July 19, 2021

Current Pedal Obsession: Pladask Bakfram

It’s Thanos’ delay, eroding the known audio universe

You’d think granular pedals would all sound the same since they’re all based on one of a few DSP chips. But there’s a big difference depending on how the builder programs the chip to re-assemble the audio grains. Knut at Pladask freely admits Bakfram is not a forward/reverse delay, but a granular synthesizer masquerading as one. This article answers the big questions about Bakfram, explains the complex nature of the controls and gives you recipes for some of the other pedals that Bakfram can masquerade as.

music Pedalurgy
June 23, 2021

Old Blood Noise Endeavors Expression Ramper meets Montreal Assembly’s Count-to-5

7 cool effects with the ER in the expression jack of the Ct5

The OBNE Expression Ramper is a small, clever pedal that automates expression. You plug it into a pedal’s expression jack and set the voltage of Point A and Point B on the Expression Ramper. With the tap of the footswitch, the pedal glides or cycles between the two points.

On the Montreal Assembly Count-to-5 (a sampler that poses as a delay/glitch/looper) the Expression Ramper is really useful since you can control so many parameters: pitch, speed, direction, delay length, delay feedback, sample playback length or sample randomness. This article will show you how to connect and use the Expression Ramper with the Count-to-5 and give you easy-to-follow recipes and audio examples for some cool effects. All audio examples use use no added ambience other than what’s coming from the Count-to-5.

music Pedalurgy
June 3, 2021

#ThrowbackThursday: La Grieta

Ilsa Santa Cruz Galapagos, February 1986

Fissures are curious things. They’re cracks that can form in islands of volcanic rock that bubble up from the sea. As a geographic feature, they’re often narrow, but deep. One such fissure in The Galapagos interestingly splits the town of Puerto Ayora on Ilsa Santa Cruz. It would be easy enough to bridge this gap, but those who live (mostly ex-pats) on the quiet, residential side known as El Outre Lado (the other side) resisted a bridge that would make it convenient for tourists staying on the east side in main part of town to invade. So the only way to cross the chasm was by boat or hike the long way around.

photography ThrowbackThursday
May 31, 2021

Three Ways to Fake a Crema in Stovetop Espresso

Cuban Crema, just like Abuela used to make

If you’re a moka pot owner, it’s likely you’ve hit on making a pretty good espresso on your stove. But many find a stovetop espresso feels naked since it has no crema. Below you’ll find a few tricks for adding the crema effect and a little sweetness for an aesthetically-pleasing look and tempering bitterness.

May 27, 2021

#ThrowbackThursday: Mile-High Dunes

Great Dunes National Park, March ’83

While the spectacle of the Rockies is amazing, I do believe that the most fascinating site in the state is Great Dunes National Park. Nestled in a mile-high mountain valley is a 30-square mile desert with dunes that crest at 750-feet above the floor. How’d the sand get there? As the lakes in the valley floor dried the wind piled the sand.

photography ThrowbackThursday
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