Workspace and Environment: Jonbro

Happy Halloween all. I'd like to steal this space to tell everyone that the answers to the questions we ask are unaltered and that the only changes we do to the pictures is simple web compression. All material submitted to us is kept intact and posted with minimal interference by us. We are aiming to show the personality of the artists through their pictures and words. I think we've succeeded! Also, we're in the middle of getting a logo, look for that soon. We're getting a killer response from all over the world, so thanks to all the new and returning visitors and artists. We have so much more to go, so here is Jonbro!

I was born in Maryland, lived around DC, moved to Pittsburgh for school, started getting shows here with my band, stayed around because I had so many connections.
I have been doing the computer music for about 8 years. Before that, I took a few drum and cello lessons, and did quite a bit of choral singing, but it didn't really grab me in the same way.

First Hardware
My first piece of hardware was an EG101, part of the Roland MC 303 Groovebox series. It really sucked. Sucked hard. But at that point I was already into buzz, so it wasn't a big deal, I had a better studio on my computer then I could ever hope to afford. This is pretty much the way things have gone sense.

I am really excited to finish up the monome kit that I am building. The monome itself I am super pumped about, and it has also gotten me really into microcontrollers, so now I am looking forward to a whole pile of robotic/chip instruments that I am looking forward to building. Also the fact that this company was able to be sustainable making short run, high end, very simple computer interfaces is really inspiring. So my wish list is basically all of the things that I am dreaming up to build. Ah well, money can't buy you everything I guess.

Live Setup
My live performance setup is my drums (pretty stripped down kit, kick, snare, 1 rack tom, hi hat, crash/ride) GP2X running LGPT, and a mic and a monitor, because it is hard to find people that will hook me up with adequate monitoring at shows.

Environment and Workspace
My studio setup has been insane! I have been exclusively in the bedroom, then had it in a closet for a while, then moved back into the bedroom, now spread out all over the house. At this point it is kind of hard to remember where I left any particular piece of gear, especially if it is something important like a cable that I only have one of. Jonbro Music

You can find JonBro at:
Please note that all pictures belong to the artists and that they have given us permission to post them. If you want to use any of the material you read here, please contact the artists.

Plan B and Livewire: Modular Synth Reviews

One reason we're not doing too many reviews of equipment at the moment, is primarily because of James Cigler. James has several reviews of current modules from Livewire and Plan B and I must say, they are the most informative and easy to follow reviews I have seen for modular synths. I have also managed to trick him into joining our Workspaces and Environment series.

If you're considering buying modules but are halfway confused on their true functions, here are some examples of his reviews:

Livewire: Vulcan Modulator

Plan B: Model 24 Heisenberg Generator

Livewire: Dual Cyclotron


Workspace and Environment: Aaron Spectre

Hello people. We hope you had a great weekend. We have a killer lineup for this week, so check back regularly. I'm slightly burnt from the weekend, so I'll expand on a relevant topic later.

I was born + raised in Massachusetts, Moved to New York City for a bit... moved to Berlin because NYC was too stifling and distracting, and expensive, not at all conducive to making music. Really great for inspiration, but you don't have the time and space to focus. Berlin was perfect, and I've been able to build things from the ground up here.

How long have you been involved with music?
Drums, bass guitar: 18 years
Electronic music: 11 years

What is your current favorite piece of hardware?
Guitar. After years of struggling with synths, it's refreshing to pick up a guitar and it JUST WORKS. No wasting time drawing fader curves or noodling about w/ plugins, ahh I think I'm going to go play right now... Nowadays it's easier to get the guitar directly into the computer, high quality, with no fuss... and even if you don't want a guitar type of sound, you can use the guitar as a controller for a lot of other sounds. You don't need to use those weird midi guitar pickups which were hokey anyway... just the normal sound can have a lot of nuance and expressiveness which can do strange and cool things when run through fx / plugins / instruments. Vestax faderboard is a close second. It's stupidly crippled in the sampling department (why did they make it MONO?!?), but it allows you to get expressive in a different way standard piano keyboards don't allow - live hands-on control of the envelope. Does anyone out there know how to mod it in a useful way? get in touch.

What is your current favorite software?
Ableton Live. Everything is fluid in this program - lots of room to be expressive but still keep everything flowing together.

How does your physical space and surroundings influence your workflow?
Physical space is everything! After working in a few sterile windowless studios I quickly learned that a room's vibe is more important than its sound, for the kind of music I'm doing. I'm willing to sacrifice a little bit of audio quality for a healthy environment. I want to be able to hear the birds outside, sense the mood on the street, feel the winter chill - not be isolated in a weird sensationless chamber. If that means getting a little bit of street noise in my recordings, so be it, chock that up to added character. The city you live in, your friends in close proximity, nice diversions and distractions, nice parks / walking streets / restaurants in the area, that's all important!! It's been great these past few years, the gear has improved so much you can make high quality recordings under minimal conditions - put more effort into vibe. Get that great performance out of you - the rest is details, and can be cleaned up in a high-end studio later if need be. Make no mistake you need high quality gear where it counts - but a little effort into a nice space goes a long way. Add some potted plants, too...

Ergonomics is huge. Monitor height, desk height, easy placement of the gear you use the most. Arrange your gear based on your workflow, rather than how it all looks sitting pretty. I like a lot of open space around me when i work - I can't stand being boxed in by gear all around... so I take care to choose a minimal setup.

Are you involved in any music/sound work outside of your own projects?
I do remixes from time to time, but it's always something related to my own projects or creative goals, something I can learn from, or something I just enjoy doing.

What was the first piece of hardware you remember obtaining?
Yamaha A3000 sampler. 30 seconds of sampling time seemed like such a luxury. I made everything w/ that sampler, and tricked it out with a whopping huge 128 meg of RAM and internal 128 meg hard drive. Wooooo. AKG K240 headphones. I still use them to monitor and check my mixes. PC with a basic midi sequencer. I used to work with my school's Mac Classic, using Encore notation software to make drum tracks....

What is on your current 'wish list' for new hardware or software?
I wish someone would design some more expressive + intuitive midi controllers. But as far as things that exist:
- Gibson Les Paul for the studio - so i can use my current guitar solely on the road.
- Fender P-Bass
- 2nd big screen

Do you have a mobile studio setup?
My live gig setup IS my mobile studio setup... but when I'm on the road I tend to relax, read a book, give myself some time and space to not think about music for once. When I'm back in the studio, then it's time to jam out. Sometimes I make music w/ my live setup when I'm away for an extended period of time... but generally when I'm on the go I want to experience life, not get back into a studio mindset.

What does it include?
Apple Powerbook G4 12" - i like this one because it's so small and portable. ram & hd maxed out, it's still good for live sets.
Ableton Live
2x Edirol PCR-M1 2 octave MIDI controllers. Simple, portable, USB powered.
Kontrol DJ USB DJ MIDI controller http://kontrolprodj.com/
Epiphone Les Paul electric guitar + various stompboxes.
Marshall JCM 800 + 4x12. Usually the promoter rents this if I'm doing a fly-in.

Many of my gigs around Europe involve taking public transport, so it's good to be relatively compact. Though I do use a fair amount of gear, most of it is easily broken down and packed into small bags.

How many physical locations have you had your studio setup in over time and how have they changed?
5 locations, but two of them were during my headphones and Yamaha sampler days.

My two most current Berlin studio setups - in 2006

a few changes. I mounted the monitor on the wall to free up that vital front desk space, a bit of new gear, a few mic stands.

The most significant change, though not visible in this photo, is moving the computer FAR away. I got some monitor extender cables and various usb / firewire / midi hubs, and i moved the computer from under the desk to the other side of the room. This made a HUGE difference. Now that I no longer have this roaring jet engine under my desk, I can hear subtleties in the music more easily, and I'm no longer worrying about kicking the computer by accident. Just having the empty space under the desk to stretch my feet improves my flow immensely. I can just rock out and not worry about damaging anything, stomp and thrash and run around. Remove the physical boundaries and the mental ones follow.

The desk itself is homemade. I couldn't find anything long enough and not hideous, so i went down to the supermarket, got some beer crates. A few planks of heavy natural wood from the hardware store on top, gravity holding it all together nicely. I lined the underside of the desk with screw-in hooks, which hold all the cables up off the ground, so the entire footspace underneath is free. I hate feeling cautious with my feet like I'm about to snag a cable. For years I worked with monstrous rats' nests of cables snaking all over my room... Now I barely see any cables at all, and it's a wonderful feeling. A clean work area frees up the mental space. The beer crates also make nice holding spaces for external HDs, cables, drumsticks, mics, stompboxes, tuners etc. I'll get a proper studio desk / cable management system and all that when I'm more settled, as Berlin is still a temporary home for now.

Aaron Spectre has two main projects and can be found at:
Aaron Spectre as Drumcorps Music

Please note that all pictures belong to the artists and that they have given us permission to post them. If you want to use any of the material you read here, please contact the artists.


Logic 8 Tip: Remove the previously unremovable Transport!

More than a few people have been unreceptive to the fact that the transport bar at the bottom of new arrange window in Logic 8 can not be removed. Well, now there is a way to remove it thanks to someone smart on the Sonikmatter Logic forums.

So, if you'd like more space on your arrange page, try this:

Open Key Commands (Option + K)

Search for "Open Trash" command

Set command to a key or key combination (Mine is Control + Shift + =)

Once that is done, try the new key command while you have an arrange page open. Now a new arrange page will open on top WITHOUT the transport bar stuck to the bottom. It will even work with screen sets!


Workspace and Environment: Dino Felipe

Hello all. I know most of you will skip these italic intro's but thanks goes out to Matrix of Matrixsynth and the em411 community for their support. We've been noticing people taking an interest in our (Justin and I) music projects and we'll be sure to be a part of this series as well. For now, I recommend past posts for any information on our projects and activities. There is a preview of Justin's upcoming release and a post about the making of my last one.

If you're in Chicago, Saturday the 27th, Justin and I will be at this party. I will be djing dance electro stuff, killing myself with a brief grind metal Surachai set and Justin will be playing new tracks that will force people to dance. Be sure to say 'hey' to us and make us feel cool. Just don't mention the words 'blog' or 'synthesizers' because girls already ignore me as it is. With all that said, I decided to release this a day early because we'll be busy through the weekend. Here is Dino Felipe and his workspace!

I started playing a nice Casio I got for X-Mas and singing along to it and recorded it when I was six.

What is your favorite piece of hardware at the moment?
I'm goin' crazy with this radio shack cassette recorder with pitch adjustment! I like it cuz it's easy to manipulate.

I'm totally prehistoric. Adobe Soundforge rules me. It's like a blank canvas.

How does your physical space and surroundings influence your workflow?
It depends what I'm on. My room is bright green, full of my friend's art, my art, photos, totally over saturated. I had my room some dead leaf looking color for like 4 years and it felt like it was draining my blood. So, I got all excited thinking some spring green would make me write more songs or some shit. There is red trimming, so it is Christmas all year long. I like having a lot of sound making stuff around and tape recorders around so when I am stuck, I look around and there usually be something that fits the puzzle, i use it, then voila. Tape recorder is vital. You never know when someones gonna come in bad tripping on LSD and everyone needs to record THAT and throw it in a song at least once, no?

What extra curricular audio projects to you have going on?
I do art shows once in a while. I have MANY musical projects with friends: Hair & Nails, FKTRN, Horse y Crow, Fantasy Roxx, Finesse + Runway (all on myspace 'cept hair & nails)

What was the first piece of hardware you remember obtaining?
The golden Casio when i was 6. I was scared to touch it for like 4 days. It terrified me. My mother put it on the dinner table as a surprise. Since I had always wanted one, it was quite intimidating. I walked up to it, then ran back to my room.(I did this like three times)but i REALLY freaked out when I finally hit one of the notes and realized my mother heard it. I really don't understand why I was horrified. It was funny though.

What is on your current 'wish list' for new hardware or software?
A nice wild analog generic as hell keyboard. I don't know if they made it yet. I am broke.

What does your live setup look like?
Tambourine, mic, vocal FX processor, crash cymbal, and CD player. Simple eh?

Where were you born and how did you end up in the location you currently reside?
Here in Miami as fuck Florida. I came back to this house cuz my landlord was tearing up my bathroom without notice .
I had to beg Otto von Schirach to drive up to Atlanta to bring me back home and he did. Thanks Otto.

Dino Felipe can be found on Schematic, Forced Exposure, Sublight Records, Nophi Recordings, Melted Mailbox, Clinical Archives, Marvellous Tone,and more.
Dino Felipe Music (This is loud, watch your volume)

Please note that all pictures belong to the artists and that they have given us permission to post them. If you want to use any of the material you read here, please contact the artists.


Workspace and Environment: Lusine

Before I unleash Lusine, I would like to steal a second and say thank you to everyone who overwhelmed our blog the past two days, especially Matrix who linked us through Matrixsynth. We've had over five thousand hits from over sixty countries, including Mauritius, which I have never heard of until yesterday. We're currently sorting out artists that have responded and working on stories reviewing our gear, projects and parties. Again, thank you for the response and enjoy some Lusine.

What is your favorite piece of hardware?
Arp Odyssey. It sounds awesome and I've owned one for over 10 years and never gotten tired of it. I have two Odysseys, a Mark III, and a Mark I. The Mark I was a hand me down from my uncle that was broken. I ordered a 2 pole filter replacement from an online tech guy and soldered it in and then I did the Kenton CV/Gate/Filter mod as well. It works, but it still doesn't work perfectly. I'm still researching into how to fix it. The Mark III is the one I've had for 10 years. I haven't done any modifications. It works and sounds great.

Fruity Loops. I've been using it since '97. I would love for the guys at FL to make an external device that you could load your programs onto and use as a sort of MPC on steroids. They also need to integrate the Piano Roll sequencer with the Step sequencer in a more logical way. If they focused more on Spectral plugins natively it would be nice. And their Granular Device and time stretching tools could be enhanced with more features.

How does your physical space and surroundings influence your workflow?
I've just recently moved into a place where I don't sleep in the same place my studio is, so it's great that I can just go in and start working on music without having it feel cluttered. I like having everything at my fingertips. If it's out of reach and unplugged, it makes it a bit less convenient. I'd like to eventually have a patchbay so I can have even easier access to hardware.

What additional projects are you involved with?
I've worked on music for film in various capacities. Most recently with David Wingo on some film score work. We scored a movie called Snow Angels which comes out late winter or Spring directed by David Gordon Green. I've worked on some films in the past in LA, but in a music programmer capacity.

What is the first piece of hardware you got?
Yamaha Ry30. Still have it, don't use it. Awesome drum machine though.

What is currently on your wishlist?
Electric Guitar, maybe a Telecaster, and a cello.

What does your live setup consist of?
Laptop, midi controller, and Ableton Live.

What are distractions and influences to you?
Biggest distraction is probably procrastination, TV, football season. Biggest inspiration, hearing a great track or album that gives me ideas.

Lusine gew up in Dallas, Texas and now works out of Seattle, Washington. His work can be found on Ghostly International Records and Hymen Records.
Click Here for Lusine Music

Please note that all pictures belong to the artists and that they have given us permission to post them. If you want to use any of the material you read here, please contact the artists.

Workspaces and Environments : Richard Devine

Hello from both Justin and I. We've scrambled for the past couple weeks trying to find artists that were interested in sharing their workspace and insight into how they work. We were both surprised at the amount of enthusiasm and interests that the artists responded with. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank them!! We have over 40 interested artists lined up so far and the continually updated list can be found here. We will release two or three articles weekly. To officially start off the Workspace and Environment series at trash_audio, we tricked one of our friends into it: Richard Devine.

Richard Devine:
I have been working on music for almost fifteen years now. I started when I was 16 just recording tons of strange sounds and things to tape, then I eventually moved to working with digital samplers in the early 90’s. From there I progressed to working with computers and digital signal processing. I have always considered my self more of a sound collage artist. Dealing more with sound design, and creating an unusual space or experience for the listener.

Regarding Hardware
I have so many favorites its ridiculous. I have really been digging the new Roland V-synth GT. Some may think that sounds a bit odd, but I have been getting some unreal sounds with it. It is using totally new AP (Articulate Phrase) Synthesis technology models the performance behavior and nuance of musical instruments. Playing a sound of a recorded whale or bird and playing it like a violin or guitar. It’s interesting to see how you can apply acoustic instrumentation simulation to totally unusual sound sources and textures. It allows you to shape and manipulate the sound in new ways I haven’t yet explored. The Elastic Audio Synthesizer engine is amazing as you can spectral blur and mesh the frequencies of samples with the Chaos controller or D-Beam controller. It's really interesting when you mix two different samples and layer them then mesh the frequencies and mess with the time trip function, which warps and beaks apart the sounds. I have been getting some really spooky vocal effects and surreal textured pads. Its an amazing piece of new technology and I have so much more to explore.

Regarding Software
Well, I love Native Instruments Kontakt 3 that was just released. I have been a long time fan of the NI software, and the new update to there virtual sampler is amazing. I have literally hundreds of plug-ins that I use on a day-to-day basis, and it would be nearly impossible for me to list all of my favorites. I really like Composer’s Desktop Project for Spectral FFT processing and sound coloration. I also really dig the Kyma System by Symbolic Sound. I have gotten some really amazing sounds over the years using that system. Some of my favorite plugs are VirSyn Cube and Terra, Reaktor 5, Max/MSP, pluggo, GRM tools, and Battery 3.

Regarding Workspace and Environment
I have been working lately in my kitchen a lot. I know that sounds funny, but I have been really experimenting with trying to isolate myself with just the bare essentials and try to force myself to get new sounds with just the plug-ins and my software. I have a crazy studio of hundreds of keyboards and hardware modular systems, but it all gets bounced down and manipulated in the computer in the end, so my studio usually just gets used as a recording room, with my desk and processing equipment. I will do my mix downs in there, but all the song writing and programming is now done in my kitchen. I think I can be more creative if I have fewer distractions and fancy lights to deter my attention.

Additional Projects
Oh man! That has been what I have mainly focusing on lately, working primarily doing boutique sound design for commercial companies. I have done music and sound design for video games/websites/TV spots/Film Scores/Audio Content for other audio companies. It's been so successful that I decided to start my own company this year called DevineSound. Me and my fellow mate Josh Kay (formerly of Schematic Records) plan to launch the site and company next year 2008. Opening our doors to other ad agencies and companies who want really cutting edge sound design and music.

First Hardware
One of the first synthesizers I got my hands on was the Arp 2600 modular. It was the old battle ship gray model v1.0 with the 3604P keyboard. It was the first piece of equipment that I bought that really opened my ears to a whole new world. I was completely blown away with it. It was the basis for my first explorations as a sound designer. I learned so many things by patching the 2600 in different configurations. I learned about frequency modulation and control voltage feedback. I love all the various combinations and routings you could make. No rules, and no right or wrong way to go about, just how music should be.

Wish List
I have so many things that I would love to have. First off would be a full-blown Buchla 200e modular. I would get the Multi-Dimensional Kinesthetic Input Port, the Source of Uncertainty, and Arbitrary function Generator. I would go all out, and build the most bizarre system ever. Just for making the most unusual sounds on the planet. I would also like to expand on my current Doepfer modular setup. I would like to get more of Peter Gerenader Plan B modules. I am currently building a crazy system for really odd ends and bits. I should be done by the end of 2008. I also love Mike Brown’s stuff (LiveWire). I am greatly anticipating his new VCO which I want to get 3 of, and incorporate into my setup now. As for other gear, I am looking forward to the new Yamaha “Tenori” Controller, and Max/MSP 5 from cycling74. So much cool new stuff I could talk to days.

Mobile Workstation
My mobile setup is pretty simple. I have two laptops one Sony Viao and Macbook pro. I have a RME Fireface400 soundcard, and M-audio Oxygen-8v2 keyboard that I use. I also use the Ultimate Ears UE-10’s in ear monitors to mix to when I am on the go. I must say that these in ear’s are one of the best investments I have made in my musical career. I also usually travel with a hand full of portable recording gear, like the Sound Devices MixPre, and M-audio microtrack 24 recorders. I always bring a bunch of microphones with me to do any on the spot field recording. My favorites are the Rode NT4, Sony ECM-5, Beyer Dynamic 930’s, and next for me will be the Sennheiser's MKH-418S-P48, and DPA 4017 shotgun microphones. I am getting more into field and foley recording lately, so I have been investing more and more into proper microphones and mic pre's.

I keep my live setup pretty simple these days. One Mac book Pro, and my Sony Viao, running Nuendo and Logic Studio. I have two controllers that I like to use for my live performances. The Xession, and the UC-33e. I sometimes bring out my Allen & Heath Xone 3D when I DJ. It usually depends on the gig.

I have only had my studio in two locations. First was at my parents place, then I moved out and setup a new studio here at my new house. Nothing has really changed other then the fact that I have this horrible addiction to getting more gear. It never stops, my quest for new sounds will never end.

Richard Devine was born in St. Louis, Missouri and now lives in Atlanta, Georgia. His work can be found on Schematic Records, Sublight and Warp records.

Please note that all pictures belong to the artists and that they have given us permission to post them. If you want to use any of the material you read here, please contact the artists.


Workspaces and Environments

Currently, Justin and I are working on a series about artists and their workspaces. This is not a standard 'what gear do you own', rather more of an in depth voyeuristic look into personality through configuration. I expect both elegance and mayhem as the music we all create falls into all categories. I think I speak for some of the artists when I say this is more of a lifestyle than anything else. Sacrificing living space for working space, then eventually confusing the two. We have to find a way to live, travel and work with equipment we have chosen. The gear will be diverse but the configuration and the layout, I expect, will be as dramatic as the music we create.

We plan to have a series, releasing three artists at a time. Though we will interview them and post their responses, the idea is to have the pictures do most of the talking.

I thank the following artists who have agreed to participate:

  • Aaron Spectre
  • Aids Wolf
  • Alessandro Cortini
  • Atom TM
  • Autopsy Protocol
  • Baseck
  • Captain Ahab
  • Chelis
  • CLP (Chris de Luca vs. Phon.o)
  • [co]sen_tasi
  • Daedelus
  • the deep element
  • Deru
  • Digitalism
  • Dino Felipe
  • Dreams Are Maps
  • edIT
  • Electrocute
  • Eliot Lipp
  • Eustachian
  • The Flashbulb
  • Genghis Tron
  • The Great Mundane
  • James Cigler/Felix Inferious
  • Jeswa
  • JonBro
  • Justin McGrath
  • Kawaiietly Please
  • Keith Hillebrandt
  • Kero
  • Les Enfants
  • The Locust
  • Lusine
  • Machinedrum
  • Marco Morales
  • Michael Fakesch
  • On Holiday
  • Otto Von Schirach
  • Pirate Robot Midget
  • Praveen
  • Pre
  • Protman
  • Radicalfasion
  • Richard Devine
  • Sgure
  • Tim Exile
  • Vytear
  • Zach Goheen

    This list is continually updated as we get confirmation from artists we ask and is in no form concrete. Now, if I can somehow arrange a group photo of all of us.....
  • Justin McGrath - The Persistent | The Unobtainable

    Because Justin is the worst promoter for his own tunes and makes music worth promoting, I'll do it for him: Preview his album here.

    Also, he's performing at the end of this month at: Fierce. I'll be opening with a dj set and helping him with processing. RAWK! magazine is throwing the thing and its going to be out of control. I suggest you buy tickets soon.

    Cwejman + Livewire Modules Arrive!

    After playing with Justin McGrath's Cwejman S1 semi modular synth for months, I had to find a way to get those deadly envelopes into my modular setup. Daily, I tortured myself by going to Analoghaven and through some soul searching, decided to sell some gear. Things I weren't using were piling up and I didn't want my modular setup to become out of control. I already have so many modules laying around (so sad) and I travel way too much to have an insane modular setup. Richard Devine convinced me to grab the Livewire Dalek on our retarded talks about metal and modular gear. We seem to go for the most aggressive and violent sounding modules with some sort of intelligence.
    I check Analoghavens used section like a crack habit and have never seen Livewire or Cwejman modules there. When I saw them on the page, I didn't think, I just started clicking. Afterwards I realized what I've done to my financial situation though I didn't care too much. My priorities are a bit backwards.

    First Impressions:
    The Cwejman VM-1 has a nice weight to it and it's constructed beautifully. There is a plate on the back for protection and its incredibly thin/shallow (like its big brother, the S1) compared to doepfer modules. I believe it is safe to say that the Cwejman modules are among the best constructed modules on the market. The back plate has some holes where you can calibrate the oscillator. The knobs themselves are easier to turn than Doepfer pots.

    The Livewire Dalek is like any standard Euro rack module but at first glance, the knobs and layout are different. There is some strange dark adhesive on the sides of the boards, I decided I'm not going to bother cleaning as i dont have to look at it in two minutes ayhow. The module is deeper than Doepfer modules and probably 3 times as deep as the Cwejman and it barely squeezes in the case.

    The Video:
    I thought I knew how I wanted the setup to be. I mean, I thought about it day in and out for months but when it finally gets down to it, I crumble. I hate taking out modules i will use and my other g6 case is in another state.
    I unplugged the power cord from the back of the case and unscrewed all the modules I would be replacing.

    After reading about the Cwejman modules power supplies I had to be sure of the correct way to install it before turning it on. so i called Analoghaven and got in touch with Antonio who is always helpful. There is a red stripe on the power cord and it has to be facing up. You can see me finding a bent knob on one of my modules and I keep fingering it. I have never seen that knob bent before but realized I took this box around with me Europe and its had its share of abuse. Airplanes, trains, cars, drunks, drug addicts, and worst of all, other musicians. Some asshole even spilled beer on it in Madrid, but thankfully the lid was closed and it didn't get through. Either way, I don't recommend you even try.
    I always get confused with how to hook up the A-155 sequencer to the A-154 controller, so you can see me fiddling with that for a while. trial and error for a good 10 minutes. Which I don't recommend. You should probably read the manual that has diagrams. Eventually things start working and you can see me breaking in the new modules.

    After playing for 5 minutes, I'll share some thoughts.
    The Cwejman VM-1 is exactly what i thought it would be, a self contained synthesizer with great thick oscillator with 7 waveforms, a standard multimode filter, and an envelope generator/vca to kill for. the envelopes are the sickest I've ever played with, creating a extremely aggressive and sharp synth. the multimode filter is white bread, but the q-peak adds extra grime to the mix and having all the parameters cv-able makes it versatile. There is one downfall with the layout, which happens to be 3 switches caught between the knobs. It's a strange place to put them, but I couldn't really think of a better location on the face.
    The Livewire Dalek modulator is sick as hell. I can't even explain what it does right now, but I can tell its used mostly to mangle your sound through two vco's that can be used to ring modulate your sound into oblivion. The vco outputs are interesting to listen to alone as they don't simply rise and fall, but I'm not quite sure how I will use them yet. Cosmetically its very similar to Doepfer gear, but I prefer Livewire layouts as they are a bit more interesting to look at, and a major plus is different sized knobs.
    All in all, I'll be starving this month for these two modules and of course its worth it.
    If you have any hard questions, dont ask me. Check out Felix Inferious's review of the Dalek Modulator! Read the proper review on the Cwejman VM-1 here.

    the deep element - currents

    the deep element - currents album is available on itunes. it is released through shade:red recordings. you can find it: here but youre probably better off here

    i have been meaning to share some information on the album for some time because it took a many of years, countries, people and pieces of equipment to help me put it all together. im not sure how to do this efficiently, so instead of going through it track by track, ill do it by the list i mentioned earlier in the paragraph.

    the album doesnt have a definitive starting period as most things are written out of necessity from everyday life opposed to a dedicated label requested timeline. how i like to think of it is a culmination of emotions and ideas/thoughts from an abstract period of time. in this case, this album took about 2.5 - 3 years to release.

    the countries i lived in during these past years were numerous and i am glad i had a means to capture some of it through music. i worked in a studio in malmo, sweden. living rooms in copenhagen, denmark. every imaginable landscape in vienna, austria. apartments in hamburg, germany. a beautiful home in nurnburg, germany. in my own studio in washington, d.c. and orlando, florida.

    naturally i am influenced by the people i surround myself with. be it friends, artists, or simply acquaintances, they all affect my life. the first person id like to mention is nathanja westerheide who was with me through most of this album mostly physically but always mentally. patrik wulff let me flesh out his ideas in slysis during my time in sweden. birgit schmidt was directly behind me when i was trying to find myself on a destroyed piano in copenhagen on the track esin mire. rebecca pedro from florida let me finish her idea in smoothed before we became heartstring canvas. the gentlemen in karmakanic let me destroy their song on eternally. jonathan brodsky let me brutalize his track heavylifta while i was in d.c. sarah wielusz in chicago designed the cover. and bjork has no idea i roughed up her new world track.

    and now the most exciting part: the gear. you might notice that i mustve worked in a high end recording studio to be able to play with such gear. you must also notice that i was constantly on the move to be able to use such improvised crap.

    consoles/mixers: saje odyssey, mackie onyx series, various behringers
    interfaces: protools hd/le systems, m-audio 410, minidisc players, ipod, teac tape machines
    synths/keys: roland juno 106, doepfer a-100 modular synth, korg ms2000, kawai k3m, rhodes mkii, ehrbar grand piano, destroyed pianos,
    outboard: focusrite voicemaster pre-amp, roland re-301/201 space echos, sanford and sonny bluebeard, sherman filterbank 2, sp808ex
    microphones: ibook crap, schoeps mk2s/4, neumann u87/47, royer 121, sony minidisc crap, ipod crap
    software: logic, reason, live, ni komplete, smartelectronix plugs
    there is more, but ill leave it at that.

    ive been meaning to explain this album mostly for my own sake, but also to anyone who cares to know something about my process.
    if there is something i didnt answer, or something you would like to ask, please dont hesitate to send me an e-mail. it can be found at my website: here
    or you can just leave a comment.

    Juno 106 Voice Chip Replacement

    After having a brief freak out about my Juno 106's 'hanging notes', I thought something was wrong with the envelope section but with very little investigation, it seems like its something more common: a bad voice chip.
    Apparently Juno 106's blow their chips regularly/inevitably and this guy took the time to clone the Roland chips as they don't make them anymore. Hes on the second generation of clones and they're only 40 euros.
    Visit this guy as well if you want some additional information on the clones and replacement procedures.
    Also, if anyone has bought a space echo replacement tape loop from these guys or if you have any alternatives, let me know. seems like a few sites have their own spin on it, so if you know of something reliable, comment away.

    Buchla Nights

    We stopped by a friends house who sold all his old gear for a killer Buchla system.
    Team Trash, go!

    "It is important to note that Don Buchla and Robert Moog simultaneously invented the modular synthesizer in 1963, Moog in New York and Buchla in San Francisco. While there had been previous synthesizer experiments, Moog and Buchla's major developments that made the synthesizer portable and flexible was that of using control voltage to manipulate the various elements of the circuits." - Wikipedia

    NAMM demonstration of the new modules here

    Cwejman and Doepfer Sitting in a Tree

    New modules from Analog Haven. Installing the Doepfer A-188b and A-154.
    Also Justin's old studio! Cwejman + Doepfer = geargasm. Props to anyone that can spot the Alesis Andromeda A6.

    Surachai in Europe

    I've never been to Spain or France. I have never released anything under this Surachai name. I cant say I even know too many people there either. What is going on?! Who cares! I'm off!
    Update: Both of these shows were amazing and in Paris I was essentially paid in cheese, I'll expand on that a little later when I have some time, but everyone who housed/drove/fed me, thank you so much.
    You can catch an interview I did with some friends while in Paris, France.

    Track Listing
    (00:00 - 5:10) Vytear - Digital
    (5:10 - 13:00) Interview w/ Eustachian and Surachai
    (13:00 - 19:30) Surachai Set
    (19:30 - 24:05) More talking/End of Surachai Set
    (25:05 - 46:02) Eustachian Set
    (46:03 - 53:24) Sgure Set
    (53:25 - 54:01) DuranX3 - Vytear remix