Scattered Light 147

Having lived all my adult life in cities I have to say I love now living surrounded by bush, with all the wildlife that it supports. All of these photos were taken within about ten minutes yesterday…


As Spring is just starting there are lots of young Tui flitting about, learning to be birds







shot with Canon 5DmkIII and EF100-400L lens

Melody Farm

My two sisters (and five of my nine nieces & nephews) live in Pukerua Bay, the next suburb over from my place in Plimmerton. And knowing me & my obsessions as they do, they always let me know when they are doing something I might be interested in, which is why this afternoon I got to go visit an audio museum by the name of…


The lovely elderly couple who own Melody Farm have done so for 50+ years, and in its heyday regularly had busloads of visitors… Nowadays they are nearing the age of making the inevitable/unenviable shift to a retirement village, but their enthusiasm has not diminished one iota… So this afternoon we got a grand tour of their fantastic collection!


Beautiful old turntables & acoustic amplifiers!


And the coolest jukebox I have ever seen!


They also had a formidable collection of player pianos!


Every time I see a player piano score my mind does a triple flip: am I looking at [a] a knitting machine pattern [b] an early 80s punch card computer program or [c] a musical score. I am less interested in the answer & more interested in the idea of a genius hacker/composer who can only be identified by the cut of their jersey…


I was impressed with this player piano external add on & started imagining lining up percussion instruments beneath its hammers…


While it wasn’t intentional, visiting this museum on the same day as Apples big little new product announcements had me thinking about user interfaces…


These archaic devices have far better user interfaces than any silly watch! (Is it not ironic that I stopped wearing a watch the day I started always carrying a cellphone?)


There is simply no denying the physical, emotional and acoustic character of analogue equipment.


..seeing this beautiful little valve amp made my imagination kick in & wonder what it would sound like, with my SH101 plugged in & cranked up to 11….


or the melancholic anthropomorphism of this radio: its almost pleading to be turned on, and listened to…

Remember MIDI?

I’m old enough to remember when MIDI was steam powered, well practically! My first MIDI experiences were using Studio Vision Pro with my trusty Mac Quadra 700 and a Juno 106… While digital audio has made quantum leaps in fidelity, methodology, UI and processing, it feels not that much has changed with MIDI. Recording and editing MIDI in ableton LIVE or ProTools doesn’t feel different enough to warrant the decades since I was doing the same in StudioVision but at last I feel a bit like the hardware has made a development worth mentioning…


Someone mentioned this on MW Forum a few months back and after being on a waiting list with the Australian distributor for 2 months (who couldn’t give me an actual ship date but required prepay for product + freight!?!) I finally requested a refund & bought one off eBay & had it here a week later! So what exactly is it – another MIDI interface? Well yes and no… It is an iConnect MIDI4+ and it expands MIDI connectivity in a number of unique ways – unique enough that it made me order one!

First of all, it is a multi-host interface. So for example I have a Mac Pro Tower running alongside a MacBookPro and I use both Macs all the time. Both have ProTools, ableton LIVE, Numerology and a bunch of other apps installed, but ideally I want to share all my controllers and keyboards between both computers and this new interface can handle not only that, but it also connects to my ethernet network and can wrangle MIDI over ethernet from/to any device from/to either Mac. Excellent! But wait, theres more!


It also has a dedicated iPad USB port so I can incorporate my iPad as a controller… It also does some things I am not sure I need eg “Audio passThru™ technology which routes audio between devices, simply appearing as an audio interface to the operating systems.”

Expansion-wise if 4×4 isn’t enough MIDI/USB connections, you can also hang a powered USB hub off it and add another 8 MIDI devices..

So I am sold on the idea of what it represents, what I remain to be sold on (and will soon find out) is how its all configured. But over the next few days I am going to find out… So I’ll post a few screenshots once I have my studio set up and functioning…. here is what I am juggling:

Controllers/MIDI sources
Korg SV1 88 key
Yamaha SK1XG mini keyboard
ableton PUSH
novation LaunchPad x2

Modules/MIDI destinations:
Korg SV1 88 key
Doepfer A190 MIDI to CV
Analogue Solutions MT16 MIDI to Trigger
Sequential Circuits SixTrak
Oberheim Matrix 6
Roland Juno 106
Akai Z8 Sampler
BassBot TT303
Mutronics Mutator
Drawmer DS301
& no doubt some other stuff I’ve forgotten…

the iConnect MIDI 4 plus costs US$249 which actually seems a fair price, presuming it all works & I don’t lose days of my life configuring it all ;)

Detritus 315


“Created for the Saint Sauveur chapel in Caen, Caten is a levitating sculpture, determined by gravity and guiding the evolution of a sound composition. 300 fine wires suspended from two ropes, connected themselves at each end to a slowly rotating arm, form an evanescent surface which interacts with the architecture… The sound composition is inspired by the medieval solmisation prayers, especially the first verse of “Ut Queant Laxis”, also known as the “hymn to St John the Baptist”, used in the eleventh century to determine the names of the notes of the scale used in latin countries. At each turn, the engines emit one of the first 4 notes of the scale (Ut, Re, Mi, Fa), creating a sequence of intervals, constantly reconfigured. Low frequencies resonate in the space and emphazise the transcendental character of a place once dedicated to faith.” – more info here



▶ re my newfound interest in getting a tent – here is the perfect one for field recording, up trees at least! thanks Tom


▶ the shape of ideas by grant snider


▶ the colour pallets of films


wait for it…



▶ beautifully surreal gifs


▶ beautifully surreal anthropomorphic/inter-species art




(would love some of these new wireless mics!)


▶ walking and thinking and walking


▶ 1,240 Eurorack video tutorials! via PatchPierre


looks more like an internet cafe than a concert, but thankfully is fairly restrained…


look at those little minds expanding!


Scattered Light 145


infra red pine tree resin, shot with 40d and EF100L macro lens


infra red pine tree stump, shot with 40d and EF100L macro lens

Good Robots

They’re really good robots, and I’ve had a lot of problems with ones before that weren’t very good
Aphex Twin in Rolling Stone


updated, there is a gear list included with the new album,
nice to see a Sound Devices 722 listed as used on most tracks (= capture?)


and “Mum&Dad Vocals”?

Someone has made a spreadsheet of gear vs album track, available here

Scattered Light 143


Mana island, in fleeting light, sunset tonight. Shot with Canon 5DmkIII and EF16-32L lens