Update: Africa Hates Trash_Audio

I'm not sure if this qualifies as Africa or the Indian Ocean but we'll take it!! There has been sole visitor from Mauritius for a while and if it weren't for this blog, I would have no idea where/what it is. Go ahead, click on that link and pretend you knew all about Mauritius since grade school. Don't forget to be condescending towards everyone who didn't know which has to be 99% of the population. If you are this person, drop an e-mail to the right. If you are not this person, feel free to drop and e-mail and say hello!

Oh right... we're an audio blog or something. So this is Justin's Cwejman acting as a pillow for my Doepfer.

Workspace and Environment: Pony Pants

HELLO MONDAY, DIE! Er... Hey readers..... Emily J.K, Ryan and Steve from Pony Pants were kind enough to let me poke them with the questions. Enjoy!

How long have you been involved with making music?
We were all born in delaware and moved to Philadelphia in 2004 after two of us finished school and and all of were seeking change. We started playing together as Pony Pants in early 2005. Ryan and Steve (both who program beats & play guitars) are brothers and had been playing music together for most of their teenage/adult lives, but it was the long, cold winter that brought pony pants together. At the time, the three of us were living in a cheap bi-level apartment with a spare room that we used as a studio and music space. We hadn't lived in Philly for too long and still weren't really integrated in our neighborhood or scene. Lots of forced time indoor and general boredom found us in the studio room drinking copious beers, messing around, and eventually writing funny little songs together.

What is your current favorite piece of hardware?
Our favorite thing right now is our Akai MPC 2000XL. We used to use a Boss Dr. Rhythm Section to program and sequence the backing beats and synths for all of our songs. After quickly maxing out the DR's potential (Ryan had owned it since high school), we began to covet an MPC and when we found a used one last year at a music store in Philly, we jumped right on it. The high quality sampling of the Akai was a revelation, and has really pushed and improved the way we write our beats. The warm, analog feel of the Akai is as vast improvement, too, and makes us horny.

What is your current favorite software or plugin?

How does your physical space and surroundings influence your workflow?
Well now we live in a big house that has a huge space on the third floor that is our practice space and Steve's bedroom and art studio space. While the room at first seemed impossibly massive, it gets more cramped every day as we progressively cram more and more gear into it. The space is cozy and comfortable and it's in our house! So we can practice pretty much any time the mood strikes. (Except when Steve is napping). Our housemates are really nice about how loud we are, and our neighbors are, too.

Are you involved with any additional projects?
Steve's been playing guitar sometimes with another project called Soltero myspace.com/soltero. That's mostly it for now.

What was the first piece of hardware you remember obtaining?
Ryan says, "The Thor - my first drum set. It was candy apple red and dilapidated even before I got to it! The last thing I got was a Peavey JVM60, which is a badass all tube 60 watt head with 8 mod switches. Perfect for perching myself on my tone throne." (snickers).
Steve says, "A Yamaha Cruise." (everyone starts laughing). "And a Peavey Classic. Practice Amp. Hoopty. The last thing I got was a Boss RCXL120 Loopstation."

What is on your current 'wish list'?
More stacks.

Have you ever heard your music being played at a random place?
Yes! once at a vintage store in Richmond, VA. we were getting bagels next door and heard it piped in through the speakers outside.

You can find Pony Pants at: myspace.com/ponypants and badmasterrecords.com.


Africa Hates Trash_Audio

'Hate' is not an appropriate word more like, 'indifferent'. Although these are the most recent 500 and Surely we've had Africans before, something makes me miss them now. And Surely, other countries are 'indifferent' at us but a whole continent? And don't call me Surely.
*Update: Those google ads on the right are the worst pieces of shit. They're not even deceiving or annoying and that's why they're annoying.


Arturia: Recession Fun Times!

As a manufacturer, what do you do when we're in a recession? One idea might be to think of some crazy deal that is bound to draw attention(I'm writing about it aren't I?) and potential sales. Thankfully they didn't disguise it as NUCLEAR SUMMER BLOWOUT!! While these synths are great recreations of their analog sources and I was actually considering one, I found out something that makes me want to go on a killing spree. FUCKING dongles. Here is a fun read of some trouble shooting associated with them: yay!
That was a trick! There is nothing fun about dongles!
I still have my Logic 6 dongle and it STILL owns me. Some sessions are on my box in D.C. and since I was already planning a visit there, I thought I'd bounce everything and bring it back to Chicago. When I arrived I loaded everything up and NOPE! You forgot your dongle in Chicago you tool! GAGGGH.
Find this deal: Here

Live: Trifonic + Mr. Projectile in San Francisco June 26th

Our buddies Trifonic are having their debut gig in San Francisco tonight at the Red Devil Lounge. While this may be their debut performance as Trifonic, they've been playing been playing around this blue dot for some time. If I lived remotely close to SF, I'd drag Justin with me to see this. They're even bringing out Mr. Projectile to make the night the most brutal show in San Francisco. EVER. Ok so maybe these guys don't specialize in brutality but rather in elegance and technicality. What else are you going to do on a thursday night?

You can download their album, here and be that person who yells out songs they want the band to play.

*Update* Here's Trifonic's album embedded for listening, buy it from their site if you like it!

Plan B ELF Series

Plan B has announced pricing for its ELF Series a couple weeks back and since we're not an up to date news source, here it is. I travel with my modular regularly and I'm always scratching my eyes out trying to figure which modules to leave home due to space constraints. Enter the ELF Series. I'm looking forward to throwing a bunch of ADSR's in my box! And the price are small as well! No word yet on prices of the planned summer/fall release.

Model - Description - Retail
23 - Analog Shift Register -$165
36 - Leveler - $60
37 - LFO - $160
38 - ADSR - $130
38A - ADSR Expander - $55
39 - Wave Splicer - $100
40 - Headphone Preamp - $75

You can find Plan B Products at Noisebug.


video_Output: Nine Inch Nails, Live From Rehearsals...

Here is NIN performaing 1,000,000 (From The Slip) live at recent rehearsals for their upcoming tour. Go ahead, spot some gear...

Another video was just released, this is 'Letting You'

And finally, 'Echoplex' featuring more gear...


video_Output - Passing Storm

A timelapse of a storm system passing through my window in Chicago. The audio is from a release called Form using only modular synth action. Enjoy the week!

Video_ Passing Storm
Audio_ Surachai_ Form Twenty-Six
Downloadable: here


Visual_Random: Richard Devine & Jeswa

Remember Jeswa or Richard Devine off our Workspace and Environment series? Of course you do, cause I just linked you. Take a look at their modular setup from back then (around 8 months ago) and compare it to how it stands now, you'll realize that addiction is a disease. I'm not proud when I say I have even supplied their dirty habit with modules from local listings. As you can see, their setups have more than doubled between the both of them with Jeswa having a monster case and Richard carrying around a Cwejman alongside 3 G6's. You can check out the visually updated article at Elektron: here and listen to all that gear be compressed into a teeny weeny mp3: here. Be sure to check out their 'gear' section which is essentially anything that has ever made a noise.

Richard Devine passed the word that he and Josh Kay/Jeswa went to Duncan Laurie's studio in Rhode Island this weekend for seemingly awesome times. I remember we all talked about 'not really wanting much more'. Lies. We will lie. We lied to each other and to ourselves. We will steal your money and starve ourselves for modules. We will think about how much that vacation would cost in relation to how many modules we can get. We will accept gigs that pay in modules. But also, we'll let you play with them.


audio_Art: The Steampunk Modular Synthesizer

With the amount of steampunk stuff being cranked out, I thought I would see something like this sooner...

More info about how it was built: matrixsynth, make:

More photos and a video with sounds from space (19th century space) ahead!



This picture was taken sometime last year when we were in Logic 7 and I've forgotten about it until Justin posted it up on his myspace page recently. Whenever I leave Justin's place I usually leave a little present. Pointing his shower head towards him, obstructing paths with cardboard boxes, putting random objects upside down, or the said picture. I hope he's not documenting everything I've done to him... and I still wonder what this sounds like.....


Workspace and Environment: Ignatius

I just noticed that we breached the 100k visitor mark a while back and this blows my mind! Thanks for everyone that has dropped by, sent an e-mail or commented on our page. Sorry if I've been slow at replying to e-mails but I think I got them all this week! It really means a lot that I can say my agoraphobia and slight misanthropy teamed up to make something informative and interesting. With all the corny thanks out of the way I got one for the weekend here is Ignatius!

How long have you been involved with making music?
since 1995/6. that's when i got my first synth and started making sounds and recording them or just saving patches figuring i'd use them later. what motivated me was just to hear new sounds. i had a good friend/housemate who was a DJ and was always bringing home records and another good friend who worked at a record store who has a completely insane record collection. so, there was always tons of stuff to listen to and explore and get stoked on. so, yeah.. i just wanted to make my own sounds and stuff that i heard in my head and just generally learn how to make electronic music. i always gravitated to the weirder darker stuff and wasn't really getting my fill of that from going to clubs etc so that probably played a part in it too... plus it's just fun. that's what keeps me motivated. making new sounds and jamming and creating weird patterns being surprised by them when they all fit together into a track. plus it's self expression and i need that.
i was born and raised in florida. i grew up in miami and lived there until i was 25 or so then moved to san diego to work in a recording studio and lived there for about 7 years. 3 or so years ago i came up to portland. i've had my studio in half a dozen places. usually half in the kitchen and half in the dining room. i only once had it in a spare bedroom until now of course where i've finished out a room with some acoustic panels and a bit of room isolation.

Where can we find your work?
ignatius is the name i've worked under the longest. tunes can be heard at these links:
i do have a side project or two that revolve around live jamming then recording and editing. A friend, who goes by [SiK], and I have a weird acid x0x box type project that we work on from time to time called !!!Dica but we haven't edited down the hours of material we have yet. We did take a bunch of left over bits and make sample packs that we sent out to friends who in turn made tracks in many styles. The outcome of that is called "Acid Offspring" and is the 4th release on the label i run called Buried In Time

What are your current favorite pieces of hardware?
I've been pretty hooked on the elektron monomachine for a couple years now. it integrates with other hardware really well and is just so easy to get around and fun to jam with. once you spend some time with it you can get some great sounds out of it. i'm really getting into the MPC 1000 w/JJOS2 lately though. i've never had an mpc so it's a nice change from other ways of working. it's easy to get around on but has some nice features for processing/shaping and getting expressive results. plus it's small and stable and gets me away from the computer more. it's hard to say what a favorite piece of hardware is. usually it's whatever is in front of me but i do gravitate towards the elektrons + the modcan and the waldorf microwave XT though the evolver is always surprising and perhaps the best bang for the buck in a synth ever.

What are some softwares or plugins you prefer?
Audiomulch is what i've used most in the past 7-8 years. it just makes sense to me and i love having a non-notebased sequencer to work with. it's great for so many things but i use it mostly for composing entire songs and getting crazy w/the automation of snapshots of the various contraptions and VST's then record all of that and put the files in logic for mixing. I use Live some too for editing since audio editing in logic can be cumbersome some times.
i use the logic plugs often. i like sculpture and the ES2 though all the plugs are useful and can sound good in the right context. the ringshifter is great. I use kontakt in logic as well. it's great to stuff it with samples from the hardware and then use all the sound shaping/filtering/modulation etc that kontakt offers. NI stuff is generally really good for that kind of thing. i like weird delays and filters. the PSP stuff is great. I like nitro a lot. Also, uh-e filterscape is really awesome and does some great things to drums and is great for adding movement to anything really. the audiodamage stuff and smart electronix stuff is really cool too. I love the soundtoys plug ins. there's not much like those out there. They just sound 'natural, warm. analog' and can so some great rhythmic delay things and the filters/pitchshifting is awesome. the URS eq's are really nice. i like the classic EQ bundle with the A and N series eq's.

How does your physical space and surroundings influence your workflow?
i like a nice secluded dark place so i can forget about what's going on outside my little space. if i'm distracted i just can't get things done. but i guess if i had a big quiet room w/windows looking out into a forest or lake or something i might like that too.. so far i haven't been in that situation. I think i might like making music on the bottom of the ocean as well.

Could you describe what you might think your ideal location would be?
well, i think i'm pretty much there though some times i'd like to be an hour or so away from a small city. in the woods or on a mountain or something. some place where i can walk out the door and not see another house or person and wander the woods for inspiration or something. be some kind of nerdy monk.

What was the first piece of hardware you remember obtaining? The last?
i bought a yamaha cs1-x in 1995/6. since then any kind of synth that has a matrix editor interface has been a cakewalk. the last piece of hardware was the MPC-1000

What is on your current 'wish list'?
hmmm. there's always a module or two for the modcan that i'd like. i have been waiting for my cyndustries quad low pass gates for over 2 years so i guess that's what is high on my wish list. but if i was dreaming i'd say a 20 channel tonelux rig with 8 eq's and 4 compressors and a small 500 series lunchbox to go along with it. but really i'm happy with what i have and i'm not lacking for any sound shaping tools...though a chandler germanium compressor would be nice. that and audiomulch 2.0 :)

Do you have a mobile studio setup?
it depends. if i'm going to see some family then i bring something. either a laptop or an elektron but if it's a trip not conducive to bringing gear then i grab the yamaha qy-10 just to noodle on. usually i just read when traveling unless i have some kind of deadline or am on some kind of creative roll.

Do you have a setup for live performances?
for a while it was just a laptop running audiomulch with a patch that i had tweaked for a while. I would just press play then improvise. After a while though i kept improvising the same type of thing and i got really bored. I played an ambient set a while back with the laptop + audiomulch and the monomachine. that was nice. Lately i've just been jamming with friends w/the elektrons and some roland x0x stuff. I'm working on a new audiomulch patch and i finally bought a controller so i'll design the patch around the controller and maybe plug the monomachine into the set up some how and see how spontaneous i can get. improvisation is the fun part for me but it's nice to have some safety nets.

Have you ever heard your music being played at a random/public place?
i have some friends who are DJ's who have play some of my tracks from time to time. that's always cool to hear. Also, at decibel festival in seattle a few years ago they played the entire first release from Buried In Time outside of the auditorium where they do the ambient showcases. that was cool since i had just handed out a bunch of them the day before.

Are you involved in any sound work outside of your own projects?
I track vocals for friends now and then and it's nice to work in that capacity where i'm just trying to capture someone's performance. When i lived in san diego i did some sound design here and there but nothing high profile. It was enjoyable when that work would come along because it broke up the usual things i was doing like working long hours on other people's music as an engineer/assistant engineer or studio manager or just being the guy who ran things in the studio.. I used to do a bit dialogue editing as well. I'm not motivated to go seek out that kind of work anymore as i don't care for the pressure or tedium and would rather make my own tunes for their own sake. Not that i haven't considered writing a bunch of 30/60 second jingles in a certain style and try to license them and I'd love to score some goofy indie sci fi or horror film. that'd be fun. Being in a commercial studio can be great as well.. about 50% of the time anyway. there are always compromises.


Fuck it! We'll do it live! - Polyfuse

Here are some shots from this past weekend. I found out I was performing with Justin when he sent an e-mail to Jesse and I saying we were in his 'band'. I guess it's supposed to operate like Prodigy: He makes the tracks and we dance around like assholes. The gear list goes something like: Access Virus Indigo, Access Virus Polar, Doepfer Case filled with goods, Moog MF-104z, Korg padKontrol and a Macbook. The colored photos are by Bridget Driessen and the Black & Whites photos by Allison Tenn. I'm still looking for pictures from our improvised acid set on sunday that included a TR-808, X0Xb0X, Sherman Filterbank II, Moog Delay, AD-9....


Harvestman Tyme Sefari Featured in PC World

I would like to give props to Scott Jaeger of Harvestman Electronics for making gear lust worthy enough to be featured in PC World Magazine. He was featured in the Workspace and Environment series a while back. It must be a trip having your instruments being sported on a random but seemingly popular magazine. On a related note: I recently took his Malgorithm Bit Crusher and Polivoks Filter on a two month tour that wrecked 3 sound systems in Europe. That being said, I would totally recommend them!

Click here for the article!

This is a video that made me dream about throwing a Tyme Sefari in my system for an extended amount of time. And definitely thought about throwing my economic stimulus package his way. Speaking of which, I still haven't received mine.... Who do I put in a headlock to get this money quicker?

first look at the tyme sefari from loopcycle on Vimeo.


Live audio_Output: 6-6-08

Tomorrow! If you're in Chicago, this show should be pretty interesting and offer some intense variety. Ambient, 8 Bit, Dance, IDM and from me, electro/industrial under the name Polyfuse. I am dragging Surachai into this mess to help with processing through his modular, and another keyboard player (Jesse Meyer) to help make this performance an actual performance. More usefulness below.

presale tickets
going.com (All Details here)


Workspace and Environment: The Teknoist

Big day here! If you have been stalking us, you would already know I've uploaded two Surachai albums which can be found: Here. They'll be permanently available through my profile page to the right. Justin has some goodies lined up for you too. On a related topic, Justin will be performing as Polyfuse this friday at the Abbey Pub in Chicago. Details: Here! With all that crap out of the way, I present you with Mike Teknoist!

I was born in Manchester but grew up in North Wales and moved to Bristol. I'm looking for somewhere new to live though. As I said, I get itchy feet. I blame ADHD haha. I've been playing records in clubs since I was 15 years old, it was a natural progression I guess. I started messing around with Amigas and Ataris and trackers etc but then sort of just went back into playing records solely, turntablism and stuff. I wanted to master those kinds of skills 1st. Then I started playing around with Cubase on the PC and haven't stopped. The amount of ideas that I was having I guess was motivation enough at the time, constantly sampling noises, speech etc from all over the place. And the fact that there wasn’t enough of the type of sound I wanted to hear around. There'd be the odd track that blew me away and I could never really understand why there wasn’t more along that vein so the obvious choice was to make it myself. Staying motivated isn’t that hard, it's kind of 2nd nature to just get up and write music 1st thing in the morning. My whole day revolves around that, that and watching movies or reading. Its not really a choice, more an instinct kind of thing (like a zombies hunger for brains). I cant imagine not doing it so I rarely have to find motivation because its all I want to do. You can find my *ahem* work on my own label ‘Ninja Columbo’ for a start and then on a lot of other electronic music labels such as Planet Mu, Deathchant, Rebel Scum, Cock Rock Disco and soon Ad Noiseam, Deathsucker… I could go on with upcoming stuff but I wont. You can get a taster on my myspace obviously, myspace.com/ninjacolumbo

What is your current favorite piece of hardware?
Hahaha… heres my kit list at the moment: a laptop, a pair of Sennheiser HD25 headphones… not even a midi controller atm.
So I guess its my laptop, it was custom built 3 years ago and its like my brother. 17.5inch screen, 3.4 Pentium 4 processor, 2 gig of ram. It’s a tank, although the screen needs replacing as an inch or so on the right hand side is now broken because I dropped it. Finding time to send it away when I'm touring etc is hard so I've been working with it broke for a while.
My girlfriend blew my monitors getting far too carried away listening to music so the headphones have been a saviour. I seem to do alright.

What is your current favorite software or plugin?
I'm using the Ixl spectrum Analyzer a lot on my master out for visually checking my eq but effect wise I use PSP Nitro a heap and the GRM tools bunch. The SSL compressor also.

How does your physical space and surroundings influence your workflow?
I'm actually a vagrant at the moment and kind of have been for a while, I can't settle anywhere it seems but I'm looking for a new place. I'm staying in a friends spare room but the surroundings are gorgeous. No neighbours, just fields and farms so that’s really relaxing and it’s a joy to wake up there. I go for a run around 7am and do some stretches while watching a variety of US sitcoms like Frasier and Everybody Loves Raymond haha :s … then make some tea and fire up my laptop. I have adhd so I've got to do quite a few things at once and constantly get up and mess with something else, start watching a film then turn it off 20mins in then back to work on a different track, then wash the dishes, then the film again etc haha.. When I have settled for a while in a place I found it so nice and productive to get up and have that set work area that everything is just waiting for you to switch on. Then again I've written some of my best tracks while on the move in other countries so im kinda on the fence on whats the best. Although I think my not having a proper base time is finally up. I long for my own studio space now though so il get back to you when Im settled with some new kit etc and tell you how im doing, what films im half watching etc ;)

What was the first and last piece of hardware you remember obtaining?
My Atari ST and a really dodgy midi controller was the 1st. The last were a pair of Event tr8 monitors

What is on your current 'wish list'
I've got a list of essential things that I intend to buy over the summer in time to hibernate in Winter 08 but no specific models really as yet. A couple of pairs of different kinds of monitors, an analogue desk and a new midi controller..

How many physical locations have you had your studio setup?
Jeez! Umm.. A LOT. Iv had 2 decent set ups in different locations. One in Manchester and one in Bristol. They were pretty much the same as each other, big desk, laptop and pc, midi controller and some decent monitors, turntables, dj mixer etc. But mostly iv just lived like iv been touring because I guess Iv just never really stopped properly so its juts been my laptop and headphones.

Have you ever heard your music being played at a random/public place?
I was on a tram in Manchester once and heard a guy in front of me listening to an old rave tape of mine with an mc shouting my name on it.. that and the same happened in Wales when someone drove past in their car.