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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software » Thomas Henry designs
Thomas Henry Music
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Scott Stites
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 2:46 pm    Post subject: Thomas Henry Music
Subject description: A Thomas Henry CD?
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This is a cut from the CD Thomas sent to me. After listening to it, I asked him why he hadn't released it. His answer was:

Quote:
Well, the masters are suffering from all sorts of dropouts now, so the quality just isn't there. Some of the tapes are more than 2 decades old.

Which to me, ain't no reason. He said I could distribuite as I saw fit, but MP3s don't do it justice. I think it would make a hell of a nice CD, but does some tape hiss prevent someone from purchasing a CD chock full of DIY synth's, DIY effects, Moog Modular, Harald Bode, Les Paul's, Electro-Harmonix and (IMO) one hell of a cool set of music?

One of my favorite acoustic instruments on this thing is Thomas' voice itself - man, I wish I had a voice like that. I think it could be slipped into the B-52s "Dance This Mess Around" and few would notice the difference.

So what do you all think?

About the track - the name of it is "Triste Technologica" - I chose it practically at random. It's been ripped and converted to MP3. It's probably got a bit more of wear and aging on the master than any of them, so this would be the best example of why I think it should be made proper on a CD. Here are Thomas' liner notes for it:


Quote:
This one was written in 1984 and recorded in 1986 at Elsewhere Studios. The late Ken Good took on both production and mixdown duties. Recording was done on a four-track reel-to-reel unit.

Most prominent in this song is my CMOS based SuperSeque circuit which appeared in Electronic Musician (the successor to Polyphony). Driving this is a really cool master clock I designed around the CEM 3340 and published in Electronotes. It had all sorts of wild start/stop/hold and sync options. In this song, it also ties SuperSeque in tandem with the drums (again governed by my MicroDrums circuit).

The punchy filter used throughout is the lowpass design using an SSM2040 which I published in the short-lived Common Mode magazine. What a great filter!

I used a Fender Jazz bass and in the bridge a Les Paul guitar. Otherwise, all of the instruments are electronic. Most are homemade, but at the very end I do use a Casio CZ-1000 for a single clangorous note! The vocal chorus was created by means of Craig Anderton's Vocoder.



Triste_Technologica.mp3
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Triste Technologica by Thomas Henry

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juno6



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

128kbps Mp3 don´t do justice, but 260 or 320kbps LAME is an excellent format.

The noise problem is easy so solve, there are good noise removal plug ins out there. A final re-equalization and maximizing would be good too.

Nice music.

JZ:
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks Juno 6. I know next to nothing about those plugins. No, that's not true - I know nothing about them Very Happy

I could use them myself, though - I've got some stuff so marred it would be interesting to see if they were salvagable.

Thought I'd post this next sample. First of all, it's not the entire piece (I hope the artist doesn't mind) - it's the first part or movement of a much larger piece that's nearly eighteen minutes long. I'd love to post the whole thing, but on dial up, especially People's Republic of PC brand dial-up, I'd get halfway through, and PPC would disconnect me for my own "safety" (seriously, they say they do it to "protect" me from Bad Things on the internet).

Anyway, it's Thomas using the University of Iowa Moog, Moog Sequencers, a Bode frequency shifter and.....the main reason I'm posting this - a certain circuit the PCB of which is under works by a certain Fonik of a certain forum. Yep, a SuperController is in there providing noise, explosions AND sample and hold. So, it give you all looking to get a SuperController pcb from Fonik something to listen to.

As I mentioned, this is the first part of a longer piece, entitled "Hyperba Meets the Napoleonic Radio". I didn't do any fading or anything like that - there was just a natural point to disjoin it from the rest of the piece, which, incidentally contains the voice of a leery, suspicious actress (the liner notes of this CD are often hilarious, BTW).

One final word to our Kansas listeners - if you hear a tornado siren during this piece, it's probably the music, but it still might not be a bad idea to head for the basement anyway.......

Cheers,
Scott

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Thomas Henry



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Scott Stites wrote:

Thought I'd post this next sample. First of all, it's not the entire piece (I hope the artist doesn't mind)


Artist! What artist? People have called Studs some pretty unpleasant things over the years (and even smashed his cranium with a whisky bottle), but never this. Gigs in North Dakota are not a reality since then.

Anyway, what you're hearing in the first couple of minutes is the very first VCO I ever built (playing the main melody line as well as the arpeggiated background). It was the predecessor of what would eventually become the VCO Deluxe which appeared in Polyphony. The filter is also the very first filter I ever built; it was an SSM2040 affair; I pretty much just followed the data sheet, adding in some goofproofing and other niceties.

As Scott mentions, the SuperController is used extensively for the explosive sounds, and for sample-and-hold effects.

So as a point of reference, this recording is the very first one I ever did using the very first DIY gear I ever built. (Of course, everything else in the piece was from the abundantly stocked U of Iowa studios).

And Scott, don't you think everyone else here deserves to hear the suspicious actress? Come on; give us that much at least...

And everybody, these compositions are from old, old tapes, suffering from dropouts and other imperfections. But if you look past that, notice one thing: the instruments are in tune and yet I'm using inexpensive DIY gear side-by-side with pianos, Casios, guitars, basses, etc. In other words, I might not design the most sophisticated stuff in the world, but it can be used to make music without much effort.

To get to the point: the end result of what I do isn't a piece of gear that measures up perfectly under test equipment; the end result is music. The circuit is merely the path I take.

Whew! I'm glad I got that off my chest.

Thomas (just call me Studs) Henry
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Scott Stites
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well, I'll be - Studs didn't mention that VCO in his liner notes. He didn't mention anything about the bottle, either, but I had my suspicions... Very Happy

Yes, I'll have to get to the actress - curse this dial-up....and the wife is after me to use the phone. I get all the down side of the 21st century, and none of the good stuff.

Cheerio,

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DiscoFreq



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Great music indeed!

Maybe you can release it under a Creative Commons license and put in on archive.org? Smile


DiscoFreq
(who also makes the site for http://www.netlabelism.net Smile)
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Scott Stites
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey DiscoFreq, nice to see you drop by! There's an idea for sure. It would be nice to have the cover art and liner notes as well - is that possible? I never mentioned it, but the title of the CD is "Move Over Demi" by Studs Kreitzer and the Cavaliers.

While I struggle to figure out how to dribble our hapless heroine's voice, byte by byte up to electro-music, here's another piece. This one is the opening track, entitled, in an apparent nod to HP Lovecraft, "The Colour Out of Space". Here are Studs' liner notes for it:

Quote:
I wrote and recorded this song around 1984 when still in residence at the infamous 249 Norton Street hippie house. The basic tracks were done on a Fostex four-track cassette recorder, graciously loaned to me by Flapper Tank Ball (courtesy The Orange is All Productions).

Essentially, the entire composition was played on homemade synth gear, the only exception being a piano part which I did on a tiny Casio playalong toy of some sort. Note that these were still pre-MIDI days (for me at any rate), so the percussion track was created using the MicroDrums circuit and software which I designed and published in Polyphony. As I recall, I had a grand total of 512 bytes to store the drum score in, something Bill Gates would find inconceivable. And I've had more women than him.

The drum modules were my Hi-Hat Plus and Snare Plus (both based on the SN76477 chip) and appearing in Polyphony. The bass drum is also done with the latter.

My voltage controlled phase shifter and flanger (which also appeared in Polyphony) were synched to the drums as well. Before I forget to mention it, the phase shifter was based on the SSM2040 and the flanger on the SAD-1024. I didn't use noise reduction in either and yet they sound quite good.

The rather prominent vocal interlude was run through a ring modulator I designed around the CEM-3330 and published in Electronotes. The mathematical derivation of that was quite interesting, and the resulting circuit very acceptable even when run side-by-side with a Bode one costing ten times as much.

Apart from the human voice, there were no acoustic instruments used. The final mixdown was done at Elsewhere Studios, which was built from scratch by my good friend, Dr. Ken Good, who left us way too early in life.


One thing I've learned from the liner notes is that there are a lot of designs out there I'm totally unaware of. And I'm probably one of the few on this forum that has never seen the SuperSeque mentioned in the Triste Technologica notes.

One thing in particular that interests me is the ring modulator mentioned in this piece - the voice which, due to the Lovecraftian title, I theorize is saying "If you're thirsty, it's probably not the best idea to get your water from this well", is wonderfully mangled. I wonder if this design could be adapted away from the CEM-3330?

And that MicroDrums thing - hmmm. And, while I'm at it - what about that CEM3340 master clock circuit mentioned in Triste? What's up with that, Studs?

One final note - the lack of noise reduction on the phase shifter and flanger, especially the flanger, certainly backs up Stephen Giles contention that noise reduction tends to take the oomph out of a good flanger. Both of these devices sound soooo good in this piece.


Cheers,
Scott


The_Colour_Out_of_Space.mp3
 Description:
"The Colour Out of Space" By Thomas Henry

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Scott Stites wrote:
It would be nice to have the cover art and liner notes as well - is that possible?


Well, supposing our esteemed leader Mosc will permit it, I'm attempting to post the liner notes here. This is an MS Word document and the four pages are to be printed back-to-back to make two sheets that fold up and are stapled.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Scott Stites wrote:
Well, I'll be - Studs didn't mention that VCO in his liner notes. He didn't mention anything about the bottle, either, but I had my suspicions... Very Happy


The bottle story is real...actually, it happened twice---once in North Dakota and three bottles all at once in Minnesota. The one in ND connected big time (I was out for ten minutes), but the MN missiles only took out a bass drum in the process. (Drummers, let this be a lesson to you; always keep the front head of your bass drum in place).

Here's a link to the band that got me my start:

http://www.hickorytech.net/~flapper/history.html

And if anyone's paying attention, my name really is Stanley Studs Kreitzer. (Or at least that what people have known me by in these parts for nearly 30 years). Thomas Henry is merely the nom de plume I use for electronics.

You learn something every day, right?

Thomas Henry
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Shocked I had it the other way around......

Waaaaiiiiitt a minute, then who wrote Hidden Numerical Forces?

I guess the human shield approach didn't work so well for the drummer in MN Laughing

Cheers,
Scott

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Scott Stites wrote:

I guess the human shield approach didn't work so well for the drummer in MN Laughing


Actually, the drummer in Dickinson, North Dakota didn't fare so well either. When the whisky bottle connected with my noggin, it broke and the pieces flew back in the drummer's face. That was his second night with us, by the way, and he was only 16. Nice way to get started in music, wasn't it? We covered a thousand miles that weekend playing Friday at the Red Willow Resort on the east edge of ND, Saturday in Dickinson (almost in Montana) and Sunday NOON in Mankato. Our net was $90 each for the weekend.

Thomas Henry
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Some nice music and some interesting history & geography lessons. How could I possibly have know otherwise what Mankato would be Very Happy
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Thomas Henry



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Scott Stites wrote:
a Bode frequency shifter and.....the main reason I'm posting this - a certain circuit the PCB of which is under works by a certain Fonik of a certain forum. Yep, a SuperController is in there providing noise, explosions AND sample and hold. So, it give you all looking to get a SuperController pcb from Fonik something to listen to.


In the piece The Colour Out of Space that Scott posted, be sure to listen carefully to the lead synth voice in the verses. You'll notice a delayed vibrato created by---you guessed it---the SuperController. I love everything that that circuit does, but this is by far the coolest effect. I still remember playing that part during the recording session in the centipede encrusted basement of 249 Norton Street; the keyboard felt like a trumpet or a violin not an electronic instrument. In other words, the delayed vibrato of the SuperController has a distinct organic feel to it and makes you feel like a musician, not an electronic technician.

As I listened to the piece again tonight, I came away thinking the SuperController may just have been the most important design I ever did.

Why did TI ever drop that chip!

Thomas Henry
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Jan. it's the most I've really learned about MN as well - don't think I've ever been there (been close, but not within bottle distance, so it wasn't me). Now, there is actually a Mankato, KS as well, I believe, but it's not quite the same thing.

One of my fave radio shows comes out of Minnesota - A Prairie Home Companion. Been listening to that for years.

Thomas, I'll have you know the college station in Hutchinson will actually recite a warning before Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac is broadcast in the morning. I kid you not. Seems some of the poems tend to scorch the ear of the puritan.

Dang, I got to get the rest of this music uploaded - probably not tonight though - it's too late to start. I think I have figured out a way to get the full Monty of Hyperba Meets the Napoleonic Radio uploaded though. Our actress will have her day in the sun!!

Cheers,
Scott

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
And if anyone's paying attention, my name really is Stanley Studs Kreitzer. (Or at least that what people have known me by in these parts for nearly 30 years). Thomas Henry is merely the nom de plume I use for electronics.


Oh, really! Then you better you'd better tell that guy at South Central College in the Math Dept to change his name! I actually phoned him about 15 years ago working on your 4-voice Midi to CV/gate converter and he seemed pretty darn knowledgeable on its design. He totally fooled me anyhow!

Come on, we all know band members like to use pseudo-names to avoid groupies and those Blues Brother's Bob's Country Bunker beer tab moments!
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Avoid....groupies? Maybe I should use a nom-de-plume to attract them, cause the real name ain't workin' Very Happy

Anyhoo...

Here's one that was recorded when Studs was going through his Carlos Santana period. It was also recorded before his alter-ego Thomas Henry had built him a drum voice of any sort - a very early recording from 1981.

So, what do you use for drums at the University of Iowa Electronic Music Studio, other than an actual drum kit? Hmmm....well, let's see, there's these padded chairs. Oh, here's a microphone. Hmmm....let's patch the microphone into a preamp. Oh, dang, what do we patch these preamps into? Well, let's see - how about that giant Moog modular over there? Very Happy

Yes, snare and highhat courtesy of a Moog modular, played by hand by beating on the back of a padded chair with a microphone hung over the seat. Give it a listen - the results are great!

According to the liner notes, most of the synth in this song is the Moog. Seems to me I can hear the Bode freq shifter in there(?). There's Gibson bass, and Studs tearing up the strings on his long gone but (I'm sure) much missed Les Paul Junior.

The name of the song is Morpheus.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Thomas. Really cool tunes. So what phase shifter and flanger where you using in, "The Colour Out of Space"? Im really enjoying "Morpheus", its rockin! Great sounds.

pete

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Thomas Henry



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Many thanks for the kind comments.

23isgood wrote:
So what phase shifter and flanger where you using in, "The Colour Out of Space"?


I did the phaser and the flanger at about the same time. Both were published in Polyphony, or it's possible the name change had come by that time to Electronic Musician. Also, both were reprinted in my Reprint book. I'd tell you the details, but all of my printed stuff is currently on display at our college (and I refuse to go up there during the summer).

So, if anyone has the reprint book, why don't you post the month/year and page numbers here.

Thanks,

Thomas Henry
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Scott Stites wrote:

And, while I'm at it - what about that CEM3340 master clock circuit mentioned in Triste? What's up with that, Studs?


You'll find it in Electronotes, Vol. 15, Numbers 161, 162 and 162, (Special Issue E), May-July 1984, pp. 11-17.

It was a cool circuit with all sorts of synching features, designed especially to put the SuperSeque through its paces. If only we could come up with a stash of the 3340's...

Thomas Henry
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
As I listened to the piece again tonight, I came away thinking the SuperController may just have been the most important design I ever did.


Haven't tried the SuperController (yet). There's a similar function in the 21st Century Synth though - I know exactly what you mean.

The cool thing about the Supercontroller is it gives you three different approaches to controlling the delayed vibrato, and all three are very effective indeed.

Quote:
If only we could come up with a stash of the 3340's...


What about adapting it to an existing VCO design?


I can't takes it no more. I managed to score a 37K baud rate with the People's Republic of PC. I think it's time for a rave-up with Studs and the Cavaliers. This one puts the analog in analog synth, and the -adelic in fuzzadelic.


Coming up.....
-Cheerios,
Scott

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This one is my personal favorite from the CD.

It's one of those tunes that starts out in a particular vein, then blindsides you out of nowhere with the intrumental. I told Thomas the synth in this tune is the sound I hear in my head when I see the words "analog synth". It's framed by some very wicked guitar.

This one deserves cranking up so the neighbors can hear.....

Name of the tune is Anne in the Day in the Night.

Have a rave-up Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Scott:

Thanks for posting these - pretty fun stuff.

And thanks for the heads-up to Kansas reader/listeners about the siren effect in hyperba_part_1.mp3 - as it happens, we're under a tornado watch here in Lawrence tonight!

I concur heartily with DiscoFreq's suggestion to contribute this stuff to the Audio section at archive.org. It's appropriate content especially in the sense that these are documents of a unique slice of our musical heritage.

Mark
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well, haven't heard anything about the final stomping grounds of William Burroughs getting obliterated off the map like Greensburg. That's a good thing Very Happy

(You hear that Thomas, Kansas - William Burroughs - yep). I saw him in Lawrence, BTW, at a Laurie Anderson concert (Strange Angels tour). He came on stage and the two danced a waltz.

Further William Burroughs Kansas connection - there's a movie called "Twister" (not the one with the flying cows). This one had Harry Dean Stanton and Crispin Glover in it. William has a cameo in that one, playing a crazy old fart shooting up something or other (think it was a barn - been a while since I saw the movie). Don't know why they picked him for that role. Rolling Eyes I think that was supposed to be right around Hutchinson (the movie was filmed in Wichita).

Speak of the devil, when I brought up this reply, there was a clap of thunder and lightning outside. It's hot, sticky, and still. We know what that means. Been a helluva year in Kansas so far, huh?

Cheers,
Scott

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