Workspace and Environment: DuranDuranDuran

HAI! Justin and I have shitty little profiles to the right now. Before they linked to our websites but now they are filled with information for you to stalk us. Also, if you're Chicago write us an e-mail (to the right) so we know who to spam when we have a party. A heads up: Justin is performing next friday in Chicago and we'll give you more details on that when it gets closer. We're both working on releases to be given away on Trash_Audio aaaaaand... I think that's it. Here is Ed Flis of DuranDuranDuran!

Background i was born in philadelphia in 1980, moved to berlin earlier this year. fell in love with the place when i came hear for the first time back in 2003, and since then i've known more and more people who've moved here. eventually realized it's about as cheap as philadelphia and i could get more work, and there's less of a chance of becoming a violent crime victim. this city blows my mind every day. i used to fuck around with a program called soundedit on my dad's computer when i was a kid (precursor to soundedit 16 if anyone remembers that), started making music proper when i was about 15, so i guess about 12-13 years now i've been doing this. jesus.

What is the name you work under and where can we find your work?
mainly working under the name Duran Duran Duran lately, tho i have a bunch of other projects not worth going into, main side project now is RAVETASM POSSE. you can hear some of this stuff here:
and for people who still buy music you can get most of my stuff from systemicaudio.com.

What is your current favorite piece of hardware?
never been able to afford hardware really, other than the odd piece of shit dollar store synth.

What is your current favorite software or plugin?
i'd have to go with logic 8, especially the ultrabeat drum machine plug in.

How does your physical space and surroundings influence your workflow?
i can work pretty much anywhere it seems, as long as i can be loud. occasionally i get bored of staring at the same 4 walls and will go sit down in the park or a cafe with a pair of headphones. one thing i will say i've noticed is i'm more productive when i'm around creative people.

Are you involved in any sound work outside of your own projects?
i've done a bit of mastering for bands, would love to get into film composing. especially porno, think that would be ace.

What was the first piece of hardware you remember obtaining?
hard to say, if you count guitars the first thing i remember is getting my shitty yamaha fender ripoff back in 96, first synth i remember scoring was the casio sk-1 off ebay in 98. uhhh last piece of gear i bought is probably my soundcard, which is on it's way out at the moment.

What is on your current wish list?
jesus are you kidding? i want everything. eventide h8000 at the top.

Do you have a mobile studio setup?
just a laptop and a decent pair of headphones is really all i need.

Do you have a setup for live performances?
varies from show to show, usually just a laptop, soundcard, midi controller when i travel. shows closer to home could contain everything from contact mics to lawnchairs.

How many physical locations have you had your studio ?
well as a proper studio i'd have to say just here and philadelphia, haven't really changed much!

Have you ever heard your music being played at a random/public place?
yeah embarassingly i heard a track at a party a few months ago and thought "damn i need to make more music like this" then realized it was one of my records...


audio_Output: X0XB0X meets the Atomizer

Yesterday I did two small software upgrades to some gear. I installed the Evilx0x (.5) firmware on my x0xb0x and also found there was an update for the Virus TI 2.7 Beta software, it's now at Beta 4. I was happy to find that the Atomizer is now a lot more stable when using it in Logic 8. So with the two upgrades, I decided to test them both out at the same time. On the x0xb0x, the new firmware lets you do some new interesting things while it's playing such as various swing modes and shortening of the pattern to 8, 4, 2, or 1 steps in length. The Atomizer effect on the TI is basically a live audio slicer/freezer kind of thing and the mod wheel controls which frequency's will be effected by this, left untouched it will slice the whole frequency spectrum, and as you move the mod wheel you can chop just high frequency content, or just low frequency content...

Anyway, I recorded everything I was doing as I was figuring it all out, here are some random chunks:

x0x meets atom - 1
x0x meets atom - 2
x0x meets atom - 3
x0x meets atom - 4


Cat + Synths..

"Hi, I am sleeping. Oh I mean, I KAN HAZ SLEEP, or I CAN HAZ SYNTHESIZER, or... fuck it, we'll do it live."

We'll do it live! Fuck it! - Surachai Gear Tour Diary

From the massive herds of 800 in Liege, Belgium to the desolate crowds of 20 in Zaragoza, Spain this tour was as moody as a buffalo's teat in June. There are a few things I will remember to do next time. 1) Print out a personal bio on little cards to hand out to everyone because the essential (but exhausting) question of 'what do you do' can only be extravagantly lied about so much. 2) Put more filters in my modular system in order to kill more sound systems that don't have limiters. Between our performances through the nights, we killed 3 systems. One of the systems even had a light inside the speaker to warn of impending melt-death. Pretty sight, bad smell. 3) Travel lighter! Plugging the modular system in the line-in on the Macbook gets noisy but it saves me from carrying an interface and mixer. The act is noisy by default so it turned out to be desirable.

I could talk about interesting setups I saw which included a family of Kaoss pads, or Wii controllers used with max but it more or less consisted of laptops and midi controllers. My camera's LCD display got smashed in leaving me to take blind shots early on the tour. Not that I would take decent pictures anyway! Here's an abbreviated tour.....

Liege, Belgium

Rotterdam, Netherlands

Madrid, Spain

Paris, France

Hamburg, Germany

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Modular through an X-Ray!

The setup!


x0xb0x: Waiting List = Eternity (Updated)

Most people are probably pretty familiar with the x0xb0x by now. If not, basically it's the closest TB-303 clone you could possibly get/make created by ladyada. The kits to build these have just been discontinued To attain one of these clones you have to be put on a waiting list for an indefinite amount of time, but you can still build one, you just have to source all the parts yourself (Which could be a little difficult with some of the rare components you'll need).

With that said, I've just found on the fourms this nicely modded x0xb0x created by a character by the name of Subatomic, and it sounds mental:


More info here.


Add us on Twitter

Just a quick update, Surachai and I are both using Twitter now, so if you use it too, add us! I am (user name) justinmcgrath and Surachai is of course (user name) surachai. Also, I'd like to get a show of hands (via email on right) of all of the people living in the Chicago area. We'd just like to send out event notices for possible upcoming Trash_Audio events. We're not quite sure what this will entail, it could be anything from a small gathering with beer, to a show, or a 25,000 person analog modular rave. Now, back to my helicopter...

*update: Sorry, I am still using Web 1.3, added actual useful links to our accounts.


Workspace and Environment: Realicide

I'm Back in Chicago and it feels good! This tour was sickening, both in the slang driven 'neat' way and the literal pray-for-death way. There are too many thanks to dish out so I simply won't. Now it's time to beg for work in the hotdog city. Freelance for life!
In more interesting news and probably the sole reason you come here is: Workspace and Environment! The fine gentlemen of Realicide somehow got these amazing answers to me while in the midst of their U.S. summer tour. Come and read a extensive interview with Mavis Concave, Robert Inhuman and Vankmen of Realicide!

How long have you been involved with making music?
Robert Inhuman: I started really primitive programming and tape collage work in my teens, but it wasn't until I was out of high school that I started working in bands. I became interested in creating music for its slightly more immediate process and effects versus what I'd focused on prior, drawing and painting. I have stuck with it because it is most closely related to a socially acceptable catalyst for physical public interaction; live shows and the dialogue that is attached to them. I've stuck with music and bands because it is still a lingering platform for ideas, especially in "underground" culture, for now at least.

Vankmen: I have been involved with Realicide for a few years. It went from collabing on releases to from performing with the band, collabing live, and contributing beats for material.

Mavis Concave: I've been officially writing music for ten years now. I started when I was about 13 or 14 years old with a primitive IBM desktop computer and a general MIDI program. I would program entire instrumental songs and pretend I had a band with some friends at school who played guitar and bass. When I was 15 years old, I accidentally saw the band Mr. Bungle live. I went to see Incubus, Puya, and System of A Down because at the time I was way into that whole nu-metal thing or whatever. But that concert changed my life. Mr. Bungle was the first band to radically change my view of listening to and creating music. Within a year of seeing them live, I had discovered endless new music that I really enjoyed... not just the bullshit my friends enjoyed, therefore I enjoyed by default. Also within that year, I wrote and record about four or five collections of solo music on four track tape machines and computers.
I stayed motivated throughout high school because I went to an arts school. I majored in instrumental music, trumpet, but was heavily involved in the composition and jazz departments. I was very fortunate to have teachers supporting my growing interest in composition. I ended up going to college for music composition with the intentions of writing film soundtracks. After a year of officially being in the music conservatory, I dropped out of that program and designed my own liberal arts degree in audio engineering and related media. This is where I really started to become heavily involved with electronic music production such as digital hardcore, gabber, speedcore, harsh noise, etc. Although I felt rejected by most of my peers in college, I was again very fortunate to have professors and mentors supporting the direction I was heading in music and in life.
My main motivation now is mixed. I truly love making music as an art form, I always have. But I also feel a calling to communicate to people on an individual level. Although music is the same message broadcast to a large population at once, it is the individual listener who initially choses to receive and interpret the message, thus resulting in and individual interaction. I have a responsibility to communicate messages that will instigate positive change for individuals, even if that change is a temporary or small one.

What is the name you work under and where can we find your work?
Robert: I tour with Realicide and you can find it at www.realicide.com or any number of places that distro / feature abrasive contemporary hardcore music. But above anything online, you can find it face to face in as many cities as we can get to.

Mavis: I work under my own name as well as DJ THUMPER!, which is my project based in popular music breakcore, gabber, cut-ups. Generally, I always have tracks on the usual channels such as MySpace and Soundclick but lately everything is outdated as much new solo material is long overdue to come out. In the near future, I hope to start a video blog about experiments with hardware and software music production and performance.

Vankmen: Vankmen - www.myspace.com/vankmen

What is your current favorite piece of hardware?
Mavis: Since Spring of 2006, I've been consistently using the first edition Korg Electribe ES-1 sampler as my main hardware drum machine. If you aren't familiar with it, most people just call it "the green Electribe" and that usually clears things up. This is the first sampling drum machine I ever bought and it has remained the best piece for my style. I really enjoy the simplicity and obvious limitations of the machine because it forces me to be creative with my hardware setups and performance tricks. For example, the ES-1 only allows you to store up to 100 mono samples with a total of 90 seconds sample time. I have to carefully pick and choose what samples to store in the machine so I can efficiently perform old songs as well as have breathing room to create new songs. I like the hands-on interface with lots of real-time knobs and step sequencing, but also the advanced meticulous editing that can happen after your ideas are put down. I also love that you can store several different complete memory sets on Smart Media cards. I can fill up the entire machine with samples, patterns, and songs... then back everything up as one file on the memory card. I can then create a completely different set of samples, patterns, and songs, back all that up, and switch between the two sets. This is really great if you are in multiple projects that have contrasting music styles. I own two of these machines now, both of which I'm working into my live rig for Realicide's upcoming US tour dates this Summer/Fall. One machine will be loaded with only breakbeat kits and the other will be loaded with gabber and hardcore kicks, snares, cymbals, and synth tones.

Vankmen: Circuit bent DR-550... When used as a sound module, it's great for really harsh gabber like drums and noises.

Robert: I mainly use a microphone, but sometimes not even that, honestly. Speaking for the group as a whole, I'd say we've benefited overall the most from the Korg ES-1, sampling drum machine, because of its affordability and easy adherence to live manipulation.

What is your current favorite software or plugin? What makes this your favorite?
Mavis: My favorite piece of software, pretty much the only real software I use these days, is Ableton Live. It's a fully recordable digital audio workstation (DAW) as well as an excellent live performance tool. Similar to the Korg ES-1 sampler, I can put my ideas down quickly and accurately and then go tweak all the fine details later. I use Ableton Live to record, mix, and produce all of my tracks now. I really enjoy that it consists of one window workspace with the only pop-ups being VST plugins. I also use this program to perform as DJ THUMPER! in conjunction with one or two simple MIDI controllers. Triggering loops and rearranging music on the fly is so easy and natural. Don't take it from me though... There are so many other people who say everything I just mentioned and more. I'm just another supporter of the program. Research it.
As far as software plugins, I really dig the distortion VST made by Shuriken called "Berrtill". Most importantly, it's freeware... quality freeware. The distortion is modeled after circuit bent electronics and it hits the nail on th head. Fuzzes, glitches, overdrives, bit reductions, ring mods... Check it out. I much prefer hardware synths over plugins but the ArcDev Mainliner X2 is a pretty hardcore mono bass synth in VST form. I highly recommend it if you dig rave synths and lots of modulation capabilities. And again, it's good quality freeware.

Robert: I mainly stick with CoolEditPro, again because of familiarity and a fast easy process of collaging digitally. But again, for the group overall, I think Ableton Live is currently the most beneficial software.

Vankmen: I love Reason 3.0. It's just quick to get ideas down and the multiple ways of routing devices is great.

How does your physical space and surroundings influence your workflow?
Robert: For me, not a lot because I have had to make due with very little in terms of comfort and convenience, especially when I do not have a home, or am usually in a very temporary home. It is somehow not uncommon for my workspace to be the floor in the corner of someone else's room, or someone else's studio space just for a day or two... But I think for the other members of the band, the nature of their space affects their productivity and focus much more. I have just had to learn to cope with very limited resources.

Mavis: Where ever I live is generally where I work and it has a huge impact on my workflow. A few months ago, I lived in a pretty nice, cozy house in southwest Cincinnati, right on the Ohio River. I moved in thinking I would be super productive with my small studio setup on the second floor and no neighbors that would complain about high volume music all day and night. Something about that house prevented me from completing over half the tracks I started recording while living there. Now I live across town in a smaller apartment with less roommates and more neighbors. I work on music of some kind everyday.
I need to have enough physical space for my gear and be surrounded by people who encourage the work that I am doing. I can't be surrounded by people who write off my music production as a nuisance to have in the household. That is probably the biggest creativity/productivity block there is for me.

Are you involved in any music/sound work outside of your own projects?
Mavis: I would very much like to be a sound designer for a hardware based company, such as Korg, Roland, or Yamaha. I'm interested in designing the architecture of the sounds in drum machines and synthesizers as a profession. Who knows if it will ever happen, kind of a dream job I guess.
Other than that, I casually offer independent audio engineering services to anyone interested. From recording, mixing, producing complete tracks to simple MIDI programming or adding electronic elements to music to composing film soundtracks. I'm available, rates are negotiable, and I won't compromise the client's vision for the project, they get the final say. The more I work shitty day jobs to pay bills, the more I want to push this kind of audio work harder and make a living.

What was the first piece of hardware you remember obtaining? The last?
Robert: Tascam 414 Portastudio; my first 4-track tape recorder; it went through a lot and I remember it being a serious investment when I was in high school. The most recent is probably the Korg ES-1 I'm borrowing from Kyle Parker (Infinite Body) with Mavis's patterns loaded onto it to use during times he's not around this year.

Mavis: The first piece of hardware I ever bought for electronic music was a Boss SP-303 Dr Sample. I got it for dropping electronic beats on intros and bridges of Realicide songs during live shows with a drummer in 2002. After we parted ways with the drummer, I bought my first drum machine, the Alesis SR-16. I used the SP-303 and SR-16 is nearly every Realicide show I was a part of from 2003-2006.
The last piece of hardware I obtained was a Korg Electribe EA-1 analog modeling synthesizer... AKA "the blue Electribe". I picked up this machine for experimenting with using external effects pedals as oscillators after seeing Jon Prunty use one for the European tour Realicide did in Spring 2008. This is the second time I've owned this machine, which is really rare for me. I just wasn't ready for it the first time I owned one.

Vankmen: The first piece I ever got was my Boss DR-550. It's been used in the performances with Realicide on the westcoast last year and is in several upcoming recorded tracks with Realicide.

What is on your current 'wish list' for new hardware or software?
Mavis: I would very much like to buy a Korg R3 for my main hardware synthesizer. I've been looking into it a lot and saving up my money by selling large amounts of other gear. Bills keep piling up and other priorities prevent me from getting one right now. I really look forward to getting one though.

Robert: I'd want to get a great PA that we can take anywhere, so that we never have to deal with sound guys EVER again. That would be great... Otherwise, I really need to get a working laptop cos it's been hard to stay in constant communication in LA without my own source of internet or a space to work in regularly.

Do you have a mobile studio setup?
Robert: Everything about my life is mobile this year. I have my car which contains all my stuff. None of that is studio gear though, I just mean boxes of books and records + a few clothes.

Do you have a setup for live performances?
Vankmen: the setup I used for the Realicide performances is the Boss SP-505, Boss DR-550 (circuit bent), and various circuit bent guitar pedals.

Mavis: My setup for live gigs varies over time. The last live setup I had in Realicide consisted of two Korg ES-1s for drums and blasts, a Boss SP-505 sampler for synth/guitar loops/riffs, a few effects pedals for feedback, and a Behringer mixer.

Robert: My mouth. I have to run drum machines and tapes this summer when I'm in between bandmates, but it is a last resort. I normally don't touch anything at shows besides a mic and people.

Robert: I am from Cincinnati, but now I'm basically nomadic between there, Los Angeles, Saint Louis, New Orleans, everywhere... I had some great times struggling in Ohio, but ultimately got done studying the dead end it is for the kind of work I am interested in pursuing.

Mavis: I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I went to college about 100 miles northeast in Columbus, Ohio. That's the only other city I've lived in at this point, something I'm not proud of. Post-college now, I live in Cincinnati again, temporarily. I'm planning on leaving Ohio at the end of 2008 to move East, possibly Pittsburgh or Philadelphia. I haven't made solid arrangements yet but I'm looking forward to the change in location.

Have you ever heard your music being played at a random/public place?
Robert: All our shows feel like that to some degree, to me anyway.

Vankmen: One time I heard a DJ play my song off Teen Suicide 01 at a random party. That was pretty cool.


Workspace and Environment: Mr. Projectile

Yo Yo Yo! One last gig in Amsterdam on Saturday the 11th, then it's home back to Chicago! But before any of that happens, here is Mr. Projectile!

Matthew Arnold of Mr. Projectile

I was born in NY,NY and through a long series of twists and turns throughout my 33 years i've landed in San Francisco at the moment. I've been making music since 1994... but I must say it wasn't very good music. My music probably didn't get good until around 1998. I had a few beginning motivating factors. I first heard proper electronic music in 1992 on a radio show called Depth Probe in Minneapolis. The feeling I got instantly was: what had I been missing out on? So a huge contributing factor in the beginnig was me wanting to be a contributing factor to the electronic music world. I would say that it is still the huge motivating force behind why I love making electronic music.

What is your current favorite piece of hardware?
Nord Modular G2. I haven't found a synth that better suits the type of music that I do. The knob setup, the build quality and the software editor are the best that i've seen. I use the Nord a lot to do the things that i don't want to manually do, such as random sequenced bleeps and arpeggiations. The ability to improvise with it while performing is a huge thing also.

What is your current favorite software or plugin?
I'm pretty pumped on Guitar Rig these days. Everything on it just has this smoother more round sound than anything else. I keep finding myself going back to those plug-ins more than anything else.

How does your physical space and surroundings influence your workflow?
At the moment I think I have one of the smallest rooms in San Francisco. It's pretty cramped, but I think the upside to that is that I only have to swivel maybe a foot to reach everything I need which over the years i've found increases my workflow... when I'm not having to move around too much to get to things.

Are you involved in any sound work outside of your music?
Does playing Super Mario Galaxy count?

What was the first piece of hardware you remember obtaining?
Technics KN-2000, for those who want to laugh... look it up on youtube. I recently built a x0x b0x which i'm farily in love with now.

What is on your current 'wish list' for new hardware or software?
Call me crazy but I want my mc-303 back. That thing was so simple. Also after looking at Richard Lainhart's site, I now want a Buchla 200e pretty bad.

Do you have a mobile studio setup?
My current studio is my mobile setup. Macbook Pro, Firewire 410, Machinedrum Sps-1, x0x b0x, and a Nord Modular G2.

Do you have a setup for live performances?
I am currently using my whole studio for live perfromances. I'm having a lot of fun playing the bulk of the songs out of the computer and then using the gear to sort of improvise over the songs. It's also nice to know that anything I do at home can instantly go on the road as well.

How many physical locations have you had your studio setup in over time and how have they changed?
Savage MN, St. Paul MN, Minneapolis MN in three separate places, Santa Fe NM in two separate places, Missoula MT in two separate places, Santa Cruz CA, and two separate places in San Francisco.

Have you ever heard your music being played at a random/public place?
I have had friends play my songs while at various events which is always a nice gesture. I once heard one of the Skam DJ's play a song of mine while opening for Autechre.

Find his stuff at:


visual_Output: Totally Wired

I found a message in my e-mail saying that I might be interested and yes I am! There are too many worthwhile things to list from the video that if I'd be describing every single frame. So instead of that, press play...

You might be interested in the trailer for my forthcoming documentary called 'Totally Wired', which is about Andreas Schneider and his infamous analogue store in Berlin, Germany, called 'Schneider's Buero'. The doc explores the relationship between the boutique builders and gear- lusty musicians who make Schneider's Buero an interface in its own right. Doc features some heavy inventors like Wowa Cwejmann, Dieter Doepfer and Ken Maccbeth as well as musicians like Ricardo Villalobos, Daniel Miller and Junior Boys.

Niamh Ahern
Director, 'Totally Wired'

Trailer for 'Totally Wired' from Niamh Ahern on Vimeo.