Archive for January, 2012

Korg Electribe ESX-1

Posted in creative practice, gear, midi, music with tags , , , , on 28/01/2012 by sync24

Bought a Korg Electribe ESX-1!
there’s been some BS around the model though – the ebay seller said it was the newer version, priced it accordingly, but it was the older one… so i’ve been done out of around £100…
Beware stubborn ebay sellers who think they know what they’re talking about and are not prepared to even consider the evidence…

Anyway, i have a sample sequencer and will try and integrate it into my set-up via midi and dinsync convertors.


CCRPG Sussex talk

Posted in creative practice, meeting notes, reading, research with tags , , , , on 25/01/2012 by sync24

As a member of CCRPG it was my turn to do a talk to the group,
so i bared all and went through a history of me and my practice…

here’s my slides:

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DX 200…!

Posted in creative practice, gear, midi, music with tags , , , on 17/01/2012 by sync24

The DX200 sounds great, but the main data knob doesn’t work properly, it’s a bit hard to cycle through all the options to get to where you need to be. i’ll take it to Gerald and get it sorted.
It sounds great, though. it has an old software editor bundled with it – it needs Mac OS9… so i’ll need to get the old G3 Pismo out to have a look at this. Sounds are pretty editable, though, the manual (which is written in a ‘down-with-the-kids’ way) is a bit annoying, but points out users should find synth sounds they want to work with which are within the presets, and then adapt them to their own ends. you can program beats as well as the FM synth, and all the sounds are editable. it’s just a little bit quirky, but i’m used to that with the old Roland gear.
I’ll get the data knob sorted and try and get some use and integration out of this thing.

getting more MIDI….

Posted in creative practice, culture, gear, midi, music with tags , , , on 16/01/2012 by sync24

what’s wrong with me…? I won another MIDI thing yesterday on ebay and am serious about getting something else!

Here’s my latest aquisition:

A Yamaha DX200 groovebox style synth module.
It’s what I’ve been wanting for ages but not really investigated, probably because of the MIDI thing.
Anyway, I’ve been looking online at sites discussing these things and it’s clearly a decent little unit – loads of FM synthesis, DX7 style.
Here’s some links:

The other thing I’ve been looking at is the Korg Electribe ESX-1 SD. Another groovebox style thing, for playing around with samples. There appears to be little communities around these units, so, as with other things i have worked with (The Roland stuff, the Shruthi-1 and the Dronelab) it’d be interesting to make some music and contribute to these groups via Soundcloud and maybe some forums…

Here’s a pic of the Electribe thing:

and some links…

M4_u Leicester – Day two

Posted in conferences, creative practice, music, research, software with tags , , on 15/01/2012 by sync24

Day two started with Jeremy Bernstein, an employee of C74 and developer of Max, talking about ‘How I learned to stop worrying and love Javascript’. I started off with an open mind to the use of Javascript here, and though I can appreciate it’s usefulness, only lasted 30 mins before brain-freeze set in and I couldn’t follow what he was talking about… I love Max for the lack of code, yeah, there’s somemaths which I struggle with, but avoiding coding is really important for me. I gave it a chance, but wont be bothering, thanks though, Jeremy!

Sean Clark the came on to talk about ‘Max for visual artists’ and showed older work he had created using Director to create VJ applications and installations, I remembered one Birmingham based project he had worked on from the 90s. Seans talk also confirmed that cv.jit is a good package to have installed – I use it at work in my teaching.
this particular piece was my fave:

Andrew Robertson began his talk showing this:
then talked about his ‘B-Keeper’ Max 4 Live plug-in which was presented in a very interesting way, Andrew talked about the process he’d gone through and the development of the techniques used to beat-track a human drummer with software.

I skipped the lunchtime workshop again (not really the best timing to be honest…) and had a break.

Lorenzo Picinali gave the final presentation of the day (unfortunatley Nick Bugayev had to cancel which was a shame as I was interested to see him talk about the Plastikman visuals… Lorenzo talked about ‘Non artistic applications of Max’ and his work creating virtual reality for blind people using sound spatialisation and turning data about proteins into sound. I always enjoy hearing about non music uses of Max, it’s fascinating how it gets used in all sorts of different areas and shows how versitile and powerful a piece of software it is.

M4_u was a good little conference, again, organisation and experience-wise it could do with taking a leaf out of FOTB, but then this was more academic than I was initially aticipating, however, the chap who’d organised the whole thing… who was he? He did do a great job though.

M4_u Leicester – Day one

Posted in conferences, creative practice, culture, music, research, software with tags , , , on 15/01/2012 by sync24

M4_u Leicester:

I went to the first UK based MAX conference in Leicester (of all places…) with PM this weekend. It wasn’t the same experience as Expo74, but the conference itself was only slightly smaller scale-wise.

The conference started with David Zicarelli delivering a supposed keynote talk titled ‘How to be better at Max’, this was a good start to the conference, as David discussed his recent reading around happiness and how people learn & improve. He then showed some patching strategies, and his Keynote presentation seemed to disappear. He wasn’t as shy as in Brooklyn, which was great as he talked for a full hour.

Next up was Richard Garrett and his ‘nwdlbots’, generative devices for Ableton Live. I’m not really much of a Live user, so it was good to see how the software works, I did struggle to maintain my attention as I the ‘generative’ element wasn’t really to my taste.

The third talk of the morning was from Luke Woodbury about ‘Max and special needs’. This was great, Luke was employed to build devises and facilitate a special needs dept in a school and looks like he’s done an amazing job of it! He showed various techniques he’s used for developing methods of interaction, getting the students attention and helping the teachers. He confirmed my thoughts about the Wiimote (unreliable bluetooth with Macs) and reinforced thoughts about i-devices using TouchOSC etc.

By the time the third talk ended, it appeared there was ano overlap with the Workshops and I needed a break, so skipped ‘Binaural Spatialisation’ with Lorenzo Picinali

After lunch Bret Battey talked about his work and ‘Compressed Feedback Synthesis’. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but once he got going and played some examples I was sold. Bret reminded me of NC, and seemed to keep catching himself lost in the moment when describing how sounds morphed and changed, surely great to have as a teacher!
The compressed feedback synthesis was great, systems which grabbed audio feedback and compressed it, stretching it out for long periods. It reminded me of some sounds I had explored in the 90s with my Zoom effects unit and four track tape machine, oh, and the visuals he does are amazing too.

(and here’s one of my tracks)

Brett was followed by Tarik Barri who gave a quick potted history, and talked about the development of his brilliant ‘Versum’ 3D world. Tarik also provides VJ visuals for people. I commented to PM that through Tariks talk, he seemed to make a sudden jump from playing about with Max, to writing stuff in Java and SuperCollider… he didn’t really talk about this much, so he must have taken it in his stride!
Versum is fantastic and was exhibited in a side room where the user could fly through the audio/visual space using the 3D mouse.