Daily Ambient, now on Archive.org

I just uploaded all the Daily Ambient work from 2012 to Archive.org. Check it out!

https://archive.org/details/dailyambient-2012

I’m moving all the podcast permalinks over there as well for a more permanent hosting solution.

 

We need more open source hardware

This post is an idea that has been bouncing around in my head for some time now.

In today’s technological environment, it’s quite normal for technical projects to have an open source component. With the new opportunities created by the Creative Commons copyright schemes it’s easier than every for manufacturers to release all or a portion of a product into the open source space.

Why then have musical equipment manufacturers not picked up on this concept? Well a few have. Some notable open source hardware products include the Preen FM, Shruthi-1, as well as a wealth of other DIY and modular gear. There is also the Korg Monotron, which famously has an easy-to-mod PCB, for the likes of circuit benders and those who would like to add more functionality to the unit.

Probably the best and most successful of these however was enabled by fate, and not design. The MPC1000 made by the Japanese company Akai, has alternate third-party firmware, which can be found on about 80% of second hand MPCs. The new operating system called JJ OS was created by a programmer who formerly worked for Akai, and ostensibly stole the technical specifications of the machine. Even though I’m sure this is in gross violation of intellectual property rights, it is still quite popular. I’m sure this is no small part because the new OS has increased sales of the MPC1000. I don’t have any numbers on that claim, but I do know that it is a highly sought-after sequencer, and retains a much higher price on the second hand market than other comparable sequencers.

Why then do other large instrument makers not follow suit? I think the answer is simply that many of them are dinosaurs, who really don’t know much about their target market. Think of a big digital synth like the MS2000. How amazing would it be to be able to modify it’s complete software. Even small things like bug fixes, that Korg will never get around to due to there being no money to make in it. I own an ms2000, there is a bug in the arpegiator sync that causes it to run about 50 ms after the beat. This is probably a very easy fix, but as the unit is old there is no motivation for Korg to address it.

Devices with simple hardware, and powerful and flexible software are all around us now. Why can’t we tweak and customize them all? Why can I not download the source code for my coffee machine’s microcontroller, and modify it to make it more customized to what I want from it? I could turn around and share my code, and in the process increase the desirability of the device. Everyone wins!

Korg did it right with the monotron. They saved money by not implementing every feature they could, they make the PCB simple and easy to mod, and by doing that they have created a much more flexible and desirable machine then a single team of engineers ever could alone.

The future is here! Lets do it!

 

Day 73

Play

Across the hedge.

Gear Used:

  • Logic Pro
  • Sculpture
  • Space Designer
  • Zoom H1
  • A Kindergarten

Day 72

Play

Fireflies along a dense wood.

Gear Used:

  • Logic Pro

Day 71

Play

Marks left by intention.

Gear Used:

  • Preen FM
  • MS2000
  • CZ-101
  • RV-7
  • Behringer V-Pro
  • DOD analog delay
  • 8 channel mixer
  • Numerology
  • Zoom H1

Day 70

Play

Stories at night in the forest.

Gear Used:

  • Preen FM
  • MS2000
  • CZ-101
  • RV-7
  • Behringer V-Pro
  • DOD analog delay
  • 8 channel mixer
  • Numerology
  • Zoom H1

Day 69

Play

The changing intersection of earth and sky.

Gear Used:

  • Preen FM
  • MS2000
  • CZ-101
  • RV-7
  • Behringer V-Pro
  • DOD analog delay
  • 8 channel mixer
  • Numerology
  • Zoom H1

Day 68

Play

Tracing a curve.

Gear Used:

  • Preen FM
  • MS2000
  • CZ-101
  • RV-7
  • Behringer V-Pro
  • DOD analog delay
  • 8 channel mixer
  • Numerology
  • Zoom H1

Day 67

Play

Streaming water over stones.

Gear Used:

  • MS2000
  • Space Designer
  • Logic Pro

Day 66

Play

Forming metal with hands.

Gear Used:

  • Preen Fm
  • MS2000
  • Space designer
  • Logic Pro
  • Numerology

Day 65

Play

Sharp pain after numbness.

Gear Used:

  • Preen FM
  • CZ-101
  • Space Designer
  • Colorflex

Day 64

Play

A work in stone.

Gear Used:

  • Preen FM
  • Logic Pro
  • Colorflex
  • Space designer

Samples from Freesound:

Day 63

Play

Vibrations felt through concrete.

Gear Used:

  • Numerology
  • Preen FM
  • DOD R-870
  • Logic Pro

Day 62

Play

A day in trains.

Gear Used:

  • Preen Fm
  • ER-1
  • RV-5
  • Logic Pro
  • Numerology

Day 61

Play

Time lags behind the body.

Gear Used:

  • MS2000
  • Logic Pro
  • Numerology
  • Preen FM
  • RV-5
  • Behringer V-Pro

Day 60

Play

Uncertain parting.

Gear Used:

  • Preen FM
  • Numerology
  • RV-5
  • Reaper

Day 59

Play

Tracing lines of reflected light.

Gear Used:

  • Zoom H1
  • Reaper
  • Numerology
  • Preen FM
  • RV-5

Day 58

Play

A familiar place.

Gear Used:

  • Reaper
  • DS-8

Day 57

Play

A day from long ago found again in different form.

Gear Used:

  • Casio CTK-601
  • Numerology
  • Reaper
  • RV-5

Day 56

Play

Hot green sun.

Gear Used:

  • Preen FM
  • Reaper
  • Numerology
  • Casio CTK-601ole

Day 55

Play

Warm salt dissolving in air.

Gear Used:

  • Preen FM
  • Reaper
  • RV-5
  • Numerology

Day 54

Play

Hollow halls and stained glass.

Gear Used:

  • Preen FM
  • RV-5
  • ER-1
  • Numerology
  • Reaper

Day 53

Play

Bright lights offshore.

Gear Used:

  • Preen FM
  • Reaper
  • Numerology
  • RV-5

Day 52

Play

Wind over dunes.

Gear used:

  • Preen FM
  • RV-5
  • Numerology
  • Reaper

Day 51

Play

Sand and vegetation.

Gear used:

  • Preen Fm
  • RV-5
  • Numerology
  • Reaper

Day 48

Play

Sun heat on skin.

Gear Used:

  • Preen FM
  • RV-5
  • ER-1
  • Reaper
  • Numerology

Day 50

Play

Frog Song.

Gear Used:

  • Preen FM
  • Reaper
  • Numerology
  • RV-5

Day 49

Play

Small stones down a well.

Gear Used:

  • Preen FM
  • Reaper
  • Numerology
  • RV-5

Day 47

Play

Water from underground.

Gear Used:

  • Preen Fm
  • Reaper
  • Numerology
  • RV-5

Day 46

Play

Keys under cloth.

Gear Used:

  • Reaper
  • Numerology
  • DS-8
  • RV-5
  • Ultra Analog

Day 45

Play

Paint on metal.

Gear used:

  • Reaper
  • Numerology
  • RV-5
  • DS-8

Day 44

Play

Pillars of glass.

Gear Used:

  • DS-8
  • Numerology
  • Reaper

Day 43

Play

Looking at stars through water.

Gear Used:

  • ER-1
  • Preen FM
  • RV-5
  • Numerology
  • Reaper

Day 42

Play

A space around.

Gear Used:

  • DS-8
  • Preen FM
  • RV-5
  • Reaper

Day 41

Play

Clouds like sea foam.

Gear Used:

  • Preen FM
  • ER-1
  • RV-5
  • Reaper

Day 40

Play

Leaves falling in sunlight.

Gear Used:

  • Preen FM
  • ER-1
  • RV-5
  • Reaper
  • Numerology

Day 39

Play

Shards and reflections.

Gear used:

  • DS-8
  • Preen FM
  • ER-1
  • RV-5

Sorry for the delay on this one. I was traveling between Europe and the US. Not an easy task with a 6 month old baby. :) Don’t worry though. Tomorrow I’ll catch up. ;)

Day 38

Play

A metallic glint underwater.

Gear Used:

  • Logic Pro
  • Sculpture

Day 37

Play

The crawl from black.

Gear Used:

  • Preen FM
  • Numerology
  • Reaper
  • Logic Pro

Day 36

Play

Foot traffic.

Gear Used:

  • The Swarm
  • Spiral
  • Logic Pro
  • Circle

Day 35

Play

 

Rivers of starlight.

Gear Used:

  • MS2000
  • Spiral
  • Logic Pro

Day 34

Play

What’s left when sun grows red.

Gear Used:

  • MS2000
  • Logic Pro
  • Spiral : Reaktor

Samples from Freesound:

Day 33

Play

Diffuse light.

Gear Used:

  • MS2000
  • Logic Pro
  • Nodal

Day 32

Play

House of thieves.

Gear Used:

  • MS2000
  • Logic Pro

Day 31

Play

Forgotten homecoming.

Gear Used:

  • MS2000
  • Logic Pro
  • FAW Circle

Day 30

Play

A past lies in wait.

Gear Used:

  • MS2000
  • Logic Pro

Day 29

Play

Rain outside the window.

Gear Used:

  • MS2000
  • Logic Pro

Day 28

Play

Light bends through drips.

Gear used:

  • Logic Pro
  • Drumspillage
  • Circle
  • Scuplture
  • Space Designer

Day 27

Play

Reduced to sand.

Gear Used:

  • MS2000
  • Preen FM
  • RV-5
  • Behringer V-Pro
  • 8 Channel mixer
  • Logic Pro
  • Numerology

Day 26

Play

Ascending through stone.

Gear Used:

  • MS2000
  • Preen FM
  • RV-5
  • Behringer V-Pro
  • 8 Channel mixer
  • Logic Pro
  • Numerology