Workspace and Environment: Making the Noise

We still have spots left for the Synth Meet 7 coming this Sunday. It’s sure to be as lively as all of the past events combined! Onto the article:

I found Adam Ribaudo of Making the Noise from Twitter, saying that he just released his first album. I followed a few links, bought his album and knew he used a Monome after hearing it. I wondered what his space looked like and how things fit into it. I asked, he responded. Here’s what he said…

I started making music while I was in high school around 1998. Before that, I was listening to a lot of Underworld and Pet Shop Boys and had been exposed to the MOD scene which made making electronic music seem very accessible. With the spread of pirated software, I was at some point introduced to ACID and Rebirth and also Jeskola Buzz. I now gladly pay for the tools I use. Ableton should turn around and thank a pirate…
It wasn’t until very recently that I started performing out with a set that was heavily inspired by a Daedelus set I saw in NYC in 2009. I wanted to take what he was doing, creating a seamless danceable experience, but use only originally produced material. That’s what I’ve done and that’s what I’m tuning as I go from show to show gauging the crowd’s response to each section.

My initial motivation was just exploring the soundscape that software could make and no other instrument could. I can still remember hearing lowpass filter sweeps and knowing them only as “that effect that makes everything sound like wwwaaaaa”. That and delay and reverb and synthesis just totally transported me to other places and I wanted to figure out how it was done and where else it could take me.
At this point you could say base novelty has worn off now that synthesized music is ever-present in our daily lives but a number of other things keep me motivated. One is watching the electronic music scene evolve. I love when artists bring something new to the table and that’s something I strive to do. I think we all benefit when people take chances and put something honest out there. Another is watching the electronic music tools evolve. We’re in something of a golden age of software creativity tools. Lastly, the opportunity to perform live has been a bigger and bigger motivation as I’ve come into my own skin on stage after a handful of performances. It’s a big and frightening leap for a bedroom producer but it’s paid off.

Favorite Hardware
The monome by far. Besides its sleek minimal design, the draw is that instead of telling you how it should be programmed, it asks you. Out of the box, the monome comes with no pre-programmed instructions, it’s up to you the user (as opposed to the manufacturer), to provide it with instructions. Those instructions can be written in any language that supports the OSC protocol, but you can always look to the rich community of user-created apps if you’re looking for inspiration or functionality that’s already been created.

Favorite Software
At the core of my live set is a piece of software that I wrote for the monomer called 7up. It essentially splits the monomer into pages of functions. One page can give you a step sequencer while another triggers loops, and another sends MIDI ctrl values or notes. All of these actions are recordable and can be running in parallel which makes a great interface for controlling complex arrangements live and without the need to touch the laptop. One great advantage of relying heavily on your own software is that all your bug reports go to the front of the queue.

Workspace and Environment
I live in a small one-bedroom apartment in Cambridge and having your studio 3 feet from your bed is all a producer can ask for. It helps that my setup is super minimal – consisting only of my laptop, monome, and sometimes the Oxygen8 if I’m working on melodies. In theory, it shouldn’t matter where I’m cranking out material but I’ve always found it easiest to work at odd hours during the night while at home as opposed to being out on the road.
I can’t say I’m self-conscious about my finished product but I do get unnerved if anyone is around while I’m arranging. I don’t think most people realize how monotonous producing can be. I’ve sat for hours tweaking the most insignificant parameters of the same 4 bar loop, but it never seems strange to me unless someone else is around.

Ideal Location
I sometimes fantasize about an elaborate studio setup in a remote location with no neighbors and top quality gear, but in the end I don’t think I could work like that all the time. I like that music weaves itself in and out of my life and that I can go weeks without making music, bottle up that creative energy, and unleash it when appropriate. If I locked myself in a cabin with the mission of making my best work now that I have the “perfect” setup, I’d not make anything worthwhile and go nuts to boot.

What is the name you work under and where can we find your work?
Making the Noise
Making the Noise – you can do anything. except for some things Album

Korg Monotron: Baseck + cEvin Key

Baseck is on tour in Japan with cEvin Key right now and that usually means one thing – searching for esoteric gear. I just thought this video was funny and am trying to legitimate reason for posting it. Imagine I wrote a long winded preface about how Japan is the leader in technology and how manufacturers choose to release a lot of products there first.

this is the korg monotron! i been drooling over it ever since i seen a video of it from musikmesse frankfurt. we found them in a shop in tokyo for $50 usd. cevin, djoto, alan, and i all bought one! this thing is ILL! such deep sub bass when it’s hooked up to a system. i can’t wait to rock it on my tour. here we were at the great buddha in kamakura japan. first monotron to ever visit the great buddha! :) what an amazing site it was. Thanks Korg for making another useful low cost pocket sized monster!!!


GrainCube is a four part granular processing instrument with numerous randomizing functions and modulation capabilities that allow for indescribable sonic mischief. The heart of GrainCube is a 400mb sample map of exclusive sample material from Richard Devine & Josh Kay of DevineSound. GrainCube is a collaboration between DevineSound & Rick Scott (Rachmiel), with additional programming and GUI tweaks by Igor Shilov of Twisted Tools. An additional version is also available for the Jazzmutant Lemur, re-imagined by Antonio Blanca.

We offer two versions of the instrument so people who don’t have lemurs can use it as well! And it’s FREE!

Richard Devine & Josh Kay: Concept & Sound Design –

Rick Scott: Concept & Programming –

Download GrainCube

Also, Richard sent me a track he made with his modular and didn’t want to make a post just for it, so here it is: Richard Devine – York Capacitor

Trash_Audio & Xart: Synth Meet 7

This is the official Spring Synth Meet in Chicago presented by Trash_Audio and Xart. We’ve hosted 6 of these events before and they keep getting more attention so much so that we had to start turning people away last time.

We’re having The Harvestman from Washington, Make Noise from North Carolina, STG from Illinois, and other guests that will be announced. There will also be new products making their debut from a few manufacturers including some from the aforementioned.

We’ll have to put a limit on the amount of people this time around because while these events are a great place to network, Xart’s studio is getting too packed! Also, if you’re a modular/pedal/synth manufacturer, I highly suggest you get in touch to have your gear laid out so people can experience it. If you’re interested in coming please e-mail:

Here are some videos of the past events:

Also, here is an advanced notice for another night we’re hosting in June:

Chicago Modular Musickal Extemporization Klinic June 19 2010

The XART Studio + Media Research Center will be hosting more fun for

2010. Charles Cohen + hair_loss (Color Is Luxury) will be in Chicago

to do a modular synthesizer/ electronics based improv workshop/clinic!

– a talk and demo of the architecture of the Buchla Easel – a

Performance + discussing and working up patches suitable for free

improv + small group jams / improv games- try ideas out, collaborate

(and listen!) + plenty of time for give and take all along the way!

Seating/Spots will be limited. This is a RSVP workshop with a modest donation.

If you are interested get on our list: email: please

put Chicago Modular Musickal Extemporization Klinic in the subject! We

will forward information.

Friday, May 7th: Plague Bringer, Abominable Iron Sloth, Sender Receiver, Surachai

May 7th, 2010

Cobra Lounge

235 North Ashland

Plague Bringer

The Abominable Iron Sloth

Sender Receiver


Come out! All nights at Cobra Lounge are free.

I’ll have shirts and stickers available.

Saturday, May 1st: Mayday Mayhem: Professor Kliq, Royb0t, Polyfuse and Millipede Live

Tomorrow night I’ll be playing live with some cool people. I am also going to do this show a little different then I have in the past, which means, no computer. Instead I am bringing out a small selection of acid gear. The setup now is x0xb0x, tr-808, drone commander, grundig shortwave radio, line 6 delay, alesis ineko multi fx, tube overdrive pedal, vintage multiband eq pedal, a soundcraft mixer and last but not least, some fancy lights.

Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 9:30pm, 21+

Silvie’s Lounge

1902 W. Irving Park Road

Chicago, IL


Facebook Event

Professor Kliq




How To Destroy Angels

Rumors rumors rumors… I don’t care what they say, this is great on it’s own.

How To Destroy Angels

01 from How To Destroy Angels on Vimeo.


04 from How To Destroy Angels on Vimeo.

03 from How To Destroy Angels on Vimeo.

Tip Top Audio: Z8000 – Stretta

In case you weren’t able to decipher what was going on in the video I made before – here is Stretta’s take on the Z8000. It sounds and looks way better than my video. Enjoy!

Z8000 Overview from GM on Vimeo.

Selected Discography at FiXT

All of our releases are now available all at one place, FiXT, which is great because our catalog of releases on shade:red was scattered all over the internet.

Polyfuse – No One Will Come Save Us
Polyfuse’s ‘No One Will Come To Save Us’ was an experiment in analog electronic sound. All normal creative practices were thrown out in place of something more immediate. The whole collection was completed with the most minimum setup possible* and captured in such a way that it could not be altered after the original performance. Take it, turn it up, set it free.
*x0xb0x, TR-808, Moog Prodigy, Grundig G5 (A shortwave radio), Line6 DL-4 pedal, TubeWorks RT-901 overdrive pedal, Alesis Ineko and a TC Electronics M300 all plugged into a small 10 channel mixer.

Justin McGrath – The Night That Laid Still
The Night That Laid Still’ is the third and final solo release from Justin McGrath, who has now moved on to other projects such as Polyfuse. This EP of atmospheric ambient sound is reminiscent of NIN’s quieter moments, with acoustic elements created by piano and strings meandering throughout. Purchases of the full EP include an 8 track bonus EP of remixes, ‘Reconstructions’.

Free Polyfuse Tracks and Albums:
One Quiet Moment (Single) (39.2 MB)
20 minutes of dark analog ambient music

The Persistent | The Unobtainable (Album) (91.8 MB)
An experimental album that was never completely finished, now yours for the taking

Incendiary Device (Single) (9.2 MB)
A free single from the upcoming album ‘The Speed Of Forever’

The Deep Element – Lapses
Surachai’s second release as IDM/Ambient/Post Rock project The Deep Element. Includes a cover of Clint Mansell’s “Stay With Me”.

The Deep Element – Currents
Before Surachai embarked on an exploration of brutal grindcore noise with his self titled project Surachai, the multi-talented musician experimented with glitchy, warm downtempo and IDM as The Deep Element. This debut album features covers of Karmakanik, jonbro, and Björk. Artwork by Sarah Lynn Wielusz.

Surachai – Decrepit
After two EPs of absolutely brutal analog noise-infused grindcore, Surachai’s fourth release returns to the purely experimental analog glitch soundscapes of his first album. Six tracks with corresponding artwork by Bridget Driessen follow the cycles and stages of a plagued memory.

Surachai – Designed Deficiency
Surachai’s third release continues to explore the grindcore-analog noise mix that appeared on the preceding EP, a genre the artist calls Plague Metal. Bridget Driessen also returns to contribute beautiful artwork once more.

Surachai – Programmed Cell Death
On his second release, Surachai takes the glitchy analog noise experimentation of his first album and wraps it around some truly traumatizing grindcore metal. Artwork by Bridget Driessen.

Surachai – Form
Surachai, who has previously created warm, downtempo IDM as The Deep Element and as one half of [Co]sen-tasi, throws listeners for a loop and runs in the opposite direction with his new self-titled solo project, Surachai. This first album contains fourteen tracks, each an experimental exploration into harsh, overdriven analog noise that altogether form a continuous 21-minute piece.

[co]sen_tasi – Cycled Seances
A followup EP to 2007’s Clarity in Japanese, Cycled Seances continues the IDM/downtempo/jazz fusion collaboration of analog noisemaker Surachai and jazz musician Jonathan Paul Robles.

[co]sen_tasi – Clarity in Japanese
Surachai, known for his downtempo/IDM project The Deep Element and his eponymous grindcore/analog noise counterpoint project, has also collaborated with jazz musician Jonathan Paul Robles to create [co]sen_tasi, a downtempo/IDM sound with elements of analog glitch and jazz fusion. This is their first album.

James Cigler Returns

James Cigler of the felix inferious blog is back with a new video featuring Make Noise’s Wogglebug. I used to watch James’s videos back when there was very little written and audio information on modules. Finding video a couple years ago, especially an informative demonstration, was nearly impossible. Someone needs to pay him to make these videos because they certainly shape the way people buy modules.