This piece starts with a bowed crystal bowl, the sound of which passes though a ring modulator, then a resonating flanger, then a resonating delay, then a delay in a long continuous loop. The sound is further processed by a reverb. Everything is analog except the the looping delay.

Throughout most of the piece, I take long, slow draws of the bow against the edge of the bowl, with several seconds between each stroke. As this is going on, I progressively modify the other devices to modify the sound in various ways. The general shape of the piece is to slowly lower in pitch as it grows spatially, and eventually to come back up. Perhaps something like a fainting spell and recovery in slow motion.

You can see the setup of the equipment (in my studio) here:

Image: (Public Domain).

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An improvisation from about an hour ago. I wasn’t planning anything, just experimenting, but it eventually got to the point where it seemed appropriate to hit the record button and this is what ensued. Recorded off the mixer to Zoom H4N. The only edit was a fade-in at the beginning (once I figure out where the “beginning” was).

This was done with a single oscillator (the carrier output of a Moogerfooger Ring Modulator), going through the Repeater Noise Swash, which I somehow happened to catch in an unusually sedate mood. The signal is then routed through an effects loop consisting of an Ekdahl Moisturizer and a stereo Deluxe Memory Man with Hazarai. The DMM is in a pseudo-frippertonics mode with a three second delay.

That’s the audio portion, but there is also a fairly complex control voltage configuration going on involving a Moogerfooger CP-251 Control Processor, with three different LFOs (from the CP-251, Ring Mod, and Moisturizer) running at very slow rates and modulating each other as well as various aspects of the audio.

Image: “Nowhere in Spain” by swizzled on Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

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A 60Hz drone meditation, as usual recorded direct to Zoom H4N from the mixer, with no post-processing other than adding a fade-in at the “beginning”.

This piece is dedicated to the memory of Aaron Swartz. I didn’t know Aaron, but I’d known about him for years and read many of his writings, and had great respect for his integrity and accomplishments

The basic drone was formed by a Moogerfooger FreqBox (oscillator output, no input) through a Moogerfooger Ring Modulator. The LFO from the Ring Mod was patched to the waveform control on the FreqBox.

This was routed through a Trogotronic Iron Hand controller into three separate streams: a Moogerfooger MuRF (center), a MoogerFooger ClusterFLux (left channel) and an Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man with Hazarai (right channel). The omnipresent Ekdahl Moisturizer was in the effects loop.

The picture is from the field in front of my house in southern New Hampshire, taken about ten minutes after I recorded the piece. The original is on Flickr. This is what it’s been like here for the past couple of days, except at times the fog has been heavier.

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Recorded in performance at Turn It Up in Brattleboro, VT, earlier this evening, April 4, 2014. Another 60 Hz piece.

The underlying drone is the Synthrotek 4093 NAND box that my brother Doug built inside an old English tin (he also made the wooden knobs).

The only other sound source is the FreqBox VCO, which is driven by the carrier output from the ring modulator which passed back through the ring mod, then further processed through a flanger (with a phaser inserted into its feedback loop), then through a delay unit in a flangy setting, and finally through a looper.

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Nothing profound, just an excerpt from an impromptu session at home, applying a series of effects to a chord from a Drone Lab and playing with control voltages. The effects all have LFOs, which are interconnected via a fairly complicated CV configuration.

The audio originates with the Drone Lab, then passes through a Gristleizer into a MuRF, the two outputs of which go to a ClusterFlux and a Phaser, each of which sends its own stereo signal to the mixer. The Ekhadl Moisturizer provides reverb and filter antics.

I’m not going to detail the control voltage signal flow, but it includes all of the above devices (including the Moisturizer, which also has an LFO) and a CP251 Control Processor. Only the Drone Lab was not involved in the CV circuit, because it doesn’t do that.

Recorded, as usual, from mixer directly to Zoom H4N. Edited only to establish a beginning. The ending was done in real time.

The image is called “HIT Isotropic Turbulence” by rreis on Flickr ( and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.

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This is a recording of a live performance at Future Collective (Brattleboro, VT), Thursday May 22, 2014. It is mono, recorded direct from the line output of my little Orange Pix Crush 35LDX combo amp to a Zoom H4N recorder. The only editing was a tiny fade-out at the very tail end to remove some unwanted noise that crept in.

I don’t claim this piece as a composition of my own, but rather a meditation on La Monte Young’s Opening, Magic, and Magic Opening chords. The Opening Chord is played on the combination of a Drone Lab and a NovaDrone, and is processed through a Deluxe Memory Man with Hazarai and a Boomerang III looper. The Magic Chord was produced by the LAS-9 app running on my Google Nexus 7 tablet, looping WAV files I made in Csound, with no further processing.

You can hear the Opening Chord build up starting at the beginning of the piece and fully in place by about 1:20. I start “riffing” on it using the DMM at about 2:15. At about 7:03 I start adding in the tones of the Magic Chord, which is complete by about 8:30. After, that I slowly subtract notes from both chords until only the fundamental just fifth remains.

I did my best to make the tuning as precise as possible, but both the Drone Lab and NoveDrone are subject to a certain amount of drift over time.

The image is the unaltered spectral display of the piece in Audacity. It’s interesting to me that there’s a lot of magenta in it, especially given Marian Zazeela’s pervasive use of that color in her beautiful visual works that usually accompany Young’s music.

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Playing around with a feedback (no-input) setup. The mixer’s FX Send goes into the Grunge pedal, and then through three separate routes (BugBrand μCrusher, Moogerfooger Ring Modulator, Moogerfooger FreqBox) via a Repeater 4x4 matrix mixer into a 4ms Phaseur, then an Ekdhal Moisturizer reverb and finally into the main mixer. There’s also a bunch of control voltage stuff going on in its own feedback loop: Moisturizer to Moogerfooger CP251 back into Moisturizer, with CP251 also controlling various parameters of the other two Moogerfoogers and the Phaseur. The photo shows the setup.

I was tweaking audio and CV settings (and sometimes CV patching) throughout. I also occasionally applied the three items seen in front (chopstick, vibrator, E-Bow) to the springs of the Moisturizer.

Recorded in a single take, then normalized and converted to MP3. No editing or other post-production.

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