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.

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

Wavetable Acid Sessions with Devine and Josh Kay: Part 2!

You really can’t go wrong with this setup. Actually, I take that back, I’ve heard some lousy music with some of the the same gear, but Richard and Josh do it right! Check out part two of the session I posted yesterday and turn your speakers to the maximum setting.

Wavetable Acid Sessions with Devine and Josh Kay

Wavetable acid sessions with Roland TR-808, TB-303, TipTop-Z-8000,STG/SoundLabs Time Buffer, Graphic Sequencer, Trigger Sequencer, Cwejman VM-1, Harvestman Hertz Donut, and Piston Honda.

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

Computer Modular Interface

As far as I’m aware there are only two choices to interface your DAW to your modular synth: MOTU’s Volta and Expert Sleeper’s Silent Way. My current problem with both of these options is that they require an audio interface with DC coupled outs. The list of these interfaces are limited as can be seen here: Here

If I were going to get in the game at this point I’d be limited to only my headphone outputs as a means of communication between modular and computer which… is rather limited. Thankfully Expert Sleepers found a way to make any interface with balanced outputs have access to this modular computer communication. Originally they suggested you make cables yourself that encoded AC cables with DC properties while they provided the software to integrate it with the rest of Silent Way. But it seems like someone on their team took the initiative to make a breakout box so you could bypass making your own cables.

Now it seems that someone just needs to build so I can buy them because I’m sure as hell too retarded to put this together myself.

Silent Way Software Encoder Information

Expert Sleepers Silent Way

Motu Volta

Silent Way AC Encoder from Andrew Ostler on Vimeo.

Free Samples from H/Ptic Audio

After downloading a couple of their small banks, I don’t see why these shouldn’t be in everyone’s hard drives. Watch out for the random fake titties on the abstract percussion kit – If you’re browsing at work that is.

The site will be giving away samples, kits, and instruments for free each month (in theory), and we’ve just gotten everything relatively dialed in and the first 3 releases are posted in the ‘catalogue’ section of the site. Or you can use the links below:

HAPTIC01 (abstract percussion kit): Download

HAPTIC02 (Multi-Band Atmospheric Instrument): Download

HAPTIC03 (Multi-Sample SFX kit): Download

H/Ptic Audio

Harvestman Piston Honda Expansion Install

My knowledge of electronic circuitry is close to zero and this installation is only an example of how I performed mine. Your Piston Honda may be different (my display, for example is red) and should check with Harvestman before performing the installation. Responsibility and all the other stuff is not mine if you wreck your modules. With that out of the way, the installation was simple. You’ll need a 3/32″ hex screwdriver to complete the installation and you’ll need some balls to rip apart your Piston Honda knowing that you could potentially damage it.

1. On my Piston Honda, the top board wasn’t screwed down onto the spacers of the bottom board so I was able to pull it off the pins without any hardware.

2. With the supplied hardware, I used the screws and tightened the threaded spacers onto them to create a bed for the expansion board to rest on.

3. The expansion board slides onto the pins horizontally and if the screw holes on the spacers are aligned with the expansion board screw holes, then you’re set to use the remaining screws to tighten it down.

4. With the expansion properly tightened to the top board, I slid it back onto the pins and I was done.

I noticed that the bottom and top boards weren’t screwed in and that the pins were the only thing bonding it together. I don’t believe that the top and bottom boards would separate as a substantial amount of force is needed to pull them apart but I can see some people wanting to secure it down. These screws are not supplied unfortunately. The new banks sound amazing and this video doesn’t really focus on that. Next time….

*4.13.10 Update: The official manual for installation and information can be found HERE.

STG Soundlabs – Acid

Richard Devine got a hold of STG’s Graphic Sequencer some Time Buffer modules and consequently pumped out a banger. Hope he was recording to disk!

STG Soundlabs-Analord Acid Jam – 303/606 from Richard Devine on Vimeo.