Trash_Audio <3's You

Stealing a few lines here: Yesterday was Trash_Audio’s busiest day (traffic wise, we just sat on our asses) to date. I’m not sure what we did or how it happened but I want to thank you. Especially that dot in in the African Gulf which I found out is called St. Helena. If you are that person send us an e-mail. I wikipedia-ed you and learned some really academic things, aka snooze city. I’m always curious about islands with populations under 5 thousand people. Questions like ‘why the hell are they coming to T_A for?’ I remember we got in touch with the gentleman from Mauritius and exchanged a number of e-mails, so if you are this person, say hello. The rest of you… say hey too.

Tape Op

Anything that can get me away from my computer is, in my eyes. worth pursuing but look where I am now… back at the compy to share something interesting. I’ve been slowly subscribing to magazines because most of them are cheap and some free. The latter one being Tape Op, which is probably my favorite magazine because it doesn’t dumb down it’s articles and they carry the voice of the interviewee quite well. Subscribe but be warned they openly admit to selling your information:
“We also want to let you know that Tape Op does sometimes sell our mailing list to advertisers.”.
There is an option to pay 30 something dollars to bypass the selling of information. Anyways, onwards to what I was going to post until I get a notice to take it down:

Larry Fast

So during this development period (computers 25 years ago) – especially with the digital recording side of it – were there any interesting revelations made on your end?
Well, what was striking, especially in 1976, was the degree of control and resolution in digital and the relative absence of some of what I didn’t like about analog recording. There are good things about analog recording, but when you’re going for a particular sonic goal – creating a sound when you’re working in synthesis and recording it, it was often difficult to capture it on an analog recording. For example, using old analog synthesis on a Moog – well, the good part about analog synthesis was that there were some rather pure sounds that were created there. So, you knew what it sounded like coming out of the instrument. But, when it went to tape, the sound wouldn’t come back quite the same because had a lot of non-linearities in its recording process. Repeat that with a number of overdubs in the arrangement and the discontinuities multiply. When it went to LP disk, it got mangled even more. So what transformed between what was going on at the instrument output in the studio to what was finally out there for a record-buying public to take home and play on their turntables really was a pretty inaccurate version of what the original studio vision was supposed to be. The digital process – as soon as I starting hearing what was going with that – I realized that it stayed pretty much the same. Digital didn’t induce phase errors, there weren’t drastic re-emphasis and de-emphasis curves going on that were mangling the sound and screwing up the phase. There were plenty of things that drove us nuts about LPs – inner groove distortion, inaccuracies with speeds unless people had the money to buy the very best playback equipment. There wasn’t a lot of democratization – it really meant the more money you had to throw into a home system the closer you could get to the ideal. But you still couldn’t actually get there because it simply couldn’t go into the grooves because of the compression and low-end roll-off and all of that. So for an electronic composer, it was sort of heartbreaking hearing all the thundering low end and the shrieking highs and the huge dynamic range that you could pull out of a Moog synth or later, a digital one, just not make it to the vinyl that finally got released. You kind of had to shoehorn everything first onto tape then into the LP. SO watching the chain from studio creation to end listener at hoe go to digital, to me, was a big improvement. I’m not saying digital is perfect – it’s got flaws too, but revisions and refinements are always coming down the pike. At least there’s an evolving way of getting sound from studio to the listeners’ homes that had already plateaued with tape and disk analog. So that was one side of it for me – that digital was a purer electronic composer’s record medium. And another thing I first experienced at Bell Labs in the 70’s was that of digital synthesis and recording – my introduction to digital editing, or being able to reshape waveforms – going to resynthesis – you know, other techniques which are not necessarily a part of everybody’s home recording rig even yet – those capabilities expanded the possibilities enormously. Just looking at it in 1976 or ’77 as a composer from one side, and as engineer-producer from another – my thought was, ‘This is going to be great… if it can ever come out of the laboratory!’ I wasn’t sure if it would ever become available in a cost-effective way for an individual person to use in my lifetime. So it’s really a dream that it happened.

Written by Roman Sokal
In Tape Op No.38 Nov/Dec 2003

Modular Community: Chicago

If you own a modular system or other esoteric instruments and are in Chicago, please send me an e-mail on the right. Also be sure to send along any ideas you may have even if they’re not refined. I’m trying to organize a community and see what we could potentially do collectively. This includes throwing ideas around with having gear swaps, modular nights, performances and networking. I know I’ve connected with a bunch of you randomly on the streets, so if you’re reading this send me an e-mail and we’ll try to organize something and hopefully create something fun around here.


We may, or may not be working on something. This is only a test.

Random Visual: Venetian Snares

There are a significant amount of reasons to not participate in the Workspace and Environment series and every single one are valid. Even when artists show hesitance, there is a glimmer of gearslut pride. Aaron pointed me to his modular on his myspace. I’ve had this picture on my desktop for a few months and was sick of looking at it, so up onto the server and off my harddrive it goes! I’ll be sure to corner him next time and feed him pills to get some answers.

Random Visual: Blindoldfreak + Cyrusrex + Anon

*update: Cyrus just sent me more shots and photo credit goes out to Ryan Weisgerber.

I warned you about this show a week back when we posted a Workspace and Environment article for Cyrusrex. In my eyes (even though I wasn’t within a thousand mile proximity), it was a successful show considering there were around 100 people out for the night to check out modulars. I’m not sure why these exquisite systems tend to end up on the floor but seeing a Macbeth anywhere out in public makes me feel like giving people hugs. Get your modulars out of your house and let them see some sunlight! You’re looking kinda pale too reader. Best get some sun now that winter is slowly taking a hike. Props (is this word short for something?) go to Cyrus for sending me these pictures, and to Anon who has my haircut and makes me understand why people think I look like a tranny.

video_Output: Titanic Sinclair and Mars Argo

– via

Gleetchlab 3: Now with NO save

Gleetchlab has just released version 3 of their software. From what I’ve read Gleetchlab was freeware since 2005, came out with version 2 in 2006 and disappeared for a couple of years to release 3, which costs 10.69 Euros which equates to $13.86. Software, for me, has to be productive, clever, innovative, and most importantly fun for it to be used regularly. I’m making a point with fun because essentially this software could be recreated in Max/Msp or Reaktor but by the time I have expanded on what I barely know about those programs, my inspiration boner has died. Maintaining that spark of ‘lets do this!’ is something I feel like software and hardware alike should try to compliment not leech away at. I’ll gladly pay someone to port useful and fun Max/Reaktor patches to standalone versions and am glad they are. Nothing turns me off more than coding – maintaining a blog is the lowest common denominator in coding and I still suck at/hate it.
I’m still trying to figure out if I like the matrix patching of this program but am starting to side with ‘if this shit is making me squint, f u.’ Regardless of my passable opinions I’m sure I’ll familiarize myself with the matrix and find some unique ways to use it and eventually wish it came with other programs.

Justin deleted a massive rant I went on about the contradictions and questionable ideologies regarding software without save. There was talk of hitting babies and this audio file. Maybe it was for the better.

I intentionally avoided including save and load functions of gleetchlab settings. (That is since the first version of gleetchlab) Why? It is an important part of my musical approach. In my analog synthesizer days there were no save fuctions at all but pencil and paper. If you approach each time a reset machine, you are forced to do something new and with little time and patience, you can master the software much better.

Workspace and Environment: Cyrusrex


How long have you been involved with making music?
I started playing with music toys somewhere around 92, but didn’t really get serious till I bought my Nord Lead and Ms20 and I would say that had the biggest impact on my musical motivation. Before that I had some Digital Synths but they never really did much for me. From that turning point I was addicted to the analog sound and the intuitive controls. I think Modulars are the most interesting thing for me right now, as it’s the first thing I reach for when getting into the studio. It’s hard for me to get into being expressive through menus and buttons, I need sliders and knobs to really enjoy the process now.
My main project is cyrusrex (sometimes cyrusM.), it will probably be the only main thing I focus on for a while, outside of the occasional collaborations. I’ve been involved with various other projects such as Skinny Puppy and ohGr and a past project called annodalleb. I’ve mostly been working on a new cyrusrex record for a while, very different from the last and spanning many more stylistic moods and sonic territories.

What are your current favorite pieces of hardware?
So many favorites… As far as modular synths, the Macbeth M5 and the cwejman S1 and my eurorack with Livewire etc. The 808, MS20, Voyager and Vostok are getting quite a bit of use as well. The reason I love the Macbeth is how large it sounds, it’s got my favorite tone out of all my analogs and is very inspiring to work with. The cwejman is a winner for its precision and envelopes, it’s a very diverse synth as far as sonic possibilities. I’ve also become a huge fan of the Livewire AFGs, I’m definitely going to have to buy all the Livewire stuff now. The 808 is my go to drum machine, I love setting it up with all the outputs going thru crazy pedal chains and just jamming and recording loops with it for hours. The filters on the MS20 never get old and are constantly processing other sounds sources. Voyager is just fun as hell to play, I love the XY pad and its straightforward controls. The Vostok is strange, it’s a bit quirky and I like it for its weird 3rd digital VCO. It’s a fun portable synth, and makes me want to build a road case for the Cwejman as well.

What are some softwares or plugins you prefer?
I’m split between multiple platforms at the moment. I use Logic to compose the majority of my ‘music’ and also use ReNoise to program Drums, then it all gets dropped into ProTools HD for Mixing and editing. I honestly haven’t been following plugins too much lately, I do like the SoundToys and NI line of plugins tho. I’ve been using more and more outboard equipment, mostly cause I’m tired of looking at computer screens.


How does your physical space and surroundings influence your workflow?
Physical space is hugely important to me, I like everything to be organized and easy to get the results you need quickly. I can’t tell you how many times I have moved things around or tweaked my setup just to get things to feel right. The space has a impact visually too, being a designer as well I can’t stop thinking about aesthetic and vibe.

Could you describe what you might think your ideal location would be?
My ideal location would be a small cozy house far away from civilization. There are too many distractions living in LA, but I’ll probably stay here for a while anyways. Mostly cause I don’t want to move all my gear again and rewire. I’d like to wake up and see trees again, I currently live in downtown LA and life has been fun but all the concrete is starting to get to me.

What was the first piece of hardware you remember obtaining? The last?
My first gear was a Bass Guitar and a Dr-660 drum machine. The last thing I purchased was a couple new Cwejman Modules and a Cwejman rack to complement the S1 mkII. I also acquired some new FX pedals and some new sync boxes etc.

What is on your current wish list?
My synth wish list would include a Modcan Modular or a Buchla or some custom modular designs. Other than that I think I’ve got most of what I need/want besides a few random Eurorack modules from Livewire and Cwejman, but that will grow over time. I’m also sure I’ll get whatever else Ken MacBeth releases in the future. As far as outboard, I’d like to get an API 5500 EQ to compliment my API 2500 Compressor, perhaps some more Chandler Equipment as well. I’d also like to get a nice large format mixer again when I move, not enough space for it here tho, unless I start converting my living room into a studio.

Whats your mobile studio setup?
My mobile setup is a 17″ Macbook Pro running Logic Pro, ReNoise, SoundToys, NI Komplete and an Apogee Duet. Occasionally I’ll drag my Vostok and Mobius along with me on trips, along with some pedals.

Does your mobile setup differ from your live setup?
My setup for my last tour was the Laptop, Audio Interface, and a bunch of pedals to tweak drums etc live (Frostwave Resonator and Sonic Decimator and a couple others depending on the gigs). We’ve also taken out the Virus and Little Phatty for some shows, but I tend not to take much with me anymore that I cant carry on a flight. We’ve had too much gear damaged traveling by the wonderful TSA to risk it anymore. For my upcoming gig with blindoldfreak I’m actually going to take a bunch of fun gear with me including the MacBeth M5. I’m excited to use a large format modular for a live show!

Check out Cyrusrex at his:

Audio Mulch 2.0: Out for Mac/PC in May

Remembering back to a time when I was obsessed with Audio Mulch, primarily because I was too retarded (and lazy) to figure out Reaktor and Max/Msp, I remember thinking to myself that this program is insanely inspiring, easy to use, fun and that I would never leave it. But then I got a Mac which pissed off my PC.
After a 3 year development, Audio Mulch is growing up to 2.0 and throwing itself back into my arms on my Mac. Though shit looks properly more complicated now since they recoded the thing from scratch. I used to have the most ridiculous signal paths and record the output then bring it into another program to edit. Seems like all of that can be done from their interface now and can get even more mental thanks to their improved performance. More importantly than all the specifications, Audio Mulch was fun and somewhat educational tool with all the modular routing, summing and whatnot. I just hope it’s retained that spirit and doesn’t make me feel like a lazy retard again 5 years later.
If you buy 1.0 for $89 the upgrade is another $89 saving you a grand total of $10. Hell, thats more than some people are making in a day and thats more than it’ll take me to rob your family when things get rough over here.
Audio Mulch

I’m just reposting things lately cause I’m preparing for a move. This one was from Create DIGITAL Music