is the Voder the worlds first vocoder being demonstrated at the 1939 World Trade Fair. It's brilliant to be able to see the Voder being used... I never thought I'd see this. It's only a short clip... but you can listen to rest of the demonstration on the player below.

There's a little more info about the Voder in this post. Clip thanks to monotonmusic

Demo of Roland SH3A vintage synthesizer

"FOR SALE: $550 OBO - I've owned this synthesizer since 1981, but it has been in storage for 20 years." - kimsacramento

Wizoobooks Publishes SynthEdit eBook

Wizoobooks have published a SynthEdit ebook. On the front cover they describe it as the cookbook for SynthEdit maniacs :) Personally I think this is great news. SynthEdit is one of my favourite pieces of free software. I love it's simplicity and scalability. The community group is a fantastic and friendly place to go for information. Designer Jeff McClintock and module creator Dave Haupt go out of their way to help people. The help files alone in Dave Haupts modules shows the attention to detail and care that goes into designing his modules.

Although there are a few places where you can get information on SynthEdit, it is always going to be somewhat of an uphill battle for those unfamiliar with modular synthesis. I think an eb00k is a great idea. I have not seen it so I can't say if it's worth the asking price of $14.99. Most examples featured in the book are also as .se1 files in a zip file It doesn't help that the website does not give a breakdown of whats in the book. However Wizoo products are usually decent and their guide to the Nord modular won many friends.

via KVR

Puremagnetik release Mutations 100 Free Racks for Abletons Operator

Mutations is a stunning collection of over 100 racks specifically designed for Ableton's Operator synth. Programmed by some of Ableton's own sound designers exclusively for Puremagnetik, Mutations fully explores the sonic possibilities of Ableton's Rack format and FM synthesis. There are endless tweaking opportunities in this Micropak - and best of all.... it's completely free!

You can download it here. Requires Ableton Live 6.0.7

via harmony central

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Spaceman Technologies - Multitouch Tactile Sequencer

The picture above is a tactile sequencer from Spaceman Technologies. Spaceman Technologies is a project workgroup spearheaded by Andrew Fenton. "Of particular technical significance are the pioneering research-based advances in the fields of multi-touch touchsceen, multi-object-tracking, planar manipulator, and RFID hardware.
....A by-product of this research work is a collection of fairly exotic high-specification electronic systems. The aim of this site is to exhibit some of this output." - so it's well worth checking out the site.

Here's a little demo of the Multitouch Tactile Sequencer in action. You can arrange the sequencers steps in realtime by just picking them up and putting them down somewhere else. This demo doesn't really show that aspect.

If you want to see a little more of the tactile sequencer it was exhibited by Kinetica Museum, London, 18 May - 29 June 2007. You can see a a little clip of the exhibition thanks to gazcobain

DSI Prophet '08 demos

"Now after my provider told me that exceeding the 100 GB monthly traffic quote isn't too expensive, for the sake of completeness, a list of the short p8 audios I assembled during the late night hours after betatesting and soundprogramming:

a,f,g,k with drums from Spectrasonics Stylus. Some reverb and delays from Cubase on a few tracks, also some mixing in form of EQs (mostly low cut) and compressing. one of the tracks has musically pretentious, just to showcase the sound character of the instrument.

Stefan" - via Analogue Heaven

Don't forget to check out Dave Smith's newly designed website for more pictures and sounds. If you are wondering Thomann has them retail to Ireland for €1'990 with free shipping.

Livewire Dual Cyclotron+Doepfer A-100

"Livewire Dual Cyclotron+Doepfer A-100 -". It's worth going over to his myspace account to see a few more modular clips and to hear some of his music which is pretty good... analogue minimal techno.

Harry Partch - BBC Documentary

Harry Partch (1901-1975) is a well renowned 20th century American composer. His name may not as familiar as other composers of the time, such John Cage, Stockhausen etc.. However he was one of the great musical experimenters of the last century.

Upon reading Herman Helmholtz "On Sensation of Tone" he decided that the 12 note scale was an arbitrary and unnecessary shackle to creativity. He developed a 43-tone scale (yes that means 43 notes per octave as opposed to our normal 12) and then went about creating all new instruments that could play this 43 notes scale.

This is a documentary from the BBC looking at the life, works and instrumentation of Harry Partch.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Paper Four - Musical paper now with built in speakers!!!

I thought it was time for another musical paper post. Scientists from Mid Sweden University have made a paper that can produce sounds simply by having a person touch the paper at specific points. Different areas of the paper play pre-recorded songs, dialogues, or any other kind of audible vibration.

There are 3 layers of paper. Firstly a thick cardboard base, then a sheet of paper screen-printed with conductive ink and finally a sheet carrying the billboard's design placed on top. To make the paper make a noise, a person just has to touch the front layer, and the paper works a lot like a touchpad on a laptop. When a hand applies pressure to the conductive ink on the second layer, the pressure alters the current flow, and speakers produce a sound.

Speakers are built right into the paper. This is achieved by printing electromagnets out of conductive ink and stretching the paper over a cavity like a speaker cone. The electromagnets vibrate in response to a current, creating a sound.

The project is called Paper Four and you can found out more information HERE. Musical paper... it's the future :)

via newscientist

Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape (1958)

"This download contains two RCA promo films. The first describes the new "stereo" record technology in terms anyone can understand. Beautifully done -- great for people under 25 to see what "records" were all about :-) Catch a glimpse of vacuum tubes, too. The second film shows the direct precursor of domestic cassette tapes, a 4 track tape recorder. Every feature now common on cassettes and players appears here -- RCA apparently had figured it out in 1959! On both films, listen carefully for the terms and buzz words that described both the "hot" and the seasoned products of the day -- references to 78s and even 16 2/3 RPM record formats, reel-to-reel tape features, the term "victorola" -- what a fabulous trip down technology's memory lane, in living color :-) And notice the very different image of family manners and relationships implied by the actors. America was a very different place in the 1950s. Observe also how the advertising described features and benefits rather than appealing primarily to the viewer's wanting to achieve a personal image or group identity. So much to think about in a couple of vintage infomercials :-)" - review thanks to legalwriter.

via 'Noise Hacker'

Acidlab Bassline 2 - Sequencer Demo

pac209 saw my last post about his Acidlab Baseline 2. On that post I mentioned it was pity you couldn't see the sequencer in action so pac209 very kindly made another clip hightlighting the sequencer. Thanks to pac209 :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

FSOL-Surroundabout (In Studio)

"the Future Sound Of London unveil the future of FSOL-'Adventures In Surround '- a short film about the making of 'A Gigantic Globular Burst Of Anti-Static' a 5.1 Sound Installation at Kinetica Museum (Nov 2006)-the UK's first gallery dedicated to Kinetic/Interactive/Electronic Art." -thanks to theelectronicbrain - This shows FSOL in their studio circuit bending with the aid of a few maxitronix learning kits, then getting a track together... after about 3 minutes it goes to the Kinetic museum and looks at the exhibitions.

Here's an interview with FSOL circa 1994 - thanks to splatterheezy

Stranger: Bernie Worrell On Earth

This is a trailer for a new documentary on Bernie Worrell called Stranger: Bernie Worrell On Earth. Favourite line "Bernie should be credited for inventing an entire language" - Bill Laswell.

"This documentary, featuring interviews with some of the most notable names in modern music (Byrne, Claypool, Clinton, etc), captures the life and sounds of Bernie Worrell: the overlooked and eccentric musical mastermind who has been compared to Beethoven, Charlie Parker, and Jimi Hendrix. Since writing a piano concerto at age 8, Worrell has been acknowledged as a musical genius. He joined the Washington Symphony Orchestra at 10, then later joined Parliament Funkadelic and changed music forever. Through his work with Talking Heads, Keith Richards, Warren Haynes and Mos Def, Worrell shaped the electronic sound of the last four decades. This DVD delves deep into the man behind the music." - From: MVDVisual.

"You know, what would life on earth be like without Flash Light, Flash Light, Flash Light?" Listen.

MFOS Sequencer + Mankato Filter

This is the Music From Outer Space Sequencer as built by Etaoin. It has an additional analog board to get 2x16 steps . One is driving a VCO, the other the filter cut-off of the Thomas Henry 'Mankato' VCF. He's using the 18dB output of the filter. The modular underneath is the Casia MS-01 Modular Synth which was also built by Etaoin. You can find out more on this electro-music thread and you can see more pictures of the build in progress HERE.

Just a short clip of it in action...

Stepmania - Piano Phase Remix 8-finger chart

StepMania is a free dance and rhythm game. You can use either a dance mat or your qwerty keyboard to input notes in realtime. The game is similar to other dance music games in that you have to play the notes at the right time to score points. You can design your own levels by designing custom stepcharts for songs. darknotezero made up a stepchart for Steve Reichs Piano Phase. I wonder what a duet of piano phase with 2 dancers on 2 dance mats would look like.

"This is one of the more complex 8-finger charts i've written, created late january of 2006.

when i first heard the song, concepts for a stepchart immediately started popping in my head. the use of constant ostinato along with the versatility of the 3/4 time signature lended easily to the metric modulation and other time effects i wrote in the chart.

it's not my best execution, but it's been a while and i'm lazy. it's played on "blind" because it's easier for me to read and there are some issues with syncing that i haven't gotten around to fixing yet.

Like my other 8-finger charts, this is conceived to be played across a single row on the QWERTY keyboard to be read from left to right (i use SDFG HJKL)." - thanks to

Prototype Hymnotron

Sorry missed this one in the last post. More from the Dewanantron. This time is's the Hymnotron according to leon dewan it's suitable for hymns.

DEWANATRON documentary & more

Calling this a documentary is probably taking things a bit far, but still it is a good look at Dewanatron and their fabulous homemade instruments. If you've heard of Dewanatron before you'll know they are a kind of art music group who design their own instruments to both look and sound appealing. They lean towards the experimental and the fun side of music so most of the synths are unlabelled and put in unusual casings such as cuckoo clocks. It's worth going over to the Dewanatron website to have a closer look.

"The documentary of DEWANATRON by Paul Yates. A story of Brian Dewand and Leon Dewan-the greatest grass roots electronic creators of all time.
and The special purpose of Dewanatrons, which are modern solid-state analog instruments, is to grow music live in collaboration with the operators who guide them. Edited by Paul yatesJonee Eisen." - thanks to

Here's a quick look at their Coin-Op Melody Gin.

One last one: "This snippet of Brian Dewan and Leon Dewan playing the Dual Primate Console was taped at Manhattan Neighborhood Network studios in April 2005 and features moving backgrounds drawn by Brian Dewan." thanks to leondewan

You just have to love a synth called Dual Primate Console... made me smile :)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Valve Sound System Documentary

This has been up a while but people liked the 70's Dub clip so I thought I'd have a look at a more modern sound system. The Valve Sound System was created by old school Jungle producers Lemon D and Dillinja. The Valve Sound System is comprised of six speaker stacks, each stack being 18 feet wide and nine feet high and housing six bass bins, two high bass amps and eight mid-range speakers. The system drains 96k of power and has to be transported by three trucks.

Dub Flash Games - Good Fun

If you go over to Infintity Wheel you can play about 10 dub music flash games. If you're in work then this is todays sure fire winner :) I am not sure exactly what this is for. It has something to do with Channel 4 and cricket??? Still it's a great waste of time.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Acidlab Baseline 2 - Modern Acid Studio

"demo of the new acidlab bassline 2, jam with Jomox x-Base 09 and a Roland TR-707" - thanks to pac209

A modern Acid studio for about €1'200, not including the mixer. This is a pretty cheap when you consider a single TB-303 recently sold on ebay for €1,700. It would have been good to see the Baselines sequencer being put thru it's steps... maybe next time.

Using a Turntable with a Keyboard

"Masta Hanksta Demonstrating how you can use Torq software with a keyboard.
Turtablism at its finest..." - thanks to

TR-909 loves the TB-303

"don't know what to say.. Just a little twiddling on these old ladies :-)" - thanks to aszent.

303 Acid House & the Lemur (PCS Test)

"Testing out some new custom software that allows the Lemur to act as an Ableton "Session View" controller for FLStudio.

This is just a quick jam to work the (many!) bugs out so there are a few glitches and mistakes. Also testing out my new cam setup, a new audio interface, and trying out DJ mixers - this is a friend's Behringer.

Everything you hear is Roland TB-303 and MC-808. A Korg Kaoss Pad 3 is used for various effects." - thanks to

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Pump Up The Volume - The History Of House

A fantastic 3 part documentary looking at the development of house music. Starting with Sal Soul records, Larry Levan, Ron Hardy, Marshall Jefferson and then moving over to the UK and the rest of the world. This was recorded from Channel 4 in November 2001... ads and all :)

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Friday, August 17, 2007

Electro Rock (Intro) - 1985 UK Hip Hop

"The opening sequence of the now very obscure and hard to find Electro Rock film. Mike Allen presents the cream of UK Hip Hop from way back in 1985 at the London Hippodrome. This intro features the Covent Garden graf from the Chrome Angelz up to the Mike Allens intro. The full length version, if your lucky enough to track it down, features London All Stars, Rock City Crew, Wolverhampton B-Boys (inc. Goldie), Broken Glass, Mastermind Roadshow, Richie Rich, Family Quest, Afrika Bambaata, Dizzy Heights and a whole bunch more." - thanks to iamdek

MySpace Music Download Hack

There's a new MySpace hack from a place called It's about as simple as it gets. Put in the bands name and all the tunes they have hosted on MySpace pop up. Then it's a one click download, no registration, no knowledge needed, idiot proof. This already has 2180 Diggs so people are interested.

I tried it out with Metallica's myspace and sure enough 4 of their tracks appeared for download. Lars will not be happy. There's already a load of Myspace hacks but this is by far the simplest and fastest. Another advantage for the leecher is your IP address cannot be tracked as you are not part of a P2P network. In my opinion this is just another one of many reasons why musicians should push for ISP based music subscription.

EDIT: The link doesn't work anymore as the site has been taken down. No explanation given but I suppose you could hazard a guess.

Computer Chronicles - Speech Synthesis (1984)

Another one from the Computer Chronicles series, this time on digtial speech coding and speech recognition.
Guests: Herb Lechner, SRI International; Carl Berney, Speech Plus; Ron Stevens, Votan
Products/Demos: Minolta Talking Camera, Texas Instruments Speak & Spell, Epsom Speech Plus Computer, IBM Votan V-5000. -

Sun Ra on the DX7

This starts with a short interview with Sun Ra from sometime during the mid 80's then it has a bit of Sun Ra playing Space is the Place on the DX7. Never knew he used a DX7. Favourite line "Sound can run things, sound can wash clothes." - Sun Ra - thanks to PedroMendesDjembe

Lego Music Machine

This one has been up for a long time so you've probably seen it already.... but maybe not.

"My first attempt at making something with the Lego Mindstorms package: a scanning machine that reads the colors of the bricks that are put into it and that translates those colors into sound. You can read more about it on" - thanks to upperdowner

Vinyl MP3 player

"The Vinyl MP3 project brings together new digital technology with old vintage analog technology. The interface was designed to look, sound, and behave just like a normal old vintage record player, but is in fact a transparent, physically-controlled, computer-based MP3 player. The music starts at the right location in the file at contact of the needle on the record. The sound responds precisely to the real speed of the record (especially 33, 45, 78 rpm). And the typical crakling sound of an old dusty record is simulated." - catinette

Thursday, August 16, 2007

John Cage - Water Walk (1960 Live TV Performance)

John Cage performing "Water Walk" in January, 1960 on the popular TV show I've Got A Secret.

via WFMU:

"At the time, Cage was teaching Experimental Composition at New York City's New School. Eight years beyond 4:33, he was (as our smoking MC informs us) the most controversial figure in the musical world at that time. His first performance on national television was originally scored to include five radios, but a union dispute on the CBS set prevented any of the radios from being plugged in to the wall. Cage gleefully smacks and tosses the radios instead of turning them on and off.

While treating Cage as something of a freak, the show also treats him fairly reverentially, cancelling the regular game show format to allow Cage the chance to perform his entire piece. "
- thanks to holotone

Lawrence Lessig - On Free, and the Differences between Culture and Code.

Lawrence Lessig - On Free, and the Differences between Culture and Code. Lawrence Lessig is a professor of law at Stanford Law School and founder of Creative Commons. This lecture is a call to arms for digital broadcasters - "How do we free the future from the dead hand of the past?" It's very good, funny and well worth the watch.

You can find a better version at

Circuit Bending tutorials (kind of)

Over at Gearwire they are running a series of circuit bending 101 video tutorials . I've watched most of them and they are mostly very short and not hugely informative but maybe it'll build up into something useful.

If you're wondering about the picture above it's a circuit bent george bush doll. Maybe you remember it, if not go here it's a bit of fun. A form of voodoo circuit bending "The funniest part is when you plug George into a mixer for amplification, you have to pull his pants down and shove the minijack up his ass! That'll teach him!"

Russian Judge Dismisses AllofMP3 Infringement Suit

If you have been following the AllofMP3 debacle, and a debacle it is, you'll know that AllofMP3 is a Russian online MP3 store that sold music for pennies as opposed to pounds. They seem to operate in a Russian legal loophole, whereby they operate under the same licence as a radio station ??? The big 5 record companies got understandably upset when none of AllofMP3's approximated $30 million yearly income seemed to make it over to America.

The RIAA put the pressure on and VISA stopped trading with AllofMP3, which the Russian courts now say was an illegal move without first consulting the courts. Initially the RIAA put in a lawsuit against ALLofMP3 for $1.65 trillion dollars (sounds like Dr.Evil) but now they seem happy with $588,000. The final kick in the teeth for the RIAA is this Russian Judge dismissing the infringement suit so they won't even get there $588,000.

Somehow the RIAA have even managed to threaten Russia's entry into the World Trade Organisation if AllofMP3 isn't sorted out. How the hell has the RIAA the power to threaten an entire nation. I think the RIAA has gone a little power crazy here. They have judges, ISP's, even entire countries bending over backwards for what is clearly a failed system.

Ah well enjoy the picture and just to let you know that although ALLofMP3 is down it's partner MP3Sparks is still up an running.

Dr. Who Demonstration-BBCTV 'Corners'

"Keff McCulloch shows Sophie Aldred how he composed the DOCTOR WHO theme." - thanks to EDKATZ

This is about the 4th version I've seen of how the Dr.Who theme track was created.... I think this is the first with a Prophet 5 in it though. No mention of the beautiful Delia Derbyshire in clip either.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

LSDJ up close

If you ever wondered what it's like to use the 4bit Gameboy to make music (but were too afraid to ask) this clip is a pretty good look at LSDJ a software sequencer for the Gameboy. You can see it's a basic 4 channel tracker; Each channel can be either a subtractive synth with resonant filter or a sampler channel pre-loaded with various classic drum machine kits and 59 speech phonemes. It's good to see him tweaking it live... gives you an idea of what you can do. - killy731

TB-303 slaved to Gameboy LSDJ

"First test of my new gameboy sync device !" - jambonbill

XLR8R TV Episode 10: Asphodel and Recombinant Media Labs

In part one of a series, XLR8R Techno... In part one of a series, XLR8R Technology editor Ken Taylor takes you on a tour of one of electronic art's finest facilities, Asphodel and Recombinant Media Labs. Comprised of an unprecedented 16.8.2 -channel, 10-screen surround-cinema performance environment with an external control room, a suite full of new and old synthesizers (all in mint condition), a DVD- and CD-mastering studio and a recording studio with top-of-the-line equipment spanning nearly every era of electronic music, Asphodel and RML is a sound artist's dream come to life. While the technology is impressive, it's only one aspect of what makes these studios special. We'll explore the facility further in future episodes.

Download a full res version of this episode at:
or subscribe to the video podcast at:

A very tasty look into a great music tech studio which seems to focus on surround cinema. Not sure if it uses wavefield synthesis or not. There are a few more episodes on XLR8RTV YouTube account.

明和電機 aka Maywa Denki - The Nonsense Machines

Maywa Denki is an art unit formed in 1993 by two brothers, Masamichi and Nobumichi Tosa, who appointed themselves "president" and "vice president," respectively. Since then they have engaged in activities that go beyond the conventional framework of art, describing their works as "products," calling their live performances "product demonstrations," appearing on TV and in the mass media, and producing commercial products. In 2001 the younger brother Nobumichi became president. In 2003 Maywa Denki won the Award of Distinction in the Interactive Art category of the Prix Ars Electronica and received high praise for its first overseas live performance in Paris.

明和電機 literally translated means 'Bright and electrical machinery' and the blue costumes are designed as "typical working uniform of Japanese electrical stores, symbolizing small/medium size enterprises that had once supported Japanese economy during its high growth period." It reminds me of Kraftwerks traffic cone after having put through the cultural blender a few times.

This is a basic and very funny video demonstrating their fascination with small electrical goods and pretty useless musical instruments. My favourite is probably the hand cranked sequencer/music box one of them is wearing in the picture above. All the musical instruments fall under the category Tsukuba Music.

This is what they have to say about Tsukuba Music.

"According to the spread of IT apparatus, such as a sampler, a synthesizer, and a personal computer (internet) these days, music has been separated from “substance”(=a musical instrument) and is now considered as “nformation.”he style of enjoying music has changed, and as a result, people talk about music like: “I know such a maniac song,” “I can remix the original song like this,”or “I have a lot of music data.” People are pleased by gathering “nformation on the music”that can be heard only through the speakers.

Tsukuba music is designed to stir people’s attention to notice the fact, “he live musical sound is created from a substance,”which the music once used to be in years past and they had totally forgotten. Tsukuba Series is played by the movement of motors and / or electromagnets at 100V and makes a sound by practically beating/knocking a substance. It is a challenge to revive a live music sound with the power of machines.

There are three important elements to produce Tsukuba Series:
> 1. Run by 100 Voltage.
> 2. Make sounds without speakers. (Acoustic Instruments)
> 3. Ridiculous play style.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

DSI Prophet 08 - New Dave Smith Analogue Poly

There is a thread over on VSE talking about the release of a new fully analogue poly synth from Dave Smith. The synth has been developed in complete secrecy and the first run is ready to ship next week :) Information has been trickling out but Matrixsynth seems to have the best scoop on the story so far.

Two short mp3 demos have been released demo 1 - demo 2 and a short movie clip. There is some information. There are 8 voices, all analogue, a sequencer, an arpeggiator, and there seems to be some kind of FM present in the mp3 demos... so either very fast LFO's or proper audio FM . It's all very teasing. Retail prices start at $1'999...

DIY Music / Making Your Own Cardboard Synthesizer

This is a cardboard casing synth from FOTOSIS DIY. It's based on the 'Your First Synth' how-to shown here via Music From Outer Space. I think they share my enthusiasm for musical paper. "I think cardboard is a wonderful material to work with and still want to make another more complicated version in cardboard casing. It's cheap, versatile and easy to store or transport. We're big fans of cardboard furniture or anything using recycled materials."

"Testing our cardboard synth." thanks to lavieenjaune. For more info, photo's and links check out the FOTOSIS DIY blog.

Aphex Twin Interview (1995)

"On of the very rare interviews with Aphex Twin on TV recorded in Sept. 1995 in London. (broadcasted by arte about ten years ago, with German subtitles)" - thanks to querolator

Archie becomes tool for the RIAA

"Seems the RIAA has got to Archie too! The very first story in Archie #577 (September 2007) is a cautionary tale for kiddies called "Record Breaker" wherein all those leechers (and wannabe leecher kids) out there are taught that they're the ones responsible for driving their favorite artists into penury and worse perhaps." - Boing Boing

It seems oddly pathetic really. The stories called "Record Breakers" and follows the Archies as they grapple with modern technology and the human communitites that have built up around those technologies.... er no.. it's about 12 year old pirate terrorists stealing music from the poor old Archies. Here's the offical story description.

Jah Shaka & Mad Professor talk in studio (1985)

"Jah Shaka & Mad Professor in Ariwa studio 1985 talk about dub and sings" - thanks to rasorder

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Number Of Names - Sharevari (Detroit Scene 1982)

A Number of Names-Sharevari debut on detroit's local dance show "the Scene" 1982 - thanks to viacirca.

"Historically, this is considered to be the first ever Detroit techno record, released in 1981 a few weeks before cybotron's 'alleys of the mind'. Musically, it is a strange but cool mash-up between kraftwerk, italo and robotic new-wave, with a quite minimal and raw production. The guys show a great sense of humour in the voices and lyrics. Slick, excellent record but uber-hard-to-find. Complete story about this song in Dan Sicko's landmark book 'Techno Rebels', the best (only?) book about the history of Detroit techno." - Review of Sharevari by Restless.

A Guy Called Gerald Documentary

Part 1

Part 2

A Guy Called Gerald (Simpson) probably had more influence on the UK break scene than any other producer. He changed the direction of electronic music at least twice and still very few people know his name. In Dublin he billed under Glen Brady. Not saying Glen Brady is not a good DJ but he will never change the direction of music. A Guy Called Gerald helped bring acid house into the charts with tracks like 808 States Pacific Heights (which he famously got shafted on) and his own Voodoo Ray and basically changed everything with Black Secret Technology the first ever Jungle album... years before Goldies Timeless. If you haven't heard Black Secret Technology it's worth getting. You can hear the bridge from detroit influenced orbital style music to more drum and bass, reagge jungle music. My favourite line in the documentary is from 4Hero's Dego "I stole his 303 haha... he's not getting it back either"

Buchla Electric Music Box

"This is an old Vintage Buchla Electric Music Box was rescued from a dumpster and reconditioned by my friend chuck. As you can see, it takes a while to set up, chances are the previous owners could only get it to make fart noises and chucked it." - thanks to wotgorila

Olivier Messiaen - Louange a l'eternite de Jesus (oraison)

"Played on the Ondes Martenot (French version of Theremin). From the 3CD. Ohm - early gurus of electronic music. Visuals by Louis&Beb." - thanks to allertonoff

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Sound sources - high speed film

"High speed film illustrating how sound is made by vibrations, acceleration noise, shock waves and sonic booms." -
From: TrevorCox

It's mostly standard stuff except, about 5 minutes in the video differentiates between sound generated as a result of acceleration versus sound generated as a result of resonance or vibration. He does this by dropping objects on the ground and super slowing the camera and audio down so as you can see and hear both types of sound propagation. It's very cool and reminds that I should use extreme pitch shifting much more often :)

MAWZER modular midi controller @ Musikmesse 2007

Presentation of MAWZER modular midi controller during musikmesse 2007 in frankfurt. - from mawzercom

One step closer to plug n' play fully customizable MIDI controllers. At €2783 for a typical 16 channel mixer it isn't cheap. Another customizale but not cheap but MIDI controller are Cube X controller. I still want to see more paper MIDI controllers... customizable and cheap.

Blofeld in German (2 clips)

"Tungsten Franke, developer at Waldorf Music, presents the new Blofeld Synthesizer in the studio. The thing sounds really very convincing and at a price of under 500?." It's in German but it's mostly easy to follow... also ich habe ein bisschen deutsch so ist es nicht zu schwierig :) The second clip is more just tweaking and doodling so if you just want to hear the Blofeld the second one is a little better.

Part 1

Part 2