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Jack Hertz

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About Jack Hertz

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    Bay Area, CA
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    Sound Design, FM Synthesis, Publishing, Improvised music, Music Concrete, Digital Synthesis, Visual Design, Video Production, Software Development, Unix, Outdoors, Spirituality, Reading, Publishing

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  1. Jack Hertz

    Crudlabs Crudman V2

    The Crudman v2 is a unique electronic musical instrument based around a cassette Walkman hacked so its speed can be accurately controlled in musical intervals with Midi and unquantized 1v/octave CV. It also has Midi CC controllable ADSR and portamento, easy Midi polyphony with multiple units, and more. The Crudman is often referred to as a Walkman Mellotron™ but it does not sound like a Mellotron™. It's sound is all the result of the nuances of Walkman mechanics and cassette tape, combined with design and engineering overkill for a surprising degree of stability and tonal/musical accuracy. It's an actual musical instrument in the traditional sense of the word, which also happens to give a unique character to any sound you put through it. The Crudman v2 has surprisingly good tuning accuracy using a 16 bit DAC with each unit individually tuned by ear and mapped to both Midi notes and unquantized 1v/octave CV. It has a simple, easy to use onboard +/-100 cent tuning control. It has a custom NAB preamp with a dramatically better bass response and overall sound than the Sony TCM series Walkman's onboard preamp. It has a Midi CC controllable "auto warble". Multiple units can be daisy chained together over Midi for instant polyphony. It has three surprisingly stable octaves which you can hear in the video demos above, and also one super warbly and out of control low octave at the bottom. CV is unquantized 1v/octave from 0.1v to about 4.2v, with the ability to abruptly pull the motor to a halt at 0v.
  2. The ChipTune Story is the accompanying documentary to The Commodore Story and focuses on 8-bit music and of course the C64 SID chip. Featuring interviews with top games 8-bit music composers Rob Hubbard, Chris Huelsbeck, Ben Daglish, Mark Knight and many more. We look at the history of ChipTune from 8-bit computers moving to 16-bit sampling introduced with the Amiga and games music we have today.
  3. Jack Hertz

    The Museum of Synthesizer Technology

    To Preserve, Restore and Promote a Wider Interest in the History and Development of Analogue Musical Instruments. The book includes a forward by Bob Moog.
  4. Freeform Analogue Technologies Freebass FB383 - Basically a rebranded version of the Music And More (MAM) MB33, which is basically a Roland TB-303 clone. It's a pure analog synthesizer with a real VCO and a rich squelchy highly resonant filter. The famous 303 glide/slide is controlled by playing legato (or increasing the gate time on an arpeggiator.) I believe these were made in Germany in the mid 90's.
  5. It is a documentary about a history of electronic music and musique concrète, Experimental Music from Luigi Russolo's 1913 manifesto The Art of Noises to the new generation. Some composers as Jean Michel Jarre, Emilie Simon, François Bayle, Michel Chion, Christian Zanési, Teho Teardo, talk about how (and why) they composed electronic music pieces. The film's premiere was screened in Paris, on June 19, 2013 at the La Gaîté Lyrique theatre.
  6. Jack Hertz


    The Minitron was an early sampling / looping system that could trigger 48 independent voices of tape based sounds. Utilizing an array of six 8-track tape cartridges loaded with 1/4" analog tape. The Minitron assigned each of the audio tracks to its own key on the 48 keys slide-out keyboard mounted below. The Minitron had several features that made it more advanced than the Mellotron. The most prominent features were the Minitron's ability to play sounds longer in length, continuously, with amplitude control, and the ability to record its own sounds. Where the Mellotron had a single strip of tape that played end-to-end, with no sustain, and pre-recorded envelope. The Minitron could begin and end at any point in the loop, and would loop as long as the key was held. Even more impressive, the Minitron could playback loops as long as 40 minutes. By starting and stopping at different points in the loop. The player could play the same recording in different ways. This extra latitude in playback time and accessibility, offered a number ways for the musician to play the sounds without them sounding as repetitious as the short samples of the Mellotron. What is just as impressive, is the Minitron could also record its own sounds. Utilizing eight audio inputs, new audio could be recorded to an 8-track cartridge in the left cart slots. Then be switched to the right slot for playback. Recording to cartridges made it possible for the artist to build their own library of sounds that could be setup very quickly for use in performance or recording in the studio. Finally, the Minitron also featured some level of control over the tape loops themselves with separate attack, decay and volume controls for each of the 48 voices. Allowing the player to be more creative with how sounds where shaped and combined.
  7. Recorded live from KFJC. The Dead City Shaman conjure spirits from the thousands of musicians who performed in the sacred space known as "The Pit".
  8. Jack Hertz

    KETRON SD2 Orchestral Wizard

    The KETRON SD2 Orchestral Wizard is a pocket size sound module designed for all PC and Midi applications. Equipped with a new powerful sound engine, including a professional Stereo Grand Piano sound over 88 notes, huge Orchestral voices such as Saxophones, Brass, Woodwinds, Guitars, Accordions, Organ Digital Drawbars and many others, the SD2 has all the latest features for recording, programming and live performances. The quality of the Solo instrumental Voices (following the traditional KETRON Best Natural sound heritage) is a remarkable advantage of the SD2. In addition, the SD2 includes very distinctive Audio Drum and Percussion Loops selected from Slow, Jazz, Latin, Acoustic, Traditional and Dance styles. Ketron SD2Used in conjunction with a Computer, Master keyboard, Midi accordion or Midi guitar, the SD2 offers an “all-in-one” great sound resource that can be used to greatly enhance standard Midi fi les, as well as for Home and Studio compositions and recordings. Its Midi capability allows for control of up to 32 Midi channels and DSP effects such as Reverb, Chorus, Delay and Distortion. A very useful (optional) USB to Midi cable also allows the SD2 to communicate fl uently with any laptop, which might normally not be equipped with a Midi Interface. Special configurations with the sound Map (Templates) are provided so the instrument can easily ‘work’ with the most commonly used sequencer programs such as Cubase®, Logic®, Cakewalk® as well as the complete SD2 Drum Loop Library. Templates and Loop Libraries can be downloaded free of charge from Support & Downloads
  9. When electronic music synthesizers started to become popular in the 1960s, it was widely claimed that these wondrous instruments could create any sound—real or imagined. Curiously, this rather extravagant claim is both true and not true. In theory at least, any sound can be synthesized electronically (nobody has tried every possibility yet). Some sounds may be extremely difficult and, perhaps, impractical to electronically synthesize, but in principle they should be possible. On the other hand, no individual synthesizer can generate all possible sounds. Electronic music synthesizers are made up of a number of circuits, or modules, which can create or influence a signal in various, specific ways. To create a truly infinite number of sounds, an infinite number of modules would be required. For this reason, different synthesizers are more suited than others to creating specific types of sounds. There is no single ideal electronic music synthesizer. It all depends on just what you need. A great many synthesizer models are commercially available today. Some are excellent instruments, but they may not be perfect for your needs. You may be able to find a commercial synthesizer that includes all the modules you want, but you may end up with a number of additional modules that aren't of much use to you. You have to pay for them anyway. In this book, you'll learn how to build your own customized electronic music synthesizer. It will be far cheaper than a ready-made commercial unit, and it will only have the modules you specifically need. Moreover, you can position and mark the controls in whatever manner suits you. You can also expand your synthesizer as your needs demand (or your budget allows). The only limit on the number of modules is how many you can build and afford. In addition, you'll end up with a unique instrument, unlike any other in the world, and you can take pride in knowing it is your own handiwork. This book includes dozens of circuits that can be mixed and matched to create hundreds of different synthesizer systems. Many tips on their use are also presented. Some knowledge of basic electronics and the ability- to work from schematic diagrams is assumed, but no previous experience or knowledge of electronic music and synthesizers is required.
  10. Jack Hertz

    Vinicius Electrik Lizard System

    The Vinicius Electrik Lizard System is a very powerful Eurorack analog modular synthesizer system with digital control. It includes nine modules mounted in a 104HP case: Lizard Oscillator/Sequencer; MultiWaves Oscillator/LFO; Stage Variable VCF; OverFolder; ADSR (x2); DualVCA; 4 Channel Mixer and Midi Port. Includes power adapter and 24 colored patch cables of assorted sizes. Tested, with original box. Assembled in USA. It is composed of: • the MIDI2CV module; • the ADSR Generators (x2); • the Lizard VCO, a powerful hybrid VCO with 48 Operation Modes, which can also function as sequencer; • the MultiWaves, a triple LFO of which two are fully analog and one is hybrid (with 8 waveforms) that can function as a VCO; • the StateVariable VCF which features Low Pass 12, Low Pass 18, Band Pass and High Pass outputs; • the OverFolder, a wavefolder with an innovative folding topology; • the 4 Channel Mixer; • the Dual VCA. The package includes varied set of 24 colored patch cables and an external power supply for better signal-to-noise ratio.
  11. Jack Hertz

    Modal SKULPT Synthesizer

    Modal Electronics are proud to announce the latest in its line of innovative Machines For Musicians - the Modal SKULPT synthesiser. Packing a huge range of synthesis power in a highly portable package, Modal SKULPT is ready to help you take your creativity to the next level wherever and whenever you want.
  12. Jack Hertz

    Ototo: Make Music from Anything

    Ototo is an all-in-one musical invention kit which allows you to make an instrument any way you want. Ototo has got everything you need to make sound interactive: it’s a synthesiser, it’s got 12 onboard touch sensitive inputs and a range of different sensors which can be connected to 4 sensor inputs. You can make sounds straight out of the box by touching the keys to trigger notes. By connecting conductive materials or objects to the keys on Ototo you can make them react to touch; turning anything you can imagine into an instrument. The keys on the Ototo are arranged like one octave of a musical keyboard. When you connect an object to a key using crocodile clips, you can trigger that note on your object. There are four sensor inputs which control the different elements of the sound, one each for pitch and loudness and two that control the texture of the sound. Connect a light sensor to control the pitch or create a sound that reacts to your breath - it’s up to you! Combine to make musical inventions Combining these inputs allows you control over all elements of the sound: the loudness, pitch and the texture of the sound (timbre). Whether you’re prototyping a controller idea, learning electronics, creating an interactive sound installation or just having fun Ototo can get you making with no coding or computer required. Inbuilt synthesizer Ototo has two sound generating modes: a synthesiser and a sampler. It’s monophonic with an amplitude envelope, a modulation envelope, a LFO and a low pass filter. The sampler plays back short samples such as drum sounds from the flash memory with the ability to change the pitch of samples. The presets for the synthesisers are stored on the Ototo which you can cycle through by pressing the buttons. There will be regular software updates so expect more features to be added as the product develops. Control MIDI Once connected via USB Ototo can act as a MIDI controller. This allows you to use the instruments and synthesisers on the computer using the touch keys as note inputs and the sensors as control messages. This means you can keep the flexibility of building with Ototo but expand your range of sounds by playing instruments in Ableton Live, Apple Garageband and many more. The best of both worlds! Features 12 key capacitive touch keyboard (1 octave) with connectors 4 sensor inputs, 5V analog input Onboard speaker and 3.5mm headphone output Powered by 2 x AA batteries or micro USB No coding required 128 Mbit Flash memory Sensors We're producing 7 different sensors which we think are great for music making. You connect the sensors to the Ototo using the sensor cable provided. Rotation This is a potentiometer - you turn it to change the sound. Perhaps you use it as part of the control panel of a cardboard synthesiser. Light This is a light dependent resistor which changes the sound according to the amount of light it receives. Cover it up or point it directly at the light. Slider This is another potentiometer; this time you slide it to change the sound. It’s great for making trombones! Touch Strip This is a thin touch strip that changes the sound when you slide your finger along it. It's great for precise control, especially for pitch bend. Force This sensor changes the sound depending on how hard you press it. You could put it in a shoe and make music while you dance. Breath The harder you blow into this sensor the bigger the change in sound. With the breath sensor you can make a drainpipe saxophone. Joystick The joystick sensor is just like the analog stick on a gamepad. Move it around to control two sounds at once — with extra precision. How does the touch sensing work? It's using a technology called 'capacitive sensing'. The Ototo is measuring the capacitance of the objects attached to it, once you touch the object it can sense the additional capacitance added from the human body which then triggers the note. It's a simpler version of what's happening on laptop trackpads and smartphones. Ototo will work with any conductive material, for example aluminium foil, water, plants, fruit and veg, conductive fabrics, conductive threads, conductive paint and ink, pencil drawings, any metal objects and more! Open Source Ototo is built on open source software and we will release the Ototo source code once we start shipping. By making the firmware open source we're able to give you complete control how your synthesiser works. We also hope to inspire community firmwares for the Ototo for even greater sound possibilities. Why we created Ototo In our careers working in interaction design and electronic music, we’ve seen that many people would like to create new ways of interacting with sound yet find it a struggle. There’s a steep learning curve in both electronics and software programming before even getting to the sounds and the interaction that you would like to make. We wanted something that could be more hands on and experimental, that you could have an idea and just try it out really quickly. We want to empower people to create, whether that’s a kid playing with electronics for the first time or a musician who wants more control how they perform or create sounds. We believe when you have this power then you can see the potential in things - like as a child imagining all of the different things a cardboard box can be.
  13. Jack Hertz

    Breakaway Music System Vocalizer 1000

    The Vocalizer has built-in, background stereo songs that you can jam along with. These songs, called SmartSongs Jam Patterns, have special, built-in intelligence that automatically activates the Voice Guide, which tells the unit which notes to allow. Voice Guide works exclusively with SmartSongs. Each SmartSongs Jam Pattern contains drums, bass, and chord patterns. The built-in SmartSongs feature beginnings, middle sections that continually replay, and pre-recorded special finales ("Endings"). Hundreds of SmartSongs Jam Patterns will be available soon on special cartridges. Pick your favorite instrument (by pressing one of the green buttons) and choose one of the built-in SmartSongs, for example, Rock 1. Now slide your voice's pitch up and down, like a siren. Since Voice Guide is automatically activated, the Vocalizer will turn your vocal sliding into hot instrumental leads.
  14. Jack Hertz

    monome aleph

    aleph is an adaptable soundcomputer where synthesis, drum machines, samplers, loopers, and various other possibilities can be implemented with creative mapping and numerous external control methods-- attach via USB (grid controllers, knob boxes, MIDI keyboards, gamepads), CV (control voltage for modular synths, foot switches, etc) and computers. simply put, aleph is a small audio input/output device with a screen, bank of buttons, and series of encoders/knobs. it has the ability to host and run a variety of programs created by both monome and the user based community surrounding. new applications will be developed, documented and shared over time. elaborate mappings can be created without writing code by way of an easy menu driven environment and a thorough preset system. soundcomputer. powerful audio processor, synthesizer, noise machine, rapidly modifiable instrument. a platform for experimental practice and organic discovery. attachments. connect grid controllers, modular synths, midi keys, stomp boxes, gamepads, hand-made circuits. for more direct control and uncommon pairings. topography. dynamically arrange control mappings with unprecedented flexibility. create software control sources such as modulators, logical operators, aleatoric processes, sequencers. all quickly storable and recallable. open source. designed for community engagement, a benefit for musicians and developers alike. an exceptional educational tool. the library of uses and possibilities can only grow. what do the knobs/keypads/footswitches do? they have no strictly defined purpose. custom mapping is determined by the individual application being used. will documentation be available? yes! all documentation will be hosted on our website as new software and capabilities rapidly evolve. community contribution is always welcome and encouraged. we will be posting tutorials, application guides and recipes for outlandish configurations and maybe cake too. what programs will be ready when the aleph ships? there will be several applications preloaded on the sd card that ships with aleph. expect a complex layered looper, a peculiar monosynth, and a sharp-enveloped drum synth to start, and our highly-flexible patchable control environment called bees. what is bees? bees is a modular control environment that can host various audio programs-- parameters can be mapped and hardware control (knobs, footswitches, external USB controllers, etc) and software control (algorithmic sequencers, noise generators, complex LFOs, etc) can be combined to create countless sound instruments and noise machines. a thorough scene and preset system allows for a dynamic and performative system. bees is an open source application specifically designed to be modified and extended. users can rely on basic tutorials and programmers can build upon it's existing framework. do i need to be a programmer to use it? no. even without programming the device is highly modifiable. we aim to design applications which are intuitive and accessible, even if they are somewhat unusual. where are the MIDI jacks? USB MIDI is supported. for old MIDI gear, single-cable usb-to-midi converters are cheaply available these days. what is CV? control voltage is an analog method for changing parameters, such as pitch, for various synthesizers. on the top panel are 3.5mm jacks, 4 input and 4 output which use 0-10V. these are compatible with the widely popular euro format. the provided jacks can also be used to attach analog controls such as potentiometers or expression pedals. for other modular formats banana and 1/4" adaptor cables are widely available or easily assembled. what is the jack marked ii? ii is a digital communication protocol. we plan on co-designing with anyone interested. it is a 3.5mm stereo jack (for easy cabling) that uses the i2c bus. the bus is addressable (multiple devices on a chain), fast (400k), and easy to implement on various platforms (ie, an arduino). in the immediate future we will use ii for inter-aleph communication while continuing to develop a simple kit and framework for creating hardware extensions. are the encoders amazing? yes. they are very high resolution and optical, hence noiseless and capable of detecting very tiny movements. can i plug in a guitar or contact mic into aleph? yes. a gain switch and analog input gain stage allow the aleph to be easily inserted in various audio paths-- for example a stomp box chain. given the 4 inputs and 4 outputs, various feedback paths and mixing schemes can be achieved readily.
  15. The Commodore Story is a cram packed 2 hour documentary film that takes us through Commodore's evolution from the 70's to the 90's from the PET, Vic20, C64 to the Amiga and beyond including the very rare C65 and the retro wave of nostalgic events and Commodore/Amiga related products hitting the market today. Music fans will enjoy the added bonus documentary The Chiptune Story - Creating retro music 8-bits & 16-bits at a time. That looks at Commodore's contributions to sound design. Beyond the keys, the Commodores SID sound chips remain as the longest lasting legacy of the company. Long after the computers themselves were useless. The SID continued to fuel to an entire genre of game music that is more popular than ever, today.