Friday, 20 November 2009

WOM update & VSTi

The Workshop Oscillator Machine (WOM) kit has just undergone a slight upgrade for a series of workshop events around Norway (Trondheim, Oslo, Bergen). The online documentation and schematics have been updated and again are available for viewing/download via the link above.

I can also point you to a newly released and interesting sounding VSTi that uses samples from the WOM (and an Atari Punk Console) - the de la Mancha 'Dirty Harry'. Gnarly, lofi sounds available for only $15.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Teasing MP3

Here's some sounds from a new module being worked on..
Still some way off - it is a collaborative project & is providing quite some fun & excitement.

SYN3 AudioNoiseClocker Demo MP3

Maybe things are not clear due to the use of other modules.. (inc PRC1, PRC2, CTL1, ENV1 etc)
But hopefully the sounds are fun and interesting.

Here are a couple more (from a few days ago) - fewer extra modules used, so maybe giving more clarity of idea..
LoFreqRhytmicDemo (not generating the audio - generating the timing signals)

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Silver Pyre at InQUbate, Tilburg

Silver Pyre performing Harvest at inQUbate, Tilburg - Sept09

Monday, 27 July 2009

CTL1 - Touch Panel - version2

Announcing a major update to the CTL1 - Touch Panel for the BugModular System.

Several great new features and updates:
  • Improved Touch-pad design for increased sensitivity
  • Extra Preset Row and Common Gate added
  • Sequencing - input a signal to step Left or Right
  • Fully updated circuitry and dense PCB construction
  • Overall visual yum!
Is this available? No - not really (..sorry..)
Initially these will only be made for the small current group of BugModular system users though I hope to be able to offer further units (for regular Frac users) at a later date.

The (dense) Insides of the 1st built (ie a little bit rough)
Version 1

Postcards are changing..

Announcement of the newly updated PostcardWeevil 2009 version.
Pretty similar to the previous version but with the better dials as used on the BoardWeevil for a greatly improved overall feel. There's also an extra IC chip to update the minijack output level - its much more consistent than before (though, of course, maintaining all the PWeevil's sonic characteristics). Small extras also include battery polarity protection and they now come in a sturdy cardboard box with updated instruction sheet. The new one is slightly larger than before, measuring roughly 8cm square, and is built on a lovely blue PCB with gold-plated touch pads.
Hitting the shop in the next few days...


Sleazy / Peter Christopherson is the interviewee for this month's Invisible Jukebox in The Wire magazine - a great article and bonus points for two shots of him with his BoardWeevil.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

BugModular Sample Pack by ToneWrecker

There's a free pack of BugModular samples available now from the Fun In The Murky blog.

Created by The ToneWrecker.
80 mini loops


To quote:
Paul Birken likes to play in he basement. Really though, I think we all do. Some of our basements are on the 3rd floor and some are in the garage. What we all have in common is a place for the music to be created and/or played. What we don't all have in common is a penchant for Analog buggery. That's where Paul comes in.

He's recently got himself a new toy. Behold! The Bugbrand Modular! Paul has zipped up a handful of about 80 little loops, hits and whistles of the bleepy, R2 variety in his initial explorations into this new synth of his to share with everyone. Cut em up, cut em loose, show em to your mom. It doesn't matter what you do with them, but if it sounds fun send it in for everyone to hear!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Silver Pyre at Arnolfini

From the live show:

Cheeks & Blanks

A couple of new Modular shots - click to enlarge..

1) 2-rack System with Wooden End-cheeks solid English Oak)

And the new Blanking Panels - 1-width & 2-width.

A couple of new Modular shots:

Sublime Frequencies - Tour Shots

Here are a few (analogue) snaps from the recent Sublime Frequencies UK Tour with Omar Souleyman and Group Doueh.

Great fun!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Sublime Frequencies - Omar Souleyman & Group Doueh - UK Tour May2009

This is going to be amazing - Omar Souleyman's Syrian party bangers and Group Doueh's psychedelic desert blues from Western Sahara (Morocco) - presented by Sublime Frequencies and Qu Junktions.

Two clips from Omar Souleyman:

& two from Group Doueh

Saturday, 25 April 2009


We Three Weevils
Postcard // SYN1 // Board

SYN1 Batch

SYN1 Rear

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

BugModular PortaCase (proto) & new modules

Here's an initial view of the prototype PortaCase - slightly rough around the edges, but a good starting point for producing a few of these for the initial 12 system users.
This is a compact case (modified tool case) holding two rack frames + a utilty panel with internal PSU, interface multiples (banana to 1/4" jack), preamp, 3-channel output mixer + headphone amp.

[edit - from the comments - yes, the IEC power socket will be moving to the left-hand side of the case. This will also allow for some air vents in the panel where the IEC socket is currently. The panel will end up being similar PCB material to the module panels, but the proto was just DIY perspex with silver sticky printed covering]

The pic also shows some of the new modules I've been working on including:
CTL2 Joystick
PRC3A State Variable Filter
UTL4 Dual DC Mixer
PRC4 Dual LoPassGate

Workshops & WOMs

I just got back from a couple of workshop events in Spain - building the W.O.M. - now with new red PCBs with gold contacts...
The BIKE organisers in Bilbao were really on the case for documentation and have uploaded a great set of pictures from the workshop. Check the Flickr set here.
By the way, a few more of the kits are now available from the online bug-shop.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Klee Contra

New BugModular Porta-Case controlled by the Scott Stites / Klee Sequencer

I just completed a prototype compact case for travel playing (more details shortly). Playing last night I dug out the Klee Seq that I built a year or two ago - dusted it off and it started running rings around the room, a very fun machine.

The Klee outputs (CVs and Gates) control two simple voices - each voice has just a SYN2A VCO followed by a PRC3A SV Filter + control from an ENV1 Attack/Decay. I added a little osc->filter cross modulation between voices too. From this simple setup, with the speed and power of the Klee, come some thick and gnarled technoid wobbles. I recorded 45 minutes straight up, running with the flow and here are a few snippets (all live, single takes, no effects, straight recordings) - needs decent speakers or headphones.

KleeContra1 // KleeContra2 // KleeContra3 // KleeContra4 // KleeContra5 // KleeContra6 // KleeContra7 // KleeContra8 //

Friday, 6 March 2009

Racks filled for testing..

This is set for testing out some of the modules for forthcoming BugModular systems. While it wouldn't be a very suitable actual system (because it focuses on only a few module designs) the process of testing each module is great fun and very immersive.

13 LPGs, 12 DC Mixers, 9 VCOs, 8 Audio Mixers, 7 RingMods, 6 LFOs, 5 PTDelays, 2 envelopes and 1 SV Filter (yes, there are a few new bits within there).

Monday, 16 February 2009

Bug Cake

(Carrot cake - received 14th Feb, naturally)

Things that slip through the net...

I am constantly coming across things (tracks / designs / projects) that never really got documented or showcased properly (and, yes, I'm aware that I still haven't completed the transfer docs from my old site to the new one!). So here's a couple of things:

Interview with Tom Bugs in TapeOpBonuses - we did this interview early in 2008 and its amazing how much things have changed even since then.

3 short films for BBC Real Life Stories with music by Tom Bugs and directed by Esther May Campbell - On Ice // For Mum // In the Dark

I also helped with Esther's latest short film September which recently won a BAFTA for Best Short Film. Check this great little YouTube chop-up too. [If you're about in Bristol, there's a free celebratory party at the Cube on Weds night - 18th Feb - free! Inc. screening of the film]

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

System Configurations

(click to enlarge images)
System Configuration Ideas
Here are some ideas on how BugModular systems may be put together - there's plenty of scope..
For more discussion, visit the new BugForum (hosted by MuffWiggler)

  1. Single Rack Bug1
    CTL1 // ENV1 // 2 x SYN2A // PRC2 // DD2 //DD1 // PRC1 // UTL2
  2. Single Rack RQuirk1
    CTL1 // ENV1 // SYN2A // SYN1 // DD2 // DD1 //PRC1 // UTL2
  3. Two Rack Bug Jan09
    Top Row: ENV1 // DD2 // SYN1 // 3 x SYN2A // PRC2 // DD2 // DD1 // UTL1
    Bottom Row: 2 x CTL1 // ENV1 // DD1 // 2 x PRC1 // UTL2
  4. Drone Machine
    Input //[Blank]// 3 x VCO //[Blank]// SV Filter // Invert // RingMod // Delay // Out Mix
  5. D/A/A/D setup
    CTL1 // 2 x ENV1 // DD2 // 2 x SYN2A // DD1 // PRC1 // UTL2

Thursday, 15 January 2009

New Website / New Modular / New Weevil

Time for some big shifts!

I've been hinting at behind-the-scenes work for the last few months and can finally reveal all.
There's been a complete website overhaul:
I have announced the new BugBrand Modular system
& the BoardWeevil is now creeping into production

Website - big thanks go to Both Design for a really excellent service! Nick Burning Origami has taken the open-source ZenCart system and customised it in a wonderful way.
This is a great step on from the old website (which I made myself) - much more integration and power! There's still quite a lot of info to port across from the old site, so keep checking over the coming weeks (and let me know if there's anything in particular that you'd like to see returned)
BugBrand Modular - this is, no word of a lie, super-damn-exciting!
Something like 6 months in development (which is actually pretty quick) to reach a good starting point covering full systems and a nice range of modules (there WILL be more soon too).
I'm not going to be making many systems at this early stage, but several modules will be coming out in 1/8" Frac format (compared with my standard 4mm banana Fracs)
I wouldn't have been able to do this without the help my small team of testers provided - I extend great thanks to them all!
Top bananas were: Mike MuffWiggler, Richard Quirk and Girilal Baars
1/8" testers were: E.Hurlburt and H.Munz
I've just put up some new YouTube demos and there's a section of audio files on the web too.
Board Weevil - the 1st batch is now out at a reduced price (limited quantities) just to use up my initial stash of PCBs. Within the next couple of weeks I'll be releasing the proper production version with changes to the screen-print (made lighter) and a few minor layout tweaks (more space around the dials). I hope to keep these in regular stock through the year!
Enjoy 2009!

Saturday, 3 January 2009


Alongside the new rack is a custom designed Power Supply Unit (PSU) for modular systems.

This is a stable +/-15v supply (using LM317/337) capable of max. 500mA per side and pre-configurable for 220-240v or 110-120v operation. Housed within a strong steel enclosure with standard fused & switched IEC mains inlet, two 3-pin locking power outputs (to modular racks), LED indicators and 4mm common ground link.

The design is finished off with a 0.125" steel top including ventilation and integrated rubber feet.

More details of system usage coming soon!