Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Neumann TLM 102

The Neumann TLM 102 is the newest microphone in Neumann TLM line and is 13% smaller than the TLM 103.

The affordable TLM 102 is a transformerless large-diaphragm cardioid condenser that can handle high SPLs [144 dB] and gives a slight presence boost above 6 kHz. Made in Germany. Street price: $699.

I Like Music by Stuart McMillen

Here are some clips from the "I Like Music" comic strip by Stuart McMillen on the Recombinant Records website.

Be sure to check out the whole cartoon. I like it.

Thanks, Mark, for the link.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Symphony of Science: We Are All Connected

Symphony of Science [aka John Boswell] created "We Are All Connected" by sampling Carl Sagan's Cosmos, the History Channel's Universe series, Richard Feynman's 1983 interviews, Neil deGrasse Tyson's cosmic sermon and Bill Nye's Eyes of Nye Series, plus added visuals from The Elegant Universe (NOVA), Stephen Hawking's Universe, Cosmos, the Powers of 10 and more. It is a tribute to great minds of science, intended to spread scientific knowledge and philosophy through the medium of music.


[deGrasse Tyson]
We are all connected;
To each other, biologically
To the earth, chemically
To the rest of the universe atomically

I think nature's imagination
Is so much greater than man's
She's never going to let us relax

We live in an in-between universe
Where things change all right
But according to patterns, rules,
Or as we call them, laws of nature

I'm this guy standing on a planet
Really I'm just a speck
Compared with a star, the planet is just another speck
To think about all of this
To think about the vast emptiness of space
There's billions and billions of stars
Billions and billions of specks

The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it
But the way those atoms are put together
The cosmos is also within us
We're made of star stuff
We are a way for the cosmos to know itself

Across the sea of space
The stars are other suns
We have traveled this way before
And there is much to be learned

I find it elevating and exhilarating
To discover that we live in a universe
Which permits the evolution of molecular machines
As intricate and subtle as we

[deGrasse Tyson]
I know that the molecules in my body are traceable
To phenomena in the cosmos
That makes me want to grab people in the street
And say, have you heard this??

(Richard Feynman on hand drums and chanting)

There's this tremendous mess
Of waves all over in space
Which is the light bouncing around the room
And going from one thing to the other

And it's all really there
But you gotta stop and think about it
About the complexity to really get the pleasure
And it's all really there
The inconceivable nature of nature

Check out another Symphony of Science project: A Glorious Dawn

youtube via melodysheep

Sunday, October 18, 2009

4 Ways Sound Affects Us

Julian Treasure TED Talk on how sound affects us in four significant ways:

  1. Physiological
  2. Psychological
  3. Cognitive
  4. Behavioral
Check out Julian Treasure's Sound Business book - blog + The Sound Agency if you are interested in using sound to grow your business.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thom Yorke Echoplex Orpheum

Thom Yorke put on some really great shows in LA earlier this month. First, a surprise rehearsal set at the Echoplex on 10/2/09, followed by back-to-back shows at the Orpheum Theatre.

Above is a video I took of "The Hollow Earth" at the Echoplex. The show started with an Eraser set with the whole band of Yorke, Flea, Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker and Mauro Refosco. Then Yorke did a few new songs on his own and then the band came back for a few more. It was a jam-packed, sweaty show. The vibe was super cool. I never would have guessed I'd see Flea play with Thom Yorke. Great band. Zack de la Rocha, Daft Punk and Rick Rubin were in the joint.

Thom Yorke Echoplex Set List 10/2/09:

the eraser
the clock
black swan
skip divided
atoms for peace
and it rained all night
harrowdown hill
cymbal rush

open the floodgates
lotus flower
skirting on the surface
judge, jury, executioner

paperbag writer
the hollow earth
feeling pulled apart by horses

The Orpheum show was also great with the larger stage and light show. Thom Yorke said he's planning to get the band back together next year for another run of shows...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dewanatron Dual Primate Console

The Dewanatron concert at Spaceland in Silver Lake last night [10/13/09] was nuts. The 2 cousins, Brian Dewan and Leon Dewan, invited audience members to bring instruments and join them onstage. It was part cool, part unlistenable. At one point, a guy wrapped in a bed sheet was conducting the orchestra of weirdo synths, drums, guitars, circuit bent toys, trumpet, violin, melodicas and various percussion [including ping pong paddles on empty water jugs, wooden spoons on cookie trays] along with an MIA-wannabe female rapper.

I grabbed the first open instrument I found on the stage: a balloon. In a situation like that, it's definitely more fun to play than to watch.

Most interesting was Dewanatron's crazy synth, the Dual Primate Console. Two people can play it on opposite ends at the same time. It's a got a bunch of oscillators and funky synth circuitry going on. Rhythms are dialed in by actually dialing numbers on the old school rotary phone dial. Wow!

Check out more details on the Dual Primate Console and Dewanatron's other instruments and music at

NIN TDS Webster Teaser + Wiltern Pics

Nine Inch Nails fans are compiling audio and video footage of the now legendary performance of The Downward Spiral live at Webster Hall in New York on 8/23/09.

The teaser youtube clip [via trentsinmypants] above of "The Becoming" is the video trailer for the upcoming fan release on It looks pretty good for a fan video.

Speaking of fan-produced content, check out this flickr set of some great pics of the Wave Goodbye final concert at the Wiltern in LA shot by johnkraw323:


Sequenox: One Man and Two Oscillators

Sequenox performed a great live set at Partikel 3 on 9/19/09. The piece, entitled "One Man and Two Oscillators," was composed on a new Synthesis Technology MOTM modular analog synthesizer with a Doepfer sequencer + Korg Kaoss Pads.

(1) MOTM-650 Midi-CV Converter
(2) MOTM-310 Micro VCO
(2) MOTM-390 Micro LFO
(1) MOTM-440 Discrete OTA VCF
(1) MOTM-490 Micro VCF
(2) MOTM-320 VC LFO
(1) MOTM-101 Noise/Sample and Hold
(4) MOTM-800 Envelope Generator
(1) MOTM-190 Micro VCA
(1) MOTM-830 Dual Mode Mixer
(2) MOTM-910 Cascade Multiple
(1) MOTM-940 Patch Panel
(1) MOTM-900 Power Supply
(1) MOTM-950 Power Supply

(1) Doepfer MAQ 16/3 Midi/Analog Sequencer

(1) Korg Kaoss Pad KP3
(1) Korg Kaoss Pad KP2

The modular sounded incredible and the performance was very interesting. I really enjoyed it and couldn't believe it when I found out that Sequenox had only been using his modular for a few weeks!

Sequenox: "I have only been working with the modular for about a month. It has been very inspiring. I plan to keep exploring the modular and performing whenever possible.

Every time I use the analog modular I'm surprised with new sonic discoveries. I had rehearsed for this set about five times. Each rehearsal was totally different and the performance at Partikel 3 was different from the rehearsals in many ways. I had five sequences ready, but ended up using only two, improvising with micro tonal scales, random triggering, and tempo variance."

Looking forward to the next Sequenox live performance.

Noise for Airports + Orchestrion

Noise for Airports is a cool new blog that features interesting audio-related experiments + ideas. It's written by Nick Seaver, a graduate student in Comparative Media Studies at MIT who wrote his undergrad thesis at Yale on the relationship between social conceptions of noise + recording technologies: “Noise in the Age of its Mechanical Reproducibility” [pdf].

Plus, I'm a fan of noise, and Noise for Airports is a great name for a sound blog that plays on the concepts of Brian Eno.

Here's a youtube video I found on Noise for Airports of an Orchestrion similar to the one I checked out recently at the Mansion:

This Seeburg Model H Orchestrion was restored by Reblitz Restorations in Colorado Springs for Johnny and Tish Duckworth.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

ohGr Collidoskope

ohGr has released a new single in time for Halloween.

Play the demented typewriter sampler and find the link to a free mp3 of "Welcome to Collidoskope" at

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Playboy Mansion Game Room Photo Tour: Seeburg Orchestrion Player Piano

The Seeburg Orchestrion player piano in the game room of Playboy Mansion.

Swedish American Justus P. Seeburg manufactured coin-operated Orchestrions from 1910 through the 1920s, until the arrival of sound films.

Foosball + player piano.

Pool table.

Old school 1980s arcade video games: Centipede - Pac-Man - Frogger - Donkey Kong + Defender.

The Girls Next Door arcade game.

Hugh Hefner's Playboy pinball machine.

The Red Room.

The Blue Room.

The Round Room. The floor squishes and bounces like a trampoline, and the whole room is covered in mirrors.

What else would you add to your fantasy game room?

Talking Piano

Peter Ablinger has used the frequency spectrum analysis of a boy's voice to mechanically play a piano so it sounds as if the piano is talking. Das Sprechende Klavier.


via matrixsynth

Monday, October 5, 2009

Wheel of Stars

Wheel of Stars is a musical clock made of stars by Jim Bumgardner.

He programmed Hipparcos data collected from over 100,000 stars and plotted the stars to revolve around the North Star one complete cycle every 24 hours. Each time a star crosses the horizontal axis, it is highlighted and triggers a sound based the star's properties.

Bumgardner will build an installation of the Wheel of Stars in your home, gallery or museum. I hope someone takes him up on his offer. His other creations are ace as well.

Previously on Califaudio: Whitney Music Box + Mandala.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Catching Up with Califaudio

It's been a bit quieter than usual here on Califaudio over the past few weeks, but I haven't turned down the volume of my adventures in music - sound + noise. Here's some of what I've been up to, and I'll update with more details when I can.

The best concerts of September 2009 had to be the Nine Inch Nails farewell shows in LA. Lots of surprise guests and marathon set lists. It was a great way to Wave Goodbye to an amazing live band.

Opening band HEALTH was awesome too.

The following week I saw Sequenox play a cool hardware set with a MOTM modular at Partikel 3 at the Goethe Institut.

Then we switched gears and headed over to the Viper Room to see Kings of Spade bring their bluesy funk rock from Honolulu.

Last week I visited the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad. The Legacy of Moog exhibition is great!

The next night I saw Telefon Tel Aviv at Spaceland. The show was pretty spacey and really good. The empty center instrument console was a touching nod to fallen band member Charlie Cooper.

A couple days later, the Revolting Cocks concert at the House of Blues on Sunset Blvd was disappointing. Apparently the group is touring without Al Jourgensen or any of the original RevCo members. I get that it's one of those bands with a revolving lineup, but without Al, it's just not right. It feels like you're watching a cover band.

Al Jourgensen did come out for the encore, which saved the show. He was super trashed and could barely play the guitar. It looks like he's only making it to a couple shows on this tour. Jim Rose opened up, and it was good to see him live again.

The next day, last Monday, I met up with Joe Satriani and Red Hot Chili Pepper drummer Chad Smith at a photo shoot in Hollywood. I picked up a prototype of the new Zoom Q3 and took it to the Playboy Mansion to film a video interview with Hugh Hefner and his Playmate girlfriends. (The Mansion really is one of greatest places on Earth.) Then back to Hollywood, where I got to chat with Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones about his new band, Them Crooked Vultures, before they left for Austin to start their US tour. Can't wait to see him live with Dave Grohl and Josh Homme and Alain Johannes from Queens of the Stone Age.

On Wednesday, Peter Grenader invited me over to listen to "The Secret Life of Semiconductors," an epic sonic journey off of his upcoming Secret Life album.

What else... oh yeah, Friday night I went to Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke's surprise show at the Echoplex. I never thought I'd see Flea and Thom Yorke share the same stage, especially at a small venue like the Echoplex. Great show. I'll upload some video soon.