Thursday, August 26, 2021



I have a particular memory of Crazy Eddie. But now I'm confused by the timeline.

I must have been at least 17. I'm guessing it was between my junior and senior years of high school. I had a drivers license (which I'd actually gotten when I was 16, using my brother's address in Philadelphia.) But although I feel I vaguely remember having had the deck when I was a senior in high school, I may have in fact not owned it until the summer before my brief stint in college. Or I got it halfway through my senior year. 

Now, at the time (this being long about 1982* or so), there was exactly one "cheap" reel-to-reel recorder that would do what they called "sound on sound." It was an Akai. And they had them at Crazy Eddie's in East Brunswick fairly cheap. Or, at least cheap enough that I could get my hands on the money to buy one. 

Driving from my house in Metuchen to Route 18 going southbound is, and was, pretty harrowing. And I think this whole dumb thing imprinted on my brain because it was an early experience with the harrow of it. 

Anyway, I got the cash together, I drove there, I bought one (and probably some blank tape), brought it home and fired it up, only to discover that the tension arm just didn't work.

And it became immediately clear to me that it was not a new one and had been repackaged.

So I drove all the way back and exchanged it for a new one. And I remember thinking "Are they just going to keep re-selling this bad one until someone doesn't care?"

Man, everything was so much harder back then.

But I guess they just kept selling the same non-working one and then when someone brought it back they'd be like "Oh, may as well give him a working one. 'Cause he'll just be back again, annoying us, until he gets one that works."

I did do my first theater sound job using it. 

*Or, possibly, 1983

Friday, August 06, 2021

Thursday, July 15, 2021


 All-Pedal designs and manufactures guitar pedals. My fantasy about a guitar pedal is that it works like a Pultec EQ with both cut and boost at the same frequencies the way the Pultecs do. 

DIYRE does a Pultec-style 500-series but one of their prototypes was in a stompbox-type enclosure. There are lots of Pultec-style eq's out there and quite a few schematics. I think that whatever transformers one might use would likely have the greatest impact on the sound. 

Descript does transcriptions. 

Groovesetter is for real-time remote music collaborations. 

I should turn the Pandora Machine Wiki into a book on low-budget filmmaking. 

I made a super-simple oscillator

Guitar Pedal Parts also designs and manufactures pedals. 

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

This is important to know

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You are receiving this information because your blog uses the FollowByEmail widget (Feedburner).
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No more follow by mail.

Various things

 Console 7 is a analog mixer simulator.

The ElectricDruid 4-second digital delay project

USPS (United States Postal Service) for mail or packages, use this address:
Student name
Division [Pines, Lakeside, or Meadows] (Include cabin # after assigned at arrival)
P.O. Box 200
Interlochen, MI 49643-0200

UPS or FedEx for mail, packages or luggage, use the following shipping address:
Student name
Division [Pines, Lakeside, or Meadows] (Includes cabin # after assigned at arrival)
9900 Diamond Park Road
Interlochen, MI 49643-0200

It's been hot.

Here is a building in France.

It got hotter.
I'm not sure. About. 
Anything actually. 

So therefore:

Did I mention I got the sound of the day?

Monday, June 21, 2021

Nine Amazing Reasons You Haven't Been Tried For Xenocide

  1. Only thirty percent of your brain is used for motor function. You can ask for a reprieve but the gods have already bypassed that function in the list. 
  2. The singular reservations against concomitant sympathies were rescinded before the life force imbued itself upon you. Automated assessments are continuing but you may need a visa in any case.
  3. We sighted land at four thirty in the afternoon of the sixtieth day. The arch-nemesis extended the slow technical epistolary. 
  4. The private investigator hired by the family would spend his expense money on cheese sticks, which weren't terribly tasty.
  5. Profit.
  6. We have reviewed the evidence but have not established appropriate chain-of-custody.
  7. Hamster lydecker moot sliding partake in historicity. You know how it goes.
  8. Your execution date has already been set. The trial takes place afterward.
  9. Turns out, Earth was a prison planet all this time.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Live Classical Music

I get to record some actual, new, classical music this week. Here's the press release:


Dear friends,

Nikolai Kachanov Singers (NKS) are thrilled to invite you to our first post-Covid concert titled “PARALLELS AND CROSSINGS: Hope, Peace, Love and Joy” which we will perform LIVE on June 24, at 8pm at the historic Holyrood Church in Washington Heights. Our beautiful, peaceful music program include:

Musica Dei Donum Optimi, Orlando Lassus 
O Magnum Mysterium, Tomás Luis de Victoria 
Quam Pulchri Sunt, Song of Solomon, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
Exultate Justi, PS. 32 vv, Lodovico Grossi da  Viadana

Weep, O Mine Eyes, John Bennett 
Adieu, Sweet Amaryllis, John Wilbye 
Ecco Mormorar L’Onde, Claudio Monteverdi

Northern Lights, Ola Gjeilo 
Salve Regina, Arvo Pärt 
Nunc Dimittis, Paul Smith

Guy Brewer, organ

Holyrood Episcopal Church, 715 West 179th St. at Fort Washington Avenue. Subway: A train to 175th 

Tickets: $20
SEATING IS LIMITED based on CDC regulations.  We suggest to order tickets in advance, via our website


Thursday, June 10, 2021

Metuchen, NJ, was a sundown town

All my youth and early adulthood a siren went off at 5pm every day in Metuchen. There were other siren signals (mostly for fires). But every day there was this 5pm siren. 

I remember asking why it was there. I got some vague uncommitted answer from my parents about people knowing when it was 5pm so they could stop working. But that never made any sense to me. In the early 70's everyone owned a watch. 

1. Metuchen was and is segregated
2. Cross-burnings were commonplace enough to be mentioned multiple times in newspaper accounts in the 1920's (see below)
3. Minstrel and blackface shows were common in the town (see below)
4. By the 1930's the Klan had been largely replaced, but not exclusively replaced, by the "Sons & Daughters of Liberty" in Metuchen (see below)
5. Sundown towns abounded all around New Jersey: Clark, Clifton, Green Brook, etc.
6. Sundown towns and sundown sirens went up all across the Midwest and the South.
7. Metuchen was facing a desegregation order in the 1980's because segregation and then redlining had restricted home ownership by non-whites.
8. in the 1940's (presumably) Metuchen began having a "5 o'clock" siren every day. A siren, just the same sort of siren that sundown towns were using all across the United States.

So the question is: was there a racist reason behind the decisions to have a siren go off at 5pm?
Well, did it have a rational purpose that wasn't racist? None that anyone knows of. Bigger cities certainly don't have sirens going off every day.
Do the stories they tell children about how it's a "5 o'clock whistle" make any sense? No, most outdoor workers don't work until 5. So they wouldn't need a 5pm whistle to know when they're supposed to be at home unless it's a "sundown siren" telling "workers" (read "persons of color") to be at home.

Could other purposes be ret-conned into the use of the sirens? Sure. Or could the sundown siren have simply come out of a legitimate military or civilian use? Sure. It did have other signalling uses than the 5pm siren.

But the siren at 5pm every day? The siren that's just like all the "known" sundown sirens all across the country? Well there you gotta ask yourself, was it more likely:

The siren at 5pm an act which only resembled the racist act committed by other racist towns and even though the town of Metuchen had a long history of violence and segregation against people of color -- this one thing was the thing that simply looked racist, operated in a racist manner, and easily had the effect of telling the population who was in charge, but it somehow, no matter all the evidence of systematic racism at all levels of Boro government, was not racist in the least bit and only went off every day at 5 because of some unknown and illogical but totally-not-racist reasons?


The 5pm siren was there to keep people of color in their place? 

Trigger warning: talking about cross burnings and other racist caricatures and violence:

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Scampr - Review & Guide For All Objectives

This is our first video review of Scampr

It's really humbling how much better other people are at playing the game than I am. 

Friday, June 04, 2021

The Prologue is Past

Richard Byrne wrote a brilliant monologue about a scientist at the CDC who lost her job because she wouldn't fudge the numbers for the Trump Administration. 

We shot entirely remotely. Two cameras. I wrote a bit about it here. One camera was a Zoom feed and the other was a Panasonic Lumix camera. Go to the link above to see the cat camera operator. 
We also used a Zoom audio recorder. So yes, one company which is a video conferencing service, the other is an audio recording hardware manufacturer. Both with the same name. So "are we recording on Zoom"? is a really terrible question if you want a coherent answer.

We got Christa Kimliko-Jones, who was a combat android in Millennium Crisis, to play the lead.  

And we got into the 2021 Prague Fringe Prologue!

Christa Kimliko and Sarah Matthay in Millennium Crisis 

When you film a play, is that a film or a play? I don't think I've ever actually directed a proper play before, and my identity makes me feel more like a filmmaker than play director.
In any case, producing plays under pandemic conditions has meant the advent of probably the worst art form ever devised by Man. That is, the Zoom play. I mean really, Zoom plays are universally pretty terrible. ;-)

We aimed to change all that. We (meaning The Queen of Mars, and Richard Byrne) made a handful of short films called "Plays Pandemical" written by Richard, produced by the Marsian Queen, and directed by me. I think Richard thinks of these as plays that are filmed, whereas I think of them more as films. And one of the goals was to break out of the "one person in front of the blank background, with terrible sound, etc." Of course there were other agendas too -- I'm working on my PhD in music composition by research and am specifically making films to experiment with placement of music cues, Richard has his own driving forces, and it's just nice to be making movies (or plays) again.

So a Zoom play, but with directed cameras, art direction, and for crying out loud -- good sound, can really work! For other examples, see the other Prologue films (or watch our other films in the "Plays Pandemical" series.) 

SQ-5 Manuals

 SQ-5 manual in .pdf form.

Another manual for the SQ-5.

A track export example. 

The reference guide to the SQ-5.

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Gnomus Half Century all wired up

I wired up the Gnomus. So to speak.

This project took a while. Still needs love. But we're getting close. 

Friday, May 21, 2021


 Manchester Center, VT.

Figshare -- for academic multimedia documents.

Scampr now has a terrible home page. Maybe it will get better eventually.

Secure, Contain, Protect. I love the creepypasta of this series.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Fleez Mourph

 Marlan Barry is in charge of recording for Bard.

Picture indicates where Velcro went on original type-II phasers. This is actually a thing which plagued me since I was little -- how did phasers and communicators stay on? Well, turns out it was just trickery because clearly they had to replace phasers that were "drawn" with hero models for closeups. 

America: A Prophecy

Joseph Trapanese is a film composer.

What a monad is. 

I'm working on my PhD. I made it through the easiest part -- the first third of it where I just wander around and think of ideas. Now I'm starting to write my thesis. In the UK they call it a "thesis" not a "dissertation." It's all about spotting music for film. Specifically, where music should go for film. I'm deliberately excluding comedy. 

For the PhD I need to finish some movies. Which means I need to make some. We have one script which is kind of neat, it's a sort of horror-thriller which I think we can shoot in six days or so. It has a nice twist I haven't seen before. It's not feature length. I suspect it will be about 40 minutes long. But it will be fun and nice. 

I have another script called The Cassandra Protocol which everyone has absolutely despised. Seriously, I've never gotten as much negative feedback on a screenplay. In any case, it's going through a page-one rewrite.

Both these movies would star Rebecca Kush. 

I'm still working on the music for the movie which is now called Infinite Space (was once called um... something else.) David Denyer, a tutor of mine from Thinkspace, has added some live strings to it and now I'm putting those in and I think I will release an album of the score.

I don't understand really what Modernism is. "Compared to Modernism which always looked forward to the future while stubbornly clinging to the status quo, Postmodernism resisted the revolutions of the sixties through nostalgically revisiting the past."

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Friday, April 23, 2021


A simple synth oscillator

Practice as Research in the Arts: Principles, Protocols, Pedagogies, Resistances Paperback – Illustrated, March 5, 2013 -- a book I need to read.

From Mao to Mozart

Adu is a movie.


A New Zealand APA6 dissertation referencing style guide.

Here's a good review of The Prometheus Trap by Rob Getz. 

Negative Dialectics. I honestly and at a fundamental level don't understand it. 

All My Compatriots. A movie.

Real-time noise suppression.

Scope probe "hacks."

Instructions for assembling my amps.

The DPA 4006 is an omnidirectional microphone.

The 4018 is hypercardioid. 

Sizes for stuff:

12mm for 3dt stomp switch and DC jack.
10mm for signal in and out jack.
8mm for pots, gives a tiny bit of clearance if using board mount pots.
8mm for 5mm metal led bezels.
6mm for toggle switches then bore out slightly with a rat tail file because I don't have a 7mm drill bit.
Sorry I don't know imperial drill bit sizes.

Composer Dave Grusin

Southland Tales.

Roswell Pro Audio makes a well-reviewed U47 clone. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

The DNC Since Shirley

Before 1968, everything was a completely different bowl of rabbits. Specifically in the manner of the Dulles Brothers. Those two guys were responsible for everything that went wrong in the world in the second and third quarters of the 20th Century. 

“There are three things cops never do, they don’t vote Democratic, they don’t drive Cadillacs and they never use personal vehicles.” -- Jack Reacher

The big problem with the US is that it was created by a devil's bargain with slavery. So our upper house of parliament, while not actually appointed by a king, is apportioned such that slave-owners could maintain control no matter how unpopular slavery was. That's why each state, no matter the size, gets two senators. That way, any sort of pesky "democracy" doesn't throw the right-wing out of the upper house.  Even when that wasn't enough and they had a civil war and lost slavery, the right still managed to re-assert substantial control with Jim Crow laws. 

Unfortunately, even the left-wing of the Democratic Party was willing to go along with Jim Crow as it gave them the power to enact some pro-labor law, although the voting system within the Democratic Party was spectacularly corrupt (and, oddly, there were Republicans who were self-described "socialists" in the 19th Century because history is weird, so being a "Republican" or a "Democrat" up through the 1950's did not necessarily label someone ideologically.)

But three major things had happened to the Democratic Party at the national level by 1968. 

One was that all the individual states' constitutions had been "modernized." The sheer level of audacious corruption at the local level, which directed affected national elections (for his first Presidential run, FDR had to come visit Boss Hague -- the guy who controlled the Democratic Party of the county I live in) in essence to get "permission" to run for President. But since the modernization, even the spectacularly corrupt New Jersey party bosses lost their power bases. Every once in a while they try to pull some nonsense but now they tend to get thrown in jail for it. So that's different.

The other thing is that Goldwater decided the Republicans would be against the Civil Rights Act. Because, you know, "freedom." Democrat Johnson signed the Act. So the lines were clearly drawn at the national level about who would get to be the overtly racist party. 

But the third thing, which I think is a much bigger one than most people recognize, is that Shirley Chisholm was seated at the Democratic National Convention. She was the beginning of the democratization of the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party was dumping the "Dixie Democrats" and the Republicans were eagerly picking them up. This gave the Republicans the Presidency for the next quarter of a century (with one very small interregnum in the way of Jimmy Carter). But Chisholm being seated was a repudiation of the Republicans having the moral high-ground as being the "party of Lincoln." 

Republicans never really were the progressive party past about 1900, There were some real Republican firebrands in the 19th Century, and there were some progressive Republicans who got less and less so by the mid-20th Century. Then any remaining reasonable Republicans have been hounded out of the RNC as "RINO's" starting whenever Rush Limbaugh started labeling them as such. 

The problem is that the US does not have proportional representation. Sometimes we very roughly do an analog where we elect the President based on popular vote but lately even that doesn't work and we've had some dreadful Presidents whose opponent received millions more votes than they. 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Potty-mouthed giraffe

 Mieke Bal.

Long History of Madness.

I like this potty-mouthed giraffe.

Loudness explained.

The speed of sound varies greatly depending upon the medium it is traveling through. The speed of sound in a medium is determined by a combination of the medium’s rigidity (or compressibility in gases) and its density. The more rigid (or less compressible) the medium, the faster the speed of sound. The greater the density of a medium, the slower the speed of sound.

Monday, March 15, 2021

The Lucid Wildflowers performance

Q&A What's the story? It's absurdist. There is no story. Who is in it? Laura Schlachtmeyer, Meredith Neuman, Annalisa Loeffler, and Ralph Boswell. Is it safe for kids? It is, but no child will want to sit through it. So, I just watch this on YouTube. Will I be able to see it later? Yes, and yes. It's a live YouTube event, but will be recorded for posterity. So this is some of that video theater that can be socially distant and safe? Exactly. Who made the puppets? Jeanne Bellware-Lewis. Wait, what are those puppets made out of? Polymer clay. Who wrote this absurd opera? The libretto was written by Andrew Bellware, Richard Byrne, Todd L. Johnson, and Laura Schlachtmeyer. The music was written by Andrew Bellware. What is the Hoboken MakerBar Symphony Orchestra? Saleem Banatwala. Conducted by Andrew Bellware. That seems awfully high-falutin' a name for what is essentially two people. And your question is? Um. Nevermind. What are the live instruments? Water bottle, 12-string electric guitar (untuned) played like a percussion instrument, a rotary saw, anvil, can of paint, theremin. How are you doing socially-distant theater? The two musicians are wearing masks and standing more than 2 meters from one another (at the Hoboken MakerBar in Hoboken, NJ). The stage manager/director is calling the show from home in Washington, DC. How many computers are required to make a socially-distant YouTube puppet opera? Five. One to play back the "backing tracks" of music, one to run Open Broadcasting Software in order to composite all the video layers and upload to YouTube, one for "intercom" on the Hoboken side, one as an "operator's" computer in Washington, DC, and another for Washington, DC intercom. Optionally is a sixth computer for confidence playback in Washington, DC but we've found that the 15-or-so second delay is really annoying when you're trying to run the show.

Monday, March 08, 2021

Evidentiary Rebutment

 Active (real time) noise reduction.

Guide to noise reduction.

David Edwards Derelict Ship.

I'm kinda fascinated by analog audio over Cat 5 (and 6, 7, 8, etc.) 4 channels is the most you can expect because there are 8 wires inside. Also, you want the shielded stuff so the higher-end cable is better. You can go hog-wild with digital audio on (say) Cat 8, but this is just cheap 4-channels of analog (and it's bi-directional.)  

Monday, March 01, 2021

Goldersmirk Moose

Clearly I need some Vladimir Pantelic Musikelektronik unique Eurorack modules made in Germany.

Chance Shirley's 50 favorite movies. Oddly, Underworld isn't one of them.

Richard Byrne on making art in a pandemic.


Friday, February 19, 2021

12 Harsh Truths Almost All of Us Tend to Neglect

 [Instead of ]

12 Harsh Truths Almost All of Us Tend to Neglect

Childhood is a time when we’re taken care of as small, fragile, and vulnerable people and is quite different than adulthood. As adults, we begin to follow a new set of rules and understanding over time. Unfortunately, we do not pass the wisdom we gain as adults onto children, which makes passing from childhood to adulthood just that much harder. There’s no one to push us toward success, give us their shoulder to cry on, or praise us when we’ve done something good. And ultimately, there are always going to be people who are smarter, better, and more attractive than us.

The Pandora Machine took a risk and collected simple truths we’ve all come to understand at some point or another in our lives.

1. There’s no point in sacrificing yourself for others.

© pandainstagrams

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Get out of the way! Tripods are attacking the city!”? As a rule, it’s followed by a cold answer, “Well, what did you expect?”

Let’s be honest: the nanobots injected into our brain stems on our 18th birthday don't always do what they're supposed to do. Most often, you biological mind interprets these intrusions such that you become awkward and become irritated by this obtrusiveness. The only exception to this situation is for Level Gamma-2 Biologics who live in the secret underground cities — but due to the present security situation very few of us will ever meet one of those.

2. None of us will get a medal at work.

With the exception of a Good Conduct medal, and service ribbons for campaigns against the alien invaders, you will not be appreciated by the robot hierarchy. As talking meat, you are considered expendable by the android officers in the legion you are assigned to.

3. Body positivity is substantially irrelevant.

© dremnerwapa

You know those people who are just "perfect?" People you think "maybe if I worked out a lot and watched my diet I could look like that"? 
Those aren't people. 9/10 of them are Type III Armada-class combat androids. 

4. Appearance matters.

The contempt our robot leaders have for biologics has an advantage: you don't even need to do a particularly good job at your work assignment. You simply have to show up. Appearance matters, quality does not. "Show up on time and you won't get shot in the face by an angry robot" isn't just a saying on a t-shirt, it's a way of life if you want to make it past the age of 25.

5. Being a good person is not a profession.

© gimlet wigglesnucky

It is a day job to pay the bills. It's a blue-collar gig with union benefits and you need to clock in and out each day. Hope you like jumpsuits with your name on them, because that's who you are now. Get back to work. Be good.

12. There’s always someone smarter, younger, and better than you.

Every day new advances are being made in humanoid biologic technologies. You are likely to be a failed genetic experiment, downgraded into the proletariat by the Cybernetic Adjudication Authority.

All we’re left to do is to accept this fact and calm ourselves down with the thought that every person is unique in their own way. We aren't. We're almost identical. But we can calm ourselves that way.
Also, you do a bad job listing twelve things.