Chris Randall: Musician, Writer, User Interface Designer, Inventor, Photographer, Complainer. Not necessarily in that order.
 

Tags: YouToob


October 6, 2018

Tech_Time 011: Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick

by Chris Randall
 



I'm trying like hell to get back to a weekly AI, but circumstances dictated otherwise for #11. I would have only been a day late, because I didn't have the correct flavor of Arduino to do MIDI-over-USB and I didn't discover this until I tried to code it; easily solved by Amazon Prime, but then we inexplicably had a hurricane here in Phoenix (I know, right?) and as a result, my same-day delivery of a new Arduino Leonardo took 4 days to arrive.

All's well that ends well, though. Above is the fruits of hurricane-induced tardiness, the Magic Robotic Contact-Mic Hitter Thingie. Essentially, there are four cantilevered hammers I made on my Shapeoko that are struck by solenoids; the solenoids are driven via MIDI. In the video, I have the Arduino rigged as a class-compliant MIDI interface, and it is being driven by Bram Bos' Euclidian sequencer plugin, which is part of his Rozetta suite of MIDI plugins for iOS.

After building it, I see where it could be improved somewhat, but on the whole it does what I intended, and today or tomorrow I'll make some Musicâ„¢ with it and see how it sits. Watch for that video shortly. Do any of you use electro-kinetic instrumentation like this in your music? If so, what are your thoughts on use cases and such?

 
September 22, 2018

The Stethophone: Tech Time 010

by Chris Randall
 



Finally, a new Tech Time! In this episode, I make the Amazing Stethophone, using a $25 stethoscope from Amazon, a cheap lavalier mic, and $5 worth of shit from the plumbing aisle at Lowe's. I did this video with only having a notion that it would work, although I did think about it quite a bit first, so you're actually watching my experimentation process. Whether this is fun or not is up to you.

In any case, further testing shows it works quite well. It is good for getting machinery noises out of the inside of small mechanical things, and it really picks up the resonance in wood well. (Like, stuff that is just a thump with a piezo mic is a nice ringing tone with this.) I think some refinement is in order, but it is a useful addition to the toolkit.

 
August 12, 2018

Poppin' Tags 001...

by Chris Randall
 



One of my favorite things on YouTube is the Rhythm Roulette videos on the Mass Appeal channel; I generally love process videos anyhow, and the particular strictures of the Rhythm Roulette format really push my buttons. If you're not familiar, the tl;dr version is that a hip-hop producer goes to a record store, puts on a blindfold, picks three records at random, and then has to make a beat from what they got. It's worth noting that they hardly ever use the records they get for the percussion parts; usually, it's Rando Trap Drums from PetaBytes O' Beatz 43, and I give a big point deduction for that. The ability to squeeze a drum kit out of any given piece of music should be mandatory.

So, for my own Poppin' Tags, I made that a rule: nothing in the song that wasn't originally on the three records. And my other rule that is a departure from Rhythm Roulette is that it needs to be a full song at the end of the day, not just a beat.

Anyhow, with all that out of the way, the above video is the result. I actually filmed the entire process, but it was almost 3 hours long, and that was silly; who wants to sit and watch me edit samples for 3 hours? So I just cut out little bits here and there, and the track (along with the other four, to make a full 5-song EP), in its finished form, will be released on Bandcamp when they're all done.



In further news, there is now an Analog Industries merch store... Not much in it right now, but as things progress, it'll get full up. Check out the offerings.

 
April 19, 2018

The Opposite Of Dogmatic Is Not Catmatic...

by Chris Randall
 



Carl Mikael's Cabinet of Curiosities is one of my favorite YouTube channels; his videos often get me thinking, and this one from last week was no exception. One thing I have always found intensely irritating in my time in this business is religious zealots, who use their confirmation bias as a bludgeon. Carl-Mikael is, in a round-about way, addressing that in the above video, which is, like most of his content, worth a watch. "Pragmatism beats dogmatism every hour of the day..." as he says, a viewpoint I wholeheartedly endorse. Give his channel a sub, as well. He puts up quality content.

 
September 21, 2016

Hands, With Occasional Beard...

by Chris Randall
 



In order to do the overview video for our Proton module, I needed to multi-track and clear a patch I've been playing with for the last couple days. Before I did that, I thought I'd do a quick live performance video of the patch, which you can watch above.

I'm using the four track cassette deck for the noise beds; there are three ambience loops I recorded in various places (Mexico pyramid ambience, Berlin U-Bahn, and the O'Hare airport), plus a fourth track that is a pad. The 4-track I have only has stereo outs, so I have the first track as FX send 2, going to the H9 Max. The second and third tracks go straight to the modular out the main outs, and the fourth track, the pad, goes straight to the modular out FX send 1. In this way, I have direct outs of all four tracks from a deck that doesn't have direct.

The pad is running to a Kompressor module, where I introduce the sidechain pulse, and then to Dimensions to get stereo-fied. The high hat and sidechain pulse are sequenced by the monome/White Whale. The kick, snare, and Boop sound are sequenced by the second Sequencer 1. All are Audio Damage modules. The bass is the WMD/SSF voice, sequenced by the first Sequencer 1. Recorded as a stereo pair straight to Adobe Audition. I used iZotope Ozone 7 for a mild mastering squish, but otherwise, WYSIWYG.
 

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