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

Archives: 2011

December 31, 2011

Richard Lainhart, RIP...

by Chris Randall

I'm very sad to end the year on a down note, but I have to report that Richard Lainhart, master of the Buchla / Haken, has passed away from an infection picked up during surgery. He was an inspiration, and a super nice guy. He will be sorely missed.

December 31, 2011

Year End Wrap Up...

by Chris Randall

Since everyone else is doing it, I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon. I imagine I'll hear in short order if anyone actually gives a fuck about this information, but it's easy to get, so here you go.

The Top Five Most Popular AI Posts In 2011:

1. Tempest First Impressions. I am Jack's total lack of surprise.

2. Beepcat: A Modest Proposal. Still working on this. We're getting there.

3. The End Is Nigh. I am Jack's smirking revenge.

4. Monotribe Mini-Review. Interesting. Wouldn't have thought, but there you go.

5. adm02 - 2io. I am Jack's broken heart.

Interestingly, none of these cracked the top five of all time, a heady zone apparently reserved entirely for my frothy rants. I just didn't have much to rant about this year. Whether that is fortunate or unfortunate is entirely up to you. Judging from analytics alone, you guys are generally big fans of me losing my fucking mind. Bastards.

Audio Damage released three new products, if you count Kombinat Dva as a new product, which I do. This is right in line with our average. I also found the time to release three Micronaut EPs (including Particulate, which is most likely the swan song for the Micronaut name, as I don't like sharing it with 15 other trance-making idiots.)

I also added 20 videos to my YouTube channel, including 13 live-to-camera performances. These are quite fun to do, and I have some cool shit on tap for the new year in this regard. So much easier than playing a show.

And finally, two iOS apps, including the App From Hell, and somewhere in there we managed to move house, as well, plus I got to spend two months with a debilitating disease, which was hilarious. Oh, and got arrested for graffiti, of all stupid things.

So, pretty much in line with my normal output. Not a hugely productive year, but not too shabby either. Thank you to all the AI readers for supporting my various hare-brained schemes. Pour some out for 2011, and here's to 2012!

December 28, 2011

And The Hits Just Keep On Comin'...

by Chris Randall

Just put away another 64-bit update, this time to Automaton. Every platform is now 32/64, and there are some minor bug fixes, stuff you probably wouldn't have noticed anyhow, but will definitely not notice now.

Free update, in the store now; if you're an owner, go grab v1.1.0, and don't say we never gave you anything.

In entirely unrelated news, to add insult to injury I seem to have gotten the Mother Of All Colds. Or a fairly mild flu, possibly. So I am once again bedridden. This has given me plenty of time to just sit and think, time I would normally spend doing shit without thinking about it, so everyone is probably better off.

One of the things I thought about today was as follows: the vast majority of AI readers are musicians with the ability to output some interesting music. I am pondering the idea of doing an AI compilation album. Now, when I say "album" I mentally picture an actual vinyl record, but there's no way I could afford to have such a thing made myself. (Believe me, I've been trying for years now.) But if we all threw in... well, something to consider anyhow. Is there interest for such a thing? It would be for a suitable charity, of course, not a cash-generating enterprise.

December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays!

by Chris Randall

Normally, someone like me who is non-religious (I don't choose to use the term "atheist" because it implies actively disbelieving in something, which is in and of itself a belief) and who is decidedly left-of-center politically would be stumbling all over himself to provide a "Happy... something!" that is both completely ecumenical and entirely secular.

This is a difficult task, because you have to take in to account the "reason for the season," which (aside from the axial tilt of the planet) is essentially Judaeo-Christian in basis, plus the amalgamation of Christian, pagan, and modern inventions that comprise "Christmas," plus all the made-up recent shit (the Wiccan iteration of Yule, Kwanzaa, et al), plus real Atheists who get all prissy if you even imply that the modern version of Sinterklaas and the Baby Jesus have anything at all to do with the fact that it is late December. (I've actually heard someone utter the following phrase with righteous indignation: "First of all, Jesus was born in the summer.") Did I leave anyone out? Oh, Jews and Muslims, who have their own fucked up shit all wrapped up in words like "tradition" and what-not, but which conveniently fall close enough to the Christ Mass to cause all sorts of headaches. Cthulhu only knows what the hell goes on over in the exotic Orient.

So you know what? I just ain't gonna bother. It's Christmas. Have a good time! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and the best for your endeavors in the year to come, no matter where you are or what you believe!

December 21, 2011

Some Fun Shit...

by Chris Randall

Sorry for the vertigo-inducing "camera" work, but I shot this with my iPhone in one hand, while I tried to drive the iPad with the other. Anyhow, what you're looking at is Phaedra sequencing a Korg Monotribe. I did the super-simple version of the MIDI modification for the Monotribe that is talked about here. I did the one without the opto-isolator, so basically all it is is a MIDI plug, a single resistor, and two wires to connect to the Monotribe's circuit board. Note that, in theory, you could fry your Monotribe doing things this way; MIDI has opto-isolators for a reason. However, I'm really smart and lucky besides, so I could give a fuck.

Once the mod is done, you can sequence the synth on MIDI channel 1, and the drums on ch. 10. It responds to CC for the LFO parameters (the LFO in the Monotribe is digital) but not filter freq and res. No velocity, either, but pitch bend works. Pretty fun, and makes the Monotribe much more usable.

EDIT: I just did the v2.0 update to my Monotribe and I can report that yes, it does indeed respond to velocity over MIDI now, after a fashion. It only has about 10 levels, from the sound of things, but this is enough to provide some articulation. The drum voices do _not_ respond to velocity, however. I also did the decay mods on this page, and that was pretty easy, and produced acceptable results.

Next up, Phosphor is now 32/64 on all platforms. Previously only Windows users enjoyed the awesome power and super high-fidelity that 64-bit operation brings. There may or may not be bullshit in the preceding sentence. Anyhow, the OS X versions are now 32/64 as well, and the installer is in the store for immediate download.

We're still having some trouble with the 32/64 AU of Ricochet, which was supposed to be our next update. The older plugs are always problematic when we drag them kicking and screaming in to this zany modern world we live in. Hope to have that solved on Friday, and then a lengthy (and by "lengthy" I mean "48-hour") company vacation for Saturday and Sunday, and then back at it. We hope to have the majority of the catalog done before the New Year.

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