How NOT to sell your obscure self-released industrial CD.

Matrix ran a link today to this Denver outfit, called Revolution State.

Right there, on the front page, frontman Ben Pebley runs his Livejournal. In which he:

(1) complains that he can’t figure out how Trent Reznor manages to give away his music for free.

And (2) bitches “I hate audacious bastards that think they are somehow “entitled” to steal our music. There is NO reason in the world that anyone is entitled to steal our music. It’s only $10 for our CD for fucks sake!”

Sorry, Ben, with all due respect, you’re doing this incorrectly.

I’ve never heard of you. And since the mp3 samples on your “discog” section are broken links, I still have no idea what your work sounds like. Without some reference, I’m not inclined to drop $10 on your CD. Just trumpeting your love of Einsturzende Neubauten and Coil won’t quite do the job. You still have to get people to notice you. Living in Denver won’t help either–have you toured on the East or West Coasts lately?

Perhaps the “provegan animal liberation revolution” needs some work.

(Message to Dave Lovelace: read their Livejournal and tell me what you think.)

why a different keyboard design?

It is funny to see people criticize alternative MIDI keyboards. At least they are meant to be easier to play.

I can prove that the piano keyboard was a bad idea, its easy. See this?

It’s a finger stretcher for pianists. I don’t think there’s a similar torture device for other instruments.

Supposedly Robert Schumann ended his playing career with one of these by injuring his right hand.

Face it, the traditional piano keyboard is a BAD DESIGN. Its great that some companies are taking a chance and offering a better design.

You can read more here.

Tapdrum — a DIY kit

It’s been around for several years. There is an AOL homepage from 1999.
The guy who runs this is named Urip Wisnuardi, I think he’s Indonesian. He also sells OEM GPS modules.
A Tapdrum board accepts up to 8 analog inputs from piezo sensors (or whatever–you could feed audio into it if desired), from which it generates MIDI note and velocity data. More than one Tapdrum circuit can be daisychained together to obtain more than 8 inputs….video here.

Anyone built this? Share your experiences.

The Tonal Plexus IS shipping….

I just heard from Aaron Hunt, the head of H-PI Instruments. He says that their Tonal Plexus MIDI controller has been shipping since last October, in the 2-octave and 4-octave form.

$1292 is really not much to pay for a PROGRAMMABLE microtonal keyboard that can do ANY scale, with 422 keys (!). In fact, that’s a steal.
tonal plexus layout
Think about it–the next instrument up that can do this, the Haken, costs THREE TIMES as much as the Tonal Plexus. Not sure if the C-Thru can do programmable scales.

Plus, microtonality makes it more flexible than the other alternate keyboards, which H-Pi lists here.

(No idea the Terpstra cost $10,000. Still no idea if they shipped any.)

I am very tempted to get a 2-octave Tonal Plexus. No, this is not an advertisement. It would be interesting to see if it can give full effect with popular MIDI-CV converters like the Kenton.

Aaron’s site also has a section on microtonal keyboards of the past. READ IT.

The Ohm

Apparently is now shipping–announced last year: The Livid Ohm Controller
Ohm controller
Pretty! Sexy too! Unfortunately I can’t tell if it can be programmed to put out MIDI note-on and note-off from the keys. It is oriented toward DJs who use software, specifically Livid’s, which is included, in which case an $899 price is a screaming bargain. (Don’t ask about Linux usability.) They also have another key-to-MIDI board for DIYing, which is “shipping soon”:

What makes me sad: when CDM ran an article about the Ohm last year, their comments section filled up with sleazy trolling. Scroll down to read it. Little shits. It’s a miracle that Livid manufactured this controller, most software-oriented companies can’t be bothered to make hardware. No wonder there aren’t more alternate controllers available…..put one out, stand back and watch as faceless bastards attack you in comment areas.

Still looking for an alternate MIDI controller

Forgot to check Doepfer. It’s great that Dieter is doing something different, and for that I salute him and encourage him.

The CTM64 is not only available now, you can even buy the separate parts and piece them together as needed. It handles up to 64 button inputs.
Doepfer CTM64
If you want to make an alternate controller, this looks to be the least costly way. The CTM64 main board is $135 from Analogue Haven. The 8×8 square matrix button board is 125 euros direct, ask Analogue Haven if they have them. You can always create your own. I’m thinking of getting a CTM64 and designing a PC board for a keyboard with a staggered key arrangement, using these tact switches. Caps are available for them—in 6 colors.

Now, if only Dieter would put out that touchplate keyboard he keeps showing……


the crackionet from dave wright – audio sample (work friendly)
combo cracklebox with the analog peasent’s idea of using electret mic
played like an ocarina – right hand holds and plays mute pushbutton
right hand holds unit and plays the contacts
sing/blow into microphone
made with a few trash spare pcbs and some standoffs
so its like some kind of wind instrument my ass