I thought I’d share how I’m getting on with Gloop, my experimental eurorack performance looper. This version is built using the Electrosmith Daisy Seed. It allows you to record loops (with overdub), and playback with 4 simultaneous play heads. Each play head can be at a different part of the loop, playing at a different speed/pitch, direction and volume. Each play head can also be playing a different area, or sub-loop of the main loop. This can allow you to trim the loop size, play different sections of the main loop with the different play heads or create granular style effects. There is a jitter parameter which controls how much the start of the loop randomly shifts each time the loop restarts.
It’s essentially the culmination of many of my digital projects, combining what I learnt from making the AudioFreeze, GlitchDelay and my other Looper. Gloop has one big advantage over my other looper, (apart from having a screen) which is that the Daisy has a whopping 64MB of RAM, so I can record the loop directly into RAM, rather than having to worry about recording to SD card, and all of the buffering issues this presents. This allows me to go much further with the firmware, supporting multiple sophisticated play heads, which wouldn’t have been possible with the original version.
I designed this to be played live, and I’ve used it as most, this year, at vary iterations and states of completion.
I still want to spend some more time with the firmware, and have started working on some CV and trigger expander modules that connect via I2C. Also the ability to connect a pedal to start and stop the loop, rather than having to press the button. More about those soon. Who knows, maybe I’ll actually try and make Gloop available for sale at some point.
Had a lovely weekend returning to Braziers Park for the International Film Festival, playing with Amy Cutler as RAVINE/MACHINE, after only playing there a few weeks ago for SUPERNORMAL (which was also brilliant, albeit exceptionally hot). We had some technical difficulties with the 16mm projector (bulb not working), but we were still able to incorporate the soundtrack from it, and it allowed us to put the projector centre stage (complete with my LED augments!).
Braziers is such an enchanting space. It’s been run as a commune, or ‘Intentional Community’ since the 50s. The neo-gothic house is gorgeous, as was the vegan food they fed us. Great to meet some exciting film makers and artists and generally have a great time!
I’ve made the schematics and gerber files available for download on GitHub here!
DaisyDrone is a drone synth, with 6 sliders, Inspired by @HAINBACH ‘s use of vintage oscillators and test equipment. This combines 18 sine waves. Each slider controls the gain of a set of 3 sine waves at slightly offset pitches centred around a frequency within the key shown in the display. The frequency of the sines increases from left to right. The magic comes from the way they are summed (controlled by the 3-way switch). Either averaged (boring!), or wavefolded with a sine wave or a triangle wave. The wave folding produces the rhythmic elements. An encoder is used to set the note of the base frequency, displayed in the 7 segment display.
Hello from Electromagnetic Field Festival (EMF Camp)! Having an awesome time. Slightly different vibe now we have a little one, but the festivals caters so well for families, it’s really lovely. Thanks to everyone who came to my talk. I think the video will be available soon. But here are the slides for now.
Come watch me play live, tomorrow (Sunday 5th June), at 10pm on Stage B.
I’m delighted to say I’m going to be at Electromagnetic Field Festival next month (2nd-5th June). I’ll be doing a talk on building digital effects, and also playing the Main Stage at 10pm on the Sunday. I’ll be showing off some of my latest projects, DaisyDrone and Gloop.
Both DaisyDrone and Gloop are projects built around the Electrosmith Daisy Seed. It’s a compact dev board, similar to Teensy, but with high quality audio built in. It also has an enormous 64MB or RAM on board. More than enough for most audio projects I can conceive.
DaisyDrone is a drone synth, with 6 sliders, Inspired by @hainbach101 ‘s use of vintage oscillators and test equipment. This combines 18 sine waves. Each slider controls the gain of a set of 3 sine waves at slightly offset pitches centred around a frequency within the key shown in the display. The frequency of the sines increases from left to right. The magic comes from the way they are summed (controlled by the 3-way switch). Either averaged (boring!), or wavefolded with a sine wave or a triangle wave. The wave folding produces the rhythmic elements. An encoder is used to set the note of the base frequency, displayed in the 7 segment display.
Gloop is a looper which is RAM based rather than my previous SD card based looper. This gives a lot more flexibility to glitch up the audio, as you can jump around in the stream a lot more. It takes inspiration from the GlitchDelay. Once a loop is recorded (overdub is supported), you have 4 read heads that can play from it simultaneously. Each read head supports forward and reverse play, varying speeds (which can be quantised to semi-tones), and the ability to have micro loops which jitter within the main loop.
Really enjoyed our performance at the beginning of the month at The Rose Hill in Brighton. Thanks to all those that came out to see us, and an extra special thanks to the sound person (Abe), not only for giving us great sound, but for reminding me to actually start the cameras that I had setup! Had to make a quick stage exit and turn them on! Not sure when our next performance will be, but not too long hopefully.
Amy and I will be playing as RAVINE/MACHINE again on the 4th December at The Rose Hill in Brighton. We have support from R.Dyer and I AM FYA. I think it’s going to be a great night, and a great way to start the festive season. Come along, there will be mince pies! Tickets available here.
Well, the gig at Spirt of Gravity on Thursday was a lot of fun. It was our first performance as RAVINE/MACHINE and despite the trip hazards, allergy poisonings and misbehaving laptops, the end result was great. I definitely want to play more gigs in this format. I’ve wanted to work with a visual artist for a long time and Amy is the perfect match. Her beautiful photography, which forms the basis of her projections are wonderfully augmented by her intricate and unusual manual projections. It’s really inspiring to accompany them with my sound. We are organising more gigs now (Brighton and London), so watch this space. If you want us to play please get in touch.
I have my first performance on Thursday playing as RAVINE/MACHINE, a collaboration with experimental film-maker, Dr Amy Cutler. Expect analogue projections powered by candles and carousels, accompanied by haunting textures from my DIY drone box. We’ve been discussing this project online for over a year, but due to current circumstances only got to collaborate in person in recent days. Be lovely to see some of you there.
New Cutlasses album A Consequence of Distance releases today! Last December, I put up an open request for artists on Twitter to collaborate on a project inspired by the parlour game Consequences. I created an initial set of sounds using acoustic instruments processed through a palette of DIY effects that I have made. I then sent these to the artists, who worked with them and sent them back, iterating like this until we had finished a piece of music. Today you can finally hear the results!
Available on Bandcamp https://cutlasses.bandcamp.com/album/a-consequence-of-distance as a digital download, or on the physical format making its big comeback, CD! Housed in a lovely hand-assembled laser cut case. All profits donated to charities to help arts venues struggling post Covid and fighting Climate Change. If you buy today, Bandcamp are donating their share to NAACP Legal Defense Fund, a racial justice organization, so even if this isn’t your cup of tea, why not buy some other music today, so you can help the artists much more effectively than streaming, and contribute to achieving racial justice!