North Coast News

Level up on circuit simplification
2018 Sep 22nd

Level up on circuit simplification

In my last entry I talked about the rules for simplifying series and parallel circuits. Two resistors in series can be replaced by one with a value equivalent to the pair of them; two in parallel can similarly be replaced; there are other rules… [Read more]

Walking the hypercube
2018 Jun 20th

Walking the hypercube

Here is the skeleton of a four-dimensional hypercube, or tesseract, with the vertices labelled by musical note names. No label is used more than three times, and out of the 24 two-dimensional faces of the tesseract, on 18 of them the note nam… [Read more]

Alternate harmony with additive synthesis
2018 Apr 22nd

Alternate harmony with additive synthesis

Much of musical harmony comes down to combining notes that share harmonics. Sounds produced by (some...) physical objects typically have consistent waveforms, where each wave is the same shape as the last. That is also typical of modular-synth osci… [Read more]

Frequency, latency, and uncertainty
2018 Apr 8th

Frequency, latency, and uncertainty

Some wigglers want "fast" envelopes that will turn a signal on and off without any delay and without any perceptible clicking sound. Some wigglers want spectral effects, like frequency shift or vocoding, without any latency between the input and… [Read more]

Live-coding a permutation-based fugue
2018 Jan 28th

Live-coding a permutation-based fugue

If you've been following North Coast for a long time, you may remember the live video streams I did back in 2016. This week I spent some time getting the software and hardware set up to do that again, which pretty much meant starting over from… [Read more]

Listening to the Mandelbrot set
2017 Dec 31st

Listening to the Mandelbrot set

Okay, it's New Year's Eve, I'm overdue to write this week's Web log entry, and the topic I wanted to write about is held up because of (among other things) a package that apparently was stolen from my front porch after it was "delivered" during my… [Read more]

Maximizing inharmonicity
2017 Dec 17th

Maximizing inharmonicity

As I've said before, I'm interested in slow ambient drones - sounds that smoothly change their texture over a period of time without any sharp boundaries or beats. If you have something like this playing in the background, I want for it to never… [Read more]

Ribbet!
2017 Nov 12th

Ribbet!

The Leapfrog VCF does not actually go "ribbet," at least not without some effort. But after being told by one friend I showed it to that most people don't want to make real music with their modulars but just want something that goes "uuuuuuuuuuuL… [Read more]

Preferred values for resistors and capacitors
2017 Oct 29th

Preferred values for resistors and capacitors

You've probably noticed that although resistors and capacitors come in many different values, some of which seem like they could be randomly chosen, there's nonetheless some sort of logic to it. You'll see power-of-ten sizes like 1kΩ, 10kΩ, 100kΩ… [Read more]

Notes on notes on the plane
2017 Oct 1st

Notes on notes on the plane

I finally got the Leapfrog prototype PCBs from Shenzhen, so I hope to have some progress on that very soon. Meanwhile, Muffwiggler is still down, and the word is that it's because Mike is in hospital. Everyone's thoughts and prayers are with him… [Read more]

Fun with fractal chord progressions
2017 Sep 17th

Fun with fractal chord progressions

I make a lot of music that is intended to be "ambient": something you can put on in the background and have it create a mood without demanding conscious attention in the foreground all the time. I'm also interested in automatic generation: I'd like t… [Read more]