The iPhonarium

A new instrument I’ve developed over a year, the iPhonarium includes 4 interlinked iPhones, mini-keyboard controllers, a wind controller interface and an audio mixer, all in a small wooden box I can carry under my arm. This photo shows an early version, when it only had 1 keyboard:

An early version of the iPhonarium

In effect, I’m running 4 tiny computers each with 24 to 126 music apps on each. There are some really outstanding synth apps out there, covering every different type of sound generation, including my favorite, physical modelling. This gives me great flexibility plus redundancy: if one phone goes down, I can move to another in seconds.

The whole setup, including my amp, is battery-powered, so don’t matter if AC power is available or not. Here’s a video where I accompany poet Janet Hamill. This setup used voice harmonization and 2 keyboard-operated synths:

This synth can also be placed in the center of a small table and played by up to 4 people at once. That’s the Jam Station incarnation. I entered this in the 2016 New Jersey Makers Day and won $50 for “Best Thing That Makes Sound”!

The iPhonarium at New Jersey Makers Day, 2016

Swabbing out a bari sax

And they said it couldn’t be done!

Homemade Leak Light

For occasional home use, it’s handy for a sax player to be able to check for pad leaks. Here’s one I built for just a few dollars, it’s long enough to check my bari and skinny enough I don’t have to remove any pads to use it.

Leak Light

I started with a coat-hanger, straightened it out and bent a small crook at one end.
I wrapped it with two-strand wire. The gauge is not too important. Both voltage and current are low.

At the unbent end, I soldered a battery adapter. 9-volt is convenient because you can just clip it on to turn it on.

At the bent end, I glued a grain of wheat bulb. I used a 12 volt lamp with wire leads. Using it with a 9-volt battery will help it last forever.

Leak Light Bulb

The main down-side is you have to use it in a dark room. Works for me!

New Music Concert Series

Early-onset dementia? Hereditary insanity? Whatever the cause, I am hosting a new music series starting this September. The Ivanhoe Artists of Paterson are allowing me to use the Ivanhoe Wheelhouse, a 19th century mill building with excellent acoustics. All concerts take place on the 3rd Sunday of the month at 1pm.

The focus for this series is a cross-genre survey of experimental music, including free jazz, new classical, electronic and ambient styles. Most of the musicians will be from New Jersey, but I’ll also be showcasing some artists from New York and Pennsylvania.

If this sounds suitably quixotic, please give the Facebook page a Like, or go to the web site and subscribe and you’ll get concert announcements as they happen. Thanks!

Facebook: musiXplore FB

Web: musiXplore main site

Mirror of VL1 patch site added

Ken Berry has been maintaining a page of patches for the VL1/VL1m since 1995. He has very graciously allowed me to mirror this part of his site, ensuring better availablity of these patches to VL1 users. VL1 Patch Mirror

Tedesco Studios

My band ArtCrime recorded a new album for the Unseen Rain label this week and the sessions were at Tedesco Studios in Paramus. Tom Tedesco has been running this homey place for 20 years. I recommend it for several reasons.

He has a really nice selection of choice instruments. A very good Steinway, a Hammond B3 and a funky old Wurly E.P., among others. His gear is very good: a classic 1940s Neumann condenser, a beautiful Neve console, individual headphone mixes for each performer. The location is ideal for anyone coming from Manhattan or New Jersey.

But the best, I saved for last. He has a 20th anniversary special on: $250 for an entire day. You can record for a week and it will cost the same as 1 day at a studio in the city. Tom is knowledgeable, laid-back and a pleasure to deal with.

Tedesco Studios

Korg X50 and MicroX Shared Multisamples

If you’re trying to move patches between the Korg X50 and Korg MicroX, they will only sound the same if they use the same multisamples. Most, but not all of the same multisamples are available on both machines. Here is a PDF that lists the common voices of both machines:

Common Multisamples

If your patch uses an unshared multisample, you should to edit the voice before moving. This will change the sound, but the resulting sound will be the same on both machines.

If the multisample is has a spelling difference (i.e. “Vibraphone 1” on X50 vs “Vibraphone” on MicroX), you should edit the patch after moving it. I have not listened to all the samples on both machines, but I believe the spelling is the only difference between them. The patch should sound exactly the same or very similar.

ArtCrime Website

I put together a web site for ArtCrime last week:
There’s new music on the Music tab from our recording session of Jan. 30, 2011. Enjoy!

ArtCrime Samples

Samples of ArtCrime’s music are available for your listening pleasureĀ at
the music tab of this web site. I recommend you choose the “Highlight” versions where available. Let me know what you think…

ArtCrime – New Performance Ensemble

Arising out of the Bergen County Experimental Musician Meetups, there is a new experimental performance ensemble in Northern New Jersey: ArtCrime!

We held our first practice today, which went really well. We probably have the seeds of three pieces from what we worked on today. Members to date include Bob Siebert on kalimba and circuit-bent keyboard, Darren Bergstein on rhythm and effects, Steve Orbach on sopranino sax and rhythm, Frank Joliffe on guitar and myself on keyboard and baritone sax.

New practice is next week and we’re looking forward to see what we can do with this grouping of individuals.