20210109

Learning about my Rampage. The odd behavior of the A & B outs I’ve experienced when using a passive LPGs (and some other modules such as the caliOSC) is typical and well documented. It can be referred as the once the output goes high it will “stick” on until I unpatch -issue. Similar and even odder behavior occurs in the falling & rising outputs. Which can however be fixed by adding a 1Mohm pull down resistors to the gate outputs.

Sloth Chaos by Nonlinearcircuits might be a good match for use with diy capacitors.

Successful connected our flat and my shelter-studio using an intercom made from a pair of ~50 year old Ericsson Dialog phones. Dug a discreet 50m trench for a 4 pole telephone-wire. Made first calls and everything works. The line powers when I turn on the electricity in the studio. Got the ringer/buzzer in the other end working by using the “ground” wire to supply voltages to a buzzer (controlled with a button). Landlines are back!

20200826

Pasila district bicycle-routes are under development thanks to a spree of tweets by bicycle activists. In the aftermath of the station rebuild (a process which I don’t understand) a “penalty-lap” glitch in the bicycle route design came to light. It is a silly glitch, a monument to the top-down ethos of Helsinki planning. Cyclist who could previously speed along a straight and safe line following the train tracks were forced to take two hard turns on a hilltop below the station. A campaign started immediately after the route was reopened and heated complaints on the #penaltylap #sakkokierros were send directly to Helsinki City officials. Officials responded flamboyantly by announcing the development of a temporary cycling bridge which would restore the old straight lane.

This is the first time I’ve seen tweets develop infrastructure and it feels that the process was guided by the voter-market-logic. The bridge is a monument for social media influencer culture: The Influencer Bridge. As the penalty-lap situation is solved, the speed of the cyclists will now interface with the pace of pedestrians who are departing the Pasila station towards east, students of the Haaga-Helia school and visitors of the Helsinki fair center. The direct lane will benefit riders who are passing Pasila outside of rush hours.

Maybe a more sustainable option would have been to redesign the route leading to the Saparonpolku track underneath path (the tunnel facing the Haaga-Helia) so that cyclist approaching it from the north could reach it easily and pass the Pasila station underneath it (skipping the Ratapihantie hill altogether).

Build six AllFlesh Landscape clones using Neutrik jacks and 1mm fiberglass PCBs. Ultra durable and lovable! Using them to trigger samples from the Disting Mk4 and for touch control over filter parameters. Trying to workout the kinks of my Water Lab for NPTurku. I’ve wired up a side-chain style compressor to adjust the A-119 preamp output. The system has a weird volume drop issue which I’m struggling to solve. The performance planning is progressing steadily. I wish I had two more weeks to reorientate from a recent teaching gig and the workload from before. A speedy development phase is bad for building confidence on intuition as a creative resource.

20200726

Ducking effect with what I have: TTLFO Clock -> Turing Machine Clock, Pulse Out -> Divider 1&2, 1 -> Rampage IN A, OUT A -> Inverter IN, OUT (This inverts the Ramp. positive env.) -> Sense (V)IN (preamp low & DC, set “ducking amount” by toggling OFFSET and preamp), CV OUT + (This lifts the volume to desired level in VCA, which inverted Ramp. signal pulls down) -> Skis VCA CV IN (Signal IN for the drum sound to be ducked). Divider 2 -> Skis TRIGGER IN (Signal IN for the sound which moves above ducking). Other: Ramp. RISING OUTs work great for vactrol LPG controlled hihats (White noise), TTLGO OUT (with square & Ramp. controlled SHAPE) -> Floating GATE to TRIGGER -> Multicassa Trig IN works great for dynamic percussion. Short experiment with the setup.

20200716

Build a floating passive low pass gate with tone control (followed tips from here) but added 1k resistors to all inputs/outputs. Assembled my own vactrols, following a Animodule guide (I think I used a VT935G LDR and a Kingbright L-424IDT). Made a few passive floating attenuverters and passive gate to trigger plugs, following a partial schematic by Ken Stone. Might go for a Voltage combiner next. Yan Proefrock has published collection of passives. I wish I had learned of The Klangorium by Elliot Williams five years ago, build it and resolved my curiosity with electronics. It’s a Lunetta style system which seems to fit my desires.

Minua ei kiinnosta valkoinen etuoikeutesi [I don’t care about your white privileges] (2020) Sean Ricks. A great responce to the wave of reactive announcements of solidarity Finnish culture organizations published during the first waves of the Black Lives Matter movement. As Ricks points out many of the announcements are hollow because people working for these organizations are not actually willing to denounce their privileges. I would take Ricks critique even further and argue that many of the announcements are preemptive manoeuvres aimed to deflect further enquiries.

20200531

Muzak: On Functional Music and Power (1992) Simon C. Jones & Thomas G. Schumacher. A straight to the bones text on the ideology of functional music. The text offers a good overview on how Muzak is designed and how it effects people who are subjected to it. There are even some statistics on how it effects worker efficiency.

For Adorno, one of the functions of popular music was to distract workers from the monotony of increasingly rationalized and mechanized work. It treated the symptoms of alienation and subordination, alleviating boredom and fatigue but without removing their causes. Popular music was, in the end, little more than “social cement,” reinforcing existing social relations and power structures – entertainment as containment […] The stylistic regularity and harmonic simplicity of Muzak suggests a secure, private, domestic world that signifies the comfort and security of home in terms of a particular, bourgeois conception of domestic well-being. Its aim is precisely to make one “feel at home” whether in an office, factory or airplane.

I remember reading that Muzak is used in shopping-centers to make the violent experience of moving with an elevator from a level of where fur-hats are sold to the floor where butchered meat is sold more coherent. Muzak removes the post- from modern. A contemporary application of the text would be a critique of ambient-music and earphone-culture as processes were individual wellbeing is build by enforcing technologically segregated private spaces. With the emphasis on audio quality as a class signifier: Headphones which boost bass tones are deemed working class. Interestingly personalized ambient spaces are disseminated into public trough shared curated playlists.

A trajectory from Muzak, 90ties World Music, Vaporwave (which I recognize Skweee as) to Ambient would be interesting to explore. I think each genre responds to political detachement and cynicism. New march-music for the welfare state can be sought from: How to Kill a Zombie: Strategizing the End of Neoliberalism (2013) Mark Fisher.

Neoliberalism consolidated the discrediting of state socialism, establishing a vision of history in which it laid claim to the future and consigned the left to obsolescence. It captured the discontent with centralized bureacratic leftism, successfully absorbing and metabolizing the desires for freedom and autonomy that had emerged in the wake of the 60s. But – and this is a crucial point – this isn’t to say that those desires inevitably and necessarily led to the rise of neoliberalism. Rather, we can see the success of neoliberalism as a symptom of the leftist failure to adequately respond to these new desires.

Made a Manhattan style PCB for a FM transmitter. I used a LM7809 to stabilize the power input and even without an antenna the unit can cover our flat! The sound is really good and quirky. Bass tones etc. get broadcasted well and when I wave my hand over a receiver other FM broadcasts seep to the same channel. This emphasizes the pocket-like-folds the mini-FM makes to the radio space (which Kogawa’s texts underline). Interestingly when I broadcast simple waves in close proximity of a FM receiver and boost the volume of the transmission the sound feels like a wavefolder. Couldn’t get the Charles Kitchin FM receiver to work yet. It might be that the J113 is not a perfect replacement for the MPF102 or my coils are missaligned. Found a detailed tutorial on how to build the unit Radio Shack Special (2008) by braincambre500 and I’ll retry the build. Also sourced parts for The Simplest FM Receiver by Miomir Filipovic which uses two transistors and only one coil. Fitting the transmitter and received on the same PCB will be challenging as the Kogawa transmitter is so powerful. I might have to add a switch to the eurorack design to toggle the unit to work either as a transmitter or a receiver… I also think that the tuning capacitors should be lifted from the ground somehow. Cleared my workbench and I’ll try to build a working unit this summer.

ARRADIO by n³ is a CV controllable FM radio module, which works like I would like. Too bad the schematic isn’t available. The CV input option is something I might implement too.

gnsk has build a Radio Sender radio transmitter in Eurorack format assemblage. Nice and simple. The builder is using it for feedback loops.

RF Nomad by Evaton Technologies tunes to frequencies from approximately 9.6 to 10 MHz and decodes the audio as single sideband they also offer a AModulator SDIY companion module which can encode audio inputs into a amplitude modulated RF signal (implementing the send&receive dynamic I’m working towards).

ADDAC102 VC FM Radio (~300€) affords channel seek using CV and it can find channels automatically. I really like the stereo implementation! My FM received module could have stereo output too (and a summed output). I imagine this can great nice phaser-like sounds.

RADIO by ST modular is an analog FM RADIO with an automatic channel-search functionality. It is based on a BK1068 FM radio IC.