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


Ten years ago, while studying abroad in Chile, I took a class on Max at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. I was still learning Spanish, so a lot of the instruction was lost in translation for me, and I left the complexities of Max behind me.

I wish I could call myself an autodidact, but for some subjects, I do much better in a guided environment. So, over the past couple months, I took the plunge back into Max under the tutelage of exceptional Austin-based organization dadageek. The course lifted the veil and got me over the initial learning curve, and now I feel like I’m capable of continuing patching in Max on my own.

The course was fairly brief (3 hours a week over about 8 weeks), so I didn’t strive for anything too complex for my final project. But I’m excited to continue working on what I did whip together, which was essentially a quadraphonic implementation of @Rodrigo’s kitchen sink help patch for karma~.

These photos were taken last weekend at the student showcase, where I performed a brief set using the patch. I hope to have some audio soon.

Photos by Kristie Bocanegra.

Thanks @Rodrigo for designing such an awesome object. I look forward to further unraveling its capabilities.

Edit: Visuals in the background are by Kyle Evans, my instructor for the Max class and a talented artist. I had no idea what was displayed behind me until seeing the photos.


played a show this weekend where a small audience was wearing headphones :headphones: it was so soft and delicate, so amazing! :blush: pic from soundcheck


I really like this concept, of an audience listening through headphones rather than a speaker system. It really changes the frame of reference for what it means to be part of a live listening experience.

Were all of the headphones wired? How’d you set that up? Do you have any advice or lessons learned from the experience about how you’d do it differently—if you’d be so kind to share?


That’s what the yearly Placard festival has been doing for at almost 15 years now (typically 48 hours non stop of live performances for headphones, also streamed). I used to play there every year when I lived in Paris, but there have been instances of the festival happening all over the world. It’s really great, very different experience from a typical concert and enjoyable both for as audience and performer…


I actually also did a similar concert in an art gallery one time with all possible combinations of 4 musicians playing solo or together in a big transparent cube, with the audience around it and with headphones, that was very nice too…


Nice set up. Can I ask about the guitar? A 9 string with behind the bridge pickup(?)… I think you may have linked to these a while back but i cant find it now. An Australian luthier maybe? What strings do you have doubled? Also very interested in how useful is a bit of the behind the bridge sound in your mix?

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Tried my first live stream last night. Encouraging myself to explore my own creative practice by trying something new.


@sellanraa took some ‘action’ shots at the show we played together last evening. I’ll post my photos of him eventually but I have to get the film developed first, heh.


Thanks for the info! It’s an approach I might take for performances here in Austin.


This is where things happen.


That’s exactly it. It’s a nine-string custom version of the Harmonic Master by New Complexity, which usually comes in six- or twelve-string varieties. Lewis Waters is the luthier.

I believe Lewis has been continually updating the design of the Harmonic Master, but I’ll tell you about mine.

Yes, it does have a bridge behind the pickup. The set of normal pickups and the behind-the-bridge pickup have a separate output each, but if only one cable is plugged into the guitar, then both signals come through the single cable and are blended via the volume knobs. The harmonics that ring out in the behind-the-bridge portion of the string field can be tuned with sliding tuners.

I have the lower register strings (E, A, and D in standard tuning) doubled. Before buying the guitar, I was going back and forth between whether I wanted the 12-string (for lush chords) or the 6-string (for more hammer-on, pull-off stuff). Lewis thought, and I agreed, it’d be neat to find a happy middle-ground. So he built a version where those lower-register strings could be doubled, thus allowing for those lush chord voicings, while leaving the higher-register strings for noodling. He was able to space the strings just right, so if I want to make it a 6-string with standard spacing, I can.

Regarding the utility of the behind the bridge sound: It’s super useful. To my ears, it’s a much more lively sound when I employ those harmonics. Depending on the level of the behind-the-bridge output, I can get anywhere from bell-like tones to ringing, almost reverb-like shimmers. I also frequently strum or pluck the strings behind the bridge for zither-like sounds. And then, of course, there’s the whole split output, which opens up a range of interesting possibilities for effects routing.


And to counterbalance my verbose, picture-less post, here’s a photo from behind the booth this last Monday when I deejayed for the weekly experimental music series Me-Mer-Mo Mondays:

I was playing tracks from my computer and one turntable, with the ability to feed any of that audio into Grainfields in Ableton.


Unpowered gate to trigger module dead bug style. Amazingly it works tho it’s a total mess as I stupidly soldered resistors to the wrong legs 1st time round. Has my square wave lfo turning into nice clicks to trigger AR for gabber kicks:)


DIY Lunetta style modular synthesizer


Dual switch for quick cv/gate reroute from sequencer to touch plates. 0hp :stuck_out_tongue:


FINALLY got my LMNC ‘safety valve’ working after waaay too much dumb mistakes and troubleshooting bad solder joints. Seems to distort signals nicely. The pots crackle, the gain knob seems to be backwards and there’s some interference from either the PSU or the cheap chinese sinewave generator I am testing it with. Good job I’m a noise artist. Gonna make a faceplate soon. Originally wanted to squeeze it in 4hp but that was extremely wishful thinking


Too much diy here lately. :wink:
I am in love with this setup.


same here :slight_smile: though looking to replece nano with something that switches banks…

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And it is touching the plant :+1:


Can’t wait to get my Norns and add my small collection to the party. Norns, OP-1, APC20, and Modal Skulpt.