Moar rain!?!



Look, if it’s going to continue raining then eventually I will run out of props to put my microphones inside!!

6 tuned wind chime pipes x 6 Usi Pro microphones



Rain textures in my Tunnel house
MKH8040x2 + MKH8020 x2 + MKH70x2
Tamarillo x3 + Banana Palm x2 + Satsuma Mandarin x4
Olive Trees x2 + Apricot Tree x1 + Yuzu x2 + Lime x3 + Avacado x3



2 kettles, 3 buckets & a bowl x 6 Usi Pro microphones



Still fckng raining = more tuned pipes!



Still fckng raining = gongs!

They needed dusting, so rather than them getting wet & rusting I am cleaning them with fresh rain water… and then will dry them!





Detritus 592





▶ wow, these Stereograms by Marija Tiurina are fantastic!



▶ Beautifully written: My need to create a sense of abundance





Don’t sell your rights! #filmscore

Funny story: first film I scored was a fairly low budget indie film, but by default it seems all NZ film producers request complete ownership of all rights for all music written for the film. When I saw that statement in the contract I literally LOL’d at the producer and demanded it be removed. WTF you want to own the rights to my music? When did musicians become the enemy?

Don’t sell your rights!

Anyway, three film scores later and I have retained all of my rights to all of my work. But I don’t work for Netflix or any of these studios demanding musicians be stripped of their rights, and I sincerely doubt I ever will.


“Netflix does not use the term “buyouts” to describe contracts in which it buys a musician’s rights to a composition for a flat fee. The company instead uses the term “direct licenses” to refer to deals, in which the streaming service and affiliated production studios directly negotiate with composers, circumventing performing rights organizations that negotiate fees and collect ongoing royalties on behalf of composers.”






▶ related: Your Music Your Future

▶ Reddit: AMA with Carter Burwell



▶ ho diddly ho



▶ G.A.S. takes many forms, and while I know I suffer from it to varying degrees, one of the things that constantly surprises me is photos of peoples modular synths and when you look closely almost every module did not exist 3 years ago! GAS has been very successful in modular synth marketing, but of course it is more complex than that. When I started my modular 10+ years ago I noticed some modules may only have a small release, and either the module, the company or even the creator may disappear (eg rip Mike @Livewire) which encourages a FOMO variant of GAS!

This is a great article about the role G.A.S plays and what it may actually represent.

For me, I have found four ways to avoid G.A.S.
First is to satisfy the itch permanently. As an example I have always wanted an Analogue mixing desk capable of dub mixing, with enough input channels (24) and enough aux sends and buses to route complex effects chains. I spent years researching and hunting for an ideal that I could also afford and settled on first an old Trident desk, which I ended up selling as needed too much work to be reliable, and then finally a Toft ATB 24-8-2 which I love jamming on! The day that desk arrived I completely stopped looking at analog desks, they hold no interest to me anymore as I am satisfied with what I have, not just now but for life.

Second method takes will power: stop looking, stop searching. Limit yourself to what you have, and learn to exploit it. Read the manual, learn everything about it… No one makes you visit forums where there is always a new release that people rave about. Practice “practice not purchase”

Third method is what I now use, and it works. It doesn’t remove G.A.S. it just delays it until it decreases in GASSYness. In your web browser, make a folder in the bookmarks and label it something like ‘2own’ and every time you feel GASSY about some new bit of gear or software or whatever, just save a bookmark specifically to that folder. And think, “yes that looks great, I’ll save it here for now and check out other options’ Just this delaying action alone can make G.A.S. dissipate. And if it doesn’t, then maybe you really do need that new shiny thing! Proof this works? My ‘2own’ folder has 311 bookmarks in it, and skimming through all those bookmarks I think I counted maybe 15 things I actually decided to buy…

A fourth method: order something you really want that is on back order. I have two I am waiting on now, a Korg SQ64 sequencer and a MI Beads module. I ordered both and paid for them 4 months ago, but they are still on backorder, and boy does that take the fun out of buying new tech!





More strange rain..



Yesterday we had a few light showers of rain, so I rigged the above with the two tuned pan drums sitting on milk can resonators (MKH8040 in each) and the two waterphones on their side (hoping for direct hits on the tines) with an MKH8020 in each. Following take I added shiny rubbish tin with an MKH8050 and DPA4060 in it…



This morning a few showers were predicted, so I recorded some more with the above setup and then reset to this:

Each vintage gas tank has an Usi Pro in it = six channel metal rain!





nuzic 169



▶ From the Machine: Volume 1 by Kenneth Kirschner & Joseph Branciforte
Joseph Branciforte: “the music for this album was composed entirely in the max/msp environment (with the help of the bach externals), translated into traditional musical notation, and performed by musicians from international contemporary ensemble & flux quartet.
My collaborator on this project, kenneth kirschner, and I often talk about the sound-processing & synthesis aspects of max, while incredibly powerful, often overshadow the possibilities of using the computer as a processor of *compositional* data. This recording is our attempt to answer the question: what happens when one uses max not as a sound source, but as a shaper of musical form, harmony, & rhythm.”




▶ Dean Hurley – Concrete Feather via Boomkat



▶ classic!



▶ also classic!





Group XPAN PhotoBook Project



Posting this on my blog, as a permanent public waypoint.

One of the many joys of shooting XPAN is being a member of the XPAN online community, which provides a window into the work of XPAN photographers from all over the planet. There aren’t many groups on FecalBook that I participate in anymore, but the two I most appreciate are (a) NZ Vege gardeners group and (b) Hasselblad Xpan & Fuji TX Group. It is rare there is any unnecessary drama, trolling or toxic commenters in either group. But wow that XPAN group!! Seeing great new XPAN panoramic photos every day made me wish for something more permanent than the temporary rush of social media. So I pitched a group photobook project, where each photographer has one page in the book, for their favourite self-selected XPAN photo/s shot in 2021. Here is my initial pitch to the FB XPAN Group, and to the Flickr XPAN Group.

“I mentioned in a comment a week or two ago about having an idea for a group XPAN project, and I have since distilled it down to this idea:

A yearly group XPAN E-Photobook, starting with EDITION 2021.

I propose this project occurs in the digital realm, as a PDF.
UK magazine On Landscape (PDF & online) are a great role model, and one of my favourite digital periodicals:

Every day in this group I see beautiful and unique XPAN photos. The diversity and range of this global community also reflect the times we are living through, and I think it would be great at the end of each year to have an eBook of XPAN photos. So part of this project would be archival, but it would also be about exposure and sharing photos.
Would you be keen to submit a few favourite XPAN photos taken this year, that reflect 2021? All rights would remain with you the artist, and selected photos would be included with specific limited permissions, in a PDF ebook with full attribution & embedded links to your work, and website etc

Now as always the elephant in the room is money. We are all privileged to own an XPAN and be able to shoot film. My instinct would be for the project to be completely non-commercial, with no advertising content or need for sponsors or fundraising. And no entry price. The PDF would not be sold. It would be distributed for free, by word of mouth, and email, by the contributors. Like a shared portfolio or portable group exhibition.

But an important secondary aspect is more long term. I love photo books as a medium, so the project has the potential to establish a peer-reviewed XPAN photo book template, which with funding could evolve to become digital + print, for us as a group and individually. I wish it already existed.

If you are an XPAN Photographer, please join the new mail list here:








One of the libraries I am currently working on is a big FOLIAGE library.
Not AMB although some spot elements would be possible.
This is my record list so far:

– Leafy branch moves, shakes, swishes, hits & breaks
– Bare branch moves, swishes, hits & breaks
– Movement ‘crashing’ through bushes
– Slashing & cutting foliage with a machete
– Branch against branch hits, scrapes, creaks & moves
– Footsteps: individual steps, sequences, passbys

I am purposefully working with a wide range of foliage, from deciduous and evergreen trees, from large leaves to small, as well as palms, ferns, toitoi, broom and gorse. And scaling my performance from subtle up to BIG FOOT monsterish! Autumn is now starting in New Zealand, so access to mass leaves will also soon be possible.

For close recording I have been capturing mono MKH8050 for foley-like use, as well an MKH8040 pair for close, dramatic stereo movement. But an important aspect of my aims also requires a wide perspective. As a reference, when I think back to watching The BlairWitch movie, a lot of the scares and dread came from the scale & distance of the branch breaks & cracks, created by whatever the hell was out there..

To capture a wider perspective, at times I have recorded with an extra two channels using MKH8020 mics. But using omni mics in a forest means they also capture every bird & insect, which limits the use of the sounds (or requires lots of RX to remove) Accordingly, my plan is to next stage some night forest recording, so I can scare myself and hopefully capture clean multi-perspective recordings.

So while I wait for the right low wind conditions, my question for you is this:
Do you have any requests that I can add to my FOLIAGE record list?
I’ve had some great suggestions from the HISSandaROAR Mail list, via Twitter and Fecalbook…

For the night FOLIAGE recording sessions I am thinking of using my stealth Rycotes… Might have to pack a battery theremin incase anyone turns up to see what I am doing…






Detritus 591





▶ interesting book: Make time for creativity from the founder of Creative Independent site



▶ The Big Bang artwork that makes scientists cry



▶ CAN – 1975 Stuttgart



▶ I saw these on a Japanese auction site, but had no idea of their scale – they looked like small disks and I wondered how they produced sound… Vid is cued to an ensemble performance… Not sure I would want to hear a small child jumping up & down on them!!



▶ troll level: expert?



▶ so good!





XPAN II Cable Release



Ok this is pretty niche, but I figured I would document them while I have them in mint condition!

One of the most important differences between the XPAN 1 and XPAN II for me is the long exposure ability of the camera. The XPAN I has a maximum Bulb exposure time of only 30 seconds, while the XPAN II has a max exposure time of 9 minutes (540 seconds.) That limit of 30 seconds is simply too short for eg ocean long exposures, so while I had a few options to buy an XPAN I years ago, I had to wait & save my funds until I could afford an XPAN II, or in my case a mint Fujifilm TX2 ex a camera store in Tokyo.

But that isn’t the only difference with respect to long exposures. Both models of the camera can use a physical cable release, the kind you screw in and a small metal wire physically triggers the camera to take a photo. But if you use these to shoot long exposures it means applying constant pressure to that wire. When I first got my TX2 I tried using one of these cables and found it misfired a lot. At worst it would fire and release almost immediately, which when shooting a long exposure with ND10 or ND15 filter equates to wasting a shot as it is completely underexposed. On doing some more research I discovered the XPAN II also has an electrical cable release option, which uses the same socket but fires the shutter via an electrical short. Accordingly using the XPAN II cable release means for long exposures it keeps the shutter open consistently, until you take your finger off, or if using the slide lock, until you release it.

I managed to find one on eBay and happily used it for the first few years, but very frustratingly on a road trip down South I lost my cable release! I could not believe it, but when I went to shoot a long exposure it was not to be found, and the last time I remember seeing it was in a remote place – half way up Mt Cheeseman. So I had no choice but to start searching for another one, and as these cameras become more rare, finding parts also becomes more difficult. I eventually found two, one in Brasil which I bought & had to wait many weeks for it to arrive, and then a second one, a spare via eBay in USA. Ever since I have had a couple of search alerts set up, so I know when one becomes available and recently picked up a second spare, but this time the identical Fujifilm version!

Since both the spares arrived in their original packaging I thought I would shoot some photos of them, just to be nerdy… If you own an Hasselblad XPAN II or Fujifilm TX2, the cable release model number to be searching for is:

Hasselblad Model 3054510 Xpan II release cord
Fujifilm TX-2 Remote Release Switch















I will disable my search alerts now, having two spares is enough for my peace of mind… And the one I am currently using is cable tied to the neck strap, so can’t go missing. If you are searching for one, feel free to email me and I can try & help steer you to where to look but be aware I’ve only ever seen one or two come up for sale per year, so patience is required!


Fujifilm package and graphic design is the winner for my tastes! Sorry Mr Hasselblad.




A Sound Library Q – takes per file



Someone on the VI Forum/SFX asked a question about sound library formatting, specifically about the chocie between [1 take per file] and [multiple takes per file]

“One oddity I’ve run into is that sometimes, a wav file in a pack may offer multiple variations of a sound/oneshot/effect within the same file with maybe a second of spacing. Is this usual? The only reason to make use of such a file is to choose a starting point programmatically in software, but I don’t see why you wouldn’t just cut up your variations into multiple files.”


As I had to think through all angles of this question ten years ago when deciding how to deliver the first HISSandaROAR sound library, I wrote a stream of consciousness reply and figured I’d post it here as it may be useful to others… And also so it exists in my own archive….



The short answer is: who is your target user and how do they prefer it?
You mention ‘one-shots’ which is a music term, and not a sound FX/sound design term, so maybe you are talking about music samples and not SFX? I am referring to SFX, since music samples are usually used either via VIs (where individual sounds are not even accessible) or via auditioning & loading singular sounds into a sampler etc which is a totally different use case to SFX.

The longer answer: In my experience as both a user, and a library developer the reason for not delivering SFX libaries as [1 take per file, when it is a multi-take/variations example] is due to a couple of different and important reasons: First and very important, that approach does not scale. Second is due to the typical workflow of how SFX are used. So you need to be very clear on the use case. For example, if I search my music sample library in SoundMiner, all the ‘808 kick’ are single takes per file, because that is how they are used by a musician. But if I search my SFX library for ‘punch’, none of the punches are delivered as single take per file. A “one shot” is a music term and I would expect it to be one take per file.

So why does a seperate take per file not scale, for sound effects? A simple example, my personal SFX and AMB library has over 500k sounds in it. If those sounds were broken out into seperate files for every take, my library would not be 500k sounds, it would be more like 500 million and when I searched for ‘METAL IMPACT’ in SoundMiner I would get 100,000 hits and auditioning my way through all of those is simply not viable – just imagine it! This problem won’t be apparent while you work on your own library, but as soon as your library is added to a users personal library containing hundreds of thousands of other sound files, it will become very, very apparent. It’s a similar reason why file names and metadata are so important – on their own, a single library is no problem, but add it to a larger library with thousands of other libraries and if your sounds can’t be efficiently found and identified, they will not be used. But again I mean SFX, not music samples.

Second, the workflow of professional sound editors & sound designers (ie those most likely to buy your libraries, and not people primarily looking for free sounds) is usually via a soundlibrary app, which makes it very easy to transfer part of a file. So for example if you audition a file of 20 punch takes and only want take 3, simply select take 3, transfer & done! But eg in SoundMiners case the silence between takes can be used to auto split and load discrete takes into Radium sampler (and the same would apply to many samplers)

When working in a linear sound FX editor fashion, say you import a single composite file of 20 takes of punch that you like and want to use, into your edit session for a fight scene. As soon as you have used the first punch you will want to use a different punch sound for the next occurrence (there is nothing more cringey than repeating identical sound FX) Rather than going back and importing another very short soundfile, you can simply stay in your edit session and move to the next take/s within the composite file. It is a much more efficient way to work with as a sound editor, rather than to be dealing with Punch01.wav, Punch02.wav – Punch20.wav and that’s just of your first particular punch. There might be 20 variations of every other punch too… It again depends on common sense, eg for AMB libraries if they are different locations (eg AMB city skyline 1, AMB city skyline 2) then they would be seperate files because they are not ‘take variations,’ they are entirely different locations.

This isn’t to say it is the only way or method. Some people (especially game audio) may prefer one file per sound, especially when implementing them. But unless you are going to deliver both options then you are going to frustrate one group or the other. With a composite file (X takes in a single file, seperated by silence) if someone does prefer 1 take per file, then they can very, very easily split & output that as they wish, due to the silence between takes. Eg ProTools strip silence, export, done. Every DAW has such options. But if the reverse is delivered, one take per file, they would have to import 20 seperate files, space them a second part, combine them into a composite file and export it as a single file, likely losing all the metadata along the way.

Considering the various likely use cases, and also thinking how you as a user prefer to work, is what should inform your thinking. While some people might think there isn’t much difference between a music sample library and sound FX library, some very important differences are as per the very question you ask. Also the use of metadata (absolutely crucial for sound FX/design use) along with consistent file naming, bit & sample rates etc. differ vastly between the two use cases…