cruft for the world.

December 26, 2006

Hardware AudioToys.

Can't believe I found and bought an audiotoy in a store.

I bought two of Tomy's "SwitchSwitch" series. Each one is a small object with a few LEDs and a switch.

Basically, if you turn the switch position to On, it emits a powering-up mechanical-type sound. This will loop until you turn it to Off. When it reaches Off it will emit a powering-down sound. Then the Standby LED will flash for a few minutes and then turn off to save battery power.

What's really funny about them is that if you leave them On for too long, they will emit an overloaded sound and then automatically shut down. The switch won't move back to the On position, but they will enter Standby mode anyway.

They're awesome. They're also magnetic: I stuck 'em to my DX7. But they won't play in your browser, so we still have a tactical edge.


I totally felt those quakes that they're talkin' about. But I never thought that they'd make it on CNN.

December 16, 2006

Superflat Single #51 / Tachikoma vs. [710W3]

New Era (dub)Lately I've heard Tachikoma mention two major collaborations between the two of us: The Malchiks and the new up and coming Audiotoy. We have been a part of many cool collaborations including this bloglabel, a number of smaller musical projects, the name of my first born etc... but there has been a new collaboration that Tach may have just realized has happened.
The first official collaboration between two Blips and Ifs producers. Of course there was always that Cheese Richards and Milk Jagger thing. Even thought the Boats and I made that track together, it wasn't officially released as The Boats and [710W3]. So I'm not going to count that one or any of the DAT mining either. Therefore this is the first official collaboration. On December 14th 2006 Tachikoma emailed a Reason music file to me. Making sure we can actually send files between his computer to mine. He was just working the bugs out of operating a Worldwide Blog Label. Little did he know that to his track I added a 'distinctive angst filled [710W3] feeling' to some of the classic glitchy dub sounds of Tachikoma. Maybe not as significant a collaboration as the Malchiks, the creation of this label, the very First Audiotoy or Superflat Single, but an awesome mix of two very different producers none the less.

Listen to blipsandifs051.mp3 - 1.5 MB

December 14, 2006

Supercrap Single #1 / Tadx7koma

As soon as I got my new old DX7 home, I plugged it right in and started recording it.

I'll just provide some specific notes about this track:

1. All sounds are made by the DX7, with no processing at all except volume level adjustment and panning, and a touch of reverb at the end. The drums were made by my Nord Micro Modular.

2. All 32 of the original patches in the synth were used, I flipped between them. What's really odd is that by about midnight that same night, some had dissappeared. I think the battery in the synth's internal memory is malfunctioning. For example: preset #14 was a short pitched drum sound, which you can hear me tapping out a rhythm on at the end of the recording. But two hours later, #14 was a 'normal' synth sound. Also, patches 29-32 worked fine while tracking this, but by the end of the night, they were all blank / silent. Wierd.

3. This isn't supposed to really be a song, so much as a document of the good vibes you get when playing a synth you just bought. Take a listen. The sounds are surprisingly good, although undoubtedly cliched.

4. In the japanese language, the number seven is pronounced 'chi.'

Listen to 32Patches.MP3 - 4 MB

Frequency Modulation Heaven.

Hello, I am now the proud owner of a Yamaha DX7.

The story is simple. I walked by a guitar store here in Taipei and they had a small synth section in the back. For the price tag of 150$CDN, you could buy a beat up old DX7 synth. All the keys, mod wheel, pitchbend wheel, and output in working order. As I played with it a bit, I noticed that the LCD display screen was totally broken.

I pointed this out to the sales guy and used it as leverage to negotiate him down to half price. Then I had it wrapped up and lugged it back to my place. It's really heavy.

Back at my place I found that it's in good working order, except for the screen as I said. The power cord appears to be one with a Hong Kong plug, but there is an adapter taped on permanently. Also, it transmits midi data on channel 12, and I can use it as a controller for my Nord Micro Modular.

All 32 of the preset patches work. I doubt I'll ever edit it anyway. It sounds .... well it sounds like a DX7. I'm extremely happy now, because I got a good deal on a half-dead hunk of synthesizer history. Of course the first thing I did was record myself jamming with it, and I'll post the results very soon.

Kudos, Dr. Chowning! My hat is off to you.

December 11, 2006

The future is gronk.

I have done looked into the future and it is pretty.

Prettier than this pic, anyway. This is what came up when I googled gronk.

The future is gronk. It's our first audio toy. I didn't make it, [710W3] did. That guy is Gerhard Behles, I'm just Robert Henke. If you understand that. Google helps too.

I played with the beta of gronk today. It's so.... perfect. It's perfecter than anything I've built in my nord micro modular, that's for sure.

The success of gronk blows away the first 50 superflat singles. It doesn't devalue them. But it's an amazing departure. It shows you what a few guys brainstorming in a rat-infested garage can do. But mostly one guy.

My hat is off to you, moil. Kudos --- and kudos again. You've outdone yourself. Except for your kids, I mean, those two are better than this, but gronk is a close third, and it took longer than 9 months to be born.

December 7, 2006

Diff'rent Strokes ---> The Facts Of Life.

Spinoff time!

Tachikoma's personal/boring blog can be found here.

December 5, 2006

Superflat Single #50 / Tachikoma


The big five-oh is finally here. I've never been so happy to hit a meaningless benchmark.

I didn't think, when I started this, if I even think at all, that I'd make it to fifty. And I didn't. We made it.

This is the first track I've made since returning to Taiwan. I plan to make a hell of a lot more. With the help of the blips and ifs team, of course.

Thanks to all of our supporters. The feedback is really appreciated.

And if I may say so: this is only really the first of the projects you're going to see cranking out of the blips and ifs factory. It's not over, but it's a good challenge to live up to for other other projects.

It's Cablegami, kids. Superflat single number fifty. Middle age is sweeter than I thought.

Listen to blipsandifs050.mp3 - 2.5 MB