Joeri Bruyninckx interviewed me about the Principium 2.1 record..
read it HERE!

Boomkat described the record as "conceptual sound art that recalls Oval wrecking Wendy Carlos' Clockwork Orange score".

i chuckled. :)



rest in peace, Ray Wilson.


Jam Jar's bigger multiheaded brother

made a follow-up on the Jam Jar for an exhibition based around one man's huge hifi collection.
decided to mix my own collection of "useful things to one day use" with his. i used 24 jam jars i found in his garage (used to store nuts and bolts), put in 24 mini speakers, driven by 24 new amplifiers (simple 386 circuit for you electronerds out there).
dug up a pcb containing a full octave set of oscillators i had lying around - used to be the heart of a very disposable crappy italian organ - and added 12 dividers: et voila, 2 octaves of square wave goodness. tweaked the oscillators' caps to end up with a 60/40 PW wave for improved harmonics, so the 'wah' sound jumps out a bit more when you twist the lids.
the wooden base i made from the man's old shelves. recycling ftw!

exhibition was quite funny, nice to watch the audience go wild on this thing.
video or sound coming soon, hopefully.

Principium 2.1 in full effect!

i still can't quite believe it, but it happened - the bits i chopped out of the 8-hour performance that was the presentation of Principium 2.0 got etched onto vinyl!
may i proudly present, my first full length release on the wonderful Ultra Eczema label: Principium 2.1..

no reason not to get them while they're hot. 300 copies y'all!


Principium 2.0 in full effect

on july 2nd, we had a presentation of the full stack of 12 records that make up Principium 2.0.

i'm only posting this now, because the whole performance lasted for eight hours, and i only just finished going through the full length recording to chop out some interesting bits.. quite the chew.

the setup was the following:

- 12x 10" records, each containing a single note drone. the full set equals notes from C to B.
like the rows of the original artwork matrix, they were in 6 pairs of the same color.
- 6x record players, each dedicated to one vinyl colour.
- 6x custom electronics, basically a crude gate based on a magnetic sensor. gates work in 2 modes, either standard gate behaviour (sound when magnet is sensed), or punching silence when a magnet is present. these modes are independent for L and R channels.
- 8x magnets per record player, taking the role of the columns of the original.
underneath the 10" vinyl is a 12" metal base, leaving 1" around the vinyl to place magnets on.

i decided to build myself a random score generator/ conductor in Pd.
basically, with every press of the button, it decided for me in what order and combination the vinyls would have to be played. for every vinyl that reached its end, there would be a random decision to either play that record again, play the other one of the same colour, or leave the turntable empty, introducing silence. that decision would also be applied to the other turntables that were empty at that moment.
the program also gave me the number of magnets that needed to be on every turntable, the mode switch settings and the turntable volumes.

(click pic for closer look at pd program screen, and possibly the loverly youngsters of Mittland Och Leo watching the installation.)

seeing how the vinyls all have different lengths, the overlaps are quite intriguing..
started at three in the afternoon, and ended at eleven at night sharp. with a wonderful instruction from the program to leave all the turntables empty. first time it had done that! that was an insane moment. i love it when technology pretends it's cognitive.

excerpts to be uploaded soon!
all twelve Principium 2.0 boxes that were used in the installation have been sold, so those of you that are interested will have to wait for a possible release of the recorded material.
i guess that would be Principium 2.1..


Welson S12: boom boom tschak

today i proudly present Frankenstein's Daughter: the Welson S12 Remørk edition!

so what have we got:

- trigger buttons for all sounds.
kick, snare, (snare roll, claves, tom1, tom2 as per the original), hihat, and open hihat. that last one does require a hihat trigger as well, since it just modifies the decay of the same sound source, so it's a bit fiddly - but it's very workable, really.

- individual volumes for all sounds.

- snare drum roll speed and routing.
instead of always co-triggering tom1, you can now select which (if any) of the other sounds get triggered alongside the snare noise. combos are very well possible.
all sounds but the hihat - that'd be ludicrous, seeing how it's just the same noise as the snare top end.

- open hihat volume.

- pitch and length control for clav, t1, t2, kick.
the dual gang pitch pots worked to a certain extent. you can still feel the circuitry is a lot more prone to oscillation in certain ranges (depending on the third, fixed resistor in the twin T network, no doubt), so it is very interactive with length and volume controls - by necessity. meaning, basically: mind your speakers when roughing the pitch and length knobs. but hey, it's modding, not design.
you just have to be a bit careful about the sounds jumping into a wild screech. which can sound lovely, by the way.
length takes you from an atonal click, through poor man's 808 boom, to full on oscillation. there are some sweet spots along the way, like when it's oscillating but you can still hear the trigger's impact. does a nice compressor ducking thing.

- individual outputs.
that row of jacks in the back is wired 808-style: every sound you plug into - to add effects or whatever - gets taken out of the master output's mix. works like a charm. no need to change the classics.

it might not be as full option as i could have gone (midi triggers, anyone? that data crossbend thing on a matrix?) but it's a damn great start as it is. and extending the mods is always a possibility for later.
sounds coming soon, hopefully, if i get the chance to record a bit more before it goes to its warm loving home..


Welson Super-Matic S12

dear fellow tinkerers and lovers of the vintage and obscure.
i got one of these in recently:

aah. cheese.
it came with the question if it was possible to have separate triggers and outputs for all the sounds, possibly individual volume controls etc. foolishly, i gave my standard answer ("sure!") before realising there was no such thing as a free interweb-floating schematic of this thing. nooo infooo whatsoooever.

so yes, i set about doing just that.. tracing the fucker.
partial schemo below. didn't do the bottom board, which is the rhythm and pattern generator. you're on your own there.

so 6 hours later, it turns out there's 4 twin T based oscillators (kick, tom1, tom2, claves) and 2 filtered noise sounds (hh and snare.)
the hh has a long and short option. the snare always triggers tom1 with it to add some bottom end, and includes an LFO in it's trigger circuitry that allows for drum rolls. note that that means the rolls have a fixed tempo, as in: not a division of the master tempo. just let it go fast enough, no one'll ever know. nifty. i would think that also means that snare triggers have to be short enough so as to allow for less than a full LFO cycle, to avoid double hits.
when tom1 is used on its own (in exactly 2 presets), it's made slightly longer - in a vain attempt to set it apart from the snare sound, i would guess. oh, and there's an accent trigger on the output amp.

good modding news: there's prefab trimmers for oscillator gains (usable as length controls), volumes and roll speed.
twin T oscillators are not the friendliest to throw in a pitch control, but i hope to manage that by using dual ganged pots replacing the series resistors in the first of the T's. hope to manage additional manual triggers for kick, snare and hh (complementing the funky Big Buttons already there.)

the real fun starts when you start crossbending what is essentially crude data lines - using the trigger line for the samba clave rhythm on the kick, for example. here's a quick and dirty example of that. i think it sounds gorgeous.

the casing and the way the whole innards slide in do not exactly leave an abundance of space to put extra switches, knobs and pots in, so we'll have to work our way around that..