Evelyn Glennie

Things for me right now are bleak and shitty, so I won’t waste your time. Listen to Evelyn Glennie instead. She is a million percent correct about everything.

“Severed Heads” name traded for basket of chocolate?


Reliable sources report that the name “Severed Heads” may have been traded for a largish basket of hand dipped chocolates. There has been no official confirmation of the report and the band are tight lipped, but if the reports are to be believed the Severed Heads name could be winging its way back to the UK next week, a trophy for the mother country.

Security cameras caught the trio entering the Hilton Hotel late on Monday night after their final Australian performance carrying what appears to be something wrapped in cellophane. A document is said to have changed hands. And some fans took photographs of the ex band with a basket of chocolate similar to the one described.

The band have been part of a tour led by Gary Numan, entertaining middle aged business women and their husbands around Australia. Theirs was the job of warming up (and in some cases resuscitating) the silver haired fans for their date with the Numan wall of fog. Their success was such that the tour management may have decided to bribe them them to stop and go home – a win for Australian music!


Previous ‘Severed Heads’ lead guitarist Tom Ellard has issued this statement:

I would like to thank everybody who came to the shows and it was a great pleasure to be able to say hello and goodbye to more of our local friends. I would especially like to thank Red Ant Touring for booking us and the Gary Numan team for making room for us in the luggage. By the time we reached our last show we’d managed to get quite decent! I should also mention that the group this time was Stewart and Tom on stage with Ant doing all the tecchy.

Bands will retire and then be tempted to return just one more time. We did – we owed some more shows. But we now have made a solemn chocolate fuelled promise that Severed Heads will not perform in Australia again. We have a secret document which, if transgressed, will unleash an ancient curse of robot pilots. So please do not ask this of us. Pilots are scary.

Of course there is a Tom Ellard concert in October. That is not Severed Heads. There is the ‘overlord’ event. That is not Australia. But once ‘overlord’ is completed there will be NO MORE of this Severed Heads kind of thing.

Will they keep their promise? Will the name ‘Severed Heads’ be for ever lost in some foreign clime? Or is this just some vague in joke that only makes sense to the people on the tour? Are chocolates yummy?

Oh, let’s just have a photo.

Sydney - The Enmore - click for big


My Max4Live patches

I am transcendent with joy to announce that I have spent all afternoon coming up with some Max4Live patches. You can download them if you have Max4Live or just anyway. Read my review at the bottom!


This plug in sends a MIDI sequence according to your distance to Florian Schneider. When Florian is asleep it plays only black notes. Requires GPSnatch.


This object provides secret handshake access to government contracts over OSC.


Plays the Benny Hill theme music at a tempo = velocity/128 * 500BPM. (requires sax sample).


Captures video from a QT compatible camera several weeks ahead of now. (NB. I already have reports that the Windows version is capturing an alternate universe where people are screaming burning skulls. Just mute the audio for now).


Man shall not know of this.


Every Monolake album with one finger, or Duolake albums with two fingers. Three fingers is too many.


This Max4Live patch was adapted from a Reaktor patch that was previously a Synthedit patch that has two oscillators through a low pass filter. As used by Bjork on tour.


High pitched squeal like a pig through multiple speakers. Worse when binaural.


Constant nauseating Doppler effect.


Instant post graduate sound performance. Will fool most academics/get PhD. Takes seconds to set up. NB you must still come up with your own pack of lies/paper.


One more thing through a distortion.

I once peeked at Max4Live and ran away. A year or so later it’s on my hard drive. But I would be lying if I said I’d done anything worthwhile with it.

Most of the people making Max4Live patches are the same that made Reaktor patches. It takes a special mind to carve your own nails to hang a painting. Each time a new construction tool pops up they decamp en masse to build a better granular mousetrap. How on earth do they ever get around to music? If I call them Gnomes I mean it in a kindly Tolkien sense – the technologically advanced underground.

wheel barrel gnome

Making this image was an excellent way to avoid Jitter for at least 5 minutes.

Apart from Gnomes I don’t know why there’s a market for software construction sets. Over 11,000 people are registered for Max4Live of which .5% actually build anything. Like me the other 99.5% sluggards go dumpster diving. I can knock together a Jitter patch to solve a particular problem and I’m pretty good at Live these days but I am buggered if I see the point to building my own LFOs.

(The other branch of this crazy are game engines. There’s about one squillion game engines each with a tribe of people who are dragging and dropping a godsquiddlion lame platformers with stolen Mario sprites. Each time you open GameSalad it announces all the games that everyone has managed to start and never finish. I guess that’s the Internet, clouding all the dilettantes into a worldwide lack-of-movement.)

Something doesn’t add up and I guess that’s why Ableton have been giving M4L away for the whole of April.

I took advantage of the severe discount and added it to my Live rig where it sits confusingly muddled with ClyphX. The potential to feed all of North Korea with Sugar Frosties might be hidden in there but in the meanwhile there’s Pluggo. You remember Pluggo? Back when Cycling 74 allowed you to make VST effects from Max. The sales pitch for Pluggo was that you got a lot of them, kind of like those old 101 GAMES IN ONE cartridges that were all Mario in different colours. You get UGLY GRANULAR 1, UGLY GRANULAR 2 etc.


Given that it started in 2009 the M4L library has not burst asunder with activity. Some Gnomes have been busy: Zeal and Fabriziopoce have video plugins that look useful and perhaps can be encompassed by the mind of man. Generally the audio tools are less interesting and in most cases just things that Live should do anyway. Like LFOs. It’s not too different to FL Studio which includes Synthmaker; very few people have got anywhere with the damn thing.

I’ve decided to try move from FL Studio to Live because it will change the way that I go about writing music. FLS is too close to how I have always worked by plugging lots of cheap boxes together and twiddling – observe:

Top L to R: ElectroHarmonix DR32 Drum Machine, CR-78 Drum Machine, EH Memory Man, EH Deluxe Electric Mistress, EH Clockworx, CSQ-100, SH-1, EH Crash Pads.

My studio in 1981-2 is a set of dark boxes with cabling running about. It even had Gol on top of the tape recorder. I feel comfortable with this system – too comfortable, and stuck in 1990’s music making. Live is 2000’s style music making. I wonder what is 2010’s music making?

Stewart: I wanted to say re the new post that i think we’re actually in transition phase – away from doing it all on a computer, back to having a bunch of interconnected devices. Once they sort out midi comms between iOS apps and others .. OSC support replaces cv/gate cables? Something like that. I was at the pub earlier trying to explain to a guy why I’m starting to get interested in electronic music making again and I think that’s the essence of it anyway..

Sent from my iPad=