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Soundhouses: The Radiophonic Workshop at 60

I’ve been a fan of the Radiophonic workshop even before I knew who they were. Since I started watching Doctor Who. I could probably say that their music was a contributory factor to me being interested in electronic music. So whenever I can get to see them, be that a talk or a performance, I make the effort.

The best part of this evening was the talk. In fact it was the best part by far. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the performance, I did. I was just a lot more interested in their stories and hearing about how they did some of the amazing things back at the height of the workshop’s era.

The best part of the talk by far was the description of how the original Doctor Who theme was made. They had a multitrack version that showed all of the individual parts of the track and how they work together. Of course, Delia didn’t have anything like this when she made it. She had to splice individual notes for each and every track.

They had great stories too. Stuff about how they made things. How they solved problems and made incredible music in a totally analogue environment. It was awesome.

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I want this and I really don’t

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Part of me wants this just because it’s kind of cool that Haynes are making a little synth kit, although I’ve no idea why they would do that at all. It seems so strange, but there you go. I also know that if I got one and made it I wouldn’t really do much if at all with it and it would just gather dust for a long time.

So I’ve more or less decided not to get this. I think that’s probably best.

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Starting to build an automated twitter synth with littleBits

For a long time I’ve been thinking about the idea of being able to create a synth in hardware which reacted to the virtual world, more specifically, to being tweeted at. To that that end I got myself a littleBits CloudBit, which works quite well, albeit it isn’t able to provide as much data as I’d like it to. However, that’s something that I need to overcome with a little bit of ingenuity rather than just complain about it.

So I’m starting to build the synth and get it to respond to external stimulus. The goal being to create a little system that reacts to a twitter message, creates a sequence based on that message, and somehow records that and uploads it somewhere. We’ll see. That’s the plan. Who knows how it’ll work out.