Camping with Harvestman

Taken from Scott’s Facebook…

“This was the first feature-complete prototype of the Donut. The PCB had some serious routing issues, so it never worked correctly and caused me a great deal of frustration. It was also the only module in my junk bin with a panel and no hope of rehabilitation into something musically useful.

The first shot immediately sheared all of the knobs off of the module, as the panel came away from the board assembly. Four of the pot shafts were snapped off as well. I only recovered about half of the knobs. Despite scoring two direct hits on the tact switches, I recovered most of the parts from all 5 switches. The force of the projectile impact blew most of the surface mount parts (0805 size) off of the board, I wasn’t able to find any of them except for the crystal and a single electrolytic capacitor.

Load: Remington 125gr SJHP .38 Special +P (some garbage that had been laying in the back of my safe for a while). The brass and the recovered module fragments have been saved for use in an art project. I tried to pull a bullet from that tree stump but I couldn’t do it without damaging the tools I had on hand.”

Harvestman – Stillson Hammer

Above is a few faceplates of modules that Harvestman is currently working on except the one on the right, the Stillson Hammer. It has arrived to Analog Haven and is available now from Analog Haven. An overview will be posted sometime next week.

Official details:
Burst generator with six outputs. A manual button press (or external gate input) will start a “burst” of repeated gate events coming out of a selected range of outputs. Burst frequency (time between gate outputs), output span (from 1 to 6 outputs), and event count are all voltage controllable. The pattern of output transition is also selectable: normal forward sequential travel, pendulum (forward, then backward), and random patterns are available.

Apparently there is a Stillson Hammer used in this piece below by The Harvestman. I can’t identify it in the example but this track is amazing on its own.
082710 piston delay by harvestman

Harvestman – Stillson Hammer
Analog Haven – Stillson Hammer

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

Chicago – August

Richard Devine came into town this past weekend to play a STS9 after party, he brought a module I requested – the Doepfer A101-3 Vactrol Phase Filter. Of everyone I know with a system, only two people come to mind (Richard being one of them) who own this module and they speak very highly of it. I’ve never heard it in action before and I know many of you haven’t either. There are some examples of how we used it but not a proper run through. Anyways, here’s some random things I did this month.

Pro-Modular will be joining the manufacturer roster at the Synth Meet 8. I’ll write up a complete list in a few days because the list is growing. If you’re interested in coming, write an e-mail to and I’ll send you the information.

Joe Vanhouttegem – Blonde Fire

A friend sent this to me last night and on so many levels this is the best thing I’ve seen recently. The song is recorded by The Hickey Underworld. NSFW unless you work here.


Massive advanced warning. I’ll be opening up the tour in Chicago and Detroit on the 24th and 25th of September. I’ve been informed that the tickets are selling like crazy, hence the advanced warning. Hopefully I’ll see some of you there.

SUBCON Beyond FEST 2010

SURACHAI (Chicago & Detroit)

9/24 – Chicago – Double Door
9/25 – Detroit – Blondies
9/26 – Toronto – NEU+RAL
9/29 – Montreal – Cafe Campus
10/1 – Washington DC – Club 24
10/3 – Brooklyn – Knitting Factory

Facebook Event Page/ Ticket links

Set Times:
SURACHAI : 9 – 9:45
BANGALORE : 9:45 – 10:30
DEAD VOICES ON AIR : 12:45 – 1:30

Chicago Buchla Clinic

This past weekend Xart & Trash_Audio hosted a Buchla Clinic and invited Jon Schatz of Buchla and Associates from Berkeley, California to join us. We quickly put him to work by upgrading firmware, handing out orders as well as answering questions. Thanks to everyone that came, especially you guys from Boston and D.C. See you all in September for Synth Meet 8.

Photos by Xart

Synth Meet 8 Update

There have been changes and I expect there will be even more to come. I have not received confirmation from Elektron so I have taken their name off the list but James Coker of Five12 Inc (AKA Numerology) is coming in for Synth Meet 8 and we’re glad to have him! Hopefuly Elektron gets back to me soon!

As of right now here is our manufacturer list:
Division 6 (Washington)
Five12 Inc (New Mexico)
Flight of Harmony (Washington)
Gorilla Box (California)
Harvestman (Washington)
Make Noise (North Carolina)
Malekko (Oregon)
Mattson (Washington)
MegaOhmAudio (Illinois)
STG (Illinois)
Tip Top Audio (California)

You must RSVP to come to this event. You can do so by e-mailing me at with “RSVP for Synth Meet 8” in the subject and I’ll send you information.

Alessandro Cortini of Sonoio

For the past couple months, Alessandro’s life has taken over mine. He handed over a few gigs of video for the teasers and because we approached them in a minimal fashion, we were left with nearly an hour of unused footage. I tried to make sense of it all in the video below and think it tells a story of a few cats that live with an annoying roommate.

In his first interview about Sonoio, Alessandro is shedding some light on his new project touching briefly on the background of Sonoio, the method and not the lyrics.

SONOIO comes from the Italian “sono io”, which means “it’s me”. It’s the first time that I write a whole album on my own.

Starting out
The bulk of the songs were written on the Buchla in January and they all started from sitting in front of it, not knowing what to do. I sit in front of it and I feel like a baby playing with something new: no rules, a lot of colors, unknown sounds and lights. It’s easy to be creative that way. There is no feeling of working. It does however apply to other instruments I have found. The main obstacle was at the beginning, when I thought I was going to record a modwheelmood album. Once I realized this was a different thing, with a different set of rules, everything went quite smoothly, especially thanks to Jon’s feedback while working on the tracks.

A song never just comes to my mind. It has to be triggered by a sound, a sequence, a rhythm, then add a bass line or a melody, it really depends. If you listen to a song like “just me”, that one started with having my friend Reed Hays showing me a trick on the 281 module, where the envelope emulates a sidechained compressor. That became the main part in the song.  I started realizing fairly early in the process that I was coming up with more interesting material for my standards if I concentrated on writing with only one tool, as opposed to layering different instruments like I used to.

What instruments were you used to layering?
A Jomox XBase 09 for the more standard sounding analog drums, NI’s massive for some of the drones, a lot of UAD plugins for mixing, SoundToys Decapitator, Crystallizer, and a healthy dose of Eventide H8000FW.

Are there any additional hands and ears helping you out?
The name says it all, Starcraft boy*.

Just for that, I’m posting our scores. Answer the question.
Jon Bates from BigBlackDelta helped a lot with his expertise and opinions. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and not knowing what sounds good anymore. It was mostly a situation of having a trusted person who shares the same musical attitude to come in, listen, and pull me out of an endless circle. He also sang on one of the songs, Houdini.

Did you intentionally leave out instruments?
Yes, for the most part. The challenge was for me to utilize a very low number of instruments and preferably the modular only: that way you end up coming up with sounds that might recall others but never quite sound like them. Some of the songs (Just me, Not Worth Remembering, Hold On, Let Go) were recorded as one takes on the Buchla, and then vocals were overdubbed. There are no more than 8 tracks of Buchla at once, plus Vox + vocoder.

Aside from Blindoldfreak, is this your first full length release since your time with Nails?
First full length on my own, besides modwheelmood’s Pearls to Pigs, which came out as an album last year. I spent the last few years working on other people’s music and touring a little but mostly cat sitting.

What are your rates for cat sitting?
I charge one thousand dollars an hour.

Can you talk about your lyrics or themes you were exploring?
Good, cause I didn’t really care.

Do you plan to tour?
I don’t enjoy playing shows as much as I enjoy writing and recording music. It always feels like you have to prove yourself in a foreign field. The studio is were I am happy and feel like I do something worth listening to. That said, yes, I will play shows eventually.

How does Sonoio stand in your existing catalog of music?
It’s what I do now, might not be what I do tomorrow! It’s difficult to look back at what i have done and analyze it. Everything sounds great until you release it…. Then you are ready to move on… it’s therapeutic.

How would you describe collaborating with Harvestman for your SuONOIO Synth?
Sonoio on Facebook
– The SuONOIO instrument: SuONOIO Blog

*Actual score of a game of Starcraft Alessandro (purple) and I (yellow) played. All those years on tour and in the studio must’ve fried his killing skills.

Trash_Audio & Xart Synth Meet 8

Trash_Audio and Xart are hosting Synth Meet 8 in Chicago on September 18th and 19th 2010. Saturday the 18th will be reserved for performance and a more intimate setting with the manufacturers. Sunday the 19th will be the normal party atmosphere of the Synth Meets except this time we have an impressive amount of manufacturers coming out. The following manufacturers will be there along with their wares:

Division 6 (Seattle)
Elektron (Sweden)
Flight of Harmony (Washington)
Gorilla Box (California)
Harvestman (Washington)
Make Noise (North Carolina)
Malekko (Oregon)
Mattson (Washington)
MegaOhmAudio (Illinois)
STG (Illinois)
Tip Top Audio (California)

The following artists will perform:
Richard Devine (Georgia)
Josh Kay (North Carolina)
Four Pi Movement (Pennsylvania)

Things are still being finalized and the schedule for the days may change but this is how it’s going down as of right now. I want there to be enough space for everyone but given the incredible response of interested parties, this will no doubt be our largest even and will be a first come first serve. I’d like to limit each night to about 70 people but we’ll see what happens. E-mail us at: with “RSVP for for Synth Meet 8” and I’ll send you information including hostels and hotels if you’re coming from out of town.