Short links for March 14th, 2011

Some interesting things I found recently:

Arcophone Mk II

# Arcophone Mk II

From the Perth Artifactory:

Owing to the Arcophone Mk I being stuck somewhere on the Nullabor owing to damage to train tracks from the recent rains.

As we had a gig at Scitech we needed a new Arcophone, using the prototype batch of v1.2 coil drivers, Brett, Simon & Daniel spent the better part of the last week building the Arcophone Mk II. The case was designed and cut by Simon Kirkby and the electronics designed and assembled by Brett Downing and Daniel Harmsworth.

More on the Acrophone here.

# A Gorgeous Compilation Benefits Cancer Research; Co-Creator Explains

Peter Kirn writes:

“Gem Drops” is a rich, varied compilation covering “experimental electronic hip-hop inspired” music, with artists such as Anenon, yuk., Juj, Devonwho, Shigeto, and Sumsun. The 21 tracks were selected by curator Aaron Meola. It’s the sixth release from the collective Dropping Gems, and 100% of revenue will go to the American Cancer Society.

Pay what you want for the download; a “very limited” run of handmade CDs with artwork will go to people who donate US $15 or more.

# Using EXE files to create found audio

Turning data strings like DNA and what-not into audio can produce interesting results. YouTube user r2blend says, "If you import an EXE file into an audio program as audio data, you hear all kinds of cool stuff. The most awesome by far for me was MS Paint." Fisco130 then made a club remix of the MS Paint data audio. Wonder if any scans of great works of art contain secret music? Does malware translate to sad trombone sound, or Rick Astley?

# 10 Handy Programming Tips for ReFX Vanguard

Tom at Waveformless is sharing programming tips:

If you haven't checked it out yet, head on over to the Programming Tips section of the Waveformless-Soundware site for 10 random programming tips on programming your own sounds for ReFX Vanguard.

The plan is to post programming tips for different softsynths as I release new soundsets. And yes, I am hard at work on the next release. No idea when it will be done. I'd rather get it right then get it out right now.

# Chaircrusher – For Delia Derbyshire 2010-03-10

Free 5-track album by Kent Williams.

Chairchruser For Delia Derbyshire 2010-03-10

This EMS Putney came into my hands when I purchased it from Iowa City South East Junior High School in 1997. It is one of the unique artifacts of electronic music. The Putney & it’s close relative, the attache-case-housed Synthi, were workhorse synths at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and was a favorite of musicians like Brian Eno, Pink Floyd, and other Space Rock bands of the 70s.

It’s sonic character derives in large part from the cheapness of the design and construction. Moog Synthesizers were laboratory grade audio equipment; the Putney is cheap and difficult to use in a traditional musical context. And yet it was seductive. It’s limitations and imperfections enlarged musican’s ideas of what sounds could be musical.

Delia Derbyshire was one of the pioneers of electronic music during and after her tenure at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. She was both a gifted composer and an audacious and precise engineer. Since seeing her in documentaries, and hearing her music I’m both awed by her and have a synth-geek’s crush on her. She was on my mind as I recorded these pieces, and I dedicate them to her memory.

The 5 parts of this piece were recorded in one evening, with no editing or overdubbing. The Putney was plugged into the Stereo Memory Man pedal, and the pedal was plugged into my computer.

The only post processing applied was normalization. These recordings are as close to the original, raw sound of the instrument as I could make them.

# Somatic Circuits VC-303

The VC-303 modular bass synthesizer, the worlds first and only TB-303 synth module.

100% clone of the classic bassline synth in a modern modular format. just like a 303 only modular.


Short links for April 9th, 2010

Eskamon - Fine Objects

Some interesting things I found recently:

# ESKAMON "Fine Objects"

ESKAMON is the new colaboration project between Amon Tobin (Ninja Tune) & Eskmo (Warp, Planet Mu, Ancestor). “Fine Objects” is the first single by the duo that’s set for release on Eskmo’s own imprint “Ancestor.”

“Fine Objects” is the result of the pair’s unique take on sonic exploration and the manipulation of field recordings. From the onset, the two went out with a recorder, gathering sounds from around the house, yard and studio. Material recorded out of the studio included sounds from a parking garage elevator, a broken harp and the droning tones from a discarded piano. These were combined with more home-centric sounds to form the central theme to the song. With lumbering alien bass and intentionally dry, off-kilter percussion, “Objects” quickly grew into it’s own symbolic representation of taking “odd pieces” and allowing them to grow into something a bit more “refined and ablaze.”

Fine Objects is out now, just $1 USD for the mp3, $2 USD for a wav copy.

A wav sample pack of the sounds created for the song + an Ableton pack and 10 minute tutorial video by ill. Gates utilizing the material from the original pack are available to download at no cost (in exchange for your email address). A remix competition is apparently in the works as well.

# Should have a general (email) newsletter?

I thought it would be interesting to see if you think a general newsletter would be a good idea. After a few days of having the poll up it seems there isn't much interest at all (judging by the low response rate) but I have decided to set up this newsletter anyway. It will occasionally go out with info on contests, new sample packs, promotions and more.

Visit to subscribe.

Note: since there were already separate announcement lists for contests/giveaways and sample packs I have merged these with the general newsletter. There is now only one announcement/newsletter list.

Knowledge Sabre Remix Competition

# Knowledge Sabre Remix Competition

Kmag, Sabre and Critical Music are running a competition for producers to remix Sabre's One Hundred Teeth. Not only do you get to download the original tune for free but also all the stems needed for remixing.

The winning remix will receive £1000 of Addict clothing and a SoundCloud Pro Plus and three runners up will get SoundCloud Lite accounts. Deadline for entries is Sunday May 2nd 2010 and the winner will be announced by May 12th.

Sabre recently spoke about the track he made for the competition and his new album. He also gives a brief to point producers in the right direction for the competition and talks about how he approaches remixes himself.

# Free – 500 (royalty) free drum, bass, synth and other loops, in wav 16-bit 44.1 khz format.

Little-Scale Periodic Waveform Editor for iPhone via TouchOSC

# Periodic Waveform Editor for iPhone via TouchOSC

Sebastian @ little-scale writes:

This is a simple periodic waveform editor for the iPhone / iPod Touch made using TouchOSC. The waveform has sixteen steps. There is also a slider that controls the frequency of the waveform. This is not supposed to be something useful; rather, it further explores the idea of touching sound, something that I have been fascinated with. If someone wants the Max/MSP patch or the TouchOSC template, please let me know.

# PaulStretch — New Build For the New Decade…

Kent Williams has released an updated version of PaulStretch for Mac:

Judging from the WP Stats, my posts about the PaulStretch extreme audio timestretching application are by far the most popular blog posts I’ve ever made, indeed I think people will be downloading it after I’m dead if this domain outlives me. Well, today I took the time to ‘refresh’ the PaulStretch stuff. This means I updated all the libraries it depends on to current versions and rebuilt the program. I don’t mess with the program source code itself — nothing has changed in appearance or tools. The one thing that has changed — and it’s a biggie! — is that it now can load MP3 files for processing without crashing. Huzzah!

Note that this one is Intel-only, a PPC version is now available here.


Short links for September 3rd, 2009

Some interesting things I found recently:

# Tactile Metronome – Wayne and Layne

Wayne and Layne Tactile Metronome

The Tactile Metronome is a tap-controlled metronome and "beat looper." "Syncopation machine." "Metronome with an attitude."

You tap the piezo speaker to set the frequency. The display shows the beats per minute, and the two buttons adjust the speed.

"Ehhh." "Boring," you say. Not so fast!

You can tap patterns into it, currently up to 12 beats long. As long as you tap the pattern in three times, it jumps in and continues beeping in that rhythm. The metronome can beep in three different tones, so you can play with more than one at a time.

Tactile Metronome features

  • Easy to assemble kit makes for a great learning experience. All parts are easy-to-solder through-hole, with no tiny surface mount parts.
  • Fully open-source design means that everything is freely available and ready to be hacked, including the circuit schematic, PCB layout, part list, and microcontroller firmware.
  • Piezoelectric speaker is used as the pattern input, by simply tapping in the tempo or pattern. Once the metronome learns your pattern, it starts beeping with the same piezo element.
  • Seven-segment displays provide feedback in the form of beats-per-minute (BPM) readings.
  • Custom, professionally-made PCB provides a solid base for happy tappers. All circuit connections are routed on two layers without the use of vias, reducing confusion while assembling.
  • A Pre-programmed Microcontroller means you don’t need a specialized microcontroller programmer to get started with the Tactile Metronome. If you want to experiment with modifying the firmware, an in-circuit serial programming (ICSP) header is provided to enable easy re-programming.

# Stereoklang – Reason Refills – We have been collecting free or demo Reason Refills for over 7 years and of course we are happy to share them with the rest of the world.

All Reason Refills you will find on this site are non-pirated this means that they are free to use in your music production, however we of course encourage you to visit the orginal sites for more information where available.

Circuit bending work station

# Circuit bending work station

Matt the modulator built a deluxe substitution box for experimenting with different resistor & capacitor values for circuit bending.

Circuit bending work station

  • Resistance pots (4k7, 100k, 1m).
  • Capacitance – 12 caps selector poly 47-pf, 100-pf, 470-pf, 1-nf, 4n7 nf, 10-nf, 100nf, 1-uf, 1uf elec 1uf, 4.7uf, 10uf, 100uf.
  • LED.
  • Signal tracer simply a 1w amp maplin kit to trace audio signal in a circuit.

# Drum processing with Depeche Mode (YouTube)

Kerry Hopwood is the Live Programmer/Musical Director for Depeche Mode. When it comes to staging a live DM show, theres no cutting corners. Kerry puts it simply: We need to use tools that work. In concert, Kerry and Depeche Mode rely on Ableton Live as an integral component of shaping the bands drum sound. In this movie, shot at a concert in Berlins Olympiastadion, Kerry discusses the advantages that Live offers for on-stage sound processing.

Giant LED board

# Giant LED Board project

A project featuring Evil Mad Scientists’ Peggy 2.0.

We built a giant LED board, about 6.5×6.5 feet, with 900 LEDs using ping-pong balls as diffusers. It can play Conway's Game of Life, Pong, and Sketch mode that allows you to create a starting pattern for Life. We output board state information to a MIDI board that allows us to make music based on what is displayed. This gets interesting with Life, creating minimalist generative music.

See it in action here:

# Free Samples: The Icicle Session – Kent Williams has a new free set of samples.
Kent writes:

Last winter I went out and tapped on icicles hanging down from our eaves over the front porch. And apparently I cut it up into a sample set and didn’t do anything with it. These I release into the public domain. Knock yourself out.

# mOne – Open source step sequencer

  • Hardware Step Sequencer
  • 8 tracks of 8 patterns with 16 steps each
  • Each track can have its own MIDI-Channel (In, Out)
  • Internal resolution of 24 pulses per 1/4 note (PPQN)
  • Recording through external MIDI-equipment
  • External and interal synchronisation (Play, Stop, Resume, Clock)
  • Modify the sequence during playback
  • Open-Source software concept
  • Programmed with Arduino IDE
  • Based on Atmel ATmega1280
  • USB interface for communication with the PC / MAC
  • MIDI interface (MIDI input, MIDI output)
  • 28 silicon buttons, 2 rotary encoders with confirmation and an LCD display

# Röyksopp ‘Tricky tricky’ remix comp

This is yet another shabby attempt at giving something back to our fans – or rather get our fans involved in our shabby doings… Yes, this is an invitation to all of you dedicated souls out there who want to take part in the Röyksopp legacy!

Röyksopp Tricky Tricky Remix

We feel that track “Tricky Tricky” has so much potential, it deserves a life outside the album. Not only is this a chance at beating us at our own game, you also get to mess around with Karin Deijer-Andersson’s extraordinary vocals! Now, how about that?!?

For those about to remix – we salute you!

Señors B + B


Short links for June 30th, 2009

Ryan Gruss Volume II

Some interesting things I found recently:

# A Deal You Can’t Refuse |

Ryan is about to release Volume II of his subscription based drum loops service, so in the next few days you can get over 200 loops for only $9.95.

As I’m putting the finishing touches on Gruss Loops Volume II, I realized I should make you painfully aware of the sweet deal that currently lays before you. You see, since I’m offering the loop packs as a subscription service, there will be over 200 loops available over the course of the next two days. That’s right. You could sign up now, grab Volume I right now AND Volume II in another 24 hours…. all for the rock bottom price of $9.95. You can even cancel after you nab both of the packs. See if I care (you cheap bastard). I know you’ll be back for more.

# PCM 70 Ver 2 & Ver 3 SysEx Preset Registers

Eric Beam has SysEx register dumps from Lexicon’s PCM 70 Ver 2 and 3.

The PCM 70 Ver 2 & Ver 3 have completely different Preset Registers. Many upgraded to Ver 3 to gain the Inverse Room algorithm but lost the coveted Ver 2 Preset Registers in the process.

# SX-150 synth mod instructions, schematics and code

MrBook Gakken SX-150 hack

MrBook did a lovely Arduino hack on the Gakken SX-150, adding MIDI and audio out.

Many people have asked about the instructions and code for the SX-150 mod I did to add MIDI and Audio out, therefore I’m posting the plans for everyone to try. By using the Arduino as the brains of the operation, a lot of other options are available for the mod, really the sky is the limit. If you do any cool hacks to it, by all means, please let me know.

# Return To The Hallway #free #samples

More free samples by Kent Williams:

This set was inspired by our elderly dryer dying — well, the belt driving the drum snapped, so I took the back off to see if it was user serviceable. Confronted with even more stamped sheet metal cowlings, I gave up and bought a new dryer.

But that giant cover was just begging to be tapped, banged and otherwise made to reverberate. Added to that are some pot lids and other random noise-making things, including a plastic tarp on the floor. The ‘kik’ sample was made from me bumping the mic stand, and the surpisingly convincing ’snarish’ is me sneezing.

Luca de Rosso OTTO


OTTO by Luca de Rosso is an electronic musical instrument for realtime manual beat slicing of audio samples.

OTTO provides a tangible user interface designed with the aim of giving the user the feel of having the sample in his hands. The musician can manipulate an audio sample in real time through the use of a restricted number of simple physical buttons and switches.

Link via CDM

# Mini-paper-Moog – A papercraft model to assemble the famous (and now re-valued) Mini-Moog, with its foldable panel.

# little-scale: Low-Bit Gamelan Compilation [2009] Chipmusic inspired by Indonesian Gamelan.

Low-Bit Gamelan Compilation

Sebastian writes:

The Low-Bit Gamelan Compilation – a release of five original tracks with a strong influence from the beautiful music of Indonesian gamelan! Thanks to all who submitted tracks – I’m very happy with this compilation.

Track Listing

  1. Derris-Kharlan: Sarin
  2. little-scale: Monsoon
  3. Baron Knoxbury: Pilo Hau Gamelan
  4. Red Robin: Pemanasair
  5. The Listrix: Rock the Gamelan

Short links for June 15th, 2009

Some interesting things I found recently:

Lennon Luks MIDI Controller/Sequencer

# MIDI Controller/Sequencer

Lennon Luks writes:

While I was earning my BS at Western Carolina University, one of the requirements was a Senior Design Project. For this project, I designed and constructed a MIDI controller/sequencer. I chose this as a project because I am a musician and I am very much interested in electronic music and electronic musical instruments/controllers. This project was ideal for me, as it allowed me to combine my passions for engineering and music.

# More samples — the hallway session samples

Chaircrusher has posted another batch of samples. Sounds include a screwdriver, steel thermos, spraypaint can, rubbermaid shelves, sheetrock wall, stair rail, wooden legs that used to hold up kitchen island, and some sniffing.

RocketScientist Marimba

# Build Your Own Marimba!

RocketScientist @ Instructables:

I am a mallet percussionist who loves the marimba. About four years ago I had a problem. Though I loved percussion, I had no way of practicing at home. There were cheap options. I could have bought a bell kit. But I hate the sounds they make. I wanted a very large five octave marimba but didn't have the money to simply purchase one (7000+ dollars). So I decided against all common sense I would build one.

# TrackTeam Audio Monomulator – Monomulator for APC40 & pK – Monome emulator for the Akai APC40 and Korg PadKONTROL. Free download, includes Max/MSP source files.

# Warp20

Warp commemorates its 20th anniversary with a deluxe special-edition of music and art (Box Set).

Warp20 BoxSet

The package features new songs, older previously unreleased material from Warp artists, tracks selected as some of his personal favorites by co-founder Steve Beckett and the top ten pieces voted for by Warp fans on It also includes a beautifully produced book showcasing the label’s rich design history, along with an exclusive hour-long mix and a locked-groove vinyl set.

# V1 – Build a Real Guitar Guitar Hero/Rock Band Controller

An Instructable for using a real guitar as your Guitar Hero controller.

We all love Guitar Hero and Rock Band. We also know that we'll never learn how to actually play guitar playing these games. But what if we could at least build a Guitar Hero controller that let us use a real guitar? That's what we here at are trying to do.


More posts that match this tag

Short links for May 20th, 2009

Some interesting things I found recently: # in Bb 2.0 – a collaborative music/spoken word project In Bb 2.0 is a collaborative music and spoken word project conceived by Darren Solomon from Science for Girls. … read more

Kent Williams releases PaulStretch for Mac

Paul Nasca recently released version 2.0 of Paul’s Extreme Sound Stretch, an extreme time-stretching tool. Since Paul only released binaries for Windows, Kent Williams took the source code and made a working version for Mac. … read more

Kent Williams releases free Toy Piano sample pack

Kent Williams has released a free pack of samples of a Toy Piano. Kent writes: I was at my brother’s house over the weekend and sampled his daughter’s toy piano with a Zoom H4. The … read more

Kent Williams releases free Roland TR-727 samples

Kent Williams wrote in to let me know he has released a free set of Roland TR-727 Rhythm Composer Drum Machine samples. I was inspired to do this set by the guys at Goldbaby — … read more