Soundflower + mobile audio

Having recently upgraded to an Apple notebook (woohoo!), I am learning the ins and outs of being mobile as I setup my new machine for work and for play.

One thing that was annoying was having to unplug my audio interface when I wanted to take my computer anywhere away from my desk.

On Saturday, I was sick in bed with time to finally work on some music. But, being in bed, I did not have my audio interface connected.

Usually that means that I would need to reassign all audio outputs in my sequencer to the built-in outputs to work on music. And change them all back when I wanted to work at my desk.
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freeform mix 21 Oct 2006

la_vache.jpgGrowing up in suburban New Jersey, it required a lot of work to learn about new music. Record buying trips to New York City were my surest method of locating releases that I may have heard mention of, but never actually saw in stores. The situation is very different now, of course, but in high school, I was still a few years away from even discovering Usenet newsgroups and Mosaic was a novelty. My musical curiosity couldn’t be satisfied easily for reasons of age, location or budget. The record industry may bemoan the explosion of music on the internet, but it has become much easier for music lovers to discover new or historically overlooked music. Back then, “Google” was not yet a verb, and research often required gas money.

In this context, discovering free form radio was nothing short of miraculous to my young brain. WFMU ( was transmitting weird, cranky, funny, obscure, impossible music. And I could drive around quaint, quiet and boring suburban New Jersey while listening to sounds that I never imagined possible, hosted with unapologetic strangeness.

This mix does not come near the eclecticism of WFMU, by any means, but it is my own exercise in mixing and sequencing across genre.


download: freeform_mix_21Oct2006.mp3 (104.39MB)
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Soundwalk 2006

Downtown Long BeachFor anyone who may be in the Long Beach, CA area next weekend, I will be participating in Soundwalk 2006 on October 6th and 7th.

From the press release:

On October 6th and 7th, 2006, the Long Beach artist group, FLOOD, will present SoundWalk2006, the third annual SoundWalk event, that will feature returning artists as well as new participants from the Southland and International sound art and multi media scene. The event kicks off Friday evening with performances by sound artists, presented in a theatrical forum. Saturday’s event operates under the concept of a one-night aural/visual experience as provided by a walking-tour of the sound installations located in various indoor and outdoor spaces situated throughout the East Village Arts District in Downtown Long Beach. The artworks will combine in multiple ways a wide range of visual and audio components. There will be sculptures, environments, installations, and performances. It is the variety and innovation of works that makes the event memorable for all who visit.

I am working with Harry Um (restlessears). This is our first collaboration.

Dubstep mix, 28 June 2006

Trying to do my part to spread the sound.

Since I don’t have a proper dj setup, I tried making a mix in Ableton Live. Obviously I am missing something crucial because it seemed much more difficult that it should have been. Many times, I wished I could touch the vinyl and nudge things a bit here and there. I never figured out what to do in Live to do what I wanted.

So, the mix is a bit rough in spots, but it gets the idea across. I hope a few bad transitions don’t ruin it for anybody.

[update July 1, 2006] Well, since this was a digital “mix” I was able to go back and edit some of the rough spots a bit. It feels like cheating, but I think that it’ll be better for the listener. Also, encoded as slightly better quality mp3.


download: dubstep_mix_28-June-2006.mp3 (46.63MB)
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Skanking happiness

Poorman StyleI recently digitized my vinyl copy of Barrington Levy’s Poorman Style album and I have been enjoying it tremendously. The combination of the Roots Radics band, Barrington, and Scientist is so sweet and heavy. The tempos are slow, the basslines are irresistible, and Barrington Levy’s delivery is so direct and earnest that it doesn’t even matter what the lyrics are. And as if that wasn’t enough, one of my favorite dub specialists, Scientist, peppers the whole affair with subtle dubwise interventions throughout. For those who are familiar with Barrington Levy, there are plenty of whoa-yoii-yeeeaaa’s but not so many woodly-oodly’s in this session.
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Dubstep addiction

I have been quickly developing an obsession with a strain of UK club music known as dubstep/grime/sublow, etc. Grime’s vocal artists have had some limited exposure in the US — Dizzee Rascal and Lady Sovereign — but my dubstep curiosity has been harder to satisfy. It has been a long time since I have kept current on any kind of “dance” music, but my interest has now been captured.
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Quiet mix

quietmix.pngThis set was originally intended for the “quiet” room of an art and music event that happened in Berkeley. As it turns out, I was too busy with the logistics of the event to make my appearance in said quiet room.

A couple of years later, when a friend generously lent me their 1200s and a mixer, I jumped on the opportunity to finally execute this mix. I added a discman and another cd player to handle any digital to digital transitions, and I went for it.

This was a Christmas gift to my three bandmates a few years ago. I still listen to it on occasion. I hope you enjoy it.


download: quiet_mix.mp3 (71.47MB)
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