John Jacobs shares a few leads

Random audio editor freeware program

Stephan Brion's EVPMaker using Speak JetEVP Maker is an interesting piece of free software. It comes out of left field and it’s lack of orientation to what are the dominant musical and compositional concerns are what makes it shine.

It is designed to generate recordings for use in studying EVP or Electronic Voice Phenomena. This is a field of paranormal studies that is interested in the voices of ghosts or spirits that can be tapped into using electronic devices.

The author has included a number of unusual features for creating chaotic randomisation of the edit process, including combinations of bitmaps, random numbers generated live by scripts on websites, unrelated audio signals and values extracted from the envelope of the source signal. Top stuff.

On this page Stephan is mashing his EVP ideas with the capability of Speak Jet a solid-state allophone generator that is worthy of investigation separately there is a forum here.

You can record all this back as wav files to your computer and analyse them to hear the voices of the dead. Or to make contributions to the Utter project.

Maximum respect to Stefan Bion for having the unique vision to create this wonderful software and then sharing it for free to anyone.

If you would like to go deep into his free thinking on these matters look at this page where he describes how to make an EVP generator with crumbled carbon and a cork! (In German)

Image illustrating this weblink by S. Bion        Download for free and read more about EVP Maker here


Filed under: Art, , , ,

Remix trophy

I am on the panel of judges for the ‘We are what we share‘ competition as part of the Ideas festival at the State Library of Queensland 28th March. We didn’t want to have a prize of money so I thought a hand made object would be better.

The We Share remix swift whip trophy

Here’s what I have come up with. Its a Swift Whip hand powered cake mixer atop some melted letters from a speaking toy.

For me it’s been a nice reminder to experience what it’s like to come up with an idea, bring it into the world, become attached to it and then to give it away. Ahh the bitter sweet joy of shared culture.

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Super Glitch Barbie


Here’s my latest circuit bent toy sound maker based on a Super Talk Barbie doll voice circuit.

It’s super simple and lots of fun! All I’ve done is added a power starve control, a trigger switch and a reset switch to recover from crashes.

Unlike like the more conventional unbendable ‘black blob’ talking toys of this era that simply played one shot samples this kind of toy gets pretty quickly into complete gibberish and phoneme tone loops. I think the circuit is particularly susceptible to disruption by reduction of supply voltage because the microchip plays a sequence of random phrases to construct the output. Starve the voltage and the data address lines go crazy %~)

Tip: Clear plastic lunch-boxes with resealable clip lids make excellent quick D.I.Y. project boxes, easily worked, light, sturdy and stylish.

From a Barbie bending idea shared with me by Nick Wishart from Toydeath

Listen to a sound clip at sound sharing site

Good backgrounder to circuit bending here

Filed under: Art

Short wave obsession

I am getting right back into listening to Short Wave radio broadcasts.

80 meter band frame antenna

It’s a backlash against so much time I spend in the world of online audio I guess.

It’s also because nothing sounds quite as romantic and evocative than any signal that has been subjected to the shifting, phasing noise of travelling half way round the the world’s ionosphere.

There are plenty of good net resources on the topic of Short wave one of my favorites is Shortwave Music.

I am in the process of researching and building antennas for better DX reception and also as part of Rod Cooper’s “Vessel” project. My assignment for that has been to evoke the sound of sea navigation. I think the phasing hiss and chatter of the Tropical bands may fit the bill nicely.

This is my latest antenna it is from a design here

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Furby gurdies!

I thought one glitching Fuby as enough, but David Cranmer has really gone one step beyond with his Furby Gurdy. He is a really amazing DIY bender and has four Furbies talking gibberish to each other in his wacky Furby Gurdy. For more of his wonderful creations check out his website at http://www.nervoussquirrel.comfurby gurdy under consruction

furby gurdy under construction

Filed under: Art

Lego Ware

lego bricks used to build a diy harware case

Now here is a great idea for custom casing, Lego bricks! Looks like you can get switch bricks and led bricks in all those fab primary colours. Just add your nerdy sound hardware idea and go!

I first saw it over at: thanks to my mate Sasquelch

Lots of great DIY live stuff here – like this great first timer’s round up

The original Lego post is at:

Filed under: Art, , ,

Jeck Decks

I just got back from hearing a solid set from the legendary turntablist Phillip Jeck. I thought you might like to see his rig.

jeck decks

A pair of sweet ’60’s TTs (78-45-33-16), 2xMDs for beddage, a Boss delay pedal keepin’ it loopy and a venerable Casio SK1 in pride of place. What an awesome stripped back rig! Lots of possibilities and some good limitations. A great listen, thanks Phillip!

His website is

Wikipedia says:

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Furby baby: of mice and bends

The furbymania at my patch bench is now worth sharing.

Click here to listen to my glitching furby

The best sources of Furbyness I found were:

I’ve hacked apart a mouse as a controller for my first furby – hey its a box with a few switches and a multi core lead already, so what’s not to like?! Well actually I had to messily use 2 leads ‘cos I wanted six not four wires :~(

A good bending tip to share is that you’re going to need to reset the critter fairly often so remoting the reset switch is real handy.

For my reference this is how its hooked up at the moment.

The common point on the furby (+V) connects to the common on the mouse board via white wire.

Glitch point to left mouse button via brown wire.

Loop 1 point to centre mouse button via green wire (lead one). This is the better loop point, next time move it to the right button

Loop 2 point to right mouse button via yellow wire (lead one).

Reset switch to one side of scroll switcher via green wire (lead two).

Reset switch to other side of scroll switcher via yellow wire (lead two).

Next time

I’m getting good results by holding the glitch mostly on and every now and then toggling the tummy button. This is a fairly crash proof strategy that yields long glitch sequences.

Also I’d settle for just one loop point and remove it from the scroll switcher. That’s still five wires, one too many for a standard mouse lead.

The case continues…

Filed under: Art

Krackle? Its a Snap!

Build a classic in an afternoon.
This little beauty really rocks! So much expressive possibilities in so few components.
I’ve spent may hours over a hot soldering iron brewing up complicated rubbish sound-generating circuits that are totally blown away by this one chip wonder.
BTW Does any one out there have opinions on the chip? Like does it really have to be a 709?
My friend triode said “nah that’s rubbish oldskoolism”.
Speaking of the old skool…
some nice crackle history here

Filed under: Art


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