søndag den 17. februar 2013

The Himalaya Spirit Photos

I did some experimentation with a rather new experimental film for Polaroid cameras which I got of The Impossible Project. I got 4 600-films which I wanted to bring to my trek in the Nepalese himalaya mountains last spring for some cool shots.
I guess the last pair of films weren't kept under optimal conditions so some of the critical chemicals involved in the developing of the images leaked or got twisted up in some way which resulted in these bizzare distortions and scrambling of the final images and I decided to name this series The Himalaya Spirit Photos.
I think they could go for some neat cover material or artwork for future releases or just Soundcloud images for various tracks. The weird repeating patterns on the last two images is some sort of chemical leakage which stuck to the rollers that sends out the instant picture and it was printed onto the image.

torsdag den 14. februar 2013

Voice Message Greeting Cards turned into Lo-Fi Sampler

I bought these super cheap Voice Recordable Audio Greeting Card Modules of eBay for about 1.50$ each. The ones I got has capacity for around 10 seconds of sound. I thought they could be fun having around for a future Lo-Fi sampler, and either ways they were so cheap that there really was no excuse for not buying a bunch.
The module comes with 2 pushbuttons: a record button and a play button. There's a little LED that turns on when record mode is activated and when the message is done playing. There's a small 8 ohm speaker and an electret mic for recording. The module runs of 3 x 1.5V button cell batteries.

Voice Recorder from eBay
Modified into Lo-Fi Looper

The first obvious thing for me was to get rid of these annoying batteries so I connected the bottom connection pad of the first battery holder to GND and the square silver pads in the other corner I connected to 4.5V+. Now we don't have to be concerned about running dry of power.

Next thing was to make this bitch repeat the message when it's done playing. I thought it had to include the pin connected to the PLAY button so I connected a resistor to the pin and sniffed around for a point that would make the message repeat - and as I hoped for, I hit one of the microscopically small SMD-capacitors which (I guess) must go LOW when the message is done playing and then it can function as a signal to repeat the message when connected to PLAY. I did so through af toggle switch, to be able to turn LOOP on/off.

Then I went further in my experimentations and implemented af PITCH pot, just of random experimentation with connecting different points on the PCB: one point slowed down the playback rate; another was speeding it up, so I connected the points to the 'ears' of the potentiometer and Voila! we've got a SPEED knob.

Here's a sound example:
Bent Greetings (lo-fi looper) by dogenigt

The sound is quite nice and sketchy when pitched almost all the way down! I am having thoughts about turning these into boxed Lo-Fi Loopers and selling them for a fair price. Could be nice to make a small living of circuit bending and handmade electronics :)

More to come in the future about this project! I was just too anxious to be able to keeping this a secret until the final version of the product! And... well, I fried my last PCB by mistake so I am waiting for another shipment from Hong Kong. Hehe.

Stay tuned!
Best Regards from Dögenigt.

onsdag den 13. februar 2013

Concerto for (Dual) Floppy Disc Drives

I was asked by a fellow DIEM-student (Kaj Duncan David), who's arranging avant garde, electro-acoustic and experimental concerts, if I could bring my "Floppy Tape Delay" for a concert.

 As you might've read in the post below, I've been preparing my second drive for the gig, with motor speed control and "scrubbing" the stepper motor with a rotary encoder.
So I decided to bring my first drive with the new one and have them run at different speeds in each speaker for weird Steve Reich-ish phase loops and to combine different frequency spectras on the mixer from each drive; i.e. using the lower frequencies from one floppy and the high from the other.

Picture by Jesper Kold

I lacked a decent amplifier for the new drive (it was just running through this Radioshack mini amp and further into the mixer) so it was quite noisy. I kinda liked these very noisy brushes from the gained amp but in the future I will build a small amp circuit for it, as well as the whole arduino controlled stepper motor thing.

My brother brought his camera, once again to get it all on tape. The whole show is there, you might want to jump around for interesting parts if you're not on downers or feel like wasting some time.

Thanks for listening/watching!

mandag den 4. februar 2013

Arduino Workshop with Gijs Gieskes @ DIEM

So this week on DIEM we had a visit from Gijs Giekses who's an expert in circuit bending, reverse engineering, DIY electronics / syntheseizers and arduino programming. (check his website!)
It was quite introductionary but even though I have some experience with the Arduino it was still nice to be with all the master students at DIEM and Gijs, and to see how they put the microcontroller to use.

Gijs had bought a large box with goodies for the workshop with different types of arduino boards from the tiny Nano boards to some Arduino Megas; there were ultrasonic range-finders, servo motors and all sorts of components for the lots to use.

My good friends from Dimsos were invited to join the workshop as it's very much up their alley. Carl is having arduino-programming as one of his main focuses and I can't wait to show you what we've been up to since august, he and I! It was very nice having them over for the workshop, it was like a giant geeky family!

Gijs introducing the Arduino.
Mads trying out the Nano-board.
The guys from Dimsos visiting.

A couple of days into the workshop and the room was vibrating with code syntax and bleepy noises. Some used the arduino as a composition platform, coding tones and noises from several digital outputs with the ability to make changes in the rythms and patterns with buttons and potentiometers, one guy made and actual synth with the board based on the Auduino library. Some interfaced sensors with Max/MSP and Ableton Live, another guy made a MIDI clock sync box for his hardware. It was just nice seeing the creativity catalysed by the virgin encounter with the arduino. :)

As I had a concert coming up where I was asked to perform with my "Floppy Drive Samplers" I wanted to take the first steps at making the arduino talk to the pins on the FDD. So I had help from Carl The Codemeister and we managed to get a rotary encoder to control the step and direction on the stepper motor. In have future plans about having different patterns and sequences on the atmega-chip to control the stepper motor. (dedicated post to come when the project is finished!)

Bringing my Floppy Disk Drive.
Carl getting data from rotary encoder
Arduino + FDD

On the last day we brought our more intermediate project - an arudino audio player/sampler based on Adafruits WaveShield with 16 step sequencer and display + lots of functions! Still a prototype but soon to be finished! Here's a little shot where we test it with the other workshop contestants (samples on the card are old Amiga soundtracker samples, and 'the amiga' doesn't feel shy to tell you that it's taken over the device :