Outsound Music Summit: Touch the Gear

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The 2014 Outsound Music Summit in underway. And as usual, we began with our popular community event Touch the Gear. We had a large crowd of all ages, and delightful cacophony of unusual musical sounds.

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This year, I brought the analog modular (specifically, about two-thirds of the current module collection) and the new Moog Theremini:

Amanda Chaudhary with analog modular and Moog Theremini
[Photo by Frank Lin]

There were several first-time participants this year, including Elise Gargalikis and Dmitri SFC of coa-modular.comwith their “wall of Serge”. It was fun to get to try this out myself.

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[Photo by Elise Gargalikis‎]

There was more Serge modular to be found, courtesy of Lx Rudis.

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Aaron Oppenheim brought classic circuit-bent toys, including a Speak&Math and the Talking Computron.

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It was a bit of inspiration to get of my tuchus and circuit-bend the Speak&Spell sitting in my studio!

There was a Minimoog sighting, of course.

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Long-time participants Matt Davignon and CJ Borosque demonstrated their recent work with effects pedals. Davignon processed drum machines and samplers while Borosque’s pedals were in a closed loop circuit generating their own sound.

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There were acoustic instruments as well. David Samas brought his very impressive contrabass ehru. This beast was huge. And it had bells in addition to the strings and resonant chamber (made out of a trunk).

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Bryan Day presented his mechanical/electrical/acoustic inventions.

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Jaroba shared a variety of wind and percussion instruments with a bit of electronics.

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[Photo by Frank Lin]

There were several more presenters, and as usual I don’t have room for everyone in this post. But it was a great event as always, and we at Outsound appreciated everyone’s contributions. Now it is on to the concerts including tomorrow night’s Poetry Freqs show. Please click here for the full schedule!

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CatSynth pic: Mimi and All the Synths

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Our dear friend Mimi returns, with the most epic CatSynth pic ever! How many synths can you name?

Submitted by Eric of polynominal.

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CatSynth 8th Anniversary

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Well, our eighth blog anniversary occurred this weekend.  So today we celebrate that milestone as we do every year, with some statistics and a look backs.

First, as always, the photo of Luna that launched it all on July 19, 2006.

We are always happy to receive visitors from all over the world, and we do.

Our top countries are:

  1. United States
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Canada
  4. Germany
  5. France
  6. Australia
  7. Switzerland
  8. Italy
  9. Netherlands
  10. India

Not surprising, the largest English-speaking countries are on the list (I include India), but also a strong presence in countries of Western Europe, especially Germany and France. Beyond India, several countries an Asia were well represented, especially Japan and South Korea. Notably, China had only 6 visitors this year, perhaps we have been blocked? Our top country in the Middle East was Iran, in Africa it was South Africa, and in South America it was Brazil.

Our top ten cities were San Francisco, New York, London, Zurich, Los Angeles, Oakland, Sydney, Melbourne, and Chicago.

Our top post from this past year was Our review of new modules from Make Noise. Indeed, we saw the highest overall engagement on our NAMM coverage.

Our top commenters for the year were:

  1. Georgia and Julie, along with the late Tillie (we miss Tillie)
  2. meowmeowmans of Animal Shelter Volunteer Life.
  3. Snowcatcher
  4. Louis la Vache (of the now closed Bay Area Photo blog)
  5. Beth F of Beth Fish Reads
  6. Our friend “Kitty” from Canada
  7. Gattina
  8. Sukhmandir Kaur
  9. Sue St. Clair
  10. Lee County Clowder

Overall, activity on the blog itself is down, while participation via Facebook, TwitterInstagram are increasing. Our top “liked” posts via Facebook were:

  1. Chris Broderick Farewell Bay Area Concert
  2. Happy Gotcha Day to Luna!
  3. CatSynth pic: Belly Rub
  4. Cat Museum of San Francisco’s Morrissey Birthday post
  5. CatSynth pic: Nina the Studio Kitty

Our Facebook channel has become particularly strong on its own, often with distinct posts and readers from the blog. As for the blog itself, my own activity has gone down quite a bit this year, due to a variety of work and personal issues. In particular, I’d like to get back to more of our interest posts, including more music and art reviews, “Fun with Highways”, etc. And of course more cats and synths.

And finally, thanks to everyone who has stuck with us through any or all of our channels. You are what makes this such a rewarding experience!

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CatSynth pic: Giuliano and Maschine

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Here we see the cat Guiliano “sitting where he shouldn’t, on [a] Maschine studio controller…”

From Alessandro Automageddon via our Facebook page.

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CatSynth pic: Cat and MS-20

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Submitted by Eduardo Villanueva Poloni‎ via our Facebook page.  I think I espy a Nord something in the corner as well?

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CatSynth pic: Rodec Sherman Restyler

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Submitted by Mieke Frere via our Facebook page.

“I’m waiting for some music !”

And as one commenter wrote: “GOOD MUSIC!” :)

If you have any experience with this device, the Rodec Sherman Restyler, please leave a comment.

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CatSynth pic: Ook (catsynth) pik

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From our friend Alex Ookpik (see what we did there?) via Instagram.  Instagram is a great way to get your cat-and-gear pics onto the blog.  Simply post to your feed and leave a comment on your post with “@catsynth”.

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CatSynth pic: Nina the studio kitty

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Nina the studio kitty
Submitted by Jacqueline Hendriks via our Facebook page.

“Nina loves synths! She is a real studio kitty :p”

Identification of the synths left as an exercise to the reader.

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Wordless Wednesday: Rene and Teleplexer

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Make noise Rene and Teleplexer

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Android App Addicts

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aaa-logo-220I don’t usually talk about stuff I do for my day job here, but when I do it’s because it’s particularly interesting or amusing for this audience. I recently appeared on the popular podcast Android App Addicts first as an interviewee and then as a guest commentator for a few episodes. Basically, it’s three guys who casually talk about Android apps, bring a few each episode to share and discuss. The conversation is at a the level of the geek user rather than deeply technical.  I appear in episodes 210-213 if you want to check it out. In episodes 211 and 213, I do share some cat-related apps, as well as a synth app in 212 :)

The hosts, Steve Cherubino, Steve McLaughlin, and Eric Arduini were very open and welcoming, and I would like the thank them for having me.  It was a lot of fun, though I do hate the sound of my own voice.  It also reminds me of the challenges of speaking extemporaneously – in music I can do that with ease, but not as much with speech.

One day when I have free time (?) I would like to restart a CatSynth podcast, basically starting where I left off with the World of Wonder on San Francisco Community Radio but taking it in less strictly musical directions.

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