November 6, 2022

“Dear Jim Wolfe –”

Kurt Vonnegut’s correspondence with my father.

The dawn of email meant the Era of Great Letters was over. But I have a few of the last ones. They’re typed on a onion-skin paper on a Coronamatic 2200 and sent from Kurt Vonnegut to my father. The Vonnegut letters are appearing here for the first time.

October 15, 2022

Frippertronics with Red Panda Tensor.

Frippertronics evolves loops through a long delay (4 seconds or more) with the feedback turned up (but not quite self-oscillating). Out of the box, Red Panda’s Tensor’s Ovr mode is a “normal” looper (akin to a TC Ditto, but with a shorter memory), but it’s pretty easy to turn your Tensor into a Frippertronics machine. You just need to modify the pedal’s midi setting with Red Panda’s Web editor to make the layers fade.

So why do it?

As a pseudo delay, Tensor can record from about 100 milliseconds up to 9.6 seconds. It gives you many more ways to manipulate the repeats (glitch, pitch, direction, random) than most pedals branded as Frippertronics-capable. A truly unique feature of the Tensor is that you can control speed and pitch together like a normal looper or manipulate them separately with the Time and Pitch knobs. This article shows you how to modify your Tensor and get the most out of its extensive Frippertronics capabilities.

music Pedalurgy
October 15, 2022

Recording a 37-second loop with the Red Panda Tensor.

The Tensor records a 9.6-second loop, but you can record a much longer, normal-speed, lofi loop. So how is this possible? When playing loops, the Speed and Pitch knobs normally lower pitch and slow down playback. But if you record a blank first pass of the loop with lower pitch or speed settings, the second pass becomes a normal-speed loop that’s 37 seconds long. This article shows you how.

music Pedalurgy
September 28, 2022

The Crap-Free Guide to iPhone Photography v8.0 released.

The definitive book on iPhone photography: now updated for iPhone 14 cameras and iOS 16.

The Crap-Free Guide to iPhone Photography, has been updated for iPhone 14 Pro and iOS 16. As always, updates are free for those who buy the book.

So what’s up this update with the new iPhone 14 Pro cameras?

The 48mp stink: It just means a little better photos and video.

With each generation of iPhone Plus/Pro models with 12mp sensors, all the cameras get a little better: The lenses are a little faster, the sensors are a little more accurate, and the computational algorithm gets improved. This equation (with the 12mp sensors) has been the iPhone norm for 7 years. But with iPhone 14 Pro the 1x camera is 48mp and many reviewers are outraged.


They either don’t understand that the 48mp sensor was put there to serve more than one purpose. Or they’re looking for a sensational story to boost their YouTube/Amazon revenue.

Let’s look at who this bigger sensor actually benefits:

August 1, 2022

The Firefly Chronicles.

A season of striving for the perfect lightning bug photo.

I live in a housing co-op in Cincinnati. The only thing our Membership seems split on is whether we live in a resort or a nature sanctuary. The place is well manicured, but we have a variety of trees and wildlife, including deer, fox, coyote, possum, raccoon, a hawk, three vultures…and a whole lot of fireflies. I can walk 100 feet out my back door at dusk in June and July and our primped meadow is alight with rising golden streaks and twinkling trees.

From our meadow.

This year I’ve made an almost-nightly effort to try to capture images of these bioluminescent beetles. The following is paraphrased from my daily journal.

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