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Blinking Lights 007 – Design Detour


Émilie recently delighted us with an in-depth recount of Beads’ long and windy history. It all started about 4 years ago with the above mockup Émilie sent me.

You can read the full story here: Beads an illustrated history

When you work together for so long, it happens that your thought patterns start to align. About 3 years ago I wrote these words to Émilie:

There’s one thing that strikes me about it and that’s the fact that Clouds already works as a delay in the main granular mode. Basically if you have a long buffer, and set up the grains to minimize the “granular” effect, you already have a decent delay. The main difference basically is that the delay mode does not granularize the audio and adds a filter to the mix.
[…] It would be like using Tides as an LFO or as an oscillator, it’s the same functionality used in two ways.

Just to find out that something similar was already in the code, which eventually morphed into what the current delay implementation is. In retrospect this is one aspect that I really like about Beads, and I think Émilie did a wonderful job with how it works! I like to think about the functionality of a module as being a set of branches that organically grow out of a common trunk. While there’s a lot of things going on under the hood to make this work, going from a long granular buffer to a delay in Beads is a pretty fluid process. To me it really feels like you’re just stretching the grain until the grains become taps of a delay.

Wilderface is an interesting Instagram account to follow if you’re into synths and interface design. The above is part of a short, but informative design-theory analysis of one of the most interesting new features of Beads: attenurandomizers.

There’s a concept in user experience that’s called “affordance”. Understanding what an instrument “affords” a user to do, or in other words what should the design “offer” the user. For example, a chair affords a person to sit, while a bench affords multiple people to sit.

Read the whole thing here

I didn’t know the Walking Festival of Sound until recently, when I attended this online talk with field-recording master Chris Watson.

Torrents, rivers and flowing water in any form always fascinated me, so I find this exploration of the River Colne by Jo Kennedy quite beautiful to watch!

More about Jo Kennedy’s work here: www.jokennedysound.com

And now, some music!

I guess I can assume you know Cypress Hill.

DJ Muggs was the DJ and producer in the group and his very unique blend of hip hop beats and dark, psychedelic athmospheres played a big role in the development of a darker blend of the genre. The announcement of this new album has me quite excited! Just the right amount of gloom and apocalypse for the wonderful times we’re in.

Noise Trees‘ sequel to Ghost Piano is out! It’s been out for some time now, but it’s still playing on repeat here.

In 2018 I had the pleasure to collaborate with Michael aka Jet Jaguar on a track for one of the Lines Community Remix projects. The track turned out quite well, so I’m really happy that Michael included it in his new album Quiet!

And for some shameless self-promotion, the festival Analogica put up the live streaming gig I did back in December with Agente Levitante.

Agente Levitante is a duo I have with a friend, Angel, who is mainly active as a filmmaker and documentarist. I take care of the sound and he does the visual part. He and his partner run a company called Kottomfilms and have created some outstanding documentaries, check them out here:


This video caught my attention. Probably because for some time I have been thinking about putting all my modules into small boxes like these (thanks to lines-user desolationjones)

Last but not least, something fun and quirky, because we all need it.


Graphic designer, illustrator and soundmangler. He makes music as kurodama and as part of the electronic music duo kvsu. Together with his wife Elizabeth he runs Papernoise, a small design studio located in northern Italy, specialised in graphic design for the world of music.

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