Ableton Live 8 Looper & Korg nanoPAD

The music of Yoav is heavily loop based, due to the fact that every sound is either produced by his guitar or his voice. To accomplish this he has several looping delay pedals; In some of his videos on youtube you can clearly see the Boss RC-20XL. These pedals are fun to play with because you can loop and overdub anything placed into the input, then improvise over the loop creating nearly any sound possible. Recently Keyboard Magazine ran a 2-part article on using multiple loopers with live, but their instructions are a little unclear unless you're familiar with Live.

Over the weekend I've experimented and played around alot and produced this Live 8 set, and nanoPAD preset. I don't suggest using the nanoPAD with your feet, but for beatboxing in the style of BeardyMan this will get you there. To get instructions, tips, and download the Live set w/ nanoPAD preset, please continue reading.


Cellular Macro-Photography

Over the weekend I stripped down a Fax Machine & an old Scanner.. lots of neat stuff in there & servos, switches, etc. but there was also a TON of optic devices; mirrors, lenses, lasers, all sorts of cool stuff. Last week MAKE posted an article on using the lens from a DVD player to produce these results & that might provide better images (the lens in a fax machine is pretty extreme) So here's my latest Flickr set: Cellular Macro-Photography


nanoPad pt. 2: an update

Got my nanopad back in commissionion, got a replacement @ guitar center w/ a 2 year extended warranty for $20. hopefully I won't have to use it, and extra prays that the nanoPad won't die 2 days after the warranty expires... fingers crossed & knock on wood.



So I've had my nanoPad for a few weeks now, and low & behold, it's broken... argh... I got it @ Guitar Center which without a car is a MAJOR effort to get there (at least 2 hour-long bus rides involved.) But before it broke I loved it immensely, I mean it's more fun than a barrel full of monkeys but now 2 pads don't work @ all & 1 pad is majorly wonky. I reset it to factory defaults a couple times but it's completely borked.

I wonder why Guitar Center is still around? I mean, I got my beautiful black Ibanez acoustic there & within 2 month it was buzzing in awkward ways, whilst all the gear I've gotten from the wonderful Pianos 'n' Stuff has been properly set-up & worked perfectly for years... Maybe I'm jinxed or something...

c'est la vie.


Geek Gear-Day 2k9

Yea-haw... yesterday was geek-day 2k9, and this time I had a bit more dough and a bit more luck... My shopping list was simple:
  1. Drum Sticks
  2. Bow & Rosin
But I had a good time, and a bit of good luck... Found some decent deals (spent a little over $100 on alot of quality goods)

Drum sticks & Bow are going to be put to use for sound-design, I just need to wrap the sticks other ends to make them mallets (yarn & bouncy balls)... Need to figure out the methodology behind bowing, rosin & friction, expecially since I have absolutely no intent on using it on string-instruments.

Also I aquired a rig that hooks up 3 mics on one stand, which is going to let me use my DanElectro Free Speech Talk-box along with my mic, and the opportunity to connect my telephone-mic too!

But the pièce de résistance is the Korg nanoPad, It's so easy to set-up and use, although if I get other nano-series controllers I'll have to invest in a powered USB-hub, because my computers mobo doesn't play nice with my front-facing USB ports. Korg has included some other goodies, drum programs, a discount for Ableton Live, and a USB A to USB mini-A cable. This thing is beautifully responsive to velocity, feels as nice as an MPC, it's wafer-thin and the roll & flam are controlled by the X-Y pad in some pretty fun ways allowing for amazing controllerism effects with no software setup. The software for the controller allows an insane amount of tweaking what everything does in all 4 scenes, and you can even drag & drop the order of the scenes, very sexy for $60.

I recently downloaded CamStudio so I'll post some production tutorials fairly soon (I promise.) next big purchase will be a camera, so I can show some non-computer-related sound-fun too!


100 things every geek should be able to do

I copied this list over from GeekDad, on Alltop, via @donttrythis... the shortened link is: http://om.ly/?peL

@donttrythis says he's nailed down 72 of the items on this list, I think I'll scratch off the ones I can do just to see if I'm anywhere close to being as awesome as him.

Properly secure a wireless router.
Crack the WEP key on a wireless router.
Leech Wifi from your neighbor.
Screw with Wifi leeches.
Setup and use a VPN.
Work from home or a coffee shop as effectively as you do at the office.
Wire your own home with Ethernet cable.
Turn a web camera into security camera.
Use your 3G phone as a Wi-Fi access point.
Understand what “There’s no Place Like″ means.
Identify key-loggers.
Properly connect a TV, Tivo, XBox, Wii, and Apple TV so they all work together with the one remote.
Program a universal remote.
Swap out the battery on your iPod/iPhone.
Benchmark Your Computer
Identify all computer components on sight.
Know which parts to order from NewEgg.com, and how to assemble them into a working PC.
Troubleshoot any computer/gadget problem, over the phone.
Use any piece of technology intuitively, without instruction or prior knowledge.
How to irrecoverably protect data.
Recover data from a dead hard drive.
Share a printer between a Mac and a PC on a network.
Install a Linux distribution. (Hint: Ubuntu 9.04 is easier than installing Windows)
Remove a virus from a computer.
Dual (or more) boot a computer.
Boot a computer off a thumb drive.
Boot a computer off a network drive.
Replace or repair a laptop keyboard.
Run more than two monitors on a single computer.
Successfully disassemble and reassemble a laptop.
Know at least 10 software easter eggs off the top of your head.
Bypass a computer password on all major operating systems
Carrying a computer cleaning arsenal on your USB drive.
Bypass content filters on public computers.
Protect your privacy when using a public computer.
Surf the web anonymously from home.
Buy a domain, configure bind, apache, MySQL, php, and Wordpress without Googling a how-to.
Basic *nix command shell knowledge with the ability to edit and save a file with vi.
Create a web site using vi.
Transcode a DVD to play on a portable device.
Hide a File Behind a JPEG.
Share a single keyboard and mouse between multiple computers without a KVM switch.
Google obscure facts in under 3 searches. Bonus point if you can use I Feel Lucky.
Build amazing structures with LEGO and invent a compelling back story for the creation.
Understand that it is LEGO, not Lego, Legos, or Lego’s.
Build a two story house out of LEGO, in monochrome, with a balcony.
Construct a costume for you or your kid out of scraps, duct tape, paper mâché, and imagination.
Be able to pick a lock.
Determine the combination of a Master combination padlock in under 10 minutes.
Assemble IKEA furniture without looking at the instructions. Bonus point if you don’t have to backtrack.
Use a digital SLR in full manual mode.
Do cool things to Altoids tins.
Be able to construct paper craft versions of space ships.
Origami! Bonus point for duct tape origami. (Ductigami)
Fix anything with duct tape, chewing gum and wire.
Knowing how to avoid being eaten by a grue.
Know what a grue is.
Understand wherre XYZZY came from, and have used it.
Play any SNES game on your computer through an emulator.
Burn the rope.
Know the Konami code, and where to use it.
Whistle, hum, or play on an iPhone, the Cantina song.
Learning to play the theme songs to the kids favorite TV shows.
Solve a Rubik’s Cube.
Calculate THAC0.
Know the difference between skills and traits.
Explain special relativity in terms an eight-year-old can grasp.
Recite pi to 10 places or more.
Be able to calculate tip and split the check, all in your head.
Explain that the colours in a rainbow are roygbiv.
Understand the electromagnetic spectrum - xray, uv, visible, infrared, microwave, radio.
Know the difference between radiation and radioactive contamination.
Understand basic electronics components like resistors, capacitors, inductors and transistors.
Solder a circuit while bottle feeding an infant. (lead free solder please.)
The meaning of technical acronyms.
The coffee dash, blindfolded (or blurry eyed). Coffee [cream] [sugar]. In under a minute.
Build a fighting robot.
Program a fighting robot.
Build a failsafe into a fighting robot so it doesn’t kill you.
Be able to trace the Fellowship’s journey on a map of Middle Earth.
Know all the names of the Dwarves in The Hobbit.
Understand the difference between a comic book and a graphic novel.
Know where your towel is and why it is important.
Knowing the answer to life, the universe and everything.
Re-enact the parrot sketch.
Know the words to The Lumberjack Song.
Reciting key scenes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Be able to recite at least one Geek Movie word for word.
Know what the 8th Chevron does on a Stargate and how much power is required to get a lock.
Be able to explain why it’s important that Han shot first.
Know why it is just wrong for Luke and Leia to kiss.
Stop talking Star Wars long enough to get laid.
The ability to name actors, characters and plotlines from the majority of sci-fi movies produced since 1968.
Cite Mythbusters when debunking a myth or urban legend.
Sleep with a Cricket bat next to your bed.
Have a documented plan on what to do during a zombie or robot uprising.
Identify evil alternate universe versions of friends, family, co-workers or self.
Be able to convince TSA that the electronic parts you are carrying are really not a threat to passengers.
Talk about things that aren’t tech related.
Get something on the front page of Digg.


A tale of woe...

This county band Sons of Maxwell took a jaunty trip on United Airlines and to their dismay saw the baggage carriers mishandling their equiptment. When they got off home-boy's guitar had a case of snapped neck syndrome, so he complained to the airline & they basically told him off. He decided that the issue shouldn't be a total waste & wrote this song "United Breaks Guitars."
So I pass this on to you, in the hopes that this gets enough views to guilt United into doing the right thing.


ie8 marketing truth

ie8 marketing truth
Originally uploaded by infamousKirch

I know, not music related again... but I'm a web-dev and this is very funny.


Cheap DualShock

I recently got a chinese knock-off USB DualShock Controller (like what's used with playstation) and I've been playing with that and rejoice (you can download it here) I've been using it with Ableton Live pretty much like they show in this forum post.

The main reason I got the thing was so that my wife and I can play with some NES emulators and other questionably free things, but Nesticle is stupid and doesn't recognise it. Fortunately for me autohotkey allows access to the joystick to emulate key-strokes, which after a bit of coding makes it bearable, but I need to take some time to perfect the script & make it work 100%

With Ableton Live's key-mapping ability I might just do-away with rejoice, if only I could figure out a decent way to send the actual joystick data to Live in a way that works well.

Originally when trying to get the DualShock controller to work, I figured I would use PureData's [hid] object. Unfortunately I was on a windows machine, which uses [hidin], which is nowhere near as functional as hid, so none of the buttons would register anything.With hidin the D-Pad, joysticks & select/start were the only buttons working; but with hid they all worked perfectly. maybe I'm just missing some minor detail, but I'm definately not using OSC just to access hid to make a $10 controller work properly.

As I look at the controller, I can't help but to be tempted to re-case it with arcade buttons & replace the joysticks with knobs (2 each) to be a custom ableton controller, but I'll wait til after the numark scratch deck comes out to see if it's worth-while, I mean look at this thing, imagine using that as a HID with ableton live? heck, maybe they'll even release one AS a hid for controllerists.
Anyhow, this has gone on long enough, so if all goes as planned I will post some source code later this week for comment & prosperity.


Ubuntu on pIII

If any of you keep up to tabs on my twitter, almost a week ago I installed Ubuntu 9.04 (jaunty jackalope) on an old pIII donated to me by my father in law. It's got under 400mb of memory, a painfully slow proccessor, and I'm sure would crumble under the pressure of any windows distro.

With ubuntu though, it's practically a speed demon. I mean I've noticed a few slow-downs with Multi-tabbed browsing & multi-desktop stuff running at the same time, but this computer was about to be taking up a landfill.

I've been wanting to have another dev environment for some time now, and my collection of "broken" computers are far too broken to run period let alone install an OS. They've got BIOS problems, drives missing/broken, so I'm quite happy to have this new member of my network.

I've never really used a 'nix distro actually installed on a machine. I've played with pureDyne, Damn Small Linux, and Knoppix Live CD distro's and they're all great in their own way. The problem I've had with Live CDs is that they're hogging my CD drive, you can't install or change anything, and on some of them it's really confusing to mount an USB key, or even the hard drive.

The installation proccess with ubuntu was really easy (expecially on a machine I planned on making ubuntu-only.) I popped in the disk, filled out some forms, and let it chug away.

Mounting drives is now as easy as plugging them in.

My only issue now is that my internet connection is shite and upgrading, or installing anything is daunting (because if it fails, you have to start again.) But perserverence is key, and I'm sure someday I'll get a good connection.

I've been trying to install Pd-extended (the one ubuntu serves through apt-get is vanilla) But it's got 8 files that need to be upgraded & sure enough my connection craps out half-way through. so hopefully soon I'll have some fun playing with the linux-only capabilities in pureData.

Until then, I'll just enjoy the pre-installed games (they're crazy-fun) and keep trying.

Ok. i figured out how to get a list of packages Pd needs installed, and now I'm only missing one.
It was pretty easy to find the list, just click the details button... the smaller files were easily downloaded & installed, the only one giving me headaches now is libflite1, it's like 14.1mb, and keeps failing on me. I downloaded it & some other attachments on a flash drive so hopefully this will get me on my way to actually installing Pd-extended.

Template Issues: RESOLVED

Oh yes... this is nice. I fixed my template issues up real good, now all I have is to style the prev/next/home & atom feed buttons on the bottom of this page and it'll be %100.

To resolve my issue I had to host my javascript remotely, which let me play with code.google.com, which I was hoping to do soon anyhow.


agh !!

Major technical difficulties ... I wonder is wordpress has these issues and if I can port over there seamlessly... hrm... but I have been working on this site & it's SEO for a while now, so I dunno... I might have to look into it, although I've had issues with wordpress before.


Throbbing Gristle: Boing Boing Interview

Check out all the lovely Korg & DIY gear in this. They've got almost all the Korg Nano controllers, DS-10, Kaossilator & miniKP... Theremin, DIY Modular Synths... two words: Ruff Grawr.


Politricks Funny

OK, so again... not a politics blog BUT I just love the "Renaissance" going on in 'Merica right now... It entertains me to think that millions of people thing a politician will keep his word, after being shown time & time again that campaign promises, are empty promises... of course this video was produced by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, so take it with a grain of salt. For better (impartial) information try out http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/


Blog Rating

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

Created by OnePlusYou - Free Dating Sites

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

  • suck (1x)

I'm a little suprized that I didn't foul it up with anything offensive or whatever... I mean I expected at-least PG ....


Ableton Live Foot Controller & Electro-Supplies

Ever since I saw a post about using a keyboard with a bunch of the keys ripped off to control Ableton Live (see $10 Ableton Controller) I wanted to make one of them, but put it in a huge box, and use stomp-switches, unfortunately digikey & mouser have insane prices on them (like $5 - $15 each) Today over at CDM they posted about the footswitch pictured here, and It's a lovely beast. 21 keys (one controls the capslock) for a combo of 40 unique functions, woah.

Anywho, as I was flipping through that post somebody meantioned the cost of those switches, and fortunately for us, provided a source to get them at a reasonable price, about a buck each... nice ... You can get directly to the switch in question here: http://www.rapidonline.com/Electronic-Components/Switches/Push-Button-Switches/Foot-switches/79208

I flipped through a couple pages ... and this shop is excellent, I'm thinking they'll get my business for my next major geek-out project.


Template Issues

OK, so we got some slight template issues ... I'm going to be working on them & should'nt be a problem soon.

Dizzy Woosh @ Fallout Shelter Quasi-Review

Over the weekend I stopped by 'Fallout Shelter' in Aliquippa, Pa to see my friend's band 'Dizzy Woosh,' Which is a 7 peice outfit consisting of drums, accordion, guitar (x2), bass, banjo, and percussion. A line-up that reminds me of an old joke "What do you call perfect pitch? When you throw an accordion in the dumpster and it smashes a banjo" But oddly enough they worked out excellently together. The venue was about as spacious as a VW beatle, and the one guitar player graciously stood off-stage when he didn't need to rock his Wah, but they're weren't many bumps or bruises going through the performance.

The Fallout Shelter is located under Sheffield Lanes, but was acoustically seperated from the pounding that I'm sure was happening above. The atmosphere was nice, but extremely cramped, the stage area was definitely better suited for a power trio, the bar was stocked well enough for the basics of beers & liquors. It took a song or two to work out all the bugs, but Dizzy Woosh had the last set of the night, and was still plugging in when I showed up so I wasn't too shocked by the minor glitches. The room-acoustics seemed to suck up a lot of bass, and spit out a lot of treble; or maybe it was the higher pitches generally found in accordion and banjo that really out-shown the bass frequencies.

Any way you put it, Dizzy Woosh is a great band, and the Fallout Shelter is a decent venue, I'ld go back to see 'em both if I had a chance. It was fun.


TED - Classical Music

Here's a very nice 20 minute lecture on music from the TEDtalks, this guy is insanely interesting and talks alot about why classical is 'boring' and 'one buttocks playing' and a but on music theory. nice


Korg DS-10, Glentown

Here's another clip that my folks would love, my whole family loves irish trad. and my dad also has a copy of DS-10 (yay, music-geeks!)


Audio Ad

This is a pretty clever ad for some audio company ... I think my dad would get a kick out of this (He's a Music Pro, who directs several choirs amongst other things)...


Drewl Drewl

... or how I learned to stop worrying and love the namm ...
I wanted an MPK49, but $500 some was a little much, and I'm not a pianist by any stretch of the imagination. Now they have the MPK25, a 25 key version... no sliders, but it keeps the arpeggiator & tap tempo great stuff ... what a lovely controller...

Numark ns7 midi for DJ, kinda an all-in-one awesome rock box for real DJ feel in a controller... sweet..

and of course some more Numark products that are nice, but basically the same, the stealth and the omni...

A new Big Muff Pi is out with 2 new switches .... one bypasses the tone control, the other opens some 3 hi-freq filters for some more top end ... I love distortion pedals so I might try to get me one of these...

and another Electro-Harmonix fuzz/EQ that sounds WONDERFUL

of course just after I get a microKorg, they come out with the microKorg XL ... but the major difference is the keys & knobs ... I love my knobs, the more the better ... the XL has less, boo... and since I'm not a pianist or anything at all, the mini-keys are just great for me, it's nice to have a multi-octave stretch.


Neatorama Queue & New Template...

I've been working near full-time on getting to the top of the list over on the Neatorama Queue ... top poster this month gets an Ipod Touch ... so fingers crossed... I'm also working on a new template for this blog, you can check it out over at: http://aggtest.blogspot.com/ ... it's still in the very fundamental stages though.


My next BIG purchase...

I'll be saving up for this new sequencer announced outside of NAMM ... 

I love the intar-webs ... except when the tubes get too fulled up...


Hey, check it out... My Mini City .... If you click this link it'll increase the population ^_^ 


New Year, new stuff...

Yeah, happy new year everybody ... The Krampus didn't get me this year, and saint nick was very good to me. I got a microKorg, and DS-10, and a Beadazzler; so very very busy the past couple of weeks making all sorts of sounds, and putting studs in my gig-bags.

The microKorg sounds so freakin' sweet, and has some great features and the knobs feel GREAT (but weird, I'm used to sticky Moog Rogue knobs. these move too smoothly) ... I'm very in love with the patch-editor that you can nab from their site. I've never really played with midi before, I mean, I've USED midi, but never anything with sys-ex, which is awesome ... I'm gonna try playing with pureData into this, controlling the midi, then editing the sound somehow, might even bring the arduino into the fun if I can get my hands on some midi jacks, I wanna be doing some fun stuff likethis : http://www.larsby.com/johan/diytar/ (Arduino + microKorg) .

DS-10 is also AWESOME... the real cart has a little cleaner graphics than diplodicus... but that's neither here nor there... it's all fun in the end.

Also I signed up for twitter today to play around with that ... Probably build something for flashDen or what-not with their API, maybe hook up an arduino and have it tweet every time a flea farts, who knows, it's there ... displaying the minutia of a lot of people's lives...