simple csound "quadrafuzz"

Fri, 2007-12-28 22:40

For years I've wanted to try the "quadrafuzz" idea out in Csound. The Quadrafuzz is a device by Craig Anderton that splits the input signal into four bands, distorts each one, and mixed the four bands back together. This is very easily done in Csound, though here I've used pure clipping for the distortion, which some may find a bit "harsh". This example mp3 is the result of processing a sample of a "clean" electric guitar with this Csound instrument. Here are the orchestra and the score files.

The output of a pure clipping fuzz is a rectangular wave. The "quadrafuzz" output looks like a skyline, like this:

a fuzz box and a mass audience

Wed, 2007-12-05 23:07

I'm trying to improve my soldering skills, so I can build electronic things.

In particular, I want to build this headphone distribution amplifier kit which Jenni gave me
for my birthday. But, it's so expensive, and reasonably complicated so I didn't think
my soldering skills were up to the job. So, I bought two brand new soldering irons (including a nice 15 watt Weller soldering pencil, which seems to be just perfect for this kind of work) and a nice iron holder. I also bought this kit and managed to build it into a working "fuzz box". It looks like this:

And it sounds like this (recorded with it directly connected to my laptop via a PreSonus Firebox). Which isn't too bad considering how simple it is. I was actually hoping it would sound "worse", i.e., even more fuzzy. I haven't decided whether I'll keep the thing; if I do, I'll certainly need to put it in a case.

In other news, PHO is getting national airtime on Free Speech TV! Check out the schedule: we're all over the place! If you catch any PHO on FSTV, do let me know. One of my pieces (Bless Your Car With Love) is showing on Christmas!


Fri, 2007-10-19 17:45

This week I've been thinking about weird numbers, a number theoretic concept that, it turns out, hasn't been investigated nearly as heavily (from a computational point of view) as one might think it would have. With another editor at Wikipedia, I've been looking for better lower bounds on odd weird numbers (i.e., a value x that we can be sure that any odd weird number n must be greater than: n>x). I found a paper from 1976 that gives a method for calculating rather large weird numbers, but it says nothing about odd weird numbers. I might try some computations this weekend.

Also this week, I had an MRI on Tuesday. This was my first MRI. My liver doctor wants me to have them once a year to make sure we detect any anomalies (read: tumors) in my liver as early as possible. I've been having liver ultrasounds every siz months since my interferon treatment for hepatitis C, but now he wants to replace every other one with an MRI. I have to say, ultrasounds are more fun. The MRI required an IV, and although I'm not claustrophobic per se, it was a bit unpleasant being in the tube and subjected to quite loud noises (actually, it was kind of funny, too). On the plus side, the MRI is quite short, so it's really not that bad.