Flight of Harmony: Choices + Plague Bearers

I've been meaning to make a quick video of the Choices and Plague Bearer modules together for some time because they're quite a dangerous combo. You find yourself in a field of distortion and screams almost instantly. The patch is a bit complicated but essentially both the X and the Y axis outputs are going into mults, those mults are plugged into the Plague Bearers along with a Tip Top Audio Z2040 Cutoff. The audio sources are coming from Tip Top Audio Z3000's FMing each other. I used a combination of the room and line audio so a fan is audible.


Trash_Audio Synth Meet 3

Now that I have all the issues worked out with schedules, the official date will be Sunday, August 16th 2009. It'll be an early evening affair because Rob, who is hosting, says he 'don't like hanging out with you that much,' and I have to agree.
As always, there will be an abundance of gear from all spectrums of the modular and electronic instrument world. We encourage you to bring as much gear as you want (a lot hopefully) and we'll supply the power and mixers. If past parties are any indication on how this night will go, it will surely be an eye opening night that will make you lust hardcore. Also everyone will be drunk.

Send an e-mail to trash@thedeepelement.com and I'll reply with an address and any additional information you require.


Documenting: Tetralogy

If you are free tomorrow evening, Saturday July 25th, there is an art opening in Chicago where I put together a ten speaker not-so-surround-sound-but-kinda for the intense tetralogy structure four artists put together. It took them two months of their summer while I came in last week with a video camera demanding ipods and throwing off their work flow. The structure at the end of the video is about 20% of the overall presentation, so see you tomorrow for the real deal. Shot with a Flip UltraHD and edited in iMovieHD cause I'm video retarded.

Tetralogy Video 01 from Francis Kmiecik on Vimeo.

Tetralogy Video 02 from Francis Kmiecik on Vimeo.

Tetralogy Video 03 from Francis Kmiecik on Vimeo.

Tetralogy Video 04 from Francis Kmiecik on Vimeo.


Logic Studio 9

Shipping now...read about it here.


Make Noise QMMG Demo

Couldn't find a demo of the QMMG on its own and since I just got one the other day, I'll take it upon myself to make one. So, I'm sniper rifling two birds with one bullet by testing out a)Make Noise's Quad Multi Mode Gate (qmmg) module and b)Flip's UltraHD camcorder. I wanted to share a video of how extreme the module can get with normal Tip Top Audio and Cwejman waveforms. I first preview all four channels without activating the gates. Then I turn all the channels to VCA, Both, LP and finally HP modes. After that I manually mangle the sound and return back to VCA mode. Everything is coming out of the summing mixer. So in short you get a Mixer, VCA and multimode filtering. Why don't you have this yet?


Photos from the T_A Meetup in Chicago...

Well, I forgot to post these back when it happened, so I am doing it now! I am also getting ready to move Trash_Audio headquarters into a more suitable area. We'll do this again once all my wires are covering the new place...

And there's more in the Flicker set here!



These four artists have been working on an installation piece for the past 2 months and its ..... well, you'll have to see it for yourself. Maybe if I tell you what I've done so far, you can imagine the size and density of the piece. So far I have eight speakers that will be hidden in the structure, four on the top landscape and four on the bottom cavern. While the structure has a vague story, each speaker will emphasize it with partnering the neighboring objects with voices and sound effects. The best way I could describe it is if the internet manifested itself physically (without goatse and the like), it would be this thing. Anyways I hope to see some of you guys on Saturday for the opening but honestly, I'd wait for another day when the structure will be there but the loud crowds won't. Of course if you like socializing, mingling and flexing your muscle, see you then Saturday.


Workspace and Environment: Abre Ojos

Almost 11 years. I was a bit of a late starter to sound focusing more on the visual art side of things until a friend and I went out to his rehearsal shed (a brick storage unit, tin roof) in the middle of summer and found anything that could make or process sounds. 40+ degree heat in rural Australia and noise making go hand in hand. From that point I figured out that I didn’t have to have 15 years classical musical training behind me to create sounds. I have been kinda stubborn about staying untrained in music theory, instead skilling myself up in music technology. Occasionally I dabble with the idea of learning some music theory but prefer (mostly due to laziness) to stay on the idiot savant side. Motivation is easy, its time that’s the problem…. I’m sure time is speeding up.
I have two main projects- Look To the Skies and Abre Ojos. Look to the Skies is a collaboration with Rob Jones (http://electronicshaman.com) where it is a hardware vs software/analogue vs digital improvisation project. Rob and I come together, me hardware, him software, with whatever gear we are working with in our own projects at the time and play and record. We played around with different distro ideas and finally settled on the podcast format and have done over sixty of these 20 min tracks.
My main solo project is Abre Ojos where I am exploring the fusion of sound and vision. It’s the attempt to balance my visual art background and passion for sound. It has been a dilemma to workout how to present the work as each track is created in one take with the sound and visuals recorded at the same time, with the vision reacting to the sound. So it’s important for it to be read first as an AV track although with most tracks I do release an mp3 version. Some reviewers of my tracks in the past have got this around the wrong way taking the music first and then the visuals as a video clip, I guess that is the way it has been for so long for so much music that I’m pushing shit uphill. I don’t think that AV tracks are the way of the future, they may gain strength with portable video capable devices way past the tipping point and with other great artists like Richard Lainhart and Robin Fox blazing trails in the AV area, but stand alone music whether digital or analogue will always be the front runner.

Favorite Hardware
Predictably it has to be my euro rack modular, two years ago I would have said the DSI Evolver, but the modular has eclipsed that. Patching is akin to playing chess, or raking a sand garden, it’s a blank slate with a kazillion options and if you manage to explore every option just swap out a module with another one and suddenly you are back to option 1 with a kazillion to go, oh and it sounds good too. The resurgence of modular synthesis has to be an indicator that humanity is getting better.

Software Favorites
There are so many great manufacturers out there, Camel Audio, Audio Damage, Urs, Native Instruments, its hard to pick but Absynth has been a favourite of mine for a long time; the modulation options in it with its envelopes are astounding.
Because of my history with Absynth, I have just made the brave move into Kore 2 with the Komplete package on its way. It’s only been a couple of weeks and so far Kore feels like my missing piece in software/computer/user interaction. I have found it mostly intuitive with a few quirks to double check in the manual, but even after two weeks I can navigate a performance just from the controller without looking at the laptop. NI are getting better with their marketing but Kore is still one of those things that people go “What is it exactly?” I know that was the case for me, until I started researching and reading some of the articles over at the CDM minisite http://kore.noisepages.com.
Other key software in my set up is Ableton Live, which I’ve been keeping up with since v2. Its flexibility through my different musical dabblings, (IDM glitch, to noise, to drone dark ambient stuff) over the years speaks volumes.
How does your physical space and surroundings influence your workflow?
From early on music making spaces were friends lounge room floors, storage sheds, shearing sheds, wobbly tables in a dorm room, a 1 foot wide desk in a studio flat in London, so I learnt to utilise any space, any time with any available gear. I’m now lucky enough to have a spare room that functions as studio and DIY space.

Ideal location… I’d love to spend some time and develop work at the developing COSM Art Sanctuary http://www.cosm.org/, the dynamic from working together in a dedicated space with like minded individuals is invaluable. I also want to return to the wire instrument I built with Alan Lamb in Wagga Wagga NSW and interface the modular with it sometime soon, but again its time….

First Piece of Gear? The Last?
Two pieces almost at the same time- a Roland R5 Human Rhythm Composer and a Casio CZ101. These were bought just after the summer noise sessions and were thrown into the cacophony, I had no idea on how to use them, it was just turn em on, hit a key or pad and when a interesting sound occurred, try to remember what I did, which led to some uncomfortable situations while playing live, those spots where you fumble thru a table full of equipment looking for the device that is shattering all the glass behind the bar.
Last bit of kit was a Flight Of Harmony Choices Joystick, Flight makes such great stuff and is a shining example of the development of the euro format! I’m waiting impatiently for the FOH noise/osc module.
What is on your current 'wish list' for new hardware or software?
Some new powered monitors would be about it. After 10 years of buying and trading stuff my music making equipment has just about hit a perfect set up (if there is such a thing). The modular will continue to evolve and grow, I have a desk full of PCB’s to build, but recently there is not a single piece of equipment I’m wishing for, gearlust can be a dangerous production assistant for me.

The mobile setup and live set up are basically the same, consisting of the modular suitcase, Macbook Pro for modular & vocal processing in Live plus Quartz Composer for visuals, some pedals, an X-station for audio interface and midi control duty and an Evolution X-Session for Quartz Composer control. Now it’ll be interesting to see if I can swap out the X-station with the Kore and lighten the load a bit.




Tip Top Audio: Z2040 Audio Demos

I worked on some demos for the Tip Top Audio Z2040 and they can be found: Here!
Since it's there are no details on the Tip Top Audio page, I'll take a second here to explain how the Z2040 fit into these tracks.

- Plagues was done in the typical Surachai fashion: Jamming a bunch of synths tracks together with a metal ensemble plus a little devil worshipping and viola. Specifically though, on the synth side there is a lot going on actually and the patch was too large for me to remember. It was one of those patches where every module in my system was used and the output was being filtered with the Z2040 at the output.
- Thirteenbreaths was a simple track using only two Z3000's, Z2040, Logic's crappy piano and some ghost sauce.
- Tacid was composed live with Justin McGrath on the Xoxbox and two Z3000's then later edited down. Everything was being run through the filter except the drums and Justin's attitude.
- Bpshiedv1 was actually an old track sitting on my computer for a few years with parts laid out for strings and winds. I tried to recreate a orchestral feeling using only the Z3000's and the Z2040 filtering them.
All these tracks were done in a course of a week and are mixed with a 'demo' mentality. Enjoy.

Find out more information on Tip Top Audio: Here!


Live: Surachai, Xrin Arms, Sir Vixx

I claim no responsibility for the flyer. Though... I wish I could, I'd be getting all sorts of freelance rave poster work. I have to say that this is one of the rare occurrences where the venue image is appropriate to the sound.

See you next Tuesday, July 14th at the Cobra Lounge in Chicago.
Starts at 9 and is free! Come hang out with Justin and I.
- Surachai
- Xrin Arms
- Sir Vixx