Nice theremin

Found this example of theremin through a "vocal formant filter" guitar pedal on the Electro Harmonix blog. Lovely!

Perfecting Sound Forever

Recently I finished reading Greg Milner's book Perfecting Sound Forever, which is a well-researched history of recording.

Starting with Edison's wax cylinders and covering the development of the rival Victrola, the introduction of magnetic tape after World War II, then Philips' compact disc and, finally, discussion of the loudness wars initiated by radio stations that have blighted popular music in recent years.

The explanations of the technology were easy enough for me to understand but the highlights seemed to be the people on the periphery who I'd never heard of before, like Leopold Stokowski and John Diamond. The latter has ignited a long-running debate about the effects of listening to digital recordings and there's an interesting quote from Rupert Neve on this topic on another blog of mine.

RE Mixerman

The other week I misinterpreted the Disquiet Junto instructions and, rather than processing a text file to make noise, I put a piezo contact microphone on my hardcover copy of Mixerman and recorded thumps, taps, scratches and a kazoo-style vocal.

This short recording was my attempt to make a song from a text by throwing a bunch of effects onto tracks from the book.

Central Park revisited

This is the closing track on my album For 100 Years and the second track on that album made from samples recorded at Leeton's Central Park, which is a lot smaller than the one in New York that comes to mind for most people.

That droning sound at the beginning was the result of a lawnmower passing the metal support pole for the cover over some picnic tables. In the video I shot while recording you can see me giving the driver a greasy look but, once I heard the result, I was much happier with his contribution!

I've been soliciting remixes of tracks from the album and, if you're interested, you can download the raw recordings from Central Park or loops from both my Central Park tracks. These sounds were recorded using homemade contact microphones.

Raining blood

Tanku remix

Recently I joined the Disquiet Junto group and, after misinterpreting the directions last week, this is my first contribution. It's a remix of Xesus Valle's track Tanku from his Gently Annoying album, which is a cute title.

Old school electronica

Philips, the company that brought us the cassette, the compact disc and the DVD, researched the possibilities of electronic music in 1956.

Acoustic engineer Dick Raaijmakers was asked to make a tune with Philips' electronic equipment to show what was technically possible. Using more than 10 professional recorders he made dubs and sound-effects by cutting, layering and splicing tape.

The results were impressive, even now his first commercial track Song of the Second Moon from 1957 still sounds cool. Raaijmakers worked under the pseudonym Kid Baltan, which was his work-nickname reversed (NatLab Dick).

From Boing Boing

For 100 Years

New toy

Just got this in the mail today and am still coming to grips with it. There's some info on the glitches here.

Dinosaur Park (KlanKman remix)

Here's another remix of a track on my forthcoming album of Leeton playgrounds, which will be online on Friday 13 July.