A how-to for making your own custom acoustic-tech ‘monochord’. Viewers are show how to select, combine and play materials. All tools are shown and techniques demonstrated. Various options to suit your very own build.
Barry’s approach is a akin to a recipe where he suggests potential ingredients, a step by step process (how & why), and even some serving suggestions.
The UM66 chip was designed to play popular monophonic melodies: The chip used in this circuit plays several melodies. The UM66 is used two times. They are not synchronised. This DIY EMI has potentiometers to control voltage starve & volume as well as a switch to change the ‘bent’ character of the sound. It is possible to use headers sockets for the ICs to allow them to be swapped, enabling user control over the output.
This version was designed with a Winter celebration in mind, hence the name FESTIVUS as celebrated in regions of Europe and beyond. Nollaig na mBan! (little/women’s christmas Ireland) Trettondedag (13th day Sweden) día de los Reyes Magos (3 kings day Spain), also; Epiphany.
‘It’s the night the taxi drivers quiver in their boots’ Pauline – Cork
(Battery not included.) These DIY EMIs require a 3v CR2032 battery for power. The output is a mono mini jack (3.5mm).
The sailors make fast the loose ends to ensure the boat is shipshape.
“Tying Up Loose Ends” is a nautically themed project split into 2 segments. The first, titled “Noise Forecast”, is heavily inspired by BBC shipping forecasts, the rhythm of their delivery and the alien yet comprehensible language used within them. The compositional framework for this part of the project is a text-based score which was written in a way that aimed to allow each participant a unique translation. To further contrast the finished pieces, careful attention is made in approaching different artists with varying sonic palettes.
The score for this first installment of the project reads as follows:
The second project segment, titled “Flotsam, Jetsam, Lagan & Derelict”, is an exploration of how new life can be given to short pieces of sound that perhaps could get lost somewhere in a timeline. To achieve this, audio is salvaged from one person and recycled by another, although organised in such a way that ‘who is collaborating with who’ remains unknown. Artist and equipment information are intentionally removed as to hopefully have no influence over the finished works. Guidelines for FJL&D are: “SALVAGE You have received some salvaged audio from another participant involved. Use these sounds as a starting point. RECYCLE Please use both files, although they don’t have to be used in their entirety. One shot or single cycle samples are fine. You are free to edit & treat these in any way you see fit. Chop, Sample, Granularize & Mangle. Unrecognisable is good. Additional instrumentation is allowed and encouraged. This is not a remix project. COLLABORATION Audio discovered amongst your posts has been shared with another participant to carry out the same process.” Loose Ends #1 is focused around the fictional land, and surrounding coast, of “Culport”. The tracklisting is as follows;
1. Claude & Ola – Culport
2. Sw1n Hunter – FOAM_DRIFT(2vids)
3. Shane Latimer – Deluges: Clustered
4. Una Lee – 1 fib or no
5. BJC – Torrential Data v4_2
6. Scy1e – Racing the dawn
7. Mysterioso – Unapproved Beliefs
8. Vivienne Griffin – The Fake Haven
9. Hadi Bastani – nines am(o)ur ai
FLOTSAM, JETSAM, LAGAN & DERELICT
1. T.Jervell – Fanfare of Spring (Initials M.C.)
2. sweetearthflying – prismatic wounds
3. Sqrtsigil – nontitle
4. Morn Valley – Solar Transmission
5. Expanding Foam – saxa vord
6. Wimming Spools – flotsum & jetsum
7. Disxiple 113 – fiesta, forever
8. Subfusc – Batons With some sprinkles of sea sounds recorded by Matilde Meireles, Lisbon, 2020. Many thanks to all who took part for their incredible work.Barry & Phil – Tone Burst
Digging through almost 20 years of previously unheard documents. A Barry Joseph Cullen Retrospective.
The title is inspired by Seamus Heaney’s poem Digging. What we do, how we make. The value of an archive, the power of reflection. History is never truly past, its ability to influence us continues to be felt in the present.
Original: “Between my finger and my thumb The squat pen rests. I’ll dig with it.”
Remix: “Between my finger and my thumb The soldering iron rests. I’ll make with it.”
A – 190614 edit Live recording from a week-long mini festival at PS2 gallery, Belfast. Round Buttons Square Tones co-curated with Min Hyong Kim. An instrument/system was built using reclaimed metal dishes, solenoids activated by a 555 timer circuit (taken from D. Holzer’s Tonewheels project) with piezo transducers fed into DIY distortion effects; Fuzz Face, Tone Bender MKII, Little Big Muff. A short performance gaining complexity & intensity.
2 – 240419 04 edit One of several takes. An improvisation using DIY eurorack modules. Learning to use Turing Machine through play. VCFs as generators and LFOs as clocks & modulators. Swaying from melodic to dissonant and back.
3 – guitar tuner bow fan eavesdropping (outro edit v1) This piece was made by combining a number of materials that were available for play at the time. An early example of ‘Drone’ in my practice. The guitar was still central to my instrumentation but extended approaches were becoming more important. The guitar was later stolen in a burglary and attention turned to other methods of making music.
4 – 3KFCN able v2 A short study showing the 3KFCN circuit as a feedback tone generator. A multi track recording with tuning by ear. A stack of improvisation. Slow. The result of cumulative play and listening practice.
5 – newton’s cat One of several pieces made using the Newton’s 12 Mins Companion Box with a Copycat tape echo. Noise bursts and rhythm created by layering improvisations. No editing was required.
6 – moving 1 improv One of several recordings made exploring Jasuto Pro, an iPhone app which facilitates dynamic tone play via gesture. A synth patch for live manipulation, to facilitate a new performance routine. This recording was captured from rehearsals for a performance using bass guitar through multiple DIY fuzz boxes (M.I.A).
7 – newt FKE mod v1 Companion Box (Newton’s 12 Mins) and Koma Field Kit Effects. Improvisation around a patch made to test & learn the Field Kit’s capabilities.
8 – broken lights This was made after remixing a reactive & generative AV software patch I made during my MA studies at SARC. I was living in Al Khuwair in Muscat. The neighbourhood was well lit. I found a few flickering electric lights. I took short videos and made a silent video composition; a grid of nine loops. The video triggered sine waves in max/msp/jitter. An array of frequencies depending on a previous monochrome frame difference. This is a response. There was a lack of electronic music in the location. I made my own.
9 – sarc fender contact mic Waiting in a practice room with band hardware. Instead of browsing on my phone, I used what was available to do creative work. Contact mic, bass amp and a portable recorder. The routine was to slowly change each EQ knob from high to low.
10 – Bent 4.5v B&W Companions & Ellie 7 This piece is one of a number of improvised pieces recorded with a set up including two Companion Boxes (Black & White), a circuit bent instrument containing a number of rewired sound effect makers and a Comet filter, Ellitone multi-synth and looper pedal. Routine of setting a start loop and improvising.
J – Texture Test 261017 02 Using Resolume to animate an audio arrangement. Dancing fragments of workshop test signals.
Q – CNTRL RM CNC v31 This piece was made from field recordings made in the control room at SARC. This track uses the sound of a CNC machine cutting the edges of a PCB. The recording was edited and arranged using Avenue. The resulting audio sounds a little like a cello ensemble.
Joker – Stockhausen tells us to go to the studio 3 may 2004 @ opening concert at SARC Belfast.
Each item is assembled by hand. The mark of the maker can be found on the surface of the items, showing the efforts to manipulate materials and minimising waste. For us, an imperfect artefact for sale is preferable to a usable flaw in the dump.
This release consists of audio recordings made using circuits based on ICs (integrated circuits or ‘chips’) from the UM series. These DIY EMIs (electronic musical instruments) come from physical remixes, and are bent by design (thanks to Rob Hordijk). The demonstration schematics found in the official datasheets were built, bent, remixed, extended, multiplied and fabricated to facilitate play with a few parameters.
This release shows music composed on computer and expressed as hardware instead of recording. The circuit composition can be viewed as a form of score. The musical instrument voice is technological. The parameters available are limited. Complex frequency output can be made with both UM66 & UM3561 in spite of their obsolescence.
The UM3561 chip was designed to produce sound effects: The chip used in this circuit produces an emergency siren type sound. The UM3561 is used four times. They not synchronised. This DIY EMI has potentiometers to control voltage starve & volume as well as an on/off switch and two touch-pads per IC so that skin contacting the PCB changes resistance and timing/frequency.
The UM66 chip was designed to play popular monophonic melodies: The chip used in this circuit plays Für Elise. The UM66 is used two times. They not synchronised. This DIY EMI has potentiometers to control voltage starve & volume as well as a switch to change the ‘bent’ character of the sound.
These DIY EMIs require a 3v CR2032 battery for power. The output is a mono mini jack (3.5mm). Play with rhythm, melody & noise.
Fringe Tones is a series of hour-long mixes produced by prolific noise-maker Barry Cullen. With so many beats already taking up the airwaves, Fringe Tones is dedicated to the music without percussion. The mixes blend music from a variety of genres, and some that rejects definition. From commercial pop music and media archives, to field recordings and DIY sound cultures, you’ll hear traces of the recording sources on vinyl, tape and even some minidisc. New, old, clean, dirty, minimal, maximal, rich and enrichening.