Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Spinning Coin" patch

New sound! More fun than useful:

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Monday, September 29, 2008

I cannot stop watching...

My9 News. Heads and shoulders and ladders and cliffs above all other news programs currently or probably ever on television.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

PBS vs. modular

Sending the recent "Rage on the Radio" episode of Bill Moyers Journal into our very small modular system:

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More advertising edits

The "Kill the Messenger" posters just went up in our station. My first thought: "Hey! A 545!" As soon as the platform cleared, this happened...

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Up and running again... update

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Movie Night: this Saturday!

We'll be showing "Blast of Silence" at this Saturday's Movie Night party. Get in touch for details.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

eBay pick of the day: Kay Graphic Equalizer

Kay GE-5000 Graphic Equalizer

I've always been interested in guitar players who use equalizers in their pedal rigs because I've got a thing for snobs. People who need things just right or they're not playing tonight, man. No way. Those people fascinate me.

With that said, I've set aside an especially special place in my heart for people who use bad EQ pedals, because it's just a dumb move, and it's dumb in a really reckless way. A bad EQ can, at best, be hidden, like something you have to use on a dare, but are embarrassed about and just want the whole thing over with. They never help.

But, like using a 4-track when you have a computer in front of you, sometimes that limitation-- and more specifically that shittiness-- is exactly the thing you're looking for, and a bad EQ can take you there much faster than, say, a cheap Tubescreamer clone.

Not that there's anything wrong with cheap Tubescreamers. Everyone owns with one, and rightfully so! I think Danelectro makes one for about $30, and the TS5 we use can be had for even less. And sure, they work. But if you're going to be a jerk about it, and only have about $50 to fool with, get something like the Kay EQ listed above, especially if you've already got a bad overdrive or a bad delay. That way, you can tailor your sound generally, without having to worry about ever being called precious or, worse, yet, a snob. At the very least, you won't sound like one.

Also, bad EQs (any EQ, really, but if we're already talking about $50 ones, let's stay there) are great for sculpting feedback tones. Place the EQ at the end of your pedal chain, rest the guitar against the amp, turn it all the way up, and fade the frequency boosts in and out on the pedal as the pickups and the speaker cone send signals back at each other. Just a suggestion.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Art we made

You can also make it say "KOK EROUS," which is pretty funny, too.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Up and running again... almost

The replacement power supply for our Minicase should be here tomorrow or Friday-- look for videos of the machine(s) in action almost immediately afterward. Can't wait!

UPDATE: the power supply will be delivered on Tuesday.

LATE UPDATE: the power supply will now be delivered on Wednesday.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Glacial is playing on Monday

Glacial is playing on Monday at Le Poisson Rouge in Manhattan. 10pm, $10.

Lee Ranaldo + bagpipes + drums (Tony Buck is playing with them for this one).

This begs the question: are there any bagpipers out there that I should be checking out? Aside from the Rufus Harley stuff I've heard on WFMU and the scattered MP3s I've been able to find online, it's a bit of a lost genre to me. This list is a good jumping off point, but if there's anything you know of that's worth listening to and isn't listed there, please clue me in. Thanks!

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Monday, September 08, 2008

DIY spring reverb-- any ideas?

A while back, I picked up 3 medium-sized Accutronics tanks, with the idea that I'd use them to teach myself how a spring reverb unit works. Sadly, it's been almost a year, and I still haven't built a thing with them. It's about time I got started!

So, with that said, can anyone out there point me towards a good, entry-level DIY reverb project? Ideally, I'd like to the end result to be a switchable dual mono/stereo job, but I'm a simple person. I can do without even that.

On the flipside of the coin, be sure to check out this behemoth: The Springatron 3000! Now that's the kind of overkill I can get behind!!

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

eBay pick of the day: Wiard suitcase

Wiard 300 series synthesizer modules in a homemade case

The left-most unit, the Model 371 Wogglebug (based on Buchla's "Source of Uncertainty" module (as are these Doepfer and Plan B modules)), is the one I'm most interested in-- it's a dual random voltage LFO with 4 VCOs built into it!! I agree: insane.

Here are some videos of the module in action:

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

My synthesizer exploded

Oh Doepfer Mini Case. I hardly knew you.

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Thingamakit Night!

Our pal Emily stopped by tonight for a Thingamakit building party. We got started around noon, and by 11pm still hadn't finished our machines. Still, we had a ball and will hopefully have some new noisemakers chirping away before the holiday weekend comes to a close.

Here's where Emily was at the end of the night-- just the drilling left to do and that's all. Not bad for a first project! Great job!!

Some notes on the kit:

The Thingamakit PCBs are white with black text. Very nice!!

The manual is well laid out and easy to follow, but there are a few points worth mentioning--

  • When you solder the pots, fight the impulse to push them flush with the PCB. You'll need to bend them backwards later in order to fit in the case.

  • The instructions tell you not to connect the speaker until the drilling is finished. We're pretty sure you can ignore this.

  • Drilling blows. If you know someone with with access to a press, buy that person a pizza and visit them.

    All told, this is a fun advanced-beginner project. It's a straightforward build, doesn't cost very much and makes exactly the kind of unmusical noise you want to hear at the end of the night. Plus, if you're the sort of hobbyist who immediately wants to modify your kits, the manual comes complete with suggestions to that end to get you started.


    P.S. Can anyone point me to a CV sync mod (for either the oscillator or the modulator... or both)? Is there a way to do that?

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