Saturday, February 28, 2015

Haunted update and Cracklebot unchained

There are little news concerning recent instruments.

First off, I updated Haunted Jukebox, signature set. I fixed a bug in generator engine and added some new functions in setup panels. These are somewhat cosmetic updates and they only really concern signature version, as other versions don't include setup and configuration panels.

Also I bundled special version of Cracklebot noise machine with Haunted Jukebox album. I nicknamed it "Cracklebot unchained", the only difference from regular versions is, that "unchained" bots do include setup and configuration panels (just as Jukebox signature), so one can experiment with different generator engine settings.

I posted two "guided tour" videos, where I play with Cracklebot configuration. I used Youtube annotation system to comment on what is actually happening. See, if it looks like fun or not.

Haunted Jukebox album including signature set and Cracklebots unchained set, is available on Bancamp, for whatever you think, it is worth.

I'll be manually sending download links to those, who already supported this experiment. If, somehow, I omit someone, feel free to write me. You will find contact e-mail in included text file.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Cracklebot Red

I had a couple of new ideas while playing with Cracklebot noise machine that I posted yesterday. They spawned a modified version of the instrument, which I labeled Cracklebot Red. To find what a cracklebot is, please read previous post.

Changes in red edition:
  • used 4 convolution units instead of 2, replaced the delays, this needs considerably powerful CPU,
  • reverb mixdown knob now controls return of all 4 units, delay mix knob is replaced with dry signal level knob, so now you can listen to just wet output of all reverbs, which is what I was aiming for,
  • there are now 12 layers/tracks per groove instead of 9,
  • there are small adjustments in groove generation constraints, larger possible sequences, different possible sequence speeds, etc.

Download here. Free to get and making noise with.

The archive doesn't include the manual, so if you really want to read it, get the regular bot.

Further late night experiments, took me to yet another incarnation of the machine. I wanted to see, how would it sound like, when pushed to 8 convolution reverbs and 16 layers, with more relaxed groove generation setup and different, evolving modulator signal distribution. If you're into evolving weird ambiances and have lots of CPU cycles to spare, you may see, if you can get it working.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Cracklebot - vinyl noise machine

Cracklebot is automated drum machine based on vinyl noise samples. I sampled worn and dirty, empty grooves from my vinyl collection. Lead-ins, lead-outs, silent parts in between tracks, those have been chopped to 115 short slices or pops, crackles, scratches and noises. Cracklebot is sequencing them into tempo synchronized, noise grooves. The machine can create new, random patterns on a single click, so it's quite fun play with.

It looks and sounds like this:

This virtual machine requires full version of Native Instruments Kontakt 4.2 or newer. It's (Cracklebot, not Kontakt) free to download and use in your music. Right here - 4MB. Includes short confusing manual in funny English. Have fun.

Also check further mutations of the machine:
Unchained - with configurable sequence generators.
Red and Violet - for ambiance cracklescapes.

Monday, February 9, 2015

A Touch of Junk

"A Touch of Junk" is a little set of unusual, found-sound percussion samples captured with contact microphones. It has similar vibe to Junk Percussion set, but the "touch" set is captured straight from the surface. Here's the list of objects being hit, scratched, shaken or bowed: an old baking pan, large pot lid, roast rack, a short glass, a tall glass, wooden bar, a wrench, plastic ruler, plastic bottle with carbonated water. The last object was particularly fun to play with as the sound would depend on inside pressure or the angle the bottle was held.

Here's a sound example. And another one. These rhythm patterns have been created with Haunted Jukebox, Kontakt based, auto-drumming machine. The machine is auto-applying some effects, but it will give you the idea.

There are 145 samples in WAV format, 16 bit, 44,1 kHz. They are free to get and use in any kind of music you see fit. Have fun. Download here - 13MB.

If you have full version of Native Instruments Kontakt sampler, version 4.2 or newer, you may try to play with jukebox machine, here's a version configured to make use of touch of junk samples. This is free to get as well, you just need to download both files, Kontakt program and the samples. Then unpack samples to "samples" folder. Here, you can find more information about this virtual auto-drumming machine.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Haunted Jukebox - sound exploration device

Haunted Jukebox is experimental automaton for generating abstract noise grooves, that I have built in Kontakt sampler. It is not quite a musical instrument, it doesn't take notes as input, rather it works as a jukebox, it takes a number and plays a groove. It generates pure machine music, calculating a sort of composition derived from input token. User can select the token using set of 25 buttons, each button representing single bit in token number. Then the machine creates a program for 8 track step sequencer and modulation programs for each layer, using step sequenced modulators that I used before in Quescape or Bleepman. Each of 8 tracks / layers has 12 independent modulation sequencers running at different speeds and different program length. So generated groove can get quite sophisticated. To make it more funny the machine also generates a name for each groove. It is possible to mix different tokens across layers, which can be done manually or automated with 'evolution' function which will gradually change grooves. All grooves are synchronized with host tempo. Here's a video of the machine in action:

If you'd like to get into details, try these fairly confusing manuals in funny English: operator's manualservice manual.

The machine requires full version of Kontakt 4.2 or possibly newer and considerable amount of CPU, also it relies on transport synchronization with host. It might happen, it won't initialize properly in certain hosts, at least until you start playback. In short, it may or may not work for you, you will need to find it out experimentally.

I created several different setups, which are using different sample sets and different groove generation settings.

Minimal Noise Set is made, as the name suggests, of different noise fragments. This is 10MB download and is free to get and use to make noise, privately or commercially.

Junk Percussion Set is using junk percussion samples that I recorded some time ago. It's also free to get. The download doesn't include the samples, which you need to get by separate download here. Unpack samples to 'samples' directory.

Third download is set of example configurations which are using Kontakt factory samples. Obviously this download also doesn't include samples, you will need to let Kontakt find the samples in factory library. This will work in Kontakt 4, I'm not sure how about Kontakt 5. XT set is special configuration which has 12 layers instead of 8. Extra layers are not quite editable, as the GUI is designed for 8 layers, but they are there and machine will fill them with grooves.

If you like the idea and the machine works for you, you may want to get 'Signature edition', which is available as Bandcamp album bonus, for what you think it's worth. This version, besides special sample set, will let you access configuration menu's (fine-tune engine, midi learn for keyboard automation, groove generator setup). Have fun.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Alimchord: Paranoid Edition

This is follow up for Alimchord, imaginary musical instrument for Kontakt. It is built on samples from 7 tone kalimba and a wooden stick captured using various configurations of contact microphones. Paranoid edition has more controls, more samples and a preset memory function.

There is 290MB load of 96/24 wav samples, in three velocity layers and up to nine algorithmic round robins. It sounds somewhat different from regular model, percussive sound partials and release noises are the same, but tone partials is significantly more detailed. It is available as Bandcamp album together with three demo tracks, for whatever you think it's worth (when you download whole album you get samples and Kontakt patch as a bonus). Note that you need full version of Kontakt 4.2 or newer to make it work. Also, this instrument can consume a lot of CPU, there are multiple sample layers and three convolution reverbs in use, if you have doubts, try regular edition first.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Alimchord is rare electroacoustic keyboard instrument. Few units have been produced in Poland in late 60s, however most of them broke down rather quickly. Today, I'm happy to bring it out of obscurity with a Kontakt based emulation. It does mimic most of 262144 valve switches combinations, although some of them appear to be broken. Here's screenshot and sound example.

Operating the instrument is quite simple, the set of switches will change the sound, in more or less apparent way each combination has a unique vibe. Two additional switches can be used to reset pattern or shuffle switches in random way. Ambiance knob will set the amount of ambiance effect, Stereo adjusts microphone placement and panorama and Tension will influence keys sensitivity, like a velocity curve.
This fine instrument is available free of charge, get it here, 15MB compressed archive. You need full version of Kontakt 4.2 or newer to make it work. Note that due to its triple convolution design, it is not recommended to those faint of CPU. Have fun.
If you like to have more control and more detailed sound, try paranoid edition.