Contact mics for Xmas

wahoo – Contact Mics arrived just in time for the holidays, thanks Leafcutter John – these are going to be used primarily with 4 x Mutable Instruments Ears Modules… but I will do some side by side recording tests with the Barcus Berry Planar Wave


10,045 Xmas presents have just been delivered, and as there are some fun & quirky sounds in the present I thought I’d post them here too…

CICADA Kamikaze flying wing buzz hits light shade
One evening last summer a rather confused cicada somehow got in my house and was buzzing around the lights in my studio. Occasionally it would hit one of the glass light shades, each of which has a different pitch, so I thought I might as well set up my microphones… I love the thrum of its wings, but the recording slowly turned into a weird random percussion track….

CREAK METAL Fireguard shrill
The house I rented in Charleston earlier this year while recording Cave Ambiences (one of the new libraries coming in 2017) had a fireplace and while it wasn’t actually cold, one night I decided to light the fire for entertainment (its better than most TV!) As soon as I opened the metal fire guard I stopped in my tracks at the horrendous metal shriek it made. So of course the next night I set up my microphone and recorded about an hour of various moves & hits with it….

DEBRIS Impact Cane chair throw
DEBRIS Impact metal drum hits
DEBRIS Impact recycling bottles cans hit rattle

I like the Japanese idea of O-souji, the end of year custom to clean your house so it is ready for the New Year. My house has a covered back porch which over the course of 2016 has slowly filled up with various crud. So before I clean it all up I decided to throw it around & record it!

DRAIN water drips wave booms
My neighbor here in Plimmerton knows about my sonic obsession and one day mentioned this great sound he had heard down in the local park. There is a stream that flows through the park and out to the sea via a large covered drain, maybe 500m from the park to the ocean. We had a very large king tide one day, so at high tide I wandered down to the park with my 722, 8040s and boom and stuck my microphones down between the grating of the drain. The tide was so high the waves were making a great soft BOOM sound every so often…

GONG 1A Soft mallet hard hit
GONG 1B Soft mallet soft hit
GONG 1C Medium mallet medium hit
GONG 1D Hard mallet medium hit

In the photo the gong you are hearing is the largest one, direct in front of the microphones. I rented these gongs from a local percussionist and am going to spend some quiet time over the holidays, exploring & recording them for a new HISSandaROAR library in 2017. So if you have a gong sound you’d like email me! (I also plan to deep sample each gong for velocity layers and round robin, for release on when it launches in 2017!)

SUCTION CUP Shower matt INT verb
This shower matt was in the same house as fireguard grating, and as the bathroom was one of those tiled wet rooms, it made some great sounds as it released from the floor! I’d like to record more of this, without the bathroom reverb!

WIND Boatyard yacht whistle rattle flap
This was recorded at Plimmerton Boat Club during a Northerly gale, which in NZ sounds ferocious but is actually quite warm (unlike the Southerly direct from the South Pole) – I suspect this recording could be great source material for Doppler-izing!

Happy Holodaze

Thats about it for me for 2016!


Have a great holiday & New Year
and if you’re travelling, stay safe!


See you in 2017




HISSandaROAR Xmas present is being sent tomorrow morning, exclusively to our mail list.
Sign up if you want it!

Favourites from 2016

Second Woman – Second Woman
Segue – Over The Mountains
African Head Charge – Return Of The Crocodile
Ital Tek – Hollowed
Jack Garratt – Phase
Kyoka – SH
Moderat – III
Machinedrum – Human Energy
Lil Silva – Jimi
Jay Glass Dubs – New Teeth For An Old Country
Marc Ernestus’ Ndagga Rhythm Force – Yermande
Mark Pritchard – Under The Sun
GoGo Penguin – Man Made Object
Ryoji Ikeda live at www Shibuya

Cemetery of Splendour
The Handmaiden
Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World
Heart of a Dog
Embrace of the Serpent
Captain Fantastic

All highly reccomended!

Detritus 408



▶ mmmm ER301


▶ apparently they have ID’d that mysterious sound coming from the Mariana Trench!


▶ no doubt you’ve seen posted elsewhere, where you can supposedly explore radio stations from all over the globe… but you have to ask yourself what kind of global radio stream aggregator can only find 2 radio stations in all of Japan?!? Even a very simple Google search finds dozens… #WTF? #APIfail?


Detritus 407

▶ re finishing things…


▶ Artist recreates Sgt. Pepper’s cover with stars who died in 2016


▶ I own some BBC Sound effects LPs but not these two – squeaky eyeballs? uncomfortable silences?


▶ “we’ve lost the battle for the everlasting carrier. We just need to concentrate on everlasting content.”


▶ Spitfire just posted ‘Scoring a Film’ – part 3 – previously part 2 and part 1


▶ maybe not the reaction they were hoping for?


▶ ‘entre límites / zwischen grenzen – berlin is a large group exhibition in Berlin as a climax of a three-year residency and exchange project between Mexican and German sound art artists, more info here


▶ success in the music industry takes many forms – all I can say is, I hope she has some synths in there with all those cats!!


▶ wow love this guys work: Preserving the little-known works of a groundbreaking Guatemalan sound artist – also on kickstarter


▶ In my youth I rented & lived in an old church in central Christchurch – it was a strange modernist concrete church and weirdest of all the main big room had a tap in the corner, no sink or anything… just a tap. I presumed it was holy water, but never tested that theory… Anyway, if you’ve ever lived in a factory or warehouse space this is a great read & reflection on the recent tragedy:
The Paradox of Life Affirming Death Traps


▶ If you have some travel during the upcoming holidays (or just need some interesting listening) there are some great reccomendations of interesting podcasts here



Detritus 406


▶ Such interesting times in the analog world: vinyl outsells digital for music in the UK for the first time, combines with the irony of seeing ads on local TV for vinyl ‘hear your favourite albums like never before… on vinyl’ and one of their examples is a Bob Marley LP released on vinyl 30+ years ago… And this: how a chatbot helped this vinyl records startup make $1 Million in 8 months!
In the end its all good news, especially when you consider the accompanying resurgence in great artwork, for example check out this gorgeous & profoundly inspired work: The 20 best record sleeves of 2016


▶ “First test using the Kanjira to play the Buchla.
The Buchla 230e is key in achieving this. I mult the input to pre 1 into the other 2 followers to get different gates and envelopes.
The Buchla 230e is completely brilliant, the preamps sound lovely and the gate/envelope extraction is a wonder.

Kanjira is a Southern Indian frame drum played in Carnatic music to accompany the Mridangam. Its an amazing little drum and is quite versatile. If you want to hear what it is capable of then you should check out these dudes Ganesh Kumar, G Harishankar (Legend), Pete Locket etc. Do a search, this drum will blow your mind. Also check out Trichy Sankarin, a Mridangam player (my absolute favourite) but he also plays a pretty mean Kanjira.”

inspiring work by d4nnyp


▶ The History of Rhythm with Evelyn Glennie (thanks Luis!)


▶ re fake news


▶ do you know the work of czech photographer Josef Koudelka? incredibly beautiful panoramas!!
check these full screen


▶ equally fascinating, the back story to 100 classic TIME photos



▶ great interview with Carl Stone


▶ rage room or recording opportunity?


▶ a Juno 106 in your browser? no, of course not… but a fun emulation


▶ I would LOVE to hear the work of Andy Cavatorta IRL (thanks Jeremy!)


nuzic 15

▶ Nightmares on Wax – World Inside


▶ new Paul St. Hilaire & Rhauder album coming on Sushitech in January!


▶ new Eno album announced


▶ Nathan Fake – Degreelessness on NinjaTune


▶ Alex Coulton – Gamma Ray Burst EP (check out where this track gets to from about the 1’00” mark!!)






A few abstract photos from the 4th HISSandaROAR Library I am actively working on…


This is kinda fascinating… I’ve read before of projects converting light into sound, but those were primarily for creative reasons… The Optophone was created in the 1920s to help blind people read, by scanning text and converting it into… well… I’ll let you be the judge – skip to 3’55” to skip the lecture and hear it in operation:

More info at How We Read: A Sensory History of Books for Blind People