artmusictech podcast 047 with brian crabtree

  • darwin grosse interviewed brian recently for his awesome weekly art + music + technology podcast. thought some of you might enjoy it. b talks early monome days, process, music, tells some tall tales, and even reveals a few secrets about the future.

  • thanks for sharing kelly

    i'll check it out

  • This is great, well worth a listen.

  • Really excellent interview.

    Great to hear all things we (as end users) sense to various degree intuitively: the earnestness, the work ethics, the inspired commitment...

    thank you for sharing!

    The point that is discussed a few times is the extent to which White Whale is somehow "out of character" for monome. As a pre-defined functionality rather than open-endedness of, for example, grids or arcs. I think there is something to that, BUT my understanding is that the open-endedness is in a way the ethos of modular synthesis. So, with that given, it almost makes more sense that monome entry into that world is an opportunity to introduce an element of musical/structural philosophy that is beautifully articulated. White Whale and grid has an expansive reach for modular environment, making that network of functions/modules part of monome, rather than the other way around.

  • thanks for the kind words, and for surviving almost 90 minutes of my verbal static!

  • @raja i'm curious...has anybody asked you about the cost of your plumbutter? how do you feel about the price of CL instruments?

  • thanks for the kind words, and also the analysis.

    verbal interviews are very difficult, especially when they're basically uncut-- you can obviously hear me trying to think while talking something out slowly. and i don't always get it right or elaborate sufficiently.

    you're correct about the subjectivity of positive and negative. i appreciate that.

  • its cool to hear more about how kelli has shaped things

    i used to wonder, since she's not very "vocal" online...but after seeing more of her work in various forms (eg. print, video, ceramics), the fact that she has been the driving force behind the visual aesthetic/design is not surprising

    some articles seem to only mention you @tehn, but i know she's been heavily involved in the circuitry + software side of things as well.

    hearing this interview makes me appreciate her role in the partnership even more

  • i seriously love having you on here @raja...endless entertainment (how am i never the butt of any of your one-liners? i'm slightly jealous now.)

    but back to the tangent we're on, thanks for answering and your reply highlights a weird level of hypocrisy that i think i share with you

    also interesting is the fact that pete had made some (if not all) his schematics available in case somebody wants to go the diy route and build rather than buy

    there's quite a few similarities when you think about them but each collection of devices elicits VERY different responses from average people

  • @raja lol...what you see as "enlightenment" is merely caution. i'm far less knowledgeable than most folk on here so i usually float + observe proceedings while hoping to hide my ignorance :)

    re: shbobo, shnth was definitely the gateway drug which led me to all pete's other work. hopefully the newest ventures (tocantes + ieaskul) add to his legacy and allow more users to explore his sonic approach

    "i feel more like i've been saved from getting too distracted from what i already have, by being benched on the sidelines for a bit by my own previous decisions :) ...but then other times, definitely feel jealous too..." THAT is profound

    especially considering the range of options now available to electronic musicians

    i'm happy with my setup but just thinking within the monome community, there's plenty of times when i've felt left out while exciting things were happening (apps for larger grids like 256/512, max4live, arc release, varibright functions, white whale stuff)

    but, really, if i cared more or if those things made sense in my music i would totally dive in

  • finished the podcast and near the end when darwin mentioned the current buzz around monomes, the thought occurred to me, "he didnt ask about SUM..."

    wouldve made pretty good conversation fodder imo

  • really enjoyed the chat.

    cool to hear about meadowphysics as next in line for the euro module treatment. Wondering about the hardware platform - will the new modules be identical in the hardware? like the different flavours of audio damages 8hp fx modules? that would be cool - allowing people to swap out firmwares as the various modules get released.

  • also - it's pretty darn sophisticated to see meadowphysics as an "app" being built from the same source for max, aleph and the modular. is that more or less what is happening?

  • Had a listen to this last night - Some interesting points even for those of us relatively uninterested in eurorack. I'm sure that a lot of people will be excited to see a Meadow Physics module, but I already have one - I call it a laptop.

    Re: the cost of Monome products I love how Brian's answer was about the product rather than the market. Ask Novation's COO about their pricing and he or she would probably talk about the market, working out what price/quality ratio they can sell it at to maximise profits. Ask Brian, and he's all like "This is the product we wanted to make. This is how much it cost us to make it". You can't really argue with that.

    And while I'm Novation-bashing, it was nice to hear a human response from Brian to the proliferation of the cheap grid - I quite like the fact that it irks him a little that they've made this cheap plasticy ripoff box. That said the two products are just good at different things. If I want to remix a track in an afternoon and perform it at a gig that evening I'll be slicing it in Ableton and plugging in a launchpad and - BOOM, it all works instantly. Try to get some creative tool like polygome working on a launchpad and I'm going to wish I had a monome on me.

  • we will not be reusing panels for our modules-- we specifically want the panel to follow functionality, not the other way around. so MP will have a new panel with the appropriate i/o, and the next one (which is a fully new monome app, not a port) will also have a new panel.

    the "brain" module (the second mezzanine) is the same, except for some minor differences in part population.

    it's more expensive for us this way, but we feel pretty strongly about making intuitive instrument interfaces for this platform.

  • I really enjoyed the podcast and making the ride to work more enjoyable!

  • I absolutely loved the podcast.

  • yes, excellent podcast. great to hear the thoughts and observations of the man behind these machines.

  • So excited for the new modules!

    (and still secretly hoping that one will be for the Arc!)

    (or a firmware alt for existing module?)