Thu Apr 04 2019 20:45:00 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)
Earlier this month at the end of a Dorkbot meeting, somebody had a chunk of dry ice. I put it into the empty popcorn bowl and recorded it.
Click the link above or listen to it here:
Sat Nov 17 2018 15:55:50 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)
TL;DR - I archived 78 episodes (~150 hours) of a radio show and you can listen to them here.
It was probably 19 years ago that I discovered the FM station WCSB streaming on the internet. It was a special time, those Napster days when the internet still felt like something new...and most people were still on dialup or at best a home DSL connection. 1999 held all kinds of new opportunity to discover exciting things in a newly connected world...like finding an mp3 of a rare/hard-to-find b-side or having your head melted by stumbling into entirely new genres of music.
For me, listening to audio streams on shoutcast/icecast and direct from a few misc sources was a crucial part of that exploration/growth/discovery.
The "Noise Rotation" (sometimes fondly called the "noise rot") on WCSB was a 2-hour block of specialty programming that rotated its DJ/host each week. I have no idea when it started or ended, but I can say that it was alive at least from May 2000 through May 2002. I enjoyed listening to it because I could catch bands that I was familiar with (like Negativland and Foetus, for example) followed by a 40 minute wall of droney noise and shit that I'd never heard of. The freeform nature of the programming was really inspiring, and completely different from the college station I volunteered with. It seemed like they could get away with anything!
These days, many radio stations keep archives of their shows, and you can listen to them on your own time. Hell, some shows are just podcasts now that happen to also be broadcast on the FM band and the internet at certain times. But back then, storing and indexing and making a nonstop rotating archive of material was rarely feasible. Also, storage was expensive (a 20GB hard drive might have set you back about $120). For me, I just wanted to listen to shows on my own schedule...so I began recording.
I'm sure that I had a cron job set up to just begin recording the cbr stream and dump the output to a file (probably using wget or curl). Due to the somewhat chaotic nature of college/community radio and computer time drift, I started recording a few minutes before and let it run a few minutes late. Even then, I'm sure that I missed content.
I blogged about the Noise Rotation back in early 2001 and hadn't thought much about it since. At that time, I was excited to have edited down 24 hours of material by trimming and removing ads/commercials. I'd listen to a show every few years, but mostly since access to everything is so plentiful and the quality is greater, I didn't revisit it much.
I'm pretty sure that I stopped recording the show in May 2002 when we moved back to Oregon and just never set it back up.
This year I found the recordings again and decided that enough time had passed that others might now find them useful/fun/important/historical. I spent many many nights trimming the rest of the episodes and normalizing/preparing them for upload. I decided that in the interest of historical preservation and to expedite editing, that I would not remove any host chatter and I would leave all the station IDs and event announcements and disclaimers in place. I removed dead air a few times though. :)
In the process of working the recordings, there were a few interesting times...like the time where the prior (blues?) show just continued because the Noise Rot person didn't ever show up. I'm pretty sure daylight savings bit me on a couple of the recordings, and one of the hosts just talked more than he played music. I think the station went off-air at least one time as well.
The final result wasn't that much data by today's standards (only about 1.6GB), but I couldn't imagine creating each item by hand using the web interface on archive.org. Luckily, tools exist to help with this stuff, so I hacked up a script to help automate things. The first attempt at upload/archive failed after about 3 or 4 files due to automated spam throtting...but a quick email to a support admin at archive.org fixed things up and I was able to complete the process the next day.
I ended up having 78 usable recordings, which comprise about 157 hours of noise. Click here to enjoy or just click the logo above.
Wed Feb 24 2010 00:53:44 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)
Infiltration Lab played a live, hour-long drone/noise set on KBOO FM on February 1st, 2010.
In the unfortunate event that KBOO loses funding or they change their url scheme or de-archives material or bombs hit Portland or whatever, I have also archived the show on archive.org. Hopefully this embedded player continues to work:
A few random tech details: I played the set on my audiopint computer that I built a couple years ago, running some Pd patches that I designed specifically for this show. As usual, the computer (as underpowered as it is!) had no problems keeping up. All sounds in the recording were rendered through Pd in realtime. Some audio material (for the granular synthesis) was taken from a(n unnamed) commercial recording, and the spoken sample material was mixed blind (previously unheard by me) from a psychological tape sourced at the Goodwill bins.
This piece is intended to be a contrast of sorts, a juxtaposition, and an overt psychological response to the reflection of time collapse. There really is no time. If your current self could revert to its earlier self in an instant, what would that event sound like?
Many thanks to Sean for having me. May radio live on!
Wed Jun 24 2009 22:59:18 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)
Sometimes when bogged down by responsibility I can find it rejuvenating to embrace the right kind of distraction.
So my distraction involved hearing a radio cut of the Billy Idol hit "Cradle of Love" and finally following thru on a long-time desire to cut the thing into its most fundamental (read: important) parts: The grunts.
"That's right!" Sir Cyborg Himself. Despite having such a HUGE hit in the 90s, there are probably between zero and 3 people on the planet who actually know all the lyrics -- it's a slurred bozo fest of nonsense sexual innuendo and rockstar spittle. Simply brilliant.
So I leave you with "Rock The Cradle of Love Grunts".
Mon Nov 26 2007 00:13:16 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)
This little abstract recording is a 22 minute trek into the insufferable human psyche. It was composed mostly for several pure data (pd) patches and instruments (like the cracklebox and atari punk console) that I built earlier this year. The foldout covers are printed in full color, and the CD labels were each individually hand drawn and painted.
All things considered, I'm pleased with the final recording product. I do wish I would have spent more time on the final mix (the sound/range is a bit low, so crank it up loud!) and made things a bit louder, but the end result is a rich dynamic range balanced on a lofi string of radio and electromush.
Thu May 31 2007 22:58:13 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)
I finally got around to putting up a page for the cracklebox project I completed a few weeks back. Really a fun device...will be incorporating much more of it in near future recordings. The Grimley/Menche/SVS show last weekend was so really totally fun and amazing and impressive on all kinds of levels. Very inspiring. Grimley is on the radio right now...wish I would have had a chance to meet him and chat with him.
Fri Jan 19 2007 23:33:33 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)
I finished up my version of the Atari Punk Console (APC) a few days ago. At its core, it's just a simple 555-based oscillator
but I added a few twists (LEDs, speaker, switched caps and resistors). Even though I wanted to incorporate some of those nice Wacky Willy's piezos, I just couldn't hack anything decent sounding with minimal components...so I tossed it and opted for action over a drawn-out design period. I like that it's gritty and analog while still throwing out that low-res 8-bit sound that's all the rage these days...and it sounds especially nice and thick when bathed in effects.
I used the APC thing as a means to revisit board design, layout, and crafting, since it had been quite some time since I last did one. I maybe even picked up a few tricks along the way (ie. I never actually tried nail polish before etching to fill in pits/gaps). It's nice to build again.
I'd like to pick up micros again, mostly PIC or AVR, and I'd prefer to have a USB-powered programmer that supported in-circuit action. The arduino is a popular and flexible choice...and although it's slick, I still think it's kinda pricey. I'd rather spend a little more on a nice flexible usb programmer (Linux and windows support preferred) and roll my own bread/etched boards...got any good suggestions?
This week marked our 1-year quit mark for the quitting of the smoking! Really, it seems like only yesterday...and even tho I still crave on occasion, it's certainly become easier with each passing day. The Bikram yoga has certainly been instrumental in the success.
Finally, I posed a few new pd patches and an update or two over on my pd page.
The last Dorkbot PDX meeting was virtual because of the extreme snow and dangerous road conditions...the one before that was excellent and drew quite a few new faces. It was certainly a record for the most contraptions on the table....I hope that trend continues! It's kinda exciting to be living during this trippy time of convergence and appreciation of technological weirdness...
Tue Nov 07 2006 23:14:29 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)
It's been some time, mostly because I intentionally delayed posting because of a drawn-out server migration. That's right, I've finally migrated noisybox.net (and related sites) off the 2U VA Linux beast and onto a newer, quieter, more efficient box with more storage. It's true: Noisybox is literally less noisy! Since I last posted, I did manage to get overlays and a manual for the Alltalk device I described before. Through some very simple testing, I have concluded that the Alltalk requires the battery to be present and charged to function properly. I haven't yet had time to do additional troubleshooting, but I suspect something else may be going on in the power circuits. More on that later. For now, I have scanned the manual and inserts and made them available on an Alltalk page. A few really good notes on the Linux/Debian front that I discovered recently...the Jack HEAD branch has finally incorporated the "clockfix" for dual core AMD64 users like myself! This means that the jackd server can now (from 0.102.20 onward) be started with -c option ("-c hpet" for amd64 I believe) to choose the clock source and prevent drift in tight realtime setups. This hasn't made it into Debian unstable yet, but I'm sure it will soon. Similarly, tight realtime users (like myself) used to have to run a patched version of PAM (libpam) that understands the new kernel's approach to setting realtime limits for users. Fortunately, Debian unstable now contains 0.79-4 of libpam-runtime that understands the rtprio settings. One note -- my patched version seemed to use "rt_priority", but the new stuff uses "rtprio"...don't let that sneak up on you! I recorded a 3" CDR during the summer and slowly mixed it into a reality sometime in September. The album is called Atu XV, and I finally managed to make it available online (also here and here). Ever since I moved back to Portland, I've been wanting to do the tour of the Shanghai Tunnels that run underneath part of downtown. Last week was the Day of the Dead, and I was fortunate enough to make it to the Soriah+Lana performance that was held in the friggin tunnels. The performance was really enjoyable, I'm certainly glad I crawled underground to be there. I emerged with an evil smirk and a renewed appreciation for the great things Portland has to offer. Last, certainly not least, the PDX Dorkbot is continuing to come together...if you live in the area, drop by one of the meetings, join the mailing list, and help us out. We're mostly looking for chairs and a projector, but we can use all other variety of goods and services. If I stop procrastinating, I'll be giving a short talk about the p5 glove and pd at the first "real" meeting.