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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2020 » April » 07

Kero and Defasten made our virus dreams into a futuristic music video (CDM premieres)

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 7 Apr 2020 9:48 pm

What do you do when you can’t get a virus off your mind? Channel that into a bioscience audio-vision of immunity that reflects that new reality. We talk to Defasten and Kero about their music video for “Lodge.”

We need this sort of fantasy and escape now, I think. But do also check in on the reality in Detroit and the USA – to all our colleagues and friends and family there, we are with you, from Berlin to LA and around the world.

Highways is the kind of EP that might soothe your mood now – it’s a pulsing, electronic, unfamiliar world, but somehow comfortable. It’s music to disinfect to – dry, irregular acid lines, asymmetrical rhythms, but then mellow harmonies set against them. “Chrysler” sounds like a floating Detroit concept car, after hours, a stylish opener punctuated by a wonderful, bizarre bass line. “Southfield” is urgent and groovy; “Fisher” a growling post-apocalyptic IDM deconstructed-electro. “Davison” is delightfully weird reserved glitch. This is Michigan, yes, but through some Tron filter – enter the sadistic game grid.

“Lodge” rounds out the release, and it’s to me the most ambitious – and striking – culmination of Kero’s concept here. Its abstract cycle never quite materializes, a stuttering sound sculpture trying to escape an Enterprise transporter pattern buffer, but with beautiful, murky pad clusters breathing in and out in the background.

That music is evocative even if you close your eyes, but Defasten gives us a bio-science concept visual – unsettling but eerily pretty turquoise and purple 3D imagery. Watch:

Video: www.defasten.com

This is built in Notch, the same 3D software Ted Pallas used in the xR experiments I wrote about yesterday. (Ted reviewed this 3D software for CDM – I’m editing that review now.)

Here’s what Kero and Defasten had to say about their work here.

Peter: Want to say anything about the music, sounds? Love the vibe so – could be either the gear or the feeling you had, or both?

I have always had a love for futuristic GUIs in an ode to classic Miami Vice 80s and futurism / cyberpunk aesthetics. Defasten basically just worked with the aesthetic concepts he knew I already loved, but added a few elements of medical and scientific imagery that we both felt inspired by the worlds current crisis.

Kero’s rig for this release: Eurorack modular (of course, classic Doepfer stuff at top anchoring the setup), Elektron Analog Rytm MKII, Elektron Analog Four MKII, and Teenage Engineering OP-Z, which is nearly camouflaged in gray against its larger fellow Swedish gear.

For both of you – I mean, is there something cathartic and calming about really diving into the science here, understanding what this thing is we’re up against? Or how did you feel about the viral content?

Patrick from Defasten: The Lodge video visibly is a comment on what we’re experiencing right now globally. I found the microsounds of the track to evoke the biology of our bodies, the microscopic world that constitutes our being. It was of interest to interpret this graphically, with the real-time synthetic imagery discreetly reacting to Kero’s sonic pulses.

That said, there is indeed something calming when you’re focusing on crafting an idea, isolated at home. I think a lot of academics and researchers of any field can relate to the isolation required to develop an idea. This is the strange calm required to quell the storm.

CDM: To ask another question, is there a feeling of being on the side of science and technology as an approach, not just sort of giving into 1918 chaos?

Patrick: Let’s hope we don’t give into the 1918 chaos. Looking at the numbers now, we are not experiencing the loss of life at such magnitude. We are grateful that science and technology and general quality of life has increased since the last 100 years. That said, massive loss of life in 2020 is still to be taken very seriously.

But yes – I am on the side of science and technology to combat the pandemic, in addition to the cooperation of everyone to respect the temporary measures in place in reducing the spread of the coronavirus. In 1918, they didn’t have the internet – we now have this luxury to have the latest info – either fake or real – relayed to our phones. In many ways, we’re equipped to handle a pandemic, however it doesn’t mean we should put all our faith in science – in reality, politics has played a huge role in the pandemic’s acceleration, and science only responds as a result.

Can you talk about how this collaboration came together? Obviously there’s tons of visual-sonic collaboration and boundary pushing on DU.

PD: It came out quite spontaneously. I’ve already done more than a few works for Kero’s label since a few years now, I think we understand each other musically/aesthetically and are generally in the same zone with our tastes and interests. So once again – he gave me carte blanche to design what I felt was right. This kind of creative collaboration is what I value most – when there is solid trust in the members involved, and that the constructive dialog between the creatives enhance the process.

What’s next for this project and others? Will we see this bio-future-opera expanded?

PD: I’m interested in exploring the themes explored in the video further, but is it really a ‘’bio-future-opera’’? That is up to the public to decide. Prior to the pandemic – I was already interested in the intersection of biology, technology, the need to improve/augment our bodies, and the innerworld that is within us all. I think, instead of this over-emphasis on AI we’ve seen in the 2010s – the time is ripe for the creative and tech industries to re-examine itself, expand its interests, and push towards a new awareness and understanding of what is already all around us – not only to gain immunity to timeless viruses, but to understand/unlock the secrets of the microscopic world which we rely on to be alive, and of course to respect its boundaries. This of course will not be a smooth journey.

How do you hope people will watch this? I turned out the lights and went VERY full screen in the dark. But with all these streams around, I wonder if you have a vision for how we can have some more, say, quality immersion.

PD: What you did sounds like a good idea. The video is a slow burner and doesn’t require your constant attention – watch it on your phone if you like. There’s a lot of micro detail, so the higher the screen resolution, the better. The original content was made in Notch, so it’s generated in real-time, and it could loop forever, so ideally – a multi-screen installation setup running on real-time data in a large, dimly lit, architectural space. Sound familiar? 🙂 I also see it as a kind of backdrop to a sober, advanced tech ‘’mission briefing’’, in a large auditorium or hangar, with speakers of various expertise explaining to an audience the stakes at hand. Like a TED Talk PowerPoint presentation replaced with a holographic visual data presence.

The latest from Detroit, on the front lines

Next up from Detroit Underground is Joe Sousa, who will be out next on audio tape, Infinite Cold Distance. He had these sobering words to share about the current situation in Detroit; he’s a respiratory therapist by day so right out there.

Joe, you stay safe, too – and thanks for the update, especially as we deal with this worldwide. We can’t wait to hear your music.

Covid-19, week 3 southeast Michigan update:

This is going to be an account of my experiences during the boom of this virus, and to the point.

I was the charge therapist staffed during the initial weekend of SARS-CoV-2 infected admissions. Admittedly, a time of extreme uncertainty, with high anxieties felt across every profession in my building. You could feel it as you walked into rooms, as you talked to providers, as you tried to guide those around you with what knowledge you had. I am at a minimum pleased to say that phase has passed.

While my hospital (40 minutes away from epicenters such as Detroit or central Oakland County) is not yet challenged with at-capacity status, we are faced with the highest acute workload we have ever seen as a respiratory department. We have more ventilated patients than I’ve seen in my 8 year tenure. The patient population who requires critical care typically has at least one other health issue, but not all. Age is barely a factor, but most people are between 40 and 80. That being said, there has been individuals who are in their earlier 20s, and let that be a reality check.

Regarding diagnosis and treatment: this is an ever-evolving beast. Too many unknowns, and much is questioned daily, not only based on my personal research but based on conversation with providers across the field. Those with hypertension, diabetes, and ACE inhibitor usage seem to be at highest risk. Conjecture between cytokine storm, vasculopathy, thromboembolism, and more, point to an atypical presentation of ARDS. Some things I’ve read are saying it’s actually not true ARDS at all. Many lung mechanic strategies we implement end up being similar, but there is so much food for thought that I’m kept with a consistently open mind. For the layman: this is a unique virus. Too new (“Novel”), and lots to study. Full disclosure: I am not a physician or an infectious disease specialist for example, but knowing how others think is important as a clinician; to best integrate my respiratory tactic into the care plan. I put this here just as an insight to perspective on how every frontline team member is integrally involved in outcomes.

Regarding PPE: we as an institution early-implemented conservative measures, so we are not yet on the shortage side of the line. I anticipate this happening, though, if the supply chain has not been figured out by now. I also don’t believe in a first world country we should have to worry about “conserving” single-use protective equipment, so that thought is slightly daunting. Key point: I take my time putting on my gear and taking it off, properly, effectively, safely. It goes without saying that we, as the health care workforce, are exponentially more at risk than anyone social distancing or locked in their homes.

Beyond this, I truly feel for my other southeast Michigan hospitals nearing or at capacity. Michigan is currently at the 4th highest case count, and the 3rd highest deaths. And in the spirit of honesty: when they do, the deaths come swiftly. It is taxing to all of us, mentally and emotionally. I’m not a proponent of fear, but please stay home. Please be clean. Keep up your immunity and cardiopulmonary system with proper diet and exercise. Please take my word for it. And probably best to lay off the NSAIDS for a while.

Finally, there has been a token of uplifting measure: to see the level of support from so many friends and family of mine, checking in, giving thanks, it’s just all extremely encouraging. This matters more than you know, and I know my peers feel the same. Thank you to all the restaurants and individuals who donate meals and endless snacks to our ICU units, and while these aren’t alway the healthiest options, it does plenty for morale.

Listen to facts from experts, not headlines in the news. Knowledge is power more than ever, and I hope it quells some stress for some of you, I know it does for me. Stay safe and diligent everyone. This too shall pass.

Kero’s release and videos

Well, we’ll need something while we’re home. So for those of you who can, go get that record, which comes adorned with fantastic urban topography from Berlin’s graphic design shop www.neubauberlin.com, pressed in Detroit at Archer.

And for everybody, we get some eye candy. Dim the lights. Start with the opener:

Another one by Katya Ganya, for “Fisher”:

And Bryant CPU Place [www.cyberpatrolunit.com], for “Southfield”:

The post Kero and Defasten made our virus dreams into a futuristic music video (CDM premieres) appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Control free streaming tool OBS Studio with OSC – and more essential tricks

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 7 Apr 2020 5:27 pm

Control live streaming and recording tool OBS Studio with other apps and tools, and route video live. Free add-ons make it all possible.

Keep in mind this isn’t just for the live streaming craze – it’s for recording, too. But if you’re going to stream, by all means, do something interesting.

Carlo Cattano has made a free tool with some major implications – and it’s simple enough that it’s also a nice demo of how to write this in Python, generally. This code lets you route Open Sound Control – the high-res, open communication protocol used by many VJ apps, touch apps on iOS, and other applications – into OBS Studio:

Control OBS Studio with Open Sound Control template example [https://github.com/CarloCattano/ObSC]

That opens up all sorts of possibilities – script and automate video switching, jam live with the input, automate screencasts and recording, and more.

Also useful in OBS – you can route input from other applications directly.

On the Mac, you can use Syphon, open tech that lets you route 3D textures in OpenGL as easily between apps as you might audio signal in a patch bay. That’s native in the latest OBS release.

By the way you might even go the opposite direction – using this as output to mapping, for example:

On Windows, there’s Spout2 support (the Windows DirectX 11 equivalent of Syphon):


For an example of what this is for, here’s someone recording live visuals – alongside Ableton Live – using OBS and Spout. And this is from 2017, so again, it’s not just about live streaming during the pandemic.

And across platforms, you can use obs-ndi, which support’s NewTek’s NDI for networked audiovisual support:


That’s useful,, because it lets you freely specify sources, outputs, and filters using OBS over a network.

Streamers – and gamers in particular – have been using this already to use phones as remote cameras and perform multiple computer streaming.

You can even use it to save using a capture card:

More tips:

And yes, you could also use NDI to build your own switcher using something like TouchDesigner:

Full tutorial:


So there you have it. Let other people keep running horrible sound from their phone, while you use OBS as an all-purpose tool for routing, switching, capturing, and streaming video. Oh yeah and – you can use all of this to make your phone a capture, while using your computer to make light work of streaming/recording audio feeds and mic in high quality.

And the essential glue here is all free.

That means all of this streaming craze is a perfectly reasonable time for the rest of us to hone some of our video chops, whether we’re musicians or visualists. So hope you’re staying safe at home, and happily patching video switchers any time the news makes you a bit too anxious. At least … that’s part of my plan, for sure. Best to all of you and – yes, you can actually invite me to your streams.

The post Control free streaming tool OBS Studio with OSC – and more essential tricks appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

FCC April Meeting to Consider LPFM and Video Captioning – Looking at the LPFM Proposed Order (Including Interference Protections for TV Channel 6)

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Tue 7 Apr 2020 4:06 pm

The FCC last week released its tentative agenda for its April 23 open meeting.  For broadcasters, that meeting will include consideration of the adoption of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (draft NPRM here) looking to broaden obligations for the audio description of television programming (referred to as the Video Description proceeding) – which we will write about in more detail later.  The agenda also includes a Report and Order modifying rules relating to Low Power FM stations, which also addresses the protection of TV channel 6 stations by FM stations (full-power or LPFM) operating in the portion of the FM band reserved for use by noncommercial stations.  The FCC’s draft order in this proceeding is here.  We initially wrote here about these FCC’s proposals when the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the proceeding was adopted last year. Today, we will look at how the FCC has tentatively decided to resolve some of the issues.

One of the most controversial issues was the proposal to allow LPFM stations to operate with a directional antenna.  While some directional operations had been approved by waiver in the past, there was some fear that allowing these antennas more broadly could create the potential for more interference to full-power stations.  As a directional antenna requires greater care in installation and maintenance to ensure that it works as designed, some feared that LPFM operators, usually community groups often without a broadcast background or substantial resources, would not be able to properly operate such facilities.  The FCC has tentatively decided to allow use of directional antenna by LPFM stations. However, it will require LPFM stations installing such antennas to conduct proof of performance measurements to assure that the antenna is operating as designed.  The cost of such antennas, the limited situations in which such antennas will be needed (principally when protecting translators and in border areas), and the additional cost of the proof of performance should, in the FCC’s opinion, help to limit their use to entities that can afford to maintain them properly.

Also, the FCC has tentatively decided to allow LPFM stations to operate FM boosters.  As with any other FM station, the booster cannot extend the signal of the primary LPFM station.  Boosters will be helpful principally in areas with irregular terrain that shields part of an LPFM’s service area from receiving the main station’s signal.  As these stations operate on the same channel as the LPFM itself, if not properly shielded, they can create interference to the primary station.  The FCC will allow any LPFM station to operate up to two boosters (or two translators) or one translator and one booster.

The definition of a minor change in the transmission facilities of an LPFM would be broadened if the FCC adopts the draft Order.  Instead of limiting a minor change to moves of 5.6 kilometers, the FCC is now doubling that limitation – allowing moves of up to 11.2 kilometers or to any location where the present and proposed 60 dBu contour of the LPFM station would overlap.  This change is important to LPFM advocates as it significantly increases the area in which a station can be moved without waiting for the infrequent filing windows for new stations and major changes.  Minor changes can be filed at any time.

The FCC declined to allow LPFMs to increase maximum power from 100 to 250 watts.  The FCC has previously rejected similar proposals and decided that there was no reason to change that decision now.  The FCC felt that there would be too many potential interference issues, including issues that have already been raised by some full-power stations about LPFMs in “foothills” areas – where their height above average terrain is low and can put a vast signal over a metropolitan area.  That can occur if the LPFM is in an area that is high relative to the metropolitan area in one direction, but the height of the proposed antenna above average terrain is lowered because there are mountains behind the transmitter site, thus lowering the average terrain height (which is computed on the average of the heights along 12 radials extending from the proposed transmitter site).  A higher antenna can dramatically increase coverage over the lower metropolitan area far beyond what the FCC predicted when it adopted the required mileage separation requirements that apply to LPFM stations.

The one issue in the order with ramifications beyond LPFMs is the decision not to decide to lift all restrictions on the location of FM stations – full-power or low power – operating in the reserved portion of the FM band from locating too close to Channel 6 TV (or LPTV) stations.  Prior to the digital television transition, as the FM band is adjacent to Channel 6 and the analog TV transmission system involved FM-like transmission of audio signals, there was the potential for interference between analog FM stations operating low on the FM band and analog TV stations on Channel 6.  While the conversion to digital television has removed many of these issues, some TV operators argued that the potential for interference to digital signals has not been fully analyzed.  They also pointed to the fact that certain LPTV stations may still be operating in analog until July 2021.  Thus, the FCC declined to abolish the interference protections entirely at this point in time.  However, the FCC will permit noncommercial operators in the reserved band (full power or LPFM) to seek a waiver of Channel 6 protection requirements if they can show that the proposed operations would not create interference to any nearby Channel 6 TV station.  That showing would be made using the FM translator criteria in Section 74.1205(c) which establishes an interfering contour for the FM station depending on the frequency on which it operates and a protected Grade B contour for the Channel 6 TV station.  Where those contours don’t overlap, an FM in the reserved band can be located.

The FCC proposes to make other changes regarding LPFM operations in this Order – so review the order to see how they may affect your operations and watch for action at the April 23 meeting to see if these draft rule changes are adopted.

Uganda’s Afrorack goes from modular synths to a DIY disinfectant; more efforts worldwide

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 7 Apr 2020 1:54 pm

Brian Bamanya made a name making DIY modular synths, but now he’s applying voltage to another task – making sodium hypochlorite (aka bleach). Science! That joins a growing number of efforts of DIYers turning to fight the pandemic head-on.

Please, do not try anything like this before reading advisories below.

First off, this stuff is what’s known as household bleach or liquid bleach. Despite the fact that it’s sold readily, it is potentially very toxic – don’t let it touch other cleaning substances based on ammonia and acidic cleaners, for instance, or you’ll brew some harmful fumes. In fact, don’t even leave it sunlight. (Here’s a list of don’ts.) Don’t drink it, obviously (okay, not obvious to some), but also don’t let it touch anything that you’re going to consume – don’t get this anywhere near food.

But used with care, bleach is fantastic. You’ll see it in the toolkits of professional cleaners for a reason – it’s good at certain tasks. And it is very effective on surfaces against SARS-CoV-2, that virus known as the coron— yeah, I know, you hear about it every 15 seconds. Let’s get back to bleach and chemistry, because they’re cool.

But the important thing here is – yes, this can produce a WHO-approved surface cleaner. And no, you should not take any advice in chemistry or health from CDM. Honestly, I’m not sure I would claim you should take synth advice from CDM. Here are reliable sources on bleach and SARS-CoV-2:

World Health Organization on disinfecting [WHO PDF]
COVID-19 – Disinfecting with Bleach [Michigan State University]
National Center for Biotechnology Information on bleach specifically [they’re part of the National Institutes of Health, a US government branch]
Environmental Protection Agency document on the topic

Brian’s approach leans as much on electronics background as it does chemistry, because you can make it by running electricity through sodium chloride salt solution. Yeah – it’s analog. And that’s how it is manufactured.

What Brian is doing that’s clever is making this on a small scale when industrially-produced material has been subject to price hikes – and reusing plastic bottle trash in the process.

Is this a good idea? I don’t want to comment, as I am neither an expert on infectious disease nor anything like a chemist. So I want to put it out there to hear reaction, as normally given the range of backgrounds on the site, someone has an answer. I’ll update this story and our social channels with whatever we hear.

You can support the project here:


And find Brian here:

Bleach is effective in small concentrations; alcohol requires greater purity. But theoretically it should be possible to DIY ethanol alcohol, and off-the-grid types have been doing that before the COVID-19 outbreak. Also, unlike distillation, this will be legal in most places – though be careful not to sell it or make health claims, as that requires a license.

Let me again restate that I am not in any way qualified to talk about this, and you should not listen to me, though you should get in touch if you are qualified, and it is worth reading the experts – if for no other reason than to pass the time.

More efforts from the music makers

It’s also an indication of the changed world we’re in that the synth DIY community in general is in some cases turning to things other than musical instruments.

From Slovakia, Jonáš Gruska of LOM label – an experimental music label and maker of various sound electronics – is one of many people making 3D-printed face masks. (He’s also experimenting with UV hardware, but the face masks I know are being actively advocated by health care professionals around the world for their supplies.)

Groups like NYCResistor, who had been a partner of ours back in NYC, are engaged in similar projects – though the calls are as diverse as places looking for plexiglass boxes for intubation equipment.

Our friend Geert Bevin now of Moog has been making protective gear with UNC Asheville students working at the STEAM Studio:

UNCA students help make protective gear for health care workers [WLOS news]

People are sewing cloth masks, too – originally specifically excluded from guidance, but now part of international recommendations as the contagion and our knowledge of it evolve. Take for instance SewnMasksNYC, and (too many to list here) various efforts undertaken by musicians and media artists in our circle.

Places to find DIY help

I’ll refer to the official US Center for Disease Control instructions here (English + Spanish), just posted as they updated their guidance to begin advocating them. After some mixed messages here, this document is clear and concise and applicable everywhere – uh, once you convert from inches. (Some day, my native country will go metric.)

Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19 [CDC]

You’ll also find active open source groups for equipment. The main hub is currently on Facebook:


With a preferred 3D-printed face shield plan living at:


And here’s some music to accompany this article, by Ana Quiroga as NWRMNTC, who I understand has been sewing masks together with curator/artist Estela Oliva in the UK:

We needed some music, for sure, somewhere in this.

Let us know your feedback and what you may be involved in. I certainly don’t mean to intend that everyone in our community needs to contribute in this way – staying at home or doing your day job may be your best bet, and there’s plenty that matters in music itself these days. But I do hope we can use our networks to stay informed and connected.

The post Uganda’s Afrorack goes from modular synths to a DIY disinfectant; more efforts worldwide appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

No shape: how tech helped musicians melt the gender binary

Delivered... Sasha Geffen | Scene | Tue 7 Apr 2020 12:57 pm

In new book Glitter Up the Dark: How Pop Music Broke the Binary, Sasha Geffen explores music’s new gender nonconformists - here’s an extract

In the 21st century, the proliferation of internet-equipped consumer electronics enabled a new generation of gender nonconformists to communicate across any distance. Trans kids no longer had to move to New York or San Francisco to speak with others like them; they could use Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube to find community. Communication didn’t depend on the presence of the physical body, and even the voice was no longer necessary to speak instantaneously to another person in a different town or a different continent, which was useful if you were trans and still literally finding a voice that felt right in your throat.

Against this cultural backdrop, an increasing number of musicians have begun to make work that unstitches the gendered body from its usual schematic of meaning. In 2010, the Seattle songwriter Mike Hadreas released his debut LP under the name Perfume Genius. He wrote Learning, a raw collection written on piano, while living with his parents and in recovery from drug addiction. The album was quietly popular and Hadreas soon had to figure out how to tour his new songs. He enlisted help from Alan Wyffels, a friend who had taken Hadreas to AA meetings in the early days of his recovery. They proved an excellent musical match, and while playing Hadreas’s songs together, they also fell in love.

Related: Pop star, producer or pariah? The conflicted brilliance of Grimes

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URL to IRL: How Gen Z Are Using Technology to Change the World

Delivered... whitney | Scene | Tue 7 Apr 2020 9:04 am

Technology has always had a fraught relationship with humans. From the invention of the phonograph by Thomas Edison in 1877 to the Pioneer CDJs introduced in 1994, every new apparatus, it seems, is often met with a suspicious side-eye from older generations. These traditionalists, or Luddites even, regard every advancement as the impetus for a deteriorating society. Those who do take these...


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