S23M – the unfolding story of bolzano and bust

July 4, 2008
This is a little message from the pro-piracy movement of the kopimi bent here in sweden; we are going out of town this summer.

“While the file-sharing spectacle rages on in Sweden, this summer, the Bureau of Piracy looks to the rest of the world and embarks on a journey that will take them throughout Europe with final destination the mountainsides of Bolzano, Italy and the Manifesta art biennial.

The Bureau will continue what started with the walpurgis ritual last year, with a re-examination party in the Italian mountains and the presentation of a new statement based on our recent experiences from the Scandinavian copyfight. The party will be open for you all and the whole project will be documented and shared with everyone. You know who we are.

Manifesta art biennale is held to be one of the most innovative art events of its kind and is highly respected within the contemporary art community. Their invitation of The Bureau of Piracy to Manifesta will expose the artworld to the fascinating KOPIMI way of life.

Follow our historical – like so many other historical trips with buses – as it subverts its way down to the alps.
http://piratbyran.org/s23m
http://www.flickr.com/photos/altemark/sets/72157605667091986/
http://piratbyran.org/s23m/

What is life? Is it picking up your gun in the violence of culture? Is it get free money to, uhm, do something art of a direct action movement? Is it buy a bus, have parties in it, and look at artists from the distance. Or very close. Uncomfortably so.

MDUW

February 3, 2008

Testing

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Yamaha CS-15 drone sounds

December 23, 2007

Here are some drony kind of sounds I recorded before selling my Yamaha CS-15 with the intention of showing some of the sounds the synth is capable of.

CS-15 flowchart

The CS-15 is a pretty flexible analog synthesizer, thanks to it having two of everything – except for the one LFO (which goes up to 1000 hz – fast!). The envelopes are fast and snappy, though not as powerful as the ones on the lesser model, the one-oscillator CS-10. But you can not demand much more from such a cheap and still well built synthesizer. Of course you are left wishing for some features – for example it is lacking in inter-oscillator modulation, no cross-mod, sync or the likes despite two oscillators.

The two state-variable filters (LPF, BPF, HPF) are not exactly “creamy” and pleasant in ways like the moog filter or the Roland SH-series – but they are very competent and useful when it comes to soundsculpting. They have a distinct character, and are not really bland sounding. Highly resonant sounds are not one of it’s strong points, but it does well across board otherwise.

Modifications can remedy some issues, for example enabling the option of routing the filter both in parallell and serial. Both filters in bandpass mode, serially connected, with separate CV-sources controlling the cutoff makes for some very nice sounding vowel type sounds.

CS-15 drone sounds 01 CS-15 drone sounds 02
CS-15 drone sounds 03 CS-15 drone sounds 04
CS-15 drone sounds 05 CS-15 drone sounds 06
CS-15 drone sounds 07 CS-15 drone sounds 08
CS-15 drone sounds 09 CS-15 drone sounds 10
CS-15 drone sounds 11 CS-15 drone sounds 12

New version of elektron-users.com online

December 23, 2007

The new version of elektron-users.com is ready. “We’re now back online! We’ve just undergone a major update to our site. Come congregate with your Elektron fam’ over the holidays”

So check out the user-driven site chock full of science labs, tips, tricks and technical discussions as well as discourses on what other nice gear can be used together with your elektron stuff. The months of effort the team put in to the site are sure to help the elektron community stay lively.

elektron-users.com

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OS1.50d for Elektron Machinedrum released

December 23, 2007

The good people at Elektron ESI AB have released a major update of the OS for the Machinedrums, just in time for christmas! This update is both for the MD classic and newly released MD mkII. Here are the most noteworthy ones:

  • Four new CTR (control) Machines are available – each controlling one of the master effects. Yay!
      • Also some (much needed) bugfixes on the behaviour of the RAM machines is introduced
      • UNDO functions has been implemented for a lot of operations.

      When I got my MD a few years ago, after getting to know the basics, one of the first thing I thought was “hm, shouldn’t it be possible to do have parameter locks affect the internal effects?” Now you can, for example, control the delay time or feedback values for the Rhyhtm Echo by using parameterlocks. Doing the same with the gate time for the gate box, EQ parameters and compressor settings surely opens up a lot of possibilites.

      Some of the CTRL-machines added in earlier revisions of the OS didn’t have the possiblity of using the LFO’s to control parameters, something which is understandable for practical reasons. The new effect control machines however can have LFO’s routed to them – also a neat function.

      elektron.se

      Libertarian posters collection

      November 28, 2007

      PosterPosterposter

      A collection of mostly spanish and french libertarian posters collected from various sources, the majority from the years between 1940 and 1980.

      Getting gritty with the Casio CZ-101

      October 29, 2007

      The CZ-101 is the battery powered littlest sibling of the Casio line of cheezily named “Cosmo Synthesizers”. Utilizing phase distortion synthesis, both pleasing and abrasive sounds can be produced.

      This sample pack concerns the grittier side of this cheap and appreciated 80’s technology

      Music and More ADX-1 analog drum module

      August 27, 2007

      MAM ADX-1 – a german made analog drum brain, introduced in the end of the 90’s. A very cheap alternative to more high-end drum machines, but can it be so cheap and sound good at the same time? Let’s have a look.

      The ADX1 is a rack-mountable module, very small and handy. The machine is kind of noisy, no doubt because of cost-saving. It is equipped with 50 (rather flimsy feeling) knobs distributed over 5 channels, logically laid out. The 5 analog synth modules are: bass, synth, snare, hihat and metal.

      ADX-1

      If you expect sounds like something from another cheap and portable drum machine, the Roland TR-606, chances are that you will be disappointed. Actually, this module has more in common in sound with the Tama/simmons drum brains of the 80’s. For the price though, you get acceptable possibilities to craft percussive analog sounds. Some sonic areas you won’t be able to touch, with a flawed implementation of the bass drum channel being the main issue.

      The oscillators of the ADX1 seem to not reset at each trig – one hit bass drum trig might strike lucky and start at the exactly same time as the waveform cycle of the oscillator is begun anew, but with the next it is caught right in the middle of such a cycle. In the case of percussive synthesis, this tends to diminish the percieved impact of the sound. This will not happen with for example the T-bridge construction of the TR-808 bassdrum, or the TR-909, in which the oscillator is reset.

      You can still pack some nice kraftwerkish drums, as well as Simmons-like boiiieuuws and general quaint electro percussion, but still, you are limited in scope due to the fact that the pitch of the bass drum oscillator is controlled by the same envelope that also controls the VCA.

      The same economical design can be found in the snare section, where the envelope also caters to several duties, both the “snap” and the noise decay. The rest of the sound is made up primarily by two band-pass filters. When the resonance is cranked up on one of them, it serves to simulate a hit on the skin of a snare, creating the “body” of the sound. The second filter then can be used for modifying the noise part of the sound. A very economic solution, but it ends up sounding weak, with a very small sweet spot.

      In the hihat and metal sections non-resetting oscillators are not such a problem, and the sweet spot area is a little bit larger. One can dial up some real nice sorts of hihats and metal sounding sound effects – obviously it also has its virtues.

      When production of the ADX1 ceased when MAM bought up and incorporated into Terratec, the blow out price was below 150 EUR, which makes it easy to find them at around the same price today.

      A related machine in the same class that might be a good investment is the virtual analog Korg ER-1 drum machine. Similarly, it is very drum brain-like implementation but also features a useful TR-X0X-style sequencer. It is also quite a bargain, and if you are not an analog taliban it might do well when some percussive bleeps & tweets are needed.

      Nintendo Game Boy Synthetic Drums

      August 27, 2007

      Synthetic snares, bass drums, effects and percussive sounds created with LSDJ running on a first generation Nintendo Gameboy.

      LSDJ is a tracker programmed for Nintendos classic hand-held gaming console by demoscener Johan Kotlinski. Kotlinski, also known as Role Model, wanted to create an easy-to-use – but still powerful – music software that could harness the possibilites that the 8 bit 4.19 MHz microprocessor could offer. In the year 2000, the first versions of LSDJ were released, but some development (mainly bugfixes) is still going on in 2007.

      CPU and synthesis capability

       

      The Game Boy does not contain a separate dedicated sound chip, but instead utilizes the architeLSDJ logocture of the Z80-like CPU to output 4 channels of sound. 2 channels are dedicated to square waves, with the two remaining channels tends to pseudo-random noise and wave-channel, respectively. LSDJ utilizes some clever ways of managing these channels, letting the user create sounds using crude forms of subtractive synthesis, wavetable synthesis and sample-based phoneme speech synthesis.

      The square wave channels both feature volume envelope (attack/release) as well as Pulse-width modulation, but frequency modulation is only possible on the first channel, in the form of pitch bends, sweeps and vibrato controlled by a primitive LFO with several waveforms, going from slow vibrato to very fast mayhem (with wonderfully gritty results).

      The user interface

      All this is accessible on a screen with a video resolution of a mere 160×144 pixels with only the A, B, select and start buttons plus the directional pad to the left as controls. This clearly leaves a demand for an elegant and practical user interface. LSDJ presents us with exactly this, following in the steps of so-called “tracker” music sequencers like the legendary Soundtracker on the Amiga and Fasttracker and Screamtracker 3 on the PC.

      Due to the open-ended structure of LSDJ, the user can dive into both simple and direct sounds as well as variations and complex combinations of the synthesis possibilities. The ability to program macro-events (a sort of sub-patterns that can be run in the background from the main pattern of a channel) makes it easy to produce the arpeggiated pseudo-chords recognized from for example SID tunes from the Commodore C64.

      Kotlinski also made it possible for users to upload their own samples from their computer, through down-sampling and uploading to the writeable cartridge LSDJ is housed on. Of course, sample time is limited, but LSDJ lends one with enough space for many custom sample kits to please the people who prefer to upload their own rather than use the still very nice compilation of samples of classic drum machines that are originally contained in the LSDJ ROM file.

      Vibrant user community

      The user base of LSDJ is of course dominated by geeks, and by virtue of that, modifications of the physical hardware and new break-thinking tracking techniques routinely pops up. the most important ones are the homebrewed MIDI-interfaces which enables the LSDJ musician to sync up her or his little gray ones to their computer or hardware drum machines and synthesizers.

      Other projects make it possible to example play the Game Boy sounds with a regular midi keyboard, modding your Game Boy Color to improve the sound and bass response in this later GB version. Or why not add a back light to your old grey brick? Neat!

      Related links

      Experten: Experter varnar för hotande expertkris

      April 4, 2007

      En expert är en individ som ses som någon besittandes extraordinära egenskaper, ovanligt kapabel i vissa situationer samt är kunnig. Men expertfenomenet är inte utan sina problem. Vissa experter menar sig se en “hotande expertkris” på samhällshorisonten. Kanske kan vi se de första utbrotten av denna potentiella expertusa kataklysm redan idag?

      Experter. De finns i vardagen runtom kring oss, där de uttalar sig om olika dagsfrågor och rent allmänt fyller sin sociala funktion som expertis. Låt oss ta ett exempel. Experten Stuart Graham har nu verkat som VD för Skanska i tre år. Under denna tjänstgöringstid har han erhållit en särskild skattelättnad, den så kallade expertskatten.

      Denna innebär att en utländsk expert kan nöja sig med att betala endast 25% i skatt. Nu måste Graham, med en lön på 12 miljoner kronor samt gratis bostad – värde 1,3 miljoner – börja betala vanlig svensk skatt. Han betraktas ej längre som utländsk expert, omfattad av det särskilda expertskydd dessa är berättigade till.stuartgraham

      Treårsperioden har alltså löpt ut och Graham är lämnad vind för våg med endast sin egenskap som expert som skydd mot ett Sverige fyllt av kringsströvand (säkert hungriga) vargar, ett framväxande nät av hotfulla babyloniska 3G-master, ett kungahus som gått bortom all kontroll. Kris, Graham. Kris.

      Men! Det finns hopp! En särskild sympatiåtgärd har satts i verket. Enligt källor så är detta utsträckande av denna lägligt usträckta hand initierad av en esoterisk studiecirkel inom Skanskas styrelse som till varje pris vill se en framtida expertkris avvärjd. Graham erhåller 10 miljoner i kompensation, något som Stuart Graham kommenterade på Skanskas bolagstämma i tisdags.

      Men vad säger våra inhemska experter om utvecklingen? Kerstin Nyquist är skatteexpert på den näringslivsvänliga organisationen Svenskt Näringsliv och ledamot i Forskarskattenämnden som hanterar expertskatten. Naturligtvis har expertkrisen uppmärksammats av dessa instanser, enligt en expert.

      Nyquist har the trapanvänt sig av viktiga kringtänkande strategier och låtit vissa postmoderna teoretiker influera henne. Hypnotesen använder begreppet “vikning” som ett upplösande av kategorier – och vad som kanske är mest spännande, en väg ut ur The Trap – “fällan” – begreppet som dokumentärfilmaren (experten?) Adam Curtis utvecklade i sin senaste rosade BBC-beställda dokumentärserie.Kerstin Nyquist, expert

      “Det behövs en mer generös lagstiftning om vad som räknas som expert och nyckelperson, så att även påläggskalvar kan räknas in, som i Nederländerna.”

      En uppenbart inkluderande snarare än exkluderande strategi. Vissa menar att det är oundvikligt – “expertskatten måste ändras för att den ska fungera”. Detta kanske kan stämma. En hälsosam vårflod av påläggskalvar kan kanske te sig skrämmande, men enligt experter krävs det en generalisering av expertbegreppet. “Det är en absolut nödvändighet” säger man. En stor del av befolkningen måste lära sig tänka annorlunda – mycket annorlunda. Gräva där de står. Bli experter på stället.

      Ett första steg kan vara en subventionerat inträde i decentraliserade Celler för nyckelpersoner, där deras lojalitet i kampen för att stävja expertkrisen befästs. Dessa “blinda” celler av experter kan sedan i takt med att det huvudlösa nätverket växer börja göra en mängd motstridiga uttalanden, vilket definitivt kommer skapa medialt utrymme på förstasidor och i TV-soffor.

      Hotet mot Stuart Graham är ett sorgligt exempel på vart vi kan är på väg. Vi måste vika oss kring den esoteriska kärnan som finns i expertkrisens hotande klot av magma. Denna nya våg av “hyperexperter” har både ett och annat ord att lära. Låt oss alla ge Kerstin Nyquists upplysta tänkande om generös lagstiftning tillgång till våra inre motivationer och yttre ageranden.

      En kritisk diskussion om den potentiella expertkrisen
      (mp3, 00:59)


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