//// pictures of our sound-making machines ////

These are a few of my things.

From left to right:

Toy piano
Panasonic RR-930 microcassette recorder
Yamaha MG06X mixer
American Printing House for the Blind 5198A
Peavey PVi2
Bastl Microgranny
Casiotone MT-100
Tascam Portastudio 414
A few random personal tape players
Alesis Wedge


First tests with the Elektrofon Klang! Brilliant module - just need to learn some chords now :-).


Vacation setup for a couple of days this past week. Created some early morning music for maybe the first time ever here.


Nice setup!
What’s that mechanical keyboard?
Do you use it with Live?
I’d like to have one but I’m not sure which one for Mac+Ableton.

Thanks! It’s a vortex core. I brought it along in case I wanted to do any norns stuff that required it. I like it–the base is a nice aluminum and it has very simple industrial design/color scheme. I think it fits well next to the monome things both in terms of the look and feel, as well as the fact it is so tiny and portable–easy to pack and also easy to fit on a table if you have a crowded live setup.

I use it mainly with my teletype. I did use it for work and general computing to get used to it (which you’ll need to do, as a lot of the keys have two or three purposes that you access with the Fn and Fn1 keys).

As far as vortex goes, if you want something super compact, the core is the best, but they have 3 other sizes (+ number row (pok3r), + function row and arrows (race 3 – this would be my preference for general computing), and + numpad). It looks like their new tab series has usb-c connectors and includes both the primary color and greyscale accent keys, but unfortunately swaps out the nice looking aluminum base for plastic.

Tons of options for switches that have different feels. If you really want something aesthetically pleasing, check out ortholinear layouts (though I’m not sure how annoying they are to use in practice). There’s really a ton of options and ways to configure. Good luck!


Also, check out @andrew’s Synecdoche for a cool way of using a keyboard with ableton.


oooo - clicky mechanical keyboard + synecdoche sounds v nice


My father played acoustic guitar some time ago, but no longer had the time or space to keep his instrument. He gifted me a beautifully crafted guitar that is frankly too good for my skill level. I love how sympathetically resonant it is — it sings the same way a piano does with the sustain pedal down. Lots of fun noodling and sampling ahead of me!


Oh dear, that’s quite the gift! Congrats! I think every guitar (barring ones with exorbitant inlays and gold for the sake of gold embellishments) are appropriate for all skill levels. That’s a beautiful instrument and guitars don’t care if your strumming two chords back and forth… in fact you got yourself a folk song there. I’ve played guitars from entry level to close to the level of the Larrivée and, to me, the mark of those high craft instruments is that they get the heck out of your way and let you play.

Even though your skill level may not be high, you absolutely benefit from not having to tune the thing constantly, being comfortable while you play, and the fact that it sounds amazing without putting a ton of work in post.

Don’t shy away from your skill level, own that gift! (cause technically you do)


Thank you for the kind comment. I mostly feel humbled, but imposter syndrome did peek its nose there. The great irony of that fear is that people are more likely to perceive you as inauthentic or as an imposter if you overcompensate by attempting to control the way people perceive you — lâcher prise is the way to go. I’m super happy to have the privilege of playing this instrument, and certainly won’t hesitate to play the heck out of it!

Your thoughts about the quality of guitars ring true with what I’ve been told about bowed string instruments, which makes me think this is true with acoustic instruments in general — better instruments get hinderances out of the way and are more comfortable, which is something that beginners and experts are both able to perceive (although beginners don’t necessarily have the same ability to qualify and quantify it). Loving the sound of your instrument definitely helps pulling you towards practicing it too!


Some ideas, in addition to “learning to play the guitar” (i.e. learning your standard chords), that might open up its sound world more quickly:

  • Open tunings, especially ones that let you have a constant drone in the lower 2-4 strings while you play the others. You can get a lot of mileage out of this without too much experience.
  • Tuning 2 or more strings to the same pitch, slightly detuned, to get richer sounds, beating, etc. Be sure to tune strings down, not up (Of course, make sure you can tune your guitar before you do both of these!)
  • Learn your barre chords; this will let you play many many songs, at least in the pop/rock tradition.
  • Harmonics are pretty and really satisfying

None of this is obscure: I’m sure the more experienced guitarists here will have more tips.

I have an acoustic guitar my sister gave me when she traded up that I used to play a lot. I should get it out again…thanks for the prompt :slight_smile:



Is this meant to be played like a marimba?

Woah it looks like a marimba merged with a tongue drum, so cute!

its an Osi Drum from the 1970s… basically a tuneable tongue drum
bit of demo here:


New apartment and my triangle of fun


MacBook Pro with Logic and Ableton Live/Max; Mac Mini with Finale & synth editors; Akai APC40, Novation Impulse 61 controller, Roland A-88 controller with Yamaha TG-33 and Roland XV-2020, Roland electric piano, 3 EWIs (Akai 4000s, Yamaha WX5 with tone module and WX-11 with tone module WT-11), Keith McMillen SoftStep, Yamaha MFC-10, an old home organ… plus guitars and saxophones…


ok, so to follow up. I ended up buying a 9-24v dc psu from goobay. One of those with replaceable tips that fits lots of different devices. Replaced the “tip” with a tuchel connector (grounded positive!) and that was it. Ended up costing me around 30 euros.

I sense a theme there :thinking::smile: