New Drums

They don’t look like much yet, but I bought a Vistalite kit yesterday. I’ve been enjoying playing Matt’s Vistalite at Dark Satellites practices for the past year or two, and the deal on these was too good to pass up.

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They’re not quite ready to play; I need to clean them up and at a minimum get a set of kick lug claws and rods and a cymbal mount or stand.

In the longer run I’ll try to convert the middle tom to a snare, probably put different heads on, and find a matching kick pedal (so my Slingerland pedal can stay with the gold sparkle Slingerland kit).

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Ever heavier! \m/

Night Mode

We have a new band.

I feel this is justified.  I’ll explain.

A couple of years ago Aaron Osborne loaned Drew a bunch of his vintage synthesizers while he had his floors re-done.  Drew started messing with them, making 4-track tape recordings as he figured them out, at night after his family had gone to sleep.  These experiments resulted in an album and a project name, “Night Mode.”  The album will be out soon.

Most of the synths are still at Drew’s.

His adventures reminded me of some drum synth ideas we’d had even longer ago when we first saw Expo 70.  I started playing with some software sequencers, then doing overdubs, then selling Drew on the idea that it would be ridiculous for us each to have separate synth side projects, and now I have a Night Mode record too.  It will be out later.

We have more ideas.  We’re going to get Matt and Damon Mar from Marsynth involved.  I suppose it could be called a collective, with Drew exercising some editorial influence.

It’s different enough from our other music – by turns krautrock-influenced, ambient, droning, sampled and twisted beyond recognition – that it definitely needed a name.  It’s an entirely different mode of music-making.

Night Mode.

Science!

I’ve been on a deep dive on biasing JFET gain stages for guitar pedals over the past couple of weeks.  It’s been a lot of time in the weeds, but I’m emerging with a quicker and more consistent method of biasing for the results I want.

Setting aside the details aside (links here, here, here, and here if you want those), within a batch of JFETs of the same part number individual characteristics will vary quite a bit.  To get reliable performance, JFETs must be measured and either 1) sorted into a group that will work in a given circuit and a group that won’t, or 2) individually biased to work in a circuit by adjusting the resistors surrounding the JFET (Rd and Rs in the diagram above).

I’ve been running controlled experiments, recording results, and generally doing low-level basement science and engineering with the goals of learning what matters and what doesn’t, and figuring out efficient ways of achieving the results I need for pedals.

There are a couple more things to check, but I’ll present conclusions and my biasing method (nothing novel, just a straightforward step-by-step process) here or at mrfuriousaudio.com when I have them.

Dark Satellites & Mars Lights Show Update

2016 August 6, Saturday – Dark Satellites at the Jackpot, Lawrence KS, with Way Back When, The Marshmallow Test, and Some Good News From Kansas.  9 PM, 18 & over, $5 ($7 for 18-21)

DS Jackpot Aug 2016

2016 August 17, Wednesday – Mars Lights at Davey’s Uptown, Kansas City MO, with 88er and You Monster You

daveys uptown

2016 September 23, Friday – Dark Satellites at Records with Merritt, Kansas City MO.  Free, all ages, 8 PM

2016 October 27, Thursday – Dark Satellites at Vega, Lincoln NE, with Briner

2016 October 28, Friday – Dark Satellites at Gillies, Kearney NE, with Evanoff