Saturday, February 01, 2003

Finally finished circuit bending my Vtech Talking Whiz-Kid Plus. I put two glitch switches in, a kill switch, and 2 potentiometers that are connected to three points on the circuit each. So switches and knobs, basically. I also put in two audio outs, so that I could send one output through my sampler, and the other through my mixer or somesuch. I think I'm going to call it the Glitchcantor. I'm going to paint it, maybe some nice Red and Black random spray paint motif.
So I'm planning on circuit bending this crappy little toy drummachine thing. It plays 4 different little breakbeats, normally. So, I'm going to switch out a resistor with a variable resistor so that you can change the pitch, and I'm also going to put in a passive ring modulator to make the beats sound really strange. For a reference signal for the ring modulator, I'm probably going to use the audio output of a tiny AM radio, or somesuch, so the sound should change over time, depending on what is on the radio.
"GoogleSynth uses the Google Image Search thingy to randomly grab two images as the "input" and "target" images for the algorithm. In order to do this GoogleSynth uses a large word list (about 62,000 words) and randomly selects two words from it. It then does a search with each of these words and randomly selects an image from the first page of results. If there is an error it will simply select a new word and try again.

Once it has two images it applies the algorithm with the parameters set by the user and produces a new image based on them. The results vary wildly, often the output is a total mess, but it creates some cool looking stuff now and then (depending on your definition of 'cool')."

via Metafilter
Hopefully, the next time Brock has one of those art shows, I'll be able to do a little interactive art. I plan on, if they let me, putting out a table with some of my circuit bent instruments, and probably a shortwave radio, and I'd have a little sign that says "Please Touch and Play." It would be tres cool. Kind of a little sound sculpture thing.
Went to a very interesting art show/party/performance etc. at Scott Brock's house. Pity Sing performed, and they were great as usual. If you haven't heard them, you should. They're the best band in Fayetteville that doesn't use keyboards. It would have been better if some ASSHOLES knew what inside voices were. But, c'est la vie, non?

Saw Misha and Laura, and admitted that I read their livejournals. Misha's photography is exquisite. I wish I had that kind of talent.

Listening to Batucada, by Walter Wanderley. Cheesy Bossa Nova Jazzlite stuff, organs and brushed drums. There's even a picture of a flower power hippy girl on the cover, painted with flowers and with love beads and all. Great stuff.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Reading a very interesting history of analog synthesizers and, to a certain extent, electronic music, called Analog Days. I recommend that you pick it up. If you're interested in the history of modern music at all, you might find it interesting. There are chapters about Wendy Carlos, who did the Switched On Bach album, and on Suzanne Ciani, an early New Age artist who used a Moog synth in quite a lot of her early work.

There's also a very interesting chapter that ties the history of the Grateful Dead with Ken Kesey (One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest), and lots of other experimental music happening in San Fransisco in the 60s and 70s.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Men In Hats. Not to be confused with Men Without Hats.