Grafted as



Second Apple from my still young triple graft Apple tree. I preordered it from Wairere Nurseries and it arrived late August 2020, so it is only about 18 months old!

It might look a little chaotic – raspberry plants have tunnelled underneath their enclosure and started popping up – but the tree underneath is a triple graft: Braeburn, Golden Delicous and Royal Gala – three varieties from one tree still seems a little supernatural.. .and delicious!




Detritus 632



▶ “working on some music and accidentally wrote three novels…”



@VisualNostalgia: “There is a torii gate made of speakers in Kamiyama, Tokushima. You can connect your phone to it and play anything.”

Karaoke Torii by Benoit Maubrey – more info here



▶ Sheet Music to Play Kraftwerk’s ‘Pocket Calculator’ on a Pocket Calculator



▶ Attention: finger drummers & pencil tappers – turn a contact mic into a virtual MIDI controller



▶ The Hidden Voice Of Utah’s Arches
Measurements of ambient seismic vibration sped up 25X made audible
thanks @gogurt



▶ Orchestration tip: Not everything needs to be epic. A thread



▶ Web3 and the Meme Economy



▶ GISTEMP Climate Spiral (needs ominous score!)



▶ What’s happening in Russia/Moscow rn. A pretty random thread
▶ And as if things are not bad enough, some worrying analysis via BBC



▶ Pete Keppler, system designer and house engineer for David Byrne’s ‘American Utopia’ on Broadway, discusses the show’s audio system.







Model 291 Filter Card for Buchla Easel



Stoked to get a Model 291 Filter Card for my Buchla Easel, from the Tokyo Tape Music Centre
What a brilliant design for a 1970s synth to have an expansion port. I have a bunch of the original preset cards, which required adding a few resistors to ‘store’ a preset. But my Easel also came with the wifi card, which if someone time-travelled back to the launch of the Easel, and demonstrated storing presets on an iPad, it would seem like magic!





Bell Piano



WOW!! This is truly bonkers!!

I have been working on a long term project of creating a BELL PIANO, and after a year I have collected up about 25 bells. Of course when you buy a bell via Trademe or Ebay, no one specifies the pitch of the bell. So it is a bit of a lottery, guessing based on size as there is no way to check until they arrive. And each time I get a bell I write on it what note it is, and leave it by my piano.
This is the current state of progress:


Earlier this week I won an auction for a little collection of bells that looked like it would be useful to fill in some of the range. I emailed the seller to make payment, and mentioned what I wanted the bells for. The sellers daughter replied, it was her 88 year old Dad who was selling them, due to moving house.
This is what I bid on, and won:

They sent me a tracking # and on the way to do my shopping a few days later a box was sitting beside my mailbox. When I picked it up I thought wow it feels heavy for those 12 bells, but didn’t think too much more about it. But when I got home again I opened up the box and there was bell, after, bell, after bell… All carefully wrapped in newspaper! By the time I had unpacked everything, this is was what it contained:

I counted up 70 bells! Literally a lifetime collection. I was astounded and emailed them to first say a huge thank you, and to check I was ok and this wasn’t a mistake. But I also offered to pay more, as the extra freight cost would have eaten into the purchase price for the 12 bells. They very kindly refused, and said they were happy the bells were going to good home, and for an interesting reason. While I appreciate this sentiment, I am also not one to take no for answer when I have the power to acknowledge such generosity, and since I had their bank details I made another payment and sent a quick email, thanking them but also mentioning how much I appreciated this and that I would like to insist on shouting them lunch when it’s safe to do so.

Since they arrived I have slowly been sorting them into pitch order, and it is fascinating to observe how their tonality varies due to both materials, shape, construction and the clanger. As per my exiting collection I was totally focused on brass and steel bells, so it was interesting to hear a range of porcelain bells which of course have an entirely different tonality, and remind me of some of the tiny fuurin temple bells I bought when in Japan.

So this is another to add to my ‘pitched instruments to deep sample’ collection. And now with the Sanken CUX100k mics I can start the capture process, knowing a 3 octave pitch shift is viable! In this specific case I think a BELL DRONE PAINO will be on the cards too, using some hi rez spectral freezes to achieve infinite sustain.

So thank you to Neil and Shirley Everett. Your bell collection shall be immortal!




Studio Config – routing audio



I am closing in on my “final” ideal studio setup, so I will document it as I lock down each part, as it has been years in the making…

A while ago I ditched my AVID interfaces and changed over to MOTU. This was motivated by a few things, but one was the move to using ProTools Ultimate Native, which Avid at last provided full functionality to… But not quite full. The first Ultimate Native versions had a fixed limit on the total IO, of 32 physical inputs and outputs. While this might not seem a huge issue, it did stitch me up as the two main MOTU interfaces I went with were the 1248 and A16, with AVB/ethernet connection between them. But not only did AVID limit the max IO, it also did not allow editing of the IO, so if I used the 1248 as my primary interface, ProTools would grab and assign every input and output, including all the ones I did not want to use. So for the last year I had no choice but to use the A16 interface as primary, as it has 16 analog inputs and 16 outputs and that’s it, nothing else for ProTools to auto-assign. I then ran the 1248 across AVB and could choose which io from the 1248 went into the AVB streams and via the A16 to ProTools.

One of the more recent ProTools Ultimate releases at last did away with this IO restriction.
So today I swapped my interfaces back to how I originally wanted them:

1. The MOTU 1248 is my primary interface.
This 1248 provides 8 analog inputs, 8 analog outputs, 4 mic inputs, 2 guitar inputs and SPDIF in and out.

2. The MOTU A16 is the secondary interface.
It provides 16 analog inputs (for synths and outboard) and 16 analog outputs (for outboard, plus two outputs drive an InnerClock Sync Gen Pro)
The A16 interface is also on the opposite side of the room from my Mac, near to all my synths and half of my outboard, so its great to only have to run an Ethernet cable across to it.

3. The third interface is a MOTU 828mk3 and is attached via ADAT lightpipe to the 1248, which provides another 8 analog inputs and 8 analog outputs for outboard – tape echo, spring, BBD DDL, filters etc

4. The fourth interface is a MOTU 828mk3 and it is attached via ADAT lightpipe to the A16. This interface lives in a rack beside my modular synth. All audio from my modsynth goes to a Toft ATB 24/8/2 analog desk (which has enough headroom to handle modular synth levels) and I use the Tofts 8 bus outputs to premix and send the modular synth in 8 split tracks down lightpipe to the A16 and then across AVB to the 1248 and into my Mac. Of course I can also send 8 channels of audio from ProTools to the same 828 when I want to process sounds in my modular.

Sounds a bit complicated right?
Well, I had it all basically working well in the old config, but every time I dive into the MOTU routing matrix it feels like trying to sit a MENSA IQ test, after being out all night on a bender. Everything looks like it ‘should’ make sense, but…

Today I swapped the positions of 1248 and the A16 to how I always intended them, and then spent two hours in the MOTU patch matrix scratching my head and cursing, testing outputs via sending quiet white noise to each output one by one, and then patching the LemonDrop into every input.



The only remaining steps are:
– get a couple more short 8 channel balanced cable looms, so all I/O is accessible via normalized patchbays.
– label all physical inputs and outputs
– label all ProTools inputs and outputs.

This last step is going to be invaluable, especially when I want to stay in ‘musician’ mode and not ‘tech/engineer’ mode.
For example:
A16 1-2 becomes A16 1-2 Korg SV1
A16 3-4 becomes A16 3-4 Hydraynth
A16 5 becomes A16 5 SH101
A16 6 becomes A16 6 Buchla Easel
A16 7-8 becomes A16 7-8 CR8000
A16 9-10 becomes A16 9-10 MKS80
A16 11 becomes A16 11 DBass9
A16 12 becomes A16 12 TT303
A16 13-14 becomes A16 13-14 ULT DS1
A16 15-16 becomes A16 15-16 VP9000

Next I’ll lock down the MIDI config, but it is really centred around the Cirklon. In this respect I have two modes of use, first with the Cirklon as master, which is how I currently use it. Cirklon can drive every synth in my studio, with super tight sync and when I’m ready I record everything into ProTools in one go. All happily locked together.

But the second mode is really the holy grail and most difficult to achieve without drift: to have ProTools (or ableton LIVE) as master and the Cirklon follow it. Naive old me would have just thought to set the Cirklon to follow MTC from ProTools and all would be fine, but as everyone discovers when they cross this threshold, MTC has jitter and drifts! Why does this matter? Overdubs! if you cannot lock your hardware sequencer to your DAW with sample accuracy and no drift, then you cannot use that sequencer to overdub into an existing piece of music! I am all for recording my jams in one pass, but to evolve my music projects I also need to be able to revisit them, and overdub new elements to existing sessions.

So that is where the Innerclock Sync Gen becomes a necessity. It works as a plugin in your session, and it outputs a sample accurate audio clock on one channel, and a start/stop pulse on a second output. These two signals go into the Sync Gen hardware, which then outputs rock solid MTC that the Cirklon will lock to, and distribute sync to all that it is controlling, including providing sync and reset etc to my modular synth.

There is going to be one unholy racket coming from my house the day this is all fully working!
And that day is rapidly approaching, next week even!

Related to all this, I have been so enjoying jamming with the Cirklon! Even just running a sequence with the CR8000, Hydrasynth and SH101 locked together is a hypnotic buzz! I remember Benji B ages ago mentioning on his BBC radio show how he had a conversation with Moritz Von Oswald and Mark Ernestus, about how they worked in the studio when making eg the Rhythm & Sound tracks, and he said that when they had a rhythm locked down for a tune, they would often run it for like 16 hours without a break! And I can see why… when you find a big sparse heavy groove it is such a pleasure to live inside it, making subtle tweaks but also sometimes doing nothing other than listening and trying ideas on top of it.

Got to say I love the idea of running those four mic channels through to my vibraphone, piano etc too!

Totally routed!


And then: build the master ProTools session template!




Detritus 631



Random Impulse from Dylan Sheridan on Vimeo.

▶ fantastic work by Dylan Sheridan



▶ wow: Spotify Stock (SPOT) Drops Below Its 2018 IPO Price — Nearly $17 Billion In Market Cap Wiped Out In 2022 Alone



▶ very tiny houses and tiny offices



▶ Analysing Bjorks Hidden Place



▶ Handy article: Debunking 30 bad arguments about COVID/vaccines



▶ Quit the news?



▶ Bart Hopkin – Nice Noise: Preparations and Modifications for Guitar



▶ “Now bring in the resonators….”
▶ Retro Synthfluencers?





nuzic 191



▶ Forest Drive West – Anchor from Recursion EP



▶ Moderat – MORE D4TA



▶ Rrose x Bob Ostertag – Motormouth Variations





In praise of old things



In praise of two, make that three, no four old things!

First the CR8000 drum machine.
I bought this back in 2014 via a local auction. I was outbid… but the buyer decided they didn’t want it for some reason… maybe due to the mods, as they are a little weird. So I got it, played with it occasionally but mostly put it aside for sampling at some point. But slowly the more I use it, the more I love it!

Second, DINSYNC.
I’ve been rebuilding my music setup over many years and the Cirklon is central to that (still saving up for v2 upgrade) But good old Dinsync works so well between the Cirklon and the CR8000! Even if neither are running, I can change tempo on the Cirklon and the CR8000 tempo display reacts instantly. Hit play or stop and it locks and follows, with super tight sync. Yay for 40 year old technology!

Third, SH101.
Similarly have had it for many years, but I got a Tubbutec MIDI kit installed in it. So it’s kind of funny to be jamming using a synth & drum machine from the 1980s that are still as fresh sounding as the day they left the factory!

Fourth, Alesis Bitrman
I’d love an OTO Biscuit but the Bitrman is such a nasty fun device!

re the CR8000 mods – it seems they are by Analogue Solutions, but I suspect in a few instances the incorrect pot/s have been used as the sweet spot is all within 1/4 of the turn… The best mod is definitely the decay pot on the cymbals/HH – at its tightest, all cymbals become a very short glitch! Sounds great through the Bitrman…