Friday, July 31, 2009


PHOTOPHONICS - an audiovisual musical installation from Photophonics.

Photophonics is an audiovisual installation of a "dispersed instrument" made up of light-sensitive electronic oscillators positioned on various architectural elements of a dark performance space. Each mini synthesizer produces sound in response to light shining on it.

The project is the work of Bruno Mathez and Mike Blow. It was shown at the “Sonic Art” exhibition at the Blank Gallery in Brighton, part of the Brighton Fringe, in May 2009.

More: beam music sonic art +

Monday, July 27, 2009

Logic Pro 9 First Look

Just checked out the free First Look videos of Logic 9 at

The videos give a good overview of some of the new features in Logic 9, including the Flex Tool, Amp Designer, Pedalboard, Convert to Sampler Track and Import Track Settings.

The Notes feature looks great, too.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Visual Noise

Visual Noise interactive installation over a three hour period on 10/2/08 in a soon to be demolished warehouse space in Melbourne, Australia.

The sound and movement of interacting with others within the installation controls and affects the visual landscape.

Design by Belinda Chen + Andrew Kupresanin.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dialogues of Noise

Maximo Recio's "Dialogues of Noise" explores unusual ways of visualizing sound.

Visual human reaction created through human interaction.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Voltage from Bam Studio.

Awesome video.

Directed by: Filippe Lyra + William Paiva

Produced by: Barros Melo Animation Studio

Sound: William Paiva + Leo D

via matrixsynth

New Logic Studio: Logic Pro 9 - Flex Time + MainStage 2

The new update for Logic Studio looks great.

The new Flex Tool lets you push audio around with your mouse by clicking and dragging anywhere on the waveform. Select from rhythmic, monophonic or polyphonic modes for editing solo vocals, rhythm guitar or multitracked drums with Flex Time. You can Quantize Audio and use Varispeed to speed up or slow down an entire multitrack project. Speed Fades can sound like DJ turntable-style starts and stops.

There's a new Drum Replacer. Convert to Sampler Track will turn an audio region into a sampler instrument with a MIDI track to trigger it so you can edit and resequence it. Bounce-in-Place speeds up bounce time. Notate with guitar tab and chords. There are over 450 warped impulse responses for Space Designer giving you more ways to freak out your sound.

For guitarists, there is an Amp Designer and Pedalboard that work well with the upcoming Apogee GiO USB audio interface & foot controller.

MainStage 2 has a new Playback plug-in to let you play live to a backing track. There's a Loopback looper for live performance. The MainStage update adds Multimapping of controls, group controls, full ReWire support and recording functionality.

Looking forward to using all these new tools in the new Logic Studio. Thank you, Apple!

Heinz Edelmann RIP

Heinz Edelmann, art director of the Beatles' Yellow Submarine, died on Tuesday in Stuttgart, Germany at the age of 75.

Heinz Edelmann

1934 - 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lucifer Rising

Sunday night we went to the cemetery to watch a movie. I know it sounds creepy, and it was, but not as much as you might think. As part of their summer cemetery screening series, Cinespia showed several short films by Kenneth Anger at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Hundreds of people gathered on the grass on blankets and lawn chairs to watch the films outside on a beautiful Southern California night.

The final film of the night was Lucifer Rising, a psychedelic cult classic filled with visions of Egyptian pyramids, pharaohs, volcanoes and the occult. I wasn't particularly impressed with the story, but I did enjoy the musical soundtrack.

The film's music was written and recorded by Bobby Beausoleil, who is now 39 years into serving a life sentence for first-degree murder. Nearly ten years after beginning the project, Beausoleil reconnected with the film's director and pushed to work on the music again in 1976. After a lengthy process, he was allowed by prison authorities to form a band with fellow inmates which he called the Freedom Orchestra. He built himself a guitar in the prison's wood shop and pieced together a make-shift recording studio. Beausoleil and the Freedom Orchstra completed the music three years later in 1979.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Telefon Tel Aviv 2009 Tour

Telefon Tel Aviv is carrying on as Joshua Eustis has enlisted the help of his friend Fredo Nogueira to join him on tour. This is TTA's first US tour since the death of Charlie Cooper earlier this year.

Telefon Tel Aviv 2009 North American Tour Dates:

9/8 Ann Arbor, MI - The Blind Pig
9/9 Toronto, ON - El Mocambo
9/10 Montreal, QC - Cabaret du Musee Juste Pour Rire
9/11 Brooklyn, NY - The Bell House
9/12 New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
9/13 Allston, MA - Great Scott
9/15 Philadelphia, PA - Kungfu Necktie
9/16 Washington, DC - DC9
9/17 Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506
9/18 Atlanta, GA - The Earl
9/19 New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks
9/21 Austin, TX - The Mohawk
9/22 Dallas, TX - Cavern Ale House
9/24 Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room
9/25 Los Angeles, CA - Spaceland
9/26 San Francisco, CA - Bottom of The Hill
9/28 Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios
9/29 Seattle, WA - Chop Suey
10/2 Minneapolis, MN - 7th St. Entry

15.734kHz NTSC CRT Noise

Have you ever heard a high-pitched whiny noise in movie soundtracks?

Head over to to check out a sound sample.

That high-pitched noise could be coming from the old CRT video monitors the orchestras use to watch the film playback while recording the score. The horizontal scanning frequency of NTSC monitors is about 15.734kHz.

Time to use LCD monitors instead!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Butch Vig Recording Nirvana In Bloom

Video of Butch Vig giving a behind the scenes peek into the recording process for Nirvana's "In Bloom" at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, CA.

He also breaks down Smells Like Teen Spirit - Something in the Way + Polly.

Classic Albums - Nirvana: Nevermind

via Mark

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Germs @ El Rey Theatre 7/16/09

Punk rock will never die.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Subdecay Noise Box + Vintage Technology Toad Max

I'm loving a couple boutique guitar effects pedals I picked up last week.

The Subdecay Noise Box is really cool. At times it sounds like a ring mod, sometimes a fuzz pedal and other times a guitar synth, but it's none of those. It's an envelope sensitive harmonic frequency generator.

You can get some pretty crazy synthy sounds out of it by adjusting the freq, sense and chaos knobs. Turning the chaos knob to the left controls the attack. Turning it up to the right makes it lose its ability to track, and it spews out all kind of nasty randomness. The pedal is true-bypass, and when the noise gate kicks in at the end of a sustained note, it sounds like the signal is being ripped apart. Awesome.

Roger at Big City Music plugged me into the Noise Box, and I had to have it. It's kind of like the old Boss SYB bass synth pedals but better. Plus I'm a sucker for anything with word "noise" in it. The pedal works well on bass, guitar and drum machines.

The other pedal is the Toad Max from Vintage Technology. This pedal is Grunge. (Yes, with a capital G.)

The original Toad pedal had 2 knobs for level and gain. The Toad Max does away with the knobs and functions as if both were cranked up to 10 when you step on the one and only "Lick Me" switch. Major Grunge from single coils.

I met Tracy Sands, the man behind Vintage Technology, at Sam Ash Music in Hollywood. You may know Tracy from his work as Bad Cat Amplifier's head amp tech. His pedal designs are solid. If you haven't checked out his BFD tremolo, it's pretty sweet, too.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gary Numan NIN London O2

Gary Numan
just joined Trent Reznor + Nine Inch Nails live onstage for 2 songs [Metal + Cars] at London's O2 Arena.

You can hear Trent's introduction here.

Please post links to photos and videos in the comments, and I'll update this post with them.

nine inch nails setlist london o2 arena 7/15/09:

now i'm nothing
terrible lie
march of the pigs
the becoming
i'm afraid of americans
gave up
la mer
the fragile
the big come down
the downward spiral
down in it
metal [with gary numan]
cars [with gary numan]
the hand that feeds
head like a hole

Update: Official NIN videos of Metal + Cars

Akai LPD8 + LPK25

Akai is going nano with their new portable LPD8 + LPK25 laptop MIDI controllers.

The Akai LPD8 has 8 MPC-like velocity sensitive drum pads + 8 Q-Link assignable knobs.

The LPK25 2-octave mini keyboard has an built-in arpeggiator and tap tempo function.

You can check out the new gear from Akai at the 2009 Summer NAMM Show in Nashville this week.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Chinese Democracy Leaker Court Ruling

The courts ruled today on the fate of Kevin Cogill [AKA Skwerl], the Guns N' Roses fan who leaked 9 songs from Chinese Democracy by streaming them on his website [Antiquiet] before the album's release last year.

Skwerl faced a maximum of 1 year in jail + $371,000 in fines. Today the court sentenced him to 1 year of probation and 2 months of home confinement. He has also been ordered to help produce an anti-piracy PSA with the RIAA.

More on antiquiet.

582 Drummers World Record

582 drummers got together at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham [UK] to play the same rhythm for five minutes. They set a new Guinness World Record by beating the previous record of 533 drummers set in 2006 in the US.

The event was put on to increase awareness of multiple sclerosis and raised £20,000 for charity.

Read more on daily mail.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sound Designer's Telephone Game

Andrew Spitz hosted a Sound Designer's Telephone Game on his blog { sound + design }:

Remember the game “telephone” where you whisper something in someone’s ear, then the person whispers in the next person’s ear and so on? At the end the last person repeats the words and they usually have nothing to do with the original.

How fun would it be to do the same for sound? Start off with a recording, pass it to someone to be processed and so on.
What a great idea!

I joined in, and Andrew sent me an unrecognizable 16bit/44.1k wav file with this sound:

Telephone_Game_19 by Joe Still

Wow. I had no idea what that sound was or what it might have sounded like originally. All I knew was it was the 19th version of the sound, and each person had added one [and only one] effect to it in each version.

So I dragged the file into Ableton Live and started tweaking. I pulled up Live's Grain Delay and recorded some automation tweaks.

Here's what I came up with:

Telephone_Game_20 by tj milian

A couple days later, Andrew posted all 30 whispers of the Telephone Game. All kinds of effects were used: from simply reversing the audio to processing + mangling with a Moogerfooger - vocoder - Max/MSP FFT - Reaktor + even re-recording the sound underwater with a homemade hydrophone!

I never would have guessed the source of the sound was someone packing beer kegs into a truck. Awesome.

Listen to the whole Sound Designer's Telephone Game experiment on

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New Final NIN Concerts

Trent Reznor just announced a final run of Nine Inch Nails concerts in the US starting next month:

Getting right to the point, we're going to play a handful of shows in NYC, Chicago and LA starting August 22nd. They will be informal affairs in medium to small venues with longer set-lists, possible special guests, cool openers and other surprises. Upon reflection, the NIN/JA tour felt like we had to rush through sets due to a limited allotted set length and many shows were in daylight - it just didn't feel right to end NIN that way. An offer to headline V-Fest in Toronto (being announced soon) set the idea in motion to play some FUN shows to end this up with. If we can get it together we'll film these shows, too.

In NYC we'll be playing Bowery Ballroom, Webster Hall and Terminal 5. In Chicago, the Aragon Ballroom. In LA we'll be at The Wiltern, The Henry Fonda, The Palladium and The Echoplex. These should be cool, unusual and unique shows and I hope you come out - this is it.

So far, The Horrors will be joining us for some shows in NYC, Mew will be with us at other shows in NYC, Chicago and LA, and perhaps more.
Details and ticket info will be announced shortly, so check back.



aug 22 bowery ballroom - ny
aug 23 webster hall - ny
aug 25 terminal 5 - ny
sep 2 palladium - la
sep 3 fonda - la


aug 22 bowery ballroom - ny
aug 23 webster hall - ny
aug 25 terminal 5 - ny
aug 26 terminal 5 - ny
aug 28 aragon ballroom - chi
aug 29 aragon ballroom - chi
aug 30 virgin festival - toronto
sep 2 hollywood palladium - la
sep 3 henry fonda theater - la
sep 5 wiltern theatre - la
sep 6 echoplex - la

Tickets go on sale July 17 + 31.

Portable Recorder Psychoacoustics

Check out this microphone shootout with the Zoom H4 - H4n + Sony PCM-D50 portable digital recorders.

Many of the commenters found great differences in sound quality among the mics being tested. The funny part is the guy who made the test mistakenly copied the same embed code for both the Zoom H4 and the Sony PCM-D50. It turns out that everyone was hearing the same audio file for both!