Custom Reverb Tank Switch

Just wanted to document John Noble’s fine work here. He modified my Doepfer a-199 Spring Reverb module to have 2 sets of  external tank connectors and a switch to change tanks on the fly. The replacement tanks that I found aren’t as loud as the one that came with the module but they still sound good and I like being able to choose different flavors of spring reverb. Thanks John! Continue reading “Custom Reverb Tank Switch”

Modular Strategy

My eurorack modular synthesizer is in a beautiful cherry cabinet designed by Matthew Goike. It was custom made for me and I’m very proud of it. Matthew’s standard design uses uncut vector rails that are 104hp long. I’ve heard of people being able to squeeze 105 hp into them. There was an issue with the wood of my case so matthew had to cut the rails. I had always assumed that it was exactly 104hp and planned my my module acquisition very carefully. I recently discovered while trying to fill a row completely that my rails are more like 103.9hp. So my careful plan has gone out the window. I’ve been in a kind of tail spin since. Continue reading “Modular Strategy”

Recent Inspirations

I’ve been listening to this box set put out by Basta called, “Popular Electronics: Early Dutch Electronic Music from Philips Research Laboratories 1956-1963.” It includes the complete electronic work of Kid Baltan and Tom Dissevelt. Electronic music created for ballet by Henk Badings, film scores by Dick Raaijmakers, and a disc of alternate takes and stems from Baltan’s work.

I ordered it from them directly as I couldn’t find a copy anywhere else and I’m glad I did. The packaging is great – there are a couple of printed scores, a small timeline poster, and extensive track notes to read while you listen. The album is available as a download from Amazon but the packaging is so wonderful I recommend tracking down a physical copy. After the break are some tracks from the album that Basta has on their Soundcloud account. Continue reading “Recent Inspirations”


In May of 2010 I was presented with an opportunity through the magic of Facebook. Paul Holmes, one of my best friends in grade school (!) contacted me asking if I was interested in making a soundtrack for his game. I was on his radar because I had just started my modular synthesizer and couldn’t resist putting photos and soundcloud links up on facebook. Naturally, I assumed that he was making a video game and needed background music. However, Paul’s game Cipher is not a video game but a pen and paper role playing game. I was confused but excited to help out. Paul’s brilliant idea was to have secret codes imbedded in the Cipher rule book that would lead the most clever readers to a web page where they could download an album of ‘mood music’ made specifically for listening while playing. Continue reading “Cipher”

An Update

“Writing regularly is even harder than pressing ‘record’!” -John Noble

John Noble is right, it’s really hard. He’s referring to a conversation we had a the last LA Trash_Audio meet where we discussed the technique of ‘just record everything.’ During that conversation I admitted to John that I only record about half of my patches and immediately saw the error of my ways. See, I have this quirk relating to things I record: enjoy while I’m doing it, hate it when I play it back, and the older the recording the more it grows on me. Actually, if the file is old enough that I don’t even remember recording it then it seems magical and great. In fact, the modular has contributed quite a bit to this quirk. I generally don’t make patch notes and there are no presets so the recording is the only evidence. I like that. So, I’ve recorded everything ever since. Continue reading “An Update”