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Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

studio journal

Video, audio, patch notes

Buddha Machine Variations No. 37 (Tape CV KO)

A series of focused experiments

That is, indeed, a cassette player in the foreground. It’s been modded in a couple ways, the key one here being that the speed of the playback can be manipulated electronically. Specifically, the sort of control voltage that works between synthesizer modules can be applied externally to the speed of the cassette. In this case, a slow waveform is increasing and reducing (back and forth, pendulum-like) the pace of the cassette playback, lending it that slurry, warbling quality. (Note the long, pink cable that plugs into cassette player.)

The recorded sequence itself is a Buddha Machine as sampled, sequenced, and played by Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator (PO-33 K.O.). I recorded that PO-33 K.O. sequence onto the tape, and then rewound the tape and played it back as controlled by the control voltage (CV) output of the synthesizer (seen in the background). This is the first patch I’ve tried out with the CV cassette player, which I received on Friday in the mail and have been eager to give a test run.

The slow wave form, an LFO (low-frequency oscillation), is from a Batumi (by Xaoc), its highs and lows compacted by the SPO (by WMD / SSF). SPO stands for Scaler / Polarizer / Offset Generator. The cassette player mod is by the awesome Chester Winowiecki, of Whitehall, Michigan. (The other mod is it can take an audio line in. The standard device only used its own microphone.) I shared some photos of the tape cassette player a few days ago: “Cassette Bent.”

Video originally posted at youtube.com/disquiet. There’s also a video playlist of the Buddha Machine Variations.

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Cassette Bent

About five minutes passed between me thinking, “I’m gonna take a break from picking up new music gadgets for a while” and someone online offering up hand-modded, circuit-bent cassette recorders that can change speed with CV input. This just arrived. (Not DIY. SEDIT: someone else did it themselves.)

And new inputs (one for CV, the other to add audio-in, versus the preexisting microphone) require new labels:

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Music to Not Listen To

"Arrow Up" from last night

Pandemic nights often mean some time with simple tools. The synthesizer remains turned off, and the laptop, too. This track, recorded last night, is just electric guitar loops: two Ditto Loopers running asynchronously (different lengths), each taking a signal from a Stratocaster going through a reverb pedal (HardWire RV-7), with an EBow used on occasion. Recorded into Adobe Audition via a mixer and an audio interface. Some reverb and EQ work done in Audition.

If recording you want to listen to is something to aspire to (and it is), this is something else: music that I’ve found myself happy to have on loop in the background while working the next day. Music to not listen to.

The title, “Arrow Up,” relates to the symbol for Mars, patron saint of Tuesdays.

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“Night (There and Back)”

Sunday night loops

Sunday night guitar loops. Unlike other recent guitar loop experiments I’ve tried out, this one has a live component. After the first minute or so (which I’d already layered in advance of hitting record), new material is added and then later deleted. This setup consists of electric guitar, reverb pedal, overdrive, and looper, plus an eBow on occasion for those extended notes. After recording (amp to phone, live in the room), I used Adobe Audition to implement a fade in and a fade out, and for a little additional reverb.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/disquiet.

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Friday Night Lights

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt

Electric guitar layers in single Ditto looper, via Fulltone overdrive and HardWire RV-7 reverb, with a few lines played on EBow

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