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This is about 2 years too late! The last site was technically and visually horrible and we hated it. We’re finally following through to that distant promise we made to ourselves. This site is now minimal and straight to the point. I’ll be getting this site categorized and up to date in the next several days. It’ll be easier to navigate and find what you’re looking for, hopefully.

And if you love yourself and are looking for answers to your wandering existence, click on Justin’s link under We Are. Bask in his answers.

Change your bookmarks and pardon our dust…

Tip Top Z-Rails

It’s becoming increasingly clear that manufacturers are bringing alternatives to Eurorack case world. What Doepfer started years ago, manufacturers like Tip Top Audio, Gorilla Box, Monorocket and others are refining and creating new, less expensive ways to get into the Eurorack format. I’ve had my frustrations with cases and one of them is being addressed right now with these rails. The rail systems on some cases, such as Monorocket, have sliding nuts making it extremely time consuming installing modules. Doepfer cases offer the preferred rails that had stationary threads. This cuts down installation time because the modules simply fit and you don’t have to chase loose nuts. The threaded rails, however, were expensive to attain – even to manufacturers that were buying in bulk. It looks like Tip Top Audio has addressed the rail dilemma AND has developed a more stable, universal power supply for cases – These guys are on a rampage! Tip Top Audio



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….

Devsnd – Cwejman S1 Samples



Two different sample packs made almost exclusively with the mighty Cwejman S1 synthesizer Kit one by Richard Devine, kit two by Josh Kay.

A strange collection of percussion one-shots, hits, pulses, and other unclassifiable noises. Feed your drum machine weird things! Each sample pack contains 128 .WAV files and a Battery 3 kit (256 samples – 38 MB).

DOWNLOAD HERE

Gorilla Box Overview



Gorilla Box is a new line of custom made Eurorack modular synthesizer cases that, in themselves, are modular and are manufactured through Anvil. These cases are built to withstand an insane amount of punishment and are meant for modular users who travel with their system, or have a cat that likes to routinely tip a system over. Every case will be made to order and a ‘standard’ version of the case theoretically does not exist because of the amount of options available. The case will have a number of requirements, options, features and functions. This is the prototype that I received in time for the Synth Meet 7 and vast improvements are being implemented onto the alpha design.

Features

The key features of the Gorilla Box are that almost everything on it is customizable, the inside case is isolated from the carrying case to prevent impact damage, the lid has legs that serves as a table, a Tip Top Audio power supply and a lifetime warranty from Anvil.

Material

The case is manufactured by Anvil and Gorilla Box has access to all of their materials. Some variables are the materials that range from Fiberglass, plexiglass, industrial plastic to metal. A large color palette is also available for the cases.

The Lid

The lid on this model is quite deep and makes the overall size of the case large and awkward to caryy but this is being addressed with a slimmer version that also will have legs and be carry-on luggage sized. The deeper lid has some advantages such as keeping complex patches using several levels of Stackables and is able to pack in the Make Noise Skiff system with no problems. Also, you can add the vector case on the deeper lid to make it a double 12U case. With my current Doepfer case I can squeeze a patch with a depth of 2 Stackables, anything higher will have to be patched later when the lid is off.

The current version of this lid has legs on the bottom of the case are currently secured by velcro. In all future versions the legs will be secured with a lightweight locking clamp with riveted screw to secure them into place.

Outside Case

The outside case is everything you would expect from Anvil, a company that carries a history of catering to touring musicians since the 50’s. This thing can take a beating and it definitely will now that I don’t fear checking it on a plane. The case and lid are secured with an industrial latch and will have an option for a combination lock. The outside case is lined with industrial foam that keeps the removable inside case isolated from damage. Some improvements will include the option installing wheels and retractable handle that will make the Gorilla Box roll around like a suitcase. Also additional handles can be installed on the sides.

Removable Inside Case

The model I received had a few minor problems with the removable inside case and while talking to Gorilla box, they informed me that the inside case is being completely redesigned by Vector featuring a threaded rail system, opposed to floating nuts, and will be black anodized metal. The vector case will have a power supply connected so you can pull the system out and use the recessed handles on the vector case to put it into your rack. Did you read that right? Yeah – this Vector case will be easily mountable to any standard rack system.

Power Supply

The power supply is manufactured by Tip Top Audio and is similar to a laptop computer power supply. It was originally designed to drive 3 bus board comfortably but when powering 2 bus boards, you’ll have enough power for optional lights. My only experience with cases and power supplies are with Doepfer – here are some advantages of Tip Top Audio’s power supply:

– The power supply itself is outside the case making the case less heated and prone to disaster.

– It supports both 110/220 voltage. This means that a) these power supplies are universal and b) when you’re traveling all you need is an adapter. This is a huge advantage for me because in Europe I’ve had to carry around a power converter brick that adds a lot of weight and worry when traveling.

– No fuses

– The power supply is easily affordable and easily replaceable should they get separated from your case.

Here’s some specifics from the manufacturer:

The power system is made of 3 units:

1. The external power supply.

2. The regulator boards providing +/-12V and +5V using custom made regulators.

3. The bus boards.

The power supply can delivers up to 1200mA per rail, that is 24000mA all together!!!

All you need to hook it up to a European or other power grids is a local power cord or adapter.

The power supply is protected against short circuit. In case of short it will shut off itself in case of a short and recover by itself after few minutes.The over all weight of the power system is probably less then half of a regular power supply yet provides double the current.

From my short experience with it, I left the power on for 48 hours straight and turned it on and off in rapid succession for about 30 second to see if something would blow out and absolutely nothing went wrong. If I tried that on/off trick on my Doepfer case I promise you I would’ve went through 15 fuses.

You can expect the price range to be around Doepfer cases but it’s difficult to give specifics as every order varies immensely, given the amount of options. This is going to be my case of choice. What I’d like to see happen with the success with these cases is more modular systems on stage and on the road!!

The turnaround time is approximately 6 – 9 days. To get on the waiting list for a custom case, contact: gorillaboxes@gmail.com

More pictures can be found: Here



Gorilla Box

For the past several months, I’ve been excited for this case and this morning it came to my door along with some Tip Top Audio goodies. I received these pictures documenting the final stages of the development from Gorilla Box. A proper review of its features, which are extensively customizable, will be done later. I’ll bring everything on sunday. See you there.

Some notes on the case:

There are legs on the inside of the lid allowing it to be used as a side table for other gear – guitar pedals, laptop, whatever fits. The inside is wired with a new Tiptop Audio power system which emits essentially no heat. The regulator is the size of an iPhone and the power supply is like a lacie mini brick style external power supply. A bit of trivia: Surachai of TRASH_AUDIO is in possession of the first one.
– Stolen from MatrixSynth

The website is in a transition mode and will be updated soon: Gorilla Box

E-mail: gorillaboxes at gmail.com



















Expert Sleepers Interface

This is an important step into the analog digital interface movement. Expert Sleepers have developed an interface that provides DC/AC-Coupling so your audio interface doesn’t have to.

Prototype of the Expert Sleepers ES-1 interfacing module.

This Eurorack format module serves two purposes:

– When connected to a DC-coupled audio interface, provides CV amplification.

– When connected to an AC-coupled audio interface, provides CV decoding for use with the Expert Sleepers AC Encoder plug-in.

Flickr Set

Expert Sleepers Website

Tip Top Audio – Z-Burn Debut

Because most of you aren’t members of the Muffwiggler forum, I’m acting as a middle man most of time with these posts. Here is another such example. Tip Top Audio has announced their Z-Burn device that will work between a Z-DSP module and your computer with a usb cable. This is the first instance of open architecture for modules and I can’t wait to see what people start programming. No date or price yet but it’s time to get excited.

In Gur’s words: “It is a table top device with a USB connector and it comes with a Mac software (and yes, we will make PC version too…. ) that reads programs and allow you to burn your own cartridges and develop programs if you wish to. We plan to have a page on the TTA site that will hold programs for free download. This is btw. why we do not release the reverb cartridge as you will have some nice reverbs for free download there.

There are already few customers who got a Programmer directly from us and are writing some programs, I hope they will contribute to the free library we want to develop on the site.”

Tip Top Audio

London Pirate Radio…

One thing I am pretty into, but haven’t brought up here yet is Shortwave and Pirate radio. The shoe company Palladium has released a very nice documentary that covers some of the pirate radio activities going on in London. If you’re interested in getting into this stuff, I would recommend picking up a worldband radio. Grundig makes decent inexpensive radios. I personally use the Grundig G5 with a fold out Sony portable antenna that suction-cups onto a window and then the M-Audio MicrotrackII is always set to record the line out on the Grundig. With this setup I’ve generated about 10GB of sounds and odd broadcasts. Lots of fun stuff to be heard. If you don’t know anything about Shortwave radio, wikipedia is the best place to start.



David Byrne on Collaborations

Because of the recent collaborations and contributions I’ve been a part of recently, I feel that this article is fitting to my current situation. I’ve avoided collaborations, aside from a couple exceptions, up until last year because I simply didn’t know how they were ‘supposed’ to go down. I find out that I’ve been on the right track all along and agree with his statement, “more and more as time goes by, and they (collaborations) are always slightly different from one another, there are more similarities than differences”. The pictures in this article are of one of his workspaces.

David Byrne breaks down how he worked with Brian Eno, how he and friends hate dealing with lyrics and how he’d work on a collaboration for a bag of Doritos. While you don’t have to agree with everything he says, if you plan on participating in a project that involves with other people, he writes of some great techniques, methods and attitudes that you can apply. For me, this is essential information on conducting remote collaborations.

“The unwritten game rules in these remote collaborations seem to be to leave the other person’s stuff alone as much as you can. Work with what you’re given; don’t try to imagine it as something other than what it is.”

“One big reason is to restrict one’s own freedom in the writing process. There’s a joy and relief in being limited, restrained. For starters, to let someone else make half the decisions, or some big part of them, absolves one of the need to explore endless musical possibilities.”

David Byrne on Collaborations