batt trees wreck wired

sir cut bent in strum ants hacked elect ran ick die vices pro jacks ex pair ah mints i daes etc


The Birth of Sancho Panza, a la Benjamin Button

Small Break for Maya...



Long Time, No C

It has been 16 months since I posted, but not to worry. I am ok. Just in a slight state of isolation from the e-world. I have been working on music intermittently, and am preparing for a rush back into the world of artisan instruments.

A bit ago, Jarrett D.'s dad made a cigar box guitar for Marissa P. I could not find a photo on Screaming Females blog, but I did find the picture posted above, a sweet ol' dude in Kansas, if I remember correctly, who made his very own cigar box banjo...

After seeing Marissa's new CBG and taking stock of how many cigar boxes I had, I decided to give it a go. Using the simple plan on, I put together my first CBG, Maya!

The good:
Reinforced string holes, ergonomic neck with matching finish, altogether awesomeness.

The bad:
Misunderstanding of proper measurements, neck not flush with body, a crappy hatch, and crappy hinges, replaced with good hinges, destroyed in a tragic telling-scary-stories-in-the-dark-at-Meat-Town-unhinging accident.

The ugly:
Built in Cassette Tape Distortion, crunchy sound, taped down, wiry mess.

All in all, it's a great effort; wonderfully playable with a slide in open tuning, and sexy, in a 1970's-tanning-ad kind of way.

Alas, it is time I go to bed. This post was not meant for Maya, but I am glad she got her time in the sun. This is all a precursor to my new CBG project. I will post my progress soon. Until then I can only tell you his name: Sancho Panza!


Butterfly Guitar

Did many things today, and bending this toy guitar from start to finish was one of them. I did a pretty ugly job but it sounds really nice. I will post better photos and some audio samples tomorrow.


AVR Programming Blues

I built an AVR Programmer from a kit. The electronics are definitely the easy part, but sadly not even half the battle. I have to install the firmware by booting from a Linux disc while doing all this other stuff I unfortunately dont understand. And THEN tackle that whole actual programming thing. The meat and potatoes of of it all are still way out of my reach, and it may be a while till I learn that Miso isnt a delicious Japanese soup and Mosi is not a typo of Miso. I guess I just SCK at programming. I am digging a hole in the GND with these bad programming jokes. Reset.


hllo hllo

this blog aint dead yet. after much adventure and circumstance I am finally building again! A quick run down of the past few months in pictures:

I tried to turn a volume pedal into a tremolo pedal by using a vactrol.

Which became this. BUT was a total failure.

Participated in Bushwick Open Studios with my lovely housemates.

this was before our apt had walls.

Sometime in August Ari asked me to teach a workshop for a bunch of 5-7 year olds in Newark for the Barat Foundation. This was truly one of the most fun (and exhausting) times Ive ever had teaching electronics. I breadboarded a few simple oscillator circuits and in place of the resistor that controls pitch, put two very long wires. I then had the kids draw picture with NO.2 pencil that was effectively one line starting at the edge of the page, like their names in cursive, stick figure people, flowers, or just crazy scribbles. By connecting one wire to the edge of their drawing, they can take the other wire and drag it along the graphite and play their drawing.

Some kids really got and Jathanel, who is in the video, was even asking me how to learn more about electronics! I gushed.

Later that month I set up the incredible GRL Laser Tag system at the Sound Liberation Front's party at Little Field down in Gowanus.

A few months later I got to take a workshop with Rob Hordijk, the guy who taught me how to build this, and Jokee Nies to build 2 totally bad ass noise machines. One is the Benjolin, the Mini-Runglers bigger badder brother, and the Zeitgeist, an INSANE delay module with photocell control capabilities. Both of these are legit synth modules with CV ins and CV outs (7 for the Benjolin!).

Its always great to take workshops in Harvestworks, with its dim light, complete lack of ventelation, and tangled mess of hot irons and piggybacked powerstrips.

I think that day I was on a ratio of 2 large coffees per circuit board soldered.

The Benjolin LIVES.

There was some trouble with the Zeitgeists, bad chips and what not, but luckily mine worked and I took home what would become endless hours of insane noise making.

I started jamming with my housemate Luke so we decided to start recording these sessions. No songs, just process. I will be posting more of these jams in the future but for now here is our set up. We also made one of these things.

There was a ton of other stuff that happened, but in terms of electronics the only one that really matters is that we built walls in my apartment and lofted my bed. No longer sleeping on the floor, I finally have a real workshop for the first time since I moved outta Jersey.

Whats even better is I cleaned it and organized the hell out of it.

The first project I finished was rehousing the Zeitgeist in a cigar box.

It came out great, and is the first project I have built that doesnt need batteries!