gavd.co.uk

Frail and faltering follower of Jesus

Books

What I Learned From My Dear Friend

Free book about a friendship I’ve learned a lot from. A good friend is more enriching than we realise. A good friend challenges, stretches and encourages us. A good friend lifts us up from the dirt, and says, “come on, you, let’s go together, you and I, and face it”.

Using Build Tools

I was contacted by the folks at 5 Simple Steps and they asked me to write a “Fast Read” guide to build tools such as Gulp, Broccoli and Grunt…

Music

Reckoned As Dead

Primitive grind album, blending St Paul’s thought with the DIY aggression of early grindcore.

gavD - Cry of the Wretched

Written, performed, recorded in 1 hour. My 2 year old broke the family electric guitar, and about 9 months later I finally got it fixed, so I am writing some of the kind of music that’s in my blood - punk, metal, thrash, hardcore. Laid down guitar in Garageband, and used Garageband’s virtual drummer, then “sang”

Asia K

I played in classical pianist and singer/songwriter Asia K’s backing band

BeatMuppet - Live Looping LP

Live looping album recorded using a Boss RC20XL pedal, a Cort 6 string bass and an acoustic guitar. All a bit experimental and winged on the fly. Standard! I gigged some of this stuff, it was a trainwreck and I almost flung my bass in a skip on the way home!

gavD - Wyverne Sessions

Songs recorded in 2002, a mix of funk, metal, industrial, punk, soundscape and messing about, along with a few quite pretty instrumental pieces.

Monkey Snowball Fighter

An alias I used whilst making music in my uni years. Some of these ‘songs’ fed into Vibration White Finger.

Winter

A name for my music projects in my college years. Mostly MIDI synth, a few samples, and quite dark.

Nux Vomica

A name for my music projects in my last school year. Mostly MIDI.

Music Sketches

Shinbones Man - Long Time Coming (with video)

I started this track on 28th Jan, but it didn’t sit right. The mixer I use is primarily for church usage, and I had a couple of services I needed it for, and when I got home I couldn’t be bothered to recable it all… So there it sat! I didn’t do any music for two months, I was more busy fixing things and writing games.

Shinbones Man - Ray Man Dinner (with video)

I built a FuzzDog SpectreVerb pedal, which I completed this morning. I modified it with the “dwell” mod which allows it to go into self-oscillation. I did this little track with a Behringer TD-3-MO, a Behringer RD-6, and this pedal I’ve built :-) Also using an analog mixer this time, which is nice for the NIM-style parts of this piece.

Shinbones Man - Nannenbaws (with video)

My kids have been calling everything and everyone “Nannenbaws” recently, I have no idea what it means. This techno track is made live using the Analogue Solutions Oberkorn analog sequencer along with the Behringer Edge percussion synthesiser.

Shinbones Man - Pro Ponytrekking (with video)

Just got back from church prayer meeting, feeling full of joy and energy despite the horrors of the world, because God is in control and Jesus is coming back. How can anyone have peace without that assurance? As hard as life is, the hope of the Gospel is an anchor for the soul.

Early Morning Acid (with video)

Before I was properly awake I had a little acid improv session. A random pattern, with some simple 909 clone action and some improv keys… I’m all over the place but I’m enjoyin me’sen, innit!

Electric Volvo

Ran the RD-6 into the filter of the TD-3-MO. I used the sub bass on the TD-3-MO ‘cos the regular voice was too loud

Long It Off

Using the TD-3-MO to generate a kick drum. TD-3 through hand built octave master and blue moon phaser. Snare from RD-6 through hand built delay. Hats from RD-6. Reverb is a HoF.

NiM (no-input mixer improv with video)

I discovered no input mixer music this week, and gave it a go! No input mixer music means you make music from feeding the mixer back into itself, generally through effects pedals; there are no external instruments.

Splashdown (with video)

Fuzzed out live dawless electronic music using a Bass octaver with the Make Noise 0-Coast and hand-build mangler and phaser pedals. Beats: SR-16.

Grotten Industries (with video)

Chaotic, fuzzed-out, glitchy industrial/electronic dawless improv. The main synth is the Make Noise 0-coast, driven through a hand-built Green Ringer and a hand-built Reasonably Good Mangler. The other synth is a simple Eurorack voice pushed through a hand-built phaser.

As We Approach The Grave (with video)

Gloomy dungeon synth meets house. Lead line from Make Noise 0-coast, sequenced with Oberkorn analog sequencer. I played the bass/pad live (which is why there are so many fluffs!), it’s an NW1 wavetable oscillator.

Novel Tides (with video)

My first play with the Make Noise 0-Coast semi-modular synth. This thing’s a beaut when combined with the Oberkorn analog sequencer! The additive approach of adding overtones and harmonics is a pretty new world to me; I’ve used a wave folder before but not had this level of flexibility.

Duck Line (with video)

Ducking the bass by using triggers from the RD-6 to trigger an inverting envelope which I’m then voltage offsetting. Lead line/texture from nw-1 oscillator, which I’m tweaking live. I also adjust the ducking amount and rate live.

Scraped Apart (with video)

Combining waves from NW-1 and Dreadbox Hysteria oscillators , wave folding them together, modulating heavily, and tweaking in real time

Swagger Chops (with video)

Distortion stacking on the TD-3-MO with a Screamer clone and a RAT clone. Punching in the Bass Balls really makes it scream!

Engine Room

Messing with sequence lengths on the Oberkorn. You can almost play this thing like a guitar…. The first track of CV goes to the NW-1’s pitch via a quantiser module. The other two CV channels modulate some of NW-1’s parameters.

Super Homey (with video)

Beats: Behringer RD-8 Bass: Behringer TD-3-MO thru home made Bassballs envelope filter, modified Tube Screamer copy, and simple bass fuzz.

Little Donkey (metal version)

Metal version of my favourite Christmas carol, “Little Donkey”. Although there’s no Biblical evidence that Mary rode a donkey, one day a donkey and her colt WOULD carry the King of Kings into Jerusalem - it was prophesied in Zecheriah 9 and the fulfilment of that prophecy is recorded in Mark’s Gospel, chapter 11, Matthew 21, and John 12.

Acid Rats (with video)

I was proper dancing as I played this! RD9’s kick drum routed thru a MXR bass overdrive, TD-3-MO routed through a RAT module.

Acid Vulture

Live acid improv using Behringer RD-9 (909 clone) and TD-3-MO (303 with Devilfish mod clone). I missed quite a few of the drops on this track - dropping bass in on beat 2 instead of 1 - but it’s always great fun to make acid. I used chorus on the TD-3-MO

Horrible Mess

messing about with the Oberkorn sequencer and Chipz module. I like the very first percussive pattern, everything else stinks!

Infestation (with video)

I set my cupboard studio back up! I own about 50% as much Eurorack gear as I used to. Already regret selling! Kick from an SR16. The SR16 is funny over MIDI; the claps on the RD6 interfere with it sometimes. Bassline is TD-3-MO through some chorus.

Headtorch

Atmospheric track playing the T-8 in the highest octave it’ll go, and using delay to get chordlike structures

Chase Scene

Music for an imaginary chase scene that I wrote on the train yesterday.

Squabliins

Second attempt at acid on the T-8 - recreated the first version of Squabliins

Squabblins

The Roland T8 is a delightful little palmtop acid box, I’ve really enjoyed it so far

Cattico

I like some of the sounds on the Alesis SR-16 but I don’t enjoy the sequencer. Thankfully, it speaks MIDI so I was able to drive it from the RD-8. In this sketch, I blend the analog RD-8 with the SR-16 in real time.

Acid Crush

Acid improv linking the TD-3 and TD-3-MO. You can’t link accents that way (AFAICT), although you could link two TD-3-MOs to link accents.

Acid Maze

Yet more improvised acid! Let’s face it, acid is just fun. Mix is way off, distorted rd6 is too low, and as usual I’m just improv’ing for fun :-)

Tinker Peddlar (with video)

Using: - Behringer RD-8 drum machine - Bitcrusher pedal I built from a kit - Echo Blue Delay pedal I built from a kit - Great Warship I built from a kit - Reverb pedal I built from a kit

Modded Out

Trying out the Behringer TD-3 MO. I threw in some chords but I guess I knocked the tuning out, oh well, that’s live analog music!

Monboxer

I’ve been working on an Arduino based synth, here it is played over a beat from a Behringer RD-8

Bin Ripper (with video)

I built a Bitcrusher pedal this weekend and used it on the RD-6 drums. Melody line played on a TD-3 through Octafuzz and Echo Blue Delay pedals that I built

Handled Temperamental Box (with video)

I’ve built some effects pedals lately, from kits from Jed’s Peds and PedalParts (FuzzDog). Here I use a Great Warship Fuzz and a Echo Blue Delay on a Korg Monologue. Reverb is a HoF.

Jarring (with video)

Improvising live on Behringer TD-3, RD-9 and Korg Monologue. I still can’t play keyboards very well.

Adequate

Korg Monologue played by hand over RD-8 beats, with a bit of reverb

Acid Fountain

Clipping all over the place! That’s a shame. My little Behringer UB202 audio interface doesn’t have heaps of headroom, so it’s quite hard to get a lot of level without clipping, but this is the worst I’ve ever known it on a recording I’ve done. It’s because I had a lot going on - analog beats from the Behringer RD-9 (909 clone) and the TD-3 (TB-303 clone) which is pretty raunchy with the accent/resonance. Some compression would have helped here! Ah well, it was a fun jam.

Automata

Beats on an RD-6, everything else made by layering up a vocoder. It’s a bit messy but there’s moment where it comes together!

Canopy

Behringer Deepmind 6 sonic sketch. Came up with a brassy patch, then mapped a bunch of stuff to the mod wheel… then all of a sudden it was a forest!

Slabs (demo)

Some chord patterns I’ve been playing with. It’s coming off a bit My Bloody Valentine, and a bit Justin Broadrick… I like it! The drums are just the 8-beat pattern on the Mooer GE-100.

The Gates Of Hell Shall Not Prevail

Experimenting with the modulation matrix on the Behringer Deepmind 6. Lots of subtle (and not so subtle!) modulations in here, and I just get so much joy from playing this keyboard. “On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. “ - Jesus Christ

Sprite Packs

Beats on RD-6. Snare’s going through a Behringer reverb pedal, gated setting. Keys on (damaged, volume pot’s bust) Monologue. FX loop via Church Reverb setting of a TC Electronic Hall of Fame reverb, which arrived yesterday and sounds great I still can’t play keyboards with any degree of skill, so I’m mostly just banging notes in and hoping they settle into the reverb!

Gloom Safe (with video)

Sonic sketch on the Elektron Model:Cycles, recorded whilst my wife was watching dreadful smugfest “Have I Got News For You” in the same room

Emperor's New Spike

More polymetric rhythms from the Elektron Model:Cycles. I just love playing with this sequencer! It’s only a 1 bar pattern but through differing track lengths, probability-based sequencing and conditional triggers, I got a much more lively sounding song.

Metric Mice

some polymetric rhythms. My 4 year old took control of some of the knobs during recording of this sketch.

My Teddy Called Mittens

My 4 year old daughter recorded a story about her cat teddy, “Mittens”, which I then re-amped through a vocoder, which I played using a Korg Monologue as a controller. I set it to a beat on an RD-6.

Sky Mice

My 2 year old triggering the TD-6 drum machine, my 4 year old on Volca Keys and me bashing away on a Korg Monologue. All day the little one has been saying “I’m Sky Mice!” and no idea what she means but now it’s our band name :-)

Blind Chamber

Layering Korg Monologue synth sounds on a 4 track, and only hearing the track I am recording. I thought it might be interesting to see what came out, and I notice that I often time things the same, even though I couldn’t hear the other tracks.

Monologue Beats (video)

I got a Korg Monologue yesterday, and I decided to use it as a drum machine! What an amazing synth, incredibly versatile. Made me feel like a superstar DJ dropping beats in and out!

Sorrow Weighs (with video)

Dark synth pop moody jam. I don’t often listen to music these days but the last couple of days I’ve listened to a lot of synth stuff and really enjoyed it, this is something of an attempt at a synthesis of that input! I deliberately tried to make the bass filter fuzzy and drifty, enough PWM and discordant blend to get that classic vintage vibe. I wish I had a few more modulation sources but that’s part of the fun sometimes - improvising!

Curate's Egg

This was better whilst I was composing it, but then the kids wanted to play and it kind of lost momentum and they reprogrammed the TR6! Snare pattern got a bit annoying on listening back to this but there are some nice sounds in there at times, hence the track title! I’m enjoying having arps from the Keystep, it’s a fun way to work.

I Just... (with video)

Jamming with the RD-6 and Keystep. I can’t play keyboard very well but I can hold down a bunch of white notes and hope for good arps!

Peopled Out (with video)

Jam using the Oberkorn sequencer. I used the Pico Logic XOR and AND for some of the percussion, getting effectively 2 gates from 4.

iPad Papa_

I was on holiday this week, and took my Pocket Operator. I sampled my brother and my lil nephew along with the classic Amen Brother break and cut it all up into a little junglist sonic collage.

Clumsily Intact (with video)

Jam based around a single oscillator, where I manipulate the filter with a looping AR generator. Computer is only there for recording.

Knocking On

sequence from the Oberkorn, played the lead line live on the NW1 via the Beatstep, percussion samples from the Pocket Operator My 2 year old tinkered with some parts of this so technically a collaboration!

Chunners (with video)

I sampled a Behringer TR6 and TD3 onto a Pocket Operator Hadouken! (PO-33) and sequenced up a little tune with the samples

Nihilistic Cultural Decay

First jam in months… Contains a sample of Carter from the Unsafe Space podcast. We’re in a very nihilistic era. There is hope, though. There is Truth and He’s knowable!

Sickly Beat

Sampled both my RD-6 and a cheap Yamaha keyboard into the Pocket Operator and made a simple track out of it. After making this beat, I quickly sickened with Covid-19 and spent nearly 36 hours straight in bed sweating and shivering!

Sonic Tub

5 minute jam on a Pocket Operator PO-33 - recorded a few seconds of my kids playing in the bath then sliced it up and sequenced it. Played a little melody based on a sample of me making a noise, pitched up.

Like A Beaten Dog

Feeding channel 1 into the clock speed to get swing on the Oberkorn. I sync’d out to the RD-6 and got it to do swing by setting the resolution to 1PPS.

OK Let's Go (with video)

Waldorf NW1 vocal sample sync’d up with a bit of help from my mate Jon - the secret was controlling the wavetable position with an envelope with just the right amount of offset.

Pressure Is On

A bit of an iteration on my last track, went for a pentatonic so it was less spooky and attenuated the delay to reduce the clipping, then I added some beats.

Rumbled Dat

Sequencing the pitch of the snare gives me a nice tom tom kinda vibe, good fun

Cling On When The World Goes Mad

Using the Oberkorn for the sequence into the Dreadbox Hysteria with the quantise mode on, and tapped the pulse out into the White Lines oscillator and played with pitch for oscillator sync effects.

Please Stop Raging

My youngest daughter had a toddler ragefit this evening and this song was my calm down time afterwards! Simplest patch I’ve ever recorded - just a slightly off sinewave, with a bit of LFO modulation, into a low pass gate, into a crossfader with a delay, into the mixer with a reverb.

Martian Beachfront

First time in ages I’ve had enough energy for a jam. My youngest kept coming in and pressing buttons on the sequencer so had to fend her off!

Get In The Cupboard

Inspired by a guy on the Internet (who did it much better than me!) I’ve built all my synths into a cupboard to keep them away from the kids! Using the Oberkorn to ping a LPG to generate percussion, then using envelopes to modular the filter, I got a shuffling squelchy groove going. I used the Oberkorn’s third CV line to modulate its timing which gave me a shuffle, which I enjoyed

Smash Stacks (with video)

Trying to sync up Circles and Oberkorn - didn’t come out how I planned it but that’s always the fun! Heavily compressed the snare and hats for part of the track using the Waldorf compressor module Getting some nice sounds out of the Dreadbox Hysterial by finding sweet spots on the PWM. Maybe the wasp filter was a bit full on for this jam, but it was fun!

Squeezed Through (with video)

Had a bit of a false start with this one - track kicks in around 20 seconds in! I don’t know why I always default to acid techno on equipment! I banged out a quick acidy number and then tried this downtempo moody jam

Going On Road

Ratcheting the hats with a Ladik burst generator and getting nice stuff out of Chipz!

Cone of Chipz

Little jam using a Chipz oscillator for lo-fi crunch - it’s great for percussion!

Throaty

Ducking the bass by sidechaining the compressor Experimenting with new-to-me wavetable module

Mysteries Of Summer

Some polymetrics stereo rhythms with fold processed oscillators laid on top. Blended two LFOs with a voltage offset to get the arpeggiation

Summer Squelch

Made some of my own percussion using an attenuverting mixer, an LFO, an AR envelope, a trigger delay and coloured noise, and mixed it with the rest of the ‘rack

Spinning Discs

Some polymetric riddims from the ‘rack. Realised I can send different levels of volume into low pass gates to get more human-sounding melodies, rather than everything being at a uniform level

Circling Euclid

Polymetric euclidean rhythms from the Euclidean Circles v2 - LOVE this module!

Fruit Salad

Vocals by Lil Nephew. Sequenced on the Beatstep Pro, bassline is going through the Wasp filter - absolutely LOVE this filter. It does incredible sub-bass but I had to edit that bit out because the waveform went all square on screen! Used an oscillator and S+H module as a bandulu bitcrusher

Monster Infighting

One quantised melody pushed through 3 oscillators tuned to an A minor chord - or, at least, they were until the baby kicked off and I had to go upstairs and try to settle her!

Emerging From The Gloom

Mixing noise and atonal melody through the A-Logic, then randomising the filter, and putting one quantised and one unquantised lead line in the stereo channels. Delay for everybody!

Indoor Weather

Got a new FX insert module today, tried it out with a delay pedal. The audio divider plays very nice with quantised sequences!

Booders

Used a sequential switch to get a 16 step pattern out of two 8 step sequencers

Some Of The Oil

Using the 3 outputs of the Sequence 8 to mutate multiple parameters, including the hi hat controls and the filter cutoff.

Careless Acid Dons

Jamming some acid on the Drumbrute Impact and the Behringer TD-3! Randomised many of the TD-3 patterns rather than programmed them.

Avec La Beanford

My two year old helped out with this track - she did her first Eurorack patching here! Some of the volume spikes are her “modulating” the audio interface :-)

Start Out Pretty

In terms of sheer value for money, the Doepfer dual trigger delay is right up there - combined with a pair of cheap low pass gates from Takaab, you have a great “sort-of-delay” effect for bouncy callbacks

Riff Rafa

A thirty minute jam - I haven’t jammed in months, good to get the modular out and of course the TD3!

Christmas Llama

A (nearly!) all-behringer, all-red funk jam! I used the TD-3 for the bassline, through a Behringer octaver pedal for more body. The “lead” bit is through the Neutron. I didn’t realise it was all-Behringer until I had recorded it! The drums are from the Arturia Drumbrute Impact.

Human Sacrifice

An acid jam on the TD3 and Drumbrute. My first experience programming patterns into the TD3, it’s quite fun actually, bit of a weird interface but that’s the appeal IMO.

Obedient Unto Death

I used the TD3 as a “master” here - I hooked the CV and gate into Eurorack and built a voice, and what do you know, the tracking is fantastic - well done Behringer!

Yeezy TD3

Took delivery of a Behringer TD3 today and I LOVE IT! Had to sell some modules to buy it, worth it though! Beats from the Drumbrute. Performed live, no overdubs. Samples Kanye West’s interview with Zane Lowe - www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuOCvKvrwI8 . TD3 is a bit hummy here, I used too much gain on the desk and too little on the TD3, so next time I use it it’ll sound cleaner.

Listen To Harry

D-day veteran Harry Billinge gave an incredible interview on BBC News recently, speaking movingly of his love for his brothers in arms and his saviour Jesus Christ. Harry’s urgent message of love is as timely now as ever.

Shemraya

Another one from miRack on the iPad rather than the Eurorack gear. I love the Euclidean sequencer, wish I could afford one in Eurorack!

What's The Bunce

My first experience of a low pass gate - has a nice, almost spooky tone to it, I really like it!

Tight Spaces

I’m using the sequential switch all the time now, on this new track I used it to cycle through 4 different levels of voltage going into the filter, and blended that with an inverted envelope to get quite a tubby bass sound.

Don't Shudder

Lead from the Neutron. Bass comes from cycling through the waveforms of the White Lines oscillator using a sequential switch with every 4th bar left empty. Stabs from the other white lines through the audio divider.

I Love How This Switch Feels

More experiments with the Synthrotek sequencer, plus using the Doepfer slew limiter to get more interesting articulation - nice that you can put slew on, say, ascending tones (voltages) only, creates cool effects.

Open It Up

Used a pure analog sequencer here - and what fun it was! The random function is great fun, it seems to jam on random steps for a few beats before moving on. No quantising, just random knob positioning!

Goblin Funk

Some good sounds in here through the Doepfer audio divider but my kids kicked off just before I was about to record so I couldn’t really get in the flow of it properly… Oh well.

Dunes

I used a Pico A-Logic to get more interesting modulations from two LFOs. I routed this into two in sequence attenuators so I could get some minimal pitch modulation and it made this swelling didgeridoo like bass sound. I blended this through the filter on the Neutron and ran a sequencer at audio rate to generate the bleepy computery sounds and hand-modulated the rate at which I was clocking the sequencer to get weird variations.

Markov Chain Modular

Earlier this year, I wrote a series of stories about a fictionalised version of my mate “Robbo”. These stories became increasingly silly and forumulaic, until I had the idea of feeding them through a Markov chain to generate a new story.

Flesh Availeth Nothing

I wanted to make some trap/drill style beats but that’s not quite how it panned out in this 30 minute jam!

Blog

Altai M-3850D Multimeter - Gav Tries To Fix (with video)

This multimeter was beeping. I know they beep, but it was beeping just at me in such as the basic environment of the room. It was beeping when it was off, beeping when it was off. Then it wouldn’t turn on at all. In the innards I found a duff fuse, but was it a poisson rouge?

C64 Mini Repair - bodging a Raspberry Pi into the case (with video)

I bought a broken C64 mini from eBay, hoping for an easy fix. It was described as not powering up. After many hours gazing through my microscope looking for shorts, my kids suggested I “put something else” in there… So I found a Raspberry Pi 3 that I thought was busted but actually turned out to work fine when I gave it enough amps, and installed RetroPie on there…

FuzzDog Spectre Verb effects pedal build, with Dwell mod installation and demo (with video)

I bought this kit just over a year ago, and I finally got around to building it! In this video, I go through the whole journey of building an effects pedal from a kit from start to finish, including the soldering, unit testing, enclosure drilling and painting, assembly and final testing. It’s a really cool delay-ish echo-ish reverb pedal that, with the mod, can go into self-oscillation for atmospheric soundscapes.

Shinbones Man - Controlling a Behringer X Air mixer using a Behringer X touch Mini via USB MIDI (with video)

I was given an XR-12 by a kind Christian brother (thanks Steve!) for use in church. I’ve got a moderate amount of experience with audio and computers, so after a bit of learning the ropes at home, I am confident with it. However, most of the folks at church who will be using the new mixer won’t have had much exposure to such things. So, it seemed a good idea to get a simple physical interface that is closer to the aging analog desk the XR is replacing.

Gav Tries To Fix Pixel Chix car (with video)

I bought a Pixel Chix car as spares+repairs from ebay. I did a bodge fix at first by cleaning the battery contacts in-situ, and it worked intermittently but was unreliable, so I attempted a “proper” fix….

As Our Hearts Break - 1 Kings 8

There are many good desires in the Christian heart that may not come to fulfilment, but God through Solomon grants us great peace and rest about those matters.

British Self Defence (video sketch)

You’ve probably heard a lot about Britain, about how the inner cities can be a bit… stabby? You may also have heard that British people don’t legally have the right to defend themselves… Well, I’m glad to say that’s nonsense! Here are a couple of ways you can defend yourself!

Fighting In Dreams (with video)

Why can’t we punch or run in our dreams? American friends tell me their bullets in their dreams just dribble out of their guns! Does this point to our helplessness against spiritual entities? What (or who!) can protect us in our dreams?

Shouts out to Cultural Christianity

In some circles it’s common to hate on “cultural Christianity” but what better evangelism is there than for people to grow up in the church, hearing the Word, observing the sacraments, being amongst God’s people?

Why I have hope

The sun is shining, I’m breathing, my heart is beating, I have food, drink, clothes, a roof, employment, am not currently broke, I have the riches of friends and family. There are not currently bullets and bombs going off in my street. But this isn’t why I have hope.

When am I ready to play in a band?

When I speak to beginner musicians, they often seem shy about playing with other musicians. How do you know you’re ready? And, for Christians, when are you ready to join a church’s worship team?

Love Versus Flattery

The people who have loved me in my life aren’t those that have flattered or blindly “affirmed” me. They’ve told me straight.

Bass Envelope Filter pedal build

I built an envelope filter from FuzzDog (PedalParts). It turned out really nice! I used to have an EHX Bass Balls back in the day and I like this better!

Paypal Cancelled

Paypal’s user agreement added a creepy clause, there was outcry, they removed it… Then they snuck it back in. I cancelled my account and called them to repentance.

3d Printer Safety

I got a 3D printer, used it a few times, and was lax about using gloves/fumes etc, but then freaked out a bit about the ABS and chucked it all in the garage for a bit… Then I calmed down and decided to figure out how to use it more safely.

Bass With Gav Session 3 - Glue

A dozen or so different styles of bass lines, applied to the same simple 2-chord sequence (G-C). This is just to give a bass player a few ideas about how different styles of bassline can affect the feel of a song. Of course, there are infinite options for basslines, this is not an exhaustive (or particularly high quality!) list!

Bass With Gav Session 1 - Anatomy of Bass Guitar

I’ve been playing bass nearly 30 years. I’m not brilliant or anything, but I want to share what I know, particularly for the youngsters in my church coming up learning the instrument :-) In this video I talk through what the bass guitar is, how it fits in to music, how to get started, a few notes on buying a bass, and a little demo of how to practise, then a little example of how I practise.

Dealing With Impostor Syndrome

Impostor syndrome is reported everywhere in the software industry and beyond. I got past it, I hope others can too. Here’s what worked for me…

Hand made guitar boost pedal build

I built a super simple opamp based boost pedal using a kit from eBay. There’s a tiny little piece of stripboard in there with the components soldered to it.

If It's The End

On the times we’re living in. The “great reset”. Possible election fraud. Churches who have abandoned the clear testimony of Scripture. Cultural suicide. Industrial scale abortion. Fake man-centred righteousness. Hubristic utopianism. Sounds pretty familiar to Bible readers… How then should I respond?

Why God the Father?

Last night at Bible study an excellent question was asked - why do Christians refer to God as Father?

I Wish Tech Books Had Shorter Chapters

I like reading. I like getting better at things. The two are, in my view, intrinsically related. This shouldn’t be a revelation to anybody! However, one weird thing stops me from reading as much as I’d like to…

Modular Markov Music

Earlier this year, I wrote a series of stories about a fictionalised version of my mate “Robbo”. These stories became increasingly silly and forumulaic, until I had the idea of feeding them through a Markov chain to generate a new story. I then routed this as audio through my Eurorack modular gear to make bizarre “not really music”.

Slaying the KuberPiDragon

An anti tutorial about me, a novice, building a Kubernetes cluster on Raspberry Pi by essentially catapulting myself headlong into a solid wall of incomprehension until the wall broke. Then I wondered why I did it.

The Importance of Context

Understanding things is hard. Explaining things is harder. This article intends to help you communicate and reason with clarity using simple questions to contextualise your work. It’s written with software in mind but is more broadly applicable.

I Believe, Help My Unbelief

The Open Door is a weekly breakfast and community primarily for the homeless and vulnerably housed in the Cardiff area. I gave a brief talk on Mark 9:17-26 on how to deal with doubts and struggles.

Who do you say I am?

The Open Door is a weekly breakfast and community primarily for the homeless and vulnerably housed in the Cardiff area. I gave a brief talk on Matthew 16:13-16. It’s not intended to be a watertight apologetic argument, more a way to start people thinking about who Jesus is.

Love and the Imago Dei

At Church I saw a young father holding his baby, and in that moment something moved in me. Here’s my attempt at unpacking it

Getting into Game Development

I was recently introduced to a young person who was looking to make her own games. I had a brief conversation with her sharing my experience of making indie games in the first decade of the 2000s, and I thought I would write down what I see as the key points.

About persuasion

Thing about the times that somebody has persuaded you of something – when you’ve changed your views…

My wedding speech

On the 21st February 2015, I got married to a truly wonderful woman and on the day I made a speech, as is convention…

Thoughts on prototyping

Expanding upon my SW Mobile talk on prototyping – how can we best use these techniques in software development…

On The Importance of Being Earnest

After reading “The Importance Of Being Earnest” on the train back from Birmingham, I feel moved to reassure you all that my girl’s surname is NOT “Bunbury”…

A cathedral

Sat on a second hand sofa I ponder on who He is And wonder surges in my heartFrom an ever-deepening well of gratitude I look up towards the light And my curtains seem to me as stained glassAnd my home feels like a cathedral Echoing my whispered word of thanks …

The tongue as a rudder

In the Bible, this guy James writes about the tongue, saying “a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong…

Choose life

is there any way to stop Blogger switching to preview when I hit CTRL+SHIFT? It’s making me want to punch a goose!

Swing swords, cut clowns

“I’ll have it raining ice drops the size of automobiles, Kill all the government microchips in my body” – ODB

GSP/B.J. Penn

MMA may be the oldest sport in the world (it’s pretty much Greek pancration), but it remains exciting, dramatic, and highly technical…

World coming down...

I recently won a charity raffle at work and got to choose the charity the money went to. I opted for no2id, which prompted discussion in the office.

No justice?

This morning in church was harvest festival and instead of having some fossilised bread and a soup tin mountain the pastor brought us some alarming statistics…

You are what you eat...

No update-me-do for a while, I’ve been busy working, doing geek things, and my lady has just relocated to my ‘hood so I’m a busy boymonkey…

God is kind

God is kind. Three words, so simple, yet seldom have I known it like I do right now.

Where are my eyes?

I don’t mean literally, obviously, I mean figuratively. I mean, if my eyes weren’t in my head, then bees could get in, and that really would be terrifying. Bzz.

Games/Projects

Mitty the Kitty (Arduboy)

The Sky Mice themselves designed the concept and sprite work for this Arduboy platform game! My kids (5 and 4) designed a little video game for the Arduboy open source 8 bit platform with 1 bit graphics. The children did the sprite work (graph paper!) and game design, I just implemented what they described! It’s playable in-browser :-)

Robbo's Quest

A game of Robbo, sir! A serious computer game about a top boy, and his noble quest to be reunited with Stevens, the horse! Playable in-browser

M. Mode

A highly fashionable shoot ‘em up, where Thomas the rotating horse takes on hordes of creatures to avoid turning into a running shoe. Maybe in May! Playable in-browser.

Atak-A-Chik

What would YOU do if an upset giant was crying chickens… Playing in-browser.

Amoeba Amoeba

The most realistic simulation of Amoeboid combat ever devised! Old ladies battle men holding sausage dogs! Animation by the amazingly talented Jonathan Reynolds. Playable in-browser.

Rotting Onslaught

“They’re coming… they’re… everywhere…” Squad based RTS where you battle zombie hordes. Sprites by Andrew Canham. Music by Davey J and myself. Playable in-browser.

End of Nightmares

A classic Streets Of Rage style beat ‘em up where a young boy has to face his own nightmares. Beautifully animated by Mark Bankhead. Playable in-browser.

Take To The Streets

Digitised brawler in the style of Final Fight featuring digitised sprites. Playable in-browser.

Pixelville Pensioners

In Pixelville Pensioners, you play as an 8-bit sprite trying to build a home for your friends… Playable in-browser.

Beat Quest

For all at HumanBeatbox.com, a simple retro platformer with ZX81 inspired visuals. Playable in-browser.

7 Seas of Rage

Weebl and Bob fan game where Chris the Ninja Pirate must rescue Wee Bull! Playable in-browser.

Weeblix

Fake operating system based on Weebl and Bob! Playable in-browser.

Pazzman 2 (QBasic)

QBasic game where you have to break your mates out of an insane asylum so you can cause havoc in a nightclub.

Pazzman (QBasic)

QBasic game set in a high school, with the goal of causing as much trouble as possible.

Unfinished Games

Footy

Unfinished table football (“fussball”) game. Playable in-browser.

Rotting Onslaught 3D

A sprite based Flash 3d engine. Never finished this but it sort of works…. Kinda! Playable in-browser.

Piehunt

First attempt at a Weebl and Bob fan game - a simple platform game I made whilst learning Flash. Playable in-browser.

Reckoned As Dead

Primitive grind album, blending St Paul’s thought with the DIY aggression of early grindcore.

Altai M-3850D Multimeter - Gav Tries To Fix (with video)

This multimeter was beeping. I know they beep, but it was beeping just at me in such as the basic environment of the room. It was beeping when it was off, beeping when it was off. Then it wouldn’t turn on at all. In the innards I found a duff fuse, but was it a poisson rouge?

Shinbones Man - Long Time Coming (with video)

I started this track on 28th Jan, but it didn’t sit right. The mixer I use is primarily for church usage, and I had a couple of services I needed it for, and when I got home I couldn’t be bothered to recable it all… So there it sat! I didn’t do any music for two months, I was more busy fixing things and writing games.

C64 Mini Repair - bodging a Raspberry Pi into the case (with video)

I bought a broken C64 mini from eBay, hoping for an easy fix. It was described as not powering up. After many hours gazing through my microscope looking for shorts, my kids suggested I “put something else” in there… So I found a Raspberry Pi 3 that I thought was busted but actually turned out to work fine when I gave it enough amps, and installed RetroPie on there…

Shinbones Man - Ray Man Dinner (with video)

I built a FuzzDog SpectreVerb pedal, which I completed this morning. I modified it with the “dwell” mod which allows it to go into self-oscillation. I did this little track with a Behringer TD-3-MO, a Behringer RD-6, and this pedal I’ve built :-) Also using an analog mixer this time, which is nice for the NIM-style parts of this piece.

FuzzDog Spectre Verb effects pedal build, with Dwell mod installation and demo (with video)

I bought this kit just over a year ago, and I finally got around to building it! In this video, I go through the whole journey of building an effects pedal from a kit from start to finish, including the soldering, unit testing, enclosure drilling and painting, assembly and final testing. It’s a really cool delay-ish echo-ish reverb pedal that, with the mod, can go into self-oscillation for atmospheric soundscapes.

Shinbones Man - Nannenbaws (with video)

My kids have been calling everything and everyone “Nannenbaws” recently, I have no idea what it means. This techno track is made live using the Analogue Solutions Oberkorn analog sequencer along with the Behringer Edge percussion synthesiser.

Shinbones Man - Controlling a Behringer X Air mixer using a Behringer X touch Mini via USB MIDI (with video)

I was given an XR-12 by a kind Christian brother (thanks Steve!) for use in church. I’ve got a moderate amount of experience with audio and computers, so after a bit of learning the ropes at home, I am confident with it. However, most of the folks at church who will be using the new mixer won’t have had much exposure to such things. So, it seemed a good idea to get a simple physical interface that is closer to the aging analog desk the XR is replacing.

Gav Tries To Fix Pixel Chix car (with video)

I bought a Pixel Chix car as spares+repairs from ebay. I did a bodge fix at first by cleaning the battery contacts in-situ, and it worked intermittently but was unreliable, so I attempted a “proper” fix….

Shinbones Man - Pro Ponytrekking (with video)

Just got back from church prayer meeting, feeling full of joy and energy despite the horrors of the world, because God is in control and Jesus is coming back. How can anyone have peace without that assurance? As hard as life is, the hope of the Gospel is an anchor for the soul.

As Our Hearts Break - 1 Kings 8

There are many good desires in the Christian heart that may not come to fulfilment, but God through Solomon grants us great peace and rest about those matters.

Early Morning Acid (with video)

Before I was properly awake I had a little acid improv session. A random pattern, with some simple 909 clone action and some improv keys… I’m all over the place but I’m enjoyin me’sen, innit!

British Self Defence (video sketch)

You’ve probably heard a lot about Britain, about how the inner cities can be a bit… stabby? You may also have heard that British people don’t legally have the right to defend themselves… Well, I’m glad to say that’s nonsense! Here are a couple of ways you can defend yourself!

Electric Volvo

Ran the RD-6 into the filter of the TD-3-MO. I used the sub bass on the TD-3-MO ‘cos the regular voice was too loud

Long It Off

Using the TD-3-MO to generate a kick drum. TD-3 through hand built octave master and blue moon phaser. Snare from RD-6 through hand built delay. Hats from RD-6. Reverb is a HoF.

Fighting In Dreams (with video)

Why can’t we punch or run in our dreams? American friends tell me their bullets in their dreams just dribble out of their guns! Does this point to our helplessness against spiritual entities? What (or who!) can protect us in our dreams?

Shouts out to Cultural Christianity

In some circles it’s common to hate on “cultural Christianity” but what better evangelism is there than for people to grow up in the church, hearing the Word, observing the sacraments, being amongst God’s people?

Why I have hope

The sun is shining, I’m breathing, my heart is beating, I have food, drink, clothes, a roof, employment, am not currently broke, I have the riches of friends and family. There are not currently bullets and bombs going off in my street. But this isn’t why I have hope.

When am I ready to play in a band?

When I speak to beginner musicians, they often seem shy about playing with other musicians. How do you know you’re ready? And, for Christians, when are you ready to join a church’s worship team?

Mitty the Kitty (Arduboy)

The Sky Mice themselves designed the concept and sprite work for this Arduboy platform game! My kids (5 and 4) designed a little video game for the Arduboy open source 8 bit platform with 1 bit graphics. The children did the sprite work (graph paper!) and game design, I just implemented what they described! It’s playable in-browser :-)

Love Versus Flattery

The people who have loved me in my life aren’t those that have flattered or blindly “affirmed” me. They’ve told me straight.

NiM (no-input mixer improv with video)

I discovered no input mixer music this week, and gave it a go! No input mixer music means you make music from feeding the mixer back into itself, generally through effects pedals; there are no external instruments.

Splashdown (with video)

Fuzzed out live dawless electronic music using a Bass octaver with the Make Noise 0-Coast and hand-build mangler and phaser pedals. Beats: SR-16.

Grotten Industries (with video)

Chaotic, fuzzed-out, glitchy industrial/electronic dawless improv. The main synth is the Make Noise 0-coast, driven through a hand-built Green Ringer and a hand-built Reasonably Good Mangler. The other synth is a simple Eurorack voice pushed through a hand-built phaser.

As We Approach The Grave (with video)

Gloomy dungeon synth meets house. Lead line from Make Noise 0-coast, sequenced with Oberkorn analog sequencer. I played the bass/pad live (which is why there are so many fluffs!), it’s an NW1 wavetable oscillator.

Novel Tides (with video)

My first play with the Make Noise 0-Coast semi-modular synth. This thing’s a beaut when combined with the Oberkorn analog sequencer! The additive approach of adding overtones and harmonics is a pretty new world to me; I’ve used a wave folder before but not had this level of flexibility.

Duck Line (with video)

Ducking the bass by using triggers from the RD-6 to trigger an inverting envelope which I’m then voltage offsetting. Lead line/texture from nw-1 oscillator, which I’m tweaking live. I also adjust the ducking amount and rate live.

Scraped Apart (with video)

Combining waves from NW-1 and Dreadbox Hysteria oscillators , wave folding them together, modulating heavily, and tweaking in real time

Robbo's Quest

A game of Robbo, sir! A serious computer game about a top boy, and his noble quest to be reunited with Stevens, the horse! Playable in-browser

Swagger Chops (with video)

Distortion stacking on the TD-3-MO with a Screamer clone and a RAT clone. Punching in the Bass Balls really makes it scream!

Engine Room

Messing with sequence lengths on the Oberkorn. You can almost play this thing like a guitar…. The first track of CV goes to the NW-1’s pitch via a quantiser module. The other two CV channels modulate some of NW-1’s parameters.

Super Homey (with video)

Beats: Behringer RD-8 Bass: Behringer TD-3-MO thru home made Bassballs envelope filter, modified Tube Screamer copy, and simple bass fuzz.

Bass Envelope Filter pedal build

I built an envelope filter from FuzzDog (PedalParts). It turned out really nice! I used to have an EHX Bass Balls back in the day and I like this better!

Little Donkey (metal version)

Metal version of my favourite Christmas carol, “Little Donkey”. Although there’s no Biblical evidence that Mary rode a donkey, one day a donkey and her colt WOULD carry the King of Kings into Jerusalem - it was prophesied in Zecheriah 9 and the fulfilment of that prophecy is recorded in Mark’s Gospel, chapter 11, Matthew 21, and John 12.

Acid Rats (with video)

I was proper dancing as I played this! RD9’s kick drum routed thru a MXR bass overdrive, TD-3-MO routed through a RAT module.

Acid Vulture

Live acid improv using Behringer RD-9 (909 clone) and TD-3-MO (303 with Devilfish mod clone). I missed quite a few of the drops on this track - dropping bass in on beat 2 instead of 1 - but it’s always great fun to make acid. I used chorus on the TD-3-MO

Horrible Mess

messing about with the Oberkorn sequencer and Chipz module. I like the very first percussive pattern, everything else stinks!

Infestation (with video)

I set my cupboard studio back up! I own about 50% as much Eurorack gear as I used to. Already regret selling! Kick from an SR16. The SR16 is funny over MIDI; the claps on the RD6 interfere with it sometimes. Bassline is TD-3-MO through some chorus.

Headtorch

Atmospheric track playing the T-8 in the highest octave it’ll go, and using delay to get chordlike structures

Chase Scene

Music for an imaginary chase scene that I wrote on the train yesterday.

Paypal Cancelled

Paypal’s user agreement added a creepy clause, there was outcry, they removed it… Then they snuck it back in. I cancelled my account and called them to repentance.

Squabliins

Second attempt at acid on the T-8 - recreated the first version of Squabliins

Squabblins

The Roland T8 is a delightful little palmtop acid box, I’ve really enjoyed it so far

Cattico

I like some of the sounds on the Alesis SR-16 but I don’t enjoy the sequencer. Thankfully, it speaks MIDI so I was able to drive it from the RD-8. In this sketch, I blend the analog RD-8 with the SR-16 in real time.

Acid Crush

Acid improv linking the TD-3 and TD-3-MO. You can’t link accents that way (AFAICT), although you could link two TD-3-MOs to link accents.

3d Printer Safety

I got a 3D printer, used it a few times, and was lax about using gloves/fumes etc, but then freaked out a bit about the ABS and chucked it all in the garage for a bit… Then I calmed down and decided to figure out how to use it more safely.

Acid Maze

Yet more improvised acid! Let’s face it, acid is just fun. Mix is way off, distorted rd6 is too low, and as usual I’m just improv’ing for fun :-)

Bass With Gav Session 3 - Glue

A dozen or so different styles of bass lines, applied to the same simple 2-chord sequence (G-C). This is just to give a bass player a few ideas about how different styles of bassline can affect the feel of a song. Of course, there are infinite options for basslines, this is not an exhaustive (or particularly high quality!) list!

Bass With Gav Session 1 - Anatomy of Bass Guitar

I’ve been playing bass nearly 30 years. I’m not brilliant or anything, but I want to share what I know, particularly for the youngsters in my church coming up learning the instrument :-) In this video I talk through what the bass guitar is, how it fits in to music, how to get started, a few notes on buying a bass, and a little demo of how to practise, then a little example of how I practise.

Tinker Peddlar (with video)

Using: - Behringer RD-8 drum machine - Bitcrusher pedal I built from a kit - Echo Blue Delay pedal I built from a kit - Great Warship I built from a kit - Reverb pedal I built from a kit

Modded Out

Trying out the Behringer TD-3 MO. I threw in some chords but I guess I knocked the tuning out, oh well, that’s live analog music!

Dealing With Impostor Syndrome

Impostor syndrome is reported everywhere in the software industry and beyond. I got past it, I hope others can too. Here’s what worked for me…

Monboxer

I’ve been working on an Arduino based synth, here it is played over a beat from a Behringer RD-8

Bin Ripper (with video)

I built a Bitcrusher pedal this weekend and used it on the RD-6 drums. Melody line played on a TD-3 through Octafuzz and Echo Blue Delay pedals that I built

Handled Temperamental Box (with video)

I’ve built some effects pedals lately, from kits from Jed’s Peds and PedalParts (FuzzDog). Here I use a Great Warship Fuzz and a Echo Blue Delay on a Korg Monologue. Reverb is a HoF.

Hand made guitar boost pedal build

I built a super simple opamp based boost pedal using a kit from eBay. There’s a tiny little piece of stripboard in there with the components soldered to it.

Jarring (with video)

Improvising live on Behringer TD-3, RD-9 and Korg Monologue. I still can’t play keyboards very well.

Adequate

Korg Monologue played by hand over RD-8 beats, with a bit of reverb

Acid Fountain

Clipping all over the place! That’s a shame. My little Behringer UB202 audio interface doesn’t have heaps of headroom, so it’s quite hard to get a lot of level without clipping, but this is the worst I’ve ever known it on a recording I’ve done. It’s because I had a lot going on - analog beats from the Behringer RD-9 (909 clone) and the TD-3 (TB-303 clone) which is pretty raunchy with the accent/resonance. Some compression would have helped here! Ah well, it was a fun jam.

Automata

Beats on an RD-6, everything else made by layering up a vocoder. It’s a bit messy but there’s moment where it comes together!

Canopy

Behringer Deepmind 6 sonic sketch. Came up with a brassy patch, then mapped a bunch of stuff to the mod wheel… then all of a sudden it was a forest!

Slabs (demo)

Some chord patterns I’ve been playing with. It’s coming off a bit My Bloody Valentine, and a bit Justin Broadrick… I like it! The drums are just the 8-beat pattern on the Mooer GE-100.

The Gates Of Hell Shall Not Prevail

Experimenting with the modulation matrix on the Behringer Deepmind 6. Lots of subtle (and not so subtle!) modulations in here, and I just get so much joy from playing this keyboard. “On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. “ - Jesus Christ

gavD - Cry of the Wretched

Written, performed, recorded in 1 hour. My 2 year old broke the family electric guitar, and about 9 months later I finally got it fixed, so I am writing some of the kind of music that’s in my blood - punk, metal, thrash, hardcore. Laid down guitar in Garageband, and used Garageband’s virtual drummer, then “sang”

Sprite Packs

Beats on RD-6. Snare’s going through a Behringer reverb pedal, gated setting. Keys on (damaged, volume pot’s bust) Monologue. FX loop via Church Reverb setting of a TC Electronic Hall of Fame reverb, which arrived yesterday and sounds great I still can’t play keyboards with any degree of skill, so I’m mostly just banging notes in and hoping they settle into the reverb!

Gloom Safe (with video)

Sonic sketch on the Elektron Model:Cycles, recorded whilst my wife was watching dreadful smugfest “Have I Got News For You” in the same room

Emperor's New Spike

More polymetric rhythms from the Elektron Model:Cycles. I just love playing with this sequencer! It’s only a 1 bar pattern but through differing track lengths, probability-based sequencing and conditional triggers, I got a much more lively sounding song.

Metric Mice

some polymetric rhythms. My 4 year old took control of some of the knobs during recording of this sketch.

My Teddy Called Mittens

My 4 year old daughter recorded a story about her cat teddy, “Mittens”, which I then re-amped through a vocoder, which I played using a Korg Monologue as a controller. I set it to a beat on an RD-6.

Sky Mice

My 2 year old triggering the TD-6 drum machine, my 4 year old on Volca Keys and me bashing away on a Korg Monologue. All day the little one has been saying “I’m Sky Mice!” and no idea what she means but now it’s our band name :-)

Blind Chamber

Layering Korg Monologue synth sounds on a 4 track, and only hearing the track I am recording. I thought it might be interesting to see what came out, and I notice that I often time things the same, even though I couldn’t hear the other tracks.

Monologue Beats (video)

I got a Korg Monologue yesterday, and I decided to use it as a drum machine! What an amazing synth, incredibly versatile. Made me feel like a superstar DJ dropping beats in and out!

Sorrow Weighs (with video)

Dark synth pop moody jam. I don’t often listen to music these days but the last couple of days I’ve listened to a lot of synth stuff and really enjoyed it, this is something of an attempt at a synthesis of that input! I deliberately tried to make the bass filter fuzzy and drifty, enough PWM and discordant blend to get that classic vintage vibe. I wish I had a few more modulation sources but that’s part of the fun sometimes - improvising!

Curate's Egg

This was better whilst I was composing it, but then the kids wanted to play and it kind of lost momentum and they reprogrammed the TR6! Snare pattern got a bit annoying on listening back to this but there are some nice sounds in there at times, hence the track title! I’m enjoying having arps from the Keystep, it’s a fun way to work.

I Just... (with video)

Jamming with the RD-6 and Keystep. I can’t play keyboard very well but I can hold down a bunch of white notes and hope for good arps!

Peopled Out (with video)

Jam using the Oberkorn sequencer. I used the Pico Logic XOR and AND for some of the percussion, getting effectively 2 gates from 4.

iPad Papa_

I was on holiday this week, and took my Pocket Operator. I sampled my brother and my lil nephew along with the classic Amen Brother break and cut it all up into a little junglist sonic collage.

Clumsily Intact (with video)

Jam based around a single oscillator, where I manipulate the filter with a looping AR generator. Computer is only there for recording.

Knocking On

sequence from the Oberkorn, played the lead line live on the NW1 via the Beatstep, percussion samples from the Pocket Operator My 2 year old tinkered with some parts of this so technically a collaboration!

Chunners (with video)

I sampled a Behringer TR6 and TD3 onto a Pocket Operator Hadouken! (PO-33) and sequenced up a little tune with the samples

Nihilistic Cultural Decay

First jam in months… Contains a sample of Carter from the Unsafe Space podcast. We’re in a very nihilistic era. There is hope, though. There is Truth and He’s knowable!

Sickly Beat

Sampled both my RD-6 and a cheap Yamaha keyboard into the Pocket Operator and made a simple track out of it. After making this beat, I quickly sickened with Covid-19 and spent nearly 36 hours straight in bed sweating and shivering!

Sonic Tub

5 minute jam on a Pocket Operator PO-33 - recorded a few seconds of my kids playing in the bath then sliced it up and sequenced it. Played a little melody based on a sample of me making a noise, pitched up.

Like A Beaten Dog

Feeding channel 1 into the clock speed to get swing on the Oberkorn. I sync’d out to the RD-6 and got it to do swing by setting the resolution to 1PPS.

OK Let's Go (with video)

Waldorf NW1 vocal sample sync’d up with a bit of help from my mate Jon - the secret was controlling the wavetable position with an envelope with just the right amount of offset.

Pressure Is On

A bit of an iteration on my last track, went for a pentatonic so it was less spooky and attenuated the delay to reduce the clipping, then I added some beats.

Rumbled Dat

Sequencing the pitch of the snare gives me a nice tom tom kinda vibe, good fun

If It's The End

On the times we’re living in. The “great reset”. Possible election fraud. Churches who have abandoned the clear testimony of Scripture. Cultural suicide. Industrial scale abortion. Fake man-centred righteousness. Hubristic utopianism. Sounds pretty familiar to Bible readers… How then should I respond?

Cling On When The World Goes Mad

Using the Oberkorn for the sequence into the Dreadbox Hysteria with the quantise mode on, and tapped the pulse out into the White Lines oscillator and played with pitch for oscillator sync effects.

Please Stop Raging

My youngest daughter had a toddler ragefit this evening and this song was my calm down time afterwards! Simplest patch I’ve ever recorded - just a slightly off sinewave, with a bit of LFO modulation, into a low pass gate, into a crossfader with a delay, into the mixer with a reverb.

Martian Beachfront

First time in ages I’ve had enough energy for a jam. My youngest kept coming in and pressing buttons on the sequencer so had to fend her off!

Get In The Cupboard

Inspired by a guy on the Internet (who did it much better than me!) I’ve built all my synths into a cupboard to keep them away from the kids! Using the Oberkorn to ping a LPG to generate percussion, then using envelopes to modular the filter, I got a shuffling squelchy groove going. I used the Oberkorn’s third CV line to modulate its timing which gave me a shuffle, which I enjoyed

Smash Stacks (with video)

Trying to sync up Circles and Oberkorn - didn’t come out how I planned it but that’s always the fun! Heavily compressed the snare and hats for part of the track using the Waldorf compressor module Getting some nice sounds out of the Dreadbox Hysterial by finding sweet spots on the PWM. Maybe the wasp filter was a bit full on for this jam, but it was fun!

Squeezed Through (with video)

Had a bit of a false start with this one - track kicks in around 20 seconds in! I don’t know why I always default to acid techno on equipment! I banged out a quick acidy number and then tried this downtempo moody jam

Going On Road

Ratcheting the hats with a Ladik burst generator and getting nice stuff out of Chipz!

Cone of Chipz

Little jam using a Chipz oscillator for lo-fi crunch - it’s great for percussion!

Throaty

Ducking the bass by sidechaining the compressor Experimenting with new-to-me wavetable module

Mysteries Of Summer

Some polymetrics stereo rhythms with fold processed oscillators laid on top. Blended two LFOs with a voltage offset to get the arpeggiation

Summer Squelch

Made some of my own percussion using an attenuverting mixer, an LFO, an AR envelope, a trigger delay and coloured noise, and mixed it with the rest of the ‘rack

Spinning Discs

Some polymetric riddims from the ‘rack. Realised I can send different levels of volume into low pass gates to get more human-sounding melodies, rather than everything being at a uniform level

Circling Euclid

Polymetric euclidean rhythms from the Euclidean Circles v2 - LOVE this module!

Fruit Salad

Vocals by Lil Nephew. Sequenced on the Beatstep Pro, bassline is going through the Wasp filter - absolutely LOVE this filter. It does incredible sub-bass but I had to edit that bit out because the waveform went all square on screen! Used an oscillator and S+H module as a bandulu bitcrusher

Monster Infighting

One quantised melody pushed through 3 oscillators tuned to an A minor chord - or, at least, they were until the baby kicked off and I had to go upstairs and try to settle her!

Emerging From The Gloom

Mixing noise and atonal melody through the A-Logic, then randomising the filter, and putting one quantised and one unquantised lead line in the stereo channels. Delay for everybody!

Indoor Weather

Got a new FX insert module today, tried it out with a delay pedal. The audio divider plays very nice with quantised sequences!

Booders

Used a sequential switch to get a 16 step pattern out of two 8 step sequencers

Some Of The Oil

Using the 3 outputs of the Sequence 8 to mutate multiple parameters, including the hi hat controls and the filter cutoff.

Careless Acid Dons

Jamming some acid on the Drumbrute Impact and the Behringer TD-3! Randomised many of the TD-3 patterns rather than programmed them.

Avec La Beanford

My two year old helped out with this track - she did her first Eurorack patching here! Some of the volume spikes are her “modulating” the audio interface :-)

Start Out Pretty

In terms of sheer value for money, the Doepfer dual trigger delay is right up there - combined with a pair of cheap low pass gates from Takaab, you have a great “sort-of-delay” effect for bouncy callbacks

Riff Rafa

A thirty minute jam - I haven’t jammed in months, good to get the modular out and of course the TD3!

Why God the Father?

Last night at Bible study an excellent question was asked - why do Christians refer to God as Father?

Christmas Llama

A (nearly!) all-behringer, all-red funk jam! I used the TD-3 for the bassline, through a Behringer octaver pedal for more body. The “lead” bit is through the Neutron. I didn’t realise it was all-Behringer until I had recorded it! The drums are from the Arturia Drumbrute Impact.

Human Sacrifice

An acid jam on the TD3 and Drumbrute. My first experience programming patterns into the TD3, it’s quite fun actually, bit of a weird interface but that’s the appeal IMO.

Obedient Unto Death

I used the TD3 as a “master” here - I hooked the CV and gate into Eurorack and built a voice, and what do you know, the tracking is fantastic - well done Behringer!

Yeezy TD3

Took delivery of a Behringer TD3 today and I LOVE IT! Had to sell some modules to buy it, worth it though! Beats from the Drumbrute. Performed live, no overdubs. Samples Kanye West’s interview with Zane Lowe - www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuOCvKvrwI8 . TD3 is a bit hummy here, I used too much gain on the desk and too little on the TD3, so next time I use it it’ll sound cleaner.

Listen To Harry

D-day veteran Harry Billinge gave an incredible interview on BBC News recently, speaking movingly of his love for his brothers in arms and his saviour Jesus Christ. Harry’s urgent message of love is as timely now as ever.

Shemraya

Another one from miRack on the iPad rather than the Eurorack gear. I love the Euclidean sequencer, wish I could afford one in Eurorack!

What's The Bunce

My first experience of a low pass gate - has a nice, almost spooky tone to it, I really like it!

Tight Spaces

I’m using the sequential switch all the time now, on this new track I used it to cycle through 4 different levels of voltage going into the filter, and blended that with an inverted envelope to get quite a tubby bass sound.

I Wish Tech Books Had Shorter Chapters

I like reading. I like getting better at things. The two are, in my view, intrinsically related. This shouldn’t be a revelation to anybody! However, one weird thing stops me from reading as much as I’d like to…

Don't Shudder

Lead from the Neutron. Bass comes from cycling through the waveforms of the White Lines oscillator using a sequential switch with every 4th bar left empty. Stabs from the other white lines through the audio divider.

I Love How This Switch Feels

More experiments with the Synthrotek sequencer, plus using the Doepfer slew limiter to get more interesting articulation - nice that you can put slew on, say, ascending tones (voltages) only, creates cool effects.

Open It Up

Used a pure analog sequencer here - and what fun it was! The random function is great fun, it seems to jam on random steps for a few beats before moving on. No quantising, just random knob positioning!

Goblin Funk

Some good sounds in here through the Doepfer audio divider but my kids kicked off just before I was about to record so I couldn’t really get in the flow of it properly… Oh well.

Dunes

I used a Pico A-Logic to get more interesting modulations from two LFOs. I routed this into two in sequence attenuators so I could get some minimal pitch modulation and it made this swelling didgeridoo like bass sound. I blended this through the filter on the Neutron and ran a sequencer at audio rate to generate the bleepy computery sounds and hand-modulated the rate at which I was clocking the sequencer to get weird variations.

Modular Markov Music

Earlier this year, I wrote a series of stories about a fictionalised version of my mate “Robbo”. These stories became increasingly silly and forumulaic, until I had the idea of feeding them through a Markov chain to generate a new story. I then routed this as audio through my Eurorack modular gear to make bizarre “not really music”.

Markov Chain Modular

Earlier this year, I wrote a series of stories about a fictionalised version of my mate “Robbo”. These stories became increasingly silly and forumulaic, until I had the idea of feeding them through a Markov chain to generate a new story.

Flesh Availeth Nothing

I wanted to make some trap/drill style beats but that’s not quite how it panned out in this 30 minute jam!

Slaying the KuberPiDragon

An anti tutorial about me, a novice, building a Kubernetes cluster on Raspberry Pi by essentially catapulting myself headlong into a solid wall of incomprehension until the wall broke. Then I wondered why I did it.

The Importance of Context

Understanding things is hard. Explaining things is harder. This article intends to help you communicate and reason with clarity using simple questions to contextualise your work. It’s written with software in mind but is more broadly applicable.

I Believe, Help My Unbelief

The Open Door is a weekly breakfast and community primarily for the homeless and vulnerably housed in the Cardiff area. I gave a brief talk on Mark 9:17-26 on how to deal with doubts and struggles.

Who do you say I am?

The Open Door is a weekly breakfast and community primarily for the homeless and vulnerably housed in the Cardiff area. I gave a brief talk on Matthew 16:13-16. It’s not intended to be a watertight apologetic argument, more a way to start people thinking about who Jesus is.

Love and the Imago Dei

At Church I saw a young father holding his baby, and in that moment something moved in me. Here’s my attempt at unpacking it

Getting into Game Development

I was recently introduced to a young person who was looking to make her own games. I had a brief conversation with her sharing my experience of making indie games in the first decade of the 2000s, and I thought I would write down what I see as the key points.

About persuasion

Thing about the times that somebody has persuaded you of something – when you’ve changed your views…

My wedding speech

On the 21st February 2015, I got married to a truly wonderful woman and on the day I made a speech, as is convention…

Thoughts on prototyping

Expanding upon my SW Mobile talk on prototyping – how can we best use these techniques in software development…

On The Importance of Being Earnest

After reading “The Importance Of Being Earnest” on the train back from Birmingham, I feel moved to reassure you all that my girl’s surname is NOT “Bunbury”…

A cathedral

Sat on a second hand sofa I ponder on who He is And wonder surges in my heartFrom an ever-deepening well of gratitude I look up towards the light And my curtains seem to me as stained glassAnd my home feels like a cathedral Echoing my whispered word of thanks …

The tongue as a rudder

In the Bible, this guy James writes about the tongue, saying “a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong…

M. Mode

A highly fashionable shoot ‘em up, where Thomas the rotating horse takes on hordes of creatures to avoid turning into a running shoe. Maybe in May! Playable in-browser.

Asia K

I played in classical pianist and singer/songwriter Asia K’s backing band

Atak-A-Chik

What would YOU do if an upset giant was crying chickens… Playing in-browser.

Footy

Unfinished table football (“fussball”) game. Playable in-browser.

Choose life

is there any way to stop Blogger switching to preview when I hit CTRL+SHIFT? It’s making me want to punch a goose!

Swing swords, cut clowns

“I’ll have it raining ice drops the size of automobiles, Kill all the government microchips in my body” – ODB

GSP/B.J. Penn

MMA may be the oldest sport in the world (it’s pretty much Greek pancration), but it remains exciting, dramatic, and highly technical…

World coming down...

I recently won a charity raffle at work and got to choose the charity the money went to. I opted for no2id, which prompted discussion in the office.

No justice?

This morning in church was harvest festival and instead of having some fossilised bread and a soup tin mountain the pastor brought us some alarming statistics…

You are what you eat...

No update-me-do for a while, I’ve been busy working, doing geek things, and my lady has just relocated to my ‘hood so I’m a busy boymonkey…

God is kind

God is kind. Three words, so simple, yet seldom have I known it like I do right now.

Where are my eyes?

I don’t mean literally, obviously, I mean figuratively. I mean, if my eyes weren’t in my head, then bees could get in, and that really would be terrifying. Bzz.

BeatMuppet - Live Looping LP

Live looping album recorded using a Boss RC20XL pedal, a Cort 6 string bass and an acoustic guitar. All a bit experimental and winged on the fly. Standard! I gigged some of this stuff, it was a trainwreck and I almost flung my bass in a skip on the way home!

Rotting Onslaught 3D

A sprite based Flash 3d engine. Never finished this but it sort of works…. Kinda! Playable in-browser.

Amoeba Amoeba

The most realistic simulation of Amoeboid combat ever devised! Old ladies battle men holding sausage dogs! Animation by the amazingly talented Jonathan Reynolds. Playable in-browser.

Rotting Onslaught

“They’re coming… they’re… everywhere…” Squad based RTS where you battle zombie hordes. Sprites by Andrew Canham. Music by Davey J and myself. Playable in-browser.

End of Nightmares

A classic Streets Of Rage style beat ‘em up where a young boy has to face his own nightmares. Beautifully animated by Mark Bankhead. Playable in-browser.

Take To The Streets

Digitised brawler in the style of Final Fight featuring digitised sprites. Playable in-browser.

Pixelville Pensioners

In Pixelville Pensioners, you play as an 8-bit sprite trying to build a home for your friends… Playable in-browser.

Beat Quest

For all at HumanBeatbox.com, a simple retro platformer with ZX81 inspired visuals. Playable in-browser.

7 Seas of Rage

Weebl and Bob fan game where Chris the Ninja Pirate must rescue Wee Bull! Playable in-browser.

Weeblix

Fake operating system based on Weebl and Bob! Playable in-browser.

Piehunt

First attempt at a Weebl and Bob fan game - a simple platform game I made whilst learning Flash. Playable in-browser.

gavD - Wyverne Sessions

Songs recorded in 2002, a mix of funk, metal, industrial, punk, soundscape and messing about, along with a few quite pretty instrumental pieces.

Monkey Snowball Fighter

An alias I used whilst making music in my uni years. Some of these ‘songs’ fed into Vibration White Finger.

Pazzman 2 (QBasic)

QBasic game where you have to break your mates out of an insane asylum so you can cause havoc in a nightclub.

Winter

A name for my music projects in my college years. Mostly MIDI synth, a few samples, and quite dark.

Pazzman (QBasic)

QBasic game set in a high school, with the goal of causing as much trouble as possible.

Nux Vomica

A name for my music projects in my last school year. Mostly MIDI.