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Look at this Moog

It’s so big that this is the only way it would fit. Moog Voyager XL, pre-order at Big City Music

Full resolution (and correctly oriented!) image
– More photos: here and here.

Folktek Collection Volume 1: Kontakt Library

Folktek, makers of some amazing one of a kind instruments have just released an amazing sounding sample library for Native Instruments Kontakt. The library includes a huge batch of instruments they have created over the last twelve years! Check out the sound samples and get more details on their site, this is a pretty unique library that could have a lot of potential uses. The library is available now for download for $149.79. Folktek was also featured in one of our workspace and environment articles, check that out if you want to hear about their process.


A grand total of 64 virtual instruments
1.74GBs of data
16-24 bit 44.1khz Sounds
Works with Kontakt
For Windows & Mac OS
Over $30,000 worth of Folktek instruments sampled
Abstract, Ambient, Noise, Percussive & Synth VSTs.

Folktek Collection Volume 1
Workspace and Environment: Folktek

New releases today: Render:Error and Polyfuse on the Fixt store

Two new releases today at the Fixt download store. The first is a collaboration between Surachai and I (Render:Error). The second is a sort of maxi single from me…

Render:Error – First

“Polyfuse and Surachai: professional sound designers by trade, accomplished electronic musicians by hobby. Both have received acclaim for their respective musical outputs, Polyfuse for his Acid/Techno/Industrial Dance that makes you lose it on the dancefloor as though controlled by a voodoo doll and Surachai for his self-named Plague Metal, a non-Euclidean geometry of tortured analog electronics and brutal cyber metal. After having run the Trash Audio blog and their own Shade:Red music label together for several years, one would expect some sort of collaboration between the two, and indeed there was, some time ago. Now, after languishing on a hard drive for years, this first single from the Render:Error project has seeped through a crack in the pavement to infect the citizenship. You can run, you can cover your ears, but it will do no good – Render:Error will find you, and you will obey.”

Polyfuse – Dagger Hero

“Over the past three years, Polyfuse has taken the Chicago underground by storm with his expertly-produced take on the modern Industrial genre, meeting somewhere between the frenetic, sharp-edged Acid Techno of yesteryear and the superbly-textured Electronic Rock of modern acts such as NIN. Last year, in between experiments in long-form dark ambient and jagged, minimal analog Acid, the remains of an aborted 2007 debut album were released for free. Now, Polyfuse is preparing for the release of the fully-realized followup, The Speed Of Forever, and serving as an advance warning comes this three-track teaser single with album cuts “Dagger Hero” and “Never Repeat These Words” and exclusive B-side “Floor”. With a sonic structure as threatening as the deadliest military hardware these compositions give testament to the fact that a repertoire of considerable force is being manufactured within the borders of the Windy City, and the eventual onslaught will change the face of modern electronic music.”


Surachai + Justin = Render:Error

The Pain

POLYFUSE – Live Analog Session

Every once in a while I like to hook up my ‘analog’ (No computers) setup and jam out while broadcasting the results on a videocast. Well, I was getting ready to disconnect all the gear in preparation for a big move so I thought’d I’d do one last analog session. This time I remembered to record the audio, so here it is. 1 hour and 22min of analog improvisations:

Direct Links to MP3’s:
Live Analog Session – Part 1
Live Analog Session – Part 2
Live Analog Session – Part 3

All part’s in one ZIP:
Download (183mb)


Recorded with the following:

Cwejman S1mk2
Grendel Drone Commander
Tubeworks Overdrive
Ross 10 Band EQ
Alesis Ineko
Soundcraft MFXi8

Stereo Output recorded with RME Fireface 800. Stereo two track mastered with UAD-2 Suite

Future Workspace and Environment : Justin McGrath / POLYFUSE (Part 2)

Tons of progress has happened since my last post about this project I got myself into! When we first started, I assumed it would take a solid year before I was able to move any of my gear in. If everything goes as planned, I could be in there by mid-September. It may not be a completely ‘livable’ place by then, but it should have electricity, walls and a floor.

Here is the new and current plan we are moving forward with. We ended up running into an interesting problem with the plumbing situation that made us take our interior room layout plan and completely reverse it. This turned out to work so much better. Now the ‘back’ of the building will be the front, and the main entry door will be a large set of french doors. We also decided not to do dual sliding glass doors as we originally planned. Mainly because I really need the wall space for equipment and shelving. The other big change that happened is with the lofted bedroom area. In the original plans we thought this would only be a 10’x8′ room, but we are now extending the room into the other garage half of the building. So it will almost double in size and become a lot more usable.

From left to right are three rooms. Kitchen, bathroom and soundbooth. The soundbooth is about 5×7 feet or so. No drum recording will be happening in here, but that’s ok because I never do that kind of stuff. However, this room has an extra door on it that will lead out into the garage half of this building. So in the event that I need to record in a really big space, I’ll be able to open this door and run a snake out into the larger garage room. Of course I’ll have to figure out some means of acoustic treatment for that scenario, but this space will still be isolated from the main control room.

We’re still finishing up the interior framing and we’ll be running electric, CAT5e ethernet, and audio cables for an XLR / TRS patch panel in the sound booth. After that we’ll do all the drywall, lighting and maybe even a ceiling fan or two.

Future Workspace and Environment: Part 1

VOLTAGE: Animated short film from Brazil

via Millipede

Future Workspace and Environment: Justin McGrath / POLYFUSE

A lot of people ask me why I haven’t done a proper Workspace and Environment article for myself yet. I don’t really have a good answer to that other then to say every studio I’ve had has been compromised in some way. I moved my setup seven times now and I am really getting sick of it. Each time there’s a battle that involves acoustics, physical space, neighbors and other less then ideal conditions. Some places have been better then others. So with that said, I should get to my point. I’ve decided to move my studio out of my home and actually take it all to a space designed for it. In this case I have a very awesome Aunt that has let me remodel a big steel barn on a huge farm to become my new permanent studio.

Now the tricky part, actually doing it. The barn in question is a hudred year old massive horse stable with a riding arena in the back. At some point in the 80’s, the previous owners of the farm added a big steel garage type building to the front of the stables. In that building there was some type of office built that included a bathroom and a kitchen. What I am getting at, is that this particular building already had the water, electric, gas and plumbing already running to it which significantly reduces the costs of such a project.

Construction on this started three weeks ago. Rather, deconstruction. One of the first things we had to do was tear down the old horse stable section of the building because it was rotting, falling down and also started to damage the newer building attached. We started to do this work by hand which was becoming impossible so we hired a guy with one of these things to help out. Here’s a small (30mb) video of the destruction.

So, now what? Check out exhibit A which is my sad Google Sketech-Up rendering of the ‘final product.’

What you see here is the newer steel structure that I’ll be redoing the inside of and behind it, the area with trees, is where the old horse stable was torn down. There was concrete underneath the structure already so this will become a big patio of sorts.

Here’s exhibit B, a photo of the outside of the steel building:

At this point, we are still in the deconstruction phase. There is a bit more cleanup work to be done and then we start the actual build. I have a ton of video of the process thus far which I’ll soon edit and upload. I will also document this project here as it goes and I would love feedback and suggestions along the way as this is all new to me….

Workspace and Environment: Folktek

I am happy to introduce Folktek who are a bit of a departure from our normal Workspace and Environment articles as they are musicians AND instrument builders. Folktek make (and sell) some really amazing creations which there are many pictures of in the article…

Folktek is Ben Houston and Arius Blaze. We work together but also work independently as sound artists/musicians.

Arius:I’ve been a Dj for 15 years and started producing 11 or 12 years ago. Shortly thereafter I started instrument design and sound art.

Ben: I have never really been much of a musician but have always been into sound and music. I come from a visual arts background and got into instrument building through sculpture. I have been building various sound instruments for about 5 years.

Arius: Ben and I are Folktek and soon to be Folktek Records. I work under
my own name… Also Ariza Blues, Future Dead, Sound Awake and the collaborational work Audient with J. Enero. Most of the projects can be found either on my own web site or at Run Riot Records (

Ben: Right now I work mostly doing the Folktek thing but I also do
theatre-based masked puppet work under the name See Monkey Sea.

Favorite Hardware/Creation
Arius: “The Garden” (Pictured right). It’s an accoustic-electronic piece I created a couple months ago. The sound is lush and the piece is beautiful. Very nice for soundscapes or glitchy organic sound.

Ben:I’ve been pretty into our filanthopoid series -especially the double bug, each time I sit down and play, it’s an adventure.You sort of get addicted to the sounds off on the horizon and around the corner and it keeps you playing.

Favorite software
Arius: My two kids.
Ben: The Mario Brothers

Workspace and Environment
Folktek: A nicer and more organized space allows us to finish things in a much more efficient manner…The messy space can find us creating works out of the piles and less intentional – they also take much longer to get done…Looking for an exacto blade for a half hour is just frustrating and by the time you find it you’re pissed enough to need a smoke break and a beer…Then it’s over until the next work day.

Extra Curricular
I’d love nothing more to work in film, but no.
Ben: I have done some sound work for puppet shows and masked theatre.

First Gear
When I was 10 years old I busted the erase head out of my dual tape
cassette recorder and started making mixtapes.
Ben: I used to jam out on this keyboard we had around – one of those with
like 200 sounds, ocean waves and such.

Arius: I’m working on a master modular suitcase thing. It has pitch shifters, delays, samplers, a drum synth, a few tone generators, various other effects, acoustic section and a mixer. Ideally I’ll be able to play shows with only this piece and trade out modules when I want to change things up.
Ben: I guess I just really want a huge amp and bass stack to make bass
based sound installations.

Mobile Setup
We are nomadic workers. We’ll work anywhere. If we don’t have a proper studio we’ll drag tools and parts out in boxes and work outside. It’s ridiculous and setup and cleanup takes a stupid amount of time. We’ve worked in barns, a greenhouse, garages, each of our living rooms, bedrooms, basements, attics, yards and a chicken coupe.

For Performances
Arius: Depends on the project. My work with Run Riot is all fucked up club shit. I use a Korg ESX sampler and a couple home made effects. The other projects rely on various instruments I make or folktek makes that I have before they sell – so it’s ever changing.

Ben: I haven’t performed much but have done some experimental speaker set ups with bass shakers and the dodecahedron speakers I build for some odd sound spaces.

Amount of Locations
Arius: Maybe 20 minimum. They just get messier. Making instruments on a full time basis requires an insane amount of random parts of all shapes and sizes, cases, tools, wood and shit everywhere. Making any sort of attempt to organize is futile in our somewhat nomadic existence. What we need is a studio that stays put for some years, preferrably a warehouse. I try to keep the music studio setup separate and relatively simple. I’m into using a few things at a time – not having some insane studio with hundreds of random modules.

Ben: I usually work at my home but often use various shops for larger scale cutting and building. Have been collecting tools and compiling materials for a few years now so it gets to be a mess. Often the studio is an extention cord to the backyard and boxes full of tools. I usually work on the floor asian style.

Folktek’s creations and music can be found at:

Workspace and Environment: Keith Hillebrandt

Keith Hillebrandt is best known for the six years he spent in New Orleans doing programming and sound design work for Nine Inch Nails during the making of ‘The Fragile.’ Though his work stretches much further and includes various remix credits, sound design for Logic 8 and his ‘Useful Noise’ sample library series, as well as his three solo albums. I’ll leave the rest to Keith…

Music Background

I got my Korg MS-10 and Elka Rhapsody String Machine when I was 13. I went through the band thing for a while but the studio is so much more fun for me. As I grew up with the Mac, the possibilities were so much more interesting than the almost preset world of live performance.

Favorite Hardware?
My favorite piece of hardware is still my ARP 2600. I use things like the V-Synth a lot, but the 2600 is just such a special sounding machine. As I’ve moved to using about 90% software synths, the 2600 just continues to blast out great noise!

Favorite Software?

Well I was part of the sound library team for Logic 8, so I’ve been using beta versions for about a year before it’s release. Being a Logic loyalist, I found so many new tools in the new version that sparked a lot of new ideas for my next album.

As for plugins, I really like using Trash for putting sounds in different spaces. It works well with Space Designer and Delay Designer in Logic for relocating sounds in a mix. I had a lot of fun with Ohmacide. Any new type of distortion is inspiring to me. I use Vanguard quite a bit, I love its filters, and it has put some of my hardware synths in the backseat.

How does your physical space and surroundings influence your work flow?

It actually affects my vibe more than anything. It’s a small converted bedroom in my flat, so everything is within arms reach and it’s wired for my way of working, so it’s a very fast workspace for me. It’s a dark room if needed, but I also have a large window that opens up if I want to stare out and clear my head.

Extra-curricular projects?
I have just tried to stay focused on making my own music. After working on the Logic 8 Library for 6 months, I felt I needed to forget about everything else other than writing. I did produce the Colombian metal band Koyi K Utho in Bogota, but since then it has been all writing and recording my next album, ‘Guilt Box’.

What was the first piece of hardware you remember obtaining?
Korg MS-10. I still have it!

What is on your current ‘wish list’?

All the PSP Plugins, An Analog Style Sequencer and the Vostok Semi-Modular

Mobile Setup?
My travel rig consists of an Apple iBook, with Logic 8, Live, Reason and all my AU Plugins, Novation X-Station, Apogee Duet.

Current Location?
Born and raised in San Francisco, with 6 years in New Orleans

Keith just released his third album titled Guilt Box on his own digital label ‘Sistema Sequecia.’ He also has plans to release a sound library based off the work on this album.

For more about Keith:

Find Guilt Box at:
iTunes Music Store

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