Old Tech Perservance

Success! But it was hard won…

Ages ago I bought two MOTU 828 interfaces to connect my modular synth to my main Mac, which uses the MOTU AVB interfaces – a 1248 and a 16A. While the AVB interfaces were easy to connect up, getting my head around the patching took some work… And by work I mean perseverance. In that case I ended up plugging a drum machine in and tracing it through the virtual routing until I had everything patched as I wanted. I then added a first 828, using it in free standing A/D mode as its sitting by modular synth and the easiest cabling to my other interfaces was to get some long ADAT/fibre cables. I got it connected and working but it took some perseverance, since the 828 also needs to follow the master clock. I did that a year or two ago… and promptly forgot what a fckng hassle it is…

Yesterday, after putting it off for ages, I decided I’d connect the second 828 via the same process. That way I can record 16 channels of modular direct to DAW. Four hours later I was beginning to lose the plot as I thought I had the two 828 interfaces set up exactly the same. I did not. I had forgotten that the first time I did this I followed the steps in an article, and this time I was just trying to logic it out…

About 11pm last night I finally used the right search term & found this article:

Using a MOTU audio interface as a standalone A/D or D/A converter

I had forgotten that it is a unique/non-standard use for these interfaces, and is not possible to enable just by using the front panel controls on the interface. First I tried connecting my ancient laptop to the 828 via USB but it would not recognise it at all, no matter what drivers I installed. Such was my frustration, at this point I tried connecting via firewire! Finding the cables & adaptors was a challenge but I got them, connected up & nothing…

Two bourbons later I thought I’d check if its supported to connect my little M2 laptop to this ancient interface via USB and I was surprised to discover it was!! Next I had to install new MOTU drivers etc to my M2 laptop which required jumping through some hoops… ie relogging into my laptop & setting it to ‘less secure’ mode to allow driver install. And of course my M2 laptop does not have old USB so I connected via a hub, hoping it would still see it. I rebooted & sucecss!

About midnight I had sixteen channels of modular rattling the walls & I zoned out for another few hours, enjoying the ad hoc patch I built for testing…




All of this is simply to reshare that article.
I don’t think I would ever have worked out how to get the old 828 interfaces to do what I wanted without it, the process is very non-intuitive. So if someone finds this by googling ‘MOTU stand alone routing 828 interface’ or something, then please go read this article & follow the steps carefully:

Using a MOTU audio interface as a standalone A/D or D/A converter

So my setup now looks AND works like this:

Running 4 ADAT cables is much easier than audio cables, but ideally it would all be AVB and then its as easy as a typical basic Ethernet network… Of course there are limitations with the old 828 interfaces. They are DC coupled, so I can use them for CV although thats not the primary aim. But to get all sixteen channels across via ADAT the sample rate limit is 48k. If I use 96k then the number of channels across ADAT halves, so I’d still have 8 channels at 96kHz eg for higher rez sampling.

Next project to implement:
I bought a SOMA Illuminator last year, which basically enables using 8 channels of CV to control LED lights (or DC motors etc) so I am going to connect it up as an experiment ‘visualising’ some of my modular patches. I’m sure my first test will be a Ryoji Ikeda style stroboscopic overload, but I am intrigued to try with some smaller LED installs. For example imagine putting short sections of LED lights inside glass objects or some other kind of visual diffuser… Eight channels is enough to visualise a step sequencer or individual drums from a beat…. The idea of controlling (& sequencing!) DC motors or any other kinds of DC activated devices is deeply intriguing…

A demo by SOMA:



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▶ the classic – watch CR8000 demo on Youtube

“Nobody in these type of reviews ever mentions the “Register” feature on the CR8000 which is its secret weapon. Also the real time swapping between shuffle mode. The greatest drum machine Roland ever made.”

The Roland CR-8000 CompuRhythm drum machine had a unique “Register” function that allowed users to program and store their own rhythmic patterns and fills. Specifically:
– It had 8 programmable “registers” that could each store a 2-bar rhythm pattern.
– It also had 4 programmable “fill” registers to store short fill-in patterns.
– Users could chain these registers together in any order to create longer rhythmic sequences and songs.
– This “Register and Arranger” section gave the CR-8000 more real-time pattern creation and arrangement capabilities compared to other drum machines of its era.”



▶ a great read: Exploring Can Drummer Jaki Liebezeit’s E-T Rhythm Theory





Ideas and Creativity



▶ excellent bonkers Robot Slide Whistle project



▶ apocalyptic SHIPBREAKING photos…
Interesting to visit the area in Bangladash on google maps



▶ Forget Snakes on a Plane…. MASKS ON A PLANE!



▶ I’m so tired of crypto web3 LLMs.
The ChatGPT wrapper product



▶ Have you been eating rocks again?



WTF did Google train their dumbass AI on?






▶ How to Turn off AI Overview in Google – Set “Web” as default





▶ Wokeness wins again! Huzzah!



Images that sound





▶ Webinar: Hasselblad Lens Design
I’ve cued the vid for the XPAN lens history





Move fast & break things, including the law?

I never heard the new AI voice thing, other than on The Daily Show where they rightly skewered it for what it was… But today I saw on twitter a copy of Scarlett Johanssons statement, and wow…

The old saying about begging for forgiveness rather than asking permission doesn’t apply when you did actually ask permission, were denied & proceeded regardless. Someone mentioned a relevant precedent of ‘Waits versus Frito-Lay’ so I did a quick search and now have even more respect for Tom Waits.

Basically he has always refused to work on ads, and was asked to voice an ad for some snack food. So they found a ‘sound-alike’ and proceeded regardless. Waits sued & was awarded US$2.6 million in compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees! Summary of events is here

Now imagine how much Johansson will be suing for!



to add, a little doco about the Tom Waits case





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▶ Andreas Tilliander & Goran Kajfes – Moon of Eris (2024)



▶ Cio D’Or — Hecto



▶ Cio D’Or – Hecto (Electric Indigo & Monolake Remix)



▶ Wandres/Manik, Teruna Jaya gamelan animated graphical score





My First Avocado

As winter starts to kick in I imagine my garden slowly winds down activity, but I went for a wander just now & one of the three avocado trees I moved outdoors last year has its first fruit!

Weirdly it’s the middle sized avocado tree. The smallest one is struggling a bit, while the largest one has been growing lots & looks very healthy without producing any fruit… So maybe next Summer it might start producing, but I am stoked to see the first avocado! I was surprised to learn avocados do not ripen on the tree – you have to pick them & only then do they ripen.

The chillies are still doing well despite the temperature being cooler… although they are all in the greenhouse so a bit warmer there, and I am going to do everything I can to keep them alive through winter… for a big crop next Summer

This chilli bush is looking good but it only produces tiny chillies, as small as the finger nail on your little finger… For scale you can see some below drying, beside normal size chilli:

The dried ones sound so good in this metal tray – crispy dry!



Detritus 743





▶ hype from superbooth & then checks prices lol



10 essential dub techno albums



▶ a speed run of US politics #crazytimes



▶ Tom Waits Reunites With Jim Jarmusch for new film Father Mother Sister Brother a “comedy interwoven with threads of melancholy,” told as a triptych. It will also have a musical component, Jarmusch has said.



▶ The guy who wrote all the train station jingles in Tokyo!





▶ progress with Korgs new physical resonator thingy



Cornelius Cardew 1936-1981, an impressionistic, lively documentary (free to view) in which Cardew’s unusual method of scoring music is demonstrated, and seminal British improv group AMM, featuring Keith Rowe, John Tilbury and Eddie Prévost, deliver a tense, rare performance



▶ whoah: Silhouette Optical Synthesizer







▶ We living in crazy times





▶ “You might wonder why I have called this meeting…





Friday finds

His description made me laugh. I had collected up half a dozen sonic props – a ratchet & some springs, 2 plastic dinosaurs & a book… And he says ‘did you see the box?

‘The box’ was this lovely old tongue drum with a pair of felt disc mallets.

Thank you Helter Skelter!

My ‘to sample’ list only ever seems to get bigger





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▶ GoGo Penguin Live in Tokyo



▶ Paul St. Hilaire & René Löwe – Faith



▶ Hauschka – Ping (Vainqueur Remix)



▶ Petar Dundov – Oasis (Substance & Vainqueur Remix)





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▶ James Blake & Brian Eno – Talking Robots Into Heaven



▶ Adobe Alternatives – a list of alternatives for Adobe software originally collected by @XdanielArt and improved upon by the community.









▶ Dorian Concept – Decaying Duet



▶ useful wiki for Audio-Video Post-Production



▶ Let’s dissect Apple’s terrible iPad ad: “These are not people who listen to their audience. They are solipsistic navel-gazers in a hall of mirrors. They are out to please themselves first, and their peers second, their clients third, and if the ad campaign resonates with the audience, well, that’s a nice bonus.”

▶ alt theory: Ad agencies test such high profile ads with focus groups. They would already know that it tested badly with a certain percentage of the audience and they would know why. They were not manufacturing consent. They were manufacturing outrage. Damage control would be part of the plan. The “apology” was already written.



Nikon bought Red for just $85million



J.G. Ballard Predicts the Rise of Social Media in 1977





▶ amazing skills – 245m Cave Dive in the Pearse Resurgence, New Zealand!



▶ even more amazing skills!





Two new HISSandaROAR libraries released!


NOTE: 33% discount expires in 48 hours
Our crash test dummy has been falling over a lot recently – mostly outdoors. He’s been falling over on the driveway, the lawn, concrete path, in gravel and into bushes, ferns, branches and forest debris. A few ‘body drags’ were also recorded on gravel, as useful elements.
Some falls down a flight of stairs also created some great thumpy interior tumbles & falls.

It’s hard work throwing around a 20kg boxing bag wearing overalls, augmented with pumpkin, potatoes, a pool noodle and some gloves. This is the third evolution of this method…




NOTE: 33% discount expires May 18th

This library is based on an idea I came up with while working on the film THE WARRIOR’S WAY which involved a lot of Samurai sword fighting action. We recorded swords chopping & slicing vegetables, but there were so many decapitations in the film I wanted more variety… And more grit! Especially when needing to ‘cut through’ loud action music!

What I found was that slicing a sword through sand produced an interesting sound, which could be varied depending on the sword or object used and the texture and density of the sand. For this library I expanded the concept.

After recording a range of weapons on location in a sand dune, I then collected up buckets full of sand, fine base metal, gravel and tiny stones and recorded them in my foley room. Slowly grinding a sword into gravel sounds excruciating, especially imagining it augmented with some Vegetable Violence squelch and/or Slime Moves. I also recorded versions after wetting the sand and gravel… And those stabs and slices sound even more gruesome!!



Shelly Bay

For anyone not local, Shelly Bay is an area on Miramar Peninsula which has been hotly contested for many years as to who and how it should be developed. It had an old wharf with some industrial buildings and the area also had half a dozen old buildings, some dating back to WW2. Anyway, Peter Jackson bought it to stop a $500 million housing development… He has a home on Miramar Peninsula and all of his film facilities (Park Road Post, Weta, Sound Stages etc) are all in Miramar, so he very much has a vested interest. I actually expected him to announce a Film Theme Park or something for Shelly Bay, but it seems they want to preserve it… “Peter and Fran hope the remainder of the peninsula becomes the long-promised public reserve.”

Anyway I hadn’t been over that part of Wellington for a while and was in town the other day & needed to finish a roll of film in my XPAN so I could drop them to SPLENDID lab, so I drove around to Shelly Bay & was quite surprised at the developments. The old wharf is still hanging on… but only just, its fairly dilapidated. But the old industrial buildings were all gone, as were most of the other buildings. The only thing remaining seemed to be the Chocolate Fish Cafe and one other building which looks prepped for demolition. Everywhere else was… wooden fences! Like they have enclosed all of the land with a 6 foot high wooden fence. It looks pretty terrible but I guess is necessary for safety, with all the development work that will be going on there for years to come…

Vaguely related, I saw this image on Instagram by some Korean photographers and thought wow!!

I notice when shooting with my drone, how you only need to fly a few metres up & the perspective shift is so huge… So for a long time I’ve dreamed of a way to elevate my XPAN and maybe one of these tall tripods with a stepladder is the way!

I do like Ansel Adams solution though: