16 October 2010

Tutti Box

Tutti Box
The Tutti Box is the first in a series of CCCL scratch-built, self contained, experimental sound generators.

I built this unit specifically for Cosey Fanni Tutti (hence the name) to perform with at the upcoming Throbbing Gristle shows (details at throbbing-gristle.com).

Tutti Box consists of five oscillators. Three of these VCOs are connected in a feedback loop with the output of each affecting the frequency of the next, with a master oscillator modulating the first VCO in the chain. The master oscillator can also be modulated by an 8 step sequencer. The step sequencer cannot be programmed but has various preset patterns - forward, reverse, follow, random etc. The sequencer has a speed control; from zero (no steps) to audio range (in effect it becomes as a sixth oscillator).
The fifth VCO is connected to the joystick controller, with the X and Y axis varying the frequency and volume. The joystick oscillator can also modulated by a small touch sensitive steel coil next to the joystick.

The oscillator bank feeds into two circuit-bent effects units. The first is a multi effect with switchable and variable delay, chorus, phaser, flanger and pitch. This feeds into a digital reverb which has various modes: halls, rooms, springs. The effects chain has a separate feedback loop for introducing distortion and extreme feedback.

The lid of the Tutti Box includes a small but powerful 'performer facing' amp & speaker and an 'audience facing' 6" plasma display. The display uses a mixture of Neon, Argon, Krypton, Xenon and Nitrogen to produce blue lightning strands triggered by the sounds generated.

Tutti Box is powered by standard 9v power supply and includes a standard jack socket for connecting to a PA system.

You can see a video of it in action here: http://www.vimeo.com/15879508

or here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-G5HHAziJw

18 July 2010


These are some of my new TipTop Eurorack synth modules.

I wasn't planning on adding these to my fledgling CCCL modular system... just yet. My original plan was to use my current funds to buy a new MacPro (to replace our old & failing G5). However, Apple still haven't released their new MacPro models and I found the temptation to get these to strong to resist. Now I just need to start saving for that new MacPro again…

The next modules to be included in the system will be of the self-built DIY variety - and a couple more TipTop modules... coz they're fantastic!

Sound examples will follow in the coming months.

New video clip here: http://www.vimeo.com/13883538

I am not affiliated with, or sponsored by TipTop in any way, I just really like their wonderfully versatile modules. tiptopaudio.com

26 June 2010

no MIDI no keyboards UPDATE

There's an interesting piece over at CDM on the portable set-up I used for 'no MIDI no keyboards' (below) - and other works in that series... well if you could call it a series, or a work.


30 May 2010

no MIDI no keyboards

I've been at it again...

While sorting out what gear to use for my upcoming visit to STEIM in Amsterdam I recently recorded a short low-key live improv set straight onto my Zoom H2 recorder.

I generated some rhythms using two Kaossilators - going through two mini KPs, and manipulated some bass loops with a Korg KP3 pad. I had a Chimera BC16 synth (the LFO and the ADSR) voltage controlling a BC9 synth and two Eventide stompboxes. I synced and beat matched on the fly using 'tap-tempo' buttons on the Korgs and Eventides.

Equipment shown:
Two Kaossilators, two mini Kaoss pads, a KP3 Kaoss pad, a Tom Bugs WOM synth, Chimera BC8, BC9 and BC16 synths, two Zoom PFX-9003 effects, an Eventide Modfactor, an Eventide Timefactor, a Dirty-Carter E.S.G.I synth, a portable Edirol mixer and a Zoom H2 for recording.
No MIDI, keyboards, laptops or desktop computers were used.

The recording can be heard here:

Another photo is here:

I guess you could say this is a sequel to my 'no Guitars' set-up from 3 years ago:

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chris_carter_/2325924725/

Audio: "http://soundcloud.com/chris_carter/experimental-tribute

12 March 2010

my little Synthi AKS

Well it looks like my quest to get an AKS is going nowhere fast. I can't believe how may scammers and ne'er-do-well's have been in touch, or I have contacted, supposedly selling a Synthi. Anyway... I'm on Robin Wood's list for one of his new AKS units - but we'll see how long that takes, it could be quite some wait I'd think.
In the meantime I've decided to forego any opportunities that come my way and instead invest my hard earned cash in some other piece of music related hardware. So unless you are selling an original, pristine, fully working, 'as new' AKS for a lot less than 3K (the price Robin Wood is asking for a brand new model) don't bother getting in touch.

In the meantime I got a nice Synthi AKS miniature in kit form recently - click below for a high-res photo.
EMS Synthi AKS

A limited number are available in kit form from SDIYcut

14 January 2010

Looking for an EMS Synthi

For some time now, well since I sold all my analogue and modular synths back in 2007-8 - a moment of madness I'm still trying to live down - I've been hankering after another EMS Synthi... specifically a Synthi AKS, or Synthi A. I used to have an EMS Synthi VCS3 back in the mid-late 70s' and I loved it, but had to sell it just before we started TG (that's another story).
But since selling much of my old analogue gear last decade I've been looking to buy a self-contained analogue synth that I could travel with and the Synthi AKS would be ideal for my purposes. I've come across a few over the years, some utterly knackered (technical term), some pristine and some outrageously overpriced but I've always missed out in some way on a sale. The market value of EMS synths has risen exponentially over the last 10 years and some currently go for crazy prices, usually in bidding wars on eBay. Where frankly these things can get totally out of hand in the heat of the moment. Which is typical of most auctions I've attended, virtual or not.
When I was in LA a couple of years ago my friend Lustmord mentioned that he was selling his Synthi AKS but at the time I wasn't in a position where I could make a decent offer for what was a really nice unit. As is happened he sold that AKS last year for $7k, on eBay. Like I said, some sell for outrageous prices.
Well I think i've waited long enough now so I'm putting the word out there that I'm 'seriously' looking to buy a Synthi... though I can't go to $7k and I don't really want to bid on eBay but I will consider most sensible proposals for a decent unit. Also I'd rather buy from the UK, or maybe Europe, but no further.

Contact me at: chriscarter23 at mac dot com

I am already on the waiting list for Robin Wood's new batch of AKS & VCS3 units.

EMS Synthi AKS