Chris Randall: Musician, Writer, User Interface Designer, Inventor, Photographer, Complainer. Not necessarily in that order.
 
April 9, 2017

Booth, With Occasional Super...

by Chris Randall
 



Hectic April continues. The Audio Damage event this week at Perfect Circuit was outstanding. Huge turnout, and Baseck did a crazy excellent set. Much love all around, and thanks to everyone that came out and put up with my stream-of-consciousness presentation style. (Roughly akin to standing there and going "BLEARRRGHGGHGGHHH!!!!" for 30 minutes. Good times. Good times.)

Next on the agenda: the very first box of Eos modules will be arriving here tomorrow; I'll have time to test them and turn them around. They're all going to Control in NYC, so until l get back from Europe, that'll be the only place on the planet you can buy them. I'm going to get the product page up today, with specs and at least one overview video.

I buried the lede in that last paragraph. "...get back from Europe." Superbooth is right around the corner, y'all! The marquee event of the Eurorack World is April 20-22 at Fex in Berlin, and AD (in the form of me) will be in attendance, showing off Ensō and Eos, and all our other products. I'm very excited for this; it is, by far, my favorite event of the ones we do yearly, and I'm really looking forward to it. Instead of flying direct to Berlin, I'm going to Prague (much cheaper) and renting a car to drive to Berlin. I'll only be in Prague a couple days, but if any AI readers live there and want to grab a beer and whatever it is that Czechs eat, I'm totally down.

So, tl;dr: LA was fun. The Czech Republic and Germany will be fun. First Eos will be out the door Tuesday. Crazy times!

 
March 31, 2017

Demo Daze...

by Chris Randall
 



That right there is a mockup of our new baby, Ensō, which is an audio buffer module in 22hp, with 50 seconds of stereo 48/24 audio memory, and various ways for looping/triggering/etc that buffer. We're done with the hardware design, and are working on the software now.

You can come see it (and the new Eos module) in person if you're in the LA area. I will be doing an Audio Damage clinic/Q&A at Perfect Circuit in Burbank this Wednesday, April 5th, at 7PM. Facebook event page with all the deets is here. Derrick Baseck will be doing a performance, and I'm given to understand there will be pizza and beer, two of the three major food groups. We will be giving away a couple modules, and buttons and stickers and the other usual shit, and I may extemporaneously perform for 15 minutes myself.

In other news, the first articles for the hardware version of Eos will be on the way to me today. So just a beta-testing round and then that will be shipping. Figure two weeks to stores at this point.

And finally, we will be attending Superbooth in Berlin again this year. I'm flying in to Prague on April 15, and then driving up to Berlin a couple days later. If you are in town and want to hook up, get at me in the usual methods.

 
March 5, 2017

Rain, With Occasional Face-Melting...

by Chris Randall
 



While Adam and I were waiting for the Lyft to take us to Holocene to start setting up Sync02 yesterday, I was taking a quick scroll through Facebook, and it threw up one of those "memories" things from the same day in 2016, which happened to be the day I arrived in San Francisco for Sync01. It was a nice juxtaposition, considering that my initial idea for a gathering of all our friends in this business to show off the gear and music we make in a comfortable and casual environment has effectively doubled in size in the space of a year.



While it may seem like I put all this together from a casual observation point, the simple fact of the matter is that I just come up with a context, and everyone else in the Eurorack Family commits their efforts and resources to making it a success. By the time the thing is running, I'm just a bemused observer.



In any event, the people at Holocene were understanding and helpful, Jason at Control Voltage did all the hard work, and all our amazing family of manufacturers and musicians pulled out the stops to make a great event. I'm so glad to be a part of this crew of amazingly talented people.



A special thank-you to T2, Rodent, Bana Haffar, and Derrick Baseck for putting on a fucking amazing after-event performance. That shit was epic, no joke.

 
February 9, 2017

Sync 02...

by Chris Randall
 



Sync02 is the second in what is apparently going to be a yearly 1st-Saturday-Of-March affair. Last year's event went off well enough that we decided to do it again, despite the torential rain. As you may remember if you attended, Sync01 took place at JWZ's excellent CodeWord venue in San Francisco. Saturday, March 4th at Holocene. It is over twice as big as last year's, so we got a partner. Audio Damage is doing it in partnership with Control Voltage. The manufacturers that will be exhibiting include:

Audio Damage
Industrial Music Electronics
WMD
Mordax
Moog
S1 Synth Library
4ms
LZX
Noise Engineering
Make Noise
Malekko
Darkplace
1010 Music
01Synth
Topobrillo
Blue Lantern
Møffenzeef Mødular
AI Synthesis
Intellijel
Roger Linn Design
(more TBA)

Control Voltage will have a pop-up store at the venue, so warm up your debit card. The exhibition runs from 10:30A to 4:30P, and then we close the venue for a bit to remove the tables, and reopen at 5:30P for the show. The performers include:

Baseck
Bana Hafar
Rodent
T2

The exhibition is free to attend, and all-ages. The performance is 21+ and $10. So, if you're in Portland, and you don't come to this, well... I am given to understand that Modular On The Spot will be doing a separate event the night before. The Facebook event page is here. Please hit the little button to let us know you're coming. That number is helpful.

It may be a little early to bring this up, but I'm also open to ideas for where Sync03 should be. It takes a while to put these together, so the city needs to have a good confluence of both manufacturers and customers. My initial first choice for Sync03 was Washington, DC, but I'm also open to European cities, or something I haven't thought of.

 
February 3, 2017

Decks & FX: Sound Experiments 002

by Chris Randall
 



The second in my Sound Experiments series for the Analog Industries YouTube channel. In this one, I'm using various tape sources in lieu of my normal tools. (Although, it's worth noting, all these decks are part of my normal toolset.)

The speech, running on the small Marantz deck, is from an interview with John Cage where he is talking about a Glenn Branca performance he'd seen the night before. He calls Branca a fascist. I guess if you're John Cage it's fine to bag on Glenn Branca. I don't think I could personally get away with it.

Otherwise, I just made loops from various sources and dumped them to the decks, and perform with the decks' various controls for doing so. Of special note is the pad. I recorded two channels on the 4-track with two different chords of the same sound. I'm running the tape cue out of the 4-track to the Eventide H9 Max, set to an edited Black Hole preset, and I'm "playing" the chord by cross-fading the two send controls. This gives the nice big stereo effect.

I made the drum loop on my Eurorack, and then dumped it to Frasier, my MTR-12. I cut the one-measure loop directly on Frasier, and I'm playing it back in Edit/Dump mode (you can see me hit the dump button every time I stop the deck). The reason for this is that if the deck isn't in Edit/Dump mode, the right hand capstan, which is supposed to keep tension on the reel, spins at a ludicrous speed. In Dump, that capstan stops.

This brings up an interesting point, though: when working with tape decks in a musical context (as instruments, rather than as playback/recording vehicles) each deck has its own personality. The dump button on Frasier is a good example. On the Marantz deck that has the Cage interview, it has a pitch knob (it is a dictation deck IRL) so I was able to pitch Cage's voice, which is whiney at the best of times, down to a more reasonable listening experience. That sort of thing. Every deck has its own little tricks and features that you need to explore and exploit. This is mildly fun. "What can I do with this?" That sort of thing.
 

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