Friday, October 18, 2019

What’s in a name.

I am constantly second guessing the name Travelogue even though I have been recording and releasing material under this name for nearly 20 years.  The dilemma is that I often hear from people that it is hard to find information about me or that I don’t have an ‘internet presence’, when in fact, I have quite a bit of information and material available, both free and for sale, on the internet. 

Part of me likes the idea of the hunt – in a world where everything is constantly in-your-face and readily available, it might water down the contents if it is so easy to find.  The psychology of finding something rare or hard to find does automatically make it more special.  In a way, I don’t mind that my material is a bit on the hard to find side of the spectrum.  

On the other hand, there is the idea that there are a lot of people out there that might like what I do if only they could hear it or discover it.  If it is harder to find, they may never have a chance to find out what I am about.  

There are bands out there that misspell names on purpose, putting in double characters or putting v’s for u’s, things like that.  While I could change the spelling to Travl log, or something like that, I think that it would be more annoying than helpful – even though it would make searchable sense.  I find a lot of ‘misspelled’ band names problematic and frustrating, rather than interesting or useful. 

A friend suggested that I go back to Pivot Clowj, which is really my favorite band name that I have ever had – because of its originality and uniqueness.  There is no mistaking Clowj for any other word in any language, and searches always lead to my pages – unless the engine thinks that you were trying to type C l o w n.  There are a couple of problems with moving back to this name though – first off, the band Pivot Clowj was a band and not my solo project.  Robert Gutschow was a big part of this, still is a great friend, and we still talk about future albums together and share audio files back and forth.  The other problem with this is I think that stylistically, there is a distinction between the sound of my solo material and Pivot Clowj, though one could argue it all sounds like me.  

I am curious if you, the reader of this blog, have thoughts or comments on this subject.  If so, please comment below.

Jon S.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Knobcon in Chicago

Again, this year was a blast.  It was great to see old friends and meet new faces.

I presented a concept this year called 'Sample Proof'.  It has to do with my philosophy and ideas behind some of the musical instruments that I build.  

I have been working on several instrument concepts and the one that I presented was what I am calling 'Sample Restraint #1'.

Sample Restraint #1 is a one-off instrument that I have been developing for a few years, working on it as I have time or inspiration.  It is loosely based on the Hammond tonewheel concept, but uses fast spinning BB's  to generate the waveforms.  Because the BB's can group in arbitrary clusters, the resultant waveform is arbitrary and each note of the scale has this arbitrary timbre.  The control keyboard works on displacement, rather than velocity or aftertouch, and has a feature that will change volume and tone depending on the amount the key is displaced.  One of the many 'Sample Proof' concepts about this instrument is that every time it is turned on and goes into motion, there is a completely new set of waveforms and therefore can't be easily sampled because of its mechanical complexity and arbitrary nature.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Earthquaker Day 2019

I will be speaking at Earthquaker Day 2019 in Akron, Oh!  August 3rd.

I will be talking about one of their new products! (and it has to do with synthesizers!) 

If you are in the area, be sure to check it out!!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Wave Replacement Seminar at last year's Knobcon

Check out the seminar that I presented at last year's Knobcon.  Special thanks to Suit & Tie and Jill for putting this together and uploading it!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Voltage Controlled Motor Oscillator

This is the prototype that I developed a few years back (in 2015) for a new tonewheel oscillator.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Arturia Beat Step Pro

I bought an Arturia Beat Step Pro a few years ago when my friend Andrew Horton decided to sell his.  I had been interested in them but hadn't got around to buying one yet. So... I agreed to buy Andrew's and was excited to use it.

...  then it sat on a rack next to modular gear for about a year and a half.  I hardly even turned it on.  Though I have a lot of equipment, I like to have uses for things.  I simply had not found a use for it yet and I was wondering if I should sell it or pass it on. 

... until I was rearranging some equipment and I realized that I needed some clocks to reach across the studio to another part where some mono synths were.  I didn't want to run several 1/4" clock cables from various modules and devices across this space, so I took 1 sync cable to go to an MSQ-700, which is connected to sequence the Jupier-8, then the sync is daisy chained to another MSQ-700, which is connected to sequence a Juno-60, then the sync is daisy chained to the Beat Step Pro, which is distributed to clock the Sequential Pro One, CSQ-600, etc.  It finally has a very useful spot in the studio!