Detritus 374

▶ the future in augmented reality vehicle sound design?


▶ Tony Conrad – in pursuit of the long string drone


▶ 20 Years of Collaborating with Tarantino with Zero ADR – love this: “There’s no hierarchy in that conversation, that’s just partnering creatively. It’s sort of like storyboarding for sound” – seriously, if you work in film read & reread that interview – so much great philosophy!!


▶ STAR WARS: A Bad Lip Reading


▶ love this (& ordered one!) – a radioactive random/noise source eurorack module!



▶ Interview with Ryuichi Sakamoto about his work on the score for The Revenant by Alejandro Iñárritu


▶ Bjork on Song Exploder (love hearing the reverb choices when they solo tracks of her voice)


Barbiephonic? – a strange project


▶ love these manipulated city portaits


▶ what of the short lived fame for some viral sensations?


▶ playing a frozen lake!


▶ interview with re-recording mixers Chris Burdon and Gilbert Lake about mixing Ron Howards new film


▶ wait for it….


▶ ‘apparently’ (aka ‘could be totally fake’) Netflix has created ‘smart’ socks that sense when you fall asleep and pause the show you’re watching which begs the question, who wears socks in bed!?! Netflix tech dept apparently


▶ this is a case of classic internet research distractions: I’ve started researching microtonal music for an element of a film score I’m writing next year and while wandering around wikipedia saw a link to this article/interview with Aphex Twin, from his Syro release and this part caught my attention:

“there’s some tasty reverb’s listed, what’s your favourite all time reverb box & what got you into reverb as an effect?

rich: i veer more towards the electro mechanical types, so plates, springs, pipes, spaces and gold foil etc.
They are so easy to make yourself as well, with just thin sheet metal, piezo pickups etc and can use as microphones, will sound more interesting than any mic you can buy imo.
contact mic on thin sheet metal, job done, more interesting than expensive mice, although they have their place.
My wife and me made an amazing slinky spring reverb last year, I think it was about 20 slinky springs joined together, suspended around the house, sending sounds down that….

…I replaced the garden hoses inside a urei time cube with different copper tubes, its soo good, I think the original designer stipulated that but urei used garden hose to save money.

Saying that though, got some long lengths flexi plastic tubing +hoover tubes, few months back, old headphone speaker in one end, mic at the other, awesome, sounded especially good feeding back on itself.

With the digital ones, I didnt get a lexicon 480L til a few years ago, mainly coz of price and everyone in old studios has one but they are f’kin amazing in the right hands..,& the original Quantec qrs and of course the Eventide H3000 d/se are absolutely mental lush devices, those ones in particular really envelop the sound rather than tack it on, special blessed bits of equipment.

Of course special mentions have to go to akg 68k [so lushly grainy and some nice granular features], quadraverb, quadraverb is dark and muddy and has nice arrangement of subtle pitch shifting, delays into reverbs etc, can be setup very nicely if you spend the time with it, used on all tracks on SAW1. but can be recreated with other units quite easily but theyre cheap as , so.. ”


what the hell is a Urei Time Cube? UA have an article about it here & while they pursued a virtual implementation, someone has been pursuing a DIY approach – love this comment: “P.s for those looking to build these you should know that Urei based the length of the tubing on 1ft= .884 ms of delay. Therefore to get the two 14ms and 16ms delay lines you will need 4.815M & 5.486M of tubing”

Best use of a garden hose, ever? Maybe… Nothing to do with microtonal music but….
And interesting idea using sheet metal as a microphone – my biggest gong is currently sitting beside my drum kit & if I play loud & stop I hear it resonating… and have often thought I must put my contact mics on it and have a listen – would be an interesting transition, to mix from full rez mics to ‘gong mics’


▶ also Analog Obsession: UREI ObscUREIties


▶ Also from that Aphex interview, love what he says about the Cirklon:

“talking of circlon which I’m pretty much always up for doing these days,
some of my mates were freaked out I made jungle tracks on the circlon inc. trk11 on syro, I just got so deep into circlon, when i first got it, i didn’t know how far i could go with it but I’m like a shorthand typist on that thing now, timing is beautiful, its really re-trained my brain, seriously, now i can hear even more accurately like within 1ms i reckon. its so funny controlling lappy from the circlon which it can do without blinking, love it, can control the computer better than the computer can control itself!
it is the best sequencer ever made til now, in terms of analogue i/o, timing man that box…”


▶ re microtonal music – there is a list of plugs that support microtuning here


▶ more aphex: “Im good mates with the DMG audio boys, who make dope plugins, super top dudes, I got them to add keyboard control to their parametric plugin so you can setup resonant chords with multiple eq bands then shift the chords around with a keyboard input 🙂 , noyce.”


▶ the full interview is a great read – via the wayback machine: part 1 and part 2


▶ thanks Tom!


▶ mmmm DIY Plate reverb


Dawn Summer Solstice 2015


Set an alarm & woke up at 5am on December 22nd for the summer solstice – put my MKH8040s and MKH8020s outside and recorded from 5am through until 8am… Listening back I enjoy the sparser predawn birdsong than the somewhat shrill & busy dawn chorus, have a listen:

Plimmerton, Wellington, New Zealand – 5am on 22nd December 2015

Half speed Plimmerton, Wellington, New Zealand – 5am on 22nd December 2015

Plimmerton, Wellington, New Zealand – 5.45am sunrise on 22nd December 2015

Half speed Plimmerton, Wellington, New Zealand – 5.45am sunrise on 22nd December 2015

I had a play around in Melodyne with these recordings… kinda funny to make the birds ‘snap to E Major’

Original recording (half speed 5am)


“Corrected” recording (half speed 5am)


You can hear dawn recordings from the solstice from a number of other locations here

Boxing day hike


Drone shot from yesterday, half way along the coast on the hike between Pukerua Bay & Plimmerton


Love summer in NZ!

New products in 2016

I am not going to make any of these, but I will buy them… and I think quite a few other people will…



1. laser cut patch cable holder
I don’t want to pay a fortune in shipping to have atoms shipped all the way around the planet when I could easily have something laser cut locally…
Could I design what I need? Maybe, its not rocket science – it just requires a nice mix of practicality, design, ergonomics & – there are threads devoted to the subject on MW, research would be relatively easy and testing even easier….

I currently use a metal cable holder made by Ponoma, which only cost US$20 so no one is going to get rich doing this but for example wouldn’t it be great to get a free laser template from your favourite eurorack module manufacturer next time you buy something?





2. photographers hoody
I kind of have one already, but it isn’t purpose built – its an accident. But I can fit a prime lens in each side pocket, along with spare battery, cable release, lee filters etc… and my keys & phone. A hoody needs to be zip front – pull over hoodys are not practical if doing any physical work. And I am NEVER going to buy (or wear) one of those photographers vests – they look dreadful, like some weird kind of safari suit.
The ideal would have pockets/lens holder made from fabric that wont scratch or damage a lens… And some pockets need to be zippable – nothing makes you appreciate such things as when you are swapping lenses when standing in water: one mistake and $10k of gear is instantly history!
There are plenty of great existing designs for images/design eg these but I want something more focused on practical use… not to advertise I am a quirky photographer…

Not sure if there is a field recordists variation? Stealth recordists maybe…





3. a eurorack sampler module

Its been much discussed on MW Forum, but unlike lots of sampler plugins it needs to be able to record/sample – not just playback… Which then means it needs some basic editing functions and while that might be daunting from a ui perspective TIPTOPS Circadian Rhythm sequencer show how incredibly clever & powerful a module can be without becoming a LCD menu diving nightmare…. Just please make it 24bit 48kHz – seems such a shame to see low rez digital modules (unless its bit crushing/low rez by purposeful design)




How about you? Any dream products that you wish someone would develop?


Favourites from 2015


Alex Humann – Dawn
Burial – Temple Sleeper
Cio D’or – Yocta To Yotta
Daniel Stefanik – Genesis
DeepChord – Ultraviolet Music
Donnacha Costello – Love from Dust
Floating Points – Elaenia
FKA Twigs – M3LL155X
Hudson Mohawke – Lantern
Ibeyi – Ibeyi
Jamie xx – In Colour
Leafcutter John – Resurrection
Luke Vibert – Bizarster
Mark Ernestus’ Ndagga Rhythm Force – Lamb Ji
Masayoshi Fujita – Apologues
Max Richter – Sleep
Olafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm – Collaborative Works
Portico – Living Fields
ro noise – Orion – SSI117
St. Germain – St. Germain
The Orb – Moonbuilding 2703 AD
Vilod – Safe In Harbour
WNDFRM – Formal Variant

+ special thanks to Giles Peterson and Benji B and Alex Cowles and The Wire and RNZ Concert for always opening my ears…



FAVOURITE films/tv:

The Salt of the Earth by Wim Wenders
Cemetery of Splendour by Apichatpong Weerasethakul
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence by Roy Andersson
The Knick – fascinating stats




– flying (& landing) my drone on a tiny fishing boat, Kagoshima, JAPAN
– shooting a shipwreck in pre-dawn Motueka, NZ (waist deep in seawater)
– cast & crew screening of my ARATAKI short film
– walking/circumnavigating Quail island
– spending my 50th with my nearest & dearest
– flying my drone up to an erupting volcano, Kyushu, JAPAN
– hearing (& recording) an Okarito kiwi, NZ – see/listen here
– eating a salad from my own garden (most days of summer, thus far!)




great parody… have we reached peak Star Wars yet? I sure hope so..

The Science of Creativity, with David Byrne

“Neil Tyson explores art, science and creativity with the help of musician and Talking Heads frontman David Byrne. Providing backup are cognitive scientist/pianist Dr. Mónica López-González, composer/programmer Prof. David Cope, and co-host Maeve Higgins, with a guest solo by Bill Nye.”