Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Win a Concretedog synth.....

The ever marvellous Palm Sounds blog is holding a competition to win a small noisemaker synth I built and donated to him a while ago. Here are some videos of the synth in action that Palm Sounds posted.

To enter you have to write a track and publish it to the handheld music soundcloud account using portable/handheld kit. The competition will be judged on best track and most interesting/unusual kit used. Find out more and enter via palmsounds.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Today's Module, 6 channel mixer

Got a bit of time this morning and managed to get one of the modules of my todo list built. It's a passive six channel mixer. I've found that with these simple synth modules I'm building at the moment it's easy to make a patch that has over a dozen audio streams....so building mixers becomes inevitable! I've started using trimpots instead of regular potentiometers as they're much cheaper and also can be mounted on the board which means modules are more compact and I don't have to worry about front panels. I haven't posted every module I've made but thought that this one was quite neatly done and I took the photo above with the excellent old camera emulator "retrocamera" available on the android market.

This pic is of a patch I hooked up a while back and recorded this live track from...
Creeping from the trenches by concretedog

Its a slowburner with little movement in the first 50 seconds. Lots of frequencies in this so headphones/speakers recomended.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

This is a test...stay calm and carry on

Got a new android phone and am testing out a blogging application.

Random pic of current cmos noisemaker modules

Sunday, 1 August 2010

DIY Tuff stereo Contact Mics

I've been playing around with contact mics for years now and unless I've built them into something solid they have all met a death as the crystal surface on the disk is fragile and the solder joint attached to it usually falls off. Today I set about redressing this and made these tuffened contact mics.

Here's how I did it...STEP 1

I connected up the wires (other end is a 3.5mm stereo jack), soldered them and added some hot glue over the wires and the disk to act as the first bit of cable strain relief.


I insulated the wire connections (yep with gaffa tape...thats how I roll!) and then stuck an "S" of cable to the disk to act as a second defense from cable strain.

Finally (and here's the snazzy bit) I covered the entire surface and up around the cable with polymorph...Polymorph is an amazing plastic that you can buy online (I found the best deals for this are on ebay) that comes in granules. You add the granules to near boiling water and the plastic melts and becomes pliable. You have to work quite quickly but I managed to cover these disks well. You then allow it to harden and it is super tough when it's fully cooled. The only other thing I may do to these contact mics is to run a bit of silicon sealant into the bit where the cble comes out to make them fully watertight...then they can be used for hydrophones for underwater recording as well...

As for today...I just clamped em up to a slinky!

<a href="http://concretedog.bandcamp.com/track/slink-01">slink_01 by concretedog</a>