audiokayness (the phantom annex)

Junctionaire One

Most if not all of the conventioneers in their funny hats and cars.  Goofyness and such like.

Or in more detail from the link:

A vast tangle of open air feedback. El cheepo karaoke machine, Radio Shack Sound Center toy mixer/amp, Monotron, Dora the Exp. karaoke echo mic gizmo, Spy Voice Changer, Rap Mic, ham radio echo mic, phone tap pickup, various mini amps and speakers, Realistic Stereo Amplified Listener, Barbie Sputnik.

Again 29 Times

If this all looks like some absurd dress rehearsal, well, umm, huh … 

In any case, two rather old pieces of goofyness can be seen in action.  The aforementioned toy echo mic gizmo type things.  The Monotron does the filter thing.

Also for fans of slow playback, VLC, glitchy video FX in lieu of lava lamps and so on, there’s that.  Barbie Sputnik, heard from the wings, does a walk on.

All Goofyness Shall Be Revealed #7 3/8ths - the Radio Shack Disco Amp

Arguably enough goofyness has been herein revealed for any & all to go forth and build their own sonic ark of the covenant.  Still, one can never be sure.

Thus we have yet another goofy amp, the remaining item of a once proud holiday toy whatzit dealie that made it to a Disabled American Veteran thrift store in Hampton VA.  Or so the keepers of the legend hath ordained. 

How can one know it’s a *Disco* amp?  Says so on the back panel.  Meanwhile, please note the increasingly decreasing prices, 95 cents, no—55, no—a quarter.  Ah, grease pencil …

The fourth pic shows it with LEDs blazing.  Feedback, yay!  (The blue mic here is not original stock.  No mic came with the amp.)

The fifth pic, a closeup of the lit up LED grill, hopes to be the blue screen insert for many an Internet adventure.  Have fun.

All Goofyness Shall Be Revealed #7 - goofy amps and speakers in general

Hate to cause anyone’s head to explode.  There just may be too much goofyness here to safely comprehend.  Maybe it would be best to turn back now, seek the comforts of home & algorithm.  No?  Very well then …

Above is what I loosely refer to as the old gray (or grey) Radio Shack mini amp.  But it has a name: Realistic Micro-Sonic Speaker-Amplifier.  Back when such a thing could be had, it was model 277-1008. Some say that it was the product of alien technology captured by the Allies and/or forged in the same fires as Excalibur.  Uhm, possibly.  I found this one years back at a some handy guy’s yard sale, with an EICO tube tester and such like.  It definitely looks and sounds like a transistor radio, inspiring similar love & reverence.

Nowadays, the same model number corresponds to the also very awesome goofy mini amp here that composer/author/homebrew ‘lectronix provocateur Nicolas Collins can tell you all about. 

Yes, with the el cheepo Karaoke machine and the circuit bent Spy Voice Changer, the well beloved HoneyTone and various bits of amplification I didn’t get around to photographing, these little amps are funky, flexible means of both amplitude and characterization.  You can put something like a Zube Tube or a goofy toy “echo mic" on them.  Wrap them up in a winter coat or lower them down a well.  Or, er, um, maybe not, but generally speakering, explore.

Any of these amps that comes with a speaker output, like the newer 277-1008, or is hacked to have such an output, can also sound like whatever speaker you want.  Small, large, raw or enclosed, in good shape or punctured or covered with noisy objects—player’s choice.  And again if one were to sojourn to Collins’ site or read his book, there’s stuff about driving piezo discs which can make any light, compliant object (plastic cup, cardboard box and so on) into a speaker.

While many parts of this were mentioned in previous goofyness, just wanted to make sure.

These are also largely the pleasures of home recording goofyness.  Except in quiet parlors of focused listeners, these sounds may prove too delicate for live venues.  Yr. mileage yada & so on.


10 plays

More Than One Orchard

Lots of feedback you bet.  More varied in source.  Spy Voice Changer feeding back open air, picked up by Ham Radio mic & fed into amps great & small.  Barbie Sputnik also.  Plus whole Crowbar setup with X-911, Philtre, Luxo reverberation.

All Goofyness Shall Be Revealed #6—the Ham Radio micDunno, could be intended for CBers.   Or all comers.  And I’ve yet to do more than guess why it has a bucket brigade delay built in.  Just glad it does.Added control for controlling delay time on the fly (originally was a set and forget trim pot).  It has a VU meter (obscured by glare in this photo; over “MODUL” in upper right) to read, revel in or ignore. Used many times in not too distant past.

All Goofyness Shall Be Revealed #6—the Ham Radio mic

Dunno, could be intended for CBers.   Or all comers.  And I’ve yet to do more than guess why it has a bucket brigade delay built in.  Just glad it does.

Added control for controlling delay time on the fly (originally was a set and forget trim pot).  It has a VU meter (obscured by glare in this photo; over “MODUL” in upper right) to read, revel in or ignore. Used many times in not too distant past.

All Goofyness Shall Be Revealed #5—the Barbie Sputnik

Yep, the circuit bent Barbie Karaoke gizmo. 

Seaweed Factory’s Fancy Lady Delay is a high steppin’ rackmount cousin to/inspiration for the decidedly more ad hoc Barbie Sputnik.  Also the good folks at Casper Electronics have lots of info on Barbie Karaoke bends. 

Oddly, there must be some kind of Borgesian back story on the circuit board revisions of this echo enabled widget.  The Sputnik’s board is indeed very similar to, but distinct from the Fancy Lady’s, and further still from the Casper E. version.  As I was lucky to even suss out enough to do what I did, I’ve no documentation to offer you (or myself, at some later date).

Such mystic goofyness being the case, don’t bother reading the crude labels in the photos above.  Suffice to say that on the right panel (starting at the upper left corner) there’s a mysterious feedback mode selector knob at, a trim for the mode selected (very context dependent yada yada), a master on/off toggle for the mode, a fine-ish delay time knob, three dangling touch wires for slowing or speeding up the delay time, a coarse delay time knob, and a right hand 1/4” speaker out.  The left panel has a single trim control for two fdbk. points, switchable by the two toggles below it, and another point with on/off and trim.  Plus a left 1/4” speaker out.

The Sputnik was named (not by me, but by a seraphim) for its satellite-like appearance with switches & knobs protruding. 

All Goofyness Shall Be Revealed #4—the El Cheapo Karaoke Machine
Okay, this gizmo has a specific model number and such, but a casual search will mostly yield a few of its cousins as offered on eBray.
This splendidly out of focus photo reveals the one and only as somewhat modded; left of the cassette bay doors, the delay time knob can adjust to absurdly crunchy extremes. 
In general, aside from being a very handy, if informal, amplifier, its super fun whining, aliasing delay is a joy to hear.  One note in becomes two notes out, the new one delayed.  Plus the drone of the clock speed which is audible at any but the shortest delays.  As expected, the pitch of the drone and the aliasing both depend on the delay time and are thus tunable.  What more can one ask for?Haven’t used it much very recently, but for some time before, I couldn’t not use it.  Go back a ways, it’s everywhere.

All Goofyness Shall Be Revealed #4—the El Cheapo Karaoke Machine

Okay, this gizmo has a specific model number and such, but a casual search will mostly yield a few of its cousins as offered on eBray.

This splendidly out of focus photo reveals the one and only as somewhat modded; left of the cassette bay doors, the delay time knob can adjust to absurdly crunchy extremes. 

In general, aside from being a very handy, if informal, amplifier, its super fun whining, aliasing delay is a joy to hear.  One note in becomes two notes out, the new one delayed.  Plus the drone of the clock speed which is audible at any but the shortest delays.  As expected, the pitch of the drone and the aliasing both depend on the delay time and are thus tunable.  What more can one ask for?

Haven’t used it much very recently, but for some time before, I couldn’t not use it.  Go back a ways, it’s everywhere.



All Goofyness Shall Be Revealed #3—the Crowbar 3 x 3 mix matrix
There’s an expression.  Good/fast/cheap:  pick any two.
In the above blurred & distorted photo is a very DIY, use whatever’s handy, quick and dirty implementation of the passive mixer matrix.  It’s a simple but flexible gizmo wherein any of the inputs can be variably applied to any of the outputs. 
The long casing, the potentiometers, the 1/4” inputs and outputs are scavenged from two old widgets meant for who knows what.  One widget gave up its casing and both lent the rest to make this.  No holes had to be drilled (two extras are covered in electrical tape), no other hardware acquired.  I wouldn’t speak to its looks/durability/reliability/ergonomics, but it works.  Some of the recent things posted here have put it to use.
There is a sturdy, more classically constructed, non-goofy example of a 3 in/3 out mixer matrix here, which has found a very good home indeed.Again the idea for this comes via Nicolas Collins’ Handmade Electronic Music.  After a few years of my thinking about getting around to it, it took maybe an evening or so to make.


All Goofyness Shall Be Revealed #3—the Crowbar 3 x 3 mix matrix

There’s an expression.  Good/fast/cheap:  pick any two.

In the above blurred & distorted photo is a very DIY, use whatever’s handy, quick and dirty implementation of the passive mixer matrix.  It’s a simple but flexible gizmo wherein any of the inputs can be variably applied to any of the outputs. 

The long casing, the potentiometers, the 1/4” inputs and outputs are scavenged from two old widgets meant for who knows what.  One widget gave up its casing and both lent the rest to make this.  No holes had to be drilled (two extras are covered in electrical tape), no other hardware acquired. 

I wouldn’t speak to its looks/durability/reliability/ergonomics, but it works.  Some of the recent things posted here have put it to use.

There is a sturdy, more classically constructed, non-goofy example of a 3 in/3 out mixer matrix here, which has found a very good home indeed.

Again the idea for this comes via Nicolas Collins’ Handmade Electronic Music.  After a few years of my thinking about getting around to it, it took maybe an evening or so to make.

All Goofyness Shall Be Revealed #2—the Luxo Lamp spring reverb
The above photo is snagged from the good folks at Luxo, but in lieu of an endorsement deal, this’ll have to do.Often referred to here as the piezo driven Luxo Lamp spring reverb, it begins as any old Luxo lamp with spring loaded arm segments.  A sound signal from a Monotron or whatnot is fed into a small amp of some kind.  I generally use this Radio Shack mini amp that Nicolas Collins mentions in his Handmade Electronic Music book.  (Something basic built around an LM386 chip will also likely do.)   It has a speaker output and that signal can be run through an audio transformer to drive a piezo disc to vibrate.   (Indeed, Collins describes this whole arrangement with the amp, the transformer and piezo disc driver in a tutorial video.) Anyway, clamp one such vibrating piezo driver to one end of a spring loaded Luxo lamp.  That makes the lamp—springs & all—vibrate.  And clamp a piezo disc mic, say, on the far end of the lamp from the driver to pick up the vibrations.  That mic signal is the output of said piezo driven Luxo Lamp spring reverb.  Maybe feed it into another mini amp or amp or use it DI.Now technically what most folks call a spring reverb is more sophisticated.  Mine is a broad minded and somewhat ironical application of the term.  Like a “real” spring reverb would have a direct uneffected signal with which the effected one could be blended as desired. 
A mixer and such could wangle that. But Collins presents the piezo driver as a sort of sound alteration device and I take it as such with few amenities.  If I say Luxo Lamp spring reverb, that’s probably exactly what’s transpired without a direct signal in parallel. 
Even with the Crowbar mix matrix or whatnot to create some sort of blend, the whole value of the Luxo rig hereabouts is its funky Gilligan’s Island coconut radio pollywollycrappyness of tone, its spiky uneven response.  This ain’t no Altiverb.
The fact that it sounds wonky or might feedback etc., such things are features not bugs, opportunities not problems.  Along similar lines, other objects like little paper Dixie Cups and plastic jugs etc. can become speakers with piezo drivers.  Happens all the time.  Again this is all from Collins, who is in turn shouting out to David Tudor.

All Goofyness Shall Be Revealed #2—the Luxo Lamp spring reverb

The above photo is snagged from the good folks at Luxo, but in lieu of an endorsement deal, this’ll have to do.

Often referred to here as the piezo driven Luxo Lamp spring reverb, it begins as any old Luxo lamp with spring loaded arm segments.  A sound signal from a Monotron or whatnot is fed into a small amp of some kind.  I generally use this Radio Shack mini amp that Nicolas Collins mentions in his Handmade Electronic Music book.  (Something basic built around an LM386 chip will also likely do.)   It has a speaker output and that signal can be run through an audio transformer to drive a piezo disc to vibrate.   (Indeed, Collins describes this whole arrangement with the amp, the transformer and piezo disc driver in a tutorial video.)

Anyway, clamp one such vibrating piezo driver to one end of a spring loaded Luxo lamp.  That makes the lamp—springs & all—vibrate.  And clamp a piezo disc mic, say, on the far end of the lamp from the driver to pick up the vibrations.  That mic signal is the output of said piezo driven Luxo Lamp spring reverb.  Maybe feed it into another mini amp or amp or use it DI.

Now technically what most folks call a spring reverb is more sophisticated.  Mine is a broad minded and somewhat ironical application of the term.  Like a “real” spring reverb would have a direct uneffected signal with which the effected one could be blended as desired. 

A mixer and such could wangle that. But Collins presents the piezo driver as a sort of sound alteration device and I take it as such with few amenities.  If I say Luxo Lamp spring reverb, that’s probably exactly what’s transpired without a direct signal in parallel. 

Even with the Crowbar mix matrix or whatnot to create some sort of blend, the whole value of the Luxo rig hereabouts is its funky Gilligan’s Island coconut radio pollywollycrappyness of tone, its spiky uneven response.  This ain’t no Altiverb.

The fact that it sounds wonky or might feedback etc., such things are features not bugs, opportunities not problems. 

Along similar lines, other objects like little paper Dixie Cups and plastic jugs etc. can become speakers with piezo drivers.  Happens all the time.  Again this is all from Collins, who is in turn shouting out to David Tudor.