• Music

    Are The Teenage Engineering Kids Alright?

    I’ve added another new device to my music-making arsenal. Well, two, really. Both are from a company called Teenage Engineering, a small company well known for their calculator-like Pocket Operator series of miniature synthesizer/beat-boxes. To be honest, I really had no plans to buy anything from Teenage Engineering. I’ve always thought their stuff was neat, but I didn’t think it was really for me — because I was mostly familiar with the Pocket Operators, which tend to be lo-fi, chip-tune-ish, beat-oriented devices, great for hip-hop or techno … or … whatever that’s called these days, or playing

  • Galleries, Photography

    Excuse Me, Which Way to the Swamp?

    Found this little critter, a swamp cidada I believe, wandering around my driveway this morning, and it appears to be pretty fresh from it’s shell — it’s left wing isn’t completely unfurled yet! When I knelt down to get some shots and put my phone close to the ground, it actually turned towards the lens for a few moments, as if to pose and say, “Well, hello there!” And then, it turned again and continued on its way. This is the first green cicada I’ve ever seen. All the others have been the typical dark brown/black ones with the bright

  • Music, Vidcasts

    Some [Over]simplified Science of Sound Synthesis – Ring Modulation

    Following a recent Discord discussion of Ring Modulation in sound synthesis, I put together a little video demonstration of the something called “ring modulation.” In synthesizers, this is a method of using one audio source to modify, or modulate, another. It’s also the basis of amplitude modulation. Think AM radio. It’s also the basis of a vocal effect called vocoding. Think the Dalek’s battle cry of “Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!” Both A.M. and vocoding pile a lot of additional processing into the mix before getting a fully usable result. And, in creating synthesizer sounds, ring modulation can be pretty brutal when

  • Music

    Enter Skulpt

    My weekend entertainment… The Modal Electronics Skulpt Synth SE did arrive yesterday, but between the day gig and a 7Souls band rehearsal list night, I had just enough time to plug it in and make sure that it beeped and booped. I had a little play with it this evening, just to get some idea of what it can get into, and made a couple little sample tracks. A Skulpt “Init” patch in the Modal App Tonight’s setup was a little simpler than

  • Music

    Crafty Little Synth

    Back when I bought the Microfreak, I was also considering a virtual-analog synth from Modal Electronics called the Skulpt. At the time, the price was the same for both, and my sales rep suggested that I should put off buying the Skulpt, and get the Microfreak. Which I did. But, I still wanted the Skulpt. So, yesterday, I ordered the latest version of the Skulpt, referred to as the Skulpt SE. Not sure exactly what the differences are, but I do know that the price was 2/3 the price of the original. And, so for just a little more than

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