Category: circuit bending


Flesh Fiddling

I recently purchased the Reaktor instrument Flesh after being impressed by the demo.

Flesh is a curious beast, it analyses the transient and spectral information of the samples you load into it and then processes them through different audio engines to produce loops, bass lines and chords.

You can load up to 12 samples at a time and can trigger them with a keyboard. You can also call up different harmony presets and sound settings from your keyboard too.

It’s a great inspiration aid, the only problem I have had with it is that you load it intending to add something to an existing piece but then you encounter an intriguing sound which you feel could be the start of the new track. So you start off a new project, tweak and then get drawn down into a new tangent. Very soon your hard drive starts to fill up with little fragments and doodles and you realise you’ve spent 5 hours in a tonal worm hole.

I think it’s recommended that you use fairly rhythmic samples to generate the best results but in my demo I wanted to demonstrate you can generate interesting results from non rhythmic sources – in this case audio clips of a guitar.

 

I like Flesh a lot but as the above video demonstrates I am only scratching the surface of it’s capabilities. I would recommend giving the demo a whirl. Although it is a Reaktor 6 instrument you don’t need to purchase Reaktor 6 to play it, the free Reaktor player will host it just fine.

Below is a tune I cobbled together using Flesh on an old Ultrabeat sample.

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I’ve posted a track up onto soundcloud. I was messing around with choir patches on the CMDune synth (nice cover mounted freebie from Computer Music magazine). I then started messing around with a random (ish) selection of samples from my hard drive and a field recording of a mass from Freesound.org. Hope you enjoy…..

Exxy Dental

I’ve uploaded a new track onto soundcloud, mostly made from processed audio sampled for a kaossilator. I’ve been a bit too busy to keep the blog updated but at the beginning of next week I’m hoping to post some reviews of this weekend’s ATP curated by Animal Collective.

I’m especially looking forward to catching Lee Scratch Perry again. I last saw him about 8 years ago at the Custard Factory in Digbeth. He played a long set, the sound was amazing, really low pant quaking bass. Scratch jogged around like a homeless shaman seemingly immune to the passive dope smoking. Happy times…

Anyhow, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Exxy Dental

Here’s a track I did this weekend using a Kaoscillator and an iPod app called thumbjam.

The Kaoscillator piano and drum patch was fed into audiomulch to produced the distressed warbles and the strings were made with thumbjam.

IMHO it’s the best value music app you can get. The sampled sounds are very good quality and you can get some expressive phrases by tilting and shaking. If you haven’t already got it then download it, you won’t regret it.

Back Wards

I’ve uploaded a new track, this one started off as a recording of my dog playing with a squeaky dog chew toy but then took on a life of it’s own until it became a big ol’ slab of noise.

For something a bit more palatable, I’ve included links to some tracks I like by other users.

Dora vs Baby Driver

I’ve done a piece using the results of bending the circuits of the above toys and using electribe on the Ipad as a backing. It’s noisy and sloppy, (it took me a couple of hours to record and arrange) but it made me laugh.

To hear this piece of toy torture go to http://www.soundcloud.com and I’m listed as noimspartacus.

TTFN

Today we did circuit bending. Ever since seeing modified toy orchestra I’ve wanted to try this but had been put off by the thought of soldering. I seem to jinx electrical components and circuits that I’ve built myself so I thought I wouldn’t be able to coax anything useful from the toy.
I got a cheap driving wheel with very low fi samples and took the back off. I wetted a finger and drew it across the contacts until I found I could speed and slow down the play back by rocking my finger. I also managed to wring out some really distressed squealing noises from the circuit board.
I’ve sampled my efforts and will clean them up and arrange them later this week.
I’m looking forward to hitting the charity shops and stocking up on cheap toys.
In the mean time here’s a link to a circuit bending site with plenty of advice and ideas. http://www.oddmusic.com/illogic/index.html