not Chuck Tingle

Ever since the visit to my parents, I’ve had this bit of tingling in my left pinky. At first, I thought it was because I slept on it wrong (the bed we slept in has a super firm mattress and we’re not used to that, and at this point a full day of driving will kind of mess me up anyway), and indeed, it seemed to clear up after the first couple of days… but then it came back.

It’s not what I would call numbness, because I can feel contact and pressure just fine. Not pain but it’s annoying and distracting, and at this point a bit worrying. Diabetic neuropathy is certainly a possibility. It more typically starts with the feet, and I keep getting the impression that just tingling without other symptoms isn’t usual. It could also just be the kind of thing that goes away on its own after a few weeks or months. But I happen to have an appointment with my diabetes doc next week so I’ll definitely mention it.

jroo Loop is quite cool. The interface is mostly as expected — something like a simplified Tyme Sefari or Phonogene. Unlike those two, the sound is clean, but it does get pleasantly lo-fi if you turn the rate down. It works well for classic looping, as a delay, or as something to capture drones and detune and layer them. The two nitpicks I have:

  • No(*) way to sync it to other things. This was by design, sticking to the tape loop metaphor. The length is determined by the recording length — as soon as you turn off recording it will reset the buffer and start playing back from there. There’s no end-of-cycle output to sync other things to it, nor a way to tell it to restart from the beginning, nor to change the length (aside from changing the speed, which also changes the pitch.)

    This would be generally okay, but the loop length seems to be just slightly off. If I have a sequenced loop running and set the record gate to turn on for exactly one bar, the recorded loop will drift out of sync with the sequencer in short order.

    jroo has said he’s been considering an alternative firmware where one of the CV inputs becomes a reset input.

    (*)That said… an old trick with multitrack tape was to record clicks or triggers to a channel, to synchronize other gear to the tape. Since the module is “dual mono” (no funny interaction between “left” and “right” channels) I could do this as long as I don’t need to record stereo.
  • To erase the recording so you can start fresh with a different length, you have to set the speed to zero, then rapidly flip the Record toggle switch up and down three times. It feels a bit awkward and hacky and is giving me flashbacks to W/, a looper that had entirely too much functionality crammed into an absurdly minimalist package. A dedicated erase button would have been preferable. But this is a minor nitpick; it works fine and I don’t think it’ll be too hard to remember.

The stand for the “BrutePest” should arrive within the next couple of days — it’ll be nice to get that set up and see how things go with that.

Also I’ve sold off a couple of modules, and now there’s an Ataraxic Iteritas on the way. I’ve been curious about it for some time — it’s the only Noise Engineering oscillator I haven’t tried, aside from the more basic Sinc Iter. It’s a “proudly digital” module based on their original Ataraxic Translatron, their first module and one of my first as well. While I don’t necessarily need it in my rig, I think it has potential — I didn’t need the Strega either and yet it swiftly became a VIP.

My thought process was this: I really don’t need more utilities or modulation in the main rack (we’ll see how BrutePest goes), nor another controller. Most of the available filters that are interesting to me at this point are the big/expensive ones that I won’t go for anyway. I think I’m covered well enough on waveshaping/folding. Effects can certainly be fun, but I also feel really well covered there. But oscillators… those are where everything begins, and there are so many interesting options it’s hard to hold back curiosity.

A user on TalkBass posted a couple of examples of modern gothy, darkwave, minimal synth music, and Boy Harsher really surprised me. I guess when I hear about a new band through certain channels, I have a set of assumptions including “I’m not going to like them” — and often when I try, I don’t. Sometimes the vocals just turn me right off, if not the overall style. So that was a pleasant surprise which led me putting 9 more albums on my Bandcamp wishlist so far. I won’t grab them all this coming Friday, but there’s at least 3 I have in my sights for sure.