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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2018 » March » 16

Watch a VU meter turn into percussion, control voltage

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 16 Mar 2018 6:47 pm

Here’s a fun hack: a vintage-style meter needle turns into a source of percussion and signal for a modular.

“Don’t plug this into that” or “that’s not what this is supposed to be for” are not really concepts obeyed by the electronic musician. So thanks to Simon Kitson for sending this in. In this case, a modular synth is involved but — really, you could do something like this with any random bit of gear and some piezos. (Piezo mics, in turn, are something you can build yourself for a few bucks with decent – to – terrible soldering skills.)

From a capitalist perspective, I should have course regularly be encouraging you to go spend your money on gear all the time but … this hack is totally compatible with “I just found some junk someone left by a dumpster.”

Simon writes:

I thought that you might be interested in this video of a vu meter being used as percussion with CV and a balanced piezoelectric pickup. It is a great return on a limited investment in time.

Excellent. Plus those needles are fun to watch wiggle, of course. Enjoy!

The post Watch a VU meter turn into percussion, control voltage appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

This custom TR-09 controller is also a great starting point for DIYers

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 16 Mar 2018 6:26 pm

Sometimes, when manufacturers don’t give us exactly what we need, a wonderful thing happens: people invent something to make up the difference.

In this case, while the solution involves Roland’s cute li’l TR-09, the resources here will be useful to anyone curious about making custom controllers – with or without pint-sized Roland drum machines.

Kyle Evans, aka pulseCoder, wanted more hands-on controls for live shows of the TR-09. Those tiny little pots on the machine just weren’t cutting it. The resulting build is beautiful and futuristic – partly because when you build stuff for yourself, you can lavish some extra expense on parts and not worry about pesky things like shipping weight and profit margins. (That’s one reason the DIYer will always, always have an edge over store-bought gear.)

But the other story here is, building this sort of controller has gotten a easier in the past few years than it used to be. Advancements like Arduino, Teensy, and kit-friendly multiplexers may not mean much to people building similar microcontroller-based projects some twenty years ago. But if you’re a musician and say something like “uh, what’s multiplexing?” – this is a nice leg up.

With live performances enjoying a nice renaissance on techno lineups and such, it seems the time is right for some tinkering. So here you go:

1. The Teensy LC microcontroller is the brains of the operation – it’s an easy, inexpensive, flexible chip you can program with the artist-friendly Arduino environment.

Teensy LC store

How to use MIDI with Teensy

2. Multiplexing is a way way to use all those switches, pots, and LEDs without needing so many separate wires. And to help you prototype faster, hobbyist emporium Sparkfun makes a kit that handles just this problem:

Sparkfun Multiplexer

Multiplexer hookup guide

3. The glue to make this work is a little bit of code. You can check out Kyle’s code as a model, especially if you’re also interested in making a TR-09 controller:

TR-09 MIDI code

4. Power tools! It’s not a fun DIY project if you don’t get to do some drilling, satisfying the basic human need to make loud noises and accomplish stuff. Kyle tells CDM: “these arcade switched are not illuminated by default, I drilled holes in the bottom of the plastic casing and added LEDs 🙂

Here’s a look at that finished build:

The post This custom TR-09 controller is also a great starting point for DIYers appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Essaie Pas: New Path review – techno dystopias with witty flashes of funk

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Fri 16 Mar 2018 11:30 am


From Run the Jewels to Gary Numan, musicians technophobically fretting over the future of humanity have long used Philip K Dick as a touchstone – and that’s not counting the endless riffs on Vangelis’s synthscapes from the Dick-derived Blade Runner. Essaie Pas, married producers Marie Davidson and Pierre Guerineau, have used Dick’s druggily dsytopian novel A Scanner Darkly as inspiration for their fifth album, and tap into his dread much better than most. Their aesthetic is mostly cyberpunk coldwave, with techno kick drums pounding uncaringly in 4/4 motion; on Futur Parlé, they are cut through by neon scythes of metallic sound, before being joined by a three-note Chicago house bassline and Davidson’s signature monotone vocals (also brilliant on solo releases and her collaborations with Not Waving and Solitary Dancer). Les Agents des Stups switches up to relentless electro, before Substance M dives back to deep, stern techno. These expansive dancefloor moments are strong, but you long for a couple more of their left turns. Complet Brouillé is apparently inspired by dissociative drug experiences, though this particular K -hole is brightly decorated: another addictive Chicago bassline is placed against a stuttering beat to create infectious, witty funk. The chilling title track meanwhile features a robotic voice spewing shards of A Scanner Darkly dialogue into a void of sustained synth chords, a little like the dying protagonist Hal 9000 in another sci-fi classic, 2001A Space Odyssey. Essaie Pas have gone beyond cliche and fandom to make something that truly speaks to the dynamic thought and droll humour at the heart of Dick’s writing.

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FCC Announces Dates for Submitting “Long-Form” Applications by AM Stations that Filed for New FM Translators in Second Translator Window

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Fri 16 Mar 2018 11:13 am

The FCC yesterday released a Public Notice announcing a filing window from April 18 through May 9 for “long-form” applications for new translators that were filed in the January 2018 window for Class A and B AM stations to seek new FM translators to rebroadcast their stations. The Public Notice also sets out the procedures for filing in this window. The window is for the filing of a complete Form 349 applications by applicants who were deemed to be “singletons,” i.e. their applications are not predicted to cause interference to any other translator applicant. The list of singletons is here.  The long-form application requires more certifications and technical information than that which was submitted during the initial filing window.

After the long-form application is submitted to the FCC, the application will be published in an FCC public notice of broadcast applications. Interested parties will have 15 days from that publication date to comment or object. If no comments are filed, and no other issues arise, the FCC’s Audio Division is known for its speed in processing translator applications so that grants might be expected for many of the applications within 60 days of the end of the window.

Not specifically addressed is when the FCC will open a settlement window to resolve interference between applications that were not found to be singletons.  At some point in the future, the FCC will allow AMs that filed applications for translators that are predicted to cause interference to other translator proposals to reach a settlement or make minor technical changes to resolve their interference issues.  Until that window is open, however, mutually exclusive applicants are prohibited from communicating with each other due to the prohibited communications rules that apply during broadcast auctions – which these applications will end up in if their mutual exclusivity is not resolved during the settlement window.

In any event, it appears that a number of AM stations – more than 600 according to today’s announcement — will soon be able to start service with their new FM translator stations. If processing in the last window for Class C and D AM stations is any indication, we should see a number of grants of new translators before summer officially starts.

Mobile Phone Ambassadors

Delivered... Thomas Burkhalter (Norient) | Scene | Fri 16 Mar 2018 7:00 am

Glo mobile, a subsidiary of Nigerian multinational telecom company Globacom Limited, is fighting for customers in the contested Ghanaian market. Singers and musicians are key in advertising the brand. Norient talked with Eugene Hoggar, the man in charge of the company’s music ambassadors and conceptualizes, coordinates and manages promotions, events and sponsored programs. From the Norient book Seismographic Sounds (see and order here).

Edem, rapper and music ambassador for Glo mobile (Photo © by Gapson, 2015)

[Thomas Burkhalter]: Ghana seems highly competitive right now: six mobile phone companies, thousands of evangelical churches, and growing music scenes are attracting buyers and followers. Why is Ghana important for your company?
[Eugene Hoggar]: As you said, Ghana is very competitive. People are striving and pushing. It’s a survival of the fittest economy. If you have a dream you must go for it, as the economy is full of potential. You have to take the bull by the horn. That’s how we are brought up: we cook with seriousness, we dance with seriousness, we sing with seriousness. Churches, businesses, they don’t play. We strive to be the best. This is Ghana. And this is Africa, too.

[TB]: How important is music for the advertisement of Glo mobile?
[EH]: In Africa you can’t do without music. We love music. That’s why we keep signing a lot of artists. We signed Reggie Rockstone, the originator of hiplife music. We have rapper Edem, we have singer Sharifa Gunu, we have a lot of them: the crème de la crème, the biggest music players in Ghana. Let’s reinforce the point: we are in a very competitive environment. To persuade a customer to sign a contract with Glo we need to be unique. So, we have the best artists of the country spearhead Glo mobile. Glo is the best and fastest growing telecommunication company in Africa. When we join forces with these artists we move at the speed of light.

[TB]: What happens when you sign your ambassadors? What is expected from them?
[EH]: We mainly use them for our commercials. We use their music as ringtones. We use their faces on our billboards. They have to carry good messages about the brand and promote the brand anywhere they go. Basically, their blood should be as green as our logo. Everything that they do has an effect on the brand – positively or negatively. If they shine, the brand shines as well. If they release a new track, we do everything to push this track to the next level. We also have ambassadors in Nigeria – for example, superstar P Square. We can invite him to Ghana to collaborate with one of our ambassadors and push his or her career. Music has contributed immensely to our success.

«Good Things Don’t Come Easy»

[TB]: Are these ambassadors difficult to get? A potential candidate might first go to Vodafone, then Glo, then Tigo, and ask each company how much they will pay.
[EH]: Good things don’t come easy, my friend. Yes, we’ve paid an arm and a leg to get them. One of our competitors had one ambassador, now they have two. But Glo has fifteen. We are pioneers for working with musicians. Managing these stars is not child’s play. If you need them for a commercial, they might be in America, England or Switzerland for a concert. Tracking their activities and making sure that they live a good life is difficult, too. They need to give a positive image of the brand.

[TB]: What kind of message do you want to spread?
[EH]: What we try to convey with our TV commercials, radio shows and through our ambassadors is quality, innovation, and the fact that our offer stands out on the market. We use our ambassadors to sermon that message to people. They are at the frontline. All we’re trying to do is to let them rule their world. We want them confidently ruling the world through Glo Mobile Ghana.

[TB]: How important are the lyrics sung on their albums and in concerts?
[EH]: It’s key. If we have a potential future ambassador we analyze his or her lyrics. If we realize that the lyrics bring a negative light on the brand we’ll stay away. We don’t want our brand to be too explicit or vulgar. So, yes, we are careful.

[TB]: So the duo FOKN Bois (learn more about the FOKN Bois here) might not be a future candidate?
[EH]: The FOKN Bois are genius. See, we have a checklist: we want people who have a vision and we want people who positively appeal to the market. We believe in Africanism, and they represent that. So, yes, we are watching them closely. Who knows about tomorrow? We may approach them, or we may not approach them.

The text was published first in the second Norient book Seismographic Sounds. Click on the image to know more.

Read More on Norient

> Wayne Marshall: «From Hi-fi to Wi-fi»
> Norient: «Who Is Being Heard in Global Music?»
> Thomas Burkhalter: «Visions of a New World – Ghana»

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