HISSandaROAR Sound Design Challenge 02

Check that FFT from the Sanken CUX100K mics! Spectral content all the way to 96kHz!

So I just released a new library at HISSandaROAR: UFX032 PRESSURE STOP RELEASE

This library is an idea found while working on a different library, experimenting with negative pressure (ie suction) and positive pressure. I noticed that when some rubber sheet or plastic suddenly blocked the suction, it created a solid ‘thump’ when pulled free. The rapid release of pressure seemed interesting & slowed down lights up my subwoofer! So I collected up all the accidental pressure suction stops & releases from those recordings and then I set about exploring this one specific technique, purposefully restricting suction and then restricting positive pressure from my compressor, creating very sharp transients and spectrum up to 96kHz. As with IRs and convolution, the ‘noise’ aspect of the sounds means they respond strongly to processing.

If you’d like to have a play with these sounds, I’ve launched a little sound design challenge…
Using the five 192kHz sounds provided, make something extraordinary & send me a link!
I’ll give away as many copies of the full library as there are extraordinary entries.
Download and more info HERE



AI Sound Effects

A new AI thing launched a few days ago, which can generate sound effects from a text prompt:

From all of my posts criticising the hype of AI, I do try to keep an open mind but also keep the ‘critical thinking’ gears engaged.
With any of these AI projects, my first two questions are:
1. what was it trained on? did they have permission?
2. what are the rights for anyone who uses it?

So for Q1: First I hunted through their website and could find no mention whatsoever of what it was trained on, which seems strange. But checking their twitter feed they announced: “Thank you to our partners @Shutterstock who provided licensed tracks from their expansive and diverse audio library to help create our model.”

More on that in a second, but for Q2 there is nothing in their terms about copyright. Who owns a sound effect that is generated? Why this matters is that if a film soundtrack is audited, or a DMCA notice submitted to a production company due to a possible copyright breach, then there has to be proof that a legit license exists for the use case. Without it, the sound effects are worthless for professional work.

I eventually found a contact for legal questions and submitted a request:

“I have searched your terms & conditions but cannot find the answer to a very simple question. Can you please advise? When I generate a sound effect with your new AI product, who owns the copyright of the generated sound?”

This morning I got an initial response:

“Thank you for reaching out with your question about copyright for sound effects generated with our AI product. I understand that clear information about ownership is important, and I appreciate your patience as I look into this for you.
 I’m going to escalate this question with our legal department to get the specific details and ensure you have an accurate answer on this as it’s a new feature. I’ll get back to you as soon as possible with the information you need.”

So they launched a product without clear legal info on the rights of use.

While I wait for an answer from the legal team I kept searching.
First I found this:

Wow ok. So you “can” use it for commercial purposes BUT you are the one who is liable for it.
I kept reading. Then I found this:

While you the user are liable to the full extent of the law, they are protected to a maximum of US$100.

Next I thought I’d check out what Shutterstock have to say about AI, since it is their sounds being mashed up by the AI.
With regards to compensation for people who upload media to their site, for licensing they state:


It feels like a pattern is forming: “all care, no responsibility.”

I’ll update this when the legal team clarify the actual use of their “text to sound effects generator”

Next I thought I will try it out, how useable is it?
The hype is certainly there in large letters.

Now I don’t know if this is the marketing department having too much coffee, or their example users having very small imaginations but one thing I can assure you is that no, they cannot generate any sound imaginable. When I have mentioned the pathetic hype associated with AI on this forum many times, this is what I mean. Sure, make marketing claims. But don’t promise the entire world of sound when (a) you can’t and (b) you dont even have the legal framework resolved.

From my tests I found that the sounds it generated were very low fidelity, like worse than a $200 handheld recorder quality. And the specificity is non-existent. A very explicit text description might get vaguely close one or two times out of ten. Now I can imagine the typical response is ‘but wait, it will get better’ but that idea has some issues. First, it only gets better with a combination of (a) more data and (b) user feedback. Eg if you ask for a “brick thrown on the bonnet of a car” and you choose the 10th version, you are then training the AI with user feedback. Good luck with that, you’ll need a lot of people with spare time on their hands…

But to that point, what I really discovered, or realised was that “AI Generation” is incredibly unreliable and the only thing that makes it useful is a human sifting through the useless crud looking for a gem. And by a gem, I do not mean a pearl or a diamond. I mean a bit of coal, or a stone, or something even remotely useful. Why is that a problem? Well as the quote goes “Time is the school in which we learn, Time is the fire in which we burn.” The one thing all humans have in common is that time is their most valuable commodity. When I think of how a sound effects editor or sound designer works, they have a huge resource right in front of them: their sound library. And when they put a “text prompt” into their sound library app, eg if there is a “brick thrown on to a bonnet” it will be shown immediately. They audition it & beginning working with it. Some sounds require many components and some of the best components have nothing to do with the first search term at all. People have been putting lion roars etc into explosions etc for a very long time. We love that!

But AI reduces you to someone auditioning sounds from an unreliable low resolution source, where even explicit descriptions do not guarantee anything even vaguely close. It really is like the ‘use glue on your pizza’ google AI search.

I’m sure they will continue receiving VC to progress whatever it is they aim to achieve. But the residual thoughts I have at this stage are:

– its a solution looking for a problem. Casual use on their free tier does not keep the lights on. They have to find a paid commercial use.

– AI use like this will die from a thousand cuts. Just as there are legal ambulance chasers, there will also be AI copyright infringement lawyers, who will gum up the aspirations of these companies before they ever get to the point of it being fully functional. Its a whole new industry for them, and ironically they will be using AI to do it!

I’ll update this when their team clarify the legality of use…

Ok thanks for coming to my TED talk


And today, another:

“The new model was trained on audio data from FreeSound and the Free Music Archive. This allowed us to create an open audio model while respecting creator rights.”

I have submitted a request to them too, for clear legal guidance on use.

FreeSound terms are here

“License restrictions when publishing new sounds that include/modify/remix other sounds…

I have also submitted a request to Freesound, asking if they are aware & whether it follows allowed use. And also whether there is an OPT OUT button for FreeSound users.




Update 1: from Free Music Archive
“We did not give Stability.ai permission.
To be continued.
Team Tribe of Noise”

Update 2:
“All audio files are licensed under CC0, CC BY, or CC Sampling+”

I found this info here:

If you look at the repo where the model is actually hosted they specify
> All audio files are licensed under CC0, CC BY, or CC Sampling+.
These explicitly permit derivative works and commercial use.
> Attribution for all audio recordings used to train Stable Audio Open 1.0 can be found in this repository.
So it’s not being glossed over, and licenses are being abided by in good faith imo.
I wish they’d just added a sentence to their press release specifying this, though, since I agree it looks suspect if all you have to go by is that one line.
(Link: https://huggingface.co/stabilityai/stable-audio-open-1.0#dat… )


Datasets Used
Our dataset consists of 486492 audio recordings, where 472618 are from Freesound and 13874 are from the Free Music Archive (FMA). All audio files are licensed under CC0, CC BY, or CC Sampling+. This data is used to train our autoencoder and DiT. We use a publicly available pre-trained T5 model (t5-base) for text conditioning.

Attribution for all audio recordings used to train Stable Audio Open 1.0 can be found in this repository.
FreeSound attribution [csv]
FMA attribution [csv]

Update 3
Freesound has written a blog post discussing the issue



The past is a foreign country..

..they do things differently there.”

They also made things to last!
I’m slowly building a workshop for myself, to enable more complex physical instrument & sound effect prop creation. But having bought some tools over the years & see them break, I’ve decided that whenever possible & practical, I am going to build my workshop out of old school gear. For example I picked up this ancient mitre saw today for $25

It is heavy, still works as well as the day it was made and even came with a couple of pencils! It has the name ‘Stanley’ cast into some of the parts, which is a well known modern brand in NZ but a quick search reveals they started in 1843!

My Uncle Ken who passed away a few years ago was a mechanical genius and their workshop had many big & very complex lathes, and it was very difficult finding a good home for his gear. I suspect it is an ongoing issue to be solved for every family, where their beloved parent or grandparent had a home workshop, shed or garage with tools they had used for many decades – maintaining & sharpening them, rather than the modern crud that goes to landfill as soon as it breaks.

While I was over picking up the saw, I stopped off at Helter Skelter again, and despite thinking I had found everything relevant for my current missions last time I visited, I was wrong.

These zing and chime and resonate in uniquely interesting ways!

For locals, see previous post for Helter Skelter details/







nuzic 262



▶ sideproject – sourcepond



▶ goat (JP) – Joy In Fear



▶ SND & RTN – Tales From The Outer Rim EP



▶ Church Andrews & Matt Davies – Yucca



▶ Dorian Concept – ‘Hide (CS01 Version)’



▶ Enno Velthuys – A Glimpse of Light [Full Album] (1984)

So little is known about the son of Dutch children’s writer Max Velthuijs; the late, enigmatic and influential Enno Velthuys. So little is known in fact that even his death in 2009 went almost entirely unknown of until a few years after the fact. But that really is the perfect fit to the music of Velthuys; mysterious, unique, almost entirely forgotten…

From “Perfect Sound Forever”:
“Velthuys released six cassettes during his life, which can be found online, but they have never gotten to a proper re-issue yet. It’s a dream that (Hessel) Veldman also has. “I had an appointment with Douglas McGowan of Yoga Records in Amsterdam, where we talked about reissuing the work of Enno Velthuys. I even gave him the master-reels of Landscapes In Thin Air, thinking he would seriously re-issue the music. Now it’s two years later and still, Enno’s music is obscure and hard to get. (I) hope sometime things will turn out better for Enno Velthuys and his wonderful unique music.”



▶ Enno Velthuys ‎- Landscapes In Thin Air



Detritus 745





▶ AES E-LIBRARY – free download
The Role of Communication and Reference Songs in the Mixing Process: Insights From Professional Mix Engineers



▶ “I know from working in big studios that 14 hours a day in a studio without windows sucks; it drains you and there’s nothing inspiring. When we have the opportunity to have natural light, we keep it at all costs.” – from this interview
I couldn’t agree more & I’ve always had natural light in my studios… After many weeks of a film mix in a dark room, it was always a relief to get back to the light..



How Actors Remember Their Lines



▶ 29.05.24 Drone footage from the new volcano eruption in Iceland



▶ the question every influencer needs to be asked




















▶ French Fuse













VEH003 Trailer Onboard released!

Last year I inherited my Dads vintage 1928 Chev Roadster, and I also inherited his car trailer for transporting it. February I moved the Chev up to Wellington and I noticed the sounds the trailer makes. It has a light steel wind-shield at the front which rattles, while the deck is made of solid steel with plating, so it has a lot of interesting resonances. Being a trailer there is also minimal engine and exhaust noise.

The trailer was rigged with six mics and my Sony a6300 camera:
– Sennheiser MKH8040 LR, one close up on each wheel
– Sennheiser MKH8020 pair sheltered LR behind the wind shield
– Sennheiser MKH8050 sheltered centre behind the wind shield
– LOM Geofon on chassis, capturing rumble.

The surfaces driven on include:
– up & down my driveway, scraping plants & bushes
– suburban driving 0-50kmph (0-30mph)
– suburban arterial route driving 50-70kmph (30-45mph)
– highway driving 90kmph 55mph
– gravel road driving 0-50kmph(0-30mph)
– driving over multiple judder bars/speed bumps 0-10kmph (0-5mph)

Recorded 32bit 192kHz this new library is released multitrack 24bit 96kHz with full UCS metadata and photos..

33% Intro discount expires June 9th!



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:



Detritus 744



▶ 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





nuzic 261



▶ 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