Modifying a Frontier Design Tango for DC Output

I just put up a lengthy description, with photos, of how I modified a Frontier Design Tango (older 20-bit version) ADAT audio interface for DC output, allowing it to be used with software such as MOTU’s Volta and Expert Sleepers’ Silent Way to control analog synthesizers. It’s able to control my VCOs over nearly a nine-octave range, so its performance is much better than the MIDI-CV converter I built awhile ago. (Somewhat ironically I submitted the artwork for having the PC board fabricated for that project the day before Volta was announced.) This project consumed several consecutive weekends, and documenting it took nearly as long, so I’m also quite pleased to have it all finished. I went to the lengths of making a demonstration video to cash in on the Expert Sleepers Silent Way bounty demonstrate how well the system works. The video is embedded at the bottom of the page. read more

Unusual Security Mechanism

I’m trying to log into my YouTube account, and it’s not accepting my password (even though I logged into the same account from a different machine using the same password a few minutes ago), so upon the advice of the help screen I asked for a password reset. Partway through the process I was presented with this:


Wow. ‘Fraid I can’t answer that, Google. As much as I’d like to be able to read questions presented in Japanese, I can’t.

TASCAM RS-20 Spring Reverb Owner’s/Service Manual

Thanks to Richard, I’m now the proud owner of an old spring reverb, specifically a TASCAM RS-20 Spring Reverb. He warned me that there seems to be something wrong with the input circuits but I’ve been too busy to even plug the thing in to check it out. However, I was able to locate a copy of the TASCAM RS-20 Owner’s/Service Manual, which you can download by clicking this link. Since Google turns up almost nothing about the TASCAM RS-20 Spring Reverb, I’m going to mention the TASCAM RS-20 Spring Reverb and the TASCAM RS-20 Reverb Owner’s/Service Manual several times in this post in hopes of providing search-engine fodder so that anyone with a TASCAM RS-20 Spring Reverb in need of the TASCAM RS-20 Owner’s/Service Manual will now be able to find it. read more

Japanese Beverage Report: Shiso Pepsi

Thanks, once again, to our friends Richard and Rafael, I recently sampled another one of the mysterious special-edition Pepsi products from Japan. This post is rather late in its arrival since it covers a product which is no longer in production. I confess that I sort of forgot that I had the bottle tucked away in the back of the refrigerator until I noticed it recently.

It’s called Shiso Pepsi, and it’s a nice shade of green:

IMG 4422

The label says “Japanese Refreshing Flavor” and that’s pretty accurate. It’s refreshing and it does taste oddly Japanese. It has a very herb-like flavor and is somewhat sweet (as you’d expect for a soft drink). Imagine if you’d rarely or never tasted an herb like basil or oregano, and you tried a beverage sort of like 7-Up flavored with basil or oregano–that’s pretty much the impression that Shiso Pepsi gave to me. It was quite good; I understand why Richard wanted a case of it after he tasted it. read more

The Really, Really Big Picture

There’s a nice animation here that illustrates the size of Earth relative to the rest of the known universe. I should say that it attempts to illustrate that, though, since the scales involved are rather beyond our comprehension. Watch it in full-screen HD if you have the bandwidth.

(Thanks go to Chris for this one.)

Brian Eno Interview Video Posted

There’s an hour-long BBC interview with Brian Eno posted here. I haven’t watched more than the first four minutes so far, but Synthtopia described it as a “must see”. If, like myself, you don’t happen to have time to watch it right away you might want to download yourself a copy. The last time I looked at BBC documentaries posted on Vimeo they didn’t stay around long before the copyright police impounded them.

Eno’s one of my biggest–if not the biggest–musical influences and inspirations, so I’m looking forward to watching this interview. read more

Snow Crystals on the Front Step

Today is one of those rare days on which the weather conditions are just right for producing beautiful snowflakes. There is some magic combination of temperature, humidity, still air, cloud formation, etc. that produces big, symmetric crystals that accumulate without damage. Here is a photo of the front step:


Click that photo to see a larger version, and click here to see several others taken at the same time and location.