Giant System

003 White/Light from Kyle Obriot on Vimeo.

My co-worker and neighbor Kyle Obriot and his crew has been shooting, editing and releasing these beautiful videos of local Chicago bands under the name of Giant System. As of right now they have 22 videos spanning from drone to metal, all of them excellently crafted and fitting to the styles of music.
In most of the videos you can see the bands are performing live and a DAW recording the performance. These sessions are then taken and mixed by Zach Goheen who was one of our first victims for our Workspace and Environments series.

Giant System makes motion pictures of bands playing their songs in their spaces. Each episode is shot live in Chicago with a small hardworking crew of folks who are stoked to be creating something unique with each band. This project is Kyle Obriot’s baby and the god-child of Justin Schmitz. The two have been working on films together since ’04, Obriot as the director and Schmitz as the Director of Photography.

Giant System

Mark Deutsch and the Bazantar

Modular Synthesis in Flash via Patchwork!

Well, THIS certainly looks promising! Ever since I saw the great Audio Tool running in Flash, I knew weirder and more inovatve things would quickly follow, and now it seems we are seeing one of the first modular synths built in flash that will have purpose outside of a web browser. So here is Patchwork created by Peter van der Noord!

Patchwork is a Flash application for realtime modular sound synthesis. You can connect basic sound generation or modification modules to create either music, effects or utter noisy crap. Although at the moment it has an interface for creating a so-called patch, you will in the future be able to run your creations standalone, which means: in your own site or game.

Read more about Patchwork and Try it for yourself!


Also, As of right now Peter is answering questions about his creation on Reddit.

Trash_Audio NAMM BBQ

Justin and I are going to NAMM 2011 next month to be predictably bored/ horrified of the entire NAMM experience but like earlier this year, we’ll be throwing parties over the weekend. The convention itself is a freak show but if you really want to see some shit, come to our parties. As for NAMM the convention, we managed to get passes and have plan to do some interviews and some other stuff to make our site look professional.

Exact details remain to be hashed out but expect a couple parties the weekend of January 14/15 2011. To RSVP and receive information, e-mail us at If you don’t RSVP and show up, you’re going to end up at the bottom of the pool.

Here is some unfortunate evidence from NAMM 2010….

Have Twitter? Add @trashaudio

Just a reminder, if you’ve got a Twitter account add @trashaudio to your feed to be notified when we make a new post here. We’ll also let you know of random events we might be either attending or hosting. Tweet. Tweet. Whatever. Back to Black Ops…

Richard Devine – Make Noise RENÉ (and a few other things)

Clock Trippin, Poly Rhythm RENÉ from Richard Devine on Vimeo.

Now go back to your forums and talk about how an unpure waveform really annoys you or how a minor detail on a module prevents you from making music. Shut up, make noise.

POLYFUSE – Output, New Analog / Acid album…(updated)

A while back I released an album called No One Will Come To Save Us that was my first venture into an all hardware and mostly analog setup. I simply used a computer to record the stereo output of the mixer. Back when I made that first album it was bit of an accident as I was never really into the idea of just using hardware. I didn’t think the results would be very good for some reason. But sure enough, I hooked everything up almost as a joke or a toy to play with and quickly found that the output was far different then what I could achieve on a computer. Every aspect changed; the writing process, the overall sound and most importantly the interaction. I ended up recording a full length first album quite quickly and from that point on would just turn on this separate ‘acid’ studio for fun (without recording) or for random impromptu live videocasts. One of those video casts lasted around two hours and was the first one I actually recorded audio while playing. You can find that recording on a free release called Live Analog Session.

Anyway, that was long winded. What I am getting at is that this is sort of the third release in a series that I plan to continue doing…

No One Will Come To Save Us
Live Analog Session

One more thing. The bonus version of Done Undone is simply the raw recording of what goes from my mixer into the computer. It just includes more content at the start and at the end. The real version of the track also includes a bit of the audio recording from the camera that was rolling mixed in. Here’s a video clip of when I was actually making that track (I’ve since replaced that not-so-great mixer)

Plague Diagram – The Facts

A few requests for interviews and random questions have been asked and in an attempt to provide some insight on the process and release of Plague Diagram, this page will serve as a information to, hopefully, clear everything up. If you have questions please leave them in the comments.

Plague Diagram will be released on both digital formats and vinyl in early-mid December. The downloads will be a choice between a free mp3 version or a $3 hi-definition upgrade that includes source audio as well as other hi-fi options. The vinyl will be presented on transparent , high quality 180 gram disc. Thick enough to decapitate the closest thing next to you. It’ll cost $17, comes with beautiful full-sized artwork by Bridget Driessen, a sticker, personal thank you notes and hopefully, posters.

After mixing the album I took advice from friends and decided to outsource the mastering for the digital release. I thought about my choices and decided to use someone that works with high quality products on a daily basis, James Cigler. James explains his mastering process:

I used the UAD Manley Massive Passive plug-in to bring out some of the high end detail of the electronic sounds on the tracks; they sounded really great, but at times could be overpowered by the guitars. I also used it on some tracks to dip down some of the low-mid region as well as add some rumble to the drums.  Each track ended up calling for slightly different EQ frequencies, boost/cut and Q amounts, but the general approach for each was essentially the same.  Additionally, I used a yet-to-be-released plug-in to add a lot of “analog” character and natural sounding compression and saturation to each track – this worked incredibly well at adding a lot of punch and heavy sounding attack to the drums while gluing together the upper end of the frequency spectrum a lot better.  Lastly, I used the UAD Precision Limiter plug-in, adjusting for optimal release times for each track, in order to prevent digital overs as well as keep the dynamics in check without sounding overly compressed or unnatural.

The mastering for the vinyl was slightly different. Immediately after I decided to release on vinyl, my hunt started for a mastering engineer as I have not a clue how to master for vinyl. I remember reading an article on Sound on Sound here. It said:

Despite what you may have heard, mastering for vinyl is the easiest type of mastering you can do, as it involves only two steps: 1. Find a mastering engineer who has mastered a ton of recordings for release on vinyl. 2. Present your final mixes to that person and say “Here, you do it.”

I started to ask friends from all spectrums of the audio world and found Shawn Hatfield of Audible Oddities. He has mastered several of my friends records and also releases great music I used to listen to obsessively under the name Twerk. Being familiar with the mastering work he’s performed I knew he was the guy for the job. His rates are ridiculous for the amount of quality you end up with. Shawn had this to say about the mastering process for Plague Diagram:

The signal chain was fairly straight forward though having the Massive Passive allows for some interesting EQ. I used a shelf to add air, but gave that shelf a strong Q which gives it a dip of a couple dB at the chosen frequency. This allowed me to pull up some clarity in the drums but slightly suppress some of the piercing guitar all at once with a single EQ band. From there it went into the Manley Vari-Mu in compression mode, and just barely “kissed” the audio with less than 1dB of compression but used the input and output gain to add a little mojo as it hit the HEDD convertor with a touch (both at 2) of Pentode and Tape harmonics to add a layer of subtle but effective harmonics and saturation in the bottom.

As you can see, both of these mastering engineers used some similar components in their signal chain and came out with incredible results. The end product definitely take full advantage of the medium they’re presented on. The digital version is huge and strangely warm. It brings out the aggression and extensive range of sounds on found on all the layers. It’s not the loudest album but it breathes and brutalizes just as heavy as any other album. The vinyl release has a large dynamic range and the simplest way I can describe it is that it feels like an assault. All the analog components that Shawn used make the drums, at times, feel like a weapon and the synths sound like shimmering knives cutting through bone. Because of the snappy transients that Shawn dialed in – it sounds as deadly as it was intended to.

The manufacturing process of the vinyl has been (and currently still is!) incredibly stressful as I’m trying my best to keep the audio quality as high as possible. I contacted multiple vinyl pressing plants where they insisted I send in an audio cd where they would make record off of. I made them repeat this back to me just to be sure I was hearing correctly. I wish I could have recorded those conversations because you would have heard my brain melt through my nose with disgust and awe. Essentially they were compromising the quality of the album by making it 16 bit 44,100 kHz and restricting the quality to CD. What would be the point of that?! I finally settled on United Record Pressing where they spent the time to answer my dumb questions, clear up my insecurities on the process and most importantly retain the quality that Shawn Hatfield sent me with 24 bit, 48 kHz. They talked me out of some ideas I had because it would’ve affected the quality of the audio and I’ve decided on clear vinyl (which has a beautiful hypnotizing pattern) on high quality 180 gram discs. I’ve received test pressings that I’m not 100% satisfied with and it seems like they’re trying to accommodate my wishes for the highest quality possible. I’ll keep you posted on the process.

The artwork was created by Bridget Driessen whom I worked with before with Decrepit, Designed Deficiency and Programmed Cell Death. Like before I was always blown away by her attention to detail, evolution as an artist and ability to say something out of abstracts. I’ve never felt it was my place to tell where the artist to go but they needed to know where Plague Diagram is coming from. She asked what color template I wanted and told her a preference but left it up to her to follow it or not. The artwork can be seen in it’s intended medium when purchasing a vinyl copy of Plague Diagram. It’ll feature lyrics and credits on a 22 inch foldout. The digital files will feature only the cover and miss out on some extra goodies I’ll be throwing into all physical shipments like stickers and handwritten notes.

I’ll talk about my creative process in the next article. There are two songs now available for download above or here:

Plague Diagram

Surachai – Ashes

Along with the previously released Isolation, here is Ashes featuring Nordvargr and Andre Sanabria from The Abominable Iron Sloth. Nordvargr is working the modular synthesizer, creating aural black holes that give my stomach a sinking feeling. Andre worked out some DSP on SuperCollider and creates a subtle but overall devastating backing track. This is the second track of four from the upcoming Plague Diagram album I’m releasing sometime in December on Vinyl as well as digital release. You can download above or go to the site below.

*from Isolation post:
The opening track called Isolation to Plague Diagram is available for download over at It features Alessandro Cortini on the Electronic Music Box, Richard Devine on modular synthesizers and additional DSP, Otto von Schirach with guest vocals and additional DSP work. Isolation sets the tone for the rest of the album and is probably the most user friendly track on Plague Diagram. Ashes, the next track, will be released in the coming weeks.

The album is currently set to be out early December on 180 gram clear vinyl and digital downloads with artwork by Bridget Driessen. I’ll continue to post updates on the release through twitter, facebook, here and at If you have questions or comments the best way to engage me are those mediums.

Plague Diagram
Isolation Information

The Music and Sound Design of “The Social Network”

via Soundworks Collection:

SoundWorks Collection Exclusive: In this 45-minute panel discussion, moderated by Bruce Carse, music composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are joined by sound re-recording mixer, supervising sound editor Ren Klyce to discuss their work on David Fincher’s The Social Network.

Filmed on Sunday, November 7th, 2010
DGA Theater, Los Angeles, CA

Movie Studio:
Columbia Pictures

Sound Studio:
Skywalker Sound

Directed by:
David Fincher

Original Music by:
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

Sound Department:

Thom Brennan …. foley supervisor
Coya Elliott …. assistant sound effects editor
Mark Fay …. second boom operator: cable man
Malcolm Fife …. dialogue editor
David C. Hughes …. sound effects editor
Ren Klyce …. sound re-recording mixer & supervising sound editor
Dug Winningham …. Field Recordist
Nick Kray …. adr mixer
David C. Manahan …. sound utility
Jeremy Molod …. assistant supervising sound editor
Alyson Dee Moore …. foley artist
Nathan Nance …. assistant re-recording mixer
Larry Oatfield …. sound effects editor
David Parker …. sound re-recording mixer
Richard Quinn …. adr editor
David Raymond …. boom operator
John Roesch …. foley artist
Ronald G. Roumas …. sound recordist
Michael Semanick …. sound re-recording mixer
Mark Weingarten …. sound mixer
Tom Williams …. 2nd unit mixer

Movie Synopsis:
Every age has its visionaries who leave, in the wake of their genius, a changed world – but rarely without a battle over exactly what happened and who was there at the moment of creation. In The Social Network, director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin explore the moment at which Facebook, the most revolutionary social phenomenon of the new century, was invented — through the warring perspectives of the super-smart young men who each claimed to be there at its inception. The result is a drama rife with both creation and destruction; one that purposefully avoids a singular POV, but instead, by tracking dueling narratives, mirrors the clashing truths and constantly morphing social relationships that define our time.

Drawn from multiple sources, the film moves from the halls of Harvard to the cubicles of Palo Alto as it captures the visceral thrill of the heady early days of a culture-changing phenomenon in the making — and the way it both pulled a group of young revolutionaries together and then split them apart. In the midst of the chaos are Mark Zuckerberg (JESSE EISENBERG), the brilliant Harvard student who conceived a website that seemed to redefine our social fabric overnight; Eduardo Saverin (ANDREW GARFIELD), once Zuckerberg’s close friend, who provided the seed money for the fledgling company; Napster founder Sean Parker (JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE) who brought Facebook to Silicon Valley’s venture capitalists; and the Winklevoss twins (ARMIE HAMMER and JOSH PENCE), the Harvard classmates who asserted that Zuckerberg stole their idea and then sued him for ownership of it.