Sony Walkman-Sequenced Gakken Synth, by Gijs Gieskes

WalkSX from Gijs on Vimeo. As the Sony Walkman turns 30, many of the mobile cassette’s fans wax nostalgic. But it takes Gijs Gieskes to wire up a new Rube Goldberg-style musical instrument based on the Walkman’s simple tape playback. Follow along carefully through the signal flow of this unusual instrument: 1. The Walkman has audio on the tape itself, sampled from a Roland TR-808 drum machine. 2. Because a compact cassette has two tracks (left and right, for stereo), one track is dedicated to the drums, another to the rim shot. 3. The rim shot track is fed as …

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8-bit Visuals with Bit Shifter, flight404, noteNdo – Because Processing Can be Lo-Fi, Too

Bit Shifter & Flight404 • “Feedback” / “Flight Risk” from Bit Shifter on Vimeo. It’s not just sound going chip, lo-fi, retro. Live visuals are, too. With Jaymis at Brisbane’s Game On fest and New York’s chip blowout the Blip Festival coming up next week, it seems a perfect time to look at some inspired 8-bit visuals – call them, instead of chiptune, chipviz? Both are set to the wonderful sounds of Bit Shifter, a star of the 8-bit scene if ever there were one. flight404 aka Robert Hodgin is known for lush, digital videos, the very opposite of lo-fi. …

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Video History Lesson: Consumer Video and DRM at Dansdata

I think we’ve probably got a couple of years of tape-based video cameras left, but it’s starting to look like solid state is becoming a serious option for consumer use. So while we wait, Dansdata has a great history of home video, with a dose of DRM thrown in. Tivo is finally about to launch in Australia, which is great, though I’m happy with my XBox Media Centre. What are the web’s finest video geeks using for their media consumption?

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Musical, Audio Graffiti; Mobile Music and Crackleboxes

Graffiti with audio tape instead of paint. High-tech graffiti is all the rage these days. Alongside various forms of LED graffiti and “photonbombing” with non-intrusive video projections, some artists are moving to the medium of sound. It’s not quite the same as the geniuses risking their lives to tag subway cars and long-forgotten tunnels, and it’s totally separated from the culture originally formed around graffiti, but in this post-modern age, I guess you take what you can get. Regine at We Make Money Not Art reports on two audio graffiti schemes presented at the Mobile Music workshop in Amsterdam. (There …

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Maker Faire: Giant Bicycle-Part DJ Looping Reel-to-Reel Tape Deck

Reel to Wheel is a massive sound-making device built from bicycle parts and a dismantled reel-to-reel tape deck. Move around the absurdly over-sized controls, and its analog inner workings groan and creak their way through recorded sound. Move the wheel at the right speed, and you get an effect quite like scratching — or, since it’s tape, it’s really “scrubbing.” Reel to Wheel Project Page, with wonderful hand-drawn illustrations featuring Hank the Dummy. The project, shown last weekend at the Maker Faire, is the creation of Sasha Leitman, Steven Backer, Jesse Fox, and Jen Carlile at Stanford University’s Center for …

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Delia Derbyshire: Reel-to-Reel Beat Matching Virtuosa

Delia Derbyshire really does remain the unknown genius of early analog music (unknown outside of Doctor Who geeks and, erm, this site, anyway). And she could beat match on reel-to-reel tape decks — several at a time. This is apparently the year 1968, when such things weren’t exactly commonplace (thanks, Stabilizer; I had to get this one out of comments and onto the main site): The piece in question is Pot Au Feu, an incredible piece of early electronica that’s, surprisingly, not nearly as far lesser works. To dig into the Delia back catalog, head here: Delia Derbyshire: An audiological …

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