Thursday, December 22, 2022

Working in Dorico

So, I'm composing using Dorico for this movie, The Drowned Girl. I'm using a score-writing program because I have to present an actual score with/for my thesis for my PhD. I'm using Dorico because it will work with video playback somewhat reliably.

Problem one: if you change the video file Dorico will continue to play back the audio from the last video file with the same name. I don't know if Dorico is building a cached audio file for video playback or what, but when you make a new video file (and if you're doing film, you'll be making new video files), it needs to have a new name. 

Mise-en-scène. I don't think I know what it is and I read the Wikipedia. 

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Did I post this stuff already?

Meydl with the Electric Princess overdrive. 

 The Nuances Controller is very cool. I think I want one. They won't be available until February. Maybe I don't need one. I'm not doing a lot of the kind of composing that needs one lately. I mean, lately, composing with CC11 hasn't been my thing. I don't know if I ever make any sense. Probably not. 

I got one of these Open Theremins. I dig my Paia theremin kit. But the Open works a bit better. I do wish it had a mute switch. I like the range of tonalities on it. I haven't really been super successful at getting it to output CV to a synth but I'm working on it. Oh wait, the button on the front is a mute switch. Okay, that's helpful.

Wrist exercises for mouse hand. 

Practice As Research. Which is, of course, what I'm doing. Or supposed to be doing. 

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Gromneroe Pollywisical


Audiomovers makes a piece of software that lets you stream from a VST plugin on your DAW.

Tuning my Theremax is quite tricky.

Arrow's Theorem. Or: more problems with voting.

The fonts:
1. Garamond (serif / classic / smart) 2. Bodoni (serif / „premium“ / elegant) 3. Century Expanded (serif / readable!) 4. Futura (sans-serif / geometric / functional) 5. Times New Roman ... ... no comment :D 6. Helvetica (sans-serif / often used)

Typefaces for dyslexics.

File under sci-fi watches

I think I've finished the music for The Drowned Girl. Actually, I just rewatched it and I think I want to put some other things in the last act to underline some other moments. It's been a whole year since we shot that movie. It really should have been finished by now. 
Next up is the actual recording of the music. And writing up my thesis of course. My defense is in March so everything has to be done by February. 

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Microphones, crest factors, composition

 UT twin 87, a Neumann 87 clone. 

Crest factors. Square waves are 0dB with a linear crest factor of 1. Sine waves are 3dB with a crest of 1.41. Noise normally has a crest factor of 4, or 12dB.

Peak voltages and crest voltages.

I'm trying to write music. I'm writing it for my thesis film and it's super hard for be just because it's hard and because I'm writing all in Dorico, and because the writing is all about my thesis (which is using dramatic theory as a framework for spotting film for music) I have to write somewhat less intuitively because of both those reasons. But the more work we do on this film, The Drowned Girl, the better it gets. I'll listen to some music I've written, hate it, and rewrite it. And I've done that three times now. I'd be enormously frustrated except that the movie is better every time I re-write it. My first draft was garbage. I hit all the right marks, but it just wasn't musical. 
Now it's getting more musical and better at illustrating the emotional reality. So I feel better about it. But it's been super hard. End of complaining. 

Thursday, October 20, 2022


 An artist named Beetlemuse used one of my Freesound effects in a piece of music.

The recording is of me, as traffic control, in our movie Android Insurrection.

Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Sunday, October 02, 2022


Magic Blur is a plugin written by someone who took the same class that I took (and completely failed) in C++.

Liz Lerman's Critical Response Process. This is a pretty smart and proactive way to present and deal with critique. 

Dig Zeppelin Design Labs. Also Dead Astronaut FX makes some neato guitar pedal kits. 

Coronal Mass is a Neutron drone from The Drone Zone which is really awesome. No, I can't replicate it. 

Liz Lerman again. 

What is narratology?

Autoethnography in media studies.

More autoethnography.

Narrative theory

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Harmonic Story

Double Harmonic scale. When I was 16 or so I thought I made up this scale. More than 40 years later I found out what it was. 

Saturday the 20th, there's going to be a Rocky Horror at White Eagle Hall


Drama has an intrinsic ideology. You have to punch down. It's always about individuals. There has to be dramatic tension or conflict. The only way we learn about characters is through conflict and by what they do. What a character does is who they are. 

A story is like the parody of old movie trailers: One man/girl/robot wants to do one thing and they make a decision to do some harder thing. Around then they meet a boy/talking dog/love interest which further complicates their earlier decision. Their goal becomes more complex before it all comes apart at the end. But then with those lessons they learned earlier, and probably with the girl/dog/minor god they met earlier they have a plan to overcome things.  Then we're in act three and you know how that goes. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Capitalism Does Not Exist

"Capitalism" is a structure or framework used to describe the political economy. It was invented by socialists in the mid-19th Century as a kind of straw man of what they were opposed to. 

The primary inventor of "capitalism" was of course Karl Marx. And it was a pretty good theory about how the political economy operated. But then, of course, a bunch of people who were in favor of the status quo (whatever it was) took a look at the theory and said to themselves "Why yes, this 'capitalism' seems perfect. We are pro-capitalist." They did this without any irony.

A Marxist analysis of the political economy has a great deal of merit to it. It has famously been picked apart by a whole variety of thinkers, from Veblen to Bakunin, to feminist and critical-race theorists, and of course rather disingenuously by a lot of right-wing propaganda. 

One of the big problems with Marxism, and consequently with any description of "capitalism" is its reliance on this binary: capitalist/proletariat each work toward their own self interest. In what we might call "capitalist economics" this even has a name "homo economicus." And this person... doesn't exist. People do things which aren't in their economic self-interest all the time. The Freakonomics guys made a whole career out of it. 

Everyone is a Marxist. 

Capitalism was (for all intents and purposes) made up by Marx. "Capitalist" economists are all "Marxist." That's neither good nor bad. But it does call into question what is non-Marxist economics? Not a whole heck of a lot, as it turns out. But by and large, all modern economists use a model of the economy which, although modified, essentially utilizes a Marxian framework of the political economy.

Anarchism And You

One of the earliest critiques of Marxism came from Bakunin and the anarchists. Interestingly, Bakunin was a Russian intellectual (and, unfortunately, super anti-Semitic), while Marx was a German with a Hegelian philosophical background. 

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

The Treadle on the Wheel

I'm trying to make numerous ambient experiments. 

I'm using Samplitude's electric piano and a free LABS sound from Spitfire on the keyboard. The pedals (which you don't see) are playing a Mod Duo X. Also going into the Mod Duo X is a Behringer 110 controlled by a 960 sequencer. 
A Korg NuBass is the bass, a Volca Sample is the drum machine. 

Friday, July 29, 2022

Liszt - Faust Symphony S. 108 (Score)

I mean, it's pretty cool, right? My doctoral supervisor suggested I listen to it because of Drowned Girl. 
The thing I feel that's pretty brilliant, and strictly a Richard Byrne sort of thing to do, is the comparison between Goethe's Faust and Marlowe's. I mean, it's a very intellectual turn but it's a very emotional one as well. 
Yellow Cat is a film to watch.
Schorr is an employment attorney in New Jersey.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Death, Berlin, and all the rest

 The secret life of pots. A potentiometer is harassing me right now. 

Appointment With Death is a film I'm supposed to watch. 

Herd Immunity is another film I'm supposed to watch.

Babylon Berlin is a TV series I'm supposed to watch.

Manyavar Mohey makes some amazing looking jackets. 

Exploring Autoethnography as a Method and Methodology.

Autoethnography in Media Studies.

iPDTL for audio remotes.

The Proaim Telescopic Bazooka.

I've sold 265 "units" of Scampr for a gross revenue from Steam of $550.

The Zio is a sort of pedal/front-end/guitar preamp thing.

Wow, people really don't like the Netflix version of Persuasion

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Analog Instability

 I'm not quite old enough to have actually dealt with real old-school analog synths. Analog has always had the cache of being cool, but by the time I'd touched anything* even remotely professional in the way of synthesizers, they were pretty darn stable, if not digitally controlled, analog oscillators. And now I'm playing with the Behringer 110 which sounds great but boy oh boy it drifts. Just like old-school synthesizers in times of yore. 

I'm using a 960 sequencer, which is WAY not stable. Boy, you flip the octave and it goes stupendously out of whack. I'm even using a quantizer and it'll sometimes bend an entire half-step out of tune -- straight-up playing the wrong note. 

So, I've always felt that the way to making an analog synth sound like something other than bleeps and bloops has been a decent delay. Some pretty echoes are always better. And, these days, a groovy shimmer reverb is a way added bonus. 

So I've been sending the output from the VCO/VCF/VCA that is the 110 into a Mod Duo X. Like this:

The topmost line is the analog input to the Mod Duo.

Basically, I'm throwing the signal first to a tuner (so I can have a clue about about where the tuning is), then to an auto-tune emulation (so I can get the actual audio to be somewhat actually in tune), then into a compressor, to a digital emulation of an amusing analog stereo delay, to a shimmer reverb, to a pretty chorus, a mastering compressor, and lastly a sub-bass processor. At the beginning and the end of the chain are a couple level meters and gain controls. 

The middle row is just a quick little synth patch I have which is running from the MIDI input to the Mod Duo X. I play it using my organ pedals. 

Using the CV input of the Mod Duo X I take the second output of the Barton CV quantizer and put it into a patch of the Mod Duo's internal CV synths. I can't figure out how to make those digital emulations seem in-tune though. That could be the Barton's natural variance. In any case, I auto-tune each of the two VCO's (technically those are DCO's, right?) inside the Mod Duo with their auto-tune emulation. 

It's good for experimenting. I wouldn't say I've done anything satisfying musically with it yet. Because I haven't. But it makes some fun sounds

*Other than an ARP 2600 that Rutgers University owned. I only had about an hour or so with it. I harassed the professor in charge of it a whole lot before he let me play with it. 

Friday, July 08, 2022

EP update

Exciting things on the Electric Princess front. We think we have the solutions to the Z+ gain stage, 

The electronics designer's modification to the Z+ gain stage. 

and to the 100Hz gain stage. 

 10K trim pot -> 1K

 C301 -> 0.47uf (470nf) C302 -> 1uf C304 - 0.1uf (100nf)

In addition: Put the trim pot on the opposite side of the board. Write "Electric Princess v.XXX" on the silkscreen Label each potentiometers' value on the silkscreen

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Me. Not.

Not me.


Still working on the Electric Princess. We're going to have to go to another version of the board. 

This is a fun tool for visualizing projects.


Monday, July 04, 2022

Very Like A Whale

The Matthews Architect Overdrive is quite a piece of kit. It's their Klon/fuzz and it sounds great. I love the additional boost switch. In fact, that's where I got the idea for the second boost on my Electric Princess. 

July 3rd. America. Liberty State Park, NJ. 


The cat is quite cuddly lately. 

New York City. So nice, they named it.

Meydl can be very adorable.

Saturday, July 02, 2022

Ernest Abuba

Ernest Abuba was a friend of mine. He played King Claudius in my Hamlet, he played the angel Abdiel in my film Apostasy

Ernest Abuba in Apostasy

Such a wonderful guy and such a talent. His students were awesome. Everyone he worked with was fabulous. We did a lot of theater too. I sound-designed some things of his. We seemed to do a lot of work about the Cambodian Holocaust. They were hard to take, but Ernest had a very Buddhist response to the horrors of that war.

Friday, July 01, 2022

Electric Princess Overdrive (Beta) First Look

 I have to give credit to Chance Shirley for the excellent graphic design on this pedal.

Here's a little video where I go through the functions. 

Monday, June 27, 2022

Lanie Zipoy

Lanie Zipoy passed away this week. She was a friend of mine. I worked about ten feet away from her for years at Manhattan Theatresource. 

She was the casting director for a couple Pandora Machine movies including Alien Uprising

I knew her mother, who was also killed in the automobile accident, she too was a delight. 

An interview with Lanie. An obituary

I'm not great at articulating this loss. 

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Stock Volca 2 Sample Sounds

Dig this list of Volca 2 Sample sounds.
000 Kick Thick
001 Kick Dusty
002 Kick Punchy
003 Kick Vintage
004 Kick Ringy
005 Kick Techy
006 Kick Tight
007 Kick Agravity
008 Kick Gentle
009 Kick Loose
010 Kick Combi
011 Kick Sub
012 Kick Dirty
013 Kick Extra
014 Kick Hard
015 Kick Jungle
016 Kick Damaged
017 Kick Mashed
018 Snare Tight
019 Snare Dusty
020 Snare Clappy
021 Snare Crack
022 Snare Fast
023 Snare Machine
024 Snare Thick
025 Snare Loud
026 Snare Loose
027 Snare Retro
028 Snare Jungle
029 Snare Roll
030 Rim Bounds
031 Clap Crowd
032 Clap Machine
033 Clap Burst
034 Clap Hard
035 Clap Soft
036 Clap Jingle
037 Snap Soft
038 C.Hat Powerful
039 C.Hat Air
040 C.Hat Dusty
041 C.Hat Firm
042 C.Hat Combi
043 C.Hat Short
044 C.Hat Machine
045 C.Hat Loose
046 C.Hat Dirty
047 C.Hat Trill
048 C.Hat Echo
049 Shaker Machine
050 O.Hat Thick
051 O.Hat Gritty
052 O.Hat Rough
053 O.Hat Combi
054 O.Hat Loud
055 O.Hat Dirty
056 O.Hat Techno
057 O.Hat Thin
058 O.Hat Machine
059 Cymbal Techno
060 Cymbal Splash
061 Cymbal Ride
062 Cymbal Crash
063 Tom Deep
064 Tom House Lo
065 Tom House Hi
066 Tom Gated
067 Tom Detuned
068 Tom Synth Lo
069 Tom Synth Hi
070 Tom Raw Lo
071 Tom Raw Hi
072 Conga Lo
073 Conga Hi
074 Conga Techno
075 Tabla Bendup
076 Timbales Head
077 Short Perc Lo
078 Short Perc Hi
079 Digital Flam
080 Cowbell Fat
081 Cowbell Raw
082 Cowbell Techno
083 Flexatone Up
084 Tamb Breaks
085 Tamb Oneshot
086 Waterdrop
087 Plastic Bucket
088 Bottle Slam
089 Apple Cutting
090 Scoop n Pot
091 Breakpot
092 CanLid Closing
093 Water-Bent Can
094 Metal Bucket
095 Dishes Pileup
096 Knife Shaping
097 Soda Can
098 Spoon Scramble
099 Spoon Bells
100 Bycicle Bell
101 Sandpaper Rub
102 Vintage Pad
103 Minor Stab
104 Triton RaveHit
105 Polysix Brass
106 MonoPoly Stab
107 Holy Stab
108 Cold Stab
109 DigiBlip Stab
110 Upstrum Pad
111 M1 Piano
112 M1 Organ
113 Triton E.Piano
114 Jazzy Piano
115 Jazzy Cuts
116 Sax Cuts
117 Piano Grace
118 Hammond Gliss
119 Minor Choir
120 Dyna Strings
121 Oct Pizzicato
122 Guitar Cuts
123 Guitar Mute
124 Kalimba Finger
125 Shamisen Pick
126 Bass FilterSyn
127 Bass UnisonSyn
128 Bass Electric
129 Bass Acoustic
130 Falling Siren
131 Retro Effect
132 Sweep Updown
133 Downlifter
134 Vinyl Stop
135 Vinyl Scratch
136 Vinyl Rubbing
137 Whistle Updown
138 Windchime
139 Applause
140 Vox Warning
141 Vox Lawd
142 Vox Woah
143 Vox Yah
144 Vox DuDaBa
145 Vox SayWhat
146 Vox Hey Lo
147 Vox Hey Hi
148 Vox Bom
149 Vox Laughing

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

A set of notes or: Rules for Drowned Girl

 I'm trying to cleanup my inbox. So I'm posting these notes from the Marsian Queene here:

Various color-corrections.

One thing about the theater - the first Triad scene around 9:43 is the right color correction. I think there is one after that, that is too dark, around 15:27. If we can't see the surrounding theater we get confused about why she is so tiny and distant.

I think? also maybe we lost the vignette in Popsicle in some later scenes.

Now I make the following rules and we can argue about them.

1. No weirdness inside scenes till after "fur coat" scene.
The weirdness has to build up. Right now I feel like the weirdness is all blended in. (I know this is not literally true but slightly true.)
So in the part before fur-coat, no snow in the junkyard, no water behind her in the Triad. We can use the "weird" takes, like the reflection takes in the junkyard and Triad. (I don't know if you have, but if you have it's ok under This Rule.) We can put lots of weirdness in the transitions between scenes (as you have done) but the scenes themselves should have no additional effects.
Exception: the very first moment "You ask about Jud Suss?" should be as weird as possible. I like what you have right now but it could be more? if you are tempted to do something else, more?

2. No dipping to black, no actual break from the action.
Need to fill in all the interludes with visuals. The last interlude with the redness is nice! We can't sit in blackness because it drops the build and rhythm.

3. No "swapping" the color corrections.
Popsicle needs to stay b/w and junkyard needs to stay color. Weirdness can happen but they can't switch. It could snow in Popsicle. Water could happen in junkyard. Vignetting can happen in Triad.
Exception: In Popsicle when she talks about Jugend and shooting it in color - keep what you have where she talks about how great it was to shoot in color. Then back to black & white as you have.

Other various color-corrections. Actually, two are the same I believe. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

I broke down

 I broke down an ordered a Telecaster. 

It's a cheap Telecaster. I know I won't be happy until I jump up many rungs and get a Fender Custom Shop tele designed just for me, but until that time, this is what I'm doing. 

I have a '51 Nocaster bridge pickup for it, and a Twisted Tele neck pickup. I also have some compensated brass saddles. I am considering an armrest carve and belly carve. I'm also considering putting a D-shaped hole in it. But I'm definitely putting paisleys on it. 

You'll note it is already quite light, so putting a relief hole (where the armrest carve would go) might not be the best thing. And without stripping off the poly, those sorts of cuts might not work at all. But the paislies? Oh those will work. 

Saturday, May 14, 2022


So, theoretically (heh) I have my viva voce for my PhD in March of 2023. Which means I have to finish writing the music (and doing all the audio post) for the Richard Byrne penned, Laura Schlachtmeyer produced, Drowned Girl, starring Annalisa Loeffler. 

I also need to fundamentally re-write the actual thesis, and write a big ol' commentary explaining why I put all the music cues where I did. 

I'm scoring in Dorico. Having to write out the score is 1. vital for any sort of academic work and 2. harder and slower than just playing into a DAW. But then there's also the fact I will likely want real players (alto flute, cello, harp, piano) to play on it so it needs to be laid out in a score anyway. Dorico is mostly pretty good. Sometimes it doesn't play back, sometimes it's a bit frustrating. But it works with my Spitfire BBCSO sample library so it's own output has the capability of sounding surprisingly good even without any real editing of the performances.

A spoon-billed platypus.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Various and Sundry

Now I put D'Addario EXL156 strings on my baritone. Those strings are actually made for the Bass VI. 

24 34 44 56 72 84

Getting the low E (the 84) through the hole in a tuning peg was more of an adventure than I'd signed up for. But it works. 

One of my favorite stills from Brazil.

I still can't figure out the relief adjustment on the Eden neck. There just doesn't seem to be anything to attach a wrench or screwdriver to. I'll call or write to them tomorrow to see if they can help. 

A pair of snuggly mastodons. Don't you try to tell me about biology. I know what mastodons look like.

Remember that Mastodon is the Twitter alternative. 

Taiko Project is an LA-based taiko group. They seem pretty cool. 

Thursday, April 28, 2022

No you are

Ingram Engineering is sort of neat company that makes some preamps and tilt equalizers. 

Fabula and syuzhet.

Animation settings in um... whatever the name of that program is. UE? Unreal Engine. That's it.

BP settings. I suspect this was just for a very specific thing.

I put D'Addario XL Nickel Wound Baritone Medium Gauge strings on my baritone guitar. That's 14, 18, 26W, 44, 56, 68. Guitar still doesn't work properly, mind you. I have a lot of neck adjustment and pickup height changes to make before it's playable. But it has new strings. 

Tuesday, April 05, 2022

2 in, 1 more to go

So I got this email:

I am pleased to inform you that you have satisfied the Board of Assessors for your Internal Evaluation, which took place recently, in accordance with the requirements of the regulations for your research degree. 


This recommendation was ratified at a meeting of the Postgraduate Research Awards Board, held on 31 March 2022. You may therefore continue your course of advanced study and research. 


Please ensure that you keep in regular contact with your Doctoral School Administrator (email address copied into this message) who will provide you with details of all your future progression point requirements. 

So, one more year to complete my thesis for my PhD.

Saturday, April 02, 2022

Penguin Game

 Joe Wilkinson's penguin game is really one of the funniest things I've heard.

It's really simple: you just see how long you can go without thinking about a penguin.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022


Have you checked out Chance Shirley on the Sleep In Cinema podcast? He's a great interview, really insightful and an amazing filmmaker.