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Dec 122013



I had some time this week to finish up five new podcasts that I’ll be cranking out in the coming weeks. I also recently treated my room with homemade sound absorption panels, and the new podcast intros are my first tests of the panels. I normally record the spoken intros with an SM58 dynamic microphone.  I wanted to really test the limits of my absorption panels, so for the these intros, I decided to use the ultra-sensitive Rode NT1000 condenser mic. The result is pretty nice with higher fidelity and WAY less room reflections than the previous intros.

My new homemade sound absorption panels.

My new homemade sound absorption panels.

Today’s podcast is episode 106: Dig Deep.

On July 22nd, 2013 the Dig Deep Light Show performed an improvised light show in the basement of Noa Noa house. Members Scott Sanders, Dave Shamban and Brian Miles use overhead projectors, clear glass serving plates, transparencies, and multi-colored liquids to create beautiful abstract images at concerts and multimedia shows. Normally, they’re taking cues from whatever band they accompany, but for this show, we wanted the visual artists to take the lead for a change. So Scott and Dave performed an improvised light show (Brian attended but did not participate that night) while a group of musicians sat in the back of the room and created a score to the visuals. That musical improv is what you’re about to hear.


This was part of a lineup that also included the bands Insect Factory and Public Speaking. I also recorded their performances, and I’m offering those recordings as free downloads. Download the Insect Factory set here and the Public Speaking set here. Note that these are mixing board recordings. There may be some un-mic-ed acoustic portions that are not very present on the recordings. You can also check out video clips below.

The Dig Deep Light show improv featured Tim Carey (84001) on synths and guitar, Alan Fey on Marimba, Matt Hamilton on guitar and effects, Mike Hiegemann on Analog Synths and Bass guitar, Craig Schenker on Alto Sax and Flute, and Chris Watts (Most Amazing Century of Science) on Alto Sax and Glockenspiel.



Tyler Blankenship put together a wonderful video that links the music recording with video of the light show. Check it out below.

Jul 122010

Experimental space improv duo 84001 joined me in the studio for a mind-bending improv showcase.  In the interview, guitarist/keyboardist Tim Carey mentioned that his baby was due on July 12th, today.  I’m happy to announce that Tim and his wife are the proud parents of a baby boy! Continue reading »

Mar 022010

From left: Wess, pds, Paul, Jimmy, Charlie, & Tim. Taken by Paul.

Here’s an episode that almost never happened.  It was designed as a simple photo-op for an article The Tennessean is writing wrote about local podcasts.  In order to make the deadline, they had to shoot a photograph for the story by the end of the weekend.  The writer Dave Paulson thought our show would make for an engaging picture.  I quickly called in the troops; and we assembled last Saturday in my basement, squeezed tightly together to make for a nice picture and blindfolded because it looked cool and because . . . well . . . we’ve never done that theme before.

I’ve been working on a computer program that reads Twitter messages aurally via an open-source speech synthesizer called Festival.  I’m preparing that program for next Saturday’s Podcamp Nashville.  We’re doing a live improv for the conference where audience members can tweet to the hashtag #pcn10ore and hear those tweets in the mix.  This little last-minute improv was a perfect vehicle to test that program.

It was a complete coincidence that last Saturday happened to be the day when all hell broke loose.  Saturday was the day after the Chilean earthquake; the day of the tsunamis; and, if you searched for the keywords earthquake and tsunami in Twitter like I did, the end of the world as we knew it.  I fed those two keywords into my tweet synthesizing program, and the resulting narration became the backbone of the show.  Some of the tweeters posted on-the-scene updates, while others joked about the impending disasters, and others prayed for the areas affected and called out to loved ones.

The theme was being helpless in the face of tragedy.  The blindfolds seemed fitting, though, I admit, they weren’t practical.  Most of the performers had them off within 10 minutes (exception being Charlie Rauh whom Jimmy had to poke to make him aware the rest of us had already de-blinded).

I’m quite fond of this show.  We were in the right time, the right place, with the right performers and the right technology.  Helpless features John Westberry on drums; pimpdaddysupreme on records, vocals, and effects, Paul Cain on accordian, saw, and water bottle; Charlie Rauh on guitar; Jimmy  Thorn on keyboard and chaos pad; Tim Carey on keyboard and mandolin; and Wess Youngblood on guitar and delay pedal.  I pressed the buttons on the laptop feeding the tweets and did the live mixing.  Portions of the show were edited for pacing.  The show ended before the tsunami reached Hawaii, so I continued recording the tweets for about 20 minutes after the show was over and inserted the most fitting ones into the show.

Special thanks to Jayesh Salvi for writing the initial Python program Talking Twitter Client and to Bryan Kemp for helping me modify it to suit my purposes.  Thanks also to the developers of Festival, to Tennessean writer Dave Paulson and to photographer Jeanne Reasonover.  Thanks to Paul Cain for taking the above-photograph.  A big thank you to all the performers!