5128
A giant 1906 machine, and the Eurorack synth module it inspired - CDM Create Digital Music
"I’ve been considering writing about Make Noise/Tom Erbe Telharmonic for some time now. There’s an abundance of videos covering this module, of course. But regrettably, I couldn’t find any that go beyond technical demonstrations, in order to cover the module’s historical and ideological contexts (except for the original Make Noise demo videos, to a certain extent). In my opinion, those are the very things (apart from the hardware’s great sound) that make it a truly exceptional work of tech art." This is an excellent piece of historical writing and context from Oleg Shpudeiko.
instruments  makenoise  eurorack  telharmonic 
4 weeks ago
NYLON · Everything Is Embarrassing: On Loving The National
This - nominally, on The National - is great on the band... but it's also great on what it means to love music, and to love music about feelings, and the ways we choose to throw ourselves into the things we love.
music  sentimentality  saddads  thenational  feelings 
4 weeks ago
@20 (Ftrain.com)
Paul Ford's website is 20. I have always liked it.
paulford  writing  internet 
4 weeks ago
Feet First Foley - Audient
Yes, it's marketing spiel for Audient, but it's a cracking film of a modern foley artist at work.
film  sound  audio  foley  effects 
6 weeks ago
This little light: On fathers, sons and that little lamp in the Pixar logo - Salon.com
"When I was about a year old or so, my father took me into his office for the day. My father was a computer scientist, and he worked for a weird little startup that didn’t make any money. I remember going in there as a kid and thinking the people dressed strange.
At some point during that day, my dad played with me with a tennis ball. John Lasseter, an artist who worked with him, watched us, and suddenly the short film he had been trying to figure out was right in front of him. Using my actions, proportions and personality as a model for his main character, Lasseter created the short film “Luxo Jr.”" Via Jason Kottke; this is a touching story. I always love watching this film.
luxojr  pixar  fatherhood  life  writing 
6 weeks ago
Getting Started with EFM32 Giant Gecko ARM Cortex-M3 - Microcontroller - eewiki
About the best code samples I've seen: simple, to the point, and beginning to wrap my head around the architecture of these things.
firmware  electronics  embedded  c  argh 
7 weeks ago
After the flood | Projects | AtF Spark
Sparkline typeface. That's some dark OpenType voodoo.
type  datavisualisation  aftertheflood  atf  font  typeface 
10 weeks ago
Embedded Wednesdays: Getting Started in Embedded Systems — Embedded
This is a great set of posts on embedded software and, in particular, getting started with STM Cortex-based chips. Will be returning to this to read it through properly.
embedded  hardware  programming  software  technology  arm 
11 weeks ago
how to do nothing – Jenny Odell – Medium
I finally sat down with this, after it being in my to-read pile for ages. It was entirely worth it. I particularly liked the parts about the natures of silence, and about animal sentience, and about maintenance and regeneration as a natural state. It is worth every minute of however long it takes you to read it, be it the 44 minutes Medium estimate, or a bit more, or a bit less.
jennyodell  art  sentience  silence  nature  regeneration  cognition  eyeo 
12 weeks ago
The language of the cockpit is technical, obscure – and irresistibly romantic | Aeon Essays
"I like how different the language of the sky is from everyday English – indeed, we might give it its own name, Aeroese (though it’s also sometimes, and less aspirationally, called Aviation English). Above all, I love how Aeroese can somehow manage, in its technical, obscuring precision, to capture the high romance of flight – an aspect of my job, no matter how much I love it, that in the cockpit we rarely have reason to consider directly." This is a lovely piece of writing.
travel  writing  flight  domainlanguages  aircraft 
12 weeks ago
Uli Westphal
"After the fall of the Roman Empire, elephants virtually disappeared from Western Europe. Since there was no real knowledge of how this animal actually looked, illustrators had to rely on oral and written transmissions to morphologically reconstruct the elephant, thus reinventing an actual existing creature. This tree diagram traces the evolution of the elephant depiction throughout the middle ages up to the age of enlightenment." Elephants!
illustration  elephants  pachyderms  drawing  arthistory 
12 weeks ago
On staying. – Alexandra D-S – Medium
"All this to fit in, to belong." Alex is good people; this is excellent on all the little things to like - or not - about here, and yet to still love it. And - a reminder how little I know about having had to fit in anywhere else. I hope the gods of paperwork smile on her too. I'm still angry she's even had to go through this. I am still ashamed of all this Brexit nonsense.
friends  culture  society  europe 
12 weeks ago
A few technical words about Upsideclown, and some thoughts about audiences and the web (17 Aug., 2017, at Interconnected)
"This isn’t because I want to optimise an audience; this isn’t because I want to sell ads. This is because it’s nice to know that 17 people read the website and 21 people opened the newsletter, and 36 people read the same story on Facebook, and 6 in an RSS reader -- and gosh that’s like the whole top level of a double decker bus, all those people read my story! When companies deal with millions and billions, I think perhaps they forget how the intimate feels. How sometimes it’s not about a thousand retweets but instead about an audience of readers who come back. With whom you have a relationship. Who appreciate you, and you appreciate them. Yes it’s a pleasure to write, and yes I will do it without needing to get 1,000 likes on each and every story, but also let’s not forget that it’s more pleasant with company." This is all good by Matt - on the way the small-bit-intimate web has been sidelined for the all-or-nothing approach. (I'm glad I still run my own site. I'm glad RSS still works. Small software is important. Maybe web-scale doesn't automatically mean 'big')
analytics  publishing  web  scale  intimacy 
august 2017
Tom Phillips: two skulls, 50,000 postcards and a book that took 50 years to finish | Art and design | The Guardian
Nice interview with Tom Phillips. (That sounds so trite, but that's what I have to say; he's great, his work is great, this is a nice interview).
tomphillips  art  culture  peckham  southeastlondon 
august 2017
HyperCard On The Archive (Celebrating 30 Years of HyperCard) | Internet Archive Blogs
The Internet Archive now supports HyperCard. Super-formative for me; I particularly want to return to the development books which I never had the chance to read at the time...
apple  hypercard  history  programming  development  interaction 
august 2017
CEM3340 VCO (Voltage Controlled Oscillator) designs | Electric Druid
Tom Wiltshire on various classic oscillator designs based around the Curtis 3340.
electronics  music  vco  schematics  design 
august 2017
Ursula K. Le Guin: A Rant About "Technology"
"One way to illustrate that most technologies are, in fact, pretty "hi," is to ask yourself of any manmade object, Do I know how to make one?

Anybody who ever lighted a fire without matches has probably gained some proper respect for "low" or "primitive" or "simple" technologies; anybody who ever lighted a fire with matches should have the wits to respect that notable hi-tech invention." Ursula le Guin with strong truth about technology and science fiction.
sf  writing  ursulaleguin  science  anthropology 
august 2017
drathier/stack-overflow-import: Import arbitrary code from Stack Overflow as Python modules.
"Do you ever feel like all you’re doing is copy/pasting from Stack Overflow?

Let’s take it one step further.

from stackoverflow import quick_sort will go through the search results of [python] quick sort looking for the largest code block that doesn’t syntax error in the highest voted answer from the highest voted question and return it as a module. If that answer doesn’t have any valid python code, it checks the next highest voted answer for code blocks."

Oh good lord.
github  programming  python  stackoverflow  devloper 
august 2017
You Can Have My LM386s When You Pry Them From My Cold Dead Hands | Hackaday
Good writeup on the LM386, and the fact the basic application note is garbage. (This solves many noise issues I had years ago).
audio  lm386  electronics  hackaday 
august 2017
Week notes — 29/17 – James Carruthers – Medium
James is keeping weeknotes on designing a product based around an EFM32 microcontroller - I enjoyed this first installment; it's nice to see how other people think about projects.
electronics  friends  design  product  microcontroller 
july 2017
HTMLE Helps To Make Life Easier by Gritfish
"HTML goes in, games come out. HTMLE is a project template and a set of scripts that take care of a lot of the work involved in setting up these tools and simplifying everything." Might well be useful for things that aren't games, too...
html5  games  development  javascript 
july 2017
Woodnotes: Laura Cannell’s monthly journal on music, wild animals and other adventures. - Caught by the River
Utterly lovely writing about music - and playing in Holy Trinity, Blythburgh - from Laura Cannell.
lauracannell  music  writing 
july 2017
How Checkers Was Solved - The Atlantic
"From 1950 to 1990, Tinsley had been the world champion of checkers whenever he wanted to be. He’d occasionally retire to work on mathematics or devote himself to religious study, but he’d eventually return, beat everyone and become champion again. In that 40-year span, he lost five total games and never once dropped a match." Brilliant article from Alexis Madrigal on the race to solve draughts/checkers, one man and his computer, and another man and his faith.
ai  games  religion  checkers  draughts  machinelearning  journalism  alexismadrigal 
july 2017
ArcControl for Ableton Live - YouTube
Sure, it's just a Max4Live device to map a monome Arc to parameters. But I love the detail and thoroughness in the implementation, and how tactile it seems - the varibright LEDs, and the number of them, help a lot there, as does the bidirectional feedback.
interface  interfacedesign  interaction  ableton  monome  max 
july 2017
Keynote Extractor
Latest OSXs only but: this does - with a nice template, and JSON options - what a pile of terrible Ruby I regularly update also does. I'd go with this over my terrible Ruby any day.
keynote  software  utilities  mac  osx 
july 2017
Design with web fonts in the browser - Typecast
Hadn't encountered this - interesting tool for sketching/prototyping type selections.
design  typography  fonts  web 
june 2017
One Weird Trick to Lose Size – Halide
Nominally, this is about making your iOS apps smaller, but it's actually a great piece on how to think about software design and production.
programming  development  software  ios  business 
june 2017
Is the Printed Circuit Board a Form of Musical Notation? | NewMusicBox
"In time I wasn’t plugging in my newly arrived modules so quickly. I was spending more time looking at them, admiring their structures, noting aspects unique to various individual companies. Some modules have lovely design flourishes, bits of fantastic line art right there on the circuit board, so enticing it threatens to give “cyberpunk” a good name all over again. Others have funny little phrases, puns on functionality, like where the power supply goes, or little axioms that both gently mock and encourage the beholder—Barbara Kruger by way of circuitry. This is what I now first look for when I unpack a new module." Really nice Marc Weidenbaum piece on the aesthetics and semantics of circuit-board design.
pcbs  electronics  music  marcweidenbaum  writing  circuitboard 
june 2017
Modularity in plugin design - Valhalla DSP
The kind of thinking that makes you appreciate a company's work: clarity of design, whilst understanding themselves as part of an ecosystem (as opposed to: wanting to be your everything). I really like Valhalla's products.
dsp  audio  plugins  design  architecture  valhalladsp 
june 2017
1968 Demo Interactive - Doug Engelbart Institute
Broken down, chapter-ified version of the Mother of All Demos (made by Bret Victor and Christina Englebart). And now easily pointed at.
dougenglebart  motherofalldemos  interactiondesign  design  technology  interaction 
may 2017
Demographics of the Disquiet Junto | The Ethan Hein Blog
I've fallen behind a bit, but Junto has been great for my musical output and also my approach to composition/recording/production. Ethan's survey captures some of the why - including the other great brains you get to run into doing it.
music  disquiet  disquietjunto  composition  production 
may 2017
Stack Overflow: Helping One Million Developers Exit Vim - Stack Overflow Blog
This is a nice write-up, and also a good reminder of why SO is popular and useful. And yet: I remember doing this job pre-SO. It was largely fine.
vim  programming  stackoverflow 
may 2017
What Animals Taught Me About Being Human - The New York Times
"You cannot know what it is like to be a bat by screwing your eyes tight, imagining membranous wings, finding your way through darkness by talking to it in tones that reply to you with the shape of the world. As the philosopher Thomas Nagel explained, the only way to know what it is like to be a bat is to be a bat. But the imagining? The attempt? That is a good and important thing. It forces you to think about what you don’t know about the creature: what it eats, where it lives, how it communicates with others. The effort generates questions not just about how being a bat is different but about how different the world might be for a bat." Animals as the emphatically non-human; as with all Macdonald's writing, great stuff.
helenmacdonald  empathy  animals  creatures  other  writing  otherness 
may 2017
In The Shadow of the Holodeck – Charles J Pratt – Medium
This is really good. I had some beginning-threads of thought at the time of the Bogost article that I just couldn't frame, and in the meantime, CJP has run with similar threads, a good dose of history, and come to some sharp conclusions, and basically reminded me what I actually think. So I'm just going to point at this to say "yes, I think this, and this is better expressed than I could ever have put it". Strong stuff.
games  narrative  charlesjpratt  ianbogost  writing  story  plot  interaction  design 
may 2017
The Tune Zoo & Other Stories – Extraordinary Facility
Excellent stuff - as always - from Matt B; I'm somewhat envious of his focus and the quality of his output. Nodded along heartily throughout.
music  design  mattbrown  interaction  play 
may 2017
charliesome/better_errors: Better error page for Rack apps
How did I not know this? Definitely better errors for Rack apps. Will be using in future.
library  software  programming  rails  ruby  rack  errors 
april 2017
DDS AHDSR for 5U modulars | MidiSizer
ATmega / DAC based envelope generator. Filed for reference.
microcontroller  electronics  synthesizer  diy 
april 2017
Paw – The most advanced API tool for Mac
"Paw is a full-featured HTTP client that lets you test the APIs you build or consume. It has a beautiful native OS X interface to compose requests, inspect server responses and generate client code out-of-the-box." Looks very impressive - and useful to be able to store previous queries for later.
paw  api  osx  http  tools  programming 
april 2017
meng qi "span" (live at cafa) - YouTube
Loving this short synthesizer performance from Meng Qi. Beautiful.
mengqi  music  synthesizer  module  contactmic 
march 2017
My Mains: Ryu ❤ – Medium
"If reinterpreting Ryu is a character design test, remaking Tatsu is like a designer’s Kobayashi Maru — you’re going to fail it no matter what, but the way you fail might teach you something." I enjoyed all of Patrick's post in this series, but this quote really leapt out at me.
ryu  fightinggames  games  design  streetfighter 
march 2017
Modern JavaScript for Ancient Web Developers
I still only like Node for Certain Shapes Of Problem, but I liked Gina's list of resources a lot. Filed away.
javascript  nodejs  writing 
march 2017
Presentation: The Sound & Music of Hyper Light Drifter
Rich Vreeland and Akash Thakkar on the sound design and composition for Hyper Light Drifter. Really good, straightforward talk about building a world through sound.
sounddesign  games  music  sound  richvreeland  disasterpeace 
march 2017
h.264 - ffmpeg generate higher quality images for MJPEG encoding - Stack Overflow
Tips for motion JPEG encoding. Given motion JPEG is the only really acceptable format for doing video inside Ableton Live - this is useful.
music  video  ableton  encoding  motionjpeg 
march 2017
George Saunders: what writers really do when they write | Books | The Guardian
George Saunders on writing, and the creative process. Brilliant, both as I'd expected, and in ways I hadn't.
georgesaunders  writing  fiction  creativity 
march 2017
#37220 (Improvement symlinks on wp-config.php) – WordPress Trac
Handling Wordpress configuration when you're pointing to symlinked files. This flummoxed me for a bit. Solved!
wordpress  unix  symlink  deployment 
march 2017
One thing | Ableton
Lovely short films about simple creative acts in the musicmaking process; more of Ableton's excellent commitment to useful, sharp content.
music  ableton  production  creativity 
march 2017
Slicing up Rails Application.js for Faster Load Times
A nice pattern for breaking out code that might only be specific to certain pages.
rails  javascript  performance 
february 2017
The Story of ORCH5 | Robert Fink - Academia.edu
This is fantastic, and a sound I've obsessed about the history of before: Fairlight Orchestral Stab 5, aka ORCH5. A paper that traces its history.
music  sound  fairlight  orchestralstab5  sampling 
february 2017
What a 15 year old girl taught me about tech. – designswarm {thoughts}
A lovely post from Alex about her week with a secondary school work-experience student - and on what she learned at the same time.
technology  culture  experiences 
february 2017
In Search of Post-Brexit England, and Swans - The New York Times
Finally got around to finishing this, and so glad I did. Thoughtful, gentle prose from the excellent Helen Macdonald.
nature  england  nationalism  brexit  culture  art  stanleyspencer  swans 
february 2017
Radiator Blog: "Press Forwards" and the pleasing death of agency
Nice writeup of "press forward" tracks in Trackmania from Robert Yang. I knew about the genre, but hadn't twigged that the key to its existence was that Trackmania's physics are deterministic. Which of course, makes sense, now I think of it.
games  architecture  robertyang  trackmania 
february 2017
asciimoo/wuzz: Interactive cli tool for HTTP inspection
Well that seems simpler than wrestling with cURL.
curl  go  cli  http  shell  utilities 
february 2017
How I wish /// Pawel Grudzien /// Live at the Preservation Room - YouTube
A really nice exploration of what live piano + electronics could be like. I'm not quite sure how I feel about the actual filming: there's a lot of modular on display, which is very analogue and visible, with all its sequencers... but there's also at least one midi controller visible and if it's talking to a computer... is it disingenuous to hide a laptop? Hmn.
music  electronics  live  performance  piano 
february 2017
A Life Lived Through Mahjong
Lovely article about Mahjong and its role within one family, and one man's life. Really good games writing. (Also, god, I miss playing Mahjong. I never got quite good enough, and still really want a set... and the the friends necessary to go with it).
games  writing  mahjong 
january 2017
gbevin/SendMIDI: Multi-platform command-line tool to send out MIDI messages
"SendMIDI is a multi-platform command-line tool makes it very easy to quickly send MIDI messages to MIDI devices from your computer."
midi  cli  shell 
january 2017
ongoing by Tim Bray · トリコ and Me
"Once the pro­gram­ming went wonky on me and Tri­co re­fused to jump up to that first wa­ter­fall for a sol­id half hour. But I sus­pect that any soft­ware suf­fi­cient­ly ad­vanced to do what Tri­co does at some point be­comes in­dis­tin­guish­able from a cat." Tim Bray on The Last Guardian
games  timbray  thelastguardian 
january 2017
PCBShopper » A Price Comparison Site for Printed Circuit Boards
Compare PCB fabrication around the world and get the cheapest for your precise needs. Useful!
diy  electronics  hardware  pcb  manufacture 
january 2017
Ready, Set, Oscillate! - The Mind of Bill Porter
Really fast digitalwrites inside Arduino code on Atmel chips.
arduino  digital  io  timing  microcontroller  firmware 
january 2017
Typora — a minimal markdown reading & writing app
Somewhat annoying website. But: really impressive new Markdown app - its view/hide source mode is in some ways nicer than Macdown/Mou, and it has detailed support of the Markdown 'spec'. Going to keep trying this whilst it's in beta.
markdown  editor  text  mac  app  application  osx 
january 2017
Spectacle, Speculation, Spam on Vimeo
I've loved Alan Warburton's work for a while, but this is superb: a talk, and a film, and it made me laugh and it's really on-point and just this, yes.
alanwarburton  cgwtf  art  visual  media  optical  software  ethics  criticalengineering 
january 2017
10 Great 2016 iOS + Android Music/Sound Apps
Marc's list of portable music apps for the end of the year. Filed away.
music  ios  apps  sound  marcweidenbaum 
january 2017
Daily Sketches in 2016 – Medium
Zach Lieberman on sketching. Really good - somewhat inspiring to see somebody so fluent in visually thinking in a single platform, but also good to see what Just Chipping Away looks like.
zachlieberman  openframeworks  graphics  code  programming  sketching 
december 2016
The Tune Zoo – Extraordinary Facility
Wonderful new work from Matt Brown. So much going on in here, and such thoughtful development process; I'm envious of Matt's eye, ear, and capabilities. Hope this does well.
tunezoo  extraordinaryfacility  music  apps  play  interactiondesign  musictheory  scales 
december 2016
FEEDBOXES are autonomous sound toys that play along with you - CDM Create Digital Music
Both the feedboxes, and the earlier feedback synth, are delightful. Something really nice going on inside this - the simple physical affordances of microphones becoming a playable part of an instrument.
pd  music  electronics  instruments  feedback 
december 2016
simeji/jid: json incremental digger
I really like jq, but this is a great tool for exploring JSON data - and of course, I love products you can explain with a gif.
jid  development  json  javascript 
december 2016
And Disquiet.com Turns 20 Years Old
"I try to write at Disquiet.com every day, and plan to continue to. I often quiet down toward the end of the year, making plans for the one to come. Another year lies ahead, a year of more daily recommendations of online listening, of interviews with musicians, coders, and artists (three categories that exist in combination far more than they did in 1996), and field notes. If you’ve read this far — by which I mean this article, not for two decades — I just want to say thanks. It’s a central pleasure of my life." I too have greatly enjoyed discovering Marc's writing - and the Junto. I might really have to do something about the absence of writing in my life again.
blogging  music  marcweidenbaum  writing 
december 2016
OMSynth miniLab - mehr DIY geht absolut nicht! | gearnews.de
Nice collection of videos on this page about the OMSynth, exploring building out some simple circuits.
synthesis  electronics  music 
december 2016
The Best Albums of 2016: #20 – 1 « Bandcamp Daily
Bandcamp's top 20 - and links to the rest of their top 100
music  bandcamp  endofyearlists 
december 2016
Project Adrift - making of
Phenomenal: David Cranmer on making the Project Adrift cylinder and recording/playback heads. Totally in awe of his ingenuity, skills, and patience.
projectadrift  davidcranmer  electronics  engineering  blimey 
december 2016
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