My 'real' blog doesn't play nicely with DS106 so I've imported the ds106 posts to this one for ds106 fun.

Threading Bullets

Posted: January 19th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: animatedgif, audio, Thoughts | Tags: | 1 Comment »


A the end (or endless end) of the headless ds106 course, Mariana published a wonderful reflection on her tumblr DS106 in 106 posts and 106 bullets published at 1:06.

Mariana and I have been musing on a collaborative project based on the list. As she commented on her own post:

* An exclusive Radio Show planned to unpack the ideas ‘Golden DS106 bullets’ with guests in the hot seat and in conversation with the hosts (surprise for #DS106Radio next year)

Being connected to DS106 the first thing to do is to make some art, Paul has already started 106 Bullets, and I started playing this weekend. I had commented on the post:

This is just brilliant. 106 prayer beads. You have brought depth to headless ds106. These bullets would be great as a initial reading for ds106 or as a series of meditations during a round.

So I am riffing on beads & bullets, mantras & koans. The image at the top came is a wee photoshop experiment, I spent some time googling on how to wrap an image round a cylinder, after a tour of some that used the 3D menu I settled on warping a layer following: Warp Tool Effect – Photoshop Tutorials –
I am afraid I still find Fireworks easier to use so imported this image it Fireworks for the duplication. I am now managing to use photoshop for selection as the tools are a lot better than Fireworks. (I am of course barely scratching the surface of photoshop’s power).

Next I started thinking of bumpers, still on bullets and messed about with Garageband a wee bit:

Using – “Gunshot2.wav” by alukahn.

I was still wondering about the 3D tools in photoshop so started playing. I found I could make a bead from the DS106 Skull and Crossbones:
This was really easy, I make a 2×2 grid of the image grouped and then from the 3D menu choose New Shape from Layer -> Sphere I had one bead. I then duplicated it and rotated it with the tools from the 3D palette so I had half a dozen beads. This opened in Fireworks for some duplication.

I posted these images to the DS106 google plus group and got some interesting feedback: John Johnston – Google+ – pile of ds106 beads. Almost enjoying a little photoshop,…
Some of this was a distaste for bullets and skulls. I understand this, especially the bullets, I’ve giffed a few gunshots out of movies but it can feel a bit odd. (I do like thrillers and movies with guns though). I am happy to live somewhere where guns are mostly contained in fiction. With the Skull and crossbones I am a lot more relaxed, thinking of romantic piracy. Interesting to keep these thoughs need the surface and not get carried away. Hopefully the flowers, if not the skulls, will indicate that my bullets are peaceful and metaphorical puns.

Finally I though it might be nice to animate the beads:


This was the first pass. I am using my old friend SuperCard, a mac scripting application. I made 6 graphics, one for each of the different beads, these were duplicated until I had 106 beads on the ‘card’.
SuperCard makes it easy to manipulate object. I wrote a script to put each graphic on a random space on the card. Another change the size of the beads at random. Finally one to move each bead a small random amount and dump an image of the card to the disk. Looping through that a few times gave me a set of jpegs. There were taken into fireworks to be distributed to frames and exported as an animated gif.
As an example of how simple SuperCard is, here is the script to randomly move a graphic:

on randomMove n
get the loc of bg grc n
add random(60)-30 to item 1 of it
add random(60)-30 to item 2 of it
set the loc of bg grc n to it
end randomMove

Almost english!
I am thinking of changing this a bit, to roll the beads around and change their postion front to back, I might get some interesting gifs from this.

Where in the world is ds106?

Posted: November 4th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: audio, mashup, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

Chatting to Alan Levine yesterday we had a wee idea about putting ds106 participants on the map. I suggested that it might be an idea to use Audioboo. The RSS feeds from audioboo have location data that can be used in google map mashups. I know I already had the code to put my own Boos on a map. I had forgotten that I’ve also got a page that will map boos with any tag. For example this page will show all boos tagged ds106

I’ve recorded a boo that will show up on the map.

I’d like other ds106 participants to do the same. There are several ways to do this.

How to

You can record a boo using the iPhone or android application. Make sure you tag it #ds106 in the description and that the phone picks up the location:

You can go to audioboo and record (needs flash) or upload an audio file there. Again make sure you tag with #ds106

You will need a free account to record boos that are limited to 3 minutes.

The ios app adds location data, I’d presume the android one would too. If you use the browser you can set the location.


I am wondering if this can be a mashup assignment, so easy it would only be one star.

Every Story Tell a Picture

Posted: October 17th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: audio, ds106radio | 1 Comment »

For the Headless Group Radio Show I’ve been working with Rochelle and Seth.
I think I originally proposed this:

Thinking of stories with little narrative, without conclusions, that put a picture in your mind. Perhaps stories from your family, your people with little detail… Perhaps some other idea…

But our discussions roamed far and wide. We worked out the story on a google doc and a couple of skype calls. It turned out the stories and ideas we had in mind chimed in all sort of interesting ways, family, cross generational stories, memory which you can hear about after we put the audio up. We will be playing it live at 8:30pm UK time, 24th August, round about lunch time across the USA. I’ll leave any discussion of the content and concepts till then.
The last time I did this task, we worked in a very different manner, all on a google doc, no skype, then members of the group recorded segments and Mike put them together within a overarching narrative with voice links as if we were all elements of a radio show, ( Impending Zombie Apocalypse).
This time we all produced voice fragments, but it was left to Rochelle to put these together, when you hear the show I think you will understand why, we rely on a wonderful piece of music by Rochelle and her daughter and Rochelle’s musicality.
The way the audio came together we felt breaking it up with a commercial in the middle would not be a great idea, so decided to create separate ‘commercial’ for the piece. Here is mine.

I put this together with GarageBand from short snippets of the audio from our show. Like the show it relies on Rochelle’s rendition of “Comes a Time”, it also uses an idea Seth introduced on skype of voices emerging from a crowd, the crowd created by layering our voices, this appealed to my liking for dub.

iCast Pro, Voice Record Pro and DS106 Radio an iOS workflow.

Posted: September 22nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: audio, ds106radio, podcast | No Comments »

After a couple of days fighting Nicecast and talking to the Skype lady I took a wee break today. I remembered Scottlo had blogged about a new iOS app for broadcasting to icecast and though I’d give it a spin. The app is iCast Pro.
I had occasionally used papaya but this has been discontinued. The developer has developed a new app KoalaSan which looks great, especially as it handels audio from other apps and records broadcasts. Unfortunately it does not support mp3. I konw that that will not work on EDUtalk where I do most of my broadcasting so I put my money on iCast Pro.
The setup is straighforward once you note the gotcha from Scottlo’s post. you need to choose icecast as a server in the settings, the icons are not, imo, easy to spot.
I made a couple of quick tests on both EDUtalk and ds106 radio and the app works with both. You can setup multiple stations.
The interface is a wee bit distracting, full of cogs but most of the buttons are clear.

The next bit I wanted to figure out was how to record the broadcast. I had looked into this before with out much success. i have two apps on my iphone that support background recording, Audio Memos and Voice Record Pro. i gave them a quick test and the quality was a lot better in Voice Record Pro so when for that for my main test:

  1. Opened Voice Record Pro and started a recording
  2. Switched to iCast Pro and started broadcasting.
  3. When I finished I stopped broadcasting and returned to Voice Record and stopped recording.
  4. In Voice Record I converted the file to mp3 and uploaded that to dropbox.
  5. Opened the mp3 in audacity and trimmed the start, exported to mp3.

I didn’t try to adjust the audio in audacity at all.

Here it is:

download iCast-Pro-Voice-Recorder-HD

DS106 Radio Bumper Dub Number two

Posted: September 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Assignment, audio | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

I love audio, but am fairly scared of music making. I am a bit of a klutz musically, can’t clap in time or keep a tune.
I’ve already created a couple of bumpers for ds106: Jim Says, Listen to the LoDown and DS106 Confusion. both relied on music from someone else, one a GarageBand loop the other a steal.

This time I though I might step up and make a noise. Given the lack of musical talent I decided to try a Magic Garageband production.
This allows you to make some ‘music’ by choosing a genre and playing with the variables (instrument styles). I did this for a while and then passed it on to the ‘real’ garageband interface. There I chopped it down to a very short segment and added my voice. Some effects added to the vocals. Then I dropped out a few bit to give it a dubish feel.
I ended up with this:

I quite like the announcement feeling from the brass. I made a quick edit of the ds106 skul and crossbones to make a skull and trumpets.
My GarageBand screen looked like this:
Screen Shot 2013-09-19 at 21.48.56
The number two in the tile comes from the fact I ‘saved as…’ at one point where I did’t want to lose something that sounded better than nothing.
The text plays on the idea of ds106 being open, I am more of a ‘romantic socialist’ than a business man. I am also thinking of ds106 being play rather than work.