September 22nd, 2009 - Back online and with a new blog: Digivtal Shiv
I have a new personal blog (as opposed to my contributions to the blog on ooTray.com) for my
highfalutin' rants about the current state of digital music software, hardware and so forth.
Recently I've been focusing on developing a new type of hardware instrument that solves all the
problems and limitations of MIDI hardware controller instruments. I'll be writing about these
limitations in depth on Digital Shiv.
Aside from that, it's nice to be back after a long absence... yet again.
July 9th, 2009 - 10,000 new word in the ooTray blog for ya'll
"Sound-source identity preservation in a stuffed-to-surfeit composition’s mix"
An absurdly long essay on techniques for mixing multiple morphing sound-sources so that they're
identifiably intended to be the from one source it's starting point throughout many transformations.
"unclassifiable VST effects"
There's many "best of" lists of freeware VST effects; this blog describes the ones that don't fall into
almready-named categories like "distortion" of "step-sequenced ring modulator" and therefore
oftentimes get overlooked simply because it's hard to convey what they do or why you'd want to use
them. It includes links to go and download them, too.
May 17th, 2009 - a song created entirely from insertpizhere's Mr. Alias 2 VSTi
You can find it on my music page, it's called Aliasling. I loved Mr. Alias, um, #1... one of my first
freeware VST synths.
Also, our ooBlog on ooTray.com is gathering momentum, despite the fact that I'm basically offline yet
May 4th, 2009 - two new songs available exclusively through ooTray.com
As part of the launch of the ooTray collective website I've got two tracks available for download
exclusively on my "home page" there. Click on the "ooTrayista" link on the top navigation bar to go to
ooTray.com or check out the eight current members of our netlabel, started by my sensei rachMiel,
Keeper of the Oo.
Ootray members jopy, rachMiel and I have started an ooTray blog on that site. I'll be posting rantings
detailing the techniques in creating my songs and various other unhinged diatribes. Hopefully I'll be
able to post my production notes for these two songs there soon.
KIBO Interferometer and Ductile Transmigrant on ooTray.com
April 10th, 2009 - free full album .rar archive downloads now available
Just click on the new "Albums" tab above.
5 albums total 964 Mb. Then there's a remix/cover compilation and 2 "best of" compilations for those
just checking out my <ahem> rather unique audio creations, one of slightly more straightforward and
accessible songs and one of abstract, holophonic soundscapes.
The 5 albums plus the remix/cover compilation totals 130 songs - the majority of what I've put online
over the last 5 years.
Each genuinely has it's included album art, proper mp3 metatags and track numbers so they should be
easy to burn to CD.
I realize what a pain in the ass it is to do all this work but I've got to encourage my fellow online digital
musicians to do this sort of housecleaning. If you're not going to make user-friendly listening
experiences for your connoisseurs, then who will?
I know I'd really love to have organized, all-at-once downloads of my favorite electronic artists.
It's all a rather thankless task but since we're all driven to toil endlessly in this odd art form we may as
well allow people the chance to overcome their laziness and stolidity and stumble upon what's going
on at the absolute forefront of music-creation technology and the people who actually "get it" and are
progressing full throttle into the future.
I know that I cherish my chance encounters with musical oddities back in the tape cassette days and
it's such experiences with the wholly unanticipated, the luminously inspired and breathtakingly daring
musicians that also toiled, unknown, thanklessly are what kindles this, the main focus of my creative
life and imagination, today.
April 8th, 2009 - back online
I got around to cleaning up this site after being offline for so long and added a couple more projects
with rendered stem wavs to share. I changed the Home page and added a link to my albums on
April 5th, 2009 - back online
Aside from having achieved the wonder of zero-latency audio - playing my 3 midi instruments to trigger
VSTi in real time!!! - the only update I have is a new page dedicated to sharing free, license-free project
tracks rendered to .wav files for anyone to use, a result of my experimenting with sound design:
February 16th, 2009 - still largely offline
Greetings. I am getting some wafts of free wifi today so I will blather about new gear I got.
One: Tascam FireOne. I got a great deal on this thing. My M-Audio A/DA is a PCI-card with a breakout
box so I thought I'd get a more portable firewire unit. Now I have phantom-powered mic pres, hi-z
inputs and some nice function keys. It also has midi inputs so I can hook up my new QChord on the go.
If anyone understands how to corral the data from the FireOne jog wheel to use as a midi controller or
how to edit the function keys for use in non-supported DAWs, let me know!
Two: As to the aforementioned Suzuki QChord, it's a strange beast. It has a great deal of completely
useless functionality - Casiotone-esque rhythms, accompaniment, terrible onboard sounds.
Course, that's not why I got it. It's the only "4-octave midi strumplate" I can think of. Having major,
minor and diminished chord buttons for every note certainly speeds up sketching out compositions
and allows just about anyone to grab it and start strumming out rhythm chord parts.
My main interest in it, however, is that it has a midi out port. Unfortunately it outputs a random
mishmash of poorly implemented midi data that, when I'm feeling particularly hubristic, I'll learn to filter
in Usine or zweeger VST for use as a kind of keytar autoharp. I even got the strap for it though I don't
understand how one is supposed to affix it!
Three: CME Plugiator ASX expansion card for my CME VX5 keyboard. This thing has virtual analog
synths in it. One buys the plug-ins from them for $50 USD and uploads them. I am sticking with the
free ones that came with it as I'm already a plug-in horder with little need for more VA's; I just wanted
something to allow the keyboard to make sounds without dragging along a PC once in a while.
The plug-ins included are the Lightwave, the Minimax, the B4000 organ and the Vocodizer, the last of
which is what makes it worthwhile - if you paid as little as I did! I got it off a very nice man on Craigslist.
I really, really wish I had an sdk for it so I could create my own DSP as a minimoog and an organ are
not really what I'd choose to play with live, but if I figure out how to play my EWI horn into the keyboard
and have the ASX modules for my sounds that'd be pretty wicked.
Four: 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator. I've had a long-standing obsession with 3-dimensional controllers
and I just finished configuring an alternative driver for this well-crafted 3D mouse. Even just as a
multichannel audio panner or 3D binaural pan pot it'll be incredibly useful.
A very helpful man named RCB9 has created a custom driver and software to create keyboard, mouse
or joystick control layouts for the SpaceNavigator and it's cousins. Check out the thread on the
3Dconnexion forums if you end up owning one of these things.
And if you're a controller-obsessed musician like me check out acousmodule's 3D Midigator VST,
which requires RCB9's driver to work, for use as a midi controller. Brilliant!
Here's a tutorial I wrote for setting all this up.
Five: I finally broke down and got an expression pedal and a sustain pedal (both of which work with the
VX5, and the sustain acts as a punch-in/play control for the FireOne). I guess I could never accept that
the Behringer FCB1000 would ever work the way I wanted it to.
Six: Spark Festival Update #1
Five hours before I was about to play the Spark Fest my PC died. I ran off to a PC hardware store, got a
new power supply, swapped it in - nada. The motherboard had fried. Long story short I called the
organizers, asked them to drop off a laptop (which they did, before I could even get to the venue) and I
used the wifi connection there to download software (FLStudio and Modelonia, both of which I had the
license info stored in emails luckily) and a bunch of freeware VSTs, drivers for the EWI, N.I. a/d/a that
eric wistrad luckily lent me, touchscreen (which I never ended up using) and configuring Windows XP
for audio (asio4all, etc. you know the drill) and reconstructing a set on-the-fly.
Which, because I'm a maniac, made it ten times more fun that it'd have been had I not had to improvise
and B.S. my way through a panicky 4-hour set-up.
Nevertheless it led me (via tax rebate season here in the U.S.) to replace the mobo, ram and processor
with a new x58 mobo, the newfangled triple-channel RAM and a Core i7 920 processor which I
overclocked to 4.0 Ghz... mind you my old chip was only a 3.0 Ghz Core Duo... this new quadcore blazes,
and on an Asus P6T motherboard overclocking it was simple and the results stable.
Now I'm off to attempt to customize more of this repurposed, cheap gear for playing live.
February 13th, 2009 - playing at the Spark Festival of Electronic Music
Happy New Year?
I've been offline for quite a while working on entirely new projects and bereft of any time or peace with
which to pursue actual recording. Until this week - I've moved and my nerve center is back up and
functioning with some new toys: A Suzuki QChord, a 12" touchscreen with which to control Usine and
VSTs via the new touchscreen edition of GUI interface elements and a FireOne (something I've not
worked out new tricks on, but I have my suspicions it's going to be quite the performance booster).
In any event, I'm playing the Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Art put on by some weird chaps at
the University of Minnesota at 9pm next Wednesday at the Bedlam Theater (behind the Cedar-
Riverside buildings by the highway).
This is going to be the second, and probably the second-to-last, runagate live show ever (excluding
possibly playing with Japanese Space Program next month at Eclipse Records.
In any event I'm going mostly to go see what the other digital psychos are up to. Most everything is
free. I'm giving a talk that someone named "Social Class and Creativity" on the next Sunday morning,
Here's the url to the Schedule
November 18th, 2008 - digital woodwind!
You may notice it's been a long, long time since I've updated my News section.
It's been an absurdly trying 3 months. But I've got good news:
I just today received in the mail the third Akai EWI USB midi saxophone.
The speed with which I should now be able to compose amazes me.
Plus, I can once again be a soloing instrumentalist, but with all the VST plug-ins I love.
Now, how to replace my p5 virtual reality glove with something to control parameters
on stage with both hands on my new horn?
I sold my sax 5 years ago so that I'd not be able to make a sound without my computer in order to force
myself to learn mixing, mastering, engineering, composition, midi, synthesis, DSP and all the other
wonderful things suddenly available for cheap or free in the digital realm. Well, now I get to combine
both world. Watch out.
That picture is small and at a strange angle. It looks a bit like a breathalyzer or a ray gun.
September 1st, 2008 - Drumity's "MIRABA - Set paintings to music" VIDEO
August 28th, 2008 - ooTrayistos site is live!
rachMiel, he who composes music which represents the furthermost horizons of the future of music
and my sensei, has put links up on our ooTray collective site.
"Our mission is to present genre-thwarting singularities that will make you hear the world in a different
way: ooTraycious music."
justin/3am and I have finally submitted our song & homepage links and bios, while rachMiel (rick scott)
in his inimitable terse fashion has offered... less comment. The other 2 members, Jazzyspoon &
polyslax don't have their info up yet, but it's a start.
I've got a hidden page, "ootrayista," where I've hidden my ooTray song links which I link to here mostly
so that I can find it again in the future.
I'm proud to be in such good company.
homesite of runagate