First off it’s been a while since I’ve posted any new music to my site or done anything remotely creative. Finding the right balance between geek and artist has been challenging. But I’m back with a tease as to what I’ve been doing with my time…
The audio STUFFSONG was programmed almost entirely in Ableton Live using mostly Operators and a few other plugins including. The visuals are created using processing 2.0 and the Maxim library from Mick Grierson, Matthew Yee-King, Marco Gillies.
I created the visualizer as my final project for the “Creative Programming for Digital Media & Mobile Apps ” coursera.org class. If you guys have an inquisitive mind like mine you will love their site. They have TONS of classes available for all kinds of things.
You can find the code here:
And here is the link to the actual program:
NOTE!!! Please allow time for your browser to cache the track. Click to start and if you done hear anything or you don’t see things moving on the screen after you click. Simply reload the page, count to 10 and click the canvas again. 😉
If Kepler 11g was in reach and we got there, what would we find live there to sound like?
I wanted to finish this track before I leave for DEMF and MUTEK this year. Right to the wire! Hope it gets picked up by someone. I really would love to have a good relationship with a label and be able to focus on music making and preparing for some live shows….
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This track started off as an experiment to showcase one of my circuit bent drum machines. Check out the related “Studio Tools” post. http://juanlittledevil.com/JLD/2012/04/ld-550-aka-circuit-bent-dr-550/
Your support is truly appreciated, if you like the track be sure leave me a comment. Also be sure to follow me to stay informed of my latest tracks.
There are lots of how to documents on circuit bending so I’m not going to do a post on that. If you are in learning how to bend your DR-550 you can follow the links I’ve provided for you at the bottom of this post.
The reason for this post is more to share my experiences in modifying and using this drum machine. But first read this next bit.
NOTE: Always protect your gear! Put a compressor or limiter somewhere along the signal chain so you don’t blow your speakers. Also turn down the volume when using any circuit bent toy at least at first until you know how loud the machine gets. Use caution.
This is my latest bending project all finished. It started out as one of these:
I have to say tho mine was kinda beat up cosmetically when I first go it. Anyway, I modified this drum machine by taking 24 point bend from the ROM chip at various places excluding 1, and 32 since those carry voltage and 16 since it’s ground. Shorting the circuit at those points is at worse case scenario likely to cause damage to the circuit. This logic holds true to any circuit bending project you take. There are plenty of information out there so it’s always nice to research before you start modifying. You can usually find which these points are by checking the service manual for whatever device you intend to modify. Here is what the 550 looks like:
The points are then attached to 6 position rotary switches like described on burnkit2600. They basically give me 6×6 or 36 bends per pair. Additionally I’ve added a switch which allows me to turn that pair on or off.
I’ve also taken it a bit further by adding a second row of center off switches to create what http://www.circuitbenders.co.uk call a bend bus. I’ve connected the bottom switchs to the center positions of the corresponding switches switch so they can be engaged to either the top or bottom bus. This give me another 6x6x6x6 possibilities for each of the two buses. Needless to say options are quite large.
I’ve used this same methods on some of my other drum machines, however the 550 doesn’t quite like to play nice. I’ve found that if I use the internal sequencer most of bends just do mean stuff to the patterns, sound, and sometimes its OS causing it to stop making any noise all together. This doesn’t stop me tho, because this unit has MIDI and can be triggered from a DAW. As long as I’m triggering from an external sequencer, it’s a little more manageable. However it is still VERY noisy.
Here are some examples:
This is what happend with internal sequencer:
Here is what it does when triggered from an external source:
Here is something even more impressive. See what happens when I pass this through a modulated filter plugin.
Bottom line here is, as long as I take the time to pre-setup my bends and assign them to my switches, I can get some interesting things with this little noisy thing. Truth is I probably won’t be using this in a live environment very much, but in the studio it will be a great tool to have around.
Now for something fun…. Here is a track I did using this drum machine and some effects. I also added some pads and a bass line. All the percussion except for the kick was done with the 550.
Service Manual: Try here,
Some Good Bending Sites:
Other peoples 550:
There are also a bunch on youtube.
Here is a little something to get your week started off the X-Tra Sour way. We are very proud of this track!
For this one we decided to venture into some 80′s and 90′s sounds and twisted them until we felt we had some new drived from something old. Lot’s fun in the programming and arranging of this track. Check out some of the cool granular effects too, great examples on what granular synthesis does to audio samples.
Always your support is very much appreciated. We are currently looking to grow our fan base, in hopes on getting a permanent label partnership so please be sure to click the “like” button if you dig our work, and leave us a comment! Those little things go a long way for us. And of course…. be sure to download the track. It’s your to keep, share, and bang out at your next party
Many of you know X-Tra Sour is a collaborative project which I’m a part of. This month is just a track we did for fun. We loved the audio clip so much that we thought it would be awesome to hear it with some techno background. So we made some music for it. There are two versions one which has no vocals except for some processed snippets. The other has the vocal tracked on a separate channel. We actually did nothing to that track, which is why we loved it so much. Please bere in mind that we are not making any money from this track, it’s just a little fun track we did while drinking beers and hanging out. But we thought it was so cool that we want you all to listen to it also. BTW, the rest of his performance is fantastic so go rent the video and watch it.
New X-Tra Sour track up and ready for download!
As many of you guys know I’ve been getting involved in multiple projects, one of them is x-tra sour… We’ve got a new track for you and would love to share this with anyone who enjoys our music and those who you think might.
Ok, wanna download it? click here:
This weekend I decided to do a little re-work to Poke to make it a slightly longer version I can use to play out. Poke has been one of my favorite tracks I’ve made and I want to share this with you guys. It’s a free download from souncloud…
Ok so I don’t usually post many things you guys, but this is something which I truly believe will hurt everyone except for huge corporations. It will also take away our rights to choose what we do with our intelectual property, and how we choose to view, share, distribute it, etc. Additionally, I think this is very hypocritical and will at end produce the US version of the great firewall of China. This is clearly a violation of the bill of rights!
Please help stop this!
— Juan —
This track started as an original track. In fact all of the sounds with exception of the vocal samples are designed by us. We’ve been enjoying this track while we continue to create the music we love. The music we listen to this music when we want to celebrate our existence! We think you should should enjoy this in your celebration also, so we share it with you.
Love your life! Love your planet! Love your friends! Keep dancing!
– X-TRA SOUR –
PS…. Stay tuned for more tracks, more art, more videos… Also we’ll have a mailing list up soon.